Wasn’ t it just a few months ago that we were marking another morbid milestone of the Iraq war, as the number of U.S. casualties passed 1,500? Well, brace yourself. We’re about to hit 2,000.
How many more U.S. soldiers and Iraqis must give their lives before our government finally admits that the war against Iraq was wrong and it’s time tobring our troops home now? So far, more than 1950 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq, and more than 15,000 have been wounded. U.S. soldiers are at grave risk in Iraq, and continue to suffer even after they come home. Troops returning to the U.S. are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and are even turning up in homeless shelters in cities through the country. The risk for Iraqis is even more severe: Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed in the war, and hundreds of thousands of lives have been devastated, even according to the most conservative estimates.
Meanwhile, the war has meant that precious resources are being channeled toward death and destruction in Iraq instead of into programs that could save people’s lives and meet their basic human needs. If the National Guard troops and equipment from Mississippi and Louisiana hadn’t been in Iraq, the Guard could have responded more quickly and more thoroughly to the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Katrina and lives could have been saved. The U.S. is pouring more than a billion dollars a week into the Iraq war that could otherwise be spent on health care, schools and infrastructure here at home.
United for Peace and Justice, the American Friends Service Committee, Gold Star Families for Peace, and Military Families Speak Out are organizing nationwide vigils to take place the day after the 2,000th U.S. soldier is killed in Iraq. Find one near you, or organize and register an vigil in your area.