Thursday, October 27, 2005

The 2,000 Milestone

A few days ago, the milestone of 2,000 American soldiers that have died in Iraq was passed. Before I ever decided to post my opinion on this, that milestone was passed by and now it stands at 2,005.

Many of those who have oppossed the War in Iraq have made this number have some significance. 2,000 is a round number and stands out. But that number to me is not a milestone, just a point on a timeline of an ever increasing total.

Every death is a milestone to those friends and family of whatever particular number represents their loved one. And it's probably highly doubtful that they even consider their loved one as just a number on that timeline. More than likely they don't even relate a death total to the person that they buried. That individual soldier isn't Iraq War death number 775 or 1,675 or 2,001, that individual is simple, one.

Every state in the union has had a soldier die in Iraq. The newspapers in my state will give a total of those in the state who have died whenever a new soldier is killed. They will give a profile of the soldier sometimes including the circumstance of the death and add that soldier to the state total. The death becomes a statistic.

We know the old saying, "statistics can lie," but it can also be said that statistics can hide the facts. When 2,ooo deaths became the milestone statistic, it hides the facts behind all those deaths. Who was number 449 for instance? Was he/she married? Did the soldier have kids? Was the person planning on marraige after the tour of duty was over? What future was ended by a roadside bomb or sniper fire?

There's the crux of the matter. A future has ceased to be. Those of us against this war, just don't understand why those 2,000 plus futures needed to cease. President Bush can say that those soldiers won't have died in vain, but he can't continue those futures. He can claim that the future of Iraq is why those individual futures will never be, but that's a huge gamble that he can't guarantee.

The Bush gang claimed early on that this war would be quick, in other words, few futures ended. They were wrong, they gambled and lost many futures. Day by day, week by week, this gamble goes on. What is the future of so many to Bush and his cohorts? Do they continue to wage this war and fail to think deeply of the lives they gamble, of those ended futures?

All humans live for the future whether that future is minutes, hours, days, months, years later. We instintively plan our future with hopes and dreams of a better life. That's what we will never know about those 2,000 plus soldiers, what were their hopes and dreams? President Bush can't tell us those things, he can only claim that he ended those futures for a better Iraq.

With no weapons of mass destruction found, with no connection to 9/11 in Iraq, with a claim of creating democracy in a place that doesn't seem to really want or understand democracy and further a democracy in Bush's view not others, all I can think is that he's gambled away individual's futures on a country's future he still hasn't produced. Will Bush's predictions ever come true?


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