A number of politicians in recent days have run into trouble stating that the troops who died in Iraq were a waste of good life. Not surprisingly every time this has happened there has been outrage and almost immediate retraction of the statement. There have been accusations ranging from lack of patriotism to treason. Every person in the public eye who has said this has been left holding their head down in shame.
So how wrong is it? Why are people offended with the people who say this? Is it because they think that the person is stating a lie? Or is it the inability to accept that a decision was wrong? The majority of the country today believes that the war in Iraq was a mistake. Polls have shown with unrelenting accuracy, the acceptance of this fact. But yet the country is outraged when someone states that the people who died in this war were wasted. Is it because people feel that it is an insult to the troops who fight the battle? That this would demoralize them? Or it would shatter the families?
But such statements are less a commentary on the life of the troops and more on the decision made by the administration. If anything it magnifies the sacrifice made by the troops in an unjust war. Families of the departed should feel that their loved one fought a war as a call to duty in spite of the lack of justification. I think a statement of a wasted life is an indication how valuable that life was to be wasted on such a cause.
Then why the outrage? The outrage is probably a reflection of the inability to accept a mistake completely. To accept that the life was wasted is to accept whole heartedly that the war was a complete mistake. So even though the polls allude to this fact, I doubt if everyone is willing to come out and say so.