It is amazing to hear the Democrats claiming that Bush is politicizing the war every time he tries to honor the brave men and women fighting it. They went apoplectic when he landed on the aircraft carrier, looking far braver than our last commander in chief, who loathed the military, ever dreamed of looking. And now they are fluttering about like small minded bureaucrats over the wording on another ship, suggesting that these men and women have returned without having accomplished their mission. The dems have no problem though, politicizing the war when it comes to their traditional antiwar tactic, which is the body bag count. They claim they “care” about the fact that more soldiers are dying but have a real hard time shutting up when the live ones are being hailed as heroes.
We all agree death is tragic, sad, something to be avoided and prevented if possible, but it does happen. In the case of soldiers who willingly signed to serve their country, they knew the ultimate cost, beyond separation from their families, tours of duty, marginal food, and low wages, could be their lives. They made the choice to join the military, carry a gun, drive a tank, fly a plane, command a ship to preserve peace, defend our liberties and prevent anyone or thing from threatening that here at home.
The 95 people who went to hear a band play in Rhode Island this year, did not sign up to give their lives for music and a good time. The 269 passengers aboard the Korean Airlines flight in 1983 did not buy tickets anticipating they would be shot out of the sky. The Branch Dividians never thought that Attorney General Janet Reno and Bill Clinton would gas them when they joined the cult. The residents of Southern California did not build their homes in a rural setting with the thoughts that one day they would die and their homes be destroyed. These are not consequences of innocent choices that any of these people anticipated. Soldiers are prepared to not only kill . . .but to die. It is not a surprise to them that someone is shooting back and occasionally they get hit or even killed.
As of October 29, 2003, there have been 231 combat related, US military deaths in Iraq, and 354 in all. Journalists have seen 17 of their members fall, and Coalition troops 53. During the actual war, we lost 138 members of the US military, overthrowing a bloody dictator, liberating a people who have been oppressed, murdered, raped and tortured for years. Their liberation came at a high price, because yes, even one American life is so valuable to us that we weigh the cost of that sacrifice. And it would be an insult to the choice these soldiers made, to lay down their lives for another, for the US to turn and run, the way the Doomacrat presidential wannabes suggest. If you applied their same standard of “concern” for the lives of other people in professions where their lives are on the line, we would have no policemen, firemen, electricians, truck drivers . . .etc.
But let’s look at the slight of hand the anti-freedom groups are working with the left hand while keeping us focused, daily on the military death toll in Iraq, in their right hand. Just last year, 2002, Washington, D.C. the Capital of the free the world, saw 262 people murdered. The total number of people murdered in the US was about 16,000. None of them signed up to die. So far this year, Philadelphia recorded its 198th slaying, anticipating at that rate the number to be as high as 337 by the end of the year. And even that number is better than the 1990 murder rate in that city which set a record at 500. Are DC and Philly more dangerous than Iraq? These two US cities have a combined murder rate higher than the current US military death toll in Iraq, a country of 24.5 million. More people died in France this past summer, from heat exhaustion, than soldiers died in “combat” in Iraq.
The anti-freedom group, in this postwar era in Iraq will tell you that 1500 civilian casualties, since March 2003, is totally unacceptable. They don’t seem to mind that 144,000 Iraqis died in 2002 . . . before the first US troop was even in the country. But, keeping it all in perspective, there were 2.6 million deaths in the US in the same year. And that is without a war, and after Sept. 11, 2001, when 3000 innocent people were murdered in one day. Iraq is one tenth the size of the United States, but the death rate for the US and Iraq in the same year was about the same . . . and has not increased by more than 1500 since March of 2003 . .. which is less than the pro-rata murder rate in the US in the same period of time.
If you look at the most recent statistic that shows the most dangerous professions in the US., the military does not even rank in the top ten.
So why aren’t the politicians, who are desperate to get elected, trying to get construction work, logging, fishing and farming to be curtailed because there are so many unfortunate and tragic deaths every year. Why isn’t there a move to shut down these professions, move these people away from these dangerous jobs in order to save their lives? Because it is not about the lives of the soldiers, it is about the lives of their political careers. They never seemed to mind that 35 brave men were murdered and bodies desecrated in Somalia. There was no move to “impeach” Clinton for his “bungling” of a military operation that lost American lives. He was not referred to as a liar or gang leader because he timed an attack on several sovereign nations to coincide with the focus on his many indiscretions and cover-ups.
There are more deaths resulting from delivering pizza, than there are military related deaths. Should we stop the sale of anything that has to be delivered because it is too dangerous, and because these lives are too precious? How many more deaths of pizza delivery personnel does it take for us to see the folly and selfishness of our consuming ways?
There are a couple of issues to remember as the left gleefully tallies up the death tolls in Iraq daily, hoping to make a point. Some point. Any point to embarrass the country and our Commander in Chief, play politics with the lives of these brave men and women, and hope that the death rate goes up to prove their point that we should abandon our mission of liberating an oppressed people from a regime that put no value on human life. Point one, the US was attacked and war was declared on us, and the president has, as a part of his oath, to protect and defend the constitution, and the major purpose of the government is to defend and protect our freedoms . . .at home . . and abroad.
Two . . . the “war” in Iraq is over. We are now in the rebuilding process, working to help them establish and interim government so the transition from oppression to liberation can be a smooth one. After the attack on the US, crime did not suddenly disappear in the aftermath of the attack on the US and the destruction of the Trade Towers. As we were struggling to dig out of the disaster, find and save lives, and help preserve peace and stability to the city . . . crimes continued to occur. Murders, rapes, robberies, muggings, all continued even though 100% of the city’s efforts needed to be focused on rebuilding, not policing the city. How can we have different standards for a country that is much larger than New York, had infrastructure failings before, and that suffered less concentrated structural damage, collectively, than New York and Washington?
The next time one of the presidential nay-sayers bemoans the fact that brave men and women have willingly given their lives to ensure freedom for people they don’t even know . . .ask them what the murder rate in their state is so far this year, and did they give as much energy to mourning these victims, as they have to desecrating the memories of our military heroes who chose their profession willingly, sacrificially, and bravely.