The Cost Of War

Via the fire-breathing pinko commies at FDL, a reminder that the cost of war is more than just an unbalanced budget:

During the first week of the war in Iraq, a Military Times photographer captured the arresting image of Army Spc. Joseph Patrick Dwyer as he raced through a battle zone clutching a tiny Iraqi boy named Ali.

The photo was hailed as a portrait of the heart behind the U.S. military machine, and Doc Dwyer’s concerned face graced the pages of newspapers across the country.

But rather than going on to enjoy the public affection for his act of heroism, he was consumed by the demons of combat stress he could not exorcise. For the medic who cared for the wounds of his combat buddies as they pushed toward Baghdad, the battle for his own health proved too much to bear.

On June 28, Dwyer, 31, died of an accidental overdose in his home in Pinehurst, N.C., after years of struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. During that time, his marriage fell apart as he spiraled into substance abuse and depression. He found himself constantly struggling with the law, even as friends, Veterans Affairs personnel and the Army tried to help him.

Read the whole thing, as it is just heartbreaking. In a just world, people like me who cheerleaded this disaster would have to pay a price for our foolishness. As it is, I have learned a horrible lesson at the expense of thousands American dead and tens of thousands of American wounded and hundreds of billions of dollars. It isn’t right.

Meanwhile, those who have already paid a heavy price for this country continue to sacrifice:

Martin Onieal, 92, a patient at the Veteran Affairs medical center, registered to vote Monday, courtesy of the state’s chief elections official — Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz.

“There was nobody here to do this last year,” said Onieal, a World War II veteran of the Italian and North African campaigns, formerly of Hamden and a resident of the VA center since 2007.

Bysiewicz and state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal Monday registered Onieal and a handful of other VA patients, and threatened a lawsuit if they couldn’t come back to demonstrate how the new voting machines work.

Bysiewicz conducted the impromptu registration session outside the VA entrance after she said her office failed to get a written response to two letters seeking permission to go to the state’s VA centers, and was denied access in a follow-up phone call Friday.

Bysiewicz and Blumenthal were protesting a ban on registration drives issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs last month, which based its decision in part on the Hatch Act, which bans federal workers from engaging in partisan political activity.

“I believe that there is a concerted effort going on to suppress voter registration,” Bysiewicz, pointing to the department’s directive, and a separate ban issued for Indian reservations, because they are on federal property.

More here. It may very well be that there is no intentional malfeasance here in this case, and the VA is merely doing what they think the law requires them to do, but after all these guys have given (particularly when you consider that the Bush administration used the issue of military absentee ballots to aid them in the 2000 election), no expense should be spared getting every one of these guys who wants to vote registered. Period.






55 replies
  1. 1

    I cringe at seeing people making heroic efforts under the worst of circumstances used as props for the war’s cheerleaders (and then abandoned whenever convenient).

    “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country.” ~ George Washington

  2. 2
    Poopyman says:

    Semi-EPUed, I guess, but this seems to be the place to point out this and ask: Why does Canada hate the troops?

  3. 3
    Jon H says:

    Apparently Dwyer was only there for three months yet it took such a toll on him.

  4. 4
    Elvis Elvisberg says:

    That’s a horrible misinterpretation of the Hatch Act. Registering to vote is not partisan political activity. This could be an aspect of the administration’s vote-suppression program.

  5. 5
    Poopyman says:

    Got that link from C&L, BTW.

  6. 6
    Jon H says:

    BTW, John, are those the VA links I sent you? It’s kinda weird because your post is timestamped earlier than my email.

  7. 7
    Wilfred says:

    Pity, but despair will do that to some people. Anyway, as bad as the war is it would be imprudent to do anything before consulting with senior commanders and determining what is best for the safety of the troops.

    Ah, I don’t do snark. This poor bastard died for nothing, but we better give lots of other poor bastards the chance to do the same goddamned thing if, say, General Petraeus determines that it’s necessary to stay, just a little bit longer.

