Thursday, December 20, 2007

Homesick, In More Ways Than One...

  • Joe Lambert's excellent "Homesick" appears in the center spread of the December 19, 2007 issue of the free weekly Seven Days, now available all over Vermont (especially the western Route 7 corridor).

  • This is a marvelous strip, kudos and congrats to Joe! Far from his and Becca's home in Kansas, Joe is currently amid his senior year at The Center for Cartoon Studies.

  • For those of you outside of the area, here's the Seven Days online presentation of Joe's "Homesick" -- enjoy!
  • _________________________

  • Well, the subpoena threats to the White House and CIA are beginning to have some effect: reportedly, "the CIA is expected to quickly begin turning over to Congress documents related to the destruction of videotapes showing the harsh interrogation of two terror suspects."

  • "Expected to quickly begin..." -- there's many a mile twixt cup and the lip, though.

  • What is clearly a widespread culture of torture has been cultivated in Iraq, involving all 'sides' of the conflict we initiated in 2003, has supplanted the late Saddam Hussein's regime, so what has been accomplished?

  • That's what I wonder as Bush gloats over yet another passing of a budget that finances his war plan, sans planning, and the House and Senate head home for their vacations, the GOP having filibustered the Democrats into submission yet again on behalf of the GOP's Fearless Leader.

    And the body count climbs daily -- thousands of US soldiers (and uncounted mercenaries, Blackwater and otherwise, and corporate employees on top of those numbers), millions of Iraqis -- while the daily rush of wounded soldiers and civilians continues to mount unabated, and it all remains invisible to the American public at large.

    The inability of the military to cope with the steadily mounting psychological ravages of the war, too, is mounting its own body count, "over there" and on American soil.

    As I've noted here repeatedly, I don't see any real difference between this President and Administration's interminable, open-ended "detainment" practices and the breaking of contracts and constant extension of tours of duties for our military: for those on the receiving end of such abuse, the imprisonment/'tour of duty' has been a Kafkaesque nightmare without end.

  • Those unable to deal, unable to find relief, find their own ways to terminate the interminable. Pfc. Jason Scheuerman's tragic tale, just now emerging for his own family to deal with, amplifies the outrageous evidence of how completely the military is failing to care for its own.

  • But in a macho military culture embodying in-the-flesh the boast and swagger of their Commander in Chief's -- our President and Vice President's -- wreckless rhetoric, behavior and policies, any sign of desperation/weakness is met with punishment, humiliation and abuse -- period. As more soldiers approach or cross over the break-point with the ongoing irrational demands on our fittest and finest, I'm afraid we'll sadly see more such case histories come to light.

    Of course, most soldier on, in silence, and we'll hear/read nothing. In the US, the war remains essentially invisible, its consequences wrapped in flags we aren't permitted to see.

    OK, I'm outta here -- it's snowing an inch an hour here, and I've got to clear our driveway long enough to run errands.

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