Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sick & Tired

I'm feeling beat up tonite. For those of you who attend street fairs, or art & wine festivals, you gotta know that being an artist at one of those venues is a lot of hard work; physical and mental. As if I don't have enough on my plate, I am one of those artists and I spent the weekend peddling my wares. Beyond the fact of having to be at a site at around 6 a.m. Saturday a.m. to put up my tent; my home for the weekend, it is physical work toting all the worldly possessions needed to put on this show. Physically, I call them the "art fair" muscles. You don't use them except when you are putting up an EZ up canopy, which really isn't that E-Z and it really can't be put up by one person regardless of what the manual says. So, I'll stop the whining about that right now. Those are the physical aches and pains, and it doesn't cover the heartbreak and the anger of the news we hear from these past several days.

The news from Iraq is just bad; no matter how you slice it or dice it, nothings going well. Last Thursday, the number of US casualties in Iraq was 3406. On Friday & Saturday 15, plus one more on Sunday. Now the number stands at 3422, just like that! 18 families have not been notified yet. These 6 months have been the worst 6 months of the war. That would be about 400 casualties since Bush announced his surge. The surge that hasn't been fully implemented yet, so God only knows what the number of casualties will be then.

The White House is trying to kill a Democratic plan to increase the size of a military pay raise next year, contending it would be too costly and that members of the armed forces are already sufficiently compensated.
In a letter from the White House Office of Management and Budget to congressional committees overseeing the military, OMB director Rob Portman said Wednesday that the administration "strongly opposes" a Democratic plan to bump up military salaries by 3.5 percent instead of Bush's request for a 3 percent jump.

That .5% adds up to $6 month for each service member. Whoever said the armed forces are sufficiently compensated has not tried raising a family on an enlisted man's salary. The next time Bush stands with military families as his backdrop, keep in mind who supports the troops.

Today, the Washington Post reports that Assessments Made in 2003 Foretold Situation in Iraq

Two intelligence assessments from January 2003 predicted that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and subsequent U.S. occupation of Iraq could lead to internal violence and provide a, boost to Islamic extremists and terrorists in the region, according to congressional sources and former intelligence officials familiar with the prewar studies.
Now that these reports are being declassified, we have some indication of what was going on in the bony heads of this administration prior to the start of the war. None of them seem capable of telling the truth about anything.

We've got 5 soldiers identified as DUSTWUN; that's Army speak for Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown. Spc. Alex R. Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Mass. Pfc. Joseph J. Anzack Jr., 20, of Torrance, Calif., and Pvt. Byron W. Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Mich. are missing since May 12, 2007. Please do not forget SPC Ahmed K. Altaie, DUSTWUN since October 2006 and SSG Keith Muapin, DUSTWUN since April 9, 2004. The only think I can think of worse than having a child be killed in Iraq, is to have them classified as missing or DUSTWUN. My conversations with Keith's parents do not indicate forthright behavior coming from the Pentagon.

It doesn't seem like we will ever leave Iraq, especially when more details are coming to light about the US embassy being built in Baghdad. The Guardian reports:

Rising from the dust of the city's Green Zone it is destined, at $592m (£300m), to become the biggest and most expensive US embassy on earth when it opens in September.
It will cover 104 acres (42 hectares) of land, about the size of the Vatican. It will include 27 separate buildings and house about 615 people behind bomb-proof walls.

The story about the midnight mafia-like raid on Ashcroft's hospital room was more devious than anything Richard Nixon could have come up with. The writers for the Soprano's may have written such a scenario but figured it as implausible. Time describes it like this

White House counsel Alberto Gonzales went to John Ashcroft's hospital room on the evening of March 10, 2004 to ask the ailing Attorney General to override Justice Department officials and reauthorize a secret domestic wiretapping program, he was acting inappropriately, Ashcroft's deputy at the time, James Comey, testified before Congress earlier this week.

The administration brushes off questions about this story, hoping we'll move on, counting on the attention span, or lack thereof from the American public, as if this is just another non story that the "liberal media" is trying to use to make them look bad. (note to administration, we don't need to try to make you look bad; you are doing fine on your own) We have no idea how bad this administration is yet. We have heard of some egregious acts from this administration, but we haven't heard the half of it. God help this country.

I could go on, but my brain is just too full about how this administration thumbs it's nose at this country, the constitution and for that matter, the rest of the world. I am just tired of this occupation. I am tired of the lies from this administration. I am tired of hearing every single day that more soldiers have died. I am tired of Congress and the President, who won't stand up and do the right thing for the troops, with money, or armor or length of deployment or medical care for ALL of them, each and every one who served their country when asked. As for the supplemental budget, I am sick and tired of Congress playing footsie with the president, who seems likely to veto anything except a blank check to continue his misadventures in Iraq. People are dying!

And I'm tired of the month of May; I wish it would be over. May is a rewind of every single one of Ken's last days. May is Mother's Day and I didn't get a call or a card from Ken this year and I never will, thanks to this so called occupation. No one will ever call me mom, ever, ever again. Mother's Day weekend is the anniversary of Ken's commissioning and college graduation in 2002 and it is also the anniversary of his leaving for Iraq in 2003. In 2004 Lt Ken Ballard was killed in May, so what is there to like about May? Next week, is Jonathan's birthday, Evan's birthday, Patrick's birthday and Casey's birthday. The problem is, none of them are here to celebrate with their families because they were all killed in George Bush's war. I send my love and hugs to Vickie, Jane, Nadia and Pat, all Gold Star parents who are amazing people, but I'd trade them in a minute if only...........and they know it and so do I.

Oh yeah, I'm whining, but I'm just getting started; I've still got 9 more days until the 3rd anniversary of Ken's death. I can't believe it has been 3 years since that awful day. My brain hurts, my body hurts and my heart hurts. I just don't know why anyone can't just figure out how to end this damned war and bring the troops home to be with their families and in their communities.
Bring 'em home, just bring 'em home NOW! PLEASE!


Chancelucky said...

I hope you're feeling better soon.
At least Paul Wolfowitz finally resigned :}

GSMSO said...

Hey Chance, good to hear from you. I hope the whole country is feeling better soon. Sadly, I think we will have more dark days before there are brighter ones. The vote on 5.24 on the supplemental will tell us alot.

But let's give a big wooHOO for getting rid of Wolfie. Bush will find him another sweet position because he did a heckuva job, don'tcha know?

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