Monday, December 05, 2005

Death in Iraq is Not a Number

A Black Hole
By Bob Herbert,
New York Times

Returning visiters to this blog know that I rarely post articles about the ever-rising death toll resulting from the Iraq War, or Afghanistan, or Israel, or elsewhere. I struggle to explain why I shy from the subject matter -- even to myself.

On the one hand, judiciously reporting the horrors of suicide bombings and other combat deaths and injuries can help to sour one's committment to war and, instead, strengthen the cause of those who prefer to solve problems without blowing each other's children up. On the other hand, the deep, deep, sick-to-my-soul disturbance in the pit of my stomach upon hearing of even one more war death overpowers by tenfold any desire I might have to write about it.

Judge me as you will. I have a very hard time dealing with the fact that children my daughter's age are dying daily for a needless war. It's why I blog--to bring them home--alive and whole--where they belong, in the arms of their family and sweethearts. I write to try to open angry minds to see the folly of this war so they'll fight to end it. But more often than not, squeamishly, perhaps, I leave the death statistics and the stories of grieving families to others. It's all I can do.

Bob Herbert's column in the New York Times today deals with such a death--a personal, moving story told to Herbert by a young boy's grieving parents. I'm glad he wrote it, because this story and others like it need to be told and told and told until we finally, finally join together as Americans to stop this illegal war and the death and heartbreak that go with it.

Herbert writes, "'My son told us two weeks before he died that he felt the war was not worth it,' Mr. Shroeder said. 'His complaint was about having to go back repeatedly into the same towns, to sweep the same insurgents, or other insurgents, out of these same towns without being able to hold them, secure them. It just was not working, and that's what he wanted to get across.'

Mr. Shroeder dismissed the idea that criticism of the administration and the war was evidence of a lack of support for the men and women fighting in Iraq. 'You can support the troops and be critical of the policy that put them there,' he said.

Please read Herbert's column and let it move you to do your part to end the death. Click to read: A Black Hole by Bob Herbert

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