Wednesday, May 28, 2008

This is Just a Damn Shame

I'm talking about this.

That's just unacceptable. Right now I'm seething and wishing for a way to inflict bodily harm on the folks responsible for the death of Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth. Severe bodily harm.

Maseth died in one of the most painful ways known to man, electrocution, because President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney decided that it wasn't good enough to start a war for oil and revenge, they needed to make sure all their buddies got paid off of it. And those buddies have been fucking over American soldiers ever since.

Read the story, pay attention to the fact that the Pentagon was aware of unsafe conditions in the showers in Iraq since 2004, and understand that Ryan Maseth died in 2008. 2008. For four years the same government that loves to go on and on about patriotism and supporting the troops allowed men and women in uniform to clean themselves in deathtraps.


One Dozen.

That's how many soldiers have died from electrocution in Iraq, many of them because of improperly installed and inspected showers on American bases. Showers installed by a company, KBR, that is a spin-off of Halliburton which used to employ one Dick Cheney. One dozen soldiers forced to serve extended tours of duty because the same man who got FIVE deferments during the defining war of his generation wanted to makes sure his homies got paid.


Like many of you, I have let the Iraq War become background noise in my life. Sure, like most black folks, I never supported the war in the first place, and I've always known that it was begun with ulterior motives.

Yet, I'm still shocked to see exactly how debased this country's leaders are. What kind of men are ok with allowing soldiers to die so they can save a few bucks on inspections and equipment? What does it say about our nation as a whole that we would allow these men and women to suffer these indignities without raising a hue and outcry that could be heard from sea to shining sea?

There is a rot that resides in the marrow of this country. It is the rot that allows us to engage in petty disputes about campaign surrogates when men and women in Iraq can't wipe their asses safely. It's a sickness that leads us to rail against the unfairness of allowing illegal immigrants to "take our jobs," all while we stand idly by while soldiers suffer because the president and his buisness cronies didn't do their jobs.

We have become a nation consumed with the inconsequential and, as the old folks would say, "stuck permanently on stupid." There is no reason for us accept the idea that our leaders have the right to not only involve us in an unjust war, but that it's business as usual when they fail to properly equip and protect those same soldiers in a combat zone.

Where is the outrage?


Unknown said...

I'm a bit weepy today anyway - but you just brought on some serious waterworks because DAMN if I haven't been saying that for YEARS. Out of the group of 12 young men I was friends with in college who went into this war NOT ONE has returned without serious mental of physical problems. 2 returned in caskets.
The vast majority of people in this country do not actually care about the men and women in military. They enjoy waving the flag but will not sacrifice time or taxes in order to support the people we sent into hell. Try getting them to even write an email to their representatives and you'll hear about how they don't have time.
Whether you support the war or not does not change the fact that it is our government sending our brothers and sisters to die. Every day this goes on is ultimeately our fault because we do not rise up as a nation and put a stop to it. The suicide rate for returning soldiers is expected to surpass the number of soldiers killed in combat.
Sorry to ramble - but this is a sore spot with me. The way we treat our men and women in uniform is absolutely disgraceful.

Unknown said...

ps - sorry about the spelling and grammar but I'm holding on by the grace of God and caffeine today :)

Big Man said...


You don't have to apologize for letting it flow over here.

Unknown said...

I'm pretty much a pacifist, Big Man, but stuff like this makes me think we should all have to do at least one year of military service. Maybe then we'd think twice about how callously we treat our soldiers.

Ok - that's it...

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Man...but make sure you have your flag pen on! Don’t say this is the first time you are proud of your country. Wow this is just wrong.

This country is such a hypocrisy where are all the people (right wing neo cons) who are worried about supporting our troops (and busy applying McCarthy brand judgment to those opposed to the Iraq war) at when stories like this surface? I know somewhere calling this left wing propaganda I'm sure. It’s a shame the things that need to be addressed in this calamity of errors that W has gotten us into, also known as buckets of cash to his crew, are always overshadowed by the MOST superficial things. Thanks for sharing this story Big Man.


Anonymous said...

I have to echo O.G's thanks to teh story on rapes in the U.S. military, you've opened my eyes to an article (and issue) I probably wouldn't have known of otherwise. Just one more reminder of why I never want one of my children in the military. It's not that I disdain military service; it's just that I cannot think of too many other jobs where you're employer is as apt to screw you over so thoroughly.

Anonymous said...

Ugh...I'm a writer and editor and I wrote "you're" instead of "your." Big Man, I am ashamed to have done this in front of a fellow journalist like yourself.


Big Man said...


You should see the typos that are in this blog before one of my friends reads over it for me. You don't have to be ashamed for grammar errors with me; I suck at grammar.

-=Topper=- said...

First off in order for us to get upset about something we need to know. And in the case, I didn't.

But that is where "we" come in. We bring these truths forward and these stories to the surface because we would be hard pressed to ever see the "right" do it.


Imhotep said...

Big Man, We don't have outrage because the war really have not intruded upon our lives. We go about our daily lives with total disregard for what's going on 12 thousand miles away. We don't care.

Whether it's a U.S. service person getting killed or injuried. Or an Iraqi getting killed, mayhem or displaced, we don't care.

It speaks to a certain vacuousness in our soul.


Hello there!

Thank you for blowing the trumpet about this!

I absolutely had no idea about this atrocity!

Continue to encourage collective action and OUTRAGE for this injustice!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Raving Black Lunatic