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Interstellar Adventure
Adventure: the pursuit of life — Daniel Roy Wiarda

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Baghdad ER

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Baghdad ER premiered Sunday night, but I forgot until I turned on the TV to watch the Sopranos. Fortunately it was on On Demand, and I was able to watch it last night. I've been against this war from the start. I don't get it. Yes, Saddam is crazy. He was a bad man. He's gone now, and that's probably a good thing. I still don't see that he was that big of an international threat but more of a nuisance than anything. But now that he's gone, what's been accomplished? We've provided a centralized location for terrorists to play, and our boys are dying for it. I've heard a proposed solution. "Nuke the place and let A**ah sort them out." A quick and dirty solution, yes. But not one that I endorse. Yet watching this documentary last night, seeing young men come in with limbs dangling or completely blown off, watching as the amputated limb after limb, and zipped up body bag after body bag, I have to wonder. What the hell are they doing there? It's the same thing over and over. Nothing is changing. Day after day, the bombs, oops, excuse me, Improvised Explosive Devices (yeah, let's give it a fancy name, that makes it better) go off, tearing into the Humvees, ripping the occupants to shreds. The soldiers can't tell the difference between friend and foe. The bad guys don't give a crap if they blow up 20 of their own, including children; if they can get a US soldier, it's worth it. So they walk into crowds, blowing themselves up, taking down innocents and soldiers alike. Then, when help arrives, a second wave blows them up. Soldiers are sent on missions, such as delivering chow to their fellow soldiers and are blown up for it. (This was a scenario from the documentary.) How long will this go on? How many fingers, legs, eyes, lives have to be lost? What's the plan? How are we getting out of there? All the news reports I read say the same thing. Yeah, we're training the Iraqis to defend their country, but they're just as big a target as our own soldiers, and we doubt if the ones that aren't killed can really stand on their own. I recommend watching this, if you can stomach it. It's ugly. It's bloody. I can't imagine being one of these field doctors. They live in a revolving door of death and traumatic injury. Maybe a quick and dirty solution would be better after all. I still don't know. Hawkeye: War isn't Hell. War is war, and Hell is Hell. And of the two, war is a lot worse. Father Mulcahy: How do you figure, Hawkeye? Hawkeye: Easy, Father. Tell me, who goes to Hell? Father Mulcahy: Sinners, I believe. Hawkeye: Exactly. There are no innocent bystanders in Hell. War is chalk full of them - little kids, cripples, old ladies. In fact, except for some of the brass, almost everybody involved is an innocent bystander.

5/23/2006 09:36:00 AM :: ::
22 Comments:
  • First, I agree that this "war" is another hoax perpetrated on the pie-eyed sheep of the american public along the lines of the other un-winnable wars; "War on Drugs" "War on Poverty", etc. Follow the money, simple enough. We stay only to maintain money trails and to try to get a somewhat favourable paragraph in a future history book for our fuehrer, GW Bush. War started in March 2003, should have ended April 2003.

    Second, what I disagree with is that Saddam was a bad man and that Iraq is now a playground / training ground for terrorists. I've said it before and I will say it again with this reminder - I hate islam and mindless drones that follow it. Here it goes...THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT TERRORISTS!!! THEY ARE PATRIOTS!!!

    The only reason we are dying there is because WE ARE THERE. More of us die in training accidents than by Haji. Pick up a history book. Anyone remember a Native American population rumored to have existed somewhere in North america before 1492? They were labelled terrorists too when they tried fighting back after europeans wouldn't leave. Oh, and anyone remember the Boston Tea Party? Wasn't that a terrorist act perpetrated by our forefathers that now is lauded in every history book in america? What would you do if the Canadians ever decided to invade and remove our gov't because Bush is nuts and the americans suffer from his selfish acts?

    Terrorists perform acts of violence on unsuspecting populations to produce a maintained state of fear and paralysis. We are on their home ground, we are less than unsuspecting, and we continue our operations there. The reconstruction operations are also a farce as I've so many times tried to show on my blog. So I won't go into that again.

    Wake up america!!! See what the rest of the world sees. You won't see it clearly on the evening news in your living rooms.

    By Blogger Dorman, at 5/23/2006 10:55:00 AM

     


  • I probably won't be able to watch the documentary because what you described is about too much for me to stomach. But I'm certainly not naive about what's going on over there. I think it's horrible and I wish everyone would just come back. Maybe that statements a little naive, but I think it's outrageus our soldiers our in that place.

    By Blogger Jolynn, at 5/23/2006 11:40:00 AM

     


  • I'm with you Oh Interstellar lass. Every day I have to report the death and destruction from this crazy war and now I am actually blase when I read death toll numbers... oh another thousand dead today...
    and that's only in Iraq....
    Wish it would end and we'd get out.
    Still there must be some other countries we can invade....um...let me see... Iran?

    By Blogger Tori, at 5/23/2006 11:46:00 AM

     


  • We watched about the last 5 minutes... enough to catch the most depressing "Last Rites" scene...

    I am so depressed over this war and it pisses me off that we have a government that does what it pleases and, in effect, tells us to be good little children and stay quiet!

