Friday, January 28, 2005

Try to Remember 

From our valiant colleague Kerensky 97 at An Eye Opener, a blog we would visit daily if we had the guts:
Today on the local FOX affiliate there was no mention of the deaths yesterday but there was a 5 minute bit on Condi’s speech for her inauguration. This peeved me off a bit because 37 deaths in one day is more than twice the last record for deaths when the Mosul mess tent was attacked; a record we were hoping to go at least more than 30 days before breaking. Yet the “Big Media” has already begun to ignore it before the names of the dead have even been released. It’s a trend that has been accelerating in the last 6 months; Americans are shutting the war out of their minds despite the proliferation of “Support our Troops” ribbon magnets . . . .

This article, in a conservative magazine of all places, describes the situation pretty well.

The war is worse than the people who support it say it is. It’s even worse than what people who are against it say. To witness ten minutes of the terror that happens daily over there would be like mixing the gore of “The Passion” and the brutal truth of “Private Ryan” along with the reality of a snuff film. Not many people who come back from Iraq are willing to talk about it, the combat arms least of all, it’s just that horrific.
In this transcript is a story of a woman who came back from Abu Ghraib emotionally scarred for life. It’s not a rare story or one that comes only because she was in Abu Ghraib, it’s happening during every clash the military is involved in (the whole article is well worth the read).

I’ll never forget it look on an 18 year old infantryman’s face that I met in Tallil. It was mid afternoon a few weeks into the war and I met a few tankers that were walking over to their mess area by the hospital. Two were leading the third guy who seemed dazed with a blank look on his face. I figured he was suffering dehydration or something and asked if they needed help getting him to the hospital. The other two said, “No it had just been a rough night.” When I asked why they said that a car full of men rushed through a roadblock and their Bradley was forced to open fire. The kid with the blank stare had been the gunner and filled the car with 25mm rounds, it was the first time he had to kill somebody and he hadn’t recovered yet. As one tanker led the 18 year old to the mess area the other guy stayed behind and confided in me that the kid said he could make it to the mess hall himself but considering got disoriented going to the company latrine they figure they should keep somebody with him at all times. The look the kid had was as if somebody had stolen his soul and left him a hollow husk. Except for the fact that he was ambulatory he could have passed to a brain dead patient in a hospital . . . .

The toll being taken isn’t just combat casualties; the entire generation is being scarred physically and emotionally. Few know about the horror, those who have seen it become outcasts and don’t talk about it, only those like me who didn’t get the full dose or those who’s time in a war situation was so long ago are
willing to speak out against the horror of war. But believe me, if the news was allowed to interview soldiers at random rather than the ones that the military let them interview a whole new image of Iraq would appear before America’s eyes.

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