Monday, March 19, 2007

Four years of war

I wonder if most Americans are doing what I did this morning--stop, even if it's just for a few minutes, and consider what's happened over the past four years. On March 19th, 2003, the invasion of Iraq began. I don't think anyone knew then that it would have lasted this long, or that it would have played out the way it did. Whether you're for or against it, I think you'd be hard-pressed to deny that the human toll has been large, indeed. According to statistics from the Department of Defense and Reuters news agency:

  • 3,210 US deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
  • 24,042 US troops wounded
  • 60,000+ Iraqi civilian and military deaths

For what, exactly?

  • We went after the Iraqi government for their supposed role in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US, even though the Bush adminstration later went on record in stating "...there [was] no evidence that [Saddam Hussein] had a hand in those attacks..." - (Seattle Post-Intelligencer).
  • We invaded Iraq because of their supposed stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, even though government reports later showed our intelligence was flawed and that there were, in fact, no WMD to be found (CNN.com)
  • The money we've spent on the war so far (as I write this) could have funded over 7 million new public school teachers, or almost 4 million new units of public housing, or funded 20 million scholarships to 4-year universities and colleges (National Priorities Project)

I could go on and on...but the fact is, those who are "for" the war will remain for it, and those "against" will remain against. Over time, though, I think it's more likely people will defect from the "for" camp in favor of the "against", rather than the other way around. But either way, I've reflected today on the loss of life, money, and international good will we've squandered on an unjustified and unjust war.

More later...

1 Comment:

johnx said...

Well said. I think the department of defense numbers are way low in the case of Iraqi casualties...

4 million displaced is what gets to me. Can you imagine moving to Canada due to war in US? Its unthinkable to most americans, yet the UN reports 4 million Iraqis displaced. I cannot fathom.

I guess that's what the WWII vets mean when they say "only as a last resort".