Cannon Fodder

January 2, 2008
  • EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Darcy Woodke recalled the day she picked up her husband and several of his National Guard buddies after they got back from Iraq.
    “I stopped at a four-way stop sign. I have never seen people in my life freak out like that. They were saying, ‘Why are you stopping? Go! Go! Go! Go! Don’t stop! Don’t stop!’ Mrs. Woodke said.
    The soldiers were trained in Iraq not to stop at an intersection because that can make you an easy target for insurgent gunmen or bombers.
    Associated Press (1/1/08)

The horror of war isn’t just in a so-called war zone. Due to Decider George, nearly 4,000 US troops have died since the illegal, stupid invasion of Iraq in 2003. However, the number for GIs bent by serving in a such an inferno as Iraq has sky-rocketed, with suicides and mental disorders almost commonplace.

  • New Pentagon figures released to NPR show that since the United States invaded Iraq, officers have kicked out far more troops for having behavior issues that are potentially linked to post-traumatic stress disorder than they did before the war.
    The numbers raise troubling questions about how the military is handling mental-health issues.
    National Public Radio (11/15/07)

And that’s just for the Americans. The issue of living in the Decider George-created war zone is beyond comprehension.

  • Ending or reducing rampant violence requires understanding its full cause-and-effect cycle, especially its root causes, so that they can then be addressed with all available legitimate political, military, judicial and socio-economic means. Sermons from London, double standards and surges from Washington, bravado from Tel Aviv, and renewed Arab-Asian authoritarianism – all of which we witnessed again this week – are not the answer; they are the among the core of the problem.
    The overwhelming majority of the over 1 billion people – mostly Muslims – in the Arab-Asian region did not bomb a restaurant, assassinate a politician or attack an army post in past weeks. Most Arabs and Asians congratulated their neighbors for the religious feasts of the day; shared a felicitous greeting and probably a celebratory meal, tea or sweet; sent their children to school; and prayed hard. They especially continued to pray for more merciful and sensible leaders in their own capitals and abroad, who could summon elusive wisdom and humility for a change, instead of only aggravating the global maelstrom of political violence they have created in our name.
    — Rami G. Khouri, The Daily Star, Lebanon (12/29/07)

And on the home front, presidential contender John Edwards told the New York Times on Sunday (published this morning) that he would have the bulk of US troops out of Iraq within nine or 10 months of taking office: Immediately 40,000 to 50,000 out, the rest in a short period, leaving between 3,500 and 5,000 to protect embassies and aid workers.

  • “I absolutely believe this to my soul: We are there propping up their bad behavior (Iraq’s central government). I mean really, how many American lives and how much American taxpayer money are we going to continue to expend waiting for these political leaders to do something? Because that is precisely what we are doing.”
    — John Edwards to NYT

Well, now. What about that shit?

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