Friday, May 2, 2008

Names of the dead

Until January, when I began reading the print version of the New York Times here in Boston rather than the online version in Paris, I would post the names of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq on my Web site every day. It may seem like a futile effort, but the names are buried on the Times site, and in the interior pages of the newspaper. I wonder if it would make a difference if every newspaper in the country would print these names on its front page. The deaths of more than 4,000 Americans, not to mention hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, still seem very abstract to us unless we know one of the dead personally or members of their families. This, of course, is why the Bush administration fought so hard against photos being taken of returning coffins, as well as funeral services.

Nevertheless, it is clear that the "surge" of U.S. forces in Iraq, ballyhooed by most mainstream media outlets as such a "success" in recent months, is now failing to control violence in that country (indeed, it is an open question whether the surge was even primarily responsible for the temporary lessening of violence, which may have been due to other, more political than military factors.) And U.S. deaths are skyrocketing. Here are the names printed in the Times today. Can anyone fail to be shocked at the sacrifices that a small number of Americans continue to make for a disastrous war that 2/3 of us now agree was a mistake? Amazing, unbelievable, shameful--that Americans (and the U.S. Congress) continue to allow this to go on during an election campaign that is largely about Iraq, or at least should be. I guess it is just fine if people continue to die at least until next January when a new president takes office. After all, why bother worrying about the war when we can jaw-jaw about the Reverend Jeremiah Wright?

May 2, 2008

Names of the Dead

The Department of Defense has identified 4,054 American service members who have died since the start of the Iraq war. It confirmed the deaths of the following Americans on Thursday:

CRAIG, Clay A., 22, Staff Sgt., Army; Mesquite, Tex.; 101st Airborne Division.

DIX, William T., 32, Pfc., Army; Culver City, Calif.; 555th Engineer Brigade.

GERMAN, Merlin, 22, Sgt., Marines; New York; First Marine Division.

MCDOWELL, David L., 30, Sgt. First Class, Army; Ramona, Calif.; 75th Ranger Regiment.

MARION, Adam L., 26, Pfc., Army; Mount Airy, N.C.; North Carolina Army National Guard.

MATHES, Marcus C., 26, Sgt., Army; Zephyrhills, Fla.; 10th Mountain Division.

STONE, Mark A., 22, Sgt., Army; Buchanan Dam, Tex.; 10th Mountain Division.

YELNER, Jonathan A. V., 24, Senior Airman, Air Force; Lafayette, Calif.; 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

No comments: