Chicago Tribune stops profiles of fallen solders, can't keep up

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The Death of Too Many to Count

In World War Two during the first days, people gathered in town squares to commemorate the fallen. It was a smaller, more closely knit America in many sectors, and so it seemed natural to gather. However, as the number of fallen increased, the memorial services (at least large ones in public squares) sputtered out. At one point the number simply becomes so large that the human psyche can't cope or keep count.

Some of us remember the weekly body counts in Vietnam. On a good week in was under 200. We didn't see the faces of those boys, but everyone knew someone who had fallen. With Iraq, we're not at that point yet -- where everyone knows someone who fell -- but were headed in that direction.

Vietnam was a Civil War, but it was not along the lines of the fight between Shiite, Sunni, and Kurd. The goal of unification by the North Vietnamese is not like what apparently seems to be a goal of division as the outcome of the war.

The current Administration has destabilized Iraq and this means the Middle East will be destabilized and it is not clear what the long-run consequences will be. Bush may well leave the mess for his successor, making him the longest sitting lame duck in our history.

When Rome burned, it is said Nero fiddled. No one could claim that Nero was "staying the course" and that those who sought to get out of the way of the flames were "Cut and Run Romans."

The Administration seems to feel justified in its policies in that there hasn't been another 9/11. It's like FDR claiming that he was doing a great job because after 12/7/41, we didn't have another Pearl Harbor. Or like the guy who walks around New York snapping his fingers to keep wild tigers away. "Hey, man, there are no wild tigers within 6000 miles." "See, it works."

But the cost of the policy is not just the foolishness of the Administration with a cost that is dollars alone. People are dying and the toll is mounting.

When combat deaths turn from quantitative numbers to qualitative numbers and abstractions, we see that the Administration has numbed us to the carnage. Lame duck Bush waddles on into history. Alas, 2008 is still two years away.

Stay tuned.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 21 October 2006 - 10:27am
Iraqi War Must Stop

This is a sign that the Iraqi War must stop. NOw. What should happen is gather all the president's male relatives and friends and send them to Iraq. Let the president worry for them. This will definitely make him pull out all troops. Unless he's that full of himself and still let them suffer.

BitShifter's picture
Posted by BitShifter on 2 March 2007 - 9:08pm