Thursday, April 26, 2007
I would like to preface this post by saying that I am in no way discounting the horror, the loss, or the insurmountable sadness brought about by the recent shootings and resulting deaths which occurred last week at Virginia Tech. Tech is close to my heart- my brother is a Va Tech architecture grad, I lived in Blacksburg for a brief time; I went to college at Radford, which is connected to Blacksburg by a long-winding sleepy mountain road. It really breaks my heart to think of something so terrible happening in such a beautiful place. College is supposed to be a place of innocence and wonderful discovery, and it is sad to see that standard compromised in such a meaningless way. That said, all of this has caused me to think even harder, and feel even sadder about something which hangs constant and heavy in my mind: the war in Iraq. Why can't we see the same kind of news coverage/ media attention devoted to the sham of a war we've been fighting since 2003, that has been devoted to the tech shootings? Each day there have been entire news shows, articles, reports, and up to the minute coverage relating to tech; the coverage of the war in Iraq seems to pale in comparison. I am the daughter of a Vietnam veteran who suffers from severe post traumatic stress syndrome. Because of this, I have been living with war since the day I was born, along with the rest of my family. Perhaps this makes me more sensitive to such things, but I'm just saying that I wish the same amount of talk, thought, memorializing, prayer, and journalism went to the people over there fighting, the people over there trying to live (innocent civilians), the people who have returned home after having been over there, and their families. I wish the same amount of fervor could spur us on, as citizens, to question this war, and how we got involved with it in the first place. When my father returned home from the Vietnam war he was spat upon at O'Hare airport in Chicago, and called a "baby-killer." This "war" today is "different", the climate has changed, and the dynamics are not the same as they were back in the Vietnam days. People say they 'support' the troops. But do they? All I see is a bunch of indifference. And a big phony war which has caused a lot of very real heartache and loss. *As of 4/26/2007 the associated press reports that 3,334 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the war (in 3/2003). A team of American and Iraqi epidemiologists estimates that 601,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of violence (brought on by the war, beginning 3/2003).