Well maybe because we were afraid that posting such during the actual weekend in which we are to honor those that have died in our countries name, would be a bit defeatist. After all, we know that most will be to busy celebrating this time paying respects. There will be BBQ's, days at the beach, some sort of games on the telly. Yes there will be parades. With Vendors making money. There will be motorcycle runs. Some to honor war dead and some to contribute to some charity that has nothing to do with war dead.
The President will make some perfunctory speech mourning the loss of service men that have died in a war that he lied us into. Interesting enough just as at parades and other events, there are vendors profiting from the war too. Halliburton, Blackwater and friends come immediately to mind. Of course any politician running for anything is going to have to make some disingenuous speech. I say disingenuous because how many of them advocate for legislations that would restrict the very freedoms our servicemen have died, ostensibly, to protect.
Of course wars, laws and prisons are necessary evils. Without them the current economy would collapse. Never fear however, that day may be closer than we think. That aside however, I thought it might be informative to take a glance at history. For as we have often said history is predictor of our future if we do not learn from it. Below is a list of the war dead going back to the American Revolution. Keep in mind that no data related to these events is accurate. None count the suicides of returning veterans that the Veterans Administration has lied about. None count those who have died from the ravages of drug and alcohol used to ease the haunting of shattered souls. And none consider the impact on families that have had a significant part of them amputated for which there is no prosthesis. Add to that the economic costs carried by everyone, even those who feel untouched by war and you find it is a very, very expensive proposition:
(Click the charts enlarge)
U.S. Confirmed Deaths in Iraq Reported Deaths: 4079 Confirmed Deaths: 4079 Pending Confirmation: 0 Latest Coalition Fatalities 05/20/08 DoD Identifies Army Casualty Pvt. Branden P. Haunert, 21, of Cincinnati, Ohio, died May 18 in Tikrit, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team...
Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)US 505
However the figures above do not take into account our own government lying to us about the fate of those who would fight to save us from the enemy:
"At least 20,000 U.S. troops who were not classified as wounded during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have been found with signs of brain injuries, according to military and veterans records compiled by "USA TODAY" Soldiers and Marines whose wounds were discovered after they left Iraq says Army Col. Robert Labutta, a neurologist and brain injury consultant for the Pentagon.
AP Via Yahoo:Approximately 38% of Vietnam veteran marriages failed within six months of the veteran's return from Southeast Asia. 11 The overall divorce rate among Vietnam veterans is significantly higher than for the general population, and rates of divorce are even higher for veterans with PTSD.
AND THE DEAD THAT ARE NOT EVEN LISTED AS CASUALTIES OF WAR???
Suicide Epidemic Among Veterans CBS News’ investigative unit wanted the numbers, so it submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Defense asking for the numbers of suicides among all service members for the past 12 years.
Four months later, they sent CBS News a document, showing that between 1995 and 2007, there were almost 2,200 suicides. That’s 188 last year alone. But these numbers included only “active duty” soldiers.
CBS News went to the Department of Veterans Affairs, where Dr. Ira Katz is head of mental health.
"There is no epidemic in suicide in the VA, but suicide is a major problem," he said.
Why hasn't the VA done a national study seeking national data on how many veterans have committed suicide in this country?
"That research is ongoing,” he said.
So CBS News did an investigation - asking all 50 states for their suicide data, based on death records, for veterans and non-veterans, dating back to 1995. Forty-five states sent what turned out to be a mountain of information.
And what it revealed was stunning.
In 2005, for example, in just those 45 states, there were at least 6,256 suicides among those who served in the armed forces. That’s 120 each and every week, in just one year.
Dr. Steve Rathbun is the acting head of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department at the University of Georgia. CBS News asked him to run a detailed analysis of the raw numbers that we obtained from state authorities for 2004 and 2005.
It found that veterans were more than twice as likely to commit suicide in 2005 than non-vets. (Veterans committed suicide at the rate of between 18.7 to 20.8 per 100,000, compared to other Americans, who did so at the rate of 8.9 per 100,000.)
One age group stood out. Veterans aged 20 through 24, those who have served during the war on terror. They had the highest suicide rate among all veterans, estimated between two and four times higher than civilians the same age. (The suicide rate for non-veterans is 8.3 per 100,000, while the rate for veterans was found to be between 22.9 and 31.9 per 100,000.)
"Wow! Those are devastating," said Paul Sullivan, a former VA analyst who is now an advocate for veterans rights from the group Veterans For Common Sense.
SO WHY, in a post heralding the approaching day on which we honer our war dead do I mention those who still live? Because I submit to you that there are many walking the streets who died inside long ago and have just not yet been counted. Just cast aside. To our shame!
AN APPEAL FOR LIBERTY
By Joseph Story I call upon you, fathers, by the shades of your ancestors-by the dear ashes which repose in this precious soil-by all you are, and all you hope to be- resist every encroachment upon your liberties, resist every attempt to fetter your consciences, or smother your public schools, or extinguish your system of public instruction. I call upon you, mothers, by that which never fails in a woman, the love of your off-spring; teach them, as they climb your knees, or lean on your bosoms, the blessings of liberty. Swear them at the altar, as with their baptismal vows, to be true to their country, and never forget or forsake her. I call upon you, young men, to remember whose sons you are; whose inheritance you possess. Life can never be to short, which brings nothing but disgrace and oppression. Death never comes to soon, if necessary in the defense of the liberties of your country. I call upon you, old men, for your counsels, and your prayers, and your benedictions. May not your gray hairs go down in sorrow to the grave, with the recollection that you have lived in vain. May not your last sun sink in the west upon a nation of slaves. No; I read in the destiny of my country far better hopes, far brighter visions. We, who are assembled here, must soon be gathered to the congregation of other days. The time of our departure is at hand, to make way for our children upon the theatre of life. May god speed them and theirs. May he who, at the distance of another century, shall stand here to celebrate this day, still look round upon a free, happy, and virtuous people. May he have reason to exult as we do. May he, with all the enthusiasm of truth as well as of poetry, exclaim, that here is still his country..
There are wars that are just and there are wars that are fought to profit old men who will never pick up a rifle. They are safe behind their corporate walls with spreadsheets determining the profit margin of a soldiers death. While developing marketing strategy to continue the insanity and passing laws to suppress liberty less the populace look behind the curtain and become enraged at the truth. The truth is not tomorrow, it is now. Think about it while munching an all American hot dog this weekend. How can you ride free if you have never fought to be free?Add to Technorati Favorites