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Who Will Remember the Troops Who Died In Iraq?

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posted on May, 29 2006 @ 12:54 PM
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This is a simple straight forward, unpatriotic question: “Do you or do you not think the troops who died in Iraq will be well remembered?”
I want it to be a sort of a poll. It could be a sort of gauge of some the perceived wisdom that has led to massive recruitment shortfalls for the various departments of War thought all the allied nations most involved in the Iraq war.

Background…
Recently I was getting a taxi home and struck conversation with the driver. It turned out he had served in the Korean War (June 1950 to July 1953) not out of choice but because Britain still had National Service at that time (abolished 1960 news.scotsman.com...).
The taxi driver was very bitter about how few people remember that war. But I couldn’t help thinking to myself “not that many people must have died because otherwise it would be more remembered”.

Well I did some research and it turns out for Britain…
1078 killed in action
1060 missing or taken prisoner
2674 wounded
(For America it was 40,000 deaths)
Source: www.bbc.co.uk...

Here is a more detailed multi-national breakdown of casualty figures: www.centurychina.com...

Now the Korea War was probably far more useful than the Iraq War. After all without it North Korea would be roughly twice the size. So it would be able to afford roughly twice as many WMD’s. And the Korean famine of the 1990’s would no doubt have killed roughly twice as many people (double a figure between 600,000 and 3.5 million and there’s your answer). www.google.co.uk...
If you ever met a South Korean chances are they would be dead or on rations, and as for their trendy stuff you would never have bought it.

In this way the Korean War (unlike Iraq) may be one of the few wars which actually saved more lives than it killed (even though this probably exceeds 1 million; when you take into account Chinese deaths) (a something still not very well understood).

So…
Few people remember the Korean War dead. The Korean War was very useful as without it South Korea would not exist. Iraq on the other hand seems to be killing far fewer troops, and is (perhaps) unlikely to have the positive historic legacy that something like the Korean War did. So even though the Korean War was a long time ago another question is this: “How long after the Iraq War is over will it take for our national memory of it to deteriorate that of the Korean War?”


Bye the Way…
There’s an old World War One recruitment poster that shows a man sitting in his chair surrounded by his children. One of the kids says “so daddy what did you do in the Great War” and the man is shown scratching his head.
Well today a suitable poster might be: “So dad what did you do when you were younger?” Dad says: “I served in Iraq”. Kid scratches their head and says: “What was that?”

How much; and how quickly will the killed and injured in Iraq be forgotten after the war is over?




posted on May, 29 2006 @ 06:53 PM
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I think that is an excellent point you bring up there, 84.

Though perhaps it isn't a question how how long they will be remembered, but one of how much will they be respected. Like the Vietnam war, this current one goes against the public opinion of much of the world. In fact, you could compare the war in Iraq to the old war in Vietnam in a number of ways. The killing of civilians, guerrilla warfare rampant, the U.S. of A using as much force as possible, generally not to worried about collateral damage except if the cameras are watching (which they usually are btw); I mean, everyone remembers those who served in the Vietnam war, and they deserve a lot of respect, but who gave it to them in those initial years during and after the conflict? Imagine being pulled out of school, sent off to a country where people shot at you, where you were made to shoot back, where your buddies did of massive injuries while all you could do was sit next to them and hold their hand . . . and then as soon as you came back you were spat on by everyone, you were not respected even as a person, let alone a soldier serving his nation, and your life was just about destroyed. All for what?

And with reference to the Iraqi war, All for what?

And I am sorry also if this seems unpatriotic, but perhaps I do not view how the U.S. handles certain situations in as much positive light as other people. If this is going to be a question of how they will be remembered, then it is one of how much they will be respected, one of how much influence the war actually has. Of course the soldiers deserve respect for their duty, but is your average Joe Sixpack, after all the anti-war slander that seems to be going around, going to give it to them?



You have voted Liberal1984 for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 10:38 PM
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Originally posted by watch_the_rocks
And with reference to the Iraqi war, All for what?

