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Supporting Our Troops July 28, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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Yesterday on WAMC Public Radio I heard NY Congressman Joe Courtney describing a recent meeting with a young man in his office. The young man was a Marine who had spent two years, seven months out of the last four years in Iraq. In one trembling hand he held the orders for his fourth deployment; in the other, a bag containing the various medications he was taking to try to get control of his depression, insomnia, nightmares and anxiety.

He was pleading for the Congressman’s help.

This brought to mind recent radio reports about another young man, this one from my boyhood hometown. He was a twenty-three year old Marine who had returned from his first deployment in Iraq a “changed man,” as his family put it; he was drinking heavily, waking up screaming in the night and talking about suicide. His parents got him to our local VA hospital, where he was observed for a couple of days, then released. When his condition worsened his parents brought him back to the hospital, but he was turned away, apparently on the grounds that they woudn’t help him until he took care of his drinking problem.

Three weeks later his father found him hanging from the water pipes in the basement of the family home.

Can you even begin to imagine how that felt? To have your only son taken away, ravaged by his experience of the horrors of this unjust war, denied help from the government which had promised him the moon when he enlisted, and then to find your child hanging lifeless in your cellar, his distorted face streaked with tears, his young body still reeking from the booze he had drunk to summon this final act of courage?

I can’t, though the feeling that I must try to appreciate the pain of that loss has caused me to put an hour of typing and crying into this post so far.

The Official Government Rhetoric about “supporting our troops” is hollow and disingenuous on so many levels that I can barely contain my rage. The so-called “Troop Surge” is resulting in longer deployments, less time at home, and spiraling devastation among our young men and women in the Middle East. It’s also resulting in the attrition of experienced soldiers from the military, just as it did in Viet Nam, but then the maximum time spent “in country” was twelve months of a four-year enlistment. And many of us recall the damage which even that twelve months wrought on so many of our soldiers; I have friends who are still struggling forty years later.

This “surge,” this entire fucking war is such a monstrous betrayal of trust, such an unprecedented abrogation of responsibility on the part of the Current Administration, and yes, on the part of the American People, that no response by US other than IMPEACHMENT OF THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT can vindicate our claims to being a moral and righteous people living in a legitimate democracy.

We know what must be done. The time is now.

It’s a Matter of Priorities June 9, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
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4 comments

Today’s New York Post headline: Paris Wails as Judge Puts Her Back In Jail.Just ’cause this IMPORTANT INFORMATION is so essential to the process of an informed populace making intelligent decisions about their future.

Meanwhile, the official U.S. death toll in Iraq just topped 3,500.

THREE THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED.

Not counting the mercenaries contractors who were lured away from low-paying military careers (after we invested, literally, millions in training each one) to take much more lucrative jobs with corporations such as Blackwater USA, and certainly not counting the Iraqi civilians who are dead as a result of our “saving them.”

The death toll in this vile and fundamentally self-serving war is rising exponentially as We The People scarf up titillating tabloids and wait breathlessly to learn who will be the next American Idol.

They don’t hate us ’cause we’re free, people. They hate us ’cause we don’t give a shit about their lives, their children’s lives, their religion or their culture. They hate us ’cause we’ll destroy anything in our path so that our Filthy Rich can get Filthy Richer.

The number is 3,500. Savor it today; tomorrow it will be gone.