Today is our 2,652nd day in Iraq and our 3,180th day in Afghanistan.
We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from our ongoing wars, courtesy of Antiwar.com:
Since war began (3/19/03): 4407
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 4268
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3946
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3548
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 179
Other Coalition Troops - Iraq: 318
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 1,126
Other Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 724
Contractor Employee Deaths - Iraq: 1,457
Journalists - Iraq: 338
Academics Killed - Iraq: 437
We find this morning's cost of war
passing through: $ 1, 008, 559, 900, 000.00
We'll veer away from our usual fronts this morning and take a peek across the border at Pakistan. When Mr. Bush was "President", they were one of the so-called crucial allies in our warron terra. But over the past year and a half, and maybe longer, that relationship has cooled significantly.
In fact, Pakistan is rarely in the news these days. Even though we are killing civilians there just about every week. You all should know what a Predator Drone
is. We've got hundreds of them circling around Pakistan, and in the most recent attack, 15 people were killed in Waziristan
, but it's unclear at this time if there were any terrorists involved or if it was more civilians.
I suppose you could argue that drones serve a useful purpose; they circle in harms' way, and allow us to send American military presence into a war zone without risking any American lives.
But that's probably not helping matters any. Imagine for a moment you live in a ramshackle hut in the foothills. Your neighbors are a little iffy; maybe they like guns, maybe they don't. But they've never hurt anyone and helped you out when your farm needed some work.
Then one night, their house explodes for no reason, and the shrapnel takes out your cow and also your wife who happened to be out in the field that day.
That's allegedly the primary motivation behind the Times Square bomber.
At his arraignment hearing yesterday, he pleaded guilty 'a hundred times over' and pretty much confirmed what we on the left have been saying for years now.
"I want to plead guilty and I'm going to plead guilty a hundred times over because until the hour the U.S. pulls it forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan and stops the occupation of Muslim lands and stops killing the Muslims and stops reporting the Muslims to its government, we will be attacking U.S., and I plead guilty to that."
"The drone hits in Afghanistan and Iraq, they don't see children, they don't see anybody. They kill women, children, they kill everybody. It's a war, and in war, they kill people. They're killing all Muslims."
But Pakistan is an awful long way from here, right? Why should we worry about how we're killing our enemies, as long as our enemies are being killed?
Aside from the moral and political issues, you should be worried about drones. Because they might be coming to an airspace near you.