Thursday, November 09, 2006

Paying The Price For Kline's War Policy

The current war in Iraq has defined Congressman John Kline's time in office. He supports it totally, voted for it, even helped determine how to deal with the fall out from it. He equates his success with America's winning of the Iraq war. He relishes and relives every adrenalin moment he's ever had in past military experiences with this war. Because of how close Kline identifies with the war; He is in essence the war.

With that in mind, for the next week I'll be featuring a series of stories and postings that define why the Iraq war is a failure. Why it's another Vietnam, why Ameirca can't win freedom for foriegn countries with different cultures, and why the Americans will pay the ultimate price for this war.

We'll start with the wounded Americans that return home from war. America will see more of their sons and daughters among the ranks of those that have returned from Iraq bearing more than just tourist trinkets.

Paying The Price, I

"We must break this cycle of violence and begin to move in a different direction; war is not the answer, violence is not the solution. A more peaceful world is possible."

I am the living death
The memorial day on wheels
I am your yankee doodle dandy
Your John Wayne come home
Your Fourth of July firecracker
Exploding in the grave

The Forgotten Wounded of Iraq
A Dig led by Ron Kovic
Thirty-eight years ago, on Jan. 20, 1968, I was shot and paralyzed from my mid-chest down during my second tour of duty in Vietnam. It is a date that I can never forget, a day that was to change my life forever. Each year as the anniversary of my wounding in the war approached I would become extremely restless, experiencing terrible bouts of insomnia, depression, anxiety attacks and horrifying nightmares. I dreaded that day and what it represented, always fearing that the terrible trauma of my wounding might repeat itself all over again. It was a difficult day for me for decades and it remained that way until the anxieties and nightmares finally began to subside.

As I now contemplate another January 20th I cannot help but think of the young men and women who have been wounded in the war in Iraq. They have been coming home now for almost three years, flooding Walter Reed, Bethesda, Brooke Army Medical Center and veterans hospitals all across the country. Paraplegics, amputees, burn victims, the blinded and maimed, shocked and stunned, brain-damaged and psychologically stressed, over 16,000 of them, a whole new generation of severely maimed is returning from Iraq, young men and women who were not even born when I came home wounded to the Bronx veterans hospital in 1968.

I, like most other Americans, have occasionally seen them on TV or at the local veterans hospital, but for the most part they remain hidden, like the flag-draped caskets of our dead, returned to Dover Air Force Base in the darkness of night as this administration continues to pursue a policy of censorship, tightly controlling the images coming out of that war and rarely ever allowing the human cost of its policy to be seen. more

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