"When the final history is written on Iraq, it will look just like a comma, because there is . . . a strong will for democracy."
In other words, a single death is a tragedy. Forty-eight thousand deaths (and counting) is punctuation.
I can't imagine that this wouldn't be incredibly offensive to anyone, especially Iraqis and American military families whose sons', daughters', fathers' and mothers' bodies make up that comma.
I like to think we Americans have a strong will for democracy, but that doesn't mean we look at our own civil war as anything like a "comma." We put up statues to honor its dead and its leaders, on both sides, even the shit-starting, slavery-loving side. We make interminably long and grandiose films about it in which clownish, soon-to-be-a-footnote politicians beg for cameos. We put on thick wool uniforms in the middle of the gotdamn summer to reenact its battles. Not a comma. Not really.
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