The cost of war

A week ago, I was sitting in the living room of a farm house in Crespano, Italy with some of my wife’s relatives. The TV was on and they were showing the bodies of the 17 Italian soldiers/police killed in Iraq being returned to Rome. It was a somber event. I felt the need to tell our hosts that we did not support Bush or his war. This opened a very interesting discussion for the rest of the day as we discussed our similar views on war, globalization, the environment, economics, etc.. We were happy to find out that these were not only distant blood relatives but also kindred spirits.

The killing of these 17 was the largest number of Italian war casualties since WWII. How fortunate they are to have learned to live in such peace while we have lost so many of our young men and women to war. The TV gave a great amount of coverage to the dead, the mourning relatives, the funeral and those who were injured in the attack. What a contrast to the lack of coverage in this country of our dead and wounded in this senseless war. We want to deny the price in human lives, suffering, grief and misery that this misadventure is costing us so as not to erode public support.

We like to call those killed or wounded in Iraq heroes. It seems to me heroes are those who are exceptional, showing distinguished valor or fortitude, taking an admirable part in a remarkable action, not those who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and are blown up by a roadside bomb, shot from ambush, etc.. I think these are senseless victims of a senseless war. How many more will have to die to prove that they did not die in vain and that this war is not the fools errand that it is? I have great respect for the members of our armed services and my son is one of them. I hate to see them misused by a corrupt regime whose leader did his best to avoid military service of any meaning. Let’s be honest now.



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