    How many more Dwyers before we leave? How many more dead and maimed in the name of the ‘safety of the troops’?

  8. 8
    croatoan says:

    “Support the troops” = “Fuck the troops”

  9. 9
    jvill says:

    So it’s partisan to register vets to vote, eh?

    I knew things were going to be bad for Republicans this year, but I didn’t think they were going to be SO bad that they feared empowering one of their historically strongest bases of support.

    Why do Republicans hate the troops?

  10. 10
    Dreggas says:

    The final quote from Dwyer in that article makes it all the more depressing and, anger inducing. But it’s so romantic don’t you know? The preznit says so and all those hopeless romantics will have 100 more years in Iraq if McCain is elected, again they’re so lucky and envied by the preznit.

  11. 11
    PaminBB says:

    Heartbreaking. However, it is even more painful to think that the assholes who (mis)-led us into this clusterfuck will likely not pay any price, at least not in this lifetime. I’m not religious, but the Bush-Cheney Axis of Evil makes me wish for the existence of a very vengeful creator.

  12. 12
    PWT says:

    This is a sad story all around. Hopefully, returning vets will get better care.

  13. 13
    Punchy says:

    It may very well be that there is no intentional perfidy here in this case

    perfidy = disloyal. I think the word you’d want here is “malfeasance”. Fits much better, especially considering this is a government-run hospital.

  14. 14
    jenniebee says:

    W Math:

    Directing Federal Assets for political gain = not partisan political activity
    Registering Vets to Vote = partisan political activity

    Also

    up = down, and sometimes sideways

  15. 15
    Punchy says:

    So it’s partisan to register vets to vote, eh?

    I knew things were going to be bad for Republicans this year, but I didn’t think they were going to be SO bad that they feared empowering one of their historically strongest bases of support.

    What s/he said. When Republicans make up phony reasons (“uh….hmmmm…..Hatch Act….um…bitches?…maybe?) to not register war veterans, something is very, very wrong with the Republican brand…

  16. 16
    John Cole says:

    perfidy = disloyal. I think the word you’d want here is “malfeasance”. Fits much better, especially considering this is a government-run hospital.

    I did, thank you. I fixed it. Kind of funny because I just re-read Twain’s list of James Fennimore Cooper’s literary offenses, which included the following:

    Cooper’s word-sense was singularly dull. When a person has a poor ear for music he will flat and sharp right along without knowing it. He keeps near the tune, but is not the tune. When a person has a poor ear for words, the result is a literary flatting and sharping; you perceive what he is intending to say, but you also perceive that he does not say it. This is Cooper. He was not a word-musician. His ear was satisfied with the approximate words. I will furnish some circumstantial evidence in support of this charge. My instances are gathered from half a dozen pages of the tale called “Deerslayer.” He uses “Verbal” for “oral”; “precision” for “facility”; “phenomena” for “marvels”; “necessary” for “predetermined”; “unsophisticated” for “primitive”; “preparation” for “expectancy”; “rebuked” for “subdued”; “dependent on” for “resulting from”; “fact” for “condition”; “fact” for “conjecture”; “precaution” for “caution”; “explain” for “determine”; “mortified” for “disappointed”; “meretricious” for “factitious”; “materially” for “considerably”; “decreasing” for “deepening”; “increasing” for “disappearing”; “embedded” for “inclosed”; “treacherous” for “hostile”; “stood” for “stooped”; “softened” for “replaced”; “rejoined” for “remarked”; “situation” for “condition”; “different” for “differing”; “insensible” for “unsentient”; “brevity” for “celerity”; “distrusted” for “suspicious”; “mental imbecility” for “imbecility”; “eyes” for “sight”; “counteracting” for “opposing”; “funeral obsequies” for “obsequies.”

    There have been daring people in the world who claimed that Cooper could write English, but they are all dead now — all dead but Lounsbury.

    Read the whole thing if you need a good laugh.

  17. 17
    Tsulagi says:

    RIP, SPC Dwyer.

