Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Iraq - Two Thousand Too Many

"It is only the dead who have seen the end of war." Plato

I can't seem to get worked up about Judith Miller or Dick Cheney or Karl Rove or Scooter Libby or any of the usual suspects right now. I think of Nixon and Watergate, and I wonder when--or if--these demonic, arrogant horses asses will get their just deserts too.

If I were a nicer person maybe I wouldn't take such satisfaction in George W. Bush's discomfort these days. But he's so not a nice person himself, I can't feel anything but relief that he too might be hoist on his own petard.

However. At least he and his cohorts are alive. Which is more than can be said for 2,000 American soldiers who died fighting the Bush administration's dirty stinking war in Iraq.

That's what's got me worked up. This horrendous milestone is going practically unchallenged in the media or Congress. It's horror is not being trumpeted. The American public should be howling with outrage. This should be the lead story, not a sidebar in the New York Times: A Look at Those Who Died in Iraq. Look at their faces and read their names and share their families' grief at such wanton waste of human life.

Seriously. Look at their faces. They are staggeringly young. Age 18, 19, 20, 21. A few in their late 20's, a few in their 30's, a very few in their 40's. Far too young to die. For any reason. Especially a political boondoggle of such egregious proportions.

But war is big business and it's business as usual in our government when it comes to screwing the American people. My parents just lost their home to Wilma. They're here in Philly with us, thank god, but they can't even return to Florida until mid November because there's no water or power or phone service or food or gas. And Jeb Bush has it "all under control." Yeah, right.

However. At least my parents are alive. And they don't have grandchildren serving in Iraq. Which is more than can be said for FAR too many American families.

The Times ran a heartbreaking story that's sickeningly representative of what's happening to our brave soldiers and their families. Anthony Jones came home to Georgia on leave to meet his newborn son. He wasn't very sanguine about returning to Iraq. "I want to live this week like it is my last," he said. "The chances of going over a third time and coming back alive are almost nil. I've known too many who have died." Sgt. Anthony G. Jones, 25, was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, Iraq three weeks later. (And good god, on my birthday).

The Times had another sickening statistic that highlights what the war is doing to our soldiers. "While it took 18 months to reach 1,000 dead, it has taken just 14 to reach 2,000. More powerful and sophisticated explosive devices are a major reason, causing nearly half of the deaths in the second group."

So how did our leaders mark this grotesque milestone? A moment of silence in the Senate. A moment of silence. Wow. Aren't we lucky to have such great leaders?

Speaking of leaders, President Bush's thoughtful response to hitting the 2,000 mark of death: "the best way to honor the sacrifice of our fallen troops is to complete the mission."

NO. The best way to honor them--and to save their comrades in arms--is to get the hell out of this terrible war. "How Many More?" TV Ad



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