Last week, the Department of Defense released the obituaries of 30 military personnel killed in Iraq, ranging in age from 19 to 48, and one 21-year old soldier killed in Afghanistan.
As of Friday, 10/20, total U.S. deaths amounted to 2,781, in and around Iraq, and 283, in and around Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon.
Columnist Steve Lopez, of the Los Angeles Times, drove out to Hemet, a community located about 60 miles east of LA, to visit with the devastated parents of Army Cpl. Kenny F. Stanton, Jr., one of the casualties included in the above summary. Cpl. Stanton was killed when a roadside bomb exploded near his Humvee in Baghdad two weeks after his 20th birthday.
The following quote was included in Lopez' column, that appeared today: "Driving away, I find that I'm disturbed by the quiet acceptance of sacrifice to what has been a dubious mission from the beginning. I can't help but remind myself that the architects of the war have risked no personal loss, staying the course with someone else's children."
The continuing high level of deaths in Iraq also occured in a week that saw the release of information from the forthcoming memoirs of Germany's former Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, in which he describes his suspicion of Bush's constant references to his Christian faith.
Schroeder indicates in his new book that, although his relationship with Bush was friendly, he could not reconcile himself with the feeling that religion was the driving force behind many of Bush's political decisions.
The ex-chancellor goes on to say: "What bothered me, and in a certain way made me suspicious, despite the relaxed atmosphere, was again and again in our discussions how much this president described himself as 'Godfearing.' "
Schroeder adds that he is a firm believer in the separation of church and state.