Dead US Servicemen = 2,000. WMDs found + Osamas captured + Iraqi links to 9/11 = 0. Flowering Middle East democracies = ???
Day 951 of the Iraq War marks the day we hit 2,000 US casualties. This makes an average of a little over two deaths per day in Iraq, assuming we’re only counting American deaths in Iraq from combat — not the Americans who die from their wounds out of country, not the rest of our coalition partners’ deaths, not the body counts of insurgents (who always seem to die in packs of 20, 50, 70, but yet they’re still around), and certainly not the innocent men, women, and children caught in the crossfire and bombings.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — The war in Iraq saw two milestones Tuesday that reflect the country’s path to democracy and its human toll as officials said the referendum on a draft constitution passed and the U.S. military’s death toll reached 2,000.
CNN’s count of U.S. fatalities reflects reports from military sources and includes deaths in Iraq, Kuwait and other units assigned to the Iraq campaign.
Among the latest casualties, an American soldier was killed Saturday by a roadside bomb, and a roadside blast killed two Marines in combat Friday near Amariya in the western Anbar province, according to the U.S. military.
Since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, more than 15,000 American service members have been wounded in the conflict, according to the Defense Department.
Now more than ever I’m eagerly awaiting the indictments to come from Fitzgerald’s office. There have been rumors that the prosecutor is looking beyond the outing of Valerie Plame and into the whole White House Iraq Group and their conspiracy to deceive the American people into supporting an illegal war of aggression against Iraq.
The people are already having “buyer’s remorse” over this war. The opinion polls now show a majority to believe the invasion was not worth it and the country is going in the wrong direction. Can you blame us? We were sold a cakewalk of a six-month war with few American casualties, a shared sacrifice by a coalition of the willing, paid for by the oil revenues of the invaded country, where the civilians would greet us as liberators as we removed a murderous dictator and demolished his stash of weapons of mass destruction before he let loose anthrax and nuclear bombs in our cities on 45 minutes notice. 32 months, 2,000 casualties (90% of the coalition casualties), 0 WMD, and $200 billion later, we nabbed Saddam Hussein. That’s got to be the most expensive bounty hunt in history. We could’ve sent Dog the Bounty Hunter and got it done for a millionth of the cost.
Still, we have the True Believers who are willing to accept whatever is the latest rationale for continuing the war. Today we’re expected to believe in a new Domino Theory, where a flower of democracy planted in Iraq blossoms and spreads to the rest of the region. Nobody said a thing about that in the “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud” days, or even during the “Mission Accomplished” days, but after so many young Americans are killed and so much taxpayer money is spent there must be a bigger payoff than pulling down a statue and excavating a grizzled old man from a spider hole.
The other theme making the rounds is that we have to stay the course so the boys who’ve already died in Iraq will not have died in vain. Finish the job, they say, which is a noble sentiment, but difficult to achieve when the job keeps changing and the goals were never fully defined in the first place. It seems a little like the idea of walking 2,000 steps toward a city you’ve never seen, whose location is unknown to you, discovering you’re lost in the desert, but deciding, “well, I’ve got to keep walking in this direction, or else the 2,000 steps I’ve already taken will have been in vain.”
That’s why these coming indictments are so important. There is mounting evidence to show that the administration wasn’t the victim of bad intelligence so much as the perpetrators of bad intelligence. They sought to sell us this war using scare tactics and propaganda, knowing full well that in early 2003 we’d never buy into “hey, we wanna respond to 9/11 by invading and democratizing a Middle Eastern country that had nothing to do with it; we’ll be safer in the long run and we’ll only spend two lives and a quarter billion dollars a day over the next decade or so to achieve it, assuming we can even succeed in that goal.” That’s why they were whispering sweet nothings in Judy Miller’s ear, having her pimp the immediate danger of Iraqi WMDs like Armstrong Williams pimped for No Child Left Behind.