Monday, May 30, 2005

Happy Memorial Day

I did a little research on war fatalities and discovered some interesting numbers (and the inevitable "fog" of war in getting the accurate counts):

World War I deaths = 50,585 (Minimum figure reported - maximum combat deaths reported = 53,402 KIA + 63,114 other deaths = 116,516 (DoD; 1991 Info. Please) or 126,000 with no breakout by other sources)
World War II deaths = 291,557 (KIA + 113,842 other for a total of 405,399 (DoD & Info Please))
Korean War deaths = 33,741 (hostile deaths only - total of 36,576 in-theater deaths from all causes)
Vietnam War deaths = around 58,000
War on Terror deaths = 1,840 (to date)

The first thing that strikes me about these statistics is how low the casualty rate in the War on Terror is compared to the other conflicts. The second thing is that today's war protest crowd has no sense of history.

Let me say that I am anti-war. War is dangerous to living things. War is chaos and destruction. War is, in fact, Hell. War, however, has been thrust upon us by the Islamic fanatics who think a Koran is worth more than human lives. We have been under attack since the 70's. Only under George Bush has the country finally said "Enough. You can no longer attack us with impunity. You have brought the war to us, but we will bring it to you."

Two quotes seem particularly appropriate today:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
John Stuart Mill
English economist & philosopher (1806 - 1873)

Any community's arm of force - military, police, security - needs people in it who can do necessary evil, and yet not be made evil by it. To do only the necessary and no more. To constantly question the assumptions, to stop the slide into atrocity.
Lois McMaster Bujold "Barrayar", 1991
US science fiction author

Let us honor the fallen not with mourning of their loss, but with thanksgiving for their lives - that they were willing to expend them for this great country. That the great majority of them did so honorably, without committing atrocities. That we live in a country where even the rabid left has the freedom to express their views because better than they purchased that right with their own blood.

God bless America!


camojack said...

I've used the John Stuart Mill quote a couple of times myself, recently...

camojack said...

Death of a Marine
-Jeff Jacoby

Pat'sRick© said...

Jacoby's article was spot on. Oliver North had previoiusly written about him here.

mig said...

"needs people in it who can do necessary evil, and yet not be made evil by it."

What a great line. Thanks Pat'sRick. You put it right.

camojack said...

Pat'sRick said:

Jacoby's article was spot on. Oliver North had previoiusly written about him here.

Jeff Jacoby is the only conservative voice at that dissident rag the Boston Globe...their version of "fair & balanced", I suppose.

I get my Ollie North from the following source:

Pat'sRick© said...

Thanks for the comment.