Monday, August 21, 2006

Leaving on a jet plane...

BUSH: The strategy is to help the Iraqi people achieve the objectives and dreams which is a democratic society. That's the strategy. The tactics -- now -- either you say yes it's important we stay there and get it done or we leave. We're not leaving so long as I'm the president. That would be a huge mistake. It would send an unbelievably you know terrible signal to reformers across the region. It would say we've abandoned our desire to change the conditions that create terror...via Think Progress

Here are some people who are leaving in spite of or even because of President Bush:

Allow me to introduce to you to Staff Sgt. Michael "Chad" Lloyd.HIs name is not John Mark Karr...He died recently while on foot patrol in Baghdad. His flight to the United States won't be in business class, and reporters won't scramble to sit next to him. His body's journey across the Atlantic won't be traced with flashy graphics or estimated time of arrivals. Flag-drapped coffins, you see, aren't as sexy as murder suspects.

Meet Trinette Johnson. ... I doubt that her story will capture headlines in 10 years. Since returning from Iraq two years ago, she has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. "She's not the same mommy," her children say. No one, save her troubled family, really gives a damn what she had to eat today, or how she's dealt with her pain these years. No one is asking "Who is Trinette Johnson?" and no one--especially not the press--seems to give a flying f... that there are thousands of Trinette Johnsons out there, living (if you can call it that) with PTSD.

Meet U.S. Army Col. Dirk Spanton. ... He survived three tours in Iraq, only to come home and find out he has six months to live. Symptoms of his cancer were masked by the stress on his body in Iraq. No one, save those who have the honor of knowing him, are interested in the type of life he had growing up, the experiences that have shaped him into the man he is today.

Meet Sgt. Steven P. Mennemeyer. ... He joined the armed forces after 9/11, and was killed in Iraq in August. He was 26 years old and is survived by his young son. He earned 13 military honors, including a bronze star that was given to his girlfriend at his funeral. There's 19,100 Google hits for this fallen soldier. There's 9,530,000 for John Mark Karr.

Meet Pfc. Javier Chavez Junior. ... At just 19 years old, he married days before shipping off to Iraq, where he was killed. Seven others from his division were also killed, including Staff Sgt. Raymond Plouhar, who "left behind a poem for his family in the event of his death: 'I have given up many things for you to be free/Do not feel pity for me, for this is my choice.'




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