Dying in Iraq: It’s Not for Offspring of the War Hawks

The number of American military deaths in Iraq, as of Dec. 5, 2004, stood at a staggering 1275. The list of those brave Americans who will never come home except in a body bag, goes on for pages. You can find it all at: Iraq Coalition Casualties (http://icasualties.org/oif/): the names of the deceased; their home towns and states; their service ranks and the dates that they were killed in combat, via an accident, or by a fatal disease.

What you won’t find in that roster are the surnames of any of the offspring of the prominent Neocons, or the War Hawks in the U.S. Congress; or in the Bush-Cheney Gang; or of the raving Right Wing media types, or of the mouthy Hollywood celebrities who helped to push us into this horrific war on March 20, 2003. Their children haven’t paid the ultimate price for their parents’ ideological folly. Other kids, however, from across America, have. These are the ones, who aren’t rich or politically connected. They honestly believed in the flag and, mistakenly, thought that the Congress was doing right by them in giving President George W. Bush, Jr. the green light to invade Iraq under the guise of "exporting democracy." This was only one of many of the Washington-based regime’s fraudulent claims leading up to the war.

There are a lot of Hispanic names on the roll call of America’s fallen heroes. They dominate this tragic record. In fact, Puerto Rico, alone has lost 11 of her finest sons so far in that conflict. Of course, there is no way to figure out if a deceased soldier is an African American or not by a surname. We do know that African-Americans presently include 15 % of the U.S. combat population, so it would be no jump to say that they also make up about 15 % , or more, of the casualties in Iraq. There are plenty of surname entries that sound Irish, Italian, German, English, Polish and Jewish; and many other ethnic groups, too long to detail here. The surname "Gonzales" seems to come up the most. But, there are no familiar Neocon surnames! I looked, without success, to see if I could specifically find a Perle (Richard); a Wolfowitz (Paul); a Bennett (William); a Bolton (John R.) or a Feith (Douglas). Despite an extensive search, none of those surnames were found (See, for background on the Neocons, http://www.antiwar.com/orig/lind1.html).

For this discussion, let’s not leave out that genius of a pundit, Ken Adelman. He rants for the Washington Post. With the prescience of a man, who has never heard a shot fired in anger, he wrote, “I believe demolishing Hussein’s military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons: (1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they’ve become much weaker; (3) we’ve become much stronger; and (4) now we’re playing for keeps.” He penned all of this nonsense from the safety of his comfortable office, at 1515 L. Street, in D.C., on Feb. 13, 2002. I found no U.S. casualty with the surname of Adelman. You would think, however, if he was so sure that the Iraqi War was going to be "a cakewalk," that he would have volunteered his own heroic service and the services of any of his military age-eligible children. But, alas, Adelman declined to go that far.

In Michael Moore’s "Fahrenheit 9/11" flick, he made the shocking point that of the 435 members in the House of Representatives and 100 members in the U.S. Senate, only one had an offspring fighting in Iraq! Well, it appears Moore was wrong, but not by much. Now, the Moore-bashers are claiming that there were actually three members out of the 535 members of Congress that had a family member in the military in Iraq. Big deal! Let the record now show that the Congress that shamelessly gave the Bush-Cheney Gang a blank check to invade Iraq had three of their own fighting there!

As for that Congress, Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), the "Oliver Cromwell" of American politics, was foaming at the mouth pushing for the Iraqi War to start, while on the other side of the aisle, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-CT), was just as anxious to see those blockbuster bombs and missiles lighting up the sky over targets like Baghdad, Mosul and Fallujah. These two blood thirsty militarists got their death wish. We now know the lethal results (www.warresisters.org/piechart.htm). Naturally, there is no evidence that any soldier named DeLay and/or Lieberman has paid the supreme price for the reckless warmongering of that duo.

Then, there is that Iraqi War-loving chorus found in the Media. Leading up to March 20, 2003, I personally tracked and challenged these characters and their dubious arguments in favor of the Iraqi War. Some are also Neocons wearing two hats; while others just blab away on Talk Radio. Three are actors: Ben Stein, Ron Silver and ex-U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN). This latter trio has ties to Watergate figure, G. Gordon Liddy, and a pro-Iraq War rally, which was held, in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall, on April 12, 2003. Here is a partial sampling from my list of Media-related warmongers: William Kristol; Bill O’Reilly; George F. Will; Mona Charen; A.M. Rosenthal; Marty Peretz; Zev Chafets; Mortimer B. Zuckerman; Rupert Murdock; Charles Krauthammer; Dick Morris; Ann Coulter; Sean Hannity; Russ Limbaugh; Arnold Schwarznegger; Linda Chavez; Joel Mowbray; John Podhoretz; Laura Ingraham and Jonah Goldberg. And, let’s not forget that lonely "liberal" from the Moonie-owned Washington Times, Nat Hentoff! On April 7, 2003, he endorsed the Iraqi war. Some liberal conscience Hentoff is! Well, what do you expect from a guy, who wrote a piece on 11/25/02, apologizing for the excesses of Israel’s Ariel Sharon?

Needless to say, none of the offspring of the above cited War Hawks has fallen in Iraq, nor do I expect any of them ever will. These War Hawks are too smart to let their own children go over to that Iraqi hell hole, get shot up and die and/or to suck up all of that toxic depleted uranium. So, what do they really care if somebody else’s kid goes over and does the fighting and dying?

Where have the 1275 American dead in Iraq come from, if not from the ranks of the offspring of the War Hawks? To date, California has sacrificed 150 of its gallant citizens; Texas 115; Pennsylvania 64, New York 59; Florida 57; Illinois 55 and Ohio 43. These seven states lead the nation at the moment in the numbers of fatal casualties. My home state of Maryland has recorded 19 deaths so far, four of them coming within a stunning five-day period. The grim results of this totally unnecessary, immoral, illegal and unjust war will continue to hit home in the cities, towns and villages of America, in the months ahead and possibly for years to come, unless stopped by an outraged populace. (If you want to hear one father’s heartbreaking anguish over losing a son in the Iraqi conflict, then please take the time to watch and listen to this video of Fernando Suarez del Solar, that I took at an Anti-War rally, in Washington, D.C. It’s found at: http://baltimore.indymedia.org/media/all/display/1792.)

There is only one thing we now know for sure: The warmongers, if the past is prologue, will not have to shed any tears over the loss of their own sons or daughters as a result of their dying in the Iraqi War. That predicament will be left only for those whose trust continues to be badly abused by an ultra hawkish regime in Washington, whose serial lies, if linked together in sentences, would probably stretch around the globe.