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Monday, March 20, 2006 

Three years on.

It seems hard to believe, but today offically marks 3 years since the beginning of the war in Iraq. I don't think today should be a day for political grandstanding in any shape or form; the arguments over who was right and who wrong should be forgotten, at least for today.

Instead, we should be thinking about all of those who have lost their lives as a result of the war. Over 2,300 American servicemen and women. Over 100 British soldiers. The other "coalition of the willing" soldiers who have died. The (at minimum) 33,679 Iraqi civilians (iraqbodycount.net), which could easily in reality total over 100,000. Then there's the over 500,000 that lost their lives a result of the pre-war sanctions, that Madeline Albright infamously described as being worth it.

Have we learned anything? Has anything been proved? Has it stopped the spread of weapons of mass destruction? Has it accelerated the progress of democracy and freedom in the Middle East? Has it reduced the threat of terrorism?

When we had 2 minutes silence for the victims of the July the 7th bombings, I wrote that I couldn't recall having such a silence either for our soldiers or for the Iraqi (and Afghani) citizens who have died as a result of our actions, directly or indirectly. I feel that today should be that day for silence, officially or not. Today should be a day of forgiving, but in the words of Nelson Mandela, not forgetting.

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