Home > military, politics > Is the 2,000th Death More Important than the First?

Is the 2,000th Death More Important than the First?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005, 21:12 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

People opposed to the war in Iraq have been gearing up for nationwide rallies once the 2,000th United States service member dies. That death reportedly occurred today.

Why are anti-war groups awaiting the 2,000th death before they rally? There are a few possibilities:

  • 2,000 dead soldiers, sailors, airmen/women, marines, and Coast Guard personnel makes the war less moral than it was when only, say, 1,999 were dead.
  • That 2,000th dead service member was a more important person than the others were.
  • It took 2 1/2 years for the number of service members to die in Iraq that died in the average half year during the Vietnam War, which proves that Iraq is a quagmire. (That isn’t actually true, since the Iraq death toll includes fatalities from accidents and illness, whereas Vietnam numbers are all combat-related. But including the non-combat deaths makes it easier to make the quagmire case.)
  • 2,000 dead service members = 2,000 reasons to protest the war, even though the overwhelming majority of the dead supported the war and wouldn’t want their deaths to be used for propaganda purposes, but why split hairs?
  • Ratification of the Iraqi constitution increases the likelihood of a stabilized Iraq, and those 2,000 dead service members would be very proud to have helped that happen.

I know, that last one isn’t likely to be the reason for all the rallies. But I haven’t given up hope that there might be two or three anti-war protesters out there who would actually like to see Iraqis successfully establish a stable and peaceful government of their own. OK, maybe one or two. Or one. Maybe.

Categories: military, politics
  1. Wednesday, October 26, 2005, 05:23 EDT at 05:23

    That is a great point – number 2000 is no different than number 1..or 83…or 1,392.This is the only symbolism I relate to here – it is a time to honor our heroic dead – and to recommit to the cause for which they fell.As President Bush said today “We didn’t ask for this war.” I say, like our grandparents in the so-called “greatest generation,” let’s rise to this challenge…and let’s finish it. If not for ourselves, then for our kids. And for those who have fallen.YES, some mistakes were made – in war there are ALWAYS tragic mistakes and unforseen turns and twists. But ours is a righteous and noble cause – and in less than three years, “mountains have been moved,” – schools and hospitals built, elections held and 50 million have been liberated.The only thing “pointless” is the ill-conceived argument that we suddenly leave Iraq and dishonor the sacrifices of our honored dead.

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