    This poor bastard died for nothing

    He did not die for nothing. He died during honorable service to his country. That civilian leadership chose for him to fight a war of choice that shouldn’t have been chosen doesn’t diminish his service or its value in any way. Any who suggest otherwise piss me off just as much as those brave pissants who sported Purple Heart bandaids so they could have a good giggle.

    no expense should be spared getting every one of these guys who wants to vote registered.

    Agree with that. Kind of doubt, though, that the VA is intentionally acting in a partisan manner favoring one party over another. Would think they’re just being cautious. Would also think an easy way for that SecState to get around that would be to ask non-governmental groups or veterans groups to conduct registration drives at VA hospitals.

  18. 18
    HyperIon says:

    As it is, I have learned a horrible lesson at the expense of thousands American dead and tens of thousands of American wounded and hundreds of billions of dollars. It isn’t right.

    very good post.
    but it always leaps out at me when someone fails to mention the iraqi casualties while discussing the cost of the war. i know you are not consciously omitting this but still i have to get on record: the iraqi citizenry have suffered tremendously due to the invasion….for which they did not volunteer.

  19. 19

    “We are winning in Iraq. We are winning in Iraq.”

    John McCain, June 2008

  20. 20
    bh says:

    Whatever happened to the boy and his family?

  21. 21
    HumboldtBlue says:

    He died during honorable service to his country.

    No, he died a sad and wounded man who was sent to serve an unjust war brought about by a criminal cabal masquerading as public policy. And as for our dead and wounded, they pale in comparison to what we have done to the citizens of Iraq.

    The idea that our military is serving “honorably” in Iraq is just more spin. Abu Ghraib wasn’t honorable, the killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians who were of no threat to us was not honorable. Guantanamo Bay isn’t honorable, like the rest of the crimes perpetrated in the past 7 years, there is no honor to be found.

    It’s a dishonorable war of choice, yes, a war crime.

    Millions left homeless, murdered, set adrift in a nation on fire, all because George Fucking Bush and the idiots who thought he was worthwhile, said so. George Fucking Bush.

    When Bush is behind bars, we can talk once again about using “honorable” and “America” in the same sentence.

  22. 22
    Ty Lookwell says:

    In a just world, people like me who cheerleaded this disaster would have to pay a price for our foolishness. As it is, I have learned a horrible lesson at the expense of thousands American dead and tens of thousands of American wounded and hundreds of billions of dollars. It isn’t right.

    I have so much respect for you for saying this. Posts like this perfectly capture why your voice is one of my favorites in the blogosphere. Thanks. I wasn’t visiting your blog back at the beginning of the war, but when I read posts describing the differences in your political views between then and now, I’m amazed.

  23. 23
    Tsulagi says:

    HumboldtBlue,

    If you want to direct your mighty ire toward Bush and his admin, ire away.

    If you haven’t spent yourself after that and care to direct your remaining ire at a Dem controlled Congress whose sum total of tangible opposition to date has been a Sense of the Senate resolution condemning a newspaper ad, fire away.

    They deserve your ire, not the men and women serving this country.

  24. 24
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    He died during honorable service to his country.

    No, he died during an endless descent into despair and drugs which ultimately claimed his life.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that Spc. Dwyer’s conduct in Iraq was completely honorable, but to say that anything he did, or any other soldier did, in Iraq was a service to this country is a sad joke.

  25. 25
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    They deserve your ire, not the men and women serving this country.

    But don’t you think the soldiers who tortured at Abu Ghraib deserve ire? At least?

  26. 26
    Tsulagi says:

    but to say that anything he did, or any other soldier did, in Iraq was a service to this country is a sad joke.

    So in the photo above of SPC Dwyer carrying a small child to safety, that’s a sad joke? Got it.

    But don’t you think the soldiers who tortured at Abu Ghraib deserve ire? At least?

    Let me go out on a limb here you can follow this.

