Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Monday, January 17, 2005

What It's Like Over There ... and a Call for Hope

posted by Mike at 1/17/2005 11:21:00 PM


I read a story on CNN today that made me realize how very blessed I am to be a civilian, and not to be one of our troops that are deployed over in Iraq. When I read soldiers' accounts of what it is like over there, and I try to imagine the experience as they tell it, I can't help but think Dubya's channeling something evil, whether he realizes it or not:

Benderman told of bombed out homes and displaced Iraqis living in mud huts and drinking from mud puddles; mass graves in Khanaqin near the Iranian border where dogs fed off bodies of men, women and children.

He recalled his convoy passing a girl, no older than 10, on the roadside clutching a badly injured arm. Benderman said his executive officer refused to help because troops had limited medical supplies.

"Her arm was burned, third-degree burns, just black. And she was standing there with her mother begging for help," Benderman said. "That was an eye opener to seeing how insane it really is."

This man is applying for conscientious objector status here in the States, and is now being considered AWOL and being court-martialed because he did not ship out with his unit when they were redeployed back to Iraq, despite the filing. His unit's chaplain, however, is no Father Mulcahy:

"You should have had the moral fortitude to deploy with us and see me here in Kuwait to begin your CO application," Army Chaplain Matt Temple said in a recent e-mail to Benderman. "You should be ashamed of the way you have conducted yourself. I certainly am ashamed of you."

Well, chaplain, I'm ashamed of you. I don't know what religion you claim to represent ...

They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

... but men in your unit are attempting suicide (specialists J.R. Burt and David Beals) rather than being redeployed, and given your obviously caring counsel, I can understand why. You're obviously giving them wonderful comfort and compassion.

I don't know what to say. I've stayed away from public obscenity on this blog, but let me drop the F-bomb here: I just don't know what to fucking do as a citizen of the United States at this point.

This man is devastating families across the nation and across the globe, and yet millions upon millions of us were stupid enough to put him there and to ask him to do it.

Call for Hope

I don't know if what follows will be echoed anywhere -- if it'll just sit there with a Comment (0) attached to it until the entry drops off the front page, or it'll be picked up and echoed throughout the blogosphere. I'd hope the latter. But I think that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who read blogs on the Internet who would really like to have something to be hopeful about. So if you have a way of looking at all of this -- the Bush Administration Part Two and the Iraq mess to follow (and Iran mess to follow further?) -- that has some whit of hope for the future, I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one to deeply appreciate hearing it.