Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day and Iraq

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Reflect on this:

Americans have opened nearly 1,000 new graves to bury U.S. troops killed in Iraq since Memorial Day a year ago. The figure is telling — and expected to rise in coming months.

In the period from Memorial Day 2006 through Saturday, 980 soldiers and Marines died in Iraq, compared to 807 deaths in the previous year. And with the Baghdad security operation now 3 1/2 months old, even President Bush has predicted a difficult summer for U.S. forces.

"It could be a bloody — it could be a very difficult August," he said last week.

And all for what?

To be the target of Sunni-Shiite cooperation, as Moqtada al-Sadr suggested on Friday?

To support a government in Baghdad that is at best incompetent (and impotent) and at worst a vehicle for Shiite sectarianism?

To fight the terrorists -- namely, al Qaeda -- even though it is precisely America's presence in Iraq that is empowering them?

To build a stable and democratic Iraq, as if that were even possible now?

And yet the war goes on and on, the death toll rises, and even the delusional warmonger-in-chief anticipates the spilling of more blood.

Oh, what a lovely war this has become. Is Richard Attenborough available to direct the musical?

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