Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Artificial 2000 Mark

The number of casualties in the war in Iraq reached 2000 after an announcement from the Pentagon on Tuesday. The leading Senate Democrats took the occasion as one to "honor" America's servicemen and women while criticizing the president. Ed Kennedy and Dick Durbin both made Bush-bashing statements prefaced by a brief disclaimer about honoring the troops. From the Washington Post:
"Our armed forces are serving ably in Iraq under enormously difficult circumstances, and the policy of our government must be worthy of their sacrifice. Unfortunately, it is not, and the American people know it," said Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Added Dick Durbin of Illinois: "Words of tribute are in order to honor the sacrifice of these brave men and women and their loved ones. But words are not enough. We owe them leadership and a clear strategy to bring our troops home with their mission truly accomplished."
These comments are merely another demonstration of the Senate's Democrats using floor time to give the appearance of having real, factual things to say, but without really saying anything. One wonders if they really think that their hatred of the president and blatant agendas are at all covered up by their disclaimer "support" for the troops.

The 2000th soldier dead is just another opportunitty that the Dems can use to launch attacks on the administration. These high-ranking Dems do not support the war, they do not support the troops, and they do not support the president. Anyone who believes otherwise is fooling themselves.

But is this 2000th casualty really a significant mark that should be recognized?

Here are the thoughts of U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, the director of the force's combined press center:
"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.

He 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.

Boylan said they included Iraqis who sought to join the security forces and had became daily targets for insurgent attacks at recruiting centers, those who turned out to vote in the constitutional referendum, and those who chose to risk their lives by joining the government.

"Celebrate the daily milestones, the accomplishments they have secured and look to the future of a free and democratic Iraq and to the day that all of our troops return home to the heroes welcome they deserve," Boylan wrote.
There is a a lot of importance in those words. Democrats should take note of them, for they lay out the correct way in which to speak of the war in Iraq. Media-types should also heed his advice, and perhaps the American public might get a legitimate picture of what takes place daily in Iraq.

Speaking of which, Michael Yon has a brand new post on the recent elections in Iraq, current military operations, and more. Keep him in mind for accurate, on-the-ground reporting.