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Author: TriSec    Date: 06/10/2008 10:57:14

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,910th day in Iraq.

We'll start as we always do, with the latest casualty figures from the warron terra, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 4094
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3955
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3633
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3235
Since Election (1/31/05): 2657

Other Coalition Troops: 313
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 517


We find this morning's cost of war passing through: $527, 057, 650, 000 .00



I really hate 'potpourri'....but I've got a mishmosh of stories I've been collecting for the past few days, so I guess the term fits today.

First off, the most common injury from this war is "traumatic brain injury"...but perhaps second on the list is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Those of us that lived through September 11 are carry a touch of PTSD...now imagine that increased by a thousand fold. How did you get through it? Even to this day, the sight of a low-flying commercial jet gives me pause, and I wasn't even in New York. So how do you think the soldiers at Ft. Benning feel?



A Washington Post article published Tuesday tells the story of three Fort Benning soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The soldiers say living in barracks across from a firing range is setting off the disorder.

The claims made in Tuesday morning's Washington Post focus on the fact the Warrior Transition Battalion which houses wounded soldiers is located across the street from a firing range.

News 3 spent the afternoon at Fort Benning and got some answers directly from the battalion commander.

Imagine coming home after being wounded in a battle zone, then move into a barrack right across from a firing range.

It's the recent claim made by three Fort Benning soldiers, who live at the Warrior Transition Battalion on post.

“In the time that I’ve been here we haven't had any issues relating to the noise,” said Lieutenant Colonel Sean Mulcahey, the commander of the Warrior Transition Battalion.

The noise the soldiers are talking about is gunfire. They claim it's setting off their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

“We take PTSD very seriously because we have about 10 to 15 percent of our soldiers out of 350 that we currently have assigned have been diagnosed with PTSD,” he said.

Mulcahey says the barracks were built at their location for a reason.

“They are in close proximity to the theatre, mini mall, PX, dining facilities and to other post services, and so those are the things that went into the decision as I understand it,” he said.



Along the lines of PTSD...'collateral damage' refers to those unintended targets that are destroyed when a legitimate target is hit...kinda like a school or hospital across the street from a military base. But what happens when those unintended targets are men? Or worse, American soldiers?
Troops, when they battle insurgent forces, as in Iraq, or Gaza or Vietnam, are placed in “atrocity producing situations.” Being surrounded by a hostile population makes simple acts, such as going to a store to buy a can of Coke, dangerous. The fear and stress push troops to view everyone around them as the enemy. The hostility is compounded when the enemy, as in Iraq, is elusive, shadowy and hard to find. The rage soldiers feel after a roadside bomb explodes, killing or maiming their comrades, is one that is easily directed, over time, to innocent civilians who are seen to support the insurgents.

Civilians and combatants, in the eyes of the beleaguered troops, merge into one entity. These civilians, who rarely interact with soldiers or Marines, are to most of the occupation troops in Iraq nameless, faceless, and easily turned into abstractions of hate. They are dismissed as less than human. It is a short psychological leap, but a massive moral leap. It is a leap from killing — the shooting of someone who has the capacity to do you harm — to murder — the deadly assault against someone who cannot harm you.

The war in Iraq is now primarily about murder. There is very little killing. The savagery and brutality of the occupation is tearing apart those who have been deployed to Iraq. As news reports have just informed us, 115 American soldiers committed suicide in 2007. This is a 13% increase in suicides over 2006. And the suicides, as they did in the Vietnam War years, will only rise as distraught veterans come home, unwrap the self-protective layers of cotton wool that keep them from feeling, and face the awful reality of what they did to innocents in Iraq

American Marines and soldiers have become socialized to atrocity. The killing project is not described in these terms to a distant public. The politicians still speak in the abstract terms of glory, honor, and heroism, in the necessity of improving the world, in lofty phrases of political and spiritual renewal. Those who kill large numbers of people always claim it as a virtue. The campaign to rid the world of terror is expressed within the confines of this rhetoric, as if once all terrorists are destroyed evil itself will vanish.

The reality behind the myth, however, is very different. The reality and the ideal tragically clash when soldiers and Marines return home. These combat veterans are often alienated from the world around them, a world that still believes in the myth of war and the virtues of the nation. They confront the grave, existential crisis of all who go through combat and understand that we have no monopoly on virtue, that in war we become as barbaric and savage as those we oppose.

This is a profound crisis of faith. It shatters the myths, national and religious, that these young men and women were fed before they left for Iraq. In short, they uncover the lie they have been told. Their relationship with the nation will never be the same. These veterans give us a true narrative of the war — one that exposes the vast enterprise of industrial slaughter unleashed in Iraq. They expose the lie...



