Twenty today, seven yesterday; the count is now about 1,815.
If you're like most Americans, which you're not because you're reading this, you might not know what those numbers above refer to. The few of us who are really paying attention know that the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq is too rapidly approaching 2,000.
As in wars past, those who die are predominantly young; for argument's sake let's say that these soldiers averaged 20 years old. When today's average 20 year-old can look forward to living to at least 85, that's 65 years gone in an instant. 130,000 combined years of experiences never to be known; love never found, adventures never had.
With so few people having a stake in what goes on in Iraq, especially those counseling us all to "stay the course," it's no wonder that the loss of those fine soldiers elicits so little reaction. Hundreds of hours of television and radio time were taken up this week discussing the small lies and the even smaller consequences of a baseball player who claims never to have "knowingly" taken steroids. The loss of 1,815 lives merits only a mention in the headlines.
"Bread and circuses," my friends... and our own Nero fiddles, blind to the flames around him.