The numbers were hit this week, as of last night we hit 853 military deaths this year in Iraq, the most for any year of the war so far. I suspect (I haven’t had time to skim the news sites today) that we will have a lot of hay made over this between the politicians in office, the ones who want to be in the highest office, the media, the left side blogs, etc. My own father railed on me earlier this week over this. What bugs me most about the war is how difficult it seems to be for the anti-war crowd to make a cogent statement in the midst of their emotions. I get how they feel, but I don’t understand just what they think from a logical standpoint. We need to get past the bluster and (ofter, very real) anger… shoot, I get angry over the lives lost and families torn apart, but I still see us being on the right course. War is never pretty, always hurts, and sometimes just plain necessary.
In the midst of all this, is the good news of significantly reduced casualties, continued success in pacifying significant areas of the country, and the continued improvement in the lives of Iraqi people. I’ve had several friends, family and family members of friends serve and I continue to hear the same stories from each of these brave people… it’s a bad situation, but it’s right; the media isn’t reporting on the good things happening.
It would be interesting to look at the comparative numbers of other, even less noble skirmishes. More importantly, the numbers involved in the ones where we waited too long or never engaged. It’s complete hindsight, but I can’t help wonder just how much different this would have been if Papa Bush had got the job done in the first place.
This is still a delicate situation and requires patience… helping Iraq discover the best solution to manage itself is critical and I don’t think it’s there yet. Some might recall the challenges we had over 200 years ago trying to figure out how to form a government… first attempt failed, remember? Remember the first attempt at a world organization to help countries work together… that didn’t work either, did it? (some think we still don’t have that figured out) How long did we stay in Japan and Germany after the end of WWII? How long in S. Korea? Shoot, how long did it take to get Great Britain to bugger off after we beat the snot out of them in the Revolution? Handing the people control of their destiny like we’ve tried to do in Iraq isn’t going to just work… it’s not a product you pick up at Target and plug in when you get home.
Let’s honor the dead by finishing the job right. Support the troops… send one a book today (see the banner in the sidebar for www.booksforsoldiers.com ).