Friday, April 27, 2007

War Between the Sexes

Last week's news reported that the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 margin,upheld the so-called "Partial Birth Abortion Law." Though anti-abortion advocates like to pretend that this law is meant to preserve "life," in fact, it and the decision just announced represent new attacks by male-dominated institutions (both the Supreme Court majority and the Congress that passed the law are male preserves) in the continuing war between the sexes. "War" in this context may seem a bit old-fashioned, but consider some of the scientific evidence in Robert Sapolsky's book, Monkeyluv. First, fruit flies exemplify one of the most extreme forms of this war, a war that turns on the knotty fact that the genetic interest of males in reproduction differs from that of females. Fruit flies, that is, mate serially and with multiple partners. This being the case, males have no interest in the well-being of the female fruit fly, except to get their genes passed on to her offspring. Thus, male fruit flies deposit their semen in the female, and fly off. This might be fine, except for the fact that the male fruit fly has a ruthless way of protecting his investment: his semen contains a component that is toxic to the sperm of any other fruit fly. So when another fruit fly tries to mate with the same female, its sperm is killed, allowing the first male's sperm to bear fruit. Not a bad system if you're male. The problem is that the toxic element in male semen is also eventually toxic to the female,and she will die from it. As Sapolsky wryly comments at his conclusion:"Caveat emptor, baby."

Of course, one might take comfort from the fact that insects are, thankfully, not mammals, except for the fact that mammals, specifically humans, have evolved a somewhat comparable system. It concerns the placenta. Scientists now understand that the placenta is only partly related to the mother, that, indeed, it can be seen as on some level "invading" her bodylike an octopus. It actually dispatches tentacles to the mother¹s bloodvessels so that they can divert nutrients from her body to her growing fetus. More than that, the placenta is described as the locus of a battle between paternal genes, driving it to invade more thoroughly, and maternal genes attempting to inhibit placental development. In fact, in abnormal cases where paternal genes are absent, female genes inhibit placental growth so much that the fetus cannot grow. Contrarily, where maternal genes are absent, the paternal genes create such exuberant placental growth that they result in a cancer called choriocarcinoma. The point here, again, is that males have an interest in a larger, healthier fetus, even at the expense of the mother, whereas females necessarily are keen to keep fetus size down, and their own bodies healthy. It would seem, then, that women in our time should recognize that beneath the rhetoric and religious pretense, the abortion battle is simply another instance of the continuing genetic war between the sexes. Men(at least those in fundamentalist communities) can be seen as having an interest in continuing high rates of birth. Nations run by men have an interest in keeping the birth rate high, both to provide boys for armies, and to keep replenishing the ranks of workers, consumers, and so on. Hence, the male-sponsored laws to outlaw or regulate abortion. Females, contrarily, seek to maintain control over their bodies, both to maintain bodily health, and to increase their life choices beyond the restrictive one of bearing children. Hence, the freer use of abortion as a method of control would be of greater moment to women. Whether most members of the opposing sexes are aware of these biological battles taking place at the genetic level is not the issue. The issue is realizing that the battles are real, they are serious, and women, especially, need to become educated about the critical and life-threateningdynamics that are in play.
Lawrence DiStasi

