Fresh Paint
Saturday, July 10, 2004
And For What?
I know, I know. I just can't let it go, and thank god the NYT is finally beginning to get it, even thought it's a Saturday edition editorial on a pleasant Saturday when no one except me is online and giving a flying f***:
By late 2002, you'd have had to have been vacationing on Mars not to know what answer Mr. Bush wanted. The planning for war had begun. The C.I.A. was under enormous pressure over getting it wrong before 9/11. And the hawkish defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, wanted to set up his own intelligence agency to get the goods on Iraq that the wishy-washy C.I.A. couldn't seem to deliver.

Both political parties see all this as an election issue, and the international community will see the committee report as another reason to decry Mr. Bush's go-it-alone foreign policy. But the report also speaks to a critical long-term security threat. We cannot afford to have the public become too cynical about the government's assessment of danger.
When Tom Ridge, the secretary of homeland defense, holds a news conference to warn the nation of dire peril and it winds up as fodder for comedy shows, there's something very wrong somewhere.
And you must read this one, too:

Soldiers With Brain Injuries From Iraq War Taught to Exercise Their Minds
Brown came to Walter Reed in a medicated stupor in early December. At the combat hospital in Iraq where he was first treated, he learned that he had lost a kidney, his adrenal gland and spleen. His pancreas were damaged. Shrapnel in his stomach caused a stabbing pain.

And his brain was damaged.

Brown became a patient in the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center at Walter Reed. It is one of eight brain injury facilities run jointly by the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

The centers report that traumatic brain injuries now account for 14 percent to 20 percent of casualties for those who survive combat.

Brown was lucky, his doctors said. His brain damage was mild enough to permit recovery, even though he was injured when he was not wearing body armor or his helmet.
And he was lucky enough to be American. Does anyone think a single unprotected Iraqi has received the same tender care? And while there are at least 11,000 Iraqi civilians killed, they're not even counting those injured any longer.

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