Saturday, March 08, 2008

Until She Slipped Into My Pocket

I'm wimping out here, to which I freely admit. It's raining a little, cold and the wind is blowing through the trees along the river with some force. Am I going outside to take a picture? Fuck no. Instead, you get a picture Pete took of wine in a jelly jar while he was chasing the pussycats around the living room. I love the honey-colored light, the glistening glass surface, the smoothness of the table, but I also see this still life as a very active image. To my eye, this glass looks still only at its center, the way candlelight is always in motion. I know this room was alive with cats running in circles and one athletic man fiddling with the flash - even I was laughing. This is what we distill of that moment.

On Friday, minstrel wrote about a report that lengthy, repeated tours of duty are destroying the armed forces. I'd read this report, too, but I don't have the same capacity he does to break out meaning. The article:
The report showed that 27.2% of noncommissioned officers - the sergeants responsible for leading troops in combat - reported mental health problems during their third or fourth tours.

"Soldiers are not resetting entirely before they get back into theater," said Lt. Col. Paul Bliese, who headed the team that conducted the study. "They're not having the opportunity to completely recover from the previous deployment when they go back into theater for the second or third deployment.

Note the inconsistency within the article: the first paragraph cites third or fourth tours; the second paragraph mentions problems beginning with second and third tours of duty. This is not a small discrepancy. It means that problems start even sooner than anyone is willing to discuss: with a second tour of duty. A second. We're sending them in for a fourth. Minstrel:
They are driving the army straight into the ground. Also, these type of endless and back to back deployments have never happened. No one else in the history of warfare has done this to their troops.

Let's read those words again: No one else in the history of warfare has done this to their troops.

No one else in the history of warfare has done this to their troops.

Rumor has it the tours of duty are about to be extended again, and it will be done quietly. When the destruction of our armed services is an undeniable fact in history, will you then support the war crimes trials of the people whose thoughtless cruelty, greed and hubris left you more truly vulnerable than you have ever been in your life?

What will it take for you personally to get off your ass and do something about this?



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