Thursday, August 26, 2004Two Per Day
In 2003, we spent 10 months at war. In those ten months -- which included the ironically-labelled "major combat operations" -- 482 American soldiers were killed.
In 2004 so far, we've spent 8 months at war. In those eight months, 488 American soldiers were killed.
That's six more dead in two fewer months. In 2003, the daily average was 1.68 dead soldiers; in 2004, it's 2.04... which is a round-about way of pointing out that this situation is not improving. But we keep hearing predictions from the White House that things are on the verge of getting better:
On May 1, 2003, Bush pronounced "Mission Accomplished;" we had turned the corner. Since that day, 618 American troops have been killed.
On December 13, 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured; we had turned the corner. Since that day, 557 troops have been killed.
On July 28, 2004, George Bremer handed over "sovereignty" to the interim government of Iraq; we had turned the corner. Since that day, 112 troops have been killed.
These are 970 families that have lost children, parents, siblings, spouses. Why? What have we achieved for all this death? What has been accomplished that was worth the loss? To all those who are old enough to remember the threat of losing friends, spouses, and family members in Vietnam, why do you now stand by while younger generations are sent to die? How many more lives will you allow to be spent before the cost becomes too high? These are your children, and my generation's siblings/spouses/friends/loved ones. I don't want them to die.
Did you learn nothing from Vietnam?
A distraught father who had just been told his Marine son was killed in combat in Iraq set fire to a Marine Corps van and suffered severe burns Wednesday, police said.
Three Marines went to a house in Hollywood to tell the father and stepmother of Lance Cpl. Alexander Arredondo that their 20-year-old son had died Tuesday in Najaf, family members said.
The father, Carlos Arredondo, 44, then walked into the garage, picked up a propane tank, a lighting device and a can of gasoline he used to douse the van, police Capt. Tony Rode said.
He smashed the van's window, got inside and set the vehicle ablaze, despite attempts by the Marines to stop him, Rode said.
When the couple saw the Marines walking toward the front door, "My husband immediately knew that his firstborn son had been killed -- and my husband did not take the news well," Melida Arredondo told reporters before police escorted her to the hospital.
"It doesn't surprise me that he was so traumatized. He went crazy," she said.
I'd go crazy too. I never truly appreciated what my family went through during the Gulf War. With my baby, I'm starting to understand.
PS No, I haven't forgotten about the thousands upon thousands of dead and maimed Iraqi civilians. God forgive us; nobody else will. |