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sex and the Single Neocon

Leaders lost in Lust
Give us all some fits
But if it is war
Followed by sex
It must be Wolfowitz
Nobody has more ownership for the failed Iraq concept and the failed policies that were executed than comb licking Paul himself. He was then rewarded for the disaster that is Iraq and promoted by Bush to self-service pimp for the World Bank where he assiduously pursued tough love on corruption and simultaneously corrupted the personnel system to reward his girlfriend (Shaha Ali Riza) by doubling the maximum salary increase allowed and pushing her off to the State Department. Is this woman a whore or a spy or both? How does this man maintain a security clearance? How can this man push anti-corruption policies in his rhetoric while simultaneously corrupting the system? Has he no shame or no brains? The woman wanted to stay at the World Bank, so his bribe or fee for services is insufficient to quiet her. We cannot even give Paul credit for satisfying the “victim.” I will grant that even Paul Wolfowitz may have passion, but should taxpayers pay for it?
Lest you think that Mr. Wolfowitz corrupted the system only this once, there is an earlier example that demonstrates that this was more than a temporary lapse in judgment. In 2003, Paul managed to get his squeeze a no-bid consulting contract in Iraq. The World Bank Policy at the time forbid outside consulting, but not to worry, Retired General Jay Garner has stated that he never saw her in Iraq when she supposedly was there. Perhaps she avoided the conflict of interest by merely taking the money and not consulting. Who helped in this “shake and bake” episode of tax dipping? Answer: None other than Dougie Feith, another Neo-Con with special emphasis on Con. There was no shame in the inner circles of the war planners, and not much planning either.
There is some humor in all this, however. The World Bank has labeled Ms. Riza a “domestic partner” which has a familiar ring to it, especially as a right wing pejorative for living in sin. The hypocrisy extends beyond the rhetoric. World Bank senior officials are concerned over the incompetence of Paul Wolfowitz as well as his ability to project credibility while mired in personal corruption. The top 24 leaders have decried the strain that the Wolfowitz affair has put on the entire World Bank staff. If the Wolfowitz domestic partner pulls in $200,000 with her next pay raise, does the World Bank take on the burden of pay equity for the rest of the staff? Riza was shipped off to the US State Department over her objection. What kind of employee does that provide for the State Department? Even if you are not a Condi Rice fan, should Paul’s paramour make more than Condi? How can we keep her in Prada if she is relegated to Secretary of State but could make more sleeping with Paul?
Incidentally, this brilliant analyst that had the Iraqi invasion figured out to the detail of every minor political and economic facet, promised in a letter dated 25 May, 2005 that due to his pre-existing relationship with Riza that he would recuse himself from her personnel actions. Did he lie or does he know what recuse means? Perhaps that was too fine a detail.
Thank goodness that he has received the full support and confidence of GW Bush. Now we can feel vindicated that the world is better off with Wolfowitz in the World Bank. George’s judgment in selections has been perfect…or at least perfectly consistent. Loyalty uber alles. We do have precedent in the Bush White House with the more than 80 visits of Jeff Gannon (James Dale Guckert, male prostitute). At least Jeff advertised on line as a male escort and not as an investment analyst. But then, just who did Jeff visit there? I just hope that it was not Wolfowitz. That would add more complexity than I can handle as a God-fearing conservative and taxpayer.
George Giacoppe
25 April 2007

The costs of War Part 3

Human loss and “humanity” loss ~ they both countSandy Cook – 3/25/07 ~ Part 3 of 3 parts

In the first two parts we discussed the quantifiable losses in the war, open and hidden.In this final part we examine the qualitative costs of the war to all of us.

Beyond the “Human” cost of war is the broader “Humanity” cost of war. Those costs, tangible or intangible, that affect our way of life, our relationships with each other, and our place in the world.

We are losing the strongest elements of our history.
· Our American republic is being replaced by a moneyed aristocracy.
· The doctrine of separation of powers is being replaced by a “unitary executive” that brooks no checks or balances.
· The fundamental doctrine of habeas corpus is being replaced by “secret rendition.”
· The Constitutional provision that treaties are the law of the land is being replaced by the view that they are “quaint.”
· Thus, the Geneva and Hague conventions are now being replaced with “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
· The United Nations which we started and which we need is being replaced by a policy of “full spectrum dominance.”
Civilian control of an apolitical military is being replaced by militaristic civilian leadership of a politicized military.
Defense as a foreign policy imperative is being replaced by preventive war
Shared sacrifice has been replaced by shared greed and shared entertainment.
Space neutrality is being replaced by armed space weapons.

These are frightening losses, nor do I believe that the list is in any way complete. Mischief is afoot and more losses occur almost every day. Our founders believed that sovereignty rested with the people, and that a representative democracy was the practical way to exercise that sovereignty. They believed that the sovereign people’s representatives were first in the hierarchy of Government, thus their position in Article I. They knew that the representatives would need someone to run the place day-by-day, but not a king, thus the President with defined powers in Article II. And, they knew that no one could be trusted who did not have to submit his actions to review, and that the people needed protection from the powerful, thus the independent courts in Article III. They left us a clear message – let each part keep watch over the other parts – oversight, as we would call it today – and it has all but disappeared.

The three things our founders spent the most time cautioning each other on were that: treaties honored were the key to the new nation’s place in the world; massively inherited wealth would lead to a new aristocracy; and, a standing Army would present the temptation to use it.

