Milestones That Don't Mean Much Anymore
It was widely reported today that American deaths in Iraq
have now passed the number of people killed by terrorists on 9/11. Aside from some symbolism, I don't really think the number means very much. But to the families of those who have died, both here and there, each death is a horrible loss.
What does resonate with me when I contemplate these things is that the failed Iraq policy that has led to the death of 3000 American soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen (and multitudes of Iraqis, the people we went to "liberate") will be what shapes history far more than the fall of the twin towers.
The awful events of 9/11 will live in infamy, as other tragic days in our history do. However, it is the ill considered fantasy that invading Iraq would change everything and make the United States safer that will be what shapes the greater threats against us, our children and our grandchildren for decades to come.
Unlike Vietnam or the previous French and British occupations of various Middle East territories, we have created and fueled a much larger backlash. By the sheer stupidity of the Bush Administration, followed by the right-wing need to fuel the domestic political fires, we turned the War in Iraq into the long prophesied war of civilizations - east vs west - Muslim vs Christian, rather than actually "fighting terrorism".
The awful truth is that many, many thousands more will die for decades to come because of our short sighted and ignorant actions in Iraq.
Speaking of Milestones that don't mean much anymore, it looks like Saddam will hang
within a month since his appeal was rejected. It's odd that this event, which once was the Holy Grail of neo-con foreign policy, will get a day or two's worth of headlines. But the fact is that the real story is much larger than Saddam, and the blame for that tragedy lies squarely at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.