October 26, 2005

2,000 Dead Soldiers

Another terrible milestone was passed in Iraq yesterday with the 2,000th American soldier killed. I think that this is an appropriate time to pause and ask ourselves, is this worth the cost in lives? If yes, then at what point does it stop being worth it? If no, then how can we best extricate ourselves?

2 comments:

Larry said...

My question is, why aren't more Democrats asking these questions publicly and suggesting answers or asking their constituents for their answers?

Laura said...

I think the Democrats are asking these questions publicly. I think the issue of withdrawal has been front and center in political commentary. The issue is not whether the original war was worth the loss in life. We can't go back and change the course of actions that led us into this war.

The question now is how do we leave? We've gone in and introduced chaos, torn the country apart and planted the roots of civil war. If we leave now, without some other force imposing peace, the end result will be devastating. We've lost 2,000 soldiers and countless others have been injured. But, what is the cost of leaving before peace is won? I think if we leave now, thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis will die. Civil war will break out and the killing will have no foreseeable end. Are the lives of Iraqis somehow worth less than the lives of Americans?

We can and should hope for peace and for an end of our nation's involvement in war. However, if the cost of the U.S. sitting at home enjoying our peace is the death of countless Iraqis due to a process we started, then the cost is too high.

I did not support the decision to go to war. I do not support the way things have been handled. We need better leadership. Leadership that has a clear and uncomplicated goal to stabilize the region, help return water and electricity and help train Iraqi soldiers to do the jobs we are currently doing. Our interests should not lie in choosing their political idealogy, and should not have anything to do with our quest for oil. Our interests should be to put right what we destroyed so that the Iraqi people can go on with a life that is at least the same (if not better) quality as it was before we invaded and destroyed the country.

Let me put it this way, when my daughter's friends come over and they spend an afternoon destroying her bedroom in a concerted effort, I expect her friends to help clean up any messes they help make. I don't think it's too much for me to expect as much of my country as I expect of a first grade student.