Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Death toll of US solders just fades into background noise

I hear that the US spends almost half of the world's entire outlay for military spending. Almost half of the total for all other nations combined, yet this still may not be enough. One hears of solders having to buy their own armor, veterans not getting proper medical care and the list goes on.

Lots of money, yet it still isn't enough?

How much is enough?

Maybe this is enough money, but the money isn't being spent wisely?

Another possibility is that USA is now "in over its head." This war is too expensive, both in lives and dollars?

Still, the cost of war isn't reflected in the lives of most Americans. War is still financed by deficits that never seem to come due. Also, I just heard that only 2% of American population is involved in the military.

There is a phrase, "solders go to war while civilians go to the mall."

I am sure that the civilian highway death toll is a lot more than 3,000 for year 2006.

This is a big country.

Most people just experience the war as background noise. That background noise hisses and pops a bit louder at times. Impressions from Saddam Hussein's hanging have flowed into the media.

Now these impressions start to fade away into history.

Not that long ago, the state of Washington, here on the west coast, carried out it's death penalty by hanging. Our state's last hanging was 1994 at the penitentiary in Walla Walla. More recently, the death sentence is through lethal injection, unless the prisoner asks for hanging instead.

Crime and punishment - more negative background noise.

Highway death tolls - background noise.

The city of Walla Walla, WA. is remembered for it's penitentiary, but that city can also bring up more positive memories. Walla Walla is home of Whitman College, for instance. There is also Stateline Wind Project. This is a bunch of windmills generating "alternative" energy west of Walla Walla.

We really need to spend more mental energy on positive things, like alternative energy. We need to spend more money on these things as well.

Unfortunately, 911 robbed much of the idealism from people, or maybe they didn't have much to begin with.

How much national policy is based on fear versus hope?

I hope some of these brutal things can recede into history and idealism can expand.

1 comment:

pedalmaniac said...

You're right the highway death toll is much higher than US Soldier death toll. This today from the Toronto Star ( http://www.thestar.com/Wheels/article/165918)

* At the 2006 casualty rate of 800 soldiers a year, the United States
would have to be in Iraq for more than 50 years to equal just one year
of automobile deaths back home.
* In any five-year period, the total number of traffic deaths in the
United States equals or exceeds the number of people who died in the
horrific South Asian tsunami in December 2004. U.S. traffic deaths
amount to the equivalent of two tsunamis every 10 years.
* The National Safety Council says your chance of dying in an auto
crash is one in 84 over your lifetime. But your chances of winning the
Mega Millions lottery are just one in 175 million.
* If you laid out side by side 8-by-10 photos of all those killed in
crashes this year, the pictures would stretch more than eight
* If you made a yearbook containing the photos of those killed this
year, putting 12 photos on each page, it would have 3,500 pages. If
you limited your traffic-death yearbook to a mere 400 pages, you'd
either have to squeeze more than 100 photos onto each page or issue an
eight-volume set.