    By Blogger Kristin, at 5/23/2006 11:51:00 AM

     


  • Iran will be next, been trying to establish a case against them since November 2004. All hyperbole and sentiment, no substance. Look at the hypocrisy in our stance on human rights and soverignty. I think every country on earth should have nukes. Every one. That way, Haji-on-the-block or Ching Xao, or Ivan Krushki will not have one from the black market to use on their own. Terrorists had little power before the end of the cold war if you can remember.

    By Blogger Dorman, at 5/23/2006 12:17:00 PM

     


  • I'm with you on this one. I don't support the war... I don't think there should be any soldiers there - American, Canadian, British... doesn't matter.

    I find it depressing watching the people in Iraq being called terrorists when all they are trying to do is protect their country from an invading and occupying force. They are doing what any other people would do.

    This war was created to in order to control oil. Pure and simple. It wasn't about Sadam, the Taliban, nor Al Quida. It is and was about oil.

    By Blogger Froggie, at 5/23/2006 12:48:00 PM

     


  • Yes, it's all very frustrating. I don't like to get political or religious on my blog, and we don't have cable, so thanks for giving your viewpoint of the war and the show.

    By Anonymous abbynormal, at 5/23/2006 01:45:00 PM

     


  • Excellent post Lass. Particularly haunting quote from MASH as well.

    By Blogger culfy, at 5/23/2006 01:58:00 PM

     


  • I don't have HBO so I missed it. TheMan's friend was telling him about it. I wish I could see it but I fear it will get me all sappy and emotional. Remember that documentary Letters from Home? I cried for three days.

    By Blogger used*to*be*me*, at 5/23/2006 02:25:00 PM

     


  • Wasteful in every sense of the war. I don't know how soldiers like Dorman and NittanyBri went in there and did their jobs knowing full well it was for nothing. Thank God, they're home safe and sound.

    By Blogger Carnealian, at 5/23/2006 02:52:00 PM

     


  • Amen, sista. Enough is way past enough and everybody needs to raise some hell until they hear us.

    In that spirit, your letter for the game shall be H!

    Have fun.....

    By Blogger poopie, at 5/23/2006 03:04:00 PM

     


  • It all seems like a big mess right now, that's for sure...

    By Blogger Suburban Turmoil, at 5/23/2006 03:11:00 PM

     


  • Well....I would NEVER disrespect a fellow blogger for giving their opinon because I do value that.

    The fact that we can differ on this kind of thing is what makes our country so great and wonderful.

    Now...I'll just add that my husband just returned safe and sound from his 2nd deployment from Iraq. The other night I listened in while him and his buddies discussed things like "predators and halos"...........they spoke of alot of things they saw and experienced.....

    I can tell you firsthand that the men and women I've met here in germany that have had to fight did so with great pride and they did believe in what they were doing and they are ready to GO BACK.

    What you see on TV right now is not the whole picture...

    By Blogger Sandy, at 5/23/2006 03:51:00 PM

     


  • OK, here's my $0.02. The problem with shows like Baghdad ER is they only show the negative side of what we are doing over there. No one would ever dare make a documentary showing families getting there lives back in order after years of tyranny or exercising their right to free speech for the first time in their lives.

    That said, based on the fact that no weapons of mass distruction were found in Iraq, I feel we should not have stayed in Iraq. The question everyone should be asking is "Where are the WMD and what wacko has them?". Saddam did have WMD in 1998 when he kicked to UN inspectors out of Iraq, but did not in 2003. Where are the WMD? Why are we not trying harder to find them. Let the Iraqi's deal with their own internal problems.

    We have over-stayed our welcome as fas as the Iraqi's are concerned. In Arab culture, guests are welcomed into the home, stranger or friend, for visits of no more than 3 days. After 3 days, it is considered rude to stay. The longer we stay, the more Iraqis will want us to leave.

    Well, that's my semi-coherent rant.

    Thanks to all for exercising your right to free speech!

    By Blogger NittanyBri, at 5/23/2006 04:09:00 PM

     


  • OK Dorman, I can go with you that the guys blowing up IEDs are patriots. I'd be pretty pissed too if I'd been occupied for three years.

    Sandy, I saw from the documentary one of the injured soldiers saying "I'm here to fight. I'm injured, so what. I'm here to fight." And I get that they are there, doing their job, and ready to go back at a moments notice, because that's what they signed up to do. And if there was any visible change or progress and soldiers weren't being blown up 1, 3, 5 a day, then I could understand. When something has a clear beginning, a purpose, a goal, clear action and a clear end, then I can follow it. But when the war remains stagnant, and you hear the same or no news, and there is no clear end in sight and then you see things like this, it has to make one question.

    NittanyBri, I do wish that we would see people putting their lives back together. I wish it were shown, shouted from the mountain-top so to speak. But in last week's paper, I read a story about a family that spends the majority of their time locked in their compound. They don't go out unless it's necessary. The grandfather had a heart-attack after curfew and it was too dangerous to take him to the hospital, so he died at home. And the person reporting it? An Iraqi-American photojournalist, essentially showing her family being held hostages in their own home. That doesn't seem to be putting their lives back together to me.

