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U.S. war casualties at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, from 2006.

Sacrificed for what?

As Iraq descended into a sectarian battleground and President Obama scrambled to bolster the government of President Nouri al-Maliki, the editors of the Chicago Tribune urged the Obama administration to intervene forcefully and to “do everything possible to defend the sacrifice of those nearly 4,500 U.S. service members killed, and another 30,000 wounded, in the Iraq War.”

The memory of American sacrifices in Iraq over the past decade hovered over many reports on the Iraq crisis. Commentators pondered whether the soldiers who fought and died to create the current Iraqi government had made sacrifices in vain. “Vets watch as insurgents undo sacrifices in Iraq,” said one headline. “Iraq war veterans think their sacrifice has gone down the drain” was the headline of a report on National Public Radio.


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