March 20th came and went with little herald from major media outlets of all kinds in the United States. I didn’t even think about it until recently when I was reminded about this anniversary by a blog I enjoy. March 20th was the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War.
The war in Iraq has claimed the lives of 3,280 Americans and 3,544 if you include Coalition troops. It has killed an estimated 40,000 to 100,000 Iraqi civilian lives (I am giving an incredible broad number because no one is really sure. Authorities find bodies everyday). I am not using this forum to discuss the nature of this war or the policy governing it. There has been enough discussion about that in the mainstream U.S. media, political propaganda, and by fellow bloggers. However, I am concerned that this anniversary has seemed to pass without so much as a pause in the United States.
The War in Iraq has been the major concern of the media since 2003 when talk of weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein, and Anbar Province began to fill the media’s attention. Each anniversary has brought new figures concerning death total and the provinces that have been secured by coalition troops. Not this year.
Throughout Iraq, protests were visible and strong. Even in the U.S., many peaceful protests occurred such as the one in Boston Common where the pictures on this post are from. However, major media outlets continue to ignore the event. I find it difficult to understand why.
Could it be that the media does not wish to demoralize support for the new surge in Baghdad? I cannot imagine that is the case. This surge has been under scrutiny for the media since the moment President Bush announced his plans. This
last ditch effort surge has raised the concerns from pundits and policymakers such as Senator John Warner (Va.), the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Jim Baker-captain of the Iraq Study Group. It has even raised concerns on the other side of the arena by policy makers such as Senator John McCain who think the surge should be one hundred thousand trillion million rather than twenty thousand.
I cannot judge as an outside looking in on the Beltway what are the reasons surrounding this lack of concern for the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War. I just don’t have the access. However, we need to remember. Not only for the American dead and the families of those honored dead, but also the untold thousands of Iraqis who have been slaughtered as a result of this war whether it be from the initial U.S. airborne attack or by Shia death squads today.
While this war is still going on, we should remember.