The last man to die for a mistake hasn't died yet


An American soldier was killed in a rocket attack at the Basra airport in southern Iraq this weekend. The man's name has not yet been released -- I will come back and update the post when it is -- but one imagines he was much like his comrades sent to the Persian Gulf, a can-do American focused on doing his job and getting it right. That doesn't change the fact that it is a mission that -- no fault of his own -- was badly mistaken from Day One. More than seven years later, good people -- Americans and Iraqi civilians -- are dying still from the wreckless and treacherous mistakes of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and their cronies.

There was no call for a celebration when the news dribbled out last week that the last U.S. combat units had withdrawn from Iraq. It is only mildly satisfying that President Obama is finally sticking to a timetable to end a war that was launched under false pretenses way back in 2003. Today, there are still 50,000 American soldiers in a volitile region of the world, and the soldier who died this weekend won't be the last, unfortunately. It was nearly four decades ago that John Kerry asked who would be the last to die for the mistakes of Vietnam, and it's been three years since Bruce Springsteen asked the same question about Iraq.

Who will be the last to die for this mistake?

Sadly, we don't know yet.