Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Sober Accounting on the Anniversary of 9/11

U.S. Dead Date Country Event
17 4/18/1983 Lebanon Beirut U.S. Embassy bombing
241 10/23/1983 Lebanon Beirut Marine barracks bombing
2 9/20/1984 Lebanon Beirut U.S. embassy annex bombing
1 6/14/1985 Lebanon TWA 847 hijacking
1 10/7/1985 Egypt Achille Lauro hijacking
4 4/2/1986 Greece TWA 840 hijacking
2 4/5/1986 West Germany Berlin disco bombing
2 9/5/1986 Pakistan Pan Am 73 hijacking
178 12/21/1988 Scotland Lockerbie Pan Am 103 bombing
294 1990-1991 Kuwait and Iraq Gulf War
3 1/25/1993 United States CIA headquarters shootings
6 2/26/1993 United States World Trade Center bombing
18 10/3-10/4/1993 Somalia Battle of Mogadishu
2 3/8/1995 Pakistan Karachi shootings
19 6/25/1996 Saudi Arabia Khobar Tower bombings
12 8/7/1998 Kenya & Tanzania U.S. embassy bombings
17 10/12/2000 Yemen USS Cole bombing
2,977 9/11/2001 United States WTC and Pentagon attack
2,344 2001-2014 Afghanistan Operation Enduring Freedom
1 2/1/2002 Pakistan Pearl beheading
17 10/2002 United States DC Beltway sniper
7 10/12/2002 Indonesia Bali bombings
4,486 2003-2012 Iraq Operation Iraqi Freedom
3 10/15/2003 Gaza U.S. diplomat convoy blast
1 5/29/2004 Saudi Arabia Khobar massacre
1 1/1/2008 Sudan Granville assassination
13 11/5/2009 United States Fort Hood shootings
4 9/11/2012 Lybya Benghazi U.S. consulate attack
4 4/15/2013 United States Boston marathon bombing
2 8/19-9/2/2014 Syria and Iraq ISIL beheadings
10,679 Total    

That's a long list, and one could argue about a couple of entries on it, but it also could be much longer. Our allies lost people too. The count of enemy dead is even higher.

I've heard Senator John McCain saying in the last couple of days that we could have avoided the resurgence of ISIL by leaving a sizable contingent of U.S. troops in Iraq. But we had 54 killed there in 2011, and we could have lost that many again in each of 2012, 2013, and 2014. We've lost 43 troops so far this year in Afghanistan.

Is the counter-terrorism push against ISIL the beginning of another war? I imagine they think it is, and will be looking to hit us back in retaliation for these bomb strikes. Every j.v. team wants to play varsity. But, really, it's just the same war. You can go to Reason, and watch each of the last four U.S. Presidents announce that we're bombing Iraq.

The burden of sacrifice is borne by so few. I have a cousin who graduated from West Point in 2001 and retired after 10 years of service in 2011, which is already 3 years ago. Another cousin's husband is still in service after over a decade.

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