Monday, January 01, 2007

3000 US Military Deaths

It was never a matter of if this would happen- it was when. How sad that 2006 should end with this round number, 3000. 3000 lives; gone. 3000 families; devastated. 3000 futures; over.

3000 is a relative number. Depending on what you do for a living, 3000 may be a small number or it may be large. Some people tell me that 3000 military deaths in Iraq is a small number, or a comma, as our president refers to them as. Compared to WWII and Viet Nam, 3000 is nothing. That's not what you ever want to say to a Gold Star Mom. Any number more than zero is too many for this war.

What are the real numbers that so far define the legacy of the 43rd US President?

3002 US military dead because of Bush's lies
22032 US wounded
377 Contractors (all countries)
127 Coalition deaths (other countries)
2801 World Trade Center deaths on 9/11
357 US Military dead in Afghanistan
16273 Iraqi civilians

There is a number that is too large for the American public. 3000 isn't it. There is a number that is acceptable for monthly casualties. I think that number is about 75. The media doesn't even talk about a number until it starts approaching 100. December 2006 had the highest number of casualties in nearly 2 years, but the media was more interested in Saddam's execution, the upcoming Bowl games, and anything but the US casualties in Iraq.

The Pentagon chimed in saying: "Every loss is regretted and there is no special significance to the overall number of casualties." "The President believes that every life is precious and grieves for each one that is lost," said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel. "He will ensure their sacrifice was not made in vain." Oh puhleez! Don't do me any favors. I don't want to go there- whether Ken was killed in vain, but please, please, please, do not spill one more drop of blood to honor my child's sacrifice. No more flags, no coffins, no Gold Star banners.

Despite what George Bush says, 'The most painful aspect of my presidency has been knowing that good men and women have died in combat. I read about it every night, and my heart breaks for a mother, a father, a husband, wife or son and daughter, it just does,'' he said. ``And so when you ask about pain, that's pain. I reach out to a lot of the families; I spend time with them. I am always inspired by their spirit.''
''Look,'' he said, ``my heart breaks for them, it just does, on a regular basis.''
I don't believe it. I don't believe this president has shed one tear for my son. I don't believe he cares; in fact I don't think he has the capacity to care. He says he meets with military families, but those families are chosen, for the most part. They are chosen for their politics. Do they agree with the president? okay, you're in. Against? You are not welcome here.

It's true that I don't like this president. I never supported him, his family or his politics. But, he has proven himself incapable of showing emotion and the subject of dead American soldiers is no exception. Our kids are George Bush's little, green Army men. He says he has not decided on a plan to increase the number of American soldiers in Iraq by 15,000-20000, but we know that he has already decided; kind of like he hadn't decided to invade Iraq when he told us that back in October 2002. He isn't listening to the generals on the ground, he isn't listening to the soldiers or to the Iraq Study group and he may have heard about the resounding message we sent to Washington in November, BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!, but he's not listening.

Besides, any President serving at a time of war, who has no problem sleeping just doesn't understand the magnitude of grief that war causes. This war, that he initiated. In an interview with People magazine, Bush said “I must tell you, I'm sleeping a lot better than people would assume”. I wish I could sleep as well.

It's time for this president to grow up and understand the magnitude of the financial and human losses this country has suffered while he continues to insist on victory in Iraq. (whatever that means....)

3 comments:

Chancelucky said...

Karen,
I agree, but point out that the number 16,000 for Iraqi civiilian deaths is only for officially reported deaths in the last year. The Iraqi government admits to well over 100,000 deaths at thsi point (released not long after our midterm election). The Lancet study suggests 600,000. Apparently anecdotally, you will not find an Iraqi who does not have a family member or close friend/associate who has not been killed since 2003.

When you look at the way we got into this war....1 is far too many even when that 1 happens to be Saddam himself.

GSMSO said...

Chance, as always, you make excellent points.

Robert Scheer of Truthdig.com says it well, too: The hanging of Saddam Hussein was an act of barbarism that makes a mockery of President Bush’s claim it was “an important milestone on Iraq’s course to becoming a democracy.”

pogblog said...

"How could you ever sleep if you'd shed this much blood, Mr. Bush?" None at all is what I would assume you got for sleep, you butcher.