THE GREATEST NUCLEAR THREAT OUR TROOPS CURRENTLY FACE DOESN’T COME FROM OUR ENEMIES. It Comes From Ourselves. The name of this weapon sounds deceptively weakened. Depleted uranium. Like the danger is over when the uranium is depleted. But depleted uranium is not an innocent thing and our military leaders have shown no guilt in using it. We use it at our peril in battle. Depleted uranium may be a ticking time bomb we are unaware has already gone off.
LONE STAR ICONOCLASTCongressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), a medical doctor, on May 17 introduced legislation with 21 original co-sponsors in the House of Representatives that calls for medical and scientific studies on the health and environmental impacts from the U.S. Military’s use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions in combat zones, including Iraq. The McDermott bill also calls for cleanup and mitigation of sites in the U.S. contaminated by DU. “The need is urgent and imperative for full, fair and impartial studies,” McDermott said. “We may be endangering the health and lives of U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians. All we’ve gotten so far from the Pentagon are assurances. We need facts backed by science. We don’t have that today.”
Depleted uranium is littered all over Iraq. Our lives may soon see more soldiers dying on medical litters because of that fact.
DU is a by-product of the uranium enrichment process; it is chemically toxic. and DU has low-level radioactivity. About 300 metric tons of DU munitions were fired during the first Gulf War, and about half that amount has been used to date in the Iraq War.
“I’ve been concerned about DU since veterans of the first Gulf War began to experience unexplained illnesses, commonly called ‘Gulf War Syndrome’ that remain mysterious,” McDermott said.
Deplete uranium (DU) is hard, about as hard as a metal can get. So it is used for defensive purposes, to keep enemy artillery from piercing our tanks and other vehicles. Depleted uranium is hard, so we shoot it off at other tanks and vehicles and people. Depleted uranium is deadly on immediate impact. It continues to be deadly long after. DU hangs in the air and leaches into the soill. DU will soon hang in the air of discussion where it should. DU may yet leach into our souls. Depleted uranium burns hot on impact. DU may burn in our conscience long after.
FOR THE GOOD AND THE TRUE War Must Be Fought Only for the Good and the True. Or soldiers die for falsehoods. War must be fought only for the good and true. Or civilization fades. War must be fought only for the good and true. Or we lose our soldiers and our souls. Lies must be fought for the good and the true to have any meaning. Lies must be contested for the good and the true to find some solace in the sacrifice of soldiers.
The lies our leaders have told have been documented. We must respond with strength now or find ourselves later weaker. George Bush has lied repeatedly about how we ended up in war in Iraq. The lives of our soldiers, the soul of our nation are by his actions dishonored.
Let us not say now, as others did then, that we didn’t know and that we did nothing. George Bush must be held accountable for his lies, his high crimes, and his many misdemeanors. An alliance against this evil is forming. You are invited to join, to stand now and be counted.
Time is when time is. Time waits for no one. This post was supposed to be done over a month ago, but then was not its time. Some things cannot be hurried. Some things will not wait. Death waits for no one. Death did not wait for my mother. My mother did not wait for death.
Done. I was thinking I was done with this a month ago. I was thinking I was done with my mother. I was thinking she was done with me. I was thinking far too much. Feeling far too much. She has been gone, gone in body twenty years now. Gone? Gone never in soul.
It must be something in the month of March. She was born this month of March some days before spring so many years ago. Maybe it is the season. Spring, the season when death dies. A mother is always spring to the son. My mother, dead, undying speaks to me more this month than any other. Why now? After all these years?
Geraldine Cecilia Ivory Mattingly died early. Well before her time. Fifty six. Cigarettes. Ovarian cancer. Diagnosed. Two weeks later dead. She had her things in order well before then. I have never said this before. I think she knew. I know she knew. Something was wrong. She did nothing about it. She let it happen. She did not fight it. Perhaps these are but the unfair laments of a sad son.
But for some time, for all time, until now, I was so angry. She left me too soon, she would have a grandson soon. She quit the game too soon. My mother more than most was a serious, playful woman. I find myself on some field alone.
I rage against some empty sky. Damn her. I would say damn her, but that is not for me to say. Not for anyone to say. No one but god may damn, she would say when I would say those words. But damn my mother. Damn her for leaving me, my brothers and my sisters alone, together, but alone.
Damn my mother. Every child thinks it, but no child says it, except in that woeful, wordless, funereal wail without end. I know (and I knew then). I know now. She was ready for what I am not. So the ready terrify the unready.
My mother was ready for her soul to meet its god, unafraid of consequence. Time is when time is . . . No hands of a clock could stop her. No hand of man could keep her. She was ready and it terrified me. The ready in their fullness, in their ripeness for relief, terrify us, the yet immature, immodest living.
The ready who go where and when we cannot teach us a lesson we would prefer unlearned. The ready remind us. Time is when time is. Time is known when time is done. Time is time to go.
So we never truly weep at funerals for the dead. We weep for living who yet remain.
AND THE HERETIK POINTS OUT: Pictures so rarely lie. Unframed truth cuts to the bone of a bloodless corpse of lies. The war in Iraq is not about freedom on the march. The war in Iraq is not about a cynical, miguided attempt to impose our will on a people and region unwilling to accept yet another white master in a world of many colors. The war in Iraq is not a war for control of oil today in a world that faces desperate nightmares tonight about energy needs tomorrow. No, the war in Iraq is not any of those one things. It is all those things and less.
