2,000 Dead And Not-Counting

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The nation was eerily silent recently when the number of Coalition troops who have died in Iraq reached 2000. What, are we really so obsessed with the Natalee Holloway disappearance, London terrorist round-up and Space Shuttle debris to acknowledge those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of President Bush’s thinly-veiled oil agenda?

While I fully expected the Administration to ignore the tragic milestone, I would’ve hoped that at least the pointy-headed chin-pullers on all the political pundit talk shows would’ve chosen to debate the merits of the ongoing occupation. For it ought to be painfully obvious to even the casual observer that the situation is continuing to deteriorate in Iraq, and not only in terms of the skyrocketing civilian and police casualties due to suicide bombs.

More Americans were killed there in 2004 than in 2003, and at the current rate, even more will die this year than last. This never-ending, war profiteering scenario looks more and more like Vietnam revisited every day. Philosopher George Santyana (1863-1952) once wrote, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.â€? So the question becomes, are the American people content to watch matters escalate while buffoonish Bush continues to babble meaningless malarkey like this inscrutable update he offered on June 8th: â€œYou see, not only did the attacks help accelerate a recession, the attacks reminded us that we are at war… and the second way to defeat the terrorists is to spread freedom. You see, the best way to defeat a society that is, doesn’t have hope, a society where people become so angry they’re willing to become suiciders, is to spread freedom, is to spread democracy.â€?

Who are we to decide on what terms we will leave, when the all the Coalition has managed to secure is the postage stamp-sized Green Zone, Saddam’s palaces and the oil fields? Meanwhile, the rest of that otherwise barren desert has turned into a veritable Wild, Wild West where the three major Iraqi factions, the Sunnis, the Shiites, and the Kurds continue their centuries-old turf war in anticipation of America’s inexorable exit from Baghdad, likely reminiscent of the final, frantic helicopter lift out of Saigon. How many body bags will it take to realize that supporting the troops means pressuring the President to bring them home?

Black Star columnist and attorney Williams is a member of the NJ, NY, CT, PA, MA & US Supreme Court bars.



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