10 Things We Must Remember on Memorial Day
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And last but not least:
10. Estimates of civilian deaths from violence in Iraq alone range from a conservative 105,000 (Iraq Body Count project) to over 1.2 million (UK pollster Opinion Research Business), with estimates by Johns Hopkins at 655,000. More than 125,000 civilians have been injured in Iraq and 4 million displaced, with civilian death and injury in 2010 rising each month. By most estimates, tens of thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed or injured since the 2001 invasion, over 200,00 have been internally displaced, and over 2 million have become refugees, with civilian deaths and injuries rising dramatically in 2010.
The war in Iraq is in its seventh year. The war in Afghanistan, in its ninth year, is the longest war in our history. On Memorial Day, as we remember the dead and wounded, ours and theirs, the latest installment of 30,000 new troops is readying for new battles with Taliban fighters in Kandahar.
When will they ever learn, oh, when will they ever learn?
Nora Eisenberg is the director of the City University of New York's fellowship program for emerging scholars. Her short stories, essays and reviews have appeared in such places as The Partisan Review, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times and Tikkun. She is the author of three highly acclaimed novels. Her most recent novel, When You Come Home (Curbstone, 2009), explores the the 1991 Gulf War and Gulf War illness.