It recently occurred to me that we don't hear much anymore from the mainstream media about the situation in Iraq.
Shortly after President Obama took office, he promised that "our combat mission in Iraq will end" by August 31, 2010, and that all U.S. troops will be removed from Iraq by the end of 2011.
That's all fine, but how many Americans will lose their lives in the meantime?
And for what?
While the number of U.S. casualties in Iraq has declined significantly in 2009, we must not lose sight of the fact that casualties are still occurring. And each and every casualty is one casualty too many. Each and every casualty is a father or mother, son or daughter, husband or wife, brother or sister, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, cousin, neighbor, or beloved friend, who will never again be able to hear their loved ones' voices, hold their hands, or hug them.
And then there are the countless Iraqi civilians who are still dying via military mistakes. "Collateral damage", we call it. But these casualties are more than abstract statistics. They, too, are people. They, too, are fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins, neighbors, and beloved friends, who will never again be able to hear their loved ones' voices, hold their hands, or hug them.
That, to me, seems like a rather apt description of hell.
Worse, it's a hell of our own making.
And for what?