COLUMN: My timeline: troops out now

Allen Hines

Well guys and gals, this is my last column for the semester. It’s been fun reading your comments about my stories. One of the more laughable of these comments told me that I can’t be pro-choice and anti-war because we “create war in utero.” I still don’t exactly understand the logic behind this argument, but I’m still pro-choice and anti-war. So I suppose I’m still a hypocrite. 

One person’s hypocrite is another person’s humanitarian, I guess. So, in this last column, I will make one last hypocritically humanitarian argument: The war in Iraq is wrong, not only because it has taken the lives of far too many Iraqis and Americans alike, but also because of the ways in which they’re dying. 

To date, more than 2,100 U.S. troops have died in Iraq since the beginning of the war. If 900 more of our troops die, 9/11 could be counted as a double tragedy ƒ_” the first happening on our soil, the second under false pretenses in the sands of Iraq. 

Even more horrifying than the number of troops dying for this illegal war is the cause of their deaths. According to various Iraq war veterans, many of the coalition casualties are caused by close air support. The “good guys” are killing each other! I thought U.S. forces were technologically superior to the insurgents. I haven’t heard of the insurgents killing each other by accident. 

The U.S. government doesn’t keep track of civilian deaths or so-called “collateral damage.” But a group called keeps track of civilians reported dead by the media. According to the group, at least 23,000 Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the American invasion and occupation. 

Less electricity is available now than there was before the United States invaded. According to The New York Times, this lack of power leads to equipment failure at Iraqi hospitals, which in turn causes deaths. 

On top of this, the U.S. military is using depleted uranium armaments. The military’s DU rounds vaporize on impact, forcing victims to breathe in the toxic metal. DU attacks the kidneys and causes cancer. 

The use of cluster bombs also is responsible for mass civilian casualties. Only about 40 percent of the bomblets that compose cluster bombs actually explode on impact. The rest remain wherever they land, still live, until unlucky civilians happen upon them and they explode.

Is this war worth it? Is a lie worth ten of thousands of lives? Seemingly every day more U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians die. If anything, the deaths of civilians only fuels the insurgency.  

I support our troops. I want to see them come home immediately and in one piece. 

I look forward to reading your comments about how unpatriotic I am or what kind of a pacifist pansy I am. They will serve as a Christmas present. So, if you’re broke, try to think up the nastiest right-wing propaganda and fling it at me. 

Allen Hines is a freshman pre-journalism and mass communication major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].