Wednesday, March 19, 2008

G.I. 4000

Somewhere in Iraq, there is a U.S. soldier who will shortly become No. 4,000.

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the disaster in Iraq, and, tragically, this milestone will soon be followed by another dreadful event: the death of the 4,000th American soldier.

While so many people obsess about Client Nine, Elliot Spitzer’s secret sexual identity, I wonder about G.I. 4000.

What is he or she like—bookish or a rabid sports fan? Shy and quiet or outgoing and boisterous?

Does he or she have pets—dogs, cats, or fish? Where is this person from—small town or big city? And did this man or woman come from a big family or was he or she an only child?

Was this soldier a high school hero or one of the geeks who sat in the back row and prayed not to to be seen?

Is this individual a parent whose children who will never see their mother or father again?

Did he or she believe in “the mission,” as war supporters call this fiasco, or did this soldier get pulled into this quagmire due to a National Guard commitment?

Funny, George Bush was in the National Guard during the Vietnam War, but he didn't do any fighting. Kind of interesting, isn't it?

Perhaps G.I. 4000 has been over there for a while, made a couple of tours, and is hoping to leave that place alive and in one piece. He or she has seen friends and comrades killed and mangled and wants to get the hell out.

Or maybe this soldier is a new arrival, who won't have a chance to learn much before it's all over.

I wonder what G.I. 4000 dreamed of being as a child. What dreams does he or she have for the future, dreams that will never come true?

And how will this soldier die--roadside bomb, suicide attack, "small arms fire," as the Pentagon likes to say?

This is particularly upsetting given news that only 28% of adults are able to say that nearly 4,000 Americans have died in the Iraq war.

There’s a town in Connecticut called Ashford. It was settled in 1714 and it is home to the largest Boy Scout camp in the state.

As of 2000, the town’s population was 4,098, so if you look at impact of this war, you can imagine a small town like Ashford being wiped right off the map--for no reason whatsoever.

I wonder if G.I. 4000 comes from a town like this.

The really tragic thing is that while the death of the 4,000th U.S. soldier will be a milestone, it will be nothing like an ending.

We'll just start the count again from 4001, 4002, get the idea. Pretty soon we'll be talking about G.I. 5000.

People who were against this war from day one, who knew Bush and Cheney were lying to us, have been accused of rooting for terrorists, of cheering the deaths of American soldiers.

And the chicken hawks are still clinging to this despicable attack, knowing full well that it's false.

But then they have absolutely no way of defending this atrocity, so, of course they go on the offensive. It worked for Joe McCarthy--for a while--and it worked for this war.

The people who opposed the war were the ones who really care about our troops, who know that "support" is not a matter of waving the flag, hanging yellow ribbons, and voting Republican.

We didn't want them to go because we knew they would give up their lives for a lie. And we were right.

We were outraged when our soldiers were sent into battle with inadequate equipment, when they were forced to go back to Iraq and fight over and over, while the cowards who conceived this nightmare and the ones who support it made damn sure they were nowhere near the shooting.

Remember those days of "Freedom Fries"? Remember that idiotic line about "fighting them over there instead of fighting over here," uttered by people who never did any fighting in their lives?

Five years ago oil cost $33.51 a barrel; today it costs roughly $106 a barrel. When you have oilmen running the White House, I sincerely doubt that they want the price of oil to come down.

Since the war began, 29,395 soldiers have been wounded. There have been 82,000 to 89,000 Iraqi civilian casualties and 4.5 Million Iraqis are now refugees both inside and outside the country.

I thought were suppose to be helping those people.

Sure, the violence is down, which is a rather odd thing to be proud of--fewer people are being slaughtered--but then the chicken hawks are desperate to salvage any shred of potential good news from this train wreck.

The violence is down because so many are dead, because the horrific ethnic cleansing unleashed by Mr. Bush's Nightmare has wiped out or driven away so many people there's no one left to kill.

The war also brought Cheney's company, Halliburton into the spotlight.

Of course, his involvement with this company had absolutely nothing to do with the firm's series of no-bid contracts in Iraq.

Why, what are you implying--that this is all about the money?

Our Brave War President (BWP) continued his lies today, claiming that "the successes we are seeing in Iraq are undeniable." Yes, it is hard to deny something that doesn't exist.

I have these fantasies where all the war supporters--the radio spewers, the keyboard commandos in the blogosphere, the barroom tough guys, and the Young Republicans going off to work in Daddy's company--I imagine sending them over to Iraq, where they can run around screeching "the surge is working, the surge is working"--until a suicide bomber shows up.

We could put some of them in the V.A. hospitals to take care of the wounded soldiers--the ones who have had their limbs blown off, who need someone to feed them, bathe them, and wipe their rear ends when they have a bowel movement because they're incapable of doing these simple things for themselves.

And we can have these flag waving phonies deliver the bad news to families who have lost their loved ones in this lie.

They can knock on the doors, look into the eyes of a mother, a father, husband, or wife, and tell them that their loved one will not be coming home.

They can start with the family of G.I. 4000.


Calamity Jen said...

Well said.

If you haven't read "The Deserter's Tale" yet, I encourage you to do so. I just picked it up today and I'm halfway through it. It's a look at this useless war through the eyes of a disillusioned soldier.

Rob K said...

Thanks, Jen. I'll do that.