Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dead Soldiers Don't Watch The Olympics

The feeling of outrage felt by many Americans over the Bush trip to the Olympics while we are supposedly at war is justified more than ever as yet another soldier was killed and two wounded, to say nothing about the twenty two other people who were maimed, mostly civilians. Reported on as almost an after thought to the rest of the 'news' of the day, a war weary media and a numb population are beginning to forget that our young men and women are still dying for the neo-cons' false war, as though because the Democrats have refused to force the hand of Bush to end this thing, that an attitude of acceptance and a perception that we'll just revisit the issue come January of next year has taken hold.

The old "We've done everything we could and besides, the government says it's getting better" mentality, as though we should believe anything the most corrupt government in the history of our country tells us. So let's take a mind's eye stroll through Iraq to see just how much more in control things really are. That is, if you can stop watching the meaningless Olympic Games for a few minutes.

Not being exactly sure what an acceptable death rate would be five and one half years into this war of lies, let's first keep in mind that 10 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq so far this month. That's one per day on average. Another 19 have been wounded, to say nothing of the Iraqi Army deaths nor the civilian casualties.

Now let's take a look at the wider picture happening in Iraq and we'll see how well the surge really worked there John McCain.

Besides the suicide bombing in Tarmiya, another guy with a mini busload of bombs tried to kill the mayor of Khanaquin but failed. Instead, he killed three civilians and wounded twenty five more.

In Madaen, one Iraqi soldier was killed and five more wounded when a parked car bomb exploded. Madaen is on the outskirts of Baghdad, about 20 miles to the southeast.

The Bab al-Sharji area of Baghdad was rocked by a roadside bomb that killed three people, one of whom was an Iraqi soldier, and wounded 10 more people, of whom six were civilians.

Another roadside bomb blew up in the Amil district of Baghdad, wounding four people, two of whom worked for a private security firm.

In the Kamaliya area of Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed three people and wounded seven others, all civilians.

Now that's just today's total. Yesterday, in what can be called just another ho-hum day in war torn Iraq, a U.S. soldier was killed and two others wounded by an IED in increasingly safe according to our glorious leader Baghdad.

Also not making headlines were the stories about the manager of the Qadisiya Olympic swimming pool being wounded by gunmen while one of his sons was killed and another wounded.

Three bodies were found by the side of the road in Baghdad. They had been tortured to death.

A member of the U.S. backed neighborhood patrol plan was killed in Jurf Al-Sakar while he manned a checkpoint, and another man was shot to death as he left his home in Tuz Kharmato because he was a backer of U.S. policies in Iraq.

As the entire world condemns the Israelis and demands that they tear down the walls that have imprisoned the Palestinian people, causing death, disease, and untold misery, guess who came up with the bright idea of walling up entire sections of Baghdad, effectively imprisoning people in their neighborhoods? Mr. Bush. Tear down these walls! They are causing more harm than good and endangering our troops as more people are joining the resistance to fight against them.

The point here is this. 'The surge worked' is a lie, a bald faced lie. Our soldiers continue to die needless deaths in Iraq, the Iraqi government wants us out, and oh, by the way, there's a war going on in Afghanistan where troops are desperately needed. Because as the death toll for troops may be down for the time being in Iraq, in Afghanistan they have been rising year by year.

In 2001, 12 U.S. soldiers died in Afghanistan. In 2007 the total was 117. This year, we are already up to 96 fatalities, with stepped up attack by Taliban forces. Mr. Cheney. The pipeline has been built. Either win this war or get the troops out of there.

We as a country keep forgetting the important issues in favor of idiotic nonsense stories that include celebrities and what they say or do. We keep falling for the fear mongering in articles written by people who like to perpetuate long debunked myths, such as Bruce Reidel's story about Al-Quaeda's October Surprise. What we don't do is keep our soldiers in our minds. The ones who are over there fighting for their lives every day, whether they themselves believe in the wars or not. It doesn't even matter if WE as a nation believe in these wars. If everyone that keeps talking about unity in America really believes what they're saying, they can show it, both right and left, by sending a letter to a soldier, a care package to a soldier, and the best part is, you don't even have to know them.

There are several organizations online that will put together special packages and send them to a soldier in the field. Unless you designate where the package should be sent, they'll usually try to get packages and letters to soldiers who don't receive much mail from home first. Here's some web addresses that you can choose from: This is the branch of AnySoldier that actually delivers packages. This site called Armed Forces News Service will give you all types of information, including new zip codes for Iraq, how to send emails to troops, as well as regulations if you wish to mail letters and packages without going through an organization. (Although I recommend using an organization.) Here's the donation page for the USO. Along the lines of AnySoldier, Soldier's Angel's will send care packages to the troops. They only require either cost recovery plus postage, or in some cases, just the postage itself due to donations they receive like coffee and what not.

That's just a few of the never growing number of web sites that are trying to remember the troops not just on Thanksgiving and Christmas, you know, when the media needs human interest stories, but all year long. Take fifteen minutes away from the Olympic Games to help a fellow American feel like he or she hasn't been forgotten by us. You'll feel better for it, it will boost morale overseas, and it can be done by everyone together, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green Party, Communist, whatever. Now that's unity......................

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