The Awful Sound of Silence

A brutal tyrant ascends to power in America, crushing opposition political parties, murdering dissidents and destroying our civil liberties. The European Union and Canada decide to invade in order to “liberate” the American people. And in the ensuing war 6.5 million civilians die violently from military and sectarian conflicts. Civilians, mind you. And the war also produces 6.5 million widows, 25 million orphans, and another 20 milion people displaced from their homes, or become refugees. And the numbers might be double that. 12 Million dead. 40 million refugees. 50 million orphans. Think about it for a moment, if you can.

Tens and tens of millions of Americans would know someone who had been killed in the war. Tens and tens of millions more would know war widows and orphans, or of neighbors, friends or family who fled elsewhere to escape the violence, perhaps permanently displaced. And tens and tens of millions more would have seen violent death and injury first hand. And all of this death and suffering against the backdrop of a destroyed power grid, healthcare system and general infrastructure. A nation and it’s people reduced to rubble and despair.

We’d be absolutely awash in grief and shock if such a thing happened in this country. A lot of us wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning. A lot of us would feel as though we had no future and no hope. We’d never be the same again.

So how is it that any politician or pundit in America can talk about what did or did not “work” in the Iraqi War? How can a calamity of this magnitude be considered, in any sense whatsoever, a success? How could anyone in America have complained, as they have in the past, that the media doesn’t report on the good things happening in Iraq. What good things?

Shouldn’t somebody in Washington want to know the truth of what’s happened in Iraq? Shouldn’t the rest of us want to know, too? Shouldn’t we be talking out loud about all of this? Maybe the crisis we’re facing here at home is more than just an economic one.

Steve Carlson |