Friday, September 17, 2004
::: The Grim Toll of Iraq :::
One thousand names, one thousand faces, one thousand folded American flags.
Regardless of the opinions held for or against the war in Iraq, nothing can diminish the service and sacrifice of these brave men.
The Faces of 1,000 Soldiers
The editors and staff of t r u t h o u t offer our deepest and most profound condolences to the families of the men and women who have fallen in Iraq. We offer to our readers the names and faces of these men and women, with deepest respect, so that all within the reach of our arm know who they were, how they smiled, and what they did in the service of our country.
We believe George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Colin Powell and the members of this administration have much to answer for. Defenders of this invasion point to the casualty rate of Operation Iraqi Freedom and compare it to the casualty rates in other wars. "1,000 deaths is nothing" compared to Normandy, we hear.
To be sure, this is true. But the invasion of Normandy, for one example, was undertaken to destroy a regime that had ravaged much of Europe, slaughtered millions of innocent people, and was determined to spread its darkness across as much of the globe as they could reach. The threat was as real as the bricks that formed the gas chambers at Dachau and the steel of the tanks that had roared into Poland. The men who died putting and end to that gave their lives in a cause that guaranteed the liberty of millions.
Iraq was not a threat to the United States, or to any of their neighbors. The sanctions put into effect after the first Gulf War had turned that regime's conventional military into a large collection of paperweights. There are no weapons of mass destruction of any kind in Iraq. There were no connections whatsoever between Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and the attacks of September 11.
The men and women whose faces fill the page below were not told this. They were, in fact, told the exact opposite. They raised their hands and took the oath, they donned their uniform and picked up their weapon, they boarded a plane and flew far from home, and they died. They were doing their duty, and they believed their President.
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Colin Powell and the members of this administration have much to answer for.
My sincerest condolences and sympathy goes out to the families and friends of these brave soldiers who gave themselves in the name of security and freedom.