Next time you run across a group of soldiers who have returned from not one, but two tours in Iraq, how about objectively ask them, because last I checked with military pollings of military personnel, the majority of them support and understand why they were in Iraq or heading back to Iraq? Ask them "all for what"?

While your at it, ask them what Memorial Day means...






seekerof



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 11:35 PM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
“Do you or do you not think the troops who died in Iraq will be well remembered?”


Depends entirely on the outcome. As you said, the Korean war served a purpose, but I'm sure you could have found many then who would say we were fighting for somebody else and that it wasn't worth it. If by some (however small) chance Iraq becomes a country that contributes postively to the world, perhaps in the future it will be viewed as having been worth it. And the troops should always be remembered, they don't pick the wars, they just do their jobs. They deserve respect.



Originally posted by Seekerof
Ask them "all for what"?


I think they want to go back to fight along side their brothers, many probably wonder why exactly they are there, but that's not as important wanting to help your friends who are under fire. At least that's my impression of the soldier mentality, and that's how I'd feel as well.



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 11:41 PM
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Australia recently commemorated Anzac Day (kind of like your memorial day, however it came about after Australian and New Zealand soldiers first landed at Galipoli in Turkey, in what proved to be a major loss for the Allies due to a number of problems). Turn out this year was one of the highest ever recorded. Anzac Day commemorates all who served in every conflict Australia has been involved in, through to Iraq. Those who served in that particular theatre were given a particularly large cheer. The majority of Australians do not agree with the Iraq War, but support our troops to the hilt (one thing our Government did well was to ensure people understood that the decision to go to war was a political one, and that the ADF personnel were not to be blamed). We got a Welcome Home parade through the streets of Sydney, which also had a huge turnout, in 2003. A lot of it was pushed by the Vietnam Vets, who did not want the new generation of veterans to experience the shameful treatment they received.

We will always remember those who died in service every April 25. Lest we forget.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 02:48 AM
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Based on past experience, they probably won't really be remembered. Most people see Iraq as a shoot'em up video game come to life on the TV.

I've had a couple people recently respond "We still got people over there? I thought Saddam was captured.", when i mentioned Iraq. Americans have amazingly short memories, especially about things they have no real clue about.

As far as i'm concerned the only one's that i hope remember Iraq are my fellow vet's and their/my family members. They're the only ones that matter.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 10:01 AM
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Perhaps I have a bias here, because my younger brother has, and apparently will be again, served in Iraq.

This is precisely what Memorial Day is for: To remember those who fell, and those who didn't, to preserve our freedoms here, and elsewhere. Not just Americans, but Canadiens, Austrailians, Russians, French, etc... even our enemies of times past whom we now call freinds, Germany, Italy, and Japan.

It does us no harm to remember that these young men, and women, fought, died, and suffered for what they believed to be a just and honorable cause. Maybe we disagreed, or disagree still, with that particular cause and in some cases fought on the otherside, it still does us no harm to remember all of them. Maybe shed a few tears in remembrance while we remember them as they once were, and maybe are again in Gods heaven. Young, full of life, and joy.

So, not to get too melodramatic, yes, as long as I remember them. They'll not be forgotton.



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 01:06 PM
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I don't know about you but the last couple of remembrance services have (media wise) been given surprisingly little to do with remembering the fallen in Iraq. It still seems to have a lot more to do with world war and two; which whilst vastly more important in terms of scale and objective have been remembered over 60 times since then. So I wonder is Iraq (when it comes to Remembrance Services) being slightly down played in the media, for the simple reason that it is an ongoing war and therefore any remembrance can take on a slightly inevitable covert political tone?

For example: say we had a remembrance service specifically for Iraq? I could just see a possible opening sermon...
"Today we remember when Tony Blair and George Bush ordered military action to destroy weapons of mass destruction that did not exist, cause liquidation under the guise of liberation, and create a civil war that still affects us today by providing a country as a base for terrorism. We remember those troops who gave their lives for this war, and especially those who died not knowing the true reality of what they were fighting for. 2003-2007 never again."

