The War Dead in Perspective

The 2,000 mark for the number of soldiers killed in the Iraq War has been touted widely in the media as a grim milestone.  This number is significant; it is not to be overlooked; and it is a tremendous loss for this nation.  Words cannot describe the grief that their parents and loved ones must feel.  The loss is compounded by the fact that most of these dead are young men in the prime of their lives.  Many have families or have not even had the opportunity to start a family themselves. 

Never in American history has this great nation shirked its duty as the beacon of freedom for the world.  No nation in world history has laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.  No other country has ever been as generous with sharing its bounty to the less fortunate, more patient with its enemies, or more compassionate towards those who have suffered in the face of catastrophe. The families of the lost should take pride, despite their suffering and pain, in knowing that they have continued in the glorious tradition of this country that began 229 years ago.  Freedom always comes at tremendous cost, and usually with shedding of a great deal of blood.  Indeed, the American Civil War cost the lives of over six hundred thousand Americans.

In our recent history, it is when we have failed to carry our mission to completion that the loss of American lives seemed most tragic.  Vietnam and Somalia are prime examples of this.  Many now rightly ask what the loss was for since it was decided that we would not complete our objectives.  In particular, many of the men who fought in Somalia and whose friends were killed by Somali warlords questioned the logic of leaving after having already paid a price in blood. The loss of lives should have given more incentive to complete the task in honor of those who had given everything for their nation.

It is important that we look at our history and the lives that were lost in our previous struggles for freedom.  In the battle of D—day it is conservatively estimated that between 2500 and 3000 were killed along with 10,000 total casualties (wounded, captured, and missing).  Between April and May of 1944, the allies lost close to 12,000 airmen in bombing raids, reconnaissance, and air battles with the Luftwaffe.  At Iwo Jima, 6,800 Marines lost their lives.  One thousand Americans died taking Guadalcanal, and 4,100 died fighting in the Philippines.  In World War One, the small nation of Canada with a population of only 8 million had 3,600 killed and over 10,000 casualties at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917.
 
Australia lost 8,141 men at the Battle of Gallipoli.  The Battle of Verdun took the lives of 300,000 German and French troops between February and December of 1916.

In the three years of the Korean War, the United States lost 33,741 men. 
World War Two took the lives of over 290,000 Americans, 250,000 British, 40,000 Canadians, and 23,000 Australians.  Although the United States entered the war at the very end of World War One, a total of 53,000 died delivering the final blow to the German—Austrian alliance.

We have been blessed by God to not have suffered as huge losses in the face of evil as many other nations have.  The Chinese civil war cost the lives of 2.5 million.  Mao's regime later claimed the lives of another 40 million Chinese between 1949 and 1975.  The Russian Civil War between 1917 and 1922 cost the lives of 9 million citizens.  Later Stalin's regime took the lives of approximately 20 million Soviet individuals.  The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia slaughtered 1.6 million of their own citizens.  It is also estimated that 1.8 million died in Afghanistan at the hands of the Soviets, Taliban, and other warlords between 1979 and 2001.

The left claims that President Bush lied about the premise of the Iraq War and thus caused unnecessary deaths of American servicemen and women.  This is a political problem for the President and more of a problem for the American intelligence community, but the war remains a just one.  We know that Saddam Hussein was a threat; we know that he wanted WMDs; that every other major intelligence agency in the world believed he had and was pursuing further WMD capabilities; and that several important Al Qaeda members were in Iraq before and after 9—11.

During Saddam's regime between 1979 and 2003, 300,000 Iraqis died at his hands.  The United States' goal is to set up a democratic system in Iraq and bring stability and freedom to the Middle East.  Setting up liberal democracies and spreading freedom is what America has always fought for, and I trust always will fight for.  If America ever ceases to fight for these things, she will have lost herself, and the world will have lost the shining city on a hill that America ever strives to be.

Jonathan D. Strong, Esq. publishes The Strong Conservative.

