Thursday, August 25, 2005

Looking into the big picture...

So I am sure many of you who have heard about Cindy Sheehan. She's the mom of a man who died in the Iraq War last year, and is protesting near President Bush's ranch in Texas. She's upset because she thinks misintelligence is the reason her son died and she is protesting that fact. Essentially she is blaming the President because he makes the bog decisions on when and where to attack.

She is allowed under our Nation's 1st Amendment to do so. More power to her. I can't say I'd do the same thing in her place, but who am I to tell her how to feel? Perhaps this protest will help her to get through her grieving period.

The topic got me thinking and wondering: how many people have died in the Iraq War so far? How do the statistics of this war compare to other major wars/conflicts the U.S. has participated in? I loked it up. You wouldn't belive the amount of websites to carry this information. But here's a breif summary..

According to a total of 2098 military personnel have died in Iraq/Afghanistan. Thier estimate is since the war started (3/19/03). However, I could not find a date listing when the site had been updated last, so these numbers could be a little more. I also checked out the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) website for the official report of wars past. Ok, so in comparison to other major wars from most recent to our Nation's 1st (this is total deaths):

Iraq War (2003- present): 2,098
Persian Gulf War (1990-1991): 382
Vietnam Conflict (1964-1973): 58,209
Korean War (1950-1953): 36,574
World War II (1941-1946): 405,399
World War I (1917-1918): 116,516
Civil War (1861-1865): 364,511
War of 1812 (1812-1815): 2,260
Revolutionary War (1775-1783):4,435

So as you can see, the Iraq War is, at the moment, the 2nd lowest as far as deaths. Considering the technology and weaponry the US has these days, I'd say that is not bad at all. That is not to say that I regard ANY of these deaths with a grain of salt. Of course it is devastation to those families who have lost loved ones. Of course some mistakes were made in this and past wars. One of the big problems I see with the public's misunderstanding of why deaths occur is that many Americans view the Military as an infallible force that is perfect. I can attest from experience, that this is not true. While the military, and I mean all branches, strive for excellence and perfection, I feel the need to point out that ALL MILITARY PERSONELL are HUMAN BEINGS! We are not perfect. No one is, except God. Yes, some intelligence we have gotten in wars is not right, or bad, and has resulted in deaths. Yes, sometimes polititans have gone against the popularity and kept forces in a place, or started a war. Sometimes it was a bad idea. But again, even the people who make the decisions are human. They go on the intelligence they recieve. Time is limited. There is not always the chance to check again. Decisons have to be made. Sometimes the decision not to strike is made, and people have died anyway.

The fact of the matter is this: war is war. It's not pretty. It's not perfect. People die. But the people who do die join the military for a reason. They are brave enough to fight, guard, supply, fly, or get in their tin cans under the water and pray they don't hit an underwater mine or mountain. When a miltary member joins, they know what they are getting into. They are adults and make their own decisions, sometimes against their family's wishes. Yes, it's very sad if they die. But trying to blame a higher problem isn't going to solve anything if you don't know the whole story. And if the public knew the whole story, we'd all be dead, I'm afraid. I feel that while the public has the right to know a lot of information, giving out every little detail would result in even bigger problems. Leave the issues to the military and the people you voted for to lead this country. If you don't like how they handled things, go to the polls next year and vote them out!

So Cindy Sheehan, we get the message. You are angry your son died. I am too. I am also angry that Iraq has so many hateful people in it, and they don't have the freedom to do what you are doing. Please think about that the next time you go out to President Bush's ranch in protest. He's only human. Just like you and me. In the meantime, I hope that you can get over your grief and move on with your life, perhaps being a stong woman that you seem to be. May God Bless you.

0 flame(s) added to the fire: