Monday, November 26, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
The British army says violence in Basra has fallen by 90% since it withdrew from the southern Iraqi city earlier this year.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Veterans Day: One of the best ways to support our vets is to donate to a homeless shelter where you will find about 25% of the population is veterans.
You can also support efforts for Universal Health care to help vets and their families:
"According to a study by some of my colleagues at Harvard Medical School, to be published in next month’s American Journal of Public Health, nearly 1.8 million veterans had no health insurance in 2004, up 290,000 since 2000. An additional 3.8 million members of their households were also uninsured and ineligible for care at hospitals and clinics run by the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs. The 2006 data released this year show little change in these numbers.
Many uninsured veterans are barred from VA care because of a 2003 Bush administration order that halted enrollment of most middle-income veterans. Others are unable to obtain VA care because of unaffordable copayments for VA specialty care, waiting lists at some facilities or the lack of VA facilities in their communities. Almost two-thirds of uninsured veterans were employed, and nearly 9 out of 10 had worked within the past year. Most uninsured veterans were in working families. Many earned too little to afford health insurance, but too much to qualify for free care under Medicaid or VA rules. (emphasis mine)"
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Farewell my brothers, farewell my friends.
The first of you was the hardest for me. A short and narrow youth, of pale skin and black hair. Twenty one years old when his tank was struck by armor piercing rockets, fired from some fool's shoulder. His three comrades escaped the flames, they bailed out of their hatches and made themselves scarce I imagine, but M_____ never emerged from the gunner's seat. A teenage girl in rural Michigan became a widow, having only seen her husband twice since their marriage.
Then came P_____. A man I feared and hated in many ways, a stern man, a loud man. Every morning down the hall he stormed; tall black boots strapped and buckled and shined to perfection, trousers hiked just above the regulation waist, chest like a whiskey barrel, and massive hands that could touch both sides of the hallway at once. Both of those arms were taken from him, along with one stout booted leg. You warned that some of us would not survive, and you were right, but we never thought They would get You. I imagine the explosion lifting him into the air, I imagine Their cheers, I imagine his last blank stare into the rain clouds, thinking his last thoughts, uttering his last 'motherfucker!'
The third was in his middle thirties, a troublesome sergeant, a packrat. Two or three times he was promoted to staff-sergeant, each time quickly demoted. He'd been a good boxer in his youth, and still liked to fight, and he was also a believer in heavy drinking, both of which caused him much trouble in the service. I knew him for the length of time it took him to ascend from sergeant to staff-sergeant, and then back again, one full turn. He was tormented by many demons in life, the final demon, I hope, being that sniper's bullet which pierced his body and left him to bleed in the pale dust. I think not of old H_____ himself, but of the young soldiers under his care. They probably hated him, despised him even, but what on earth will they do without him?
Today brought news of the death of the mime. An unusual kid, among so many other usual and unusual kids in the '1st Regiment of Dragoons.' We were all unusual in the sense that we had all turned our backs on the world; we had all bitten the hands which had fed us for so long. For some reason I always had a feeling about S_____, I never actually thought he would get it, but I did often find myself pondering his demise. I was relatively unsurprised this morning when I read his name beside, "... 23, of Bismark, Arkansas, died July 5 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device."
from Juan Cole: a campaign to help end the war by closing the worlds largest Embassy/head of the colonial government in Iraq. Embassies are normally closed in a war zone.
"please write your congressional representatives and senators, and contact your local Democratic and Republican party organizations, and urge them in the strongest terms to close down the US embassy in Iraq. It has no business being there. It is under constant mortar and rocket attack, cannot actually conduct diplomacy, and is a thinly veiled Viceregal Palace intended to perpetuate Bush's neo-colonialism.
To end the war, begin with what is possible. Close the embassy. Save our diplomats."