Burying the truth

I wrote this back in April:

Before the war, the conventional wisdom was that Saddam Hussein thought that the American people didn’t have the political will to go to war in the middle east. Bodies would start coming back in bags, and we would collectively realize the cost of war and reconsider the benefit.

I hope Saddam was right — that once it sinks in that 680 Americans (not to mention 9 Britons, five Bulgarians, one Dane, one Estonian, 17 Italians, two Poles, one Salvadoran, 11 Spaniards, two Thai, and four Ukrainians) have been killed in this war, we will recalculate the cost and benefit of the war.

Some of us, I know, even care about the thousands upon thousands of Iraqis killed (free at last . . .) and wounded, and add their lives to the cost of the war.

In addition to 680 dead, there are over 3,000 Americans wounded in the war — lost limbs, lost eyesight, lifetime disabilities. In the words of Pfc Tristan Wyatt, one of the wounded, “that’s not wounded. That’s fucked up.” The wounds are mostly orthopedic — legs, arms.

Call it a round 4,000 U.S. casualties so far. Check back tomorrow for new numbers. Walter Reed Hospital admits 10 new Iraq wounded a day. The rate at which American troops are being wounded is as high now as it has been in this war — even before Mr. Bush declared “Mission Complete.”

Where are they? Where are the flag-draped coffins? Where is the ceremony? Where are the cargo planes landing at Dover AFB to bring the bodies home with military “honors?” The television cameras covering the bodies’ returns?

The wounded come in to Andrews AFB in the middle of the night. The press, if it wanted to cover the returns, wouldn’t be allowed to. (It was a shock to me, this weekend, seeing a photo in the paper of three soldiers, standing with their mother, smiling. The soldier on the right, the caption said, lost her life last week in Iraq.) As long as the press allows the government to keep a lid on the story of the men and women killed and maimed in Iraq, the American people will blithely go along, pretending it has something to do with 9/11 (huh?) or weapons of mass destruction or “freedom.”

Maybe, though — just maybe — this is one of those wrongs that can’t stay buried. Maybe as the war is brought home to more of us we’ll actually do something about it. And maybe we’ll decide that the privileged and the wealthy aren’t the only ones who have the power to stop this war.



It’s four months on; we’re closer to 1,000 dead and probably 4,000 seriously wounded; and the coffins stay hidden.

2 responses to “Burying the truth”

  1. Hallelujah. And why is it that the American people (namely, the republicans) are so easily fooled by the current administration? Where are they getting their information that Saddam had anything to do with 9/11, even AFTER Bush announced that indeed, there WAS no link afterall? It seems that all my republican friends are interested in doing is sending everyone these “patriotic” emails, with the “let’s kick ass!” attitude that got us there in the first place, or emails about how Kerry received his 3 purple hearts from “self-inflicted wounds” or “superficial wounds”. Do they think they give out purple hearts like Halloween candy? All you have to do is show up??

  2. I initially began reading your website because I was interested in the Blakely v. Washington opinion. I believe now that I regret wasting my time. I deeply resent your flippant attitude regarding both the issue of Iraq and politics. My beloved nephew is a black ops Green Beret for some 19 years now. It has been HIS honor to fight and defend this great nation of ours to ensure that YOU and others like you have the right to make ignorant statements. If you should believe for one moment that the same intelligence provided to the armed forces AND the Hill is provided to you … you have a fantastically inflated opinion of yourself. You initially appeared to be a deep thinker, but upon reading further; I believe that perhaps you are only interested in bashing (AND, only from your perspective) some one or some thing. If you are truly, the wonderful attorney that your website touts you to be, you do yourself a great injustice. AND, you insult all the soldiers and their families who have placed their lives on the line daily for YOU. Please don’t think that I am upset because you are an attorney (albeit one that gives other attorneys a bad name) … my son is an attorney.

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