Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Iraq, America And Ghosts Of Christmas Past, Present And Future ...

01 December 2005

Iraq, America And Ghosts Of Christmas Past, Present And Future ...

As the occasional cowboy from Crawford and claimed Commander-in-Chief, continues spouting lies & crap to his young military captive audiences, dark December dawns again. And another awful year of G.W.B's abominable auspices is almost over. But before it's finally finished, first there's Christmas to come and the accompanying cruel cold of winter.

And those forgotten armies of ex US military, disabled and/or homeless vets won't be much looking forward to the worsening weather on it's way -- nor indeed to the candy coated, hypocritical Christmas cant of the counterfeit Christians currently conning an awful lot of unquestioning Americans.

Bush never mentions in any of his abysmal addresses to his young uniformed audiences, what always awaits so many of them once they've served their purpose. Nor does he ever endeavour to show he gives a shit for any existing vet victims -- so many of them still suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune on a daily basis -- so long after arriving again, in the country they confidently but mistakenly, counted on to care for them.

Thankfully, there are still plenty of people in America who still have hearts -- and souls and consciences. Sadly, such fine folk mostly never make big news -- or to put it more precisely, hardly ever make any news at all.

Take for example 'Enigma4Ever' -- a regular reader of Richard & This Old Brit's blog. This lovely lady blogs too - at 'Watergate Summer'. Here's a quick cut & paste of her latest post.


We have seen a lot of the King giving speeches and posing coquetteishly for the Camera these past few weeks, always with the Militarized Backdrop in full effect. ( I don't think I have ever seen him pose with any wounded yet- at least not recently).And as more die and are wounded, and more Real Veterans demand a Timetable, and to bring the troops home, there are some issues that have been left unacknowledged.

I am talking about the Gifts of War- this War, the Walking Wounded and the Road Kill that are invisible to the King.

This post covers several issues: Homeless Vets, PTSD, and Medical Care for our Reservists. It is about the Abandonment of these issues and people, and the hidden heartache that stretches across Our Country. Again it is indeed a post told as a true story, about the real people that are effected. So it is dedicated to Jarrad and Robert and Iris, my neighbors, just three of my Homeless neighbors, and dedicated to what they have silently Endured. And Robert's story is shared below.

I think he would want people to know that sometimes things are not as they appear, and that No One should be Invisible in America .

I saw King George's Delusional Speech Today , yet another pissed petulent tirade, and I listened to him pontificate His Victory Plans and Schemes . I don't think he knows about the VETS, and I know he doesn't know Robert and the 74,000 PTSD Sufferers, and the Ticket to Hell he has given them.

This is Robert's Story, his Reality ............

So here's hoping we've hooked you and you're rearing to read the rest.

Hit the link and hop on over to tell her that you care, too.


Blogger Gert said...

Yes, well, we all know the traumatised and disabled vets (of any war) don't really fit in with the "Victory" parades: they kind of spoil the photo-op...

The dead? They're all "heroes", dead heroes, that can't talk back.

Dumbya will have his picture taken at the bedside of a few mauled vets that somehow have retained the will to live but it's all rather token, no room for "losers" in this "game".

5:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only youngsters would stop and think before they sign up. While the super rich profiteer from wars, what' the very best these poor kids can hope to get out of it?

I'll tell you; the MOST they can look forward to, is coming home still in one piece.

7:52 pm  
Anonymous dubhaltach said...

Richard I'm sure I don't have to remind you of this from Wilfred Owen:


He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark,
And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey,
Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the park
Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn,
Voices of play and pleasure after day,
Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him.

About this time Town used to swing so gay
When glow-lamps budded in the light blue trees,
And girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim,
In the old times, before he threw away his knees.
Now he will never feel again how slim
Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands.
All of them touch him like some queer disease.

There was an artist silly for his face,
For it was younger than his youth, last year.
Now, he is old; his back will never brace;
He's lost his colour very far from here,
Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry,
And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race
And leap of purple spurted from his thigh.

One time he liked a blood-smear down his leg,
After the matches, carried shoulder-high.
It was after football, when he'd drunk a peg,
He thought he'd better join. He wonders why.
Someone had said he'd look a god in kilts,
That's why; and maybe, too, to please his Meg,
Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jilts
He asked to join. He didn't have to beg;
Smiling they wrote his lie: aged nineteen years.

Germans he scarcely thought of; all their guilt,
And Austria's, did not move him. And no fears
Of Fear came yet. He thought of jewelled hilts
For daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes;
And care of arms; and leave; and pay arrears;
Esprit de corps; and hints for young recruits.
And soon, he was drafted out with drums and cheers.

Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal.
Only a solemn man who brought him fruits
Thanked him; and then enquired about his soul.

Now, he will spend a few sick years in institutes,
And do what things the rules consider wise,
And take whatever pity they may dole.
Tonight he noticed how the women's eyes
Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.
How cold and late it is! Why don't they come
And put him into bed? Why don't they come?

