Are the lives of the slain VT students "more precious" than those of our soldiers?

<p>Not my idea, but one I agree with:</p>

<p>Our nation mourns the death of so many people at VT who were senselessly slaughtered by a madman who wasted these lives in a way that is, to me, obscene in the extreme. Today, our flags are at half mast for these young (and not so young) men and women. Prayer vigils continue, wounded are still in hospital, the President pontificates, and the pundits wag their tongues at the meaninglessness of it all. </p>

<p>But the toll in the VT massacre (and that's exactly what it was) is equal to only 10 days of deaths of our best in Iraq. That means that there would have to be over ONE HUNDRED (100!!!) incidents like VT to equal the meaningless deaths in Iraq. </p>

<p>And while more die every day, Democrats and Republicans play politics. The Republicans want to be seen as being strong on defense. Some democrats seem to understand the senselessness of it, but don't want to be accused of not supporting our troops. It's all politics (as was the original decision to preemptively launch a major war). It's all a way of posturing for the voters.</p>

<p>And I'm sick of both parties. The Democrats claim to have American opinion on their side, yet refuse to do anything that will really do what's right: Stopping the war as SOON as it possibly can be done by defunding the entire effort. </p>

<p>PEOPLE DIE as the posturing continues.</p>

<p>It is so apparent that Iraq will not be "fixed" (the previous promises of the national government there remain totally unfulfilled), more people will die, and we will to continue to create more and more "terrorists" and enemies.</p>

<p>So this question needs to be asked of the Congress and Administration: How many lives is your posturing worth? If this war goes on this way another year and then we get out with Iraq in the same or in worse condition, you're saying that another 1000 deaths is OK, as long as you have a possibility of getting elected again?</p>

<p>This is so disgusting. Shame on both parties.</p>

<p>Stop the war NOW and stop the senseless slaughter. </p>

<p>And while we're waiting, let's KEEP our flags at half mast until the deaths stop.</p>

<p>More precious? Absolutely not, but surely you see the distinction between people who volunteer for military service and people hunted by a madman.</p>

<p>I certainly can see the distinction between people hunted by a madman and people led by one.</p>

<p>(sorry, but that was a setup....;))</p>

<p>McCain got it right: "wasted lives".</p>

<p>I agree with both digi AND zoosermom. </p>

<p>Digi.....the day of the massacre at VT, I was looking on CNN of a list of news stories and right below the VT story, was a story of a number of service people lost in Iraq that same day. The irony really struck me as there are no big stories on TV or in the news about each of these people's lives that we have lost and yes, for no good reason. Their loss of life is as precious as those of the students/teachers at VT. Bring our men and women home so no more senseless loss of life happens to them! </p>

<p>Zoosermom, I totally agree that there IS a difference between the killings because military personel volunteered to serve and put themselves in harm's way and the students/teachers at VT were victims of random acts of violence against innocent people. The deaths in both cases matter. The loss of life is tragic in either case. We mourn all of them. I wish we did have personal stories of our lost soldiers on display like those of the VT lost lives. </p>

<p>In my town, there is a field and on that field, there is a little white flag for every lost service person in Iraq. It is pretty chilling as the field is covered. No more flags! </p>

<p>I do believe both cases involve senseless slaughter as digi says. However, soldiers are not the same as innocent students, even though all their lives are valued.</p>

<p>Digmedia, I agree with your assessment of our political parties. And, I think the Democrats are worse than the Republicans The Republicans, at least, seem to believe that we're right to be still fighting this war. The Democrats know it's wrong, and still don't do a damn thing to stop it. Why can't they legislate that tours of duty cannot be extended to 15 months, for instance, at the very least?</p>

<p>Hey Mini, as long as you can see the distinction, you're good!</p>

<p>zoos... Your point is obvious, but my assertion is that the deaths are senseless in both cases. We did not have the ability to stop the first. And in the second case, we've already lost way too many lives. But we do have the ability (if not the fortitude) to stop further deaths.</p>

<p>mini... this should not be a rant against GWB. My chief complaint this moment is with the spineless Democrats who COULD do something about this and won't.</p>

<p>Who needs to rant? You already know what I think of the entire bunch of intellectually bankrupt Dems. The same Dems who gave us genocide in 1996, who bought the WMD lie from Clinton and Tenet in February 1998, who supported the Christmas bombings, bought the WMD lie a second time, and have now, including Obama, (and with the exception of Kucinich) voted for every war authorization since.</p>

<p>Why would I assume that they'd be eager to change their stripes?</p>

<p>"zoos... Your point is obvious, but my assertion is that the deaths are senseless in both cases. "</p>

