Thursday, March 27, 2008

Honoring the Dead

I'm sure you've heard by now that we've passed 4,000 dead in Iraq. This has sparked some discussion of the cost of the Iraq War and whether or not it's been worth it, as well as honoring the sacrifices of those who have given their lives for this country. Cal Thomas has a very specific way in which we should honor our heroic dead, expressed in his latest article.
Now the Times has published more pictures, names and ages, this time of American war dead. They are part of the 4,000 casualties to have fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan since those wars began. They - and their families - deserve our gratitude.

Some politicians who oppose the war - mostly Democrats, but a few Republicans - offer obligatory and oblique references to "the troops" and their bravery, while undermining their sacrifice and objectives by calling for their immediate withdrawal. That is not a policy, unless one regards surrender and retreat only to fight a bloodier war another day policy.
So in order to honor the sacrifices of these 4,000 dead we have to stay in Iraq until victory is achieved (please note that the key term, victory, is not defined). It's the only way to honor these soldiers is to finish the mission they gave their lives trying to accomplish. Kind of a straightjacket isn't it? Because not only does it commit us to staying in Iraq for 100 years (as McCain suggested), it can be stretched to suggest that we have support pursuing the evil doers to Iran and beyond.

I think a better way to honor the dead is for the civilians of this country to live up to our side of the compact and demand that our troops only be used when necessary and that they not be wasted in foolish wars such as our invasion of Iraq and the proposed invasion of Iran.

Oh and please don't feel like you have to point out that we aren't going to invade Iran. You might be right, but clearly there are elements in the current administration and in John McCains advisers that want to.

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