What can I say about Geneva, The Hague and the use of torture? It appalls me as an American and as a soldier that torture is not only permitted, but in some circles it is lauded. This is a monumental loss for America from which we may never recover.

We built the United Nations, then we undermined it, and now we excoriate it. What we forget is that we need it.
In my experience we have had the least “militaristic” military in the developed world. “Militarism” in a republic most often comes from the power-mad civilian controllers, and they use the military to implement it. It is usually not the generals who want war, but the politicians.

George Marshall, general and statesman, taught us that in a republic there was a “ military ethic”, and that was, “A hatred of war and an avoidance of politics”. That view may be lost.
Surprising to some, “preemptive war” is a well-established principle in international law. Had the Polish Cavalry charged across the German border on 31 August 1939, they would have been conducting preemptive war in the face of an overwhelming and looming threat – a threat that manifested itself on 1 September when the Germans invaded. What is illegal is “preventive war.” Preventive war is the product of a policy best expressed by the Romans after their defeat by the Carthaginians early in the second Punic War, when they announced that no nation or tribe would ever be allowed to compete with Rome for supremacy. Because of that policy, the universal hatred of all people for Rome eventually brought it down. Our current government, unwilling to study history, has adopted the same policy for the United States. Calling “preventive war” “preemptive war” doesn’t change it’s nature any more than my calling you a genius or an idiot makes you one. The fact remains that “preventive war” is illegal.
Sadly, the idea of shared sacrifice has disappeared. We now believe that just thinking about the war, or ranting about it, or grieving over it is somehow sharing. I won’t remark on yellow ribbons other than to say that I never knew that patriotism and brotherhood sold for $2.95.

We are losing the present.
Nothing works better in recruiting opposition, particularly in the Middle East, than kicking down front doors and shaming the head of the family. It is almost as good at recruiting as the second best thing that we do which is to kill the innocent and call it “collateral damage.” We have destabilized the Middle East.
We have lost a sense of fiscal responsibility to our nation and to each other. We have a rigged economy based on the defense industry and foreign borrowing, that favors those who live on unearned income over those who work for a living.

We are losing a free and independent press. We are losing our right to privacy. We are equal before the courts only if we can afford high-ticket representation.

The opportunity costs are staggering. Public education, infrastructure repair, environmental conservation, research in alternative fuels, medical research, libraries, aid to the poor and indigent, and on, and on. Other present losses include 60,000 new military divorces, thousands of lost jobs and businesses, and increased industrial and political corruption.
We are losing the meaning of fundamental concepts such as truth, justice, democracy. In fact, it is our hypocrisy that taints the message of democracy.

The possible losses for the future are almost too frightening and too sad to contemplate.

The loss of manufacturing capability has weakened us strategically. The good “surge” of industrial output that let us win World War II could not be generated today. We would have to conquer or at least negotiate with other countries to regain the manufacturing capability that we have given away.

We are in danger of establishing for all time a government of authoritarian rule, with its associated destruction of civil rights. Along with that may well go our academic and religious freedoms, and freedom to travel.
We can expect increased world and national poverty as “corporatism” (Mussolini’s term for fascism) takes over.
Global warming approaches the tipping point from which mankind may not recover, and because of which world health may crash as tropical diseases invade temperate zones.

We are destroying trust among nations, and engendering international contempt for the rule of law. We are embarking on a period of permanent war – a bellum Americanum – with its accompanying perpetual arms race.
The dollar is sliding, and the international debt is climbing and we are headed for a financial meltdown.
It is hard to admit that I may well be leaving a world to my eleven grandchildren that is worse than the world my father gave me.

The remaining question of course is: did these young Americans in Iraq die in vain? Knowing that I will be attacked by some for saying it, yet I must say that the answer is “YES!”
Those who defend this war would have us believe that they only die in vain if we fail to send more to die after them, and if we do not achieve “Victory” – in whatever definition of “Victory” is in favor today. The President said in a White House news release in October of last year that, “"[r]etreating from Iraq would dishonor the men and women who have given their lives in that country, and mean their sacrifice has been in vain." I say rather that they can only die in vain if they are SENT in vain. Our history and even our political rhetoric supports that definition. And for those serving in Iraq, they have been sent in vain. Because of that, I believe that we can only honor those who have died by not letting their comrades also die. I am confident that that is what those who have died would want.
We have been warned.
"...There is no nation on earth powerful enough to accomplish our overthrow. ... Our destruction, should it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence...”
Daniel Webster: June 1, 1837