    By Blogger InterstellarLass, at 5/23/2006 04:18:00 PM

     


  • Like you, I have been against the War in Iraq since day 1 of it being suggested. But now that we are there, no matter how much we wish it, we can not simply leave and come back home. How many more innocents would die? Also, you won't see people putting their lives back together right away, at least not while bombs are still going off in their backyards. But people will put their lives back together. After WWII, they did all over Europe and in Japan. It takes time.
    When I first read these comments, I could have sworn I read that someone posted more US Soldiers have been killed during the War in Irag than the Vietnam War, so I went looking for numbers. It appears I was mistaken, none of you said such a thing. But I will give you the numbers anyways. In Vietnam, 58,169 US military people were killed. Over, 200,000 wounded. In Iraq since March 2003, 9371 US military have been killed, and 17,648 have been wounded. The War in Iraq has lasted 38 months so far; the Vietnam War lasted 90. (The Revolutionary War 80.) The number of Iraqis killed since American invasion is about 40,000 (iraqbodycount.org). The number of Vietnamese killed by American military well over 1,000,000; the number wounded well over 5,000,000. The toll of War is huge: economically, socially, environmentally, but most importantly the loss of human life. But are there not times when it is necessary? Like when Pearl Harbor was attacked and over 2400 American soldiers were killed? Countless Jews suffering unimaginable tortures and deaths in Europe under Nazi control? Or how about when ~3000 American cilivans perished in the 9/11 attacks? And countless Arabs are being tortured and killed under Sadamm? As I said before, I was against going into Iraq from day 1, and I was because I knew it would require a lot of sacrifice and it would take a lot of time --- and the whole country has to be ready for a commitment like that. And well, war is horrible. War is worse than hell for the very reason Hawkeye said in war there are not only innocents, but they end up suffering the most. But the way this world is, we cannot escape from the ugly truth of war. I wish it were different, but the nature of humanity is what it has always been and will always be that way --- the best and the worst of it.
    Furthermore, though I don't agree with the War in Iraq, I do agree with the War on Terrorism (even if it isn't being handled well). Something must be done. We have to protect ourselves and our country. we cannot sit by and let terrorism continue--- that is what we did the first time the World Trade Center was attacked. That is what we did when our bases and ships were being attacked overseas the years leading up to 9/11. Then we all woke up the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 to ~3000 of our country men and women and children dead.

    By Blogger Brittany, at 5/23/2006 05:32:00 PM

     


  • Not to lessen the toll of the war, but it's "only" about 2700 soldiers killed in Iraq.
    But that doesn't matter, it's too many.
    I caught the last few minutes of that, before the Sopranos and just those few minutes made me sick. It's so sad.
    I say we toss a bomb over our shoulder and get out.

    By Blogger annie, at 5/23/2006 09:29:00 PM

     


  • True what NittanyBri says about families and lives. I have not overlooked that but the fact remains is this - the Army is not and never has been intended to be a humanitarian organization. Using us for the warm and fuzzies is like using a hammer to wash dishes. We kill people and break things. It is up to their own people, gov't, and cultural leaders to repair (with some foundational assistance from us) their world. Send in the UN or Green Peace or someone geared for humanitarianism if need be. Let's not kid ourselves by justifying what we do overall there by looking too specifically on one soldier's pride or one unit's pride. Sure Iwas proud of being able to accomplish all my missions, but the big picture remained that the smaller missions fed into the larger unjustified mission of the "war".

    We do all need to raise hell as americans and have our voices heard, because silence is approval. I do not approve.

    By Blogger Dorman, at 5/23/2006 11:58:00 PM

     


  • This is an incredibly complex issue, Lass. Because there's so much info we will never be privy to, I really wonder if there ever will be an answer as to why we're still there.
    It's an itch we can't seem to scratch.
    I'll go so far as to say, I support the troops fighting and living in deplorable conditions so I can sleep peacefully at night, but I too would like to see some closure to this thing. When will we realize that we can't change 2,000 years of culture?
    As an aside, I love reading Dorman's comments. When are you going to write a book Dorman? Because I'd buy it...
    Again, great post, Lass.
    ~m

    By Anonymous michael, at 5/24/2006 06:27:00 AM

     


  • Nuke em' all and let Allah sort em' out.

    By Blogger An Observer, at 5/24/2006 09:14:00 AM

     


  • We went over there based on false pretenses. I agree that Iraq and the world as a whole is better off without Saddam in power. It's a different culture over there and one we don't understand. This mess will be going on for years and the outcome ( a free, democratic Iraq) will more than likely never happen.

    By Blogger Mike, at 5/25/2006 08:51:00 AM

     


  • I was against this war from the beginning, even before it started, for the same reasons. It hurts me so to think about it. I visited the Middle East, so I knew that it made no sense to get in this kind of entanglement. You can't win.

    Thanks for this post.

    By Blogger Raehan, at 5/27/2006 10:01:00 PM

     


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