::cost of war

6 01 2006

How does one measure the cost of war? If we put it strictly in terms of dollars and cents, it seems cold. If we put it in terms of the body count, its incomplete. If we put it in terms of ration cards and immitation coffee, it is trite and antiquated.

We don’t sacrifice comfort for war anymore.We go to war and people do their part by buying SUVs and plasma screen TVs.

All the better to see you with, my dear.

What does it cost to survive a war? What do we lose by living?

CNN reports that yesterday roughly 140 people were killed in bombings in Iraq. Survivors were loading the dead onto trucks like sandbags. They drove off with the bodies, weighed so heavily that the beds sagged on the rear wheels as if the suspensions were shot.The headline, in case you didn’t follow the cnn link above, reads 11 US Troops Killed in Thursday Attacks. See, it is the US soldiers who are the most important people in Iraq, so they get top billing.

How is it measured in Iraq? Riverbend, the keeper of Baghdad Burning, measures it in some very real ways. Going across town and not knowing if she’ll live or die. Wondering if she’ll have electricity. Wondering if she can buy food. Wondering why the cost of something as mundane as blank CDs will be beyond her reach. Wondering who the new, freedom loving government installed by the US will imprision today.

How do you measure the cost of war?





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