Killing Our Troops
by James Glaser
May 5, 2008

It does get old, harping on the same old thing month after month, year after year, but Washington continues to kill our troops in this, any way you look at it, unjust war in Iraq.

Today it is hard to figure out just how many troops we are losing, because unless there are a lot of troops killed in one spot, the media just doesn't think it is important enough to cover. One or two soldiers killed in Baghdad or a Marine killed in Anbar just isn't enough blood to make the front page or the evening news.

This week, as nearly as I can figure out, either 16 or 20 American troops were killed in Iraq. We never are told how many Americans are wounded, but it is a safe bet that if the number of troops killed is on the rise, then the number wounded has gone up too. With 16 killed, it is a safe bet that over 100 were wounded.

Here is another number you probably never heard of either:

Since that warning, at least two more American soldiers have been electrocuted in similar circumstances. In all, at least a dozen American military personnel have been electrocuted in Iraq, according to the Pentagon and Congressional investigators.

That comes from an article written by James Risen, in the New York Times of May 4, 2008 titled "Despite Alert, Flawed Wiring Still Kills G.I.'s." It seems that in October of 2004, the Army issued a warning to commanders all over Iraq about how flawed electrical work done by our contractors had been killing our troops. American electricians for KBR, a Houston-based defense contractor that is responsible for maintaining our bases in Iraq have said that they repeatedly warned about unsafe electrical work done by Iraqi and Afghan electricians who are paid just a few dollars a day for their work.

We are paying companies like KBR, billions of dollars to work in Iraq, and they turn around and hire local Iraqis to do the work, and our troops get killed. Does that make sense to you? We are a 21st century nation using 19th century laborers to do our work.

How would you feel if your son or daughter were killed in Iraq? Like many parents, you might think that they died doing something noble. You might tell yourself that they died defending America. You might have to tell yourself that, otherwise their death would have made no sense at all, but what do you tell yourself if your son or daughter died after being electrocuted while taking a shower or while swimming in a pool? Yes, that's right, it appears our troops have swimming pools in their combat zone to cool off in, and we all wondered how this war could cost so much.

We have had thousands and thousands of our troops killed in Iraq. We have also had tens and tens of thousands of our troops wounded, and we all feel so sad about that. But now we find that some of our troops have been killed, and some have been fatally shocked by faulty electrical wiring put in by American companies.

Those troops killed and wounded in combat are a real shame on us, but those troops electrocuted and shocked are nothing more that a waste of human life. Our troops are dying from a cause that should have been corrected years ago, and it is not because of a lack of money. It is a lack of leadership and concern for the lives of our troops.

As far as Washington is concerned, American troops are expendable. George Bush's War in Iraq was created to make money for a few select Americans in the defense industry, and if a few Americans have to die because those contractors wanted to cut costs by hiring cheap labor, well those deaths are chalked up as a cost of war.

Some would say that is sad. I would say it is criminal.

Post Script:

You know I read this article, and it seems so sad to me that this unnecessary war goes on and on. I don't like writing about things like this, but I should, and so should the main stream media. Not just the New York Times, but every small town local paper too. Young Americans need to know why we fight wars, and they should know that our wars are money makers for some people, and that those people push and push for more wars to make more money on.

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