Monday, March 24, 2008
As the Toll Passes 4,000
A sad milestone, the number 4,000. 4,000 soldiers dead in a needless and pointless war. 4,000 families who've lost a loved one for no good reason. 4,000 reasons we never should have invaded Iraq, and 4,000 reasons we need to end the occupation as soon as possible.
Round numbers seem to have a symbolic impact. 4,000 stirs an emotional response that the prior number of 3,996 did not. Round numbers are easier to grasp as "statistics" when a long, slow process is grinding on. The individual numbers don't get much attention until they total up into a round number.
For the Iraqi's there aren't any round numbers to mark. The death toll has been so overwhelming that the world has stopped counting. We only get "estimates", as if Iraqi's don't really count. Some tragedies don't get quantified.
Today four more families are grieving as a result of the horrible misguided policies of the administration. They join 3,996 families before them. They don't feel like "statistics" or a part of a round number. They feel the pain of losing a loved one.
And for what? Iraq was never a threat to the United States, despite the administration's scary rhetoric. The invasion was an exercise in imperial hubris, and the ongoing occupation is the result of a stubborn refusal to face reality. It was morally wrong to use military force in an attempt to impose our will on Iraq, and was doomed to failure from the start. The ongoing disaster of occupation is, and will remain, morally wrong; therefore it is also doomed to failure. A variety of statistics may be reported, but that doesn't change the most basic fact: the occupation is morally wrong.
Brave and honorable soldiers are losing their lives for no good reason. They are not statistics, but good people who are serving the country. My thoughts and sympathies go out to they and their families. But for the administration that chose to waste their lives I have nothing but anger and contempt. The administration should be prosecuted for their criminal actions, including the deaths of 4,000 soldiers.
We need to end this war.
Added: More here: