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War - It's Only A Number
By Judith Moriarty
"Outside, even through the shut window pane, the world looked cold. Down in the street little eddies of wind were whirling dust and torn papers into spirals, and though the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no color in anything except the posters that were plastered everywhere"
"Existing records show that Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia and allied with Eastasia, or that it has always been at war with Eastasia and allied with Eurasia. Winston Smith's job involves the constant 'correction' of records. 'Who controls the past, ran the Party slogan, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past. Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. He knows the offical image of the world is a fluid fiction." 1984-George Orwell
Former Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, is making the rounds with President - elect Hillary Clinton. She's pretty excited just thinking about catching the 'brass ring' for a second time. If things work out, why they'll be a Bush - Clinton team in the White House for almost thirty years. Nobody under thirty in the U.S.A. can recall when the name in the White House wasn't a Bush or Clinton. Already they're discussing plans on the former senior President Bush and former President Bill Clinton becoming a traveling ambassador team to heal the image of America.
Ali Abbas was one of the first victims of America's 'surgical strikes' during 'Shock and Awe'. Their family farm outside of Baghdad was not seen from computerized bombers thousands of feet above (beyond the clouds).
People get upset for a short while and forget the victims of war. Little Ali now lives in the UK where he's learning to function in a world absent touch and hugs.
Things happen in war. Homes, farms, and wedding ceremonies, get blown up by mistake. Strangers (Americans/Iraqis) are ordered to kill one another, with nobody having a grasp, of just why they're killing? Not knowing the culture or language - fear rules the day. A family on their way home from a birthday celebration doesn't understand the commands being shouted in English to STOP. Shots ring out and the parents die. The five children left as orphans become mere statistics. Madeline Albright doesn't have a problem with this death and destruction. On Jan 8, 2000 (60 min - Leslie Stahl) she was asked about the half million children who'd died under President Clinton's sanctions - and was it worth it? She replied, "The price - we think the price is worth it."
On a lonely airstrip somewhere tonight a family will wait alone for the return of their young son. He was a child of the clouds . He loved the misty morning, the moose hiding in the foliage, and the rush of a mountain spring. He will be buried in a lonely village plot - and none will remember (save family/friends) his name. Perhaps a bridge will be named for him?
Luis at age 22 is now completely paralyzed. Paul Bremer received the Medal of Freedom for his well paid job in Iraq (losing 9 billion dollars) Luis is not even eligible for a purple heart. He was paralyzed, when a statue of Saddam, that he was ordered to pull down fell on him. Medals - cheap tawdry medals. What good is a medal? It won't buy back one's health. It won't support a person in today's rising costs of taxes - home heating oil - food etc. Better than a medal - would be a tax free, handicapped accessible home.
With a photographer on hand, President Bush thanks young Rick and Brandon for protecting America from the threat of 'invading Arabs' - and 'weapons of mass destruction'. Most likely he won't relate to them his spoof (slide show) at the 2004, Radio and TV Correspondence Dinner. He was shown in the Oval Office - looking under tables and his desk for the elusive WMDs! "These weapons have got to be here somewhere. No weapons over here. Maybe they're under here?" It was a gala affair with men done up in tuxedos (wives in gowns) where eveyone could laugh at a war a half a world away.
Much ado was made over Tony Snow, Press Secretary, leaving some months back. There were all kinds of good wishes, cards etc, wishing him the best in his fight against cancer. Tony remarked that his treatment was excellent. He went on to remark that the job of Press Secretary didn't pay him enough ($170,000 - full medical coverage) to keep his family in the life style they were accustomed to. Tony had made millions working for Fox where he plans to return. When asked at a June 15, 2006 Press Conference about the deaths in Iraq, Tony replied: "It's only a number". I imagine Tony wouldn't have felt the same, had his cancer been identified as "just another statistic". Thankfully Tony (tax payer subsidized) will receive the best treatments available ( as all of our elected officals are) at Georgetown University Hospital, a special floor at Walter Reed, etc. Unlike our wounded veterans he won't be required to PROVE (even those badly burned) his disability and spend a life time begging for help (long trips to VA hospitals).
When the President travels its in a Cadillac Presidential Limousine. This has an entertainment center, massage - hand tooled leather seats, night vision, and armor that (including underneath) that can withstand an rocket propelled grenade . It also is sealed to protect from biological/chemical attacks. Hmm - remember after 911 when we were advised to buy duct tape and plastic?
Now if our soldiers in WAR had the President's limousine perhaps they (thousands) wouldn't end up like Rick and Brandon (or dead)?
Time Magazine, December 20, 2004 "Army Specialist Thomas Wilson, asked Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld why soldiers are being sent to war in humvees and trucks so vulnerable that troops must forage for 'rusted scrap metal to put on our vehicles to take into combat".
Rumsfeld replied, " You go to war with the Army you have not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time." Rumfeld compounded the gaffe by adding that you can have all the armor in the world in a tank, and a tank can be blown up." Note it is now 2008. We are longer at war (really a conflict) than WWII and still the troops lack the needed armored vehicles - weapons - trucks etc. This is all excused as being a 'miscalculation'. Nobody realized that there would be a 'real war'! But then when you have former CEOs and Foggy Bottom bureaucrats, who've seen nothing more violent, than a buddy striking a golf ball - you can expect such a blithe disregard for the troops. Seems to me we've (according to Rumsfeld) wasted a lot of money armor plating the President's limo?
Shortly before the conflict (Shock and Awe) Barbara Bush remarked on Good Morning America that she didn't want to hear about body bags and death - they weren't 'relevant'. With perpetual war death and carnage is soon seen as 'irrelevant'. War desensitizes and dehumanizes. 'Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia. JM
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