Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Worthless War

In reading American history, I cannot help but be surprised that a relatively small number of casualties will cause us to sacrfice our soldiers at an alarming rate, and at numbers that far surpass the original number of casualties. One should be careful when conducting algebraic experiments in terms of human lives, but it is not entirely insignificant that more troops have died in Iraq than civilians died on September11th.

The U.S. military death toll in Iraq has reached 2,974, one more than the number of deaths in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, according to an Associated Press count on Tuesday...

The deaths raised the number of troops killed to 2,974 since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003. The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks claimed 2,973 victims in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Now, the War in Iraq is a dubiously noble endeavor. The form of government is far less important than the character of the citizens, and it is thus foolish to assert that democracy will save the Iraqis from whatever ills with which they are besetted. More importantly, we cannot erect a democracy in Iraq. It may have been an honest mistake to think plausible what has since proven to be impossible, but this is no longer the case. The War in Iraq has been lost. Idiots, cowards, or some combination thereof, the politicians must spin, spin, spin to convince us otherwise. Meanwhile, the troop continue to die. Notes Fred:

One day soon people will ask aloud: How did we let 3000 GIs die for the weak ego of a pampered liar and his desperate need to prove he's half the man his father was?

The troops from now on will die for a war that they already know is over. They are dying for politicians. They are dying for nothing. By now they must know it. It happened to us, too, long ago.

The talk among pols now is about finding an “exit strategy.” This means a way of pulling out without risking too many seats in Congress. Screw the troops. We must look to the elections. Do we really want an exit strategy? A friend of mine, with two tours in heavy combat in another war, has devised a splendid exit strategy. It consists of five words: “OK. On the plane. Now.” Bring your toothbrush. Everything else stays. We’re outa here.

It is a workable exit strategy, one with teeth, and comprehensible to all. But we won’t use it. We will continue killing our men, calculatedly, cynically, for the benefit of politicians. The important thing, you see, is the place in history of Bush Puppy. Screw the troops.

Face it. The soldiers are being used. They are being suckered. This isn’t new. It happened to my generation. Long after we knew that the war in Vietnam was lost, Lyndon Johnson kept it going to fertilize his vanity, and then Nixon spoke of the need to “save face”—at two hundred dead GIs a week. But of course Johnson and Nixon weren’t among the dead, or among the GIs.

Harsh words. But the truth has been known to hurt. God help the poor troops. We're certainly not doing them a damned bit of good.

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