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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The beat of black wings

When George Bush was in the White House, it seemed as though the mainstream media were giving us the war death toll every day. Lately, I hardly hear those numbers -- although maybe I'm not paying enough attention. Anyway, as of last Friday, here they are: more than 4,400 U.S. military and Defense Department civilians dead in Iraq, and more than 1,075 dead in connection with the war in Afghanistan. God rest their souls, and help this world.

Comments (7)

When the Bushies were in office the death toll was a big deal because their constant bungling made it rise substantially every week.

And how many have come home maimed, their lives limited by disabilities? How many will depend on us to support them for the rest of their lives? The deaths for such small accomplishments are sad enough. But remember the far larger number of Americans who have permanent injuries.

Oh! We tend to forget about the Iraq people who were killed also (how many thousands? Or have 10,000s been killed?)--including the 2 Reuters newsmen blasted to death by our marvelous helicopter gunship crew in 2007 with their 30 mm automatic cannon (30 mm = 1-3/16" dia.)

The print edition of the Oregonian has a "U.S. Deaths" box in the A section every day, although it seems to count only service members and not civilian casualties (the Afghanistan number for the former hit 1,000 as the Memorial Day weekend was getting under way).

Part of it is, that the overall death toll has gone down -- although the the rate of deaths of U.S. troops in Afghanistan has doubled (from an average of 0.4 to 0.8 per day) in the past year as troop strength and operations have increased -- but not nearly as many casualties are coming out of Iraq.

But another part of it is that the people who were pushing stories about the numbers as a part of the anti-war movement aren't holding Obama's feet to the fire in the same way they were Bush's. And it's not as if the GOP is going to start pushing for a troop withdrawal.

Depending on the month you believe Vietnam started, Afghanistan is now the longest war in U.S. history.
What happened with Iraq - in my opinion - was that the GOP did their usual excellent job of framing the issue. It became all about the surge and whether or not the surge was working. Lost in the shuffle, was the attention span of the American public regarding the nasty fact that the Iraq War is still going on.
As disappointed as I am with President Obama, I'll always blame Bush a lot more for Iraq. He's the dummy who looked at the Middle East and said, "I can fix this."
I also really hate the spineless Democratic Congress of the 2006 elections, who ran on an anti-war message, and who could have cut off the purse strings for the war, but who proceeded to roll over like a trained seal for Bush and Cheney.

God rest their souls, and help this world.

Now that depends on which god we are talking about and what part of the world needs fixin'!

Regarding Bill's comment about framing, remember too that the Bush administration overtly tied their rationale for their "war on terror" to everything: national security, gas prices, domestic prosperity, the food supply, clean water, nuclear proliferation, democracy in the Mid East, international loyalties, the innate freedoms of man, safe air travel and on and on and on. Any subject of conversation was repurposed as a justification for the invasions, and in such a charged way that it inevitably and interminably both inflated and polluted public discourse about their policies. Part of the reason Obama is being given much more leeway is his seeming unwillingness to broadcast wildly overheated rhetoric loaded with unsubstantiated claims.

And then there are the innocents that have been maimed or killed by our little extravaganza, of course since they are not American's or Christians they don't really count right?

The crusades all over again?

As far as the Bush vs Obama debate?

They sing different songs but have the same music teacher.

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