Just read this article on Guardian Unlimited titled “If you look at them as humans, then how are you gonna kill them?”
First, I’m extermely displease with this perpetual state of warfare that’s been going on.
Secondly I’m very tired of people not being able to see the parallels between Iraq and Vietnam. You only need look up the definition of quagmire to understand the best parallel there is.
But the thing that really iritates me is the blatant disregard for life. By that I mean both the lives of our soldiers, and the lives of the Iraqi people. In particular, the Iraqi’s lived under a brutal dictator for the better part of thirty years, and now we’re doing the exact same thing.
Problem is, in order for a military machine to be effective, you have to dehumanize the enemy. Referring to Iraqi’s as ‘hajii’s’ doesn’t help. It shows our ignorance – Iraq is more Persian than Arab. But then I suppose it’d be a bit more eyebrow raising if we were to cast them as ‘muslims’. Because that is the common binding element, and even at that you have the various sects like sunni, shia, wahabi, etc. How the hell do you tell the difference unless you’re an Islamic scholar. Most of it comes down to disagreements about dogma. Of course we in the U.S. have the very same thing going on with Christains – choose the sect that best fits your dogma. But our true motives for going into Iraq had nothing to do with WMD. Instead it had to do with PNAC but I’ve discussed that ad nauseum. If you don’t get it by now, you never will.
But what really makes my irate is the treatment of our guys. I know for example that both my male grandparents suffered from PTSD but never received treatment for it. But they were fighting what I consider to be a just war, even if they U.S. was dragged into it because Britain could never have defeated Germany without us. My father also suffers PTSD from his tim in Vietnam. Now imagine what’s going to happen when soldiers start returning from Iraq.
Just imagine what Mr. Shackleton is going through:
We are in a Mexican diner in Mississippi when Alan Shackleton, a quiet 24-year-old from Iowa, stuns the table into silence with a story of his own. He details how he and his comrades in Iraq suffered multiple casualties, including a close friend who died of his injuries. Then he pauses for a moment, swallows hard and says: “And I ran over a little kid and killed him … and that’s about it.” He has been suffering from severe insomnia, but later he tells us that he has only been able to see a counsellor once every six weeks and has been prescribed sleeping
Sleeping pills. That’s all he gets. Just look at how the Bush administration is trying to cut veterans services. It’s enough to make you sick. But the backlash will be felt by the citizens of the U.S., not our rulers.