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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Any family who has a teen pondering joining any branch of the US Armed Forces needs to read this transcript of this Jim Lehrer News Hour segment. It will break your heart. Then it will change your mind about going.

A vital, strong, active young man named Jay Briseno was just out of his teens and serving in Iraq. In a single instant, BLAM...he's paralyzed from the chin down. A single point-blank shot did it. After the initial injury, Briseno suffered two heart attacks which starved his brain and caused extensive but not complete cognitive damage. He's not quite as bad off as poor Terri Schiavo, but it's close.

It makes me want to get in George W. Bush's face and scream "WHAT ABOUT ERRING ON THE SIDE OF LIFE NOW, GEORGE?!?!?! You bastard! You took a perfectly healthy young man and you turned him into a basket case FOR A LIE!!!!"

It is such a horror to me. It should be a horror for everyone who is a patriotic American. The blood that was spilled in World War II at least had meaning...we were fighting a true monster, Hitler, and his defeat was a victory not only for the Allies but for the entire world. The blood spilled in World War I, on the other hand, was spilled for a cause that is still a mystery to historians to this day. Vietnam was another war built on lies, from the Tonkin Gulf Incident to the incursions into Laos and Cambodia to My Lai to the final, honorless end. Will Iraq end up similarly? I think its ignoble beginning speaks to an ignoble end. I see a future President having to mop up the mess, leaving a hostile, radicalized and terrorized Iraq which might be at that point a client state of Iran.

This is a disaster. It was a fool's errand from the very beginning. May Whatever's Out There forgive us eventually for what we have done, are doing, and will do there. Every minute we are there, we dishonor everything America was built on and initially stood for.