    It’s conceptually possible you may be proud of the citizenry in your community. Wouldn’t be a bad thing. Maybe they’ve done some good things. However that pride likely may not extend to those few citizens who may commit a murder or rape. You can wish they be prosecuted. All of that can occur yet still be proud of those comprising your community.

    Abu Ghraib? Yes, those soldiers bear responsibility. No question. The greatest share of overall responsibility though should rest with command. Starting with the gutless little farter in the Oval Office and his civilian administration who created the conditions for an Abu Ghraib to far more easily occur.

  27. 27
    HumboldtBlue says:

    So in the photo above of SPC Dwyer carrying a small child to safety, that’s a sad joke? Got it.

    If we had never invaded Iraq he would have never had to rescue that child.

    No, the soldier in question did no start this disaster, and yes, he served as ordered, but that does not make his service any more honorable, it’s a dishonorable war for profit, not for the defense of our country.

  28. 28
    Cassidy says:

    Humboldt Blue, Notorious PAT….simply, go fuck yourself. You have no idea what we have gone through and what we have done, or why we have done it. Who the fuck are you to judge? You don’t like this war, fine, I can respect that. I didn’t like fighting in it. You want to cry about Iraqi civilians, go ahead. But you are a very low pile of dogshit to disrespect a Soldier, any dead Soldier, for doing their job, and doing it honorably.

    Fuck you, fuck your beliefs, fuck your friends, fuck your kids, fuck your mother(s), and fuck you and a half with rusty barbed wire. If we were in the same proximity, I’d push my hand through your head repeatedly.

  29. 29
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Oh go to hell Cassidy. Save your fucking whining for dead Iraqi children. If we were in the same proximity you’d still be a bitch. No one disrespected a soldier you ignorant fuck and go work on your reading comprehension.

    When you can find honor in the killing of innocent civilians in the name of our national security go ahead and do it, otherwise have a coke and a smile and shut the fuck up.

  30. 30
    Cassidy says:

    Yes you did you putrid pile of shit. Your whole genetic pool should be erased.

  31. 31
    AnneLaurie says:

    In a just world, people like me who cheerleaded this disaster would have to pay a price for our foolishness.

    You will, Mr. Cole, and so will all the rest of us here in America for the next several generations. Very very few of us will pay anywhere near Sgt. Dwyer’s price, but the cost of supporting thousands of damaged and broken soldiers, some of whom will require expensive full-time care for the next 50 years, is only the *beginning* of the tally we’ll all pay, both you misguided cheerleaders and those of us who said all along that invading Iraq to “punish” Osama bin Ladin was like arresting Fuzzy Zoeller for the murder of Nicole Simpson.

  32. 32
    GOms says:

    He was murdered by proxy, by the millions of people who voted for and advocated the lies and obvious, yes, it was obvious to us bleeding heart, disloyal, traitor lefties, deceit by Bush and his buddies.

    I had a highschool friend who ended up as a part of the peacekeeping forces in Rwanda. When he came back, he locked himself in his apartment for weeks and weeks. He ate very little. I haven’t been in contact with him for a long time, but I am sure he muist still be fucked up by that experience. So I can barely imagine what it must be like for those soldiers who went to Iraq and knew how fucked up their own gov’t was…I met plenty of American soldiers in Korea over the past few yrs who hated their gov’t so much, because all the shit that the whacky idiots who promoted this war was obviously bullshit to those guys as well. I am hoping with all my might, that one of the guys we met in Korean, Sean, will stay safe for his last few months in Iraq!

  33. 33
    norbizness says:

    Ed Burns, former Baltimore cop, teacher, co-creator of Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire, and Vietnam vet, speaking about his new series concerning the Iraq War, courtesy of The Poor Man:

    INTERVIEWER: How did working on this series affect your perspective on the war?

