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Counting the Dead

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   1 comment
Message Missy Beattie
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It is an assault on the mind and soul. Going to the Iraq Body Count site several times a day and reading the number of coalition fatalities batters the senses. As I write, that number is 2,797. It will probably increase within the next few hours. Just as tragic is the daily carnage against the Iraqi people. Iraq Body Count tells vividly what is happening to our soldiers and to the people we were supposed to liberate. Dates and descriptions of atrocities are listed. Occasionally, there is an item considered good news (?) by some--the soldier who is adept at operating his wheelchair after losing both legs--a family happy that their child, though changed forever, at least is home alive. All of the entries are grim examples of the truth of war.

War does not bring peace. War brings pain that never heals.

Each of us here at home, sleeping in air-conditioned comfort and sleepwalking through our lives as if the distance between us and them is so great that these crimes against humanity can be ignored should be forced to read the site each day, forced to think about every soldier fighting, forced to picture the slaughter of Iraqi children, forced to feel in our bones what we are doing and have done in the name of democracy (?) to the Iraqi people. Each of us should be asking why. Each of us should be staring at the results of an illegal and immoral invasion and occupation that has wreaked only destruction and endless grief. Each of us should be looking at Iraq as if it is a magnifying glass that reveals the worst about our species. For that is what it is, a revelation of our capacity to degrade, crush, and brutalize our fellow man. This is the great mystery of our universe. The choice we make to cause catastrophic suffering.

As our mainstream media (seemingly george bush* appointees) report on the violence in Israel and Lebanon with their characteristic bias against Arabs and their reluctance to condemn the excessive force used by Israel against civilians, we must all turn to objective sources for our news. But, meanwhile,let us not forget what bush and his administration have done and continue to do to Iraq, its people, the coalition troops and their families. This is a betrayal beyond understanding. We are not fighting terrorism; we are creating it. And let us remember that as long as we remain silent and don't demand the end to war, we are complicit--we are aiding and abetting the criminal architects of this chaos.

*Lowercase is now used for supporters of war.
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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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