Sunday, August 06, 2006

Think on this...

The following post was taken almost verbatim from 60s & Beyond, a yahoo group that boasts some of the finest human beings currently walking the earth.

Iraq War Tidbits by LionHeart and Hippie Song.

The Missing Wounded
Injury and Decorum in Iraq


There are no longer any American troops being wounded in Iraq. Now they are "injured." Listen closely to the news and you will be hard pressed to hear the word "wounded." "Wounded" conjures up a different image than "injured," and here we see yet again the invertebrate nature of the American press. Yesterday, while preparing some onions and butternut squash, I got carried away with the knife and injured myself. That injury was treated with cold running waterand a band aid that I'm not even using today.

On the other hand, if I had been hit in the same hand in my kitchen with a 7.62 X 39mm bullet traveling in excess of 700 meters per second, I would have lost several fingers and possibly my whole hand. That's the difference between being injured and wounded. Contrary to what Hollywood would have us believe, being hit by bullets and shrapnel and secondary missiles from high explosives seldom causes something that might be dismissed as a "flesh wound." Tearing and cavitation of tissue, the shattering of bone, the severance of vessels and tendons, not to mention the absolute septic filth of these insults to the human body are anything but "just" a flesh wound. This is not the image the Department of Defense and the US press want us to carry around inside our heads. We might lose our stomach for war, just as most of these "injured" troops do the very moment they are confronted with bleeding deformities, disfiguring burns, amputations, shock and pain, and often permanent disabilities.

Now you have your leg. Now you don't. Get your head around that, and you've got your head around war.

We all know the count of the dead, even though the DoD and the press wants to somehow separate the combat deaths from the non-combat deaths (as if suicides and fatal vehicle accidents are no more common among GIs in Iraq right now than they are in Hinesville, Georgia or Fayetteville, North Carolina). But well over 1,000 of our sons, husbands, fathers, and even a few daughters, wives, and moms... have been wounded.

They likely would be alright if they had not been there in the first place. This is an embarrassing fact. Almost as embarrassing as the fact that all this maiming and killing - which by the way includes thousands of Iraqis - was started for no nobler purpose than plunder and power.READ THE REST:

As many as 1 of every 10 soldiers from the war on terror evacuated tothe Army's biggest hospital in Europe was sent there for mental problems.

Between 8 and 10 percent of nearly 12,000 soldiers from the war on terror, mostly from Iraq, treated at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany had "psychiatric or behavioral health issues,"according to the commander of the hospital, Col. Rhonda Cornum.

That means about 1,000 soldiers were evacuated for mental problems.

The hospital has treated 11,754 soldiers from the war on terror, with9,651 from Iraq and the rest from Afghanistan, according to datareleased by the hospital.

The Pentagon estimates that as many as 100,000 new combat veterans nationwide will suffer from mental issues ranging from depression and anxiety to the more debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder, characterized by angry outbursts, flashbacks, nightmares and hypervigilance. An estimated 900 service members have been evacuated from Iraq since the start of war due to psychological problems,according to the Defense Department.

Military hospitals and clinics will be challenged, as will the families and communities of returning soldiers.


Most actors in conflict, whether state or non-state, have historically displayed little serious interest in documenting and investigating civilian deaths and their causes. Inertia in this respect is also displayed by transnational organisations who could be expected to have particular concern for civilian casualties (such as the Red Cross or appropriate agencies of the United Nations).

Be they men, women or children, civilian casualties, are the most unacceptable consequence of all wars. Each civilian death is a tragedy and should never be regarded as an acceptable cost of achieving political aims. We believe it is a moral and humanitarian duty for each such death to be recorded, publicised, given the weight it deserves, compensated appropriately and, where possible, investigated to establish whether there are grounds for criminal proceedings.

The UN Secretary-General has called the world community to advance a new human-centred approach to conflict, which places the security needs of ordinary people above the interests of regimes or state powers. As a contribution to this effort, the Commission on Human Security (CHS) was founded in 2001 and delivered its final report"Human Security Now"in May 2003.

