Summertime, and the Living is Easy

July 13, 2006 · Print This Article · Email This Post

Raphael Tuck Bathing Beauty

Today was going to be “pretty postcard” day. Ah, languishing on the beach in the hazy days of summer, as the elegantly rendered Victorian lady was doing in this artist-signed c. 1907-1915 Raphael Tuck vintage postcard…cool water swirling around her.

We promised we wouldn’t blog about the never-ending retirement of Dan Rather, despite his Larry King appearance last night in which Rather complained of being hard done by re: the ignominious end to his CBS broadcasting career. C’mon Dan, you were the captain of the ship and the Mary Mapes loose cannon was on your watch, so you were ultimately reponsible for what you erroneously broadcast about George Bush’s military career. Having ruined his street cred with that story, it still took a couple of years for Rather to be shown the door. He’s moved on, to a New York City cable market. Yet another good reason not to live in the Big Apple.

Donald Rumsfeld

And we are still having miscellaneous thoughts about the situation in Iraq, due to seeing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, all smiles, in Baghdad yesterday. Hoo-rah! Not. It was hard not to notice when President George Bush, in a recent speech and for the first time, mentioned the number of American troops killed in Iraq since the war started — slightly over 2,500. As of today, the body count is 2,544. You can watch the stats unfold at Casualties in Iraq.

 

What he forgot to mention were the nearly 19,000 wounded U.S. troops, many of whom sustained life-altering severe injuries, and the 19,000 doesn’t include the deaths of coalition forces, the deaths of Iraqi police or the deaths of journalists. Extensive statistics regarding this can be found at Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Nor does that include the approximately 39,000 to 43,000 Iraqi civilians who’ve died since we arrived to “free” them and shove democracy down their throats — whether they want it or not. Iraq Body Count will help you keep tabs on that stat.

Did you know that as many as one out of 10 soldiers in our “war on terror,” most of them coming from Iraq, have been evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany due to “psychiatric or behavioral health issues,” as the hospital’s former Commander, Col. Rhonda Cornum, put it? A CBS article, Stressed Out Soldiers, indicates that more than 50,000 vets from Iraq and Afghanistan — and these are numbers from the Veterans Administration — are thought to have mental problems as a result, with about half of them suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

Timothy McVeigh

As if that weren’t enough to contemplate, the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose notable accomplishments include bankrupting several Ku Klux Klan organizations via civil suits, reported the disturbing news last week that, according to the Department of Defense’s own investigators, “thousands” of U.S. troops in Iraq are neo-Nazis, skinheads and gang members, allowed in when the military lowered its standards to recruit more soldiers. Great. Just what we need. A training ground for our own future home-grown terrorists, à la Timothy McVeigh. We’ve already managed to create a training ground for terrorists in Iraq, where there was none before. Suddenly, “cheap oil” doesn’t seem so cheap anymore.

 

Watch President Bush jogging with amputee war veterans. We think it’s supposed to be inspiring; we find it sad and tasteless.

Copyright © 2006 pajamadeen.com



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