Lastly this morning....a commentary by Jim Hightower. And if you don't routinely read or listen to his columns....you need to start.
On January 2nd, yet another American soldier died in Iraq. But Staff Sergeant Ryan Maseth, a highly-decorated Green Beret, didn’t die from a roadside bomb or an al Queda sniper. He was killed by his shower.

More accurately, Sgt. Maseth's killer was privatization. That's the out-of-control policy of turning over essential military support systems to a sprawling, unregulated network of for-profit corporations and letting them get away again and again with shoddy - even deadly - work.

Sgt. Maseth was safely inside his Army base in Baghdad when he reached for the shower faucet. Electricity instantly shot through the pipes, through the water itself, and through his entire body, electrocuting him. His mother, stunned, pressed the Army for details, but got only hemming and hawing at first, then she got a lie: she was told that her son had a "small appliance" with him in the shower. She knew better and kept pushing, finally learning that the facility's water pump had not been properly grounded.

Worse, Army documents reveal that Halliburton, under contract to inspect such systems, had found serious electrical problems in this facility nearly a year before Sgt. Maseth’s last shower. Why wasn't it fixed? Because Halliburton's contract did not cover "fixing potential hazards," instead requiring only that it fix equipment already malfunctioning. Meanwhile, the Army itself should have known about this death trap, but under the Pentagon's convoluted privatized system, the danger that
Halliburton found was not red-flagged and was never reviewed by a "qualified government employee."

At least a dozen of our soldiers have been killed by improper grounding of electrical equipment, but Halliburton coldly claims that it is not part of the Army and has no contractual obligation to prevent the electrocution of American Troops.

"Green Beret electrocuted in shower on Iraq base," www.cnn.com, May 28, 2008



And don't think for one minute that "President" McCain would change a thing...


210 comments (Latest Comment: 06/11/2008 11:46:40 by Random)
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Comment by BobR on 06/10/2008 12:29:04
Those first two stories could almost be forseeen. The military purposely dehumanizes the enemy to make it easier for soldiers to kill them. I read a letter to the editor in yesterday's paper from a Viet Nam vet that said the PTSD never really goes away, that even 40 years later a fireworks display will bring it all back.



The last item though... grrrrrr... Every time I hear about the waste and death cause by one of these military contractors, I want to car bomb their headquarters...



But Halliburton is no longer an American company, so that's going to make it a little harder.



Comment by BobR on 06/10/2008 12:37:22
"Now that Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, Americans are going to have to choose between the 46-year-old Obama and the 71-year-old John McCain. In other words, it's a choice between the Hillary defeater or the Wal-Mart greeter."

- Conan O'Brien

Comment by Scoopster on 06/10/2008 12:39:01
Morning all... hoooooooooo BOY it's gonna be another hot one today!

Comment by BobR on 06/10/2008 12:42:25
The "Hotlanta" debate rages on...



(note: there is one particularly offensive comment there...)

Comment by Random on 06/10/2008 12:45:52
Ha...I love Conan O'Brien.

Comment by clintster on 06/10/2008 12:47:05
Hoo boy... Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones in the buddy comedy NOBODY was clamoring for:



http://edition.cnn.com/2008/TECH/06/10/jones.flowers.ap/



Talk about bad timing! Methinks this was supposed to be some sort of "big surprise" for the Hillary campaign if she got the nom. And $1.99? Hell, I could get episodes of "House" on iTunes for that. And enjoy it more. You gotta be some serious Clinton-hatin' bastard to waste your money on that!



And what kind of "great insight" could these two have on them anymore? Ooh, Gennifer Flowers thinks Hillary should divorce Bill, 'cause he caused her to lose the nomination. Next, Paula reveals her four-step plan for energy independence, and later, both women share their Fourth of July barbecue tips with special guest Florence Henderson!



Sorry, I felt the need to go Lewis Black for a second. Carry on.

Comment by Random on 06/10/2008 12:48:09
We need a terrorist Fist Jab Emoticon

Comment by TriSec on 06/10/2008 12:59:41
Quote by BobR:

The "Hotlanta" debate rages on...



(note: there is one particularly offensive comment there...)






*snort*



Do you know how to tell that a person in Boston is a tourist?



They call it "Beantown".



No native would ever do such a thing. We are after all, the "Athens of America", the "Hub of the Universe", and the "Cradle of Liberty"...



Natives do prefer "The Hub".





Comment by Scoopster on 06/10/2008 13:02:58
I always thought natives called it Baaaahston.. :lol:

Comment by TriSec on 06/10/2008 13:05:31
:spools up Nova M:



Well, I'm actually listening to Momma this morning....as I mentioned before, I seem to have time to listen again, thanks to my recent 'demotion'.