"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become victims of the darkness.”
Justice William O. Douglas
Recently in The Guardian Rebecca Solnit gave us all something to ponder. Ask yourself where you sit on this simple scale.
“There is resistance. But if it were enough, the crimes would have stopped, the war would have ended. When it does and they do, some will have been heroes, some will have been honorable but moderate, in times that did not call for moderation, and some will have consented, through inaction, to crimes against humanity.”
Rebecca Solnit: 03/14/07
If you are not yet a hero, begin working on it today.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Human Loss...Part 2

Human loss and “humanity” loss ~ they both countSandy Cook – 3/25/07 ~ Part 2 of 3 parts

Part 1 talked about the quantitative costs of war in bodies and bucks; here we continue the conversation about the hidden costs of the war.

The Army and the Marine Corps are worn out. Their equipment has been ground up by the desert conditions and 72% of army brigades have served multiple tours of duty, some as many as four tours. 84,000 National Guard and Reserves have done multiple tours. Combat stress casualties increase 50% among those on their second or subsequent tour. Two thirds of the active Army regiments are rated “not ready”, and 90% of the Army National Guard units are likewise “not ready”.

Enlistment figures can only be maintained by lowering quotas and soliciting enlistments from sub-standard recruits ~ felons and those with a low IQ. While US unemployment is reported at 4.5%. the unemployment rate for veterans in the 20-24 year age range is over 15%. Is it any wonder that the re-enlistment quotas are being made every quarter? There are no jobs!
In Iraq and Afghanistan mortality rates are up and life expectancy is down. There is no way to know for sure but the estimate of refugees who have left Iraq and Afghanistan are 1.4 million and 2 million, respectively. Internally displaced refugees number at least twice as many, particularly since ethnic and doctrinal cleansing have escalated in Iraq, even if we call it “sectarian violence”.

There is one specific hidden cost that will return to haunt us, just as Agent Orange and Gulf War Syndrome are now raising the cost of previous wars, even though to date the department of Defense is denying the effects of Depleted Uranium (DU).
DU is a serious internal hazard. Inhalation, ingestion, and wound contamination pose significant and unacceptable health risks due to direct cell damage from alpha and beta particle and gamma ray emissions. Spent penetrators, DU fragments, and contaminated shrapnel can not be touched or picked up without protection. DU is 99.8% by mass U-238, which is made from the by-product of the uranium enrichment process. The United States munitions industry produces the DU munitions in many calibers and for many weapons types. Each time those weapons are fired DU is deposited across the battlefield. For example, one 10-second burst of the GAU-12 Gatling Gun on an AC-130 aircraft deposits 132 lbs of U-238 across a wide area.

In addition, DU weapons have contributed to pollution of Iraq’s land and water, with inevitable spillover effects in other countries. The heavily polluted Tigris River, for example, flows through Iraq, Iran and Kuwait. DU poisoning is producing deformed babies not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in the United States in the families of veterans of this war and of the Gulf War before it.

We have over 800 bases and stations in other countries, and are building more. We are building four “super bases” in Iraq, as well as “Fortress Baghdad”, the billion dollar embassy in the Green Zone of Baghdad which is scheduled to have a staff of 5,000. We are funding “cooperative security locations” – secret prisons to the plain-language addicted. And then there are those “black” operations and installations which are hinted at around the globe.

The greatest hidden cost, both now and in the future, may well be the cost of welfare to include homelessness, although with homelessness we begin to approach those other costs that go beyond dollars and cents. We know that almost 10% of the 22.5 million current veterans are homeless. The reasons for homelessness among veterans vary, matching the broad range of reasons among the general homeless population. The Veterans Administration cites their own figures of soldiers enrolled in their programs to say that homelessness is not as bad from this war as it used to be in previous wars such as Vietnam. Of course the figures they are using don’t include the 400,000-person backlog, so they might be just a tad suspicious.

