Sunday, November 26, 2006

And What Are The Chickenhawk Motherfuckers Doing?

From the Washington Post:

This week, U.S. troops will have been fighting in Iraq longer than they did in World War II, with no relief in sight. Soldiers from 1st Brigade preparing at Fort Stewart for their third Iraq tour have been spending as much time in Iraq as at home. The rotations -- a year in Iraq followed by a year at home -- dictate soldiers' most intimate decisions: They mandate when troops can marry and have children. They sever relationships that cannot sustain the stress of absence or danger. And they lead some couples to pray for the war to end.


Anxiety, depression and psychological trauma from repeated exposure to combat add to the stress, affecting 15 percent to 20 percent of soldiers, said Maj. Christopher H. Warner, a 3rd Infantry Division psychiatrist. Those factors contribute to drinking, drug use and domestic violence among a small percentage of soldiers, officers said.

While some GIs grow more resilient to combat stress, others get worse, Warner said. One soldier attacked by gunfire and bombs repeatedly at Iraqi bridges found himself afraid to drive through underpasses at home. Some soldiers under treatment for combat stress return to war but are screened to see if they pose a risk, Warner said.

Still, the bulk of psychological problems for soldiers relate to home-front issues such as separation and infidelity, he said.

Many soldiers doubt civilians can understand the pressures they face, and they see a widening gap between Army life and what some call "the outside world." "There are times you feel like, 'Why is it us?' " Audrey said. Civilians, she said, "don't have a concept of what we go through."

The question of "Why is it them?" is very simple to answer. They made the mistake of belonging to the military at a time when lawmakers in Washington and the preznit and his administration have decided to fight two unending wars with the same 320,000 troops that they rotate in and out of the war zones every year or so.

And when Congressman Charlie Rangel tried to point out the essential unfairness of making the same soldiers and marines deploy repeatedly to war zones while the rest of us do nothing by re-instituting a military draft so ALL Americans would have to make the sacrifices that currently only military people and their families are making, the politicians and media elites like Joe Scarborough scoffed and said "That's stupid."

Yes, from a political point of view perhaps it is "stupid" to ask ALL Americans to share the burdens and dangers of a war in Iraq that didn't have to be and that has almost certainly made us less safe in the War on Terror. And yet, isn't it "stupid" to ask the same soldiers, marines and their families to bear the burdens and dangers of these two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq year after year? And remember, under stop-loss measures instituted by the Pentagon, many marines and soldiers can NEVER leave their service behind as long as the government claims we are in a "time of crisis."

And so the 3rd Infantry Division gets ready to make its third deployment to Iraq in the last four years while Jenna and Barbara Bush returned from a week of partying in South America, Joe Scarborough ate a Thanksgiving Dinner that couldn't be beat and readies himself for a tough Christmas holiday working at MSNBC studios in Washington D.C., and the rest of the Chickenhawk Motherfuckers look to pass blame onto others for the Iraq debacle while most clearly staying away from the war zone and any personal danger to themselves.

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