Comment by Raine on 06/10/2008 13:08:31
Good morning!

Comment by TriSec on 06/10/2008 13:14:54
You know what the problem with the morning is?



It happens in the morning.





I am a creature of darkness...



Comment by Scoopster on 06/10/2008 13:15:54
Urgh.. my internets is teh lagzor today. Wi-Fi is HORRIBLE in high heat/humidity..



Aaaand morning Raine

Comment by livingonli on 06/10/2008 13:35:03
Good morning everyone.



Last night I went to see another stellar Lizz Winstead show in the City. Did anyone read my comments last night at the end of yesterday's blog?

Comment by velveeta jones on 06/10/2008 13:40:24
Good Morning all!



Jim Hightower!! LOVE HIM!!



Raine, saw your posts about your sister last night, and said a prayer. I really hope she's okay, but I know she'll have great care.

I've had my GB removed, under emergency conditions and it was more painful than my brain surgery, so it must be even more painful and scary for someone whose pregnant!!



Stay strong! I'll be thinking 'bout you and her all day!





Comment by wickedpam on 06/10/2008 13:44:27
Morning :hug:







Raine - missed the Sisterly update did they finish the tests?

Comment by Raine on 06/10/2008 13:48:41
Quote by wickedpam:

Morning :hug:







Raine - missed the Sisterly update did they finish the tests?


The surgeon supposedly came last night, altho it is looking like they may be able to put surgery off till after teh baby is born. It seems as tho her Gall bladder has polyps. I am waiting for a further update this morning. Probably will call her in a little while.

Comment by livingonli on 06/10/2008 13:52:42
Good morning Mala. Another scorcher of a day but we're supposed to get thunderstorms tonight.



The SMS live blog now that the trolls are gone has entered a Doctor Who ditch (and I am contributing to it).

Comment by wickedpam on 06/10/2008 13:52:45
Quote by Raine:

Quote by wickedpam:

Morning :hug:







Raine - missed the Sisterly update did they finish the tests?


The surgeon supposedly came last night, altho it is looking like they may be able to put surgery off till after teh baby is born. It seems as tho her Gall bladder has polyps. I am waiting for a further update this morning. Probably will call her in a little while.






Sounds like it's serious but serious serious. Still keeping the ~~~~~~~healy vibes and positive thoughts going though~~~~~~~



Comment by wickedpam on 06/10/2008 13:53:53
Quote by livingonli:

Good morning Mala. Another scorcher of a day but we're supposed to get thunderstorms tonight.



The SMS live blog now that the trolls are gone has entered a Doctor Who ditch (and I am contributing to it).






Good ditch - I only know 2 Dr's so I dont' think I could add to the conversation.



Comment by livingonli on 06/10/2008 13:58:43
Quote by wickedpam:

Quote by livingonli:

Good morning Mala. Another scorcher of a day but we're supposed to get thunderstorms tonight.



The SMS live blog now that the trolls are gone has entered a Doctor Who ditch (and I am contributing to it).






Good ditch - I only know 2 Dr's so I dont' think I could add to the conversation.



Well, they have been talking about the new series although many of the posters did watch the original series when it was available. Right now for most people the only way to see them is the DVD releases.

Comment by Raine on 06/10/2008 13:58:54
They are releasing sister! IT seems as tho they are going to monitor her very very carefully and try to use a change in diet as a course of treatment.



Soy will indeed become my sisters friend.

Comment by Raine on 06/10/2008 14:02:07
http://westsidebeagles.googlepages.com/DeeDeesPuppies2at7wks.jpg/DeeDeesPuppies2at7wks-full.jpg


Comment by m-hadley on 06/10/2008 14:03:56
Mornin' Everybody,

Hope you are all having a good day. Raine, I have been thinking of you and your sister and sending you both good thoughts - I hope her condition is improving. Take care and keep us posted on what's happening. Hey TriSec - I love Jim Hightower, too, another good ole Texan and good friend of the late great Molly Ivins. I miss her :hug:

Cheers,

mfaye

Comment by Raine on 06/10/2008 14:04:57
Senator Clinton released her delegates last night.



This should have gotten more press than it has. This is really a big deal.

Comment by velveeta jones on 06/10/2008 14:05:02
Oh Raine, I'm happy for you and her.



Soy. Not bad. Lots of Seitan, Tempah and even Tofu maybe?



Hmmm, I wonder if this might explain why I don't need Pepcid as much since I took meat out of my diet and eating a LOT of soy......... ????



Maybe without the GB I can digest these easier?