One contributing cause to homelessness and to PTSD among veterans is that the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA) of 1995 is being circumvented regularly and many veterans are not getting their jobs back. Using small-print provisions in the law, many employers are refusing to give back jobs because re-hiring the veteran will “endanger the viability of the business”. Ignoring the provisions of many equal opportunity laws and labor regulations, hiring officials are setting aside and ignoring applications for new hires of those who retain a Guard or Reserve obligation. The result of this “Support the Troops” activity by business is that many veterans are losing their homes and their cars and are ending up on the street. At least 1,000 veterans from this war are believed to be on the street already, perhaps more.

Continued in Part 3 with the qualitative costs of the war.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Maybe Bush Disagrees with God

Hail the Kennebunkport Texan
The nation’s ultimate fraud
Who listens to no one
And talks only to God

Somehow I miss the days of yore when presidential scandals were so infrequent that we were able to spend months if not years digesting them. Even Nixon and Watergate, although based on the paranoid weakness of a human in over his emotional head, was a single string of sin wrapped around the fear that if Nixon did not cheat, he could not defeat the Democrats. This single scandal lasted for months in the second term of a brittle president. The plumbers’ revelations dripped slowly into the public view and eventually uncovered a small and venal man who used dirty tricks to feed his fears. He kept an “enemies” list. He was a pathetic and whimpering figure on the American stage from the early days of “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore,” to his exit stage right at his resignation. Nixon never held the nation hostage nor did he threaten the lives of millions across the sea. He may even have meant well, except on a personal level to those whom he saw as competitors for citizen love and respect. Nixon had both grandiosity and littleness simultaneously.

G. W. Bush, on the other hand, has made a career out of demanding personal loyalty resembling worship in order that nobody should ever mistake his authority. He is the first and only president to abolish the military titles for area commanders such as CINCPAC (Commander-in-Chief, Pacific), or CINCSOUTHCOM, etc. His explanation was: “There is only one Commander-in-Chief and that’s me.” In that way, he has outdone Nixon’s paranoia. More, he has virtually made a career out of appearance over substance, perhaps to protect that fragile self. His belief in image is so strong that he has actually hired a PR firm to convince the Iraqis that things are improving there. Loyalty, Extreme Edition then has become his road to the throne and the trail of tears for his minions and eventually for himself. His selection of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld showed both a strength and a weakness in the sense that loyalty was extended to Donald far beyond the time when the rest of the world knew that Rumsfeld was a failure. George wanted the war in Iraq but Donald planned it badly and brow beat the generals that he did not fire. The result was that Bush got his way, but got it badly.

Competence was not in the formula for planning the war or executing the peace. When General Garner began to rebuild Iraq using Iraqis, Rumsfeld and Bush were appalled and demanded the firing of Arabic speaking diplomats and administrators who had decided to limit removal of only the top 3 levels of Baathists. Soon, they replaced Garner with Bremer and enforced a no-Baathist policy that instantaneously placed Iraqi Army colonels on down into the ranks of the unemployed. Thus was born the insurgency that they both denied existed. The error was firing low level Baathists, but the punishment was to disloyal political and military officials who dared to use the word “insurgency.” The criteria for administrators sent to function for the Bush Administration in Iraq were essentially loyalty tests in order to be assigned. The most famous was Jay Hallen, a 24-year-old evangelist college graduate who was given the responsibility to set up the Iraqi stock exchange. He had zero experience or schooling in preparation for the assignment. O’Beirne was Bush’s pick for staffing the recovery program for Iraq and his staff looked for deep Republican roots to make their selections. The candidates were asked questions re their position on Roe v. Wade and how they voted in the 2000 election, but relevant competence was not a priority. As we flooded Iraq with the loyal and incompetent, the constant anthem was to support George Bush’s “vision for Iraq.” They wore Bush-Cheney 2004 T-shirts and swore allegiance to the Mad King George.

Katrina was the pinnacle of loyalty uber alles. We all remember, “You are doing a heck of a job, Brownie!” Since then, we have seen the mysterious disappearance of 364 tons of hundred dollar bills in Iraq, torture scandals beyond Abu Ghraib, Canary Cunningham, Abramoff does DC, abrogation of the Geneva Convention, Pat Tillman mythology, outing of a secret agent, criminal neglect at Walter Reed, firing of US Attorneys and Attorney General Gonzales is changing stories like diapers with similar smells and reasons. Surrounded by both loyalty and incompetence, just who does Bush talk to? It is obvious that he does not listen to anybody having contrary ideas, even if it is the American electorate. Could he be talking to God and not listening when God talks to him? Could it also be that God has a contrary opinion?

