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1,000.

One thousand members of the US military are dead and suddenly it is a milestone.

I picked up the International Herald Tribune at the train station this morning and read part of it while waiting for my train (it was 10 minutes late) and most of the rest on the train.

Above the fold there were three articles, all of them focusing on issues in this post 9/11-Bush world. The first, on the left is about Airlines and their problems since 9/11?although most of the problems listed would have happened without 9/11, 9/11 merely exacerbated and accelerated the problems (low fare airlines and regional jets). The one on the right is a presidential campaign update where Kerry suggests that Bush is not conducting the war as well as he could have-that there was, as the article puts it “poor planning.”

The third article above the fold is below a few photographs: a memorial at a baseball field with one ball for each dead soldier as well as two other photos memorializing the fallen. It is headlined “In small towns, painful debate. Political fallout unclear as toll rises.” In other words, the Republicans in small town America are finally noticing that people are getting killed in Iraq.

It must be nice to live in ignorance and isolation.

(Come to think of it, it could be argued that I am, but that’s another blog entry.)

What I’m curious about is why it has taken 1,000 dead soldiers before people seem willing to talk about what’s going on? Why is it unpatriotic to suggest that the war in Iraq was not a good idea?

Written 09 September 04

2 comments to 1,000.

  • People have a hard time grasping the reality of it all. Supporters of the war have been divorced from reality for decades now and think that the war is like a video game, you really don’t die you just have more lives left but once you run out you just start the game over.

    Supports and non-supporters (i.e. people in general) have a hard time understanding things in a numerical sense. Having taken several science classes that talk about evolution, the geological time scale, various aspects of antropology…they all have emphasized the concept of numbers, but in a time aspect. Meaning, we can understand life 10 years ago, 20 year, 50 years…but our understanding becomes much more abstract and artificial past 500 years. Which brings most people to complete amazement to even think about millions of years ago. In most classes they try to visually bring about this concept by having the time scale on a string which loops around the room several times and you can *sort of see* or *ever so slightly understand* the aspect of geological time.

    The same goes for what you were talking about. Many people can grasp the reality of a few people dying quite easily because of the fact they can think of a few people they know. People tend to think of these kinds of numbers (death) and relate it to how many people they know. So some people can be like, *oh 354 dead? that’s how many people were at my wedding* or *oh 742 dead, that’s how many people are working at the firm I work at* but many people including myself, would be hard pressed to think of a 1,000 people they know on *some* level. People think that 1,000 is a big number…which it is. However, since they are divorced from reality and are in a disposable world…they don’t care. People don’t realize that any number greater than zero is a huge number because of the fact that this war shouldn’t be happening. Supporters and non-supporters of the war understand that since we are at war, people will die…I just think that most people didn’t expect to have that many dead since it was supposed to be a *fairly quick* operation. Since it has come to 1,000 people dying people start to get worried that their friends/family who are serving are going to die because they just don’t understand that it is indeed a real possibility.

    It’s really quite sad. If people want a change they shouldn’t vote for Bush in 2004. I’m not saying that Kerry is without his faults, but I believe that he is the lesser of the two evils. But I do think that people should make an educated vote this election season. My personal belief is that republicans shouldn’t be allowed to vote 😉 😉

    sorry for the incoherent rants…i’ve got a 103 fever and apparently I’m very opinionated today 😉

  • Chris C

    Just to put it into perspective… at the level the ACTIVE (no reserverists or national guard) the number of total soldiers was roughly 400,000. So if you only look at the active component number, George Bush has managed to kill off 1/400th of the army so that we can save a nickel on gas… not that that is happening with record high fuel prices, but I digress.

    1/400th of our army dead so Dick Cheney and pals can buy a couple more pieces of Teton county Wyoming… arguably some of the highest priced real estate in the nation.