Sunday, October 30, 2005


A few days ago the 2,000th American soldier died in Iraq. I wonder what their life had been like, what they thought of the war, I wonder about their parents and family.

I wonder who the 2,000th Iraqi to die because of the American invasion was, it would have been quite some time ago now. I wonder what their life was like, what they thought of the war, I wonder about their parents and family.

I've just invited a reader to think of Iraqis who died in Iraq and Americans who died in Iraq as essentially the same, and I'm unsure if that's what I really think.

The mainstream media don't think of these deaths as the same. The wide attention given to the 2,000th American soldier to die shows that. A construction that equalises those deaths, like the one I used, is aimed at undermining the publicity that 2,000 soldiers got.

There are some really important differences though, starting with the fact that we're talking about Iraq, which means that pretty much every Iraqi has a better reason to be there than pretty much every American.

It's not just Iraqi civilians who are different from American soldiers, but the Iraqi resistance. There is a fundamental difference between defending your home and attacking someone else's.

But I think there is an important way that they are the same, everyone who dies in Iraq is dying for American imperialism. The American soldiers dying in Iraq are not the rich, they're not the powerful, they're those who have the least choices, not the most. More importantly they're not going to be the people that benefit from the invasion, they're not going to get any oil, they're not going to get any contracts, they're not going to benefit from a puppet reigme. They'd be much better off if they declared "Call it 'love' or call it 'reason' call it 'peace' or call it 'treason', but I ain't a marchin' any more." The interests of most American soldiers are actually the same as the interests of the Iraqi people: for America to get the fuck out of there.

If you're looking at the people vs. the power then all deaths in Iraq are on the side of the people, because power doesn't like to fight its own battles.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:56 am

    Well we can't know about the 2000th Iraqi, but the 2000th American thought...

    "Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I'm writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances. I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark."

    And really, you should talk to some real US soldiers some day.