Stalin once said “One death is a tragedy. One million is a statistic.”
The current American – Wilsonian era concept that we are “making the world safe for democracy” is tantamount to a type of neo-imperialism. We need to move past the theory that we can export democracy. It doesn’t work and not another American soldier’s life, nor the blood of another Arab, Israeli, Turkmen or Kurdish man or woman needs to be sacrificed to either prove or learn that lesson. F. Scott Fitzgerald summed it up perfectly when he wrote the following at the end of his novel, The Great Gatsby, “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning– So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Please do not misinterpret my intention. My service to the US Army following the events of September 11, 2001 is an unsurpassable point of pride for me. But having spent the last several years trying to justify the deaths of friends in the long war, it has become clear to me that our intent has an historical precedent that is rooted in economic interest and regional influence that is not worth the price of a single human soul. God bless our military and hold our lost comrades in your arms.