.... that too many people have died? I have no (good) excuse for not posting this at the end of the month as I should have. All day yesterday, I was fuming about a tragically bad homily at church and trying to compose a blog post about it that was slightly more than an enraged rant. Clearly I got nowhere with that AND I forget to do this post. Pathetic.
So, in a spirit of repentance and deep sorrow that I have to post these numbers at all, here's what we know. According to U.S. Military Deaths, the number of U.S. military deaths as of today stands at 2719, which is, by the way, 45 more than the number of U.S. personnel killed in World War II. The number of civilians killed by military intervention in Iraq is at least 43,000. Go here for more information: Iraq Body Count.
So, how do we build peace in a time of perpetual war? My first answer is always "disarm your own heart" -which you'd be right to point out might just possibly have been the message from the universe I was supposed to receive, what with the enraging homily and all. Sigh.... So, obviously, that's a work in progress. But let's assume that I will both continue to work on that and never fully accomplish it. What else can be done?
Making the human cost of the war vivid is the rationale for this monthly blog post. Even if I'm the only one to read it, it makes sense to articulate it. Is there something that you can do (however small) to accomplish the same thing? You might consider watching and/or screening for your friends, the movie The Ground Truth.
We might also consider supporting military families who speak out against the war. It is one thing for me to rant about it; it's entirely another for military personnel and their families to risk everything to the same end. Military Families Speak Out is an organization that might be helpful for you. If you're in the military or have a family member in the military (as I do), then you can join. Even if you aren't eligible for membership, there's an interesting collection of action ideas at their website.
I have more.... support efforts to decrease our dependence on oil, strengthen the global peace movement, strengthen local peace work, pressure Congress, get the churches involved.... What can YOU come up with?