Where's our nurse?





Comment by livingonli on 06/10/2008 14:06:26
Quote by Raine:

They are releasing sister! IT seems as tho they are going to monitor her very very carefully and try to use a change in diet as a course of treatment.



Soy will indeed become my sisters friend.


I guess that's good if they think she's well enough to go home. Then again, thanks to our insurance policies they are rushing people out of the hospital. She's got our love.



BTW, cute puppies, but where's Kizzie?

Comment by Raine on 06/10/2008 14:06:33
MCCain just got booed giving a speach on TV...

Comment by Raine on 06/10/2008 14:12:03
Upstate NY is under a Tornado Watch as is Mass and surrounding areas

Comment by livingonli on 06/10/2008 14:12:07
The metric system is the tool of the devil.

Comment by wickedpam on 06/10/2008 14:12:19
vetoing beer - way to win hearts asshat.

Comment by Raine on 06/10/2008 14:13:22
Kizzie is on the couch... as always.

Comment by livingonli on 06/10/2008 14:18:26
Quote by Raine:

Kizzie is on the couch... as always.


Is she keeping you company?

Comment by m-hadley on 06/10/2008 14:19:00
Quote by Raine:

Senator Clinton released her delegates last night.



This should have gotten more press than it has. This is really a big deal.




Raine,

No kidding - thank god for this blog, or I would be completely in the dark news-wise :P

Cheers,

mfaye



Comment by wickedpam on 06/10/2008 14:19:15
ABBA - weirdly enough Liddy likes ABBA too.

Comment by BobR on 06/10/2008 14:25:52
Quote by wickedpam:

vetoing beer - way to win hearts asshat.


:wacko:



Did I miss this on the way in?

Comment by livingonli on 06/10/2008 14:30:28
Quote by wickedpam:

ABBA - weirdly enough Liddy likes ABBA too.


Does he find it music to shoot people by?

Comment by wickedpam on 06/10/2008 14:36:27
Quote by livingonli:

Quote by wickedpam:

ABBA - weirdly enough Liddy likes ABBA too.


Does he find it music to shoot people by?




I guess - I just remember that from his old show on JFK that he would talk about politics, guns, his Stacked and Packed calender and ABBA. It was odd - he would even bring in an ABBA tribute group that he really liked.



Comment by BobR on 06/10/2008 14:38:45
Quote by livingonli:

Good morning everyone.



Last night I went to see another stellar Lizz Winstead show in the City. Did anyone read my comments last night at the end of yesterday's blog?


::Joe Biden:: YES

Comment by BobR on 06/10/2008 14:40:17
Quote by velveeta jones:

Good Morning all!



Jim Hightower!! LOVE HIM!!



Raine, saw your posts about your sister last night, and said a prayer. I really hope she's okay, but I know she'll have great care.

I've had my GB removed, under emergency conditions and it was more painful than my brain surgery, so it must be even more painful and scary for someone whose pregnant!!



Stay strong! I'll be thinking 'bout you and her all day!





What sort of dietary changes did you need to make after getting your gall bladder out?

Comment by Random on 06/10/2008 14:50:06
Damn Right.

Random can get on Four Freedoms now.



I feel at home again.

Comment by Raine on 06/10/2008 14:53:04
:rofl: Failed change of the 60's and 70's... Oh John... you are so retro.

Comment by wickedpam on 06/10/2008 14:55:56
Just like the industrial revolution changed the world, I think we are on the cusp of the Green Revolution.

Comment by Raine on 06/10/2008 14:55:57
Quote by Random:

Damn Right.

Random can get on Four Freedoms now.



I feel at home again.
:hug:



Comment by Raine on 06/10/2008 14:56:47
Is caller a terry Jeffries-wanna be?

Comment by Raine on 06/10/2008 14:58:11
HEya Tom? who deregulated the mortgage industry??? :waiting:

Comment by starling310 on 06/10/2008 15:00:26
Tom is a moron....half the people with crap mortgages and "gas guzzling" suv's had them when things were still good. then george bush came along. . .

Comment by Random on 06/10/2008 15:02:42
Caller Tom...Is an idiot.





Comment by starling310 on 06/10/2008 15:03:38
Raine, how is your sis?



Comment by m-hadley on 06/10/2008 15:07:34
Quote by starling310:

Tom is a moron....half the people with crap mortgages and "gas guzzling" suv's had them when things were still good. then george bush came along. . .




Mornin' Starling,

Tom thinks it's not the Prez's fault that he let his buddy Phil Gramm tear down the wall between commercial banks and investment banks and got this whole mess started - heeem, now whose fault is that? I'm just askin'.

Cheers,

mfaye