Somewhere, in storage, I have Ernie Pyle’s books about his experience in World War 2. One of them has its dedication the following:
In solemn solute to those thousands of our comrades – great, brave men that they were – for whom there will be no homecoming, ever.
Apparently Harry Reid’s comments that the war is lost at this point have generated a lot of angry attacks from folks on the right. Funny thing is that most of these people insisted for years that the war was won, and later that it was getting better, and now that the surge is the last chance. Even their own statements about what is going on show a steady worsening of the situation and a failure of their predictions.
TBogg notes that Michelle Malkin has been soliciting (critical) e-mail from service personnel about Reid’s comments. His post provides a list of American personnel killed in Iraq so far this month.
One of his readers (comsympinko) makes an amazing observation:
Only one officer.
This is truly a colonial war, the savagery committed to the memory of the nation in every house of god in the Western Hemisphere.
The lists of the colonial war dead in European cathedrals are long and undistinguished.
Maybe a general, likely a colonel, a few junior officers and hundreds upon hundreds of enlisted men.
What is striking above all else is the proportion of the dead killed by disease.
I fear the lethal combination of dubious vaccinations and anti-WMD medications, depleted uranium, and PTSD will fill our own lists with our hundreds and hundreds of the diseased enlisted dead.
The officers who led them to their certain doom will escape unscathed once again.
Regular readers may recall I’ve had a post showing that military deaths due to illness and accident have been rising under GW, after falling since data first became available. Data on military death rates are here.)
Otherwise, I think comsympinko is right, sadly. This is just another colonial war. I’ve noted in earlier posts… enlisted military personnel, those that are not officers, are woefully underpaid, except relative to menial and fast-food jobs. Enlisted personnel are those that fight and die. They are fed on a diet of patriotism, misinformation, and ignorance and sent to fight and die by people that aren’t making similar sacrifices themselves. And when someone questions whether their sacrifice in a cause that, at the very least, isn’t progressing, is worth it, well, that’s cause for the couch warriors to rise up.
And so, what we will continue to see is death. Iraqis will die in the thousands and hundreds of thousands. It may even be too late to stop that no matter what course of action the administration takes going forward. But it is not to late to do something for those great, brave enlisted men and women in the US military. They should have their homecoming.
Correction. Reader Movie Guy indicates that something I originally wrote, is wrong, namely:
“Someone who gets sick in Iraq gets evacuated. If he/she dies in Germany, well, he/she is not considered part of the Iraq War dead.”
I have since removed that phrase. Which raises a question. Does anyone have a link to an official DoD list of OIF dead by cause of death? (i.e., not something run by some third party) I’ve been rummaging around the .mil domain and every such link I come to is inactive.