8:55 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


Thanks for that. I wonder how many read Wilfred Owen these days ? Moreover, I wonder how many of those alive today have even heard of him?

And then there's Rudyard Kipling too.

Many years ago he wrote in his Epitaphs of the War:

'If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied.'

Argh. Ignorance is bliss, alright, though a truer variation on this theme would be: "The common man's ignorance is the leader's bliss".

9:57 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


At our local cenotaph, last month on Rememberance Sunday I watched the youngsters all dressed in their smart uniforms parading, marching, saluting -- the lot. Our local War Memorial Monument around which the service is always held is filled with names of the local fallen - it has been for years. And, I thought to myself, if only they knew. That list isn't complete - it NEVER will be - then wondered how many of those shiney, all scrubbed clean kids would end up as nothing more than some stonemasons marks on a stone.

10:04 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


So true. But many of them are virtually brainwashed from birth. By the likes of Bush and Blair. By Holywood, by so many of their so-called elders & betters - and worst of all - often by their own blood relatives.

10:09 pm  
Anonymous Rod said...

I don't actively wish any harm to any of those in the services. But I'm saving my real sympathy for and if and when conscription/drafts ever start.

10:41 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

Rod - wash your mouth out - Bush and his cronies would be beyond foolish to reinact the draft. It would be political suicide. If the draft were instituted today in the US, there would be no college deferment and 18 year old men and women would have to register. Horror and gasp for all middle class parents. I live in a Repiglican suburb of Northern California. There is no way the middle classes would allow their kids to be drafted. I guarantee you there would be rioting in our manicured streets. It would be the kiss of death for the Repiglican party. The attitude is . . . 'of course we have to kick towel-head ass but my little Johnny or Susie won't be going' - that would interfere with their soccer scholarship - you get the picture. Our system is unfair no question about it . If the draft was instituted and the sons and daughters of the upper and middle classes had to go - we would be out of Iraq next week.

11:44 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

I am not sure we can begin to comprehend the problems that many ofour severely wounded troops face when they return stateside. Many of the soldiers come from small Southern rural towns in the back end of beyond. When they are discharged from Walter Reed Hospital their real problems are only beginning. Often times there is no adult available to drive them to therapy and medical services in the next biggest town. They have no skills and little education. Their future is bleak. Added to that our administration has cut back of services for veterans and are closing down veteran's hospitals. Many of them also have young children - so we have a future generation already living in poverty. We will be feeling the effects of this debacle for many years to come.

Anyone up for a quick chorus of Gunga Din?

11:57 pm  
Anonymous dubhaltach said...

Just for the record I'm in officer training and it won't be long before I get my commission.

Richard it's not unknown for me read, Sassoon, Kipling, and Saki. I've inherited my parents' love of English poety. I've used Saki's "Road to Hell" against various Jesus Freaks. You'd be amazed how effective it is.

You are not on the Road to Hell,'
You tell me with fanatic glee:
Vain boaster, what shall that avail
If Hell is on the road to thee?

Grania try this instead:

right click this link

1:17 am  
Blogger Gert said...

It's truly bizarre that our Government is comtemplating legislation to ban the "glorification of terrorism", whilst the glorification of wars, past present and future, is all around us.

Everytime we go to war and come back from it we say "never again" but we never stick to that.

This country's "successful" military history is becoming a burden, for many in the general public don't think too much about what war means, collectively we feel we can't lose, so where is the problem with starting the next one? Remember, we called the French "war dodgers" when they didn't sign the 2nd resolution...

And, yes, Hollywood has something to answer for too. I bet they're already planning the next blockbuster about Iraq. This is really a form of popular propaganda, it serves also to soften up youngsters to the idea of an ever victorious and strong America. Hollywood, the Pentagon thanks you...

3:09 pm  
Blogger Gert said...

garnia and rod:

It would be very difficult to bring back conscription anywhere in the world but we can see in Iraq and future wars to come the drawback of not having civilians in the Armed Forces.

An Army made up in part of draftees is logically less inclined to wage offensive wars. Most draftees would have no problem fighting for their country to fend of an outside agressor but Iraq wasn't one of them.

This then is one of the downside to delegating the fighting to the poor: it's much easier to send paid "mercenaries" off to go and fight in far away places for dubious causes...

Meanwhile, many at home remain comatose as regards this war, it's not their problem...

3:16 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

* I bet they're already planning the next blockbuster about Iraq.*


Hollywood's Australian, macho-migit Bruce Willis is already working on it.

Btw, did you know he'd previously put out a million dollar reward, of his own dosh, on OBL's head?

8:49 pm  
Blogger Gert said...


I didn't even know BW was an Aussie, nor that he's willing to put up 1 million of his own dough. Serves his image, I guess. What a jerk!

8:56 pm  
Blogger Gothamimage said...

Richard - slightly off topic - but what site meter tells you where all the nations your readers are from? It's hard to find the best one.

6:28 am  

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