* 3,196 U.S. military persons killed (does not include military killed in Afghanistan)
* 24,042 U.S. wounded (does not include military wounded in Afghanistan)
* Iraqi civilian deaths - more than 58,000 but could be thousands higher
* before "war" 1/2 million Iraqis living outside Iraq; now 2 million living outside the country
* U.S. money cost = $360 billion; Afghanistan debacle puts total to $500 billion and still climbing!
* projected costs of providing medical and disability benefits to vets of Iraq and Afghanistan "wars" at $350 billion to $750 billion! --- Source: Associated Press combined with government statistics - March 18, 2007
Four years ago today (March 19, 2003), upon the insistence of President George W. Bush, the United States launched a military invasion against Iraq. There were "reasons" given by the president as to why this was absolutely necessary.
As we continue to plod along and as a "surge" of a larger number of troops flow into Iraq, legitimate questions are being raised about this thing. Protests are increasing in number and the U.S. Congress is torn as to what to do next -- the prez wants more money and more manpower -- cries from members of Congress want to set deadlines and get the troops back home -- defenders of the "war" are saying we're getting there but just be patient, because a lot of good is being done, and the country will become stable.
On this last one -- yes, "good things" are being done -- some contractors with good connections are cashing in big on that one -- already scandals have surfaced because millions of dollars to do some "good things" cannot be accounted for! Do those contractors wear those big baggy pants that high school kids wear, since those pants have pockets all over the place and certainly can hold a lot of money??????
No, this is an anniversary some will not want to celebrate -- 3,200 families continue to grieve the loss of loved ones (the number of fatalities has now passed the 3,200 level since above figures were published) and thousands of other families carry a burden for loved ones who will be maimed and handicapped for the rest of their lives! That's just the beginning. We tend to forget military casualities in that place called Afghanistan -- military people continue to be killed and wounded there also!
One of the greatest tragedies of this quagmire is that the president and his administration do not (or intentionally refuse to) recognize the reality of what Islam really is. A simple proof is this -- if Christians and Muslims worship the same God, as the prez insists, then let him go into Saudi Arabia, or Iraq, or Iran and announce to the leaders that he wants to set up some churches for Christians in which they may worship, and let him insist that the Christians be guaranteed freedom to broadcast their message of salvation through Jesus Christ, and to distribute literature promoting Christianity. Further, that all this will be financed with money coming from the United States.
How far do you think he will get? And yet he talks about spreading "democracy" throughout the middle east -- a very warped view of "democracy" will work, IF all the citizens are Muslim and Islamic "law" is the law of the land -- but then, you really will not have any sense of "democracy" as the average American perceives it!
However, a far greater tragedy is the fact that the president and the members of his administration are blinded to the spiritual, moral and ethical bankrupted condition of this republic and express absolutely no concern about our inevitable rush toward national disaster due to such massive defiance and rebellion against the Creator of this universe. Instead, there are the repeated uses of the phrase, "God bless America!," and the deadly assumption that we still have the blessing of God, when in fact, we do not!
A letter, (Mr. President, We Need to Set Our Own House in Order First!), is sent to the president and/or the vice president about every 10 days or so with copies going to other elected officials, church leaders, etc. It is an effort to remind elected officials of the need to get this republic squared away in relationship with Almighty God. I also realize I am in a position similar to the prophet Ezekiel who was told by God to sound the warning and the call to repent -- at the same time God told this man in so many words, "You tell them -- they won't listen to you, because they won't listen to me. But you tell them anyway!" It's unlikely the letters will ever get to them -- but if they did and were actually read, they probably would be dismissed as the ravings of a lunatic. But at least with clear conscience I can stand before God and say that I tried to do what He put on my heart and fulfill the calling He has given me.
Celebration on today's "anniversary" anyone? Excuse me, but I'm going to pass on this one!