Every day beginning with Memorial Day 2007, I have worn a necklace carrying a 4- by 6-inch banner that rests on my chest displaying the current number of American soldiers who have died in the Iraq War.
As of this writing, April 10, 2008, this banner reads "Why? - 4,032 - Taps - Still dying."
People have expressed a great deal of interest in my posting the number of soldiers who died in Iraq.
Some people thank me for keeping an account of the deaths of our soldiers in Iraq in the public's eye and opposing the Iraq War.
Others disagree with my position on the Iraq War and, more importantly, in their ranting, minimize the number of deaths of American soldiers.
Typically, their scenario goes like this: "Far more people are killed on the highways by drunken drivers and murdered in our cities than soldiers killed in Iraq."
They speak gloatingly as if that comparison makes the number of Americans who died in Iraq of little significance - perhaps no more significant than drunken drivers killed on the highways.
To their war justification and hegemonic-we-are-the-superpower mentality defensiveness, I retort: "The standard I require of my government is not the standard embraced by drunken drivers, murderers and criminals. The standard I require of my government is the same standard that I have for myself. I am not a drunken driver, muderer or criminal. I require my government to embarce morality and exercise sound judgment, no less than I require of myself.
"Had my government lived by the standard I live by, instead of the standard drunken-drivers, murderers and criminals live by, how many American soldiers do you think would have died in Iraq?"
The answer is; "Not a single American soldier would have died in Iraq, because the American government would not have flexed its hegemonic wings and launched a preemptive war in Iraq."
The bottom line is this: I will not settle for, nor accept, a lesser standard of conduct for my government than I accept for myself.
Ask those mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives whose loved ones have died in the Iraq War if they feel any less pain because more drunken drivers died on the highways and more people were murdered in our cities than died in the Iraq War? Imagine how they feel.
Imagine what will be their answer!
(To my readers. Your comments on this write will be appreciated.)
Copyright 2008 by Uriah J. Fields