What’s Goin’ On? Is there really a War on?

The Iraq War, for it or against it, justified or unjustified, has not been reported fairly. On this point, everyone agrees.  That the good news has not been shown is just as true as that the bad news has not been shown.  The truth about just what has been reported is in question here.

The ACLU recently reported the extent to which the Pentagon has tightly controlled the flow of information that is available to the American Public.  There are no photos of caskets, no battle field footage that hasn’t been re-run thousands of times, no images of dead people.  Read that last one again… no photos, videos or even realistic reporting about DEAD people.  It’s almost as if the war has been sanitized to the point that even the “official” casualty lists do not sound real.  What’s goin’ on?

With all due respect to both sides of the debate, the American people have not ever yet truly participated in the experience of the war.  We haven’t seen dead soldiers return in flag draped coffins and we haven’t been able to mourn them or truly honor their sacrifice.  We haven’t seen the extent of the human casualties both civilian and military, enemy and ally to truly appreciate the horror of what has been accomplished.  We’ve only seen the scrubbed version of the war, the sanitized version that the Pentagon has gone to great lengths and considerable expense to present to us.

   “At every step of the way, the Bush administration and Defense Department have gone to unprecedented lengths to control and suppress information about the human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Nasrina Bargzie, an attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. “Our democracy depends on an informed public and that is why it is so important that the American people see these documents. These documents will help to fill the information void around the issue of civilian casualties in Iraq and will lead to a more complete understanding of the prosecution of the war.”

When the real sights and sounds, horror and bloodshed of the reality in Iraq finally become known, will history treat our government harshly or will it be regarded as a necessary component of modern war?  Did the military truly learn the lesson of Vietnam in that the bloodshed, violence, and mayhem of war be hidden from the citizenry at all cost?  We’re there, we’re not leaving, and we the people are ignorant of the true cost in blood and sacrifice.

Yes, we do not hear the good news, but neither do we hear the bad. I fear that the war WILL go on forever, as long as the official Pentagon version of the events in Iraq is all we hear.  I fear that the citizens of this country will not be stirred to truly rise up against it, because we’ve been anesthetized to it’s horror.  I fear that the horrible reality of war has been transformed into glorious conquest in a cruel attempt to justify it’s fearful cost.


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  1. are about to get a pretty good “bird’s eye” view of at least the beginning of the war with the series Generation Kill that started last night.

    Its based on a book by Rolling Stone reporter Evan Wright, who was embedded with Marines during the first 40 days of the invasion. Executive Producers include David Simon and Ed Burns from the HBO series “The Wire.” And from what I’ve seen from these guys, they don’t pull any punches.

    Here’s the trailer:

  2. The “decider” doesn’t want Americans to get “upset” about all that stuff.  If Americans were to see the real story, they might not want to go shopping and keep that swell economy humming along.  Oh, wait….  

    Don’t know what’s the matter with those foolish Americans, doesn’t make sense–they’re being sheltered from the ulgy realities of the war (except for the 1% that are being sent to be wounded and die & their families)–and still they’re not supporting the economy.  Must be a bunch of “whiners”…  Well, that just goes to show they wouldn’t be able the “handle the truth” about the war, then, right?

    Please Forgive me, my sarcasm mode is in high gear today. It’s really just a sign of my deep and overwhelming frustration. It truly is appalling that the media isn’t reporting what’s really going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it’s a shame that the Americans who have permitted their “representatives” to keep the war going on aren’t faced with the realities on the news on an hourly basis.

  3. from Iraq some time ago.  One of his many duties was to train and lead an Iraqi army squad (20 or so people).

    While being trained, the Iraqi squad was severely limited as to what their duties would/could include.  After many months of training they were allowed to participate in “live” missions with other squads of both Iraqis and Americans.

    One evening Bill and his “nearly completely trained” Iraqi squad (along with several others) were participating in a house to house neighborhood search for a suspected “insurgent”.  The squad had been divided into two halves and each hugged the wall on their side of the narrow alley as they crept carefully forward, guns at the ready and tensions extremely high.

    Suddenly, not 15 yards in front of them, a teen-aged Iraqi boy darted from the shadows and across the alley.  The Iraqi soldiers opened fire with everything they had.  Bill ran down the alley swatting his squad members with his cap and shouting the Iraqi (Farsi?) words for “cease fire” as loudly as he could.  In moments he had run in front of the blazing guns of his “highly trained” squad and, to his horror, realized they were all still shooting in his and the boy’s direction.

    A few infinitely long moments later the squad stopped firing.  To his great surprise and relief neither Bill nor the innocent boy were injured at all.  A quick inspection of the squad’s weapons showed them all to be completely empty of ammunition, the only reason they had stopped shooting.

    Separated from their clearly visible target by less than 50 feet and confined in a narrow alley, the squad had fired more than 2500 rounds of ammunition in a few seconds and didn’t hit anyone.

    Bill insisted his squad was among “the best of the best”.  They, at least, would follow orders (most of the time) and “showed up for work everyday” (most of the time).  Bill said some of the other Iraqi squads would just sell their equipment (uniforms, weapons, ammunition, etc.) to the highest bidder and didn’t bother to show up again until the money ran out.  Once they returned, they only stayed around long enough to pick up their pay and be re-equipped, starting the cycle over again.

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