Saturday, October 02, 2004

Take a moment...

As Bush and Kerry exchange rhetorical gunfire over the Iraq war, one line of thought really hit home with me. Bush and Co. are trying to imply,by Kerry criticizing the war, he's saying those who have died in Iraq sacrificed themselves in vain. That's a tough issue and one that Kerry addressed very tactfully in the debates. Here he eloquently counters Bush's charge:

KERRY: I understand what the president is talking about, because I know what it means to lose people in combat. And the question, is it worth the cost, reminds me of my own thinking when I came back from fighting in that war. And it reminds me that it is vital for us not to confuse the war, ever, with the warriors. That happened before.

And that's one of the reasons why I believe I can get this job done, because I am determined for those soldiers and for those families, for those kids who put their lives on the line. That is noble. That's the most noble thing that anybody can do. And I want to make sure the outcome honors that nobility.
52,000 Americans lost their lives during the Vietnam War. A war that has been totally discredited by those who initiated it in. 52,000 mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters gone. It really is a shocking thing to try to understand and yet the Iraq war demonstrated that Vietnam taught us nothing.

I agree with Kerry completely that it's important not to confuse the war with the warrior. There are some great sites out there that seek to acknowledge the sacrifices of the fallen, and more importantly, seek to remember who they are and what they've done. It's critical that those who have died are humanized and don't become just another nameless statistic that Bush would have us content with. Check out the
Washington Post web site where they've compiled a list of those killed in Iraq with a brief bio of each. The simple pictures of the soldiers kind of knock you out.

Another thing we need to remember is how Bush and the Pentagon are refusing to recognize how many Iraqi civilians have died. There are some sites out there that are trying their best to compile accurate information on the topic. The American media has allowed Bush to dehumanize this war and some of these sites seek to counter that by putting a human face on what's happening. I think the best way to ensure these people are not dying in vain, in what is now a discredited war, is to learn a little bit about them. I think that's the least we can do as Bush seeks to further bury what has been lost.



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