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March 19, 2007


You assume they have a conscience to be haunted by.

These people seldom think about the ruin they caused. Their arrogance and delusions forbid guilt. If they think of anything negative related to the war, they think instead of how the general public misunderstood their ow true value and failed to provide proper appreciation for their efforts. In short, self pity and self interest come easily to them, compassion and remorse are foreign emotions. I recommend everyone read "War is a Racket" by Smedley Butler.

A requiem for my brothers in arms:

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day youll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And youll no longer burn
To be brothers in arms

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
Ive watched all your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

Theres so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the suns gone to hell
And the moons riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But its written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
Were fools to make war
On our brothers in arms

-Mark Knopfler


I see that "support the troops" car magnet sales are down from 1.2 million per month in 2004 to 4,000 a month today.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme" -Mark Twain

Here's what Kipling had to say about it: (Tommy is Brit for GI Joe)

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

May the thought of Jeffrey Lucey, and all the others like him, American and Iraqi (and British, and all those whose lives have been wrecked) haunt Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, et al as long as they live.

Bring 'em on.

There are coping mechanisms that real men adopt when faced with Jeffrey Lucey's situation.

The smirk and swagger of a gunslinger seems to work for Godman Bush.

A little time-out before issuing a "f--- you" to the liberal press, the American people, and the law seems to keep the petty neurotic night sweats away from the camoflaged bird-lover, Dick Cheney.

Karl Rove, FOX news, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and Red State do a little machismo fingerpointing at unnamed Democrats to account for everything in the world and to add the odd inch or two to their otherwise microscopic manhoods.

Are we sure Jeffrey Lucey was a suicide? This looks like the work of Hillary Clinton. If you arrange a cantalope and a noose in your backyard you could probably prove that Hillary slept with him and then hung him with Bill's necktie and moved the body into the parents' basement. Glenn Beck should look into it.

Jeffrey could have hung himself at Walter Reed. Luckily for the taxpayer, the most abused and sympathetic creature on Earth, he privatized the procedure.

May Jeffrey Lucey rest in peace. Though who's to say whether or not he remains fit to return to Iraq for another tour. We need the boots on the ground, and Sean Hannity never seems to be able to find HIS boots.

Brave men take themselves out. Punks live.

The Luceys tried desperately to get help for Jeffrey, but neither the military nor the Veterans Administration is equipped to cope with the war’s mounting emotional and psychological casualties.

Nearly 20% of Iraqi veterans and over 11% of veterans of the conflict in Afghanistan report major mental health problems. That, of course, doesn't include those that have the same problems but are trying to "tough it out" and therefore haven't reported them. It's also not including those with head trauma who are likely to have mental health problems as time goes on. And Bush is cutting funding to the VA system. No, the VA is not at all equipped to cope with the problems of this many vets returning from Bush's aggressive wars sick*.

*Not to mention that Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans are starting to show up in the medical clinics in what seem to me to be unusual numbers. For example, there is an apparent increase in the number of Iraq war veterans showing up in the heme clinic I sometimes work at. This could be a statistical blip, but it is worrying, nonetheless.

But, wasn't Iraq was behind 9-11?

So these sacrifices are worth it, right?

That old lie, so beloved of the ruling classes, dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, so long as it isn't their asses doing the dying.

"In my opinion such men have lost all patriotic feeling"


There was a poll taken in Iraq very recently--5000 people were interviewed. Kevin Donoghue pointed it out to me. The results are

Some interesting results for people on both sides of the issue. 49 percent of Iraqis think they are better off than they were under Saddam, for instance.

On page 7 the poll reports that 26 percent of the respondents had lost a family member or relative to murder in the past 3 years (I don't know why 3 years rather than 4). One would need more info to compare that to the Lancet or IBC numbers--my guess (based on assumptions not worth spelling out) is that it's higher than IBC, but lower than Lancet 2.

Yikes. The link works, but I didn't expect all that text to be part of it.

Can anyone explain to me why Tom Delay was on Meet the Press yesterday as part of an "expert" panel discussing the Iraq war? I mean, beside his having written a book on the subject, which makes equally little sense to me.

Clearly they needed DeLay to balance out Richard Perle.

Echoing Doug H. I don't believe that ANY of the prime movers behind this strategic disaster give a damn about the suffering they've wrought. It ain't happening to them, right? And I don't see them turning down any American Enterprise Institute gasfests. The war's been good to them, and their bank accounts.

Gulf War I also gave us alienated young men, unable to find their way back into normal life. One of them was Timothy McVeigh.

The father of a good friend of mine is a WWII vet. He's a lovely, successful, charming, witty, well adjusted guy. He spent his war in Europe, where he killed a number of people, often at close range, face to face. A couple of years ago, he returned to Europe to revisit the places where he had fought, in hopes of putting his demons to rest. He had a nice trip, but that goal was not met. Before his wife passed away, they were forced to sleep in separate beds because he would thrash in his sleep while reliving events from 60 or more years ago.

Nobody ever forgets the blood on their own hands. War destroys people. That's why sane, responsible people don't engage in them unless they have to.

Thanks -

This is what it means to commit a nation to war -- the same problems plague veterans of all wars. The cause better be true and well be worth it.

As Russell said.

As dmbeaster and russell said. There is no thing as a clean war.

The most noble of wars (if there is such a thing) still produces horror in those that fought it.

See a satirical tongue-in-cheek visual "celebrating" the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War...here:


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