This photo is of soldiers grieving for their dead comrades in the Korean War. But there is a heartbreaking universality to this image that could be from any war.The 4,000th American to die in the Iraq War died on Easter Sunday.
According to the Associated Press:
* The 1,000th American died in September 2004.
* The 2,000th American died in October 2005.
* The 3,000th American died in December 2006.
* There have been about 15 soldiers wounded for every fatality in Iraq.
This is a vast "improvement" over Vietnam, when there were 2.6 wounded for every death. Now better equipment and medical care in the field keeps many soldiers alive who would have died of their injuries in earlier wars.
We lost many many more soldiers in Vietnam, about 4,850 a year from 1963 to 1875. We lost about 12,300 soldiers a year in Korea, from 1950 to 1953.
But this doesn't matter to the children, wives, husbands, mothers and fathers of those who have died in Iraq. Their pain, their loss is not lessened by such statistics.
We are learning more each month, it seems, about how the American people were lied to about the necessity for this war. The news media failed miserably to raise timely questions prior to us going to war.
In a scenario straight out of Kafta, we are now caught in a chaotic mess of our own making. How can we leave now and abandon the Iraqi civilians to civil war?
I don't think we can and still call ourselves a moral nation.
But there are some things we MUST do.
* We must insist that our government equip our soldiers with the best equipment possible NOW.
* We must insist that our government take the best possible care of our veterans, especially the wounded.
* We must insist that our government take the best possible care of the military families, who are bearing the burden of this war almost alone, while the rest of us go about our lives untouched for the most part.
* We must insist that the news media do their job, which is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. They must not be cynical, but they must be skeptical.
* And we, the people, must pay attention. We must question authority. We must hold our leaders accountable. That's our job as Americans.
And we haven't done it very well lately.
Four thousand dead. May they rest in peace and rise in glory.