I would like to note that Obama is wrong, Malkin is wrong, and Balko is wrong.
They’re all wrong, and so are you, and everyone else pretentious enough to assert that the loss of a serviceman’s life in Iraq, or anywhere else, is yours to value or disvalue in contradiction to that serviceman’s own proclamation. Those lives aren’t yours. What those servicemen do or do not themselves value may correspond in ways to what you value, or don’t, but your values don’t trump theirs when the manner in which they see to them doesn’t jive with how you exercise yours.
If a serviceman loses his life in a conflict he signed up for, and considers it a worthy pursuit of his values, or doesn’t, then I believe him. So should you, and that ought to be the end if it.
Likewise, if you’re not over there yourself, but could be, I presume that it’s not a value you wish to pursue at the risk of your own life. And I’m fine with that. You owe me nothing, either way. Neither do they.