The Public Square

This week, a rebroadcast of a commentary first broadcast in November 2004 by Meg Miner.  We are plea

This week, a rebroadcast of a commentary first broadcast in November 2004 by Meg Miner. We are pleased to announce that this commentary was just awarded second place in the Best Commentary division of the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association's 2004 Journalism Excellence competition.

The Costs of Endless War

Hi. I'm Susan Davis. I am a member of AWARE, the Anti-War, Anti-Racism Effort in Urbana-Champaign.

This week marks the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. In churches, public meetings and rallies people around central Illinois will be reflecting on the costs of war. What began with a shock and awe Blitzkrieg has bogged down in a bloody occupation, with no end in sight.

It's a big job to tally the costs of war and occupation. More than 100,000 Iraqis are dead, and whole cities have been bombed to rubble. 1500 American soldiers have been killed -- 68 of them from Illinois. More than 10,000 Americans are seriously injured and untold numbers of Iraqi and American lives are shattered. Our soldiers have been asked to commit unspeakable acts, and we have demanded the Iraqi people submit to brutality and inhumane treatment in the name of democracy. The political costs of this are hard to measure; the psychological tolls uncountable.

Iraq's economy is in ruins and what is left has been seized by American corporations. Our own economy is disabled by a 500 billion-dollar deficit to which war spending contributes an ever-growing part.

The spiritual, social and economic costs to individuals, communities and countries spiral, again with no end in sight.

Although the Bush administration claims otherwise, it clearly sees the occupation of Iraq as a long-term project, even a jumping off point for attacks on Iran and Syria. While antiwar activists opposed the invasion before it began, now some of America's most conservative thinkers are worried that a policy of endless war threatens the United States' very future.

Anti-war activists recognize that American foreign-policy threatens the whole world's future. On Saturday March 19, demonstrations across Illinois, around the United States and the world will call for an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. AWARE, Champaign Urbana's Anti-War Anti-Racism Effort will hold a rally from 3 to 4 p.m. at 1 Main St. in Champaign. Join us, or join your community's own demonstration and demand the Bush administration bring the troops home now.

This is Susan Davis, for AWARE