Off With Our Heads
Tête-à-tête offensive: Bush and Maliki circle the burning station wagons, while our soldiers go nuts from the war.
George W. Bush wasn't crazy Wednesday when he compared the Iraq Debacle to the Vietnam War to the cheers of a VFW crowd in Kansas City.
Thousands of shell-shocked U.S. soldiers wound up untreated, drifting the streets of America after the Vietnam War. The same thing is happening now with Iraq veterans — at least with those who haven't already committed suicide. From an August 17 AP story:
My colleague Michael Feingold, a theater critic who knows a tragedy when he sees one, tipped me off to that wire story. Unfortunately, we'll never know the exact number of crazed veterans — and they'll probably go untreated — because the military is diagnosing many Iraq vets as suffering from a "personality disorder" instead of post-traumatic stress syndrome caused by the war. That way the government can discharge them, claiming that these soldiers were flawed to begin with, and wash its hands of the problem.
This disgraceful action on the home front will only cause more problems in the long run because the insanity in Iraq in the short term is increasing. Yesterday, gunmen attacked villages in Diyala province where Sunni militiamen who recently joined — supposedly — the U.S. "surge" lived. As Carol J. Williams of the L.A. Times reports this morning:
Sounds like Vietnam, just as the crumbling regime of Nouri al-Maliki sounds like the South Vietnamese government of 40 years ago. The updated National Intelligence Estimate is nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy because it will add even more pressure to Maliki's shaky rule. From Reuters, via SwissInfo:
Wait, wait, wait. Once again the press fails to note that the White House will actually write the report. That's nuts, too. Anyway, back to the Reuters story:
At least the cabinet members' boycott of Maliki's government appears to be ending. Well, maybe that's not such good news:
Crazy, huh? Not as crazy as the treatment of our own soldiers returning home shell-shocked. The Christian Science Monitor recently noted:
But this scandal emerged months ago; here's a story published last Christmas Eve that must have driven some soldiers' families crazy:
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By the way, Steven D. Green, the GI accused of raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and then murdering her and her family (with the help of others in his rape crew), was diagnosed with "anti-social personality disorder" and shipped home shortly after that March 2006 massacre — before the story of the murders fully came out, charges were brought, and he was arrested as a civilian.
That, too, is crazy.
Was Green so screwed-up before he went to Iraq? His tour in that nightmare desert couldn't have helped. As the AP reported last summer:
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