There’s a question that nobody asks Presidential candidates in this year’s run for the top job in the White House.
It’s a question that must be asked: How many more Americans must die before we end the illegal and immoral war in Iraq?
Forget about timetables, forget about political implications and forget about our so-called “mission” to bring Democracy to that war-torn country. We no longer have Democracy in the United States so how on earth can we export it to another country?
This is a simple question of life and death. How many more dedicated men and women must die before we admit we were wrong and bring them home?
The American death toll will soon top 4,000. I suspect it passed 4,000 a long time ago because the Pentagon has played fast and loose with the numbers and some who died after leaving the country with wounds died later from those wounds but their deaths were not listed as Iraq combat casualties.
But the issue here is morality, not numbers. It was wrong for the United States to invade a country that posed no immediate threat to our way of life. We aren’t supposed to do things like that. If one American dies from an illegal and immoral act then that is one American too many.
The blood of every American killed or wounded in that war stains the hands of everyone who helped promote the invasion: The Bush Administration hacks who cooked the intelligence data, the members of Congress who voted to authorize the invasion, the media that fell for the flag-waving propaganda and every right-wing nutcase that continues to promote the slaughter as some God-given right of America to kill those who disagree with us.
America has become a bigger tyrant than those we seek to overthrow. We are an international bully feared on some front and despised on many more. Respect for this nation vanished on the international stage long ago. Even the late Pope warned George W. Bush that invading Iraq would “be a criminal act.”
The Presidential campaign treats the Iraq war as a taboo subject that must be handled with hyperbole and double-talk. Among the front-runners on both sides, only Democrat Barack Obama has suggested he might have voted against the invasion of Iraq but even his comments have tempered of late and he has flipped on the issue. Hillary Clinton voted for the invasion and has refused to apologize for that vote. John Edwards has changed his position more times than couples in a sex-education video and Republican front-runners march in goose-step with Bush on the war.
Republican Ron Paul and Democrat Dennis Kucinich based much of their campaigns on opposition to the war but, barring a major upset in a primary, neither stand much of a chance of winning their party’s nomination.
So it’s time to ask the question to those who stand the best chance of becoming the candidates:
How many more Americans must die in Iraq?
The only acceptable answer is “none.”