Message to our Ruling Class

You destroyed this good man. May God have mercy on your miserable souls–especially the souls of those who have not yet acknowledged the injustice of the war you inflicted on this man. You deserve to lose elections for years to come until you face what you did. The tragedy is that your opponents do not deserve to win them.

“Whoever decides that all peaceful means made available by international law have been exhausted, assumes a grave responsibility before God, his conscience and history.” – Joachim Navarro-Valls

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  • Margaret

    May God grant rest and peace to his tortured soul. A true hero.

  • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

    As I read this it reminded me of a conversation I had with a former military psychologist about people he’d debriefed after they had returned from a certain extremely hazardous and stressful mission – let’s call it a mission behind enemy lines.

    He said they would come back saying things like: I want to kill somebody. I want to kill myself.

    We looked at one another for a moment. It didn’t seem like there was much more to say.

    He was then working with children at risk in Washington DC. I was there visiting with my dog, who was pretty good at entertaining kids.

    I never saw him again.

  • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

    People have no idea. They really don’t.

  • Sean O

    Story on NPR Fresh Air today about the huge backlog for Veterans getting health & disability benefits (from 9 mos to. 2 yrs). Where are all the “Support the Troops” DC gang with there flag pins now?

    • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

      I’ve looked at the situation and come to the conclusion that the VA has an IT management problem and a management problem in general. They have way too much turnover with the same jobs coming up too often. This is not really fixable by legislation. It’s a management and probably a culture problem by now. If I had a way to help, I’d volunteer. But the VA isn’t progressive enough to wrap its head around the existence of people like me so they make no provision and thus I can’t help.

      • Sean O

        No doubt you are correct. It’s a messed up bureaucracy. But we put a man on the moon. If it was a priority it would get fixed. It’s not. It’s way back on the backburner.

  • Sean O

    Didn’t notice the no bid contractors, like Cheney’s KBR, who were making a financial killing in Iraq while the troops were being killed, maimed & stressed, waiting for their millions & millions in payments & profits.

    But once again war cheerleaders like Cheney have & “had other other priorities” other than looking out for the welfare of our troops. Sick. Even sicker that we as a society let them get away with it. Cheney and his ilk should be ashamed to show their faces. They should be held to account.

    • http://chicagoboyz.net TMLutas

      The last time that VP Cheney was able to make an executive decision regarding anything was on the morning of January 20th, 2009. We’re over 4 years beyond that and the problems have objectively gotten worse since that date. I’m more focused on this year’s management foul ups and how to pare down the backlog in 2013-2014 and beyond. Do you have any ideas on that? The only one that I have is to call out the militia (organized and unorganized) for the express purpose of throwing bodies at this national emergency until the problem goes away. That’s a radical solution but it seems like that’s all we’re left with.

      Again, do you have a better idea?

      • Sean O

        Yes. The Obama adm has been terrible in handling this inherited problem. It’s hardly a consolation that at least in frustrating, inefficient, bad govt we have bipartisanship.

        Not sure how to solve problem now. Asking for volunteer computer, engineering & accounting specialists, perhaps recent college or grad school grads for a domestic peace corp project.

        Whatever the solution, if it was a priority to take care of vets, it would get done.

      • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

        You’re going to call out the militia? Who are you? And what militia?

  • Sean O

    Bank Bailouts to the tune of Trillions, public money to private, corrupt, criminal, arrogant, greedy & orders of magnitude overcompensated enterprises, happened with great haste, a few weeks or months.

    Again. Leadership handles THEIR priorities.
    The Vets are now off the radar & yesterday’s news.
    Leadership doesn’t care. Never did.

  • Billy Bean

    Oh, you meant Republicans, too. At first, I thought you were referring to their treatment of the late Robert Bork. But yes, I agree; our entire ruling class has plenty of blood on its hands. Ain’t nobody clean.

  • http://dawsonarchive.blogspot.com/ Adam Mateo Fierro

    Tragic. Whenever I think of PTSD, in my mind I see Army Pfc. Joseph Patrick Dwyer, an army medic famously photographed carrying an injured Iraqi boy at the start of the Iraq war and whose mental combat wounds led to his own untimely death at 31. And then I think of the countless, faceless vets whose stories I will never hear about. Statistically, something like 1 in 5 veterans of the Iraq and Afghan wars suffer from PTSD. 22 commit suicide every day; and thousands attempt it every month. More die by their own hands than in combat. Tragic.

  • Brennan

    It seems that our leaders are so far from actually caring about what happens to our troops that the most important item on their agenda is ensuring that women get to experience this type of combat as well.

  • Mercury

    Just a question, because things were not as well understood in previous decades/centuries, but did men who saw combat in say, WW2 or WW1, or even the American Civil War or the various European wars of the 19th century, not to mention other parts of the world — is it known, or is it probable that they suffered psychological damage on a similar scale as the men who have come home from more recent conflicts? And if not, could this be due to the fact that people lived closer to death in the past – it was more of an “everyday” thing (at least until the 20th century)? Or is it due to other factors?

    I mean, when you think about it, there are times in the past when every man was involved in combat at some point in their lives – was everyone messed up? This is a serious question, and thank Gid most men of the past few generations in this country and several others have not had to witness the horrors of war, epidemics, civil unrest, etc.

  • Elaine S.

    “is it known, or is it probable that they suffered psychological damage on a similar scale”
    They did, but instead of calling it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder it was called shellshock or battle fatigue or some other name. You also ask whether people suffered PTSD less often in those days because they were more accustomed to seeing people die and to losing loved ones. Perhaps; but I also suspect (and it’s just a suspicion on my part, no real proof) that people took less note of what we now call PTSD because milder cases of it — where people could continue to function more or less normally but perhaps suffered occasional nightmares or flashbacks — weren’t considered a “disorder” but a logical and, in some ways, appropriate reaction to an experience as horrific as combat.
    Furthermore, I kinda suspect that since people were more accustomed to enduring grief, sickness, physical pain, hunger, cold, heat, and all manner of discomfort in those days (in the absence of modern medicine, sanitation, etc.) and since modern psychology had not yet come along, perhaps they didn’t regard EVERY form of grief, trauma, or depression (aka “melancholy”) as a disease that demanded immediate cure. Then again, you had quite a few people locked up in “asylums” for the insane or “feeble minded” because, in the absence of modern medicine and psychology, no one knew what else to do with them. The bottom line is, yes, I think they did suffer psychological damage on a similar scale; some just learned to live with it while others drifted off into insanity, alcoholism, homelessness, outlawry, etc.

  • Tom

    From the British poet Siegfried Sassoon:

    Suicide in the Trenches
    (published in the Cambridge Magazine, 23 February 1918)

    I knew a simple soldier boy
    Who grinned at life in empty joy,
    Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
    And whistled early with the lark.

    In winter trenches, cowed and glum
    With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
    He put a bullet through his brain.
    No one spoke of him again.

    You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
    Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
    Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
    The hell where youth and laughter go.