Saturday, October 06, 2012
The Human Costs Of Unnecessary Wars
The invasion of Iraq resulted in the deaths of 4,486 American soldiers, and the invasion of Afghanistan has cost the lives of 2,132 American soldiers (and that death toll is still growing). And that is just the beginning of the suffering these unnecessary wars have inflicted on our soldiers and their families. Hundreds of thousands of American soldiers have been injured -- either physically or psychologically, or both. Here is how the Associated Press puts it:
A staggering 45 percent of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related. That is more than double the estimate of 21 percent who filed such claims after the Gulf War in the early 1990s, top government officials told The Associated Press. . .
When he was campaigning for office in 2008, Barack Obama promised to end both of these wars -- and yet the war in Afghanistan drags on. As was the case in Vietnam, it has become readily apparent that our mission in Afghanistan is a failure -- and yet we continue it because our national pride (or at least the pride of our national politicians) won't let us admit it was a mistake and withdraw. A tentative date for withdrawal has been set at the end of 2014 (another two years), but no one will guarantee that date won't be set back again and the war extended.
Haven't our soldiers and their families suffered enough? How many more deaths and physical & psychological injuries must occur before we say enough and end this madness? Are we going to make this a truly endless war?