Will the Iraq War Really End?
by Laurence M. Vance: Is
Libertarianism Compatible With Religion?
war in Iraq has already ended twice, the United States still has
troops stationed there, fighting there – and dying there.
don’t end when they should have or could have.
of Ghent that ended the war of 1812 between the United States and
Great Britain was signed on December 24, 1814. Yet, the last battle
of the war – the Battle of New Orleans – was fought on January 8,
1815. It seems that news traveled a lot slower back then. The result,
of course, was unnecessary deaths on both sides.
that ended World War I was signed at 5:00 a.m. in a rail car in
France, but did not take effect until 11:00 a.m. Conservative estimates
put the casualty count during the six hours between the signing
of the armistice and its becoming effective at "10,944 casualties,
of which 2,738 were deaths" (Joseph Persico, Eleventh
Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918, World War
I and Its Violent Climax [Random House, 2004]). Again, we
have unnecessary deaths, not that the other deaths during World
War I were somehow necessary.
As of March
20, the war in Iraq has lasted for eight years – more than twice
as long as the U.S. war against Nazi Germany in World War II. I
first wrote about the Iraq war on its third anniversary ("Weapons
of Mass Distraction") when 2,317 American soldiers had
for a lie. When I wrote about the war on its fourth anniversary
Years, Four Plans"), that number had risen to 3,218. On
the fifth, ("Five
Years and Counting"), the number was up to 3,992. On the
Happened to the War?"), it was up to 4,259. Last year,
on the war’s seventh anniversary ("The
Forgotten War"), that number had risen to 4,385. Now, on
the eighth anniversary of this immoral war, the number of U.S. soldiers
who have died
in vain is up to 4,439, with 211 of those senseless deaths occurring
since Obama took over as the chief war criminal.
Yes, the death
count per day, week, month, year, or however you want to figure
it keeps getting lower. But since there are now more U.S. troops
in Afghanistan than Iraq, guess what is happening to the number
of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan who are coming home in flag-draped
coffins? That number is up to 1,505.
But even if
no more U.S. soldiers needlessly die in Iraq and the number remains
at 4,439, that is still 4,439 soldiers too many. Even if only one
American soldier had died since the beginning of the war, and even
if the war had only cost 1 dollar, that is still one soldier and
1 dollar too many.
that the war in Iraq has already ended twice.
The first time
was on May 1, 2003, when President Bush announced – in front of
a "Mission Accomplished" banner – that "the United
States and our allies have prevailed" and "major combat
operations in Iraq have ended."
This was followed
by the deaths of 4,300 more U.S. soldiers.
ending of the Iraq war was on August 31, 2010, when President Obama
proclaimed that "the American combat mission in Iraq has ended"
and "Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people
now have lead responsibility for the security of their country."
the transition to "Operation New Dawn" took place on September
1, twenty-one more American soldiers have died.
And just what
have our troops died for? It certainly wasn’t to keep us safe from
terrorism. It was acknowledged by the U.S. government in the National
Intelligence Estimate as far back as 2006 that the war in Iraq
increased the threat of terrorism rather than diminished it.
When will the
Iraq War really end? How many more American soldiers, Iraqi "insurgents,"
and Iraqi civilians must die before it does? How many more billions
of U.S. taxpayer dollars must be wasted before that time comes?
M. Vance [send him mail]
writes from central Florida. He is the author of Christianity
and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State, The
Revolution that Wasn't, and Rethinking
the Good War. His latest book is The
Quatercentenary of the King James Bible. Visit his
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