Thursday, November 08, 2007

Good and Bad News About Iraq

Iraqis are going home in Baghdad, and veterans of the war are starting to live on the streets back here.

Another day of weird news dramatizes the Bush-Cheneying of America as the Commander of US forces in Baghdad tells a New York Times reporter over a Green Zone lunch of egg rolls and lo mein that hundreds, if not thousands, of displaced families are back in their homes.

“The Iraqi people have just decided that they’ve had it up to here with violence,” according to Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr., noting that their demands for electricity, water and jobs have intensified.

From Washington comes another Times report: "More than 400 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have turned up homeless, and the Veterans Affairs Department and aid groups say they are bracing for a new surge in homeless veterans in the years ahead."

Former soldiers are ending up on the streets sooner than Vietnam vets did, and some of them are women. Roughly 40 percent of female veterans say they were sexually assaulted by American soldiers while in the military. “Sexual abuse is a risk factor for homelessness,” according to Pete Dougherty, the VA’s director of homeless programs.

As Congress ponders the Administration's request for $200 billion to pay for another year of promoting democracy in Iraq, they may want to consider setting some of that aside for the Surge of young men and women we sent there who are now psychologically and physically homeless back here.


Carl said...

Keith Olbermann's show dispelled the myth that Iraqis were returning, citing...well, let me pull the quote from the transcript:

"But our winner, Brit Hume of Fox Noise‘s newscast of record, leading wedge in the newest spin about how great it is in Iraq. “A worker at the Iraqi airways office in Damascus,” he reported,” says the flow of refugees from Iraq to Syria has almost reversed. Once full flights from Baghdad are now virtually empty. Flights headed the other way have considerably more passengers.”

Gee, that‘s great. From your reporting, I‘m guessing the only possible explanation is that Iraq is now all safe and its citizens can return to their homes? It‘s got nothing to do with the Saudis switching a month ago from offering universal sanctuary to Iraqis to a strict visa system that admits almost none of them. And I‘m also wondering where your little anecdote fits in with the Iraqi Red Crescent report that the number of displaced persons in that country has jumped 16 percent in the last month, and is now 2,300,000?

Nice propaganda effort, Brit, don‘t forget the mouth wash. Brit Hume of Fixed Noise, today‘s Worst Person in the World."

KO 11/7/07

Mike said...

To add to the first comment, even if it were true that displaced Iraqis are returning to their homes, that would in absolutely no way justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Whether the US gets "victory" in any way is irrelevant to the moral rightness of this expensive mass carnage.

It's annoying, to say the least, that so many people who oppose the Iraq war now aren't anti-war but rather (as Scott Ritter pointed out) "anti-losing."

If I give you a few dollars, America, will you use it to buy a moral compass?