George Giacoppe
31 March 2007

Human loss and “humanity” loss ~ they both count

Sandy Cook – 3/25/07 ~ Part 1 of 3 parts
Recently I was asked to talk to a local group about the human cost of war. When first asked, the temptation was to stand up and say, “The total human cost is incalculable” and then sit down. That five seconds would have been more time spent on the subject than most Americans spend on it each week. The statement would also have been true, but just sitting down would have sacrificed an opportunity to contemplate the overwhelming impact of the current war.

There are the quantitative costs in dollars and lives. Those are the easy costs to understand – those figures are limited only by the accuracy or the truth of the reporting.
But there are also qualitative losses – losses to us and the world of large parts of our history, our present condition, and our possible future. These tangible and intangible losses are imaginable, but they are not yet calculable. These are the “humanity” costs of war, and may, in the end, be the most serious. In short, what is the total cost to the individuals fighting the war, to the government that has sent them, to the citizenry who supports them, and to the rest of the world outside the conflict?
Both the loss of life and the loss of the tangible and intangible benefits of our history and our society are truly veterans’ issues in that they reflect not just the fight, but what we fight for.

We need to talk about all of these costs, both “human” and “humanity,” because Congress isn’t. Instead, they and the administration have cut critical social budgets right and left but have been careful to fund the Sparta, NC Teapot Museum, the Waterfree Urinal Conservation Initiative, and the Blue Springs, MO campaign to fight “Goth” culture.

The numbers remain important. These are the best figures that I can find of those killed and wounded – priceless lives, whether they are Americans, Iraqis, or Afghanis:
Americans/Coalition – 66,000; Iraqis –1 ½ million; Afghanis – ¾ million; Journalists – 300; Contractors – 2,600.
As Bob Woodruff, the recently returned and sorely wounded reporter has told us, as of 6 February officially there were 23,417 wounded. Actually – those who have left DoD care and are in the care of VA = 200,000 – almost 34,000 PTSD; over 73,000 injuries; over 21,000 infections and parasitic Disease; and, almost 68,000 “undefined” illnesses.
Also officially as of 28 February there were 1,835 Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) cases. Better sources estimate “closed head injuries” as at least 10% of the 1.5M who have served, or 150,000.

The number of contractors killed is 280 higher than the official number, and has been confirmed by their employers. There is an added tragedy in the number of correspondents who have lost their lives, some at the hands of our forces, and some murdered at the hands of the opposition.
Using a “best-guess,” and “so-far” estimate, we and our partners have spent half a trillion dollars in Iraq,. Including at least 21 billion dollars that has just “disappeared”. We know that there has been more money spent than we can account for, and that the government is spending hidden – “off-the-books” – money.

In any event, and using rough numbers, had we given the head of each Iraqi family $100,000 contingent on their overthrowing Saddam Hussein, they would have a thriving economy, a still cohesive nation, the dead would be alive, AND WE WOULD HAVE SPENT EXACTLY THE SAME AMOUNT.

There are massive hidden costs, as well.
Although the VA knew in 2003 that hundreds of thousands of soldiers would be deployed to Iraq, no medical or claims-processing staff was added to handle the inevitable influx of wounded soldiers. That staff now has to be found. Thousands of wounded vets have been forced to wait years to receive rehabilitation and mental-health counseling. The VA has a backlog of at least 400,000 disability claims, and with budgets strained, officials have been turning many down. The number of soldiers approved for permanent disability payments fell by two-thirds from 2001 to 2005 in real numbers, even though the number of seriously injured soldiers soared with the Iraq war. Many of those claims will be revisited

In 2005 the hospital commander of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany reported that 8%-10% of soldiers from the war treated there, had "psychiatric or behavioral health issues”, and so far there is no provision to cover those ultimate costs which may not surface for years.

Continued in Part 2 with more on the hidden costs.
Modified from an editorial in SOUND OFF!, the bi-monthly newsletter of Veterans United For Truth, Inc.,, a veterans’ support charity off which the author is the Vice Chair and the editor of the newsletter. Note: Sandy is a Vietnam era veteran who is devoting time to direct support of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan through Veterans United for Truth..