Thursday, August 25, 2005

Some Thoughts on Casualties in Times of War and Peace

If you missed this, then you missed it.
Power Line: "Even in peacetime. The media's breathless tabulation of casualties in Iraq--now, over 1,800 deaths--is generally devoid of context. Here's some context: between 1983 and 1996, 18,006 American military personnel died accidentally in the service of their country. That death rate of 1,286 per year exceeds the rate of combat deaths in Iraq by a ratio of nearly two to one.

That's right: all through the years when hardly anyone was paying attention, soldiers, sailors and Marines were dying in accidents, training and otherwise, at nearly twice the rate of combat deaths in Iraq from the start of the war in 2003 to the present. Somehow, though, when there was no political hay to be made, I don't recall any great outcry, or gleeful reporting, or erecting of crosses in the President's home town. In fact, I'll offer a free six-pack to the first person who can find evidence that any liberal expressed concern--any concern--about the 18,006 American service members who died accidentally in service of their country from 1983 to 1996.
The point? Being a soldier is not safe, and never will be. Driving in my car this afternoon, I heard a mainstream media reporter say that around 2,000 service men and women have died in Afghanistan and Iraq 'on President Bush's watch.' As though the job of the Commander in Chief were to make the jobs of our soldiers safe. They're not safe, and they never will be safe, in peacetime, let alone wartime."
A few months ago I heard my Father in Law say that Bush was a bad President because of all the boys that had died in Iraq. This from a man who is old enough to remember WWII let alone Korea and Viet Nam.

Has there ever been, in the history of warfare, more accomplished with so few casualties and death. One country (Iraq) is writing it's constitution that was until 2 years ago a depot's hell hole and active sponsor of global terrorism. Another country (Afghanistan) has a constitution that was an oppressive police state and terrorist training center until 3 years ago.

And it has cost us 2000 brave souls. Yet in peacetime, brave souls die in the military as well.

Has it been worth it. If you can't say yes, I think there is something wrong with you. Either your misinformed or lack the moral courage to understand a just war (Do you think we should have overthrown the Taliban?)

Also, I think you devalue the service of our brave soldiers by claiming that the war they are fighting is "the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time." You may say you support the troops but disagree with the war. I think the troops understand exactly what you are saying.

And the troops are re-enlisting at increasing levels especially in combat units (This was another issue with my Father in Law; his news gathering is limited to the LA Times and watching network news so he's chronically misinformed).

The troops seem to believe in the mission, and believe in the President. I think we might as well.

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