Monday, April 19, 2004

Perspective on the War in Iraq

In recent weeks, Democrats have begun comaring the Iraqi war to Vietnam. According to the press, the American citizens are growing uneasy with the increasing death toll in Iraq. One student at Washington and Lee University School of Law updates a large counter on his carrel every day to keep all students informed of the number of soldiers who have died thus far in the war. All of these things got me thinking about the proper historical perspective that one should take on the war in Iraq. After all, my generation has really never sacrificed anything for any cause and thus has little with which to compare this war. Last night, I watched a documentary on the Battle of Iwo Jima. That documentary gave me some perspective on the sacrifice our nation has made in Iraq and in the past.

After 13 months of fighting in Iraq, 703 American soldiers have been killed. In comparison, in the Battle of Iwo Jima alone, 6,821 American Marines lost their lives in the winter of 1945.

I am by no means trying to make light of the sacrifice that American soldiers and their families have made in Iraq over the past year. However, when politicians, pundits, and especially students talk about the "suffering of Americans" in the desert and whether the cost is worth it, let them remember the high price that preceeding generations paid for freedom on beaches of the Pacific.