    BURNS: It didn’t. I still hate it. It just makes it more of a tragedy to know that we sent these guys into combat in the wrong war, on a make-up war. We wasted such talent on a lie. I know from Vietnam, when these guys are injured — guys who are really injured, the guy who steps on a mine or gets hit with an IED [improvised explosive device] — you know, he wants to believe that he gave it for the right cause. And you know, as time wears on, it’ll become more evident, just like it was in Vietnam, that it wasn’t the right cause. Yet that doesn’t bring his foot back or his arms back.

  34. 34
    Nellcote says:

    > a separate ban issued for Indian reservations, because they are on federal property.

    Indian reservations are not on federal property. They are soverign nations administered by the BIA/Interior Dept.

  35. 35
    Nellcote says:

    via GOS:

    So there is this bill being considered in Congress that would delay a 10.6% pay cut to physicians treating Medicare patients and would pay for it by giving less of a giveaway subsidy to the HMO’s privatizing Medicare.

    As expected the Democrats and AARP are fighting the medicare cuts. But there is another group lobbying against the cuts, according the New York Times:

    “On the other side of the issue, military families have joined doctors and AARP, the advocacy group for older Americans, in lobbying for the bill.

    Relatives of active-duty military personnel, military retirees and their dependents receive care under a federal program known as Tricare, which uses the Medicare fee schedule to pay doctors.

    When Medicare reduces payments to doctors, fees under the military program are also reduced, and it becomes more difficult for military families to find doctors.

    Congress is “playing chicken with your health care,” the Military Officers Association of America told its members in a bulletin last week. ”

    The bill to delay the cuts passed the house easily, but came up one vote short in the Senate.
    And guess who could have made that vote, but didnt?

    Senate Democrats came within one vote on Thursday night of pushing forward with a bill to prevent a 10 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors, which will take effect next month without legislative action. And the only senators missing were John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who is ill.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/7/7/203214/3574

  36. 36
    w vincentz says:

    @ Cassidy,
    Please get help. Talk to a counselor.
    Your anger is obvious.
    Don’t end up the same way as your comrade, Pfc Dwyer.

    You’ll probably come back at me with “FUCK YOU TOO”.
    I’m ok with that.
    I don’t think you are.
    Get help before you end up the same way.
    “Wars” do strange things to people.

  37. 37
    rachel says:

    In a just world, people like me who cheerleaded this disaster would have to pay a price for our foolishness. As it is, I have learned a horrible lesson at the expense of thousands American dead and tens of thousands of American wounded and hundreds of billions of dollars. It isn’t right.

    Lets not mention the thousands on thousands of Iraqis killed, wounded, maimed, displaced and radicalized against their neighbors and the USA, and our real enemies–the ones who were behind the 9-11 attacks–left free to do us more harm shall we?

    Go ahead: ask me if I’m still bitter at being called a fool and a traitor for having opposed this lunacy. :-(

  38. 38
    TenguPhule says:

    Who the fuck are you to judge?

    We would be the same people who repeatedly pointed out the whole enterprise was insane and were ignored.

    Those who chose to just follow orders and go to Iraq and do what they did do not escape responsibility for their choices.

    Many an atrocity has began by simply following orders.

  39. 39
    TenguPhule says:

    That civilian leadership chose for him to fight a war of choice that shouldn’t have been chosen doesn’t diminish his service or its value in any way.

    It does make it completely wasted though.

    Any sparkling silver linings have long since been buried under the unending flood of sewage from the powers that be.

  40. 40

    […] A chastened John Cole sees the picture and writes, In a just world, people like me who cheerleaded this disaster would have to pay a price for our foolishness. As it is, I have learned a horrible lesson at the expense of thousands American dead and tens of thousands of American wounded and hundreds of billions of dollars. It isn’t right. […]

  41. 41
    John Cole says:

    Cassidy isn’t the only one who thought some of the comments here are bullshit. These guys died in service to their country, regardless how misguided the policy may have been. When you sign up, you don’t agree to serve only when you agree with the policy. You agree to serve.

  42. 42
    Cassidy says:

    @ Cassidy,
    Please get help. Talk to a counselor.
    Your anger is obvious.
    Don’t end up the same way as your comrade, Pfc Dwyer.

