Democrats & Liberals Archives

A Measure of Sacrifice

It always seemed absurd to me that the media and public would get so out of shape about casualties in our military engagements. Casualties in post Gulf-War engagements pale in comparison to those suffered in previous combat arenas like Vietnam, Korea, and wars before that. Even the casualties of the two Gulf Wars and Afghanistan hardly compare to their historical counterparts. 9/11 has once again put such small losses in perspective, though, and we are much less likely to raise hell over two or three soldiers killed a day or a week as we were in pre-9/11 days.

That said, the sacrifice of individual soldiers should not be an unrecognized thing. Unfortunately, our Department of Defense is failing to do so in one substantial way. I might be wrong, but so far as I have checked, there is no official casualty list for the war in Iraq.

Some might suggest that such a list would be unnecessary, considering that many news-sites have such lists. But those lists only list those outright killed, and they don't speak of injuries except in vague numbers.

Those numbers and pictures may also neglect those wounded who died in America of their injuries.

Whatever the numbers are, whatever the manner of their death, Americans need to be told of the dead and wounded who have born the brunt of the War on Terror.

The department of defense needs to regularly publish a list of all the casualties incurred in the the conflicts with the appropriate facts and figures, and do so in a way that provides easy access for the public and the press. The Bush Administration must be held accountable for the lives they sacrifice in following their foreign policy, however right or wrong they are. They should not be able to hide our losses behind anonymous or misleading numbers.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at January 17, 2004 2:55 PM