As the drumbeat of “staying the course” in Iraq and not “cutting and running” drowns out the voices of reality in Iraq, the daily calamities that befall the miserable masses of the cradle of modern civilization are erased from the minds of those who march willingly to this tune. Lost with the memories are reasons for pursuing the conflict further. Lost is compassion for people who die daily for a conflict that was not of their choosing. Lost is the sense of purpose that ought to drive our resolve.
At first American blood was to be shed for the purposes of democracy. Now it is being shed for the purpose of halting an increasingly hardened and horribly violent insurgency. When the Iraqi prime minister makes a formal visit to Ahmadinejad in Iran, Democracy is a perverse fantasy, and there is no victory to be claimed when the death toll from the insurgency rises daily.
The drums beat, the soldiers march, and the cradle of modern civilization is destroyed. Who is more pitiable? The Iraqis who die daily, or the inured soldiers who have no sight of the destination to which they charge?