THE TERM ‘WASTED’ in referring to the lives of American troops in Iraq is absolutely correct, regardless what the politicians and media claim. One dictionary definition of the word starts with “to use, consume, spend, or expend thoughtlessly or carelessly,” which pretty well describes what the Bush regime has done with these lives.
So why the outrage when Senators Obama and McCain said it? One reason is the closely held myth that no American lives are ever wasted in combat: they die to protect their country and it doesn’t get any nobler than that. True, for many of the soldiers, this may have been what they believed, but that doesn’t make it fact. The fact is that from the time they were recruited to their last breath they were victims of a con, a con that made them sacrifices of a incompetent, criminal and cynical regime pursuing goals destructive of America. Instead of their lives and America’s future being saved – the antonym of wasted – they were treated as expendable and replaceable fodder for a corrupt and ignorant administration.
That’s hard for families and other Americans to face. It is more comforting to perpetuate the illusion that any soldier who dies in Iraq is following in the footsteps of those at Iwo Jima and the Battle of Bulge. In fact, there were no good reasons for any soldier to die in Iraq and to argue otherwise merely adds to the numbers who will be future victims of the myth.
More important, however, than the public’s acceptance of the myth is the establishment’s promulgation of it. What Obama and McCain ran into was not a public outcry but an elite scolding. Those who run this country know how subversive to their interests is the heresy that others’ dying to preserve their power is not only less than noble, it is futile and a waste. If such an recognition spreads, they are in trouble for their corrupt grasp on our society depends on a steady stream of wasted lives.
The fault of Obama and McCain was not that they told the truth, but that they were not courageous enough to defend it.