Yes, You Did Die in Vain

January 15, 2014 at 8:52 PM 1 comment


Attack Iraq No via McHenryCountyBlogcom

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In July, 2004, after working on Outfoxed, I began to post weekly updates at the Newshounds about the number of people killed in American wars on Afghanistan and Iraq.  I was acutely aware, from 2004 to the end of 2008, of how many people were dying in those countries — U.S., British, civilians, etc.

It was my charge, week by week, for four years, to know those numbers and to put them out there, in the hope  that people would scream  NO!  People were dying for nothing.

Obviously, that didn’t happen.

That said, bravo to Thomas Ricks for screaming for me, albeit six years later:

Yes Marcus.  They Did Die in Vain

“We spend our whole lives training to defend this country, and then we were sent over there by this country, and you’re telling me because we were over there doing what we were told by our country that it was senseless and my guys died for nothing?”

That was how former Navy SEAL and Lone Survivor author Marcus Luttrell responded to CNN’s Jake Tapper during an interview about the new movie based on his book, about an ill-fated mission in Afghanistan in which 19 of his fellow Navy SEALs were killed by enemy forces. There has been much furor in the national press over the exchange since it aired. The majority of commentators have rallied to Luttrell’s side, affirming that his comrades did not die in vain. Their arguments focus on honoring the fallen, their dedication to their country and their courage in combat. But we confuse valor with vanity at great peril to the living and the future of our wars. We need a more honest answer, however painful it may be to hear.

Yes, Marcus. Your friends died in vain. They went selflessly. They fought bravely. They sacrificed nobly. They lived in the best traditions of duty, honor, and country — hallowed words which dictate what every American can and ought to be. But they died in vain for the exact reason that they went where their country sent them and did what their country told them to do. America failed you because it failed its obligation to those principles.





Entry filed under: Wars.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. WiseFather  |  January 16, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    Well, some of them died preventing fellow soldiers from dying in vain. That should count for something (instead of dying for nothing).

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