A REALLY Different Christmas Poem.

A friend sent the "Different Christmas Poem" email that has been circulating the internet. You can read it in the snopes link below if you are an idiot. This was my response to it.

Nice poem. It would mean more to me if the war we are currently fighting had any actual basis in protecting our country from a threat. However… LCDR Jeff Giles didn’t write it
http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/glurge/different.asp and the soldiers in Iraq are NOT protecting us from any real threat. No WMD’s, no Iraqi’s involved in 9/11, Osama bin Laden is not now, and never was, in Iraq… Not to mention the fact that we don’t seem to be actively looking for him anymore.

And from a purely humanitarian standpoint, while Saddam did apparently kill a lot of people (~600,000), we have now killed quite a few ourselves.
www.iraqbodycount.org/ says it’s around 90,000 at last count. And we have to wonder if we will leave the area (assuming we ever actual leave…) in a more or less stable state. It may just be that when working with a people who are insanely violent due to religious differences, an insane leader is the best possible match.

In fact, when you look at the deaths per day and compare days under Saddam’s rule with deaths during our occupation, the difference is less obvious. Saddam killed about 100 people per day (70-125), since we took over, it’s been about 40 or so per day (16-72). Just for comparison, on the average day in the USA, 119 people die in automobile accidents.

And even if (I say IF) our troops were protecting us from terrorists, the total death toll in the USA from terrorist action is less than 5,000… over ALL time. Less than 3000 in 9/11. Yet 9/11 was used to remove freedoms, change laws, justify torture, and send millions of our boys and girls into harms way.

In the USA, every single year, MORE than 60,000 people die in automobile accidents. Who at Firestone or Ford went to jail for knowingly putting inferior tires on a car with too high a center of gravity? Where was the service man protecting me from them? Where is the light rail line (Trains are THE safest way to travel, although airlines are safer than cars) for me to use going to work?

The point I’m trying to make here is that humans, and especially Americans, use emotion, rather than logic and statistics, to make decisions and justify actions. This poem, although lovely, plays to that fatal flaw. My logic and numbers may strike most as cold, and will never be repeated ad nauseam over the internet the way this poem WILL be, but they have a truth, clarity, and beauty that would better serve the USA.


1 comment:

James Newton said...

Someone emailed me this reply to the above post:

Thank you for your response. However, you have missed the point, whatever your political point of view maybe, that point is we have men and women serving in the Armed Forces of the United State all around country and world keeping us free so that we have the freedoms that we live under. We enjoy the right of free speech, freedom of worship, vote for whoever we want to vote for and a lot of other freedoms that much of the world doesn't have. We need to do more for those men and women. They are following the orders of those appointed above them and are responsible to the "civilian authority". So, put aside you political feelings and remember our men and women in uniform who are not with family and friends this holiday season.
Dave Leamy
Parker resident

Nope, I'm pretty sure it was you who have missed the point; at least my point.

The point I was trying to make, which obviously missed its mark, is that the currently deployed soldiers are NOT in any way shape or form “keeping us free” or fighting for our “right of free speech, freedom of worship” or any other sort of freedom.

If we were talking about the soldiers hunting for Osama bin Laden, I would agree with you. But Osama isn’t and never was in Iraq.

If invading Iraq had removed weapons of mass destruction, I would agree with you. But there are not now, and never were, and WMD’s in Iraq.

If they were so much as removing a base of support for terrorists, I would agree with you. But Saddam never supported terrorists (other than himself) and never financed, encouraged, or promoted any terrorist action against the USA.

The point you have missed is that while soldiers often do fight for our freedom, and while soldiers must be supported no matter why they are fighting, the soldiers currently fighting in Iraq are fighting for no good reason.

I have no political agenda. My comments say nothing against the soldiers. You wouldn’t know that I’m a decorated veteran of the Gulf war and a long time republican. I totally agree that we should support them, but with prudence and equipment, not with freaking poetry. I made a T-Shirt some years ago that I sold, gave out and still wear that specifically calls for better military funding to save the lives of our soldiers when they must be at war

Better yet, don’t send them to war. "They serve so that we don't have to. They offer to give up their lives so that we can be free. It is, remarkably, their gift to us. And all they ask for in return is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. Will they ever trust us again?"

Ask ANY soldier in Iraq what is their most fervent wish for the holiday season, and they will tell you they want to go home.

Support our troops BRING… THEM… HOME…

Beats the hell out of bandying smarmy little poems about.