Saturday, May 19, 2007

Paying for our transgressions?

The search goes on into its seventh day for three USA soldiers from 31st Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, who are assumed to be prisoners of insurgents in Mahmoudiya. One of the dead soldiers of the ill-fated patrol, attacked while watching over a bomb crater, was identified by DNA testing as Sgt. Anthony J. Schober, of Reno, Nev. AP reports that he was on his third tour in Iraq. Soon enough we'll be hearing of soldiers dying on their fourth tours as there is no end sight to this war as long as George W. Bush and his war cabal are in power.

I'm happy to report that the citizens of Philadelphia did their democratic duty this Tuesday voting by a 5-2 margin to bring the troops home by the end of this year. We join several hundred other communities in the United States that have done the same, alas to no avail. Col. Andrew Bacevich, whose son First LT. Andrew Bacevich was killed in Iraq on Mother's Day, was interviewed on NPR yesterday about the loss of his only son. He noted the overwhelming public rejection of the war expressed in the the November elections and he questioned the nature of a democracy that, despite the clear will of the people, allows this war to go on and on and on.

There's something fundamentally wrong with the proposition that we, the folks that supossedly run the government, sit back and watch the "unitary executive" bankrupt our treasury while a small number of Americans sacrifice everything as we go happily along with our lives at their expence. The words of Ulysses S. Grant still haunt me when I think of what he wrote about the Mexican/American war, a war which he considered to be one of the most unjust wars waged by a stronger nation against a weaker.

He wrote, "Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times." That is, of course, up until the Iraq war, which is not the most sanguinary, yet, -- in terms of the dead, anyway -- but is the longest and most expensive. Something tells me we've yet to pay fully for our transgressions.


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