I mourn the loss of those dead in the Iraq war.
I also mourn those who lost their previous life, dead in the Iraq war.
The latest statistics I have read equate one dead to every six wounded. And usually, greviously wounded, unable to take up the life they knew before. Whether destroyed in either body or spirit, there is a great deal of loss for us to mourn.
And that's not even counting the civilians of Iraq, who never had a say in anything that went on, and no longer even have a home to think of going back to.
I say this to allow us to understand what I mean when I say: Where would we be without the war?
Where would we be?
If Bu$hCo, that great juggernaught of profit over life, had passed up this opportunity, and instead just concentrated on the water-on-rock drip of lowered services, predatory financial practices, and slow descent into indentured servitude: would people have woken up in time? Would they have rolled along, cursing the insidious grip without realizing its deeper meaning... without the war?
Without the war, would we have the Democratic majority that just took office today?
Terrible loss brings with it a reorientation of priorities. Concepts emerge from the mist of misunderstanding in sudden, stark clarity. What is going on? the populace wondered. Someone is dead, someone has come home so grievously different than what they were before, and what is the purpose?
What was the sacrifice for?
Bush has come out with that freighted word, sacrifice.
And it makes us wonder.
With wonder, with re-evaluation, comes enlightenment.
I wonder, myself, what the country would be without the war. Without that terrible rallying point, without that undeniable reality, would business as usual gone on as before? And for how long?
Past the point of no return?
It may be small comfort. It may be no comfort at all. But I do think our soldiers sacrificed for the ideals on which our country was founded. They did give up their lives for us to be able to consider all that we have at stake. And I think they did save our country. Their lives, all of their lives, past, present, and future, were for us.
I think, without the war, people would not be awake.
It was the point. Our freedom, our rights, our lives.
It was not in vain.