Thursday, August 30, 2007

Eyes Wide Open – The Human Cost of This Iraq War

The Friends in Action had set up in the The Bahii Unity garden near the post office. A place of serenity and peace, suddenly became filled with silence that was broken only by my sniffles and the sound of 3371 pieces of satin being whipped by the wind.

Day two of the exhibit found only two men standing in silent protest across the street with their American flags and signs asking “Do you remember 9 – 11?” Monday, at least six men had stood on the corner, while only the volunteers quiet discussions and the wind whipping through square of satin broke the silence. I with stood silent with others, the tears stinging at my eyes, as I read each name. Gazed on each picture. And caught a glimpse into what was once the life, of each Oregon soldier lost.

Walking into the garden I immediately came to the first pair of boots sitting as a silent sentinel to the memory of SPC Joseph Blickenstaff of Corvallis who breathed his last breath at the age of 23. I feel fairly certain his wife had wanted so much more from their life together. That his parents we’re looking forward to grandchildren from him that will never come. That he never wanted that day in the 23rd year of his life to be the last.

100 pairs of Army boots stand in remembrance of one hundred Oregon soldiers who fell in this Iraq war. Their pictures, letters, and photos reminding those who might forget that these were beloved sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. Gone from our lives, wiped out in a senseless action.

One hundred pairs of civilian shoes represent the Iraqi civilians who have died. Grandparents, babies, mothers, sons, fathers, daughters; every shoes represents three thousand Iraqi civilian deaths.

And the 297 civilian contractors who have perished are represented by silent blue hard hats.

As of August 26th the Institute's Iraq Index list American Soldiers killed in the Iraqi War at 3,377. 51 percent were under the age of 25. 70 percent were Army, 12 percent were National Guard. 27,506 seriously wounded. 20 percent of the wounded suffer sever spinal or brain injuries. 30 percent of returning soldiers will develop serious health problems within four months of returning home. It doesn’t count how many are not being helped by our government.

112 journalist (mixed nationalities) have been killed in the conflict, 14 by US forces, 74 were murdered.

The financial cost of war, according to the Brookings Institute?

Daily US spending in Iraq $200 million
Monthly US spending in Iraq $12 billion

Cost of the War in Iraq
Cost of the War in Iraq
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3377 is it worth it to you?

Watch for yourself Wide Open the movie


CV Rick said...

They love the war and hate the warrior, love the army and hate the soldier, love the killing and hate the injured.

Men I know are dead. Men I served with are crippled physically and mentally. After my service it was a decade before I got a full night's sleep and still it's not a regular thing.

I served for Exxon and General Dynamics, I protected the interests of Coca-cola and the Carlyle Group, I defended the rights of ADM and Cargill to do business as usual. Not my flag, my family, the citizens or the United States Constitution - - none of those were ever in danger.

I'm glad you went to the Memorial. If you ever get to Minnesota you should come and stand on the Lake-Marshall bridge on Wednesday afternoon where people have been every Wednesday since before the invasion was launched.

Cele said...

Rick I get so mad when people spout off about protecting our freedoms, remember 9/11, and catch phrases that have no grasp of the reality.

How many people know how much Shell, ITT, and Morris Knudeson had invested in America staying in the Vietnam War?

How many people consider the bottom line for Haliburton and God knows who else is at stake with out OCCUPATION of Iraq? And what does Iraq have to do with 9/11? Our freedoms here in America? Nada.

As you said, "They love the Armym they hate the warrior." If our leaders think Iraq is such a valid threat - let them pick up their arms and go over there. This war has fueled a lot of my poetry.

Requim of the Demigods

Dealers of Death sell their wares,
in the name of security and peace.
Thank the mothers of young
sacrificed on the alters of democracy,
good youths blithely thrown
after the negligent wants of old men.
Demigods whose clocks are ticking
fear no legacy in time.
Your mark spilt blood on the world
rends in the soul of humanity,
Renewed hate and ignornace.

© 21 September 2004