War is hell. We've heard that for years. We've heard it for war upon war. It's true. But this week has shown a side of war that many times we don't hear or want to hear.
First, AWOL. Absent without leave. In other words, "I'm outta here!" Don't take leave (vacation for you civilians). Don't show up for work. The most recent Pentagon figures show that there are over 5,000 members of the armed forces missing. These numbers continue to grow in light of the war. No surprise but it is disturbing. I wonder if anyone has done research on why our troops go AWOL. Gee, could it be that the troops were sold on the college benefits and the possibility of a war never crossed the recruits' minds or the recruiters' lips?
Second, Memos. Word is out about a confidential memo from a foreign policy aide at Downing Street. It was an internal memo for the staff of the British Prime Minister. But now it has been released to the world. I'll let you make the decision about what it means:
C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.
The part that I don't understand is that the White House and #10 Downing Street are not trying to discredit the memo. A former senior
U.S. official said the memo was "an absolutely accurate description of what transpired" during the senior British intelligence officer's visit to Washington in early 2002. As reported on May 12, 2005 on CNN and the Los Angeles Times, the British government does not dispute the authenticity of the document. But if that is true, why hasn't the media run all day and night with this issue?
Does this bother anyone else? "Intelligence and facts were being fixed." Now there is an oxymoron for you. Could this mean that our commander–in-chief lied in order to give credibility to start a war? This is the president who has the religious right wrapped around his finger, or does the fundamentalist on the right have Bush by the jewels?
Whether true or not, we must investigate. Wasn't that the cry of the Republicans when Clinton was in trouble during the 90's? If this memo that has not been denied by the White House is accurate, the American people have been duped and thousands of military members and civilians are dying for a series of fixed intelligence. In other words, lies. Tell me it isn't so "W". The President might try to sell but this writer ain't buying' fertilizer. But he won't have to try unless someone pushes him on the matter. But again maybe I will be proved right in that the only WMD's were words of multiple deceptions.
Next, Bonuses. Now anyone who is the least bit knowledgeable about war knows that companies that provide military services will make a ton of money during war times. Halliburton has received billions of dollars on no bid contracts. Now it is reported that $72 million in bonuses in going to Halliburton for what the Defense Department is calling logistical work in Iraq. I'm sorry friends but this sounds like barnyard deposits to me. And you and I have the privilege of paying for it through our taxes. As I have said before, Tricky Dick is back in the person of the Vice President. I am beginning to believe that NCLB has nothing to do with schools. It should stand for No Contractor (who gives big money to my re-election campaign) Left Behind.
Fourthly, Holy Books. Reports that the Koran had been desecrated and flushed by American soldiers have surfaced. Now I know that the article has been discredited and apologized for but doesn't this seem to be beside the point? Actually, I think Newsweek was told to discredit the source of the article. When I first heard this, I was offended and I haven't even read the holy book. Reports have been circulating at the Pentagon for 3 years that this has been going on. Muslims consider the Koran the literal word of God and treat each book with deep reverence. And what has happened? It appears as though there is no concern that all of this is happening. Trust me, if the armies of Iraq were tearing up the Holy Bible and flushing it, the Presidential response would make Armageddon look like a cap fight.
Finally, Undies. Pictures of Saddam Hussein have been published in London and the US showing the captured former leader in a pair of whitie tighties. Yes, the Butcher was caught on film walking around in his briefs. The picture and the sources are under investigation because of a possible violation of the Geneva Convention which prohibits prisoners of war from being subjected to "insult and public curiosity".
The headlines that accompanied the pictures stated: "U.S. Probing Undies Leak" or "Butcher of Sagdad". I'm not sure if we should call out the makers of Depends or Viagra. Either way, if you are interested in seeing pictures of Hussein in his shorts, you have some serious problems.
The Vatican released a statement that the taking and release of these pictures was unacceptable. President Bush said the pictures won't inspire any murders. Well, if the President said that no one will die because of the pictures, we should take his word for it. (See comments under the section titled "Memos".)
Last Word. I want to be sick. This war should not have been. The president has convinced the majority of Americans that to oppose his failed policies is un-American. The media is playing into his scheme. And we are the ones who suffer. We pay through the nose for an unjust, ineffective and fixed war when there are so many other things that need our financial attention. And while things get left undone, this administration which lost in 2000 and won the popular vote with 51% thinks he know has a mandate to do what he wants. Next thing we'll see is that Cheney will announce he wants to run in ‘08.
God save us from ourselves.