Another point is that before the Iraq war many people did not seem to be wearing poppies. Yes you had the odd few news and weather presenters (as you always will because their poppies are probably compulsory and bought for them). But in the general public there just didn’t seem to be that many people wearing them. Even when I happened to go to church a few years ago only about half the congregation were wearing them, whilst last year just about everyone was.

So it’s kind of like "we won't talk much about the Iraq fallen directly; but we will wear lots more poppies". This is a kind of odd compromise.
Iraq is a controversial war, but by not remembering the reasons for the sacrifice of the dead it’s almost like we are preparing to forget them, and in their place just remember world war one and two. Because that's (if I’m not mistaken) it what has happened previously with many of the other later wars. We teach our kids the names of the kings and queens of England but not the names of the fallen in various campaigns.
If you want evidence; look at how W1 is remembered; because it was several years after this war that many British troops serving in Iraq under the British Empire died. Till a few years ago I never knew we had been there before 1991. So in a way they are forgotten even on Remembrance Day. Am I right?
As if to prove this I wasn’t able to find out how many troops died in the colonial occupation but here is an article about their forgotten graves: www.robert-fisk.com...

So since we seem very good at forgetting all our various other wars, yet we have still being able to hold remembrance day annually how long will it be till Iraq joins that list. Should we do anything about it? Like what?

On the more political side of things: I'm pleased no one said the Iraqis will remember our troops sacrifice. Because they will; just that judging by this MOD poll for all the “wrong” (or maybe from their perspective) “right” reasons: www.telegraph.co.uk.../news/2005/10/23/wirq23.xml



posted on May, 30 2006 @ 04:49 PM
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Well, I don't agree that the memory of Iraq (from the perspective of the veterans) will end up the way you protray. Have a look at Vietnam. A war that became grossly unpopular with the people (while Australians don't like the current war, we don't exactly see masses of people marching the street demanding we leave), and resulted in the Government providing no support to the returned veterans, leading to all kinds of social issues. Their welcome home march didn't occur until 1988 from memory. Yet they get a special place in our marches now. Yes, WWII veterans are the focus, but this has as much to do with the passage of time as it does with "popularity" of the war (if you have actually fought in a war, the popularity or otherwise doesn't really feature prominently in your thinking at the time...). The WWI diggers were the focus for many years over the WWII veterans after WWII, as people just wanted to forget the recent hardships of WWII. As time passes, and the previous veterans get older, society realise the sacrafices that these people made (the reasons for the war have faded over time, becoming less important than the actual person themselves who fought in the war). WWII is now the focus, but they will thin in numbers, and the next veterans (Korea and Vietnam) will become the focus of the commemoration events. For the current Iraq veterans, it probably won't be until around 2045 - 2050 that this will occur (wonder if I'll still be around, maybe the anthrax shot will get me prior to then!). Yes, history will tell us the end judgement of the invasion of Iraq, but it will be less important than the old men and women who stand at the memorial and recite the ode of rememberance to a younger generation who don't care about the politics of it.

As for the adversary angle, Turkey, Australia's adversary at Galipoli, has forged a unique friendship with their ex-enemy. Thousands of Australians travel to Galipoli every year, and are welcomed by the Turkish people. Turkish war veterans marched in Australia this year. And the Australian war graves in Turkey are maintained to a high standard by the Turkish Government. In fact, on completion of the fighting, Ataturk, a divisional commander at Gallipoli at the time of the Allied invasion, was instrumental in the Turkish victory. He had the mutual respect of his foes, so much so that a memorial to him is on Anzac Parade in Canberra, Australia. He is also much famed for an open letter he sent the people of Australia after the battle, which said:




Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets where they lie side by side here in this country of ours... You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.


Time heals many wounds.



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