Other things forgotten are the unarmed wounded who are shot mercilessly by American troops:
Or the unarmed kneeling men who were shot over 60 times and humiliated for the public with signs, as done in the middle ages:
While we honor those who died in combat, let us never forget that their deaths are our leaders' failure. Every war that history has ever documented could have reasonably been avoided if you follow the diplomatic scenarios far enough upstream. The proofs of this fact are too numerous and complex to get into in this brief post, but perhaps it’s an idea that I'll explore in a later post. To briefly mention a few oversimplistic and reductive analyses:
1) If Germany wasn't forced to pay such severe reparations, the political climate would not have existed that allowed a Hitler to come to power.
2) If the United States had realized that the "domino theory" was as likely a threat as an invasion of winged dragons, the Korean and Vietnam Wars could have been avoided, as well as altercations in Cuba and the Berlin Crisis.
3) If the United States wasn't playing both sides as far as financial opportunism was concerned, the troubles with Iran and Iraq, or the entire Middle East for that matter, could be avoided.
I could go on and on, and of course this isn't a situation endemic to only the United States, but one that applies to any country. It's a tired old platitude, but one that bears repeating as we see our country attacked and our citizens coming home in caskets: the purpose of studying history is to learn how to avoid its mistakes.
In closing, despite my obvious qualms with the military, I'd like to offer my most sincere wishes that our soldiers come home safe, and equally important, that the people in the various countries that we are fighting, both soldiers and civilians, are allowed to return to their families, safe & sound. Fuck, don't I sound like some stupid fucking Hallmark card.