It is an unwelcome, sorrowful number: 2,000. That is the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq. One of the faces behind that number is James Kinlow. During his 18 years in the Georgia National Guard, Kinlow settled into a peaceful, small-town life focused more on being a citizen than a soldier. Before he deployed to Iraq, he wrote his own obituary.
There is a single line of text below about Iraq’s constitution entitled Iraq: Draft constitution passes:
More than 78 percent of 9.8 million voters in the October 15 referendum approved the document, officials said Tuesday. Turnout was 63 percent.
It’s easy to see what the media want you to think.
Rob at Say Anything mentions the comparison as well, and notes that the military would prefer this not be viewed as a milestone:
“The 2,000th Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine that is killed in action is just as important as the first that died and will be just as important as the last to die in this war against terrorism and to ensure freedom for a people who have not known freedom in over two generations,” Boylan wrote.
[U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, director of the force's combined press center,] complained that the true milestones of the war were “rarely covered or discussed,” and said they included the troops who had volunteered to serve, the families of those that have been deployed for a year or more, and the Iraqis who have sought at great risk to restore normalcy to their country.
I wonder how many people died in the process of making the United States a free and democratic country? Where would we be today if Benjamin Franklin covered all of the bad news and none of the successes in his paper?
Perhaps ScrappleFace is most appropriate:
“The Bush foreign policy continues to be fatally-wounded by clarity of purpose, dogged persistence and a pathetic failure to capitulate in the face of opposition,” the source said. “At a time when a real leader would be paralyzed with self-doubt over the meaningless deaths of 2,000 American troops, Bush continues to act as if freeing 25 million Iraqis from decades of oppression, torture and death is somehow worth the price paid by those who volunteered to fight.”