Monday, October 23, 2006

Fruits of War

Cultivate the Killing Fields, Expect a Bumper Crop

Many believe it is time for the U.S. to let Iraq create its own history--the figure is a full 90% in Iraq. Why do Iraqis want the U.S. out? Is it because they want to work with "the terrorists?" The data suggest otherwise:
...All of the polling data shows that Osama bin Laden remains enormously unpopular in Iraq. It is rather that they feel strongly that they could do a better job of providing security on their own, and they are afraid that the destabilizing U.S. presence, the main recruiting poster for terrorists, threatens to be permanent...An occupation initially advertised as a “cakewalk” war to disarm a tyrant is now, according to our politically desperate president, a fight for the soul of the world—good versus evil, democracy versus tyranny...The evidence arrives daily in the form of dozens, sometimes hundreds, of mutilated bodies. But even the few ghastly images that actually make it onto the television actually underestimate the horror. And it is getting worse, not better: The killing of innocents is now 10 times higher than a year ago. (More...)
In the safe harbor of a press conference, Bush dismissed a request to quantify the human toll of the Iraq war. And yet, 655,000 Iraqi civilian deaths is not a mere guess. Rather, it is the best estimate, based on the most sound methods, and the strongest evidence that we have to date, which is why the Iraqi medical authorities are now forbidden to release mortality information.

The wounded are often an ignored cost of war. Ron Kovic, Vietnam Veteran, recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, peace activist and outspoken critic of the Iraq war, muses over the forgotten wounded of Iraq.
They have been coming home now for almost three years, flooding Walter Reed, Bethesda, Brooke Army Medical Center and veterans hospitals all across the country. Paraplegics, amputees, burn victims, the blinded and maimed, shocked and stunned, brain-damaged and psychologically stressed, over 16,000 of them, a whole new generation of severely maimed is returning from Iraq, young men and women who were not even born when I came home wounded to the Bronx veterans hospital in 1968.
Kovic included the following poem at the beginning of his autobiography, Born on the 4th of July (hear it read by the author):
I am the living death
The memorial day on wheels
I am your yankee doodle dandy
Your John Wayne come home
Your Fourth of July firecracker
Exploding in the grave
This is what happens when we allow corporations to make war on the public dime.


We are not building Democracy.
We are not spreading Freedom.

We are fomenting Mayhem.
We are unleashing Violence.

We are cultivating the killing fields
and harvesting one hell of a bumper crop
while someone makes a mint.

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