4,000 Dead, Iraqi War

4000 dead in Iraq

The latest morbid milestone in Iraq, the passing of the 4,000th service member dead in Iraq. A tragic milestone and a testament to the cost of this war.

The fallen should be remembered with honor--and with the recognition that these lives were lost in an effort to bring stability to Iraq after the decision to invade. The deaths should also be put into perspective: they are a tiny fraction of the Iraqi losses and pales in comparison to the ongoing agony suffered by the people of Iraq. For those who live and fight in Iraq, the cost is measured in smaller, but much more personal numbers.

When soldiers read the newspaper, the latest AP casualty figures are glanced over with the same casual interest as a box score for a sport you don't follow. When soldiers open the Stars and Stripes, the military's daily paper, I am sure they search for the section with the names of the fallen to see if they include anyone they know.

The number 4,000 is too great to grasp even for soldiers in Iraq.

A soldier's request: "I would ask that when you see that number, try to remember that it is made up of over 1 million smaller numbers; that every one of the 1 million service members who have fought in Iraq has his or her own personal numbers. Over 1 million 8's and 3's. When you are evaluating the price of the war, weighing potential rewards versus cost in blood and treasure, I would ask you to consider what is worth the lives of three of your loved ones? Or eight? Or more? It would be a tragedy for my 8 and 3 to have died without us being able to complete our mission, but it maybe even more tragic for 8 and 3 to become anything higher."

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Campaign Issues 2008

27 March 2008

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