Chris's Rants

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Stories in America

Here's a fascinating site: Stories In America whose description reads:
Journalist Rose Aguilar leaves the liberal bubble of San Francisco to bring you personal stories from people living in states that overwhelmingly voted for George W. Bush for President.
Here's an excerpt from one of her latest entries, entitled Conversations at the Gas Pump (emphasis mine):
Mary Fowler, 54, Housekeeper

Why do you think gas prices are so high?

From what I've read, they say it's because of the Iraq war. I've also read about alternatives to gas and even automobiles that use alternatives, but for some reason, the big oil companies bought up the patents for that, so it's not just the Iraq war and it's not President Bush's fault. He gets blamed for everything, but it's not his fault. It's just greed from other people. I feel like the president is doing everything he can to help.

Like what?

For one thing, he is protecting our country by being in Iraq. We can't pull out too soon because they'll think we're chicken and they'll try to attack us again. We can't pull out until they're able to fend for themselves. Those who are strong are supposed to help those who are weak. We are strong and we're that way for a reason. We've always been peacemakers. As long as we keep the peace, we'll be blessed.

So you believe we're acting as peacemakers in Iraq?

Yes and we're protecting the innocent. Muslims want to rule the world. They want to take over the whole world. That's their evil purpose.

Do you know any Muslims?

I've ministered to them. A few lived in my apartment building and they invited us over for dinner. I went with a Christian guy. They were nice. The food was nice. At the end, we said, 'Can we pray for you?' And they said yes, if we can pray for you. We prayed for the peace of god. Most of them are very harsh. There's no tenderness or love.

Do a lot of Muslims live in this area? Have you met any others besides the ones who invited you over for dinner?

Most of them live in Tulsa.

Why do you think we're in Iraq? People say we're freeing the Iraqis one minute and then change their opinion and say they're horrible people.

Soldiers over there say we don't get half the news. There's so much good going on. The majority of the people appreciate the help. The majority, not the weirdos who are deceived.

Where do you get your information about the war?

The Bible and the 700 Club. I also listen to preachers who know what's going on. Pat Robertson.

What do you like about Bush?

He's a praying man of god. He's a family man and he does care. He gets blamed for everything. If this country would turn back to god, things would get better. You can't go on killing babies and allowing homosexual stuff to stay. We do love the people, but we don't love their actions.

Do you think talking about homosexuality does anything to improve healthcare or poverty?

I guess for me I've always had to trust the lord for the next job, which is usually housecleaning. If you have your eyes on him, he'll take care of you. The government can't help us.

Do you always vote?

Yes, I volunteered for the Republican Party and I enjoyed it very much.

Have you always been Republican?

When I first registered, I was a Democrat. Just from studying in school, I thought that's what I wanted to be because I believed in government for the people, by the people and of the people. But after I was saved, I realized the Republican beliefs are me so I switched and I'm glad I did.
Can't you just feel the cognitive dissonance? Muslims are evil, yet the only Muslim people she's met personally were very nice, even invited her over to dinner and prayed with her. Muslims are evil, want to take over the world. We're in Iraq to free them.

She gets her news about Iraq from the authority, the Bible and Pat Robertson (I guess because he's reading it directly from God's own TelePrompTer). He "knows what's going on" over there. I guess I never realized that the Bible was being constantly updated with current events in Iraq.

Here's another interesting post:
How does it make you feel when you hear politicians talk about veterans?

Dennis Hammons: They need to put their money where their mouth is. They're liars. Look at their voting records. If they supported our troops, Iraqi war veterans that come back with missing legs wouldn't have to wait six months to get an appointment. Until that's taken care of, they're lying. You don't send people to war without taking care of their injuries. These politicians don't think about it like that. If it was their sons, what would they think? Also, here's something else that gets no attention. If you're a disabled veteran, you're not getting a job. I put diabled veteran on my job applications and couldn't get a job. As soon as I put veteran and left off disabled, I got a job. I know personally, I'm not letting my kids join the military and have their lives destroyed.
She spoke to two disabled vets who have basically been screwed. Tells a very different story about how the administration "supports our troops". Sure, Rove and company will use the slogan, but its nothing but empty rhetoric. I'd like to see a poll taken of disabled Iraq war vets, asking them if they felt that they have been treated fairly and were receiving the support that they need from the Pentagon. My guess would be that Rummy would not want the public (or congress) see the results of that poll.

We tend only to hear the stories that the Pentagon wants us to hear, like the one about the chopper pilot who lost his leg but chose to remain in the service and fly again (with a specially tricked out chopper for handicapped pilots). Makes you want to enlist yourself, doesn't it... because essentially, that's what the story was meant to be, a recruiting tool. It's propaganda. They won't tell you about the thousands and thousands of guys and gals returning from Iraq with PTSD -- who aren't getting any help, or have to fight tooth and nail to get the treatment they deserve (the Pentagon is even going as far as to require that all who have been granted disability for PTSD have to prove it all over again).

This AP story reports:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Thirty percent of U.S. troops returning from the Iraq war have developed stress-related mental health problems three to four months after coming home, the Army's surgeon general said Thursday.

The problems include anxiety, depression, nightmares, anger and an inability to concentrate, said Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley and other military medical officials. A smaller number of troops, often with more severe symptoms, were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, a serious mental illness.

The 30 percent figure is in contrast to the 3 percent to 5 percent diagnosed with a significant mental health issue immediately after they leave the war theater, according to Col. Elspeth Ritchie, a military psychiatrist on Kiley's staff. A study of troops who were still in the combat zone in 2004 found 13 percent experienced significant mental health problems.


Military medical officials, however, cautioned against people reading their data as suggesting the war had driven so many soldiers over the edge. Instead, they characterized the anxiety and stress as normal reactions to combat, seeing dead and mutilated bodies, and feeling helpless to stop a violent situation.
Does your head hurt as much as mine from the cognitive dissonance of that last statement?! It's not the war. Instead, its the reaction to combat, the visions of dead, mutilated bodies and the feeling of helplessness.


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