The 2,000 mark for the number of soldiers killed in the Iraq War has been touted widely in the media as a grim milestone.  This number is significant; it is not to be overlooked; and it is a tremendous loss for this nation.  Words cannot describe the grief that their parents and loved ones must feel.  The loss is compounded by the fact that most of these dead are young men in the prime of their lives.  Many have families or have not even had the opportunity to start a family themselves. 

Never in American history has this great nation shirked its duty as the beacon of freedom for the world.  No nation in world history has laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.  No other country has ever been as generous with sharing its bounty to the less fortunate, more patient with its enemies, or more compassionate towards those who have suffered in the face of catastrophe. The families of the lost should take pride, despite their suffering and pain, in knowing that they have continued in the glorious tradition of this country that began 229 years ago.  Freedom always comes at tremendous cost, and usually with shedding of a great deal of blood.  Indeed, the American Civil War cost the lives of over six hundred thousand Americans.

In our recent history, it is when we have failed to carry our mission to completion that the loss of American lives seemed most tragic.  Vietnam and Somalia are prime examples of this.  Many now rightly ask what the loss was for since it was decided that we would not complete our objectives.  In particular, many of the men who fought in Somalia and whose friends were killed by Somali warlords questioned the logic of leaving after having already paid a price in blood. The loss of lives should have given more incentive to complete the task in honor of those who had given everything for their nation.

It is important that we look at our history and the lives that were lost in our previous struggles for freedom.  In the battle of D—day it is conservatively estimated that between 2500 and 3000 were killed along with 10,000 total casualties (wounded, captured, and missing).  Between April and May of 1944, the allies lost close to 12,000 airmen in bombing raids, reconnaissance, and air battles with the Luftwaffe.  At Iwo Jima, 6,800 Marines lost their lives.  One thousand Americans died taking Guadalcanal, and 4,100 died fighting in the Philippines.  In World War One, the small nation of Canada with a population of only 8 million had 3,600 killed and over 10,000 casualties at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917.
 
Australia lost 8,141 men at the Battle of Gallipoli.  The Battle of Verdun took the lives of 300,000 German and French troops between February and December of 1916.

In the three years of the Korean War, the United States lost 33,741 men. 
World War Two took the lives of over 290,000 Americans, 250,000 British, 40,000 Canadians, and 23,000 Australians.  Although the United States entered the war at the very end of World War One, a total of 53,000 died delivering the final blow to the German—Austrian alliance.

We have been blessed by God to not have suffered as huge losses in the face of evil as many other nations have.  The Chinese civil war cost the lives of 2.5 million.  Mao's regime later claimed the lives of another 40 million Chinese between 1949 and 1975.  The Russian Civil War between 1917 and 1922 cost the lives of 9 million citizens.  Later Stalin's regime took the lives of approximately 20 million Soviet individuals.  The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia slaughtered 1.6 million of their own citizens.  It is also estimated that 1.8 million died in Afghanistan at the hands of the Soviets, Taliban, and other warlords between 1979 and 2001.

The left claims that President Bush lied about the premise of the Iraq War and thus caused unnecessary deaths of American servicemen and women.  This is a political problem for the President and more of a problem for the American intelligence community, but the war remains a just one.  We know that Saddam Hussein was a threat; we know that he wanted WMDs; that every other major intelligence agency in the world believed he had and was pursuing further WMD capabilities; and that several important Al Qaeda members were in Iraq before and after 9—11.

During Saddam's regime between 1979 and 2003, 300,000 Iraqis died at his hands.  The United States' goal is to set up a democratic system in Iraq and bring stability and freedom to the Middle East.  Setting up liberal democracies and spreading freedom is what America has always fought for, and I trust always will fight for.  If America ever ceases to fight for these things, she will have lost herself, and the world will have lost the shining city on a hill that America ever strives to be.

Jonathan D. Strong, Esq. publishes The Strong Conservative.