Saturday, January 29, 2005

It's election time ...

Examplein Iraq today (Sunday, 30 January 2005). On Saturday, 17 Iraqis were killed in a wave of attacks, including a suicide attack that killed eight people. An American soldier was also blown up in Baghdad. An attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad's "Green Zone" killed two more Americans.

If Iraqis can overcome the terrorists who want to keep them from voting, they will choose an assembly to draw up a new constitution. The U.S. military people there are on high alert, and the gang that can't shoot straight -- otherwise known as the Iraqi security guys -- are going to see what they can do when it hits the fan.

And it will hit the fan.

I mean, from what I can tell, most of the so-called "insurgents" are former thugs from Saddam Hussein's Baathist party. Some of them are guys whose houses were blown to dust by U-S bombs. Some of them are disenfranchised young men who are unemployed and have nothing better to do than blow stuff up.

But the vote will go forth.

Sad to say, some U.S. guys could get whacked today -- just like they have since President Bush declared the war "over." And what's really outrageous? The death benefits for the survivors. Right now, it's $12,400. That's it. You give them your son, or husband, or father, and they give you $12,000 and a WalMart flag! What are you supposed to do with that?

What if we based the compensation of soldiers' (or sailors' or airmen's or marines') families on their earning potential for the rest of their career. You know, like the 9-11 victims? The average compensation for a victim of 9-11 was more than three million dollars!

And they deserve to get as much as they can -- human lives are irreplaceable. But don't our troops' families deserve more than 12 grand? I mean the families of guys who are out there fighting the war on terror can look forward to getting 12 grand and a flag? Does that make you want to sign up "to defend freedom?" And that without their vehicles being fully armored? Give me a break.

And even with more than 140,000 U.S. guys (and gals) over there, there is no guarantee that there will not be a bloody, costly civil war in Iraq even after the elections. Pray God that is not the case, but it very well could be. And our $12,000 heroes would be right in the middle of it. Congress has introduced legislation to up the benefit to $100,000(, but it is not law yet. Let's pray that lawmakers do the right thing.
USA flag
Rand Corp study on 9-11 victims compensation
Flags courtesy of ITA's
Flags of All Countries used with permission.

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