I've been thinking about the relationship between violence and freedom (V&F) for a while, and planned to eventually write about it, but the hub-bub over American casualties in Iraq prompts me to address the issue now. I saw this cartoon called "Grim Countdown" a couple weeks ago, and thought that it was totally inaccurate and unfair -- little more than some cheap demagogy by some right-wing fanatics.
I know a bunch of people who publicized this symbolic milestone, and not a single one of them gave me any reason to believe that they actually welcomed the death of American soldiers. Yes, they used this milestone as an opportunity to make a political point, which seems a bit crass--but that's how politics works; the pro-Bush crowd also takes advantage of symbolic events to make the case that their views are correct.
A person is in an difficult position when they claim that the government's policies are disastrous for us; to justify themselves, they need to bring attention to the consequent disasters, and risk giving the impression that they welcome these disasters. It's unfair and unwise to criticize them on those grounds.
In all the fuss over the 2,000 military deaths in Iraq, I came across a single (American) person who welcomed the deaths of these soldiers, and I only noticed this person because another anti-war commentator had pointed him out in order to condemn him.
I'll have more comments on that later.