Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Not a Milestone

According to the official Associated Press death count, the number of U.S. military personnel that have died in the Iraq war reached 2,000 with today's announcement of three more fatalities.

The Pentagon announced that Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander Jr., 34, of Killeen, Texas, died Saturday in San Antonio of injuries sustained Oct. 17.

Alexander was wounded in Samarra, a town 60 miles north of the Iraqi capital. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga.

Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. military announced the deaths of two unidentified Marines in fighting with insurgents last week in a village west of Baghdad. The deaths raised the Associated Press tally of military fatalities to 2,000 in the Iraq war, which began in March 2003.
Our heartfelt prayers go out to the families (both blood and military) of these servicemen.

This evening's newscasts should all be full of tearful cries from the MSM talking heads and any politician wanting to gain some press time, wringing their hands over the latest bloodshed and calling for the capitulation or, better yet, resignation of the Commander-in-Chief who has sent these innocent souls to their deaths for no reason other than greed and oil.

And any minute now (if it hasn't already started), we should be able to see "live breaking news" coverage from in front of the White House featuring the left's glamour girl herself, Cindy Sheehan. Sheehan has been looking forward in morbid glee to the 2,000-death "milestone" so she can take her anti-war, anti-Bush protest to the next stage.

"I'm going to go to Washington, D.C. and I'm going to give a speech at the White House, and after I do, I'm going to tie myself to the fence and refuse to leave until they agree to bring our troops home," Sheehan said in a telephone interview last week as the milestone approached.

However, these new deaths should not be considered a milestone:
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, director of the force's combined press center, described the number as an "artificial mark on the wall."

"I ask that when you report on the events, take a moment to think about the effects on the families and those serving in Iraq," Boylan said in an e-mail. "The 2,000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone. It is an artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives."
"The 2,000th Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine that is killed in action is just as important as the first that died and will be just as important as the last to die in this war against terrorism and to ensure freedom for a people who have not known freedom in over two generations," Boylan wrote.

He complained that the true milestones of the war were "rarely covered or discussed," and said they included the troops who had volunteered to serve, the families of those that have been deployed for a year or more, and the Iraqis who have sought at great risk to restore normalcy to their country.

Boylan said they included Iraqis who sought to join the security forces and had became daily targets for insurgent attacks at recruiting centers, those who turned out to vote in the constitutional referendum, and those who chose to risk their lives by joining the government.

"Celebrate the daily milestones, the accomplishments they have secured and look to the future of a free and democratic Iraq and to the day that all of our troops return home to the heroes welcome they deserve," Boylan wrote.
While I mourn for the loss of Ms. Sheehan's son Casey, and for all the brothers and sister in arms that have lost their lives overseas in the last four years, I respectfully submit that Ms. Sheehan and her ilk –– in their fervent hatred for this country –– will never understand the reasons these brave young men and women have given their lives. It is a love and devotion to this nation, its people and its freedoms that inspire them to give so unselfishly. As Pericles once said of the Athenian soldier, "others are brave out of ignorance, but the man who can most truly be accounted brave is he who best knows the meaning of what is sweet in life and of what if terrible, and then goes out undeterred to meet what is to come."


Blogger Monica said...

I totally agree. My son served in Iraq and he said if he had died and I had dishonored him this way he would have come back to haunt me. I do not agree with all of the politics of our government but I totally respect my son's stand for his mission.
That 2000 mark yesterday? It riddled me with bittersweet relief/guilt. I posted about it today if you're interested. Great blog...I'd like to come back.

10/26/2005 6:52 PM  

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