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“WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE . . .” April 26, 2006

Posted by wmmbb in Category to be ascribed.

War it is perhaps true always represent a terrible tragedy of lives destroyed. In modern war there is no sensible distinction between combatant and non-combatant, between the military and the civilians.

Juan Cole notes:

With regard to American casualties, the Pentagon does not even announce the wounded each day unless a soldier is killed. If you had 7 wounded, we’d never hear abour it. And, they are being badly wounded, often. Spinal damage, limbs blown off, and, MSNBC says, brain damage.

As could be foreseen at the time of the invasion of Iraq, not only would the civilian Iraqis suffer terrible casualties and injuries, but the same would apply to American military personnel, and what makes their situation worst is that as a matter of policy, their injuries are not widely reported. The rationale seems from Vietnam, and is wholly to do with spin. Of course, it quite clear that this is an American engagement, and that the other contingents, including the British, are largely onlookers.

One wonders how well the people who have been damaged by this war, as well as brain damage there is an emotional cost, will fare in twenty years time. I fear there will be little sympathy, since by then it will seen not to have been a heroic endeavour, and that those injured and crippled will be cast aside, more particularly because the cause of their suffering were ignored for cynical political reasons.

Perhaps the Americans on balance will fare better than the Iraqis, but that will be just a matter of degree.



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