From what I’ve read, the small proportion of permanently disabled and/or disfigured individuals from the September eleventh attacks is unusual. (Small, but not non-existent.) For wars and terror attacks, the norm is reflected in the numbers for the Iraq War and for the Madrid bombings: the amount of injured far outnumber that of the dead.
Way back in 1998, in the aftermath of the Al Qaeda-perpetrated attacks on the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, my sister alerted me to the plight of the maimed: hundreds of Kenyans, Tanzanians and Americans (collectively) were killed, but thousands (5000 just in Kenya) were horribly maimed.
Think of that context when you’re considering the dead Coalition Soldiers and the dead Spaniards, Russians, Turks, Saudis and—most heart-wrenching because it never seems to have an ending—Israelis.
If you survive a bombing, what kind of disabling injuries are you likely to carry away from it? Full-thickness (third-degree) burns, amputations (and not just of limbs), blindness, deafness, brain injuries, permanent paralysis; pretty much the entire gamut of injuries that will alter, possibly ruin, a life.
This morning Fox News featured two permanently disabled American soldiers; one with brain injuries, the other, a quadriplegic. The former, injured by shrapnel to the back of his head, is so changed in looks and demeanor that his younger son (three) does not recognize him and is afraid of him. And one doesn’t have to do too much guessing about the challenges of the latter, a young, married man with no children.
I submit (again) that it’s not the deaths—horrid as they seem to the living—that are the most horrendous results of terrorist acts.
Will Spain wilt under the pressure, under the terror? Today's scheduled election in Spain indicates that they may have. But most of the public was never for Spain's role in the Coalition of the Willing in the first place. It's difficult to fault the Spaniards for today's repudiation of outgoing Prime Minister Aznar's party. The enemies of civilization aren't totally without strategic comprehension.
AFTERTHOUGHT: Keep watch, fellow Americans, in late October, early November.