But, ponder this. That same day in Iraq, the U.S. military reported the deaths of seven more American service members. These brave souls are added to the 3,311 already lost. Are their lives any less precious, their sacrifice to be taken for granted?
While we as a nation were witnessing with helpless sorrow the heartbreaking loss of lives on the Virginia Tech campus, Iraq plunged even deeper into the abyss of instability, and our troops into deadlier danger.
"Cabinet ministers loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr quit the government Monday, severing the powerful Shiite religious leader from the U.S.-backed prime minister and raising fears al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia might again confront American troops."
And, a "major new threat is emerging in the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq." The Iraqi Kurds want independence, neighboring Turks want to crush any movement in that direction.... an unstable powder keg. "As with so many aspects of Iraq, the Bush administration has wandered into a conflict that is encrusted with centuries of ethnic hatred."
Our brave occupying troops are bogged down in the midst of these ancient and deeply embedded tribal hatreds.... trying to referee a game bereft of rules or even humanity.
Bush and the Democratically-led Congress are fencing over a war-funding bill that calls for a timetable for withdrawal of our troops from this unwinnable conflict. Bush wants no such timetable. He says withdrawal would bring the terror to our shores, shores that have already been breached in so many ways by his careless, agenda-driven administration.
Bush, who attended the memorial service yesterday for the slain at Virginia Tech.... publicly abhorring the senseless loss of life there... is yet blind to the senseless loss of life in Iraq. He stubbornly opposes any measure that would start to pull our troops out of harms way, saying ironically about the legislative debate, "our troops should not be caught in the middle."
As a nation, we must do all we can to avoid the senseless loss of life.... whether at our schools and universities or in rashly-engaged wars.
Start bringing our troops home.