The war in Iraq is about the death of children, the death of hope, and the bitterness engendered in a parent's sinking heart in that sad sea of cynicism. The war in Iraq is about false pride for the hubristic victor and pride of a people who would better find their own victories in their own country in their own time
The war in Iraq is about a clock whose hands no one may stop. The clock has stopped ticking for so many children in Iraq. Who among us realizes it is midnight for us all?
On Monday, the Associated Press won a Pulitzer for its photojournalism in Iraq (Read about other Pulitzer winners here; see award-winning photos here.) Right-wing diva Michelle Malkin rounds up longstanding blogosphere criticism of a photo that shows insurgents killing Iraqi election workers.
the terrorists wanted to be photographed carrying out the murder, to
sow more terror in Iraq and to demoralize American voters. That's why
they tipped off the photographer, and that's why they dragged the two
election workers from their car, so they could be shot in front of the
AP's obliging camera,"explainsrightist stalwartPower Line. "The photographer is an accessory to murder. And the Associated Press and Pulitzer jury are bereft of common decency," writesDepleted Uranium, the blog of a British entrepreneur.
Conservative The Jawa Reportenumerates: "5
of the 20 photos were taken by journalists who were working with
terrorist forces. 11 of the 20 photos would likely cause anti-American
inflamation. Only two show Americans in a positive light. Three more
show the victims of terrorism." "God forbid the Pulitzers Prize people give an award to a photographer who show American Warriors in a positive light," writesWarriorsvoice. Liberal Greatscatcommends the photographers and calls their work "stunning." Marine blog
AND THE HERETIK WROTE A LETTER TO SLATE IN RESPONSE THAT SAID :
On the day after John Cornyn on the floor of the United States
Senate suggest judges somehow "bring on" the violence and murder
visited upon them, in a year when Ann "Would That It Were So" Coulter
suggests the shooting of reporters is to be commended, in a new century
when the news and media are manipulated more than ever by those in
power, (Shock and Awful, Mission Not Accomplished, The Heretik
finds it astounding that the coverage of the war in Iraq by the
Pulitzer prize winning photographers is portrayed in a negative light.
Reality and truth are most harsh lights. What is going on in Iraq is not a light romp in a bed of spring flowers viewed through misty eyes and rose colored glasses. Among the most moving photos I saw in the group was taken of a group of American soldiers praying in a group over a fallen compatriot. Even the most godless person could not feel some words on lips asking for some kindness from above and no further curse in this sorry war from below.
Most unfortunately we are moving more and more toward a moral wasteland where only one view is permitted, where dissent is not. Our country and our children deserve a far more generous spirit than that.
The Heretik now adds: And the children of Iraq do as well.
Sometimes satire is a stiletto, sometimes it takes a sledgehammer. Oy.
BUSH SEEMS A LITTLE BIT OFF TODAY
Whoever forgot to line up and shine up the fake halo is probably already fired.
A MAN WITH A REAL HALO WOULDN'T LET THIS HAPPEN
THE PRESIDENT'S REMARKS ON TERRI SCHIAVO AND THE REST OF THE WORLD: Today millions of Americans are saddened by the death of Terri Schiavo. Laura and I extend our condolences to Terri Schiavo's families. I appreciate the example of grace and dignity they have displayed at a difficult time. I urge all those who honor Terri Schiavo to continue towork to build a culture of life, where all Americans are welcomed and valued and protected, especially those who live at the mercy of others. The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak. In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in the favor of life.
The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak. George W. Bush
THE HERETIK SAYS: Hold this man to his word. He is accountable to us, but we are accountable to the world.
For certain is death for the born And certain is birth for the dead; Therefore over the inevitable Thou shouldst not grieve.
While you do not know life, how can you know about death?
Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, It seems to me most strange that men should fear; Seeing that death, a necessary end, Will come when it will come.
Shakespeare Julius Caesar
He is one of those people who would be enormously improved by death.
One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
It is easy to go down into Hell; night and day, the gates of dark Death stand wide; but to climb back again, to retrace one's steps to the upper air - there's the rub, the task.
I meant to write about death, only life came breaking in as usual.
Virginia Woolf, Diary
THE HERETIK WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER:
When one we hold dear dies, we weep not so much for the dead who have gone on to their rest. We weep for the living who remain in their unrest.
Unkind death cuts the living to the quick, not so much for the dying who leave this earth, but for our hearts. For the dead beloved never die in our hearts, but a piece of our hearts does.
If death teaches us anything, it teaches us how small a life can be. Jeanne D'Arc at Body and Soul remarked that "schiavo" is Italian for slave. All of us in time are slave to some thing, some one, if only that one is our selves. ,
How much greater is the life when we admit a world of wonder, as our souls wander uncertain fields only to find relief and release in another.
To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep: No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heartache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to,--'t is a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub: For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover'd country from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action.
Death be not proud, though some have called thee,
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
THE HERETIK REMEMBERS AND HOPES HE MAY NEVER FORGET:
Nation will fight nation for dominance forever. Women and men will skirmish. Each generation rises to swallow the one before it. A snake swallows itself. Each of us in the end faces but one enemy at a time. I look in the mirror to see my enemy is myself. I who admit no other am enemy to myself first and only then enemy to all. In me is all life and grateful I am for it. In me is my own death. May I not share it so much with others.