<p>You can certainly make that point and hold that view. MY point was that members of our armed forces aren't victims. There are a great many people who hold that point of view and I thought that was where you were going with your post.</p>

<p>not any more precious, but theres a difference between volunteering to join the armed forces, being trained to kill people, and knowing that you are going into a situation where you could be asked to kill or be killed...and showing up to you 9 am engineering class on a random monday.</p>

<p>I think there's a closer parallel between the VT victims and the Iraqi innocent bystanders who are being massacred for no reason every day.</p>

<p>The life of a soldier is just as precious to their family and friends as any other human, but there's an ancient tradition that military and civilian deaths are different beasts, even when there's a universal draft.</p>

<p>I think our attempts to cope with this awful tragedy should help us understand how difficult it is for ordinary Iraqis to function when they experience a massacre of this scale every day -- and remember that their overall population is smaller than ours. It's just about impossible to run government services, schools, etc. effectively when everyone is numb from constant mourning, not to mention scared to leave their homes. It is human nature to blame and to lash out against perceived enemies (be they Americans or fellow Iraqis) when you're suffering this terror every day. We ignore these realities of human nature at our peril.</p>

<p>Hanna, I truly agree with you that the innocent civilian deaths in Iraq are a closer parallel (though all lives are precious). The way the war is there, it is not an army fighting another army. Every day there are innocent bystanders going about their daily lives on the road, in the marketplace, at schools, etc. and at any moment, they can be shot at or bombed. The whole situation is devastating. </p>

<p>Jags, I do agree with you.</p>

<p>Thank you, Hanna. I have been thinking that all week. For Iraqis, VT happens every day.</p>

<p>Averaged out over the entire span of it, more people died in ten days of the Civil war than in the entire Iraq war. We lost tens of thousands in one day at Normandy, and IIRC we're still under 3k in Iraq. Try to put things into perspective before you make such a massive deal over the deaths in Iraq. Every time a soldier dies it's terribly unfortunate, but in case you haven't noticed, we're kind of in the middle of a war. Get the stomach for it.</p>

<p>One reason people don't have a felt sense that in Iraq massacres happen every day is that those deaths are hidden from U.S. tv cameras.</p>

<p>We didn't exactly have full video coverage of the killings at VT.</p>

<p>"Try to put things into perspective before you make such a massive deal over the deaths in Iraq. Every time a soldier dies it's terribly unfortunate"</p>

<p>Why are you changing the subject? We are discussing the deaths of civilian bystanders. Virtually everyone agrees that these are qualitatively different from soldiers' deaths. And no, more civilians did not die in ten days of the Civil War than in the entire Iraq War. Massacre of civilians was not nearly as prominent a feature of that war as of this one.</p>

<p>The families of US soldiers look like us, speak our language, and live lives similar to ours; therefore, they're more "human" in many's view than those inarticulate "foreigners" who will never be good enough to "deserve the american way of life"</p>

<p>VT's was "closer to us" so we couldn't disregard it as we do to other depressing information. We also can relate better to VT victims than to others (in US or other countries)</p>

<p>However, do you know what's happening in Africa? (<--material for laughter to many people, sadly)... How about child abuse in Asia and S. America? Or one doesn't think about this unless he's a gay, hippie brat? (not quite the accurate archetype but delivers the point, I hope ;)</p>

<p>Life has a bit more to offer than what we CHOOSE from it. The world is a little bigger than our carefully gardened backyards, and is much, much bigger than the USofA.
All seem to know OF the aforementioned facts, but only few seem to have acquired the confident understanding thereof. </p>

<p>Irrelevant?? Nope, because if 100 were killed undeservingly in one day in, say, Chad we won't see nearly the reaction we'de see to the death of one of "our people"</p>

<p>Continues here:</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>It is pointless to compare lives for lives. They are and each precious. </p>

<p>I don't see the point of this post.</p>

<p>Yes. All lives are equally precious. I thought the same thing this week that Hanna and JHS expressed: that this horror we witnessed this week, which has become a cause for national expressions of mourning, is repeated every day in Iraq. Every day. Scores, hundreds, of innocent people who were doing nothing but going about their lives, just like these students.</p>

<p>I think about how on Monday, i feared for the friends who have two kids at VT, and read here about others who know people there, and how we all worried--whose kids, whose friends, whose neighbors?</p>

<p>And every day in a Iraq, a bomb goes off, or a gunfight breaks out, or a truck explodes, and every day, the people have to ask--whose kids, whose friends, whose neighbors?</p>