Wednesday, August 30, 2006

War Is Hell

MoveOn.org will be releasing a report this morning to publicize the costs of the Iraq War to California’s 11th District. A group of voters from CA-11 will be meeting at Richard Pombo’s San Ramon office to deliver a copy of the report to Pombo and ask him to comment on it.
Since the Iraq war began, Congressman Richard Pombo (R-Tracy) has joined Republicans in Congress to spend more than $300 billion on President Bush’s failed [Iraq] policy… The cost of the war to taxpayers in the 11th Congressional District is more than $974 million and counting.
$974 million from CA-11 alone. Think of the ways that money could have been spent in the district to improve the daily lives of its residents. Education. Healthcare. Transportation. Levee repair.

But that is only one, easily calculable, cost of the Iraq war. The human cost has weighed even more heavily on the people of Richard Pombo’s district than the loss of valuable financial resources. Think for a moment of the soldiers from the district who died in this war, the many more who have been severely wounded and maimed. Think of the two young men who, right now, are sitting in the brig at Camp Pendleton awaiting trial for war crimes.
[War’s] glory is all moonshine; even success the most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families ... It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation.
William Tecumseh Sherman
I don’t know much about these two young marines sitting alone at Camp Pendleton. I do know that they are accused of participating in the murder of an innocent civilian in Iraq. I know that they have proclaimed their innocence. I know that they have families and many good friends — Cpl. Marshall Magincalda, 23, in Manteca, and Lance Cpl. Tyler Jackson, 22, in Tracy. I know that their families and friends see a boy who loved poetry and video games, a kid who ran track and taught himself to play the guitar, an all-around good guy who was a co-worker at the local movie theater, a son who fed the homeless in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving. They refuse to believe that their sons, their best friends, could pull a man from his home, bind his hands and feet in duct tape, push him into a hole and shoot him multiple times at close range with an M-16.

I don’t know if these young men are guilty or innocent. If they are innocent, then their country has betrayed them; and if they are guilty, their country has still betrayed them. Why? Because our leaders made a decision to enter this war of choice, to empower a bellicose and intransigent president, to continue on with no end in sight, knowing full well the terrible costs of war to all those who participate. Every student who ever sat through psych 101 knows about the Milgram experiment, knows that each of us is capable of deep, dark, horrible deeds. In the end it boils down to just one simple fact: war is hell. And yet our government continues to carelessly send our young people off to face its horrors. Before we ask our sons, our brothers, our friends, to sacrifice themselves at the altar of war, we have an abiding moral obligation to them to be certain that their suffering is absolutely and totally unavoidable. When we do anything less, we have betrayed them utterly and completely.
You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war to our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out.
William Tecumseh Sherman

8 Comments:

Blogger Thom K in CA said...

Thanks for expressing so well what many of us feel.

I think another behavioural experiment relevant to what is happening in Iraq is the Stanford Prison Experiment.

http://www.prisonexp.org/

3:41 AM, August 30, 2006  
Anonymous Shayne Munger said...

"More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars - yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments" ~FDR

7:37 AM, August 30, 2006  
Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

The issue of war has always been on the minds of the people. Today it is in the minds of those who don't want to take a stand on war for political reasons. If everyone out there who thinks we need this war to bolster the economy,all I can say is to hell with you. This war has done nothing to preserve the peace. We were hit on 911 and we may get hit again, now that is a different issue. We went over there in Desert Storm and kicked tail, and went home. That's where we went wrong. This Iraq war must stop now. We will never make sense of the carnage applied to the people of Iraq, and our precious dead and injured troops. The financial gain is not there.
Pollitically correct bullshit? "War is hell"

Tommy Bananas

8:08 AM, August 30, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Pombo joins the rest of the cowards, the "chickenhawks" of the Bush Administration, who found every reason not to go to war when it was their time, but now blithely send off other people's sons and daughters to further their warped agenda.

Pombo never served his country when he was of age. He was too busy smoking pot and partying. How about his son, Richie? He looks like a prime candidate to send to boot camp: Photo.

What do you think, Richard? Or is it that Annette won't let him join up, because she's afraid he will be killed in Iraq like the other Tracy boys who died there?

8:45 AM, August 30, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Here is article from Feb. 1, 2006:

Tracy suffers heavy losses in Iraq war
Oakland Tribune, Feb 1, 2006 by Mike Martinez, STAFF WRITER

TRACY -- The list of names at the Tracy War Memorial has become a lot more crowded than anyone had ever imagined.

Five soldiers who called Tracy home have died since the war began in 2001, giving the city the unwanted distinction of having one of the highest death rates per-capita in California.

Tracy has suffered more total deaths than neighboring Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

A sixth Tracy resident, 40-year-old Shaun Fyfe, a civilian contractor working for the Department of Defense, died in an Iraq hotel room of natural causes last June.

With a population of about 80,000, the city registers 6.25 deaths per 100,000 residents, a number far higher than that of any other in the county.

"I think if you're looking at the percentages, we might be on the high side," said Don Ridolfi, a former Marine and member of the Tracy War Memorial Association.

8:47 AM, August 30, 2006  
Blogger Emily Duffy said...

War really does come home doesn't it? Thanks for bringing that intimiate perspective to us as a reminder. We must all redouble our efforts to remove the beasts from power who are sending our young soldiers off the cliffs.

10:03 AM, August 30, 2006  
Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

Is this the guy Mike Martinez who writes for the San Joaquin Herald, and the Tri Valley Herald? He should talk about the war. He supports all those special interest folks who want the war. If I'm wrong then he should start bashing all the fat cat's such as Pombo, Hite, Rose, Hardesty, Cose, Bilbrey, Ive's and a list of about 50 idiots who run the town of Tracy. 80,000 people controlled by these fools. Guess who holds the reigns? POMBO.
Vote this guy out.
Just as a foot note, this clown Larry Hite wrote an article about the poor troops dieing. This is the kettle calling the pot black. His quote talking about the Marines that were jailed:
Quote, They may have been brave fighting men trained by one of the best military forces on the planet but, in reality,they are a couple of young men who weren't raised to be killers... they were trained to be killers." He forgot to mention he is for the war and all the good things that it gives him. He is a Pombo supporter that didn't invite me to speak before the ROTARY. Although they did invite Mc Closkey and he and his friend Ben Rose went after Mc Closkey on the issue of Anti-Semitisum. Where I come from we call them
Hipocrites.

Tom Benigno

11:18 AM, August 30, 2006  
Anonymous Ellis Goldberg said...

Vote Out Bush supporters in congress. Their single party government insists on having their way on all issues, that is not democracy. With a complicit media they use fear to manipulate public opinion, to change “the land of the brave” to “the land of the scared”, while failing to protect us from natural disasters and terrorists.



Their plan did not work; hostile foreign relations, the middle class churned into an underclass, government spending grows while services shrink and on next generation taxpayers dime.



They have lied, cheated and deceived us into the worst of all situations, an endless war on terror. They colonize, corporatize, privatize and plunder. They changed America from the hope of freedom and democracy for the world into an evil bully empire that dominates encouraging terrorism.



They mortgage the future with tax give aways that have failed to produce promised jobs while giving polluters free reign on the environment rules. Under funding infrastructure like education and healthcare pay for tax give-aways to the richest. Ignoring the effects of global warming and lacking the courage to go on a lower carbon energy diet, they prevented large scale renewable energy implementation in favor or oil.



Vote them out.

Ellis Goldberg

11:53 PM, September 06, 2006  

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