Friday, November 11, 2005


There’s a column/article (it’s often difficult to tell the difference between opinion pieces and reporting) in today’s site. It has to do with military deaths in Iraq. You can read the article *here*.

Military deaths in Iraq, from all causes, are now at 2,035. There have been more in Afghanistan. I’m not sure of the total. I think it is under 200.

That is a heavy price. I mourn them. I mourn them all.

But think of what these brave Americans have helped to accomplish.

This war didn’t begin when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center, but that was when it caught our attention. Before that they had announced they were at war with us and had attacked us several times. Their attacks had been treated like mosquito bites: We scratched the itch long after the perp had disappeared.

In the attack on 9-11 over 3,000 were killed, not just Americans, people of all nationalities. (At the time, I thought that was a blessing. When I saw those buildings collapse, I estimated 10,000 deaths.)

Since that time here is an incomplete list of the changes in the Middle East:

PAKISTAN: This was truly a rogue nation. They sponsored the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. They were always verging on war with India. A nuclear power, they were spreading the technology throughout the world. ONE scientist took the fall for that. (If you believe that, I have a bridge I’ll sell you.) Since, they have become an important American ally in the region, one we couldn’t do without. They have mended their fences and kicked ajar a gate with India. Still a questionable populous but a huge plus overall.

AFGHANISTAN: How soon we forget. The Russians were bogged down there for years. But this was the home of al Qaeda. We had to get them. Winter was coming on. Predictions were for a long, bloody campaign.

It was over in weeks with minimal casualties. We took almost as few weeks to succeed as the Russians took years only to fail.

The campaign went on.

Iraq fell.Libya declared themselves reformed and gave up their nuclear program.Syria withdrew from Lebanon.Diplomatic and military victories piling up one after another.

It has been one of the greatest military and diplomatic campaigns in history.

The cost has been severe: Over 2,000 of our military dead.

But anyone at the beginning would have estimated ten times that many deaths to achieve what has been achieved. That would have been the minimum estimate.

It has been a great campaign.


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