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Wednesday, October 26, 2005 


I don't really understand the spotlight being thrown on the fact that there have been 2000 US military deaths in Iraq. The 2000th is worthy of tons of news stories, Op-Eds, and about a million blog posts? What makes this more important than 1999 or 2001 or 1786? Nothing. Each death is important in its own regard. Each is a noble sacrifice committed by a better and more selfless person than myself, someone who was willing to serve their country in any way asked. I think that all of the commotion over 2000 cheapens the deaths of the soldiers. It just becomes about big, round numbers. That's all 2000 is, it's a big round number picked by certain people to be some sort of finger waving benchmark.

Today, many liberal blogs have been breathlessly asking "oh, when will Bush learn that this folly of a war must end?" or "how could this administration get us in without a plan to get out?" I spend a lot of time wondering if these people are really this dumb or really this partisan.

As a person who supported and supports the war in Iraq, I would love to have all of our troops come home. That can happen when the Iraqis can defend their own country. That is the goal. It's a tough goal to appreciate at times because it isn't a traditional military objective, like take that hill. I think that there are things that we can do to help them get there faster, but I am opposed to pulling out until they are actually ready. Leaving prematurely would risk everything falling apart in that country. If that happens, everything that those 2000 US military deaths have accomplished would be in vain.

There is something that really amazes me about the war. Five years ago, the war in Iraq would be exactly the type of war that a liberal would probably support: a war of liberation, a war against a despot, a war for human rights. Five years ago, the war in Iraq would be exactly the type of war that a traditional conservative would probably oppose: a nation building war. I have a theory on how and why this flip happened, but that's another post for another time.

Now, imagine this. Take the events of the last 3 years and replace Bush with Clinton. If Bill Clinton were president right now and had done what Bush did in Iraq, he would be praised to no end. He would be called a great liberator of oppressed people. He would've been given the Noble Peace Prize. The media would be celebrating every successful Iraqi election as a historic moment. The praise that Clinton would've gotten after the constitution was adopted would've gone on and on. He would be called an innovator, a visionary, and a man bold enough to change the status quo of a flawed area of the world. But our current president doesn't have the New York Times opinion page to cheerlead for him...

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About me

  • I'm Steve
  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
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