Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Tragic, True Cost of War

I am saddened to have another gut-feeling proved by research and statistics.

From the God's Politics blog: A group of American and Iraqi medical researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health released a new study on civilian casualties in Iraq Wednesday morning. Their conclusion? 600,000 more civilians have died as a result of violence since the U.S. invasion than would have died if there had been no invasion, an estimate based on interviews with nearly 2,000 families in 47 neighborhoods across the country. The survey shows the range could be from 425,000 to 800,000, but they believe 600,000 is the best estimate. The causes of death include gunshots, car bombs and other explosives, and air strikes.

The cost of war is not just felt by the leaders or the government. In the words of Howard Zinn, "all wars are essentially wars against children."

Lord, how long?


SB said...

Once I was proud to be an American.
No question.

Then Watergate bludgeoned my teenage idealism.
A tragic chapter of history – nothing more.
Our great nation would more than survive;
It would transcend the shame of the moment.

But as the decades played out my native patriotism flagged;
Never finding the right conditions for recovery.

I want to say, “I’m proud to be an American.”
And feel the trueness of that declaration resounding in my soul.

But there have been so many body blows…
So many betrayals from Left and Right…

“I’m embarrassed to be an American.”
That’s a more honest iteration of my underlying sentiment.
Sometimes, “I’m ashamed to be an American.”

My guts don’t know what to do with that.
It freezes my psychic algorithms.
It makes me want to sleep the sleep of sadness,
And say bad words,
And surrender my soul to cynicism.

But instead I keep voting,
And telling my children why America is worth the effort
(And the taxes),
And trying to let the truth do its work in me,
And praying for mercy and forgiveness.

Ryan Lee Sharp said...

Those are some beautiful words, Scott. Thanks for sharing. BTW, how was the "?" wine?

SB said...

Doh! We completely spaced on sending our promised review. Here it is, belatedly...

The ? red was "fruity" (Hilary's word) and "juicy" (my word), and paired beautifully with the fresh veggies we'd bought at the open-air market in SF the previous day. It was purple, and not at all watery.

It wasn't a huge, mouth-filling, complex red. It didn't have many of those funny and wonderful nuances some reds do, like "tobacco", "clay", "cayenne" -- it was more straightforward.

Bottom line: we liked it, and we liked thinking of you and Holly as we imbibed.

-clint said...

it is sad that war is in the place its in when other options are possible...continue to seek the change you want to see as will i

there is hope