October 24, 2006
The Ultimate SacrificeIn July of last year, I came across the New York Times article, "All Quiet on the Home Front, and Some Soldiers Are Asking Why" by Thom Shanker that made quite an impression on me. An excerpt:
The Bush administration's rallying call that America is a nation at war is increasingly ringing hollow to men and women in uniform, who argue in frustration that America is not a nation at war, but a nation with only its military at war.It is painfully true. The nation as a whole was not asked to sacrifice anything.
Instead of tax increases to support the war effort, the Bush Administration has pushed for permanent tax cuts, unprecedented in a time of war. There is no serious talk of a draft for fear of political backlash, even though our military is obviously stretched thin with troops going back again and again for tours of duty. There are no savings bond drives or gasoline rationing as in previous wars. Photos of our military dead coming home in caskets aren't even allowed in an attempt to minimize attention to the number of casualties in this illegal and unjustified war.
A year later, the troops and their families continue to pay the price:
• Fifteen months after that article came out, a total of 2,799 soldiers have lost their lives, 89 in the month of October alone.
• More than 20,000 have been wounded in hostilities, with a record number sustaining multiple injuries including serious brain damage.
• There is also the emotional toll: soldiers are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, yet some are still being re-deployed back to Iraq.
• Thousands of troops are falling deep in debt, exploited by usurious loan centers allowed to operate near bases.
• Military families are so financially strapped they're reduced to relying on food donations.
Is it any wonder that sixty-five active duty members have sent appeals for redress to Congress to end the occupation of Iraq and bring the soldiers home?
Many active duty, reserve, and guard service members are concerned about the war in Iraq and support the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The Appeal for Redress provides a way in which individual service members can appeal to their Congressional Representative and US Senators to urge an end to the U.S. military occupation. The Appeal messages will be delivered to members of Congress at the time of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January 2007.The Iraq war is lost. The Bush Administration has driven that car straight over the cliff and it's now plunging into a fiery, inevitable crash. The only question left isn't whether we can stop it from happening, but whether we should allow our soldiers to go down with it.
It's time to bring our troops home.
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