March 10, 2004

Lost your love of life? Too much apple pie

* An 'unknown soldier' just back from Iraq speaks about the war, and what is happening in Iraq. an excerpt:

Do you think the American public is well-informed about what is happening in Iraq?

No, I really don?t. I see young people on my medical table all the time, people who have lost their legs or arms or had other terrible injuries. No one back home sees any of that. I?ve been home for a month and I haven?t seen a casualty yet on television. I?m still waiting. Where are the casualties? It?s as if it doesn?t exist, as if it doesn?t happen.

What about Iraqi deaths and injuries?

We don?t care about Iraqi deaths. It?s something that does not even count. The hospital was told not to keep count. The Iraqi infrastructure does not keep an account of the deaths anymore.

Why?

The American government told them not to. We do always keep a list of the Americans injured and the number that die. But here in America you don?t see anything about these soldiers coming back. You don?t read anything about the funeral. It?s like it?s a secret, like these people didn?t exist.

Was it like this in previous wars?

No.

What brought about the change?

From what I gather, it used to be that the president would go out to the area to meet the [deceased] soldiers coming in. They would drape the caskets and they would actually watch and give a moment of silence as the coffin came by. The Bush Administration felt that was too much for Americans to handle, so they secured that part of the ceremony so that no one knows when that fallen soldier comes home. It?s an injustice to the military, because you gave your life to the country and the country should give something back to you. Even just a moment of silence. Every day that someone dies, the flag should be lowered to half staff. Not just because a politician died.

Those guys are good people. They work hard. They do anything and everything that is asked of them. And they gave the ultimate sacrifice. It should not be that you have to go to a website to find out who died.

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