06 July 2010

My Jaws Are Locked: Our Kids Are In A War & Who Cares?


My jaws are locked, or as I  said as as young, hard-charging Marine Corps non-commissioned officer, "My friggin' jibs are jacked!"  Why?

It's the stupid war(s) stupid.  And, just to set the issue straight, my anger and outrage is not new and part of the new-found sense of protest that seems to be coming alive in America.  You want some proof?  Cool.  Here's a column I wrote for the Columbia Daily Tribune back in March of 2002.  CLICK HERE

I offer it simply to affirm to you, dear reader, that I was among the early few whom from the git go, were standing up against our dry-drunk, sociopath-in-chief, who, amidst a cheering populace waving flags and adorning their houses and vehicles with yellow ribbons from K-Mart, launched a war of invasion and occupation against a non-combatant--and, in world law and diplomatic terms, "non-belligerent", sovereign nation that had done us absolutely no harm.  Unless you think sitting atop a large percentage of the world's remaining oil reserves is a great wrong.

We have lost to death in Iraq, so far, at least 4,413 of our young men and women serving in the military who often were on multiple, endlessly extended and under-armored deployment.  Somewhere around 32,000 have been maimed, wounded, blinded, scorched, injured and afflicted with PTSD.  And, we've identified a whole other new (initial-tagged) result of  combat, TBI-Traumatic Brian Injury.  It is estimated that somewhere around 30% of returning troops suffer from the devastating injury!

We have squandered at least $925-billion in tax-payer money to cost of war, missing, stolen, or lost monies, missing, stolen, or lost weaponry and equipment, contractor malfeasance, misfeasance, over-charging, and questionable billings (Cheney's Halliburton).  CLICK HERE FOR DETAILED ACCOUNTING 

In Afghanistan, where, if you recall, the mission was to capture or kill Bin Ladin, drive-out Al Qeada, and remove the supremacy of the Taliban.  Except for our dismal failure to hunt down and kill Bin Ladin (what good would a dead arch-enemy serve?) we were fairly successful  in the others until Bush diverted our attention and resources to Iraq.

Well, while it is difficult to put an immediate figure on the total accruing cost of this particularly misguided adventure in nation-building, it is known that congress has just authorized another $80-billion and at least, to the moment I am writing this, nearly 1200 troops have died.  And, to set the record straight, as far as we know, Bin Ladin is still alive and kicking, the Taliban is in resurgence and the narco-terrorists are still racking in profane profits from the opium fields while Hamid Karzai (elected president in a bitterly corrupt election) functions as little more than the mayor of Kabul! 

Yet, we drone on with our platitudes and good-guy, bad-guy world view in the nightly news while we at home feel no pain and make no sacrifice. 

And therein lies my anger and I've got to tell you, it is an immense anger.  I'll not go into all the CIA World Book reasons for why we should be fighting this war--look at a globe, look at China and Russia and then look at where we're digging in, and think of the game of RISK--I really think it is that damned simple.  And, I'll not burden you with all my left-wing reasons for why we need to extract ourselves from this particular lash-up, forthwith.

These wars have nothing to do with terrorism as such, but they do have to do with global position and strategy to contain and maintain our access to oil and other strategic interests, included new bases.  All of which will work to enrich the profits and further the global goals of our oil and defense industries.  But, that is not what has my jaws locked, hell that's the way it's always been.  Underlying every patriotic platitude of every war lie the  economic truths--corporate profits.

The thing of it is this, you and I, all of us and each of us, are cruising along as though nothing was happening out of the ordinary.  Where are the bond drives or special taxes to support and pay for the wars? where is the home-front mobilization? where is the rationing to reduce our demands for foreign oil? where is the day-to-day realization that we've set our warriors to their deadly tasks? where is the daily front-page reports of our progress? and for crying out loud, how is progress even measured anymore?

Yep, that's what has me pissed.  Our kids are fighting (they think for us) but, we're so cynical, so lazy, so self-absorbed that we can't even maintain a daily awareness of solemnity of their daily deaths, woundings and sacrifices.  My friggin' jibs are jacked!

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