    Been in counseling since 07. Doesn’t change the anger I feel at self-righteous, and just plain ignorant comments.

    We would be the same people who repeatedly pointed out the whole enterprise was insane and were ignored.

    Those who chose to just follow orders and go to Iraq and do what they did do not escape responsibility for their choices.

    I take full responsibility for my actions…the saving of lives, etc. Once again, you are making the same mistake a lot of anti-war people do: just because we’re willing to fight, doesn’t mean we personally agree with the reasons. I think Iraq was bullshit from the start, and always have. None of that matters though. My personal opinions do not trump my obligations.

  43. 43
    PQuincy says:

    It may very well be that there is no intentional malfeasance here

    And it may very well be that the earth is flat…remember, experts disagree!

  44. 44
    Tsulagi says:

    Those who chose to just follow orders and go to Iraq and do what they did do not escape responsibility for their choices.

    And I commend them for it. In large measure what has kept this country a democracy instead of a dictatorship has been the honor and strength of character found in those in our military. They put aside any of their personal choices to follow the direction of the nation’s elected civilian leadership, not subvert it or seize power.

    They back that up with their blood. Even for brave politicians to piss away a piece of democracy for the perceived benefit of momentary political expediency that serves their self interests. I’ll take one Cassidy who does their job in place of a thousand oratorically gifted politicians. Don’t bitch, I’m being generous with the ratio.

  45. 45
    Z says:

    I was skeptical about this war from the very beginning, but I wasn’t completely anti-war. I had hoped that maybe there was information I wasn’t privy to that was driving the push to war, but the case hadn’t been made for me. It took me less than 6 months after this thing started to know that this was a complete disaster and we needed to get out.

    Never have I blamed the soldiers for this. True, soldiers are human and not all of them have conducted themselves well. That is true of any group of people. But when our country gets into a big disaster like this, the fault lies with the politicians and administration officials who pushed for it and the public for either supporting or not stopping it. Once I figured out this war was a terrible mistake, I wasn’t out there screaming for it to stop. I wasn’t writing my legislators every week. I wasn’t canvassing friends and neighbors to counteract administration propaganda. The most I was doing was arguing with my family. As a citizen, I bear some responsibility for not doing more to stop this war.

  46. 46
    TenguPhule says:

    When you sign up, you don’t agree to serve only when you agree with the policy. You agree to serve.

    I recall something about defending the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.

    Just following orders isn’t an acceptable excuse.

    Responsibility is for choices made. All of them.

  47. 47
    TenguPhule says:

    Once again, you are making the same mistake a lot of anti-war people do: just because we’re willing to fight, doesn’t mean we personally agree with the reasons.

    Once again you are making the same mistake you always do, confusing service with a tunnel vision of only following orders. You are part of a human machine. A machine that did horrible things and still continues to do them. The vast majority of individual soldiers have done their jobs all fine and good, but their roles as cogs in the machine have enabled atrocities that while they themselves may be personally legally innocent of, have nonetheless happened in part directly because of them.

  48. 48
    Cassidy says:

    Once again you are making the same mistake you always do, confusing service with a tunnel vision of only following orders. You are part of a human machine. A machine that did horrible things and still continues to do them. The vast majority of individual soldiers have done their jobs all fine and good, but their roles as cogs in the machine have enabled atrocities that while they themselves may be personally legally innocent of, have nonetheless happened in part directly because of them.

    This is so out their, it’s laughable. I think their are a lot of things about the Oath of Enlistment you do not understand. You also leave out the parts, conveniently, of obeying the orders of Officers appointed over me.

    Quick crash course: Soldiers are obligated to defy orders that are illegal. Yes, this has not happenned before (Abu Ghraib), but more often than not, it is not an issue. The Commander in Chief (regardless of your opinion of him) says “do this”. If it’s a lawful order, it is done. Whether you disagree with the invasion of Iraq on an ethical basis, is immaterial. It was not illegal. You find me the law* that says it is, and I’ll glad help prosecute these fucks as war criminals.

