Thursday, October 27, 2005

A Gruesome Milestone

On Tuesday the 2000th American soldier died from wounds suffered in the war on terror. One news outlet reports it this way:

In New York, Wednesday morning's newspapers headlined the news of U.S. dead with what seemed like macabre glee.

"2,000 Dead: As Iraq Tours Stretch On, a Grim Mark," blared the New York Times front page.

America's best known "Clockwork Orange", Cindy Sheehan, has vowed to chain herself to the Whitehouse fence in protest until President Bush pulls the troops out of Iraq. She had announced plans to do that as soon as the 2000 milestone was reached a while back.

I don't know that I agree with the assertion that the New York Times is gleeful over the news, but it certainly seems to me that Ms Sheehan was almost hoping we would reach the 2000 mark.

The same news outlet mentioned above reports:

In a study released two weeks ago, the Media Research Center noted:

"Network [news] coverage has been overwhelmingly pessimistic. More than half of all stories (848, or 61%) focused on negative topics or presented a pessimistic analysis of the situation, four times as many as featured U.S. or Iraqi achievements or offered an optimistic assessment (just 211 stories, or 15%)."

By its attempts to trash the U.S. war effort, the press betrays its true feelings about America's heroes - and those feelings have little to do with honoring their sacrifices.

Yesterday, I heard a radio talk show host comparing the number of dead in Iraq with the numbers that died in WWII, Vietnam, Gettysburg. There was no comparison. There is absolutely no doubt that there have been much less killed in Iraq than in a comparable amount of time in other wars.

This news disturbs me. All of it. Not just the news that 2000 men have died, although that is disturbing enough. But the news that some are using the tragic deaths of 2000 Americans as a platform to support their own agendas. On both sides.

War is never a good thing, although it is often righteous and often the only option. And death is an unfortunate and tragic result of war. Lets also not forget the men who have been permanently crippled and maimed, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I recall a popular phrase from the 60's:

These are not statistics, nor are they a cause for celebration. They are deaths. They are people. They are Americans. They have families and they had lives. Any death in war is an obscene death.

I see no reason to celebrate or minimize these deaths. I only see a need to grieve. I grieve no less over one death than I do over 2000. Or 4000. Or 8000. This is a war that I believe we need to fight, to finish, to win. But I will not celebrate the deaths of our brave troops and I will not minimize their sacrifice.

I will, however, celebrate their bravery and their commitment to freedom.

The reporting by the media, both Liberal and Conservative regarding this "milestone" is deplorable.

Breaking News:

Harriet Miers has withdrawn her nomination to the SCOTUS. I will consider this and comment on it later.

In other news: The Houston Astros were defeated in the World series by the Chicago White Sox in a 4 game sweep. A church in Berkley, California that I could not find in a web search has announced the reason for Houston's loss is because "God hates Houston". Really. You can't make this stuff up.

Apparently, according to spokesmen for the church, "The Church Of Peace And Unity" claim that it is because Houston is home to Halliburton, Enron, and an airport called George Bush Airport. And because after God drove the sodomites out of New Orleans, they ran to Houston, who accepted them.

Needless to say, i disagree with the church on this. I think the Astros lost because God is mad at Pastor Tim. (just kidding, Pastor. There's always next year.)

Go 'Stros!


William said...

I have noticed the uneven balance of the reports regarding the war in Iraq. It appears that the election held there is insignificant when compared to the lives of our enlisted men and women. We must remember that when seeking for justice, some die so that others may live.

I am honored that there are men and women who lay down their lives daily so that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can be established in our great nation and abroad.

Do not be illogical. War is necessary. To withdraw now would be absurd. People are wounded regularly from suicide bombers in the Iraqi region, and some are even killed.

Do not be cold-hearted. Politics should never be a trump card when regarding humanity in our nation or overseas. Two thousand of our soldiers have died so that thousands more in that region will survive. Should we allow our men to die in vain?

Etchen said...

OMG I laughed so ahr at the "God hates Houston" line. So sad that they lost.
Well said ont eh deplorable announcement of the milestone of 2000. You're right, if the number was 1 instead of 2000, it is just as sad It should never become a milemarker so to speak--it is almost as though they are saying "2000 have died, so NOW it is a tragedy."

Francis Lynn said...

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, director of the force's combined press center: "I ask that when you report on the events, take a moment to think about the effects on the families and those serving in Iraq," Boylan wrote on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

"The 2,000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone. It is an artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives. The 2,000th Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine that is killed in action is just as important as the first that died and will be just as important as the last to die in this war against terrorism and to ensure freedom for a people who have not known freedom in over two generations."

"Celebrate the daily milestones, the accomplishments they have secured and look to the future of a free and democratic Iraq and to the day that all of our troops return home to the heroes welcome they deserve."

carrier said...

You're right. How many Americans have died in this war is not the tragedy. The tragedy is that we were duped into fighting this ridiculous war in the first place only to satisfy the bloodlust of Cheney and Rumsfeld.

Lone Ranger said...

Yeah, the blood-lust of Cheney and Rumsfeld. I'm sure these old white guys stay up late at night engaging in blood rituals. They dance around a George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Burning Machine in lieu of a bonfire. You liberals will never be taken seriously until you tone down your laughable rhetoric.

Thanks to those 2,000 troops, the rape rooms and torture chambers are no longer operating. The mass graves are no longer being filled. The prisons have been emptied of children. Beautiful women are no longer being raped and murdered at the whim of the Saddam sons. Men are no longer vanishing for even looking the wrong way at members of the Saddam inner circle. Crooked leftist politicians are no longer lining their pockets with Food for Oil profits.

The real tragedy here is that Democracy will not survive in Iraq. Already the government of Afghanistan is passing laws restricting the rights of women. It's only time before the corrosive religion of Islam eats through all the democratic reforms we are trying to achieve in Iraq and drags this country back to the barbarism of the 7th century, just as it has with every other large Muslim group in the world. In another 30-40 years it will be as though this war had never been fought.

But we still have to fight it. Standing by and doing nothing is the action of amoral cowards.

Toad734 said...

...because there's no corruption in Chicago.

Pamela Reece said...

Hey, Mark, when are you going to add me to your blogroll?! You offer a great perspective on this and love that you make me see a perspective that I found profound!

Great Post!

By the way, I'm having a White Sox party this week! I'm a Chicagoan and it's about time we were recognized beyond Michael Jordan!