1,000 Dead in Iraq

By now you’ve heard the news–1,000 dead servicemen and women dead in the sands of Iraq.

The number is staggering. No one–not even the fiercest critic–could have imagined we’d be at this point in this war.

Is it worth it? At long last–has the toll been worth it? Especially when we’ve given back large chunks of the country back to the insurgents? Is there any other strategy beyond staying the course?

See, especially, Matt Yglesias.

As for me, I can only pray that my fallen brothers and sisters in arms find the peace that eluded them in life, and that their sacrifice wasn’t ultimately in vain.

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3 responses to “1,000 Dead in Iraq

  1. No one could imagine it? I did. What concerns me is that we aren’t getting numbers for the serious injuries. If you look you can get a split between out for less than 3 days or more than 3 days, but that’s it. Are we getting 3 disabled veterans for each dead? six? I don’t know.

    My thought from the beginning of the occupation was that careful opposition to the war might get us out of it with around 2000 dead soldiers. Much better than vietnam. I’m more pessimistic now. I don’t see any way to suggest getting our military out of harm’s way that won’t just solidify the push to keep them there. And we could easily have another 1000 deaths by march. It isn’t a static war.

    I sent letters to my congressman and two senators asking them to do whatever they could do quietly to get us ready to leave, and publicly announce it when the time was ready. They each sent me back statistics and anecdotes and the statement that Bush had their full support. So I got to read about how many schools we’d repaired and how there’s so much good news that doesn’t get reported.

    All I could think of to do was to write back and praise their courage in taking such a firm stand on this deeply divisive and controversial issue.

    If we just had some strategy for iraq. There’s honor in doing the military stuff long enough to let the real strategy take hold. But there isn’t any. So it’s wasted.

    I’m sorry.

  2. Over 1,000 Americans dead. Nearly 7,000 wounded. Scores of other “coalition” soldiers dead. Terrible figures that are in turn dwarfed by the tens of thousands of Iraqis dead, including, by best estimates, over 10,000 civilians.

    In an essay on the anniversary of the start of the war, I wrote:

    So it’s been a year. And we still ask what was the point? What was the cause? What was the gain?

    And the only reasonable answers are none, certainly not the offered ones, and none.”

    Six months down the road, I see no reason to change that assessment.

    So is there an alternative to “staying the course?” Of course there is: Don’t stay the course. Recognize that this has been a disaster, a colossal waste, a waste of money; a waste of American lives, of Iraqi lives, of others’ lives; a waste of what was left of our good name. And stop throwing good money, lives, and reputation after bad.

    Set a date for withdrawal and then do it. Will our leaving stop the bloodshed? No, it won’t. But we need to face the fact that the bloodshed will not stop until we go. Our presence does not prevent the chaos, it merely forestalls it while the deaths continue to mount.

    STDD&GTHO: Set The Damn Date & Get The Hell Out.

  3. Do folks even know how their reps voted on all of the issues that fed into this war?
    Do they really want the same old incumbents in office?
    Yes, I have an axe to grind–just wanted to pass along a link to a great piece of political work.
    http://www.zipbeep.org/congress/
    It’s a free tool to help people sort out how their reps have been actually voting on progressive issues, and monitor Congress better–I have been following this person’s posts on live journal. I think you’d agree with a lot of her judgment calls, and she picks up things early, sometimes weeks before anybody else does.
    This project is a big one, intended to fill in the blanks where official elected official’s websits give no information at all, and it comes from public information, just stuff that’s hard for the average person to track down.
    A really impressive and lengthy piece of work, and she wants it to be widely available to anybody who wants to make use of it.
    Please check it out.
    Thanks!