    *US law, as that is what we defines our actions.

    Just following orders isn’t an acceptable excuse.

    I personally, don’t think I’ve ever said this. I have said that i was doing my job. In the end, I’m completely comfortable with my decisions. I take full responsibility for my actions in Iraq, as they were the job I swore an oath to perform. Did I do anything criminal…no. Am I proud of what I did over their…you’re damn straight I am.

  49. 49
    Tsulagi says:

    I recall something about defending the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.

    You don’t similarly recall when you took your enlistment oath the following part? You know, the “I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me” part? I hear Ginko is good to help with that memory stuff.

    But yeah, it would be good for our politicians to recall the blockquoted part above. More Ginko.

  50. 50
    b. hussein canuckistani says:

    I’ll say the same thing here I say to the Civil War nuts.. service in a dishonourable cause cannot be honourable. As long as you have the option of saying no, accepting prison if necessary, than you are complicit in the wrong that has been committed.

    Or is civil disobedience restricted to special Civil Disobedience Zones now?

  51. 51
    HyperIon says:

    this thread is probably dead but….

    As long as you have the option of saying no, accepting prison if necessary, than you are complicit in the wrong that has been committed.

    if soldiers are culpable, then taxpayers are as well.
    obviously a canuckistani is not subject to US taxes, but there are plenty of commenters here who are holding soldiers to a much higher standard than citizens. when i pay my taxes, i actively support the war, no?

  52. 52
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Cassidy isn’t the only one who thought some of the comments here are bullshit. These guys died in service to their country, regardless how misguided the policy may have been. When you sign up, you don’t agree to serve only when you agree with the policy. You agree to serve.

    You know you’re confusing the honor of serving courageously in your unit, next to the men and women facing the same dangers, with the idea of national honor.

    Soldiers from every era have pointed to the courage, bravery and willingness to die for another since man was able to write his thoughts down. That warrior ethos is not particular to the United States, it’s a theme that runs through the millions of books and billions of words written about military conflicts that have spanned every continent. It’s also an ethos that is particular to those who went into combat together, it’s not universal because relatively very few of us have served in combat.

    By accurately describing our nation’s invasion of Iraq as dishonorable we are claiming the the very action itself, the political decision — make no mistake, war is the ultimate political decision — was grossly dishonorable, based on lies, obfuscation and utter bullshit.

    We don’t doubt the courage of those forced to do battle for Iraq’s oil at the behest of Bush, as stated above, you agree to serve and serve honorably, but that in no way brings honor to the endeavor, and by angrily claiming that by pointing out the debacle for what it rightly is you somehow dishonor those who served, well, let’s just say you should find an internship at NRO.

  53. 53
    bh says:

    Regarding the interest in my earlier question….

    yeah, pretty much what I figured.

  54. 54

    […] John Cole, Logan Murphy, and Scarecrow make the perfectly reasonable point that such deaths are an inevitable price of war and that we must therefore fight only when doing so is unavoidable. That is, of course, true. […]

  55. 55

    […] John Cole, Logan Murphy, and Scarecrow make the perfectly reasonable point that such deaths are an inevitable price of war and that we must therefore fight only when doing so is unavoidable. That is, of course, true. […]

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  1. […] John Cole, Logan Murphy, and Scarecrow make the perfectly reasonable point that such deaths are an inevitable price of war and that we must therefore fight only when doing so is unavoidable. That is, of course, true. […]

  2. […] John Cole, Logan Murphy, and Scarecrow make the perfectly reasonable point that such deaths are an inevitable price of war and that we must therefore fight only when doing so is unavoidable. That is, of course, true. […]

  3. […] A chastened John Cole sees the picture and writes, In a just world, people like me who cheerleaded this disaster would have to pay a price for our foolishness. As it is, I have learned a horrible lesson at the expense of thousands American dead and tens of thousands of American wounded and hundreds of billions of dollars. It isn’t right. […]

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