Last week, the Defense Department released the obituaries of 31 military personnel killed in Iraq, ranging in age from 19 to 37, and 3 military personnel killed in Afghanistan, ranging in age from 21 to 38. Of the 31 killed in Iraq, 23 were killed by explosive devices, raising the possibility that many more were injured and maimed.
Among those who gave their lives was Army Sergeant David J. Almazan of Van Nuys, California, an immigrant born in Guadalajara, Mexico. Sergeant Almazan was working on his application to become an American citizen. "He is now officially one, as of the day of his death," his widow, Salina, said. Almazan was killed when a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee in Hit, a small city between Baghdad and the Syrian border. He had only been in Iraq for three weeks.
Total U.S deaths through Friday, 10/13, have amounted to 2,752, in and around Iraq, and 281, in and around Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon.
A national news service reported, this morning, that 1,300 innocent children are dying each day from AIDS and that tens of thousands of AIDS orphans are trying to survive in third world countries, mostly in Africa.
You might well ask what this has to do with the principle subject of this post, but, if you think about it, the answer is obvious. The United States would be in a position to help address this ongoing humanitarian problem, as well as others, such as the genocide that is now occurring in Darfur, where children are bearing the brunt of the conflict, according to UNICEF, if it were not for our folly in Iraq.
The tragedy of Iraq is not just the thousands of American lives lost, or the tens - or perhaps hundreds - of thousands of Iraqi lives lost, or the hundreds of billions of dollars wasted. The tragedy of Iraq is also that there is precious little left - in the way of money or energy - to address the very real problems that exist in this country and throughout the world.