Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Thirty-three tragic deaths occurred this week on the campus of Virginia Tech. The event is justifiably called a massacre. I judge the suicide death of Seung-Hui Cho to be a tragedy no less than the others, since it is an obvious case of mental illness gone untreated with lethal results.

Some, notably Keith Olbermann, Larry Johnson and Thom. Hartman, have had the guts to point out that a similar number of young Americans are killed in Iraq every ten days or so. Why, these worthies ask, are they not grieved for in the same way? It is a question that deserves an answer.

The answer is that the students didn’t sign up to put their lives on the line. As I wrote here,
When brave Americans sign up for military service, they say in effect that they are willing to lay down their lives for our country. Such love cannot be abused. We must be sure of our purposes and our prospects for success, if we are to ask these valiant men and women to risk, and in some cases, to sacrifice their lives.
Of course, we weren’t sure of our purposes and our prospects for success when America sent troops into Iraq.

The civil war in Iraq takes 30 or more innocent lives every week, out of a country less than 1/10th the size of the United States. For the families and loved ones of these Iraqi casualties, their death is as senseless and achingly unfair as the loss of those innocent Hokies is to the Virginia Tech community.

The murderer in Blacksburg is being described as mentally ill. The killing in Iraq is equally senseless. It’s just plain crazy.

“… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

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