Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Iraq Time Bomb

As a lame duck president announces a minuscule withdrawal of several thousand troops out of more than 140,000 by next March, the rising suicide rate of active-duty soldiers and returning veterans offers a glimpse of the time bomb George W. Bush is leaving behind in American life with a misbegotten war that has killed 4155, wounded more than 30,000 and psychically scarred who-knows-how-many young men and women for years to come.

For what? To fulfill the pipe dreams of armchair Neo-Con warriors who never wore a uniform, drain more than half a trillion dollars from a sagging economy and allow John McCain to campaign for president wearing a Navy cap and prattle about "victory" in an occupation with no end in sight.

As the Army suicide rate threatens to surpass that of the general population, the Secretary of the Army admits, "Army leaders are fully aware that repeated deployments have led to increased distress and anxiety for both soldiers and their families. This stress on the force is validated by recent studies of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans reporting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression."

How did this abomination of a war that led outraged voters to take away Republican control of Congress less than two years ago recede into an abstraction that barely registers on their list of concerns now?

How did all the blood and emotional distress of the past five years and the pain of years to come suddenly fade from consciousness.

As we mourn the victims of 9/11 tomorrow, we should give some thought to those who have died since and those yet to die from a failure of American leadership after that trauma.


Anonymous said...

What do you expect. The military is full of cocks. Anyone who didn't have the brains enough to get out on the first day of boot camp has a mental disorder to begin with. It's not the deployments, it's that the military leaders are a-holes and too incompetent to fully ARMOR troops.

Still going into battle, thinking cotton and cheap plastic can stop a bullet. Brilliant.

I KNOW. Navy, let the journey begin, to ruining your life.

Yellow Dog Don said...

As we who were on active duty used to say during Viet Nam, "It's not much of a war, but it is the only one we have."

In this case, however, we do have at least one other in Afghanistan.

The military is an honorable profession. Our sons and daughters in uniform deserve better than they have gotten from this administration.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is honorable about being a party to war crimes, torturing and murdering prisoners and conducting military operations in civilian populated areas? "Our" sons and daughters do deserve better. That's why they should be home right now attending to their own lives instead of being the tools of psychopaths trying to run the world.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I don't know, guys, I have this sneaky suspicion that Obama, if elected, might not get us out of Iraq, after all. He's going to be afraid of the aftermath and won't want to be seen as the guy who "lost" Iraq. I hope I'm wrong but I'm old enough to remember Nixon and all of his "promises".

news2notice said...

Of course Obama will not be able to wave a magic wand & put the broken pieces of Iraq back together. But he has already disagreed with Gen. Petraeus, and will start to work on the problems. I do hope you are voting for him.