Is It Worth It?

60,497

That’s a big number. It’s not a million, and it’s not a billion, but it’s big. It was almost the population of Pittsylvania County, VA in the last census (61,745). What is it? That’s the conservative end of the estimate for the number of people, civilian and military, that have been wounded and killed in Iraq.

That number’s going to stick with me for a while. The next time I see those cool pictures of explosions on TV and think of all the damage we’re doing to those terrorists and rooting out the “evildoers”, I’ll remember that 60,497 have been wounded and killed in this adventure, most of them civilians who will never get a moment of silence during the nightly news, who we’ll never mourn because they aren’t “like us” and don’t come from here.

The next time a President says, “We gotta go get the bad guys.”, I’ll think of that number, of that little boy who lost all but one of his limbs, of all the pictures of corpses, of the list of soldiers I see on the news, all of those sonless mothers and brotherless brothers left to mourn, those pictures of amputees learning to walk all over again with a leg that’s not their own.

Is it worth it? Are we bringing “freedom” to anyone with this war? Are we winning the war on terrorism? Does it matter?

note: I used the lower of all estimates given, and got the numbers here.

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