Thursday, November 05, 2009

I Hate The War

Untitled Document Recieve IVAW txt
IVAW Newsletter

Thank You From IVAW Send This Newsletter to a Friend

That's a message from Iraq Veterans Against the War on the Fort Hood shooting or shootings. Mary Pat Flaherty, William Wan and Christian Davenport (Washington Post) report that the suspect is US Army Maj Nidal M. Hasan, a 39-year-old psychiatrist whose aunt said he had endured mocking and verbal abuse over the years for being a Muslim and she states that he attempted to get out of the military. Peter Slevin (Washington Post) reports 12 people were killed at the base with thrity-one more left injured. Julian E. Barnes, Josh Meyer and Kat Linthicum (Los Angeles Times) explain, "Ft. Hood, which sprawls across 339 square miles of central Texas hill country, is the world's largest military installation. It supports two full armored divisions -- the 1st Cavalry Division and the 4th Infantry Division -- and is home to more than 70,000 soldiers, civilian workers and family members. It is the largest single employer in Texas." Ann Scott Tyson (Washington Post) notes, "This year, 117 active-duty Army soldiers were reported to have committed suicide, with 81 of those cases confirmed -- up from 103 suicides during the same period last year. Ten suicides have been reported at Fort Hood this year; more than 75 of its personnel have committed suicide since 2003. Fort Hood's high number of suicides is also linked to the fact that it is the Army's largest base, with more than 53,000 soldiers." Dahr Jamail adds:

Fort Hood, located in central Texas, is the largest US military base in the world and contains up to 50,000 soldiers. It is one of the most heavily deployed bases to both Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, the shooter himself was facing an impending deployment to Iraq.
The soldier says that the mood on the base is “very grim,” and that even before this incident, troop morale has been very low.
"I'd say it's at an all-time low - mostly because of Afghanistan now," he explained. "Nobody knows why we are at either place, and I believe the troops need to know why they are there, or we should pull out, and this is a unanimous feeling, even for folks who are pro-war."
In a strikingly similar incident on May 11, 2009, a US soldier gunned down five fellow soldiers at a stress-counseling center at a US base in Baghdad. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at a news conference at the Pentagon that the shootings occurred in a place where “individuals were seeking help.”
"It does speak to me, though, about the need for us to redouble our efforts, the concern in terms of dealing with the stress," Admiral Mullen said. "It also speaks to the issue of multiple deployments."
Commenting on that incident in nearly parallel terms, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that the Pentagon needs to redouble its efforts to relieve stress caused by repeated deployments in war zones; stress that is further exacerbated by limited time at home in between deployments.

Think about something, this took place on a base. There are rumors that the alleged shooter not only wanted out of the military but was set to deploy to Afghanistan. And we had a subcommittee of the US House Armed Services Committee meet this morning for a hearing entitled Iraq and Afghanistan: Perspectives on US Strategy, Part II in which Iraq was pretty much ignored -- two witnesses mentioned it in their opening statements (with something more than a shout-out or a 'old news' pose). Like it was during Part I.

Exactly how the hell does that happen?

Perspectives on US Strategy took place with an emphasis on political and civilian in Afghanistan but even though Iraq still can't pass an election law, Iraq wasn't a topic.

If the Congress works that damn hard to forget and ignore Iraq, it's a bit futile to keep hurling stones at the media for their own silences.

As noted in the snapshot today, a Colorado Rep tried to grand stand on the corpses of service members killed in Afghanistan while apparently so stupid he wasn't even aware that the Pentagon announced a Colorado native had died in Iraq just days ago.

How does the Armed Service Committee get away with ignoring Iraq? That's twice now. And the chair, by the way, is Vic Synder. So maybe we should put the question to him? Does he not know that the Iraq War hasn't ended? Does he not feel that oversight of it falls to his oversight subcommittee?

I have no idea but I know it's getting damn insulting. And when an incident like today happens? It just underscores how little work's being done on the Hill -- and don't get me started on the we-never-meet Senate Veterans Committee.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4353. Tonight? 4359. Do you get that? Do you get that since last Thursday, that number's increased by six and yet a House Armed Services subcommittee couldn't make time for Iraq today.

The e-mail address for this site is