The Pentagon does not provide a comprehensive accounting of the humantoll of the war from the American side, not to mention the larger toll on the Iraqi people. The Administration only reports the strictly combat-related fatalities and injuries. Neither injuries nor disease-connected sicknesses nor severe mental illnesses are reported.

# Leishmaniasis, also known as "Sandfly Disease" or "Baghdad Boil" is faced by the U.S. military in Iraq. The disease is caused by parasites transmitted via sand fly saliva (when female sandflies bite humans),and comes in three forms: cutaneous, affecting the skin; mucosal, affecting the mouth, nose and throat; and visceral, affecting internal organs, which can be fatal if untreated. Symptoms may include fever, frontal headache, lethargy, malaise, retroorbital pain, conjuctivitis, photophobia, neck rigidity, low back pain, myalgia, meningitis, encephalitis, confusion. No complete list of U.S. military affected bySandfly Disease is available, press reports indicate over 2,000 have been affected. Specialists also warn that blood donations from the affect could infect public blood banks.Source: Deployment Health Clinical Center, Common Endemic Diseases:Sandfly Fever,;

Elsewhere in the world over the same period, paramilitary forces hostile to the USA have killed 408 civilians in 18 attacks worldwide (see Table 1). Adding the official 9-11 death toll (as of October 29th, 2003) brings the total to just under 3500:

The civilian death toll has risen inexorably for the entire durationof the US-led military presence in Iraq following the initialinvasion. That is the grim reality uncovered by ongoing tracking ofmedia reports by the Iraq Body Count project (IBC).

Figures released by IBC today, updated by statistics for the year 2005from the main Baghdad morgue, show that the total number of civiliansreported killed has risen year-on-year since May 1st 2003 (the datethat President Bush announced "major combat operations have ended"):
* 6,331 from 1st May 2003 to the first anniversary of the invasion, 19th March 2004 (324 days: Year 1)
* 11,312 from 20th March 2004 to 19th March 2005 (365 days: Year 2)
* 12,617 from 20th March 2005 to 1st March 2006 (346 days: Year 3)

In terms of average violent deaths per day this represents:

* 20 per day in Year 1
* 31 per day in Year 2 and
* 36 per day in Year 3.

By Steppenwolf

Chasing the promise of freedom and hope
Came to this country to build a new visionFar from the reaches of kingdom and pope
Like good Christians, some would burn the witches
Later some got slaves to gather riches

But still from near and far to seek America
They came by thousands to court the wild
And she just patiently smiled and bore a child
To be their spirit and guiding light

And once the ties with the crown had been broken
Westward in saddle and wagon it went
And 'til the railroad linked ocean to ocean
Many the lives which had come to an end
While we bullied, stole and bought our a homeland
We began the slaughter of the red man

But still from near and far to seek America
They came by thousands to court the wild
And she just patiently smiled and bore a child
To be their spirit and guiding light

The blue and grey they stomped it
They kicked it just like a dog
And when the war over
They stuffed it just like a hog

And though the past has it's share of injustice
Kind was the spirit in many a way
But it's protectors and friends have been sleeping
Now it's a monster and will not obey

The spirit was freedom and justice
And it's keepers seem generous and kind
It's leaders were supposed to serve the country
But now they won't pay it no mind
'Cause the people grew fat and got lazy
And now their vote is a meaningless joke
They babble about law and order
But it's all just an echo of what they've been told
Yeah, there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watchin'

Our cities have turned into jungles
And corruption is stranglin' the land
The police force is watching the people
And the people just can't understand
We don't know how to mind our own business
'Cause the whole worlds got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who's the winner
We can't pay the cost
'Cause there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into a noose
And it just sits there watching

(America)America where are you now?
Don't you care about your sons and daughters?
Don't you know we need you now
We can't fight alone against the monster

1 comment:

Mr. Natural said...

FUCKEN-A Richard, that is one powerful truth! GREAT POST.