This morning's news reflects a huge tragedy in Iraq, and a smaller one here in New York's 24th Congressional District. The team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University led by Les Roberts has released the results of a new study to update its 2004 study of deaths of Iraqis resulting from the American invasion and occupation. The new study finds that approximately 650,000 Iraqis have been killed because of the war the Americans started there. When the margin of error is taken into account, the reality could actually anywhere between 426,369 and 793,663 dead.
So, let's be conservative and take the low estimate. Even at that number, this is an unprecedented slaughter that's taking place in Iraq. That's right - unprecedented. It is estimated that Saddam Hussein's government, over the space of 20 years, killed 290,000 Iraqis. That means that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has Saddam Hussein beat by 136,369 victims - at a minimum.
For you to imagine the impact this is having on Iraqis, reflect on this: The equivalent death rate from such an invasion of the United States would result in 4 million dead Americans.
This, and the Republicans are still going on about how September 11 changed everything. September 11 resulted in only 3,000 dead. That was a very bad day, but it was just one day, and it's only a grain of sand compared to the violence that's going on in Iraq.
For that violence, every American who did nothing to stand against the invasion of Iraq in the months before the war in 2002 and 2003 is responsible. That includes Ray Meier and that includes Michael Arcuri. Neither one lifted a finger to try to stop the war.
Our election this year could have been different. Instead of having a choice between unworthy candidate Michael Arcuri and worthy candidate Ray Meier, we could have had a choice between a strong Democrat and Ray Meier.
If Rahm Emanuel and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) had not come into our congressional district to interfere and push out all of Michael Arcuri's competitors, and if our Democratic County Committees had not so eagerly helped Emanuel do it, we could have had the time to properly evaluate the worthiness of both Mike Arcuri and Les Roberts. We Democratic voters could have had a choice.
We could have had an intelligent Democrat. We could have had a Democrat who actually knows something about policy issues. We could have had a Democrat who is motivated by trying to make America a better place, not by his own ambition.
We could have had a Democrat capable of talking for himself, not just repeating the talking points produced by the DCCC like a puppet. We could have had real debates based on substance. We could have had a Democrat that we believe in, not a Democrat that we have to apologize for.
Instead, we got no choice. Michael Arcuri was forced upon us. And now, he's going around the district talking about what a great thing the Military Commissions Act is.
Now, the rallying cry of Democrats across the 24th district is, "If we elect Michael Arcuri to Congress this year, at least we can get rid of him in 2008!"
The members of the Democratic County Committees in our district ought to resign their posts in December out of shame for allowing things to get this bad.