Some of them were as young as 18; just out of high school and they never had a chance. Some of them had young children and families that loved them dearly. They are still dead. Why? Because they were knowingly sent into harm's way, because they felt a need to protect their country men. Because they believed the lies that were told to them.
How many Americans have found the silence of the grave due to this administration their incompetence and their lies?
9/11 - I believe the current number is around 2,752 (even if they did not actively cause 9/11 their refusal to listen to their own experts makes them liable for this)
Iraq - over 2,600 troops dead, over 19,000 injured (since we're only talking about Americans today we'll just glaze over the 40,000+ Iraqi deaths)
Afghanistan - 329 at last count
NOLA - well that number varies greatly depending on who is doing the counting and it always seems to digress into Race vs Social vs FEMA vs Bush. But for the sake of argument, I'll go with the conservative estimate of 1,100
So, just taking these 4 events we see:
2,752 + 2,600 + 329 + 1,100 = 6,781 Americans are dead
I am sure there will be someone who will insist that 'we didn't start this' or that since we were attacked 'we had to do something'. Short answers - ya, we DID start this, and no, we didn't have to do 'something' as stupid as invade a country. We COULD have done 'something' like catching Osama Bin Ladden and tracking down his network of terrorists and, more importantly, his financial backers.
But what did we get? We got sound bites from a dry drunk, wannabe cowboy. We got stolen elections. We've got the cold, lifeless bodies of our children being shipped in the cargo holds of planes under the cover of darkness so that no one has to see or bear witness to the human cost of this war. We have people more concerned over who will be the next American Idol than they are over the freedoms the Patriot Act has taken away from us.
We have an administration that is currently re-writing laws to grandfather in their illegal activities so that they cannot be brought to trial, ignoring laws he feels infringes upon his 'powers' as president, and do I even need to link to the illegal wiretapping, the harsh bankruptcy laws, the tax breaks to the wealthy, outing of secret agents, etc. And it is pointless of me to point out that the country was in more of an uproar over Clinton getting a blow job (during an economic boom, when America was at least attempting to be a good neighbour and during which no one was killed, although I'm sure Bill was holding his breath when Hillary found out) than they seem to be about over 6 thousand deaths, the lowest SAT scores in 30+ years, the errosion of the middle class, an increase in STDs and the general dumbing down and fattening up of their country.
Maybe its just me, maybe its because I wasn't born here. Maybe its because I grew up understanding that life is not guarenteed but it should be cherished. Maybe its because I have had to stand there while a mother identifies the bomb ravaged body of her husband and son; or a young mother sits silent, rocking her dying child because there isn't enough medicine or food to keep him alive that I see things a bit differently. I've been through this before, it isn't going to be pretty and the government, PARTICULARY THIS GOVERNMENT isn't going to help any of us.
We have to be the ones to do it, my friends. I had pointed out several months ago when my area was flooded how well the towns people worked together to save and protect one another. If you look back on 9/11 you'll see it was the PEOPLE, not the govn't that took control and jumped into the fray to save whomever they could. We STILL celebrate them and think of their heroic and selfless actions . We had individual citizens lining the streets; feeding, clothing, and opening their homes to first responders and victims. Business owners foregoing profits to donate time, merchandise and money to the cause. The citzens of NYC rolled up their sleeves, pausing only to wipe away their tears and flip the bird before getting down to the business at hand.
What did the adminstration do? Bush was reading a book and staring blankly for an extended period of time before being whisked off into a jet and flown around the country. Condi was shopping for shoes as NOLA drowned, Cheney was shooting old men in the face while our children die for their war.
So what is the point of this rather long and meandering post? Accountability, memories, sorrow and hope. Don't allow the administration to continue to do this, don't sit quietly by while your neighbour spouts baseless lies that they parrot from Faux News. Open up your mouths, correct them with the facts, remind them of how far this country has fallen in the last 5 years.
Stop forgetting the lies, stop forgiving the liars.