Category Archives: WAR

Deja vu?

Image: Libyans wave the flag of the Kingdom of

The U.N. has passed a resolution for no-fly zone for Libya.   Notice who has veto power and which countries obviously did not join the party.  Is this a positive step to end the current conflict or is it just one more step closer to all out war in another Arab country?   What are your thoughts?

Indypendent

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42124388/ns/world_news-mideastn_africa/

4 Comments

Filed under terror, WAR

Brendan Marrocco

“I cried because I had no shoes; until I met a man who had no legs”.

Brendan Marrocco has no legs. He has no arms, either.

He left them in Iraq.

A little over a year ago, Specialist Brendan Marrocco, then PFC, was driving an armored Hum Vee in a convoy near Baiji in northern Iraq, when a IED blew up, ripping the vehicle apart, killing his best friend and seriously wounding another soldier. A fourth soldier walked away, unharmed.

When Brendan was taken to the hospital, he also had a severed carotid artery. Doctors didn’t notice it at first, because it wasn’t bleeding. It wasn’t bleeding because Specialist Marrocco had no blood left to speak of, having lost 80% of his blood supply in the field.

Brendan Marrocco now lives at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center complex. His older brother quit his high paying job to serve as a caretaker for Brendan. They share a small apartment near where Specialist Marrocco receives physical therapy.

Amazingly, he did not suffer any brain damage from the bomb blast or the subsequent loss of blood. He was the first soldier to survive the loss of all four limbs in the Wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the attack on Specialist Marrocco, a second soldier has suffered a similar fate, and he too lives at Walter Reed.

The amazing and inspiring part of this story is not that Brendan Marrocco survived. It is that rather than lose himself to his war wounds, Specialist Marrocco has become an inspiration to all those around him, maintaining a positive attitude and even a sense of humor about his situation. At the Walter Reed complex, he is seen as a hero to other amputees, including the Marine that also lost all four limbs.

Where does someone faced with such adversity summon the courage to not only deal with the loss, but to become a role model for others dealing with severe war wounds?

This is the face of war. It is not the caskets lined up in the cargo bay of a transport. It is not pictures of presidents and generals. It is not the cold statistics on the page of the newspaper. It is not Senators and Congressmen debating the funding and strategies of the Wars.

The face of war is a 23 year old Army Specialist that is broken, but not defeated.

Specialist Brendan Marrocco is the face of war.


(The thread photo is of Specialist Brendan Marrocco outside Walter Reed.)


William Stephenson Clark

9 Comments

Filed under WAR

What to do about………………. Israel?

Raquel_Israeli_Flag.jpg picture by WSClark52

“Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?

Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?

Where have all the flowers gone, young girls picked them ev’ry one.

Oh, when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?”

Pete Seeger, 1955.


Interestingly enough, there is a Hebrew version of “Where have all the flowers gone?” called “איפה הפרחים כולם” or Eifo Haprachim Kulam.

Of late, not much seems to get folks worked up more than the situation with Israel. Nominally, they are our primary ally in the middle East, but like a wayward child, she has a way of testing our patience.

The recent tragedy on the Rachel Corrie, enroute to Gaza, highlights the divide between Washington an Tel Aviv. Perhaps Israel had a right to stop the ship from Turkey and inspect the cargo. Perhaps they had a right to board the ship for that purpose.

But most definitely, nine people did not need to die.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a drop more than a quarter ethnic Jew. My first (known) European ancestor left England about 1620 because he was married to a Jewish woman. My paternal grandfather was an ethnic  German Jew that had converted to Christianity and changed his name to hide his Jewishness.

The history of Israel is long and complicated and much of it depends on who is telling the story.  In very simple terms, the U.N., led by the British, partitioned Palestine in July 1947 and in May, 1948, the State of Israel was formally born.

And then the fight that began in 1020 BCE resumed and a 3,000 year old battle between  Arabs and Jews was rejoined once more, a battle that continues to this day.

Arabs and Jews are ethnic cousins, both being Semites, although the term “anti-Semite” is used to reflect an anti-Jewish bigotry. Some would make the conflict in Palestine to be religious Jew v Muslim, but Islam wasn’t born until 610 CE and the conflict arose more 1,500 years earlier.

In my view, there will always be conflict in the middle East, but it can be mitigated by the establishment of a Palestinian homeland. Until there are two equal states in the Holy Land, this three thousand year old conflict will continue.


William Stephenson Clark

35 Comments

Filed under WAR, World Politics

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is the traditional kick off for Summertime, even though the official first day of summer is not until later in June. For many, Memorial Day means picnics, trips to the lake,  baseball games, horseshoes, pool parties, kids out of school, barbecues and the Indy 500.

And, yes, it means all those things, but there is a greater meaning.

The loss of a loved one in war must be a horrible burden to bear, one that I have not personally felt, but one that I can empathize with completely.

Our great nation, however imperfect she may be, has stood the test of time and our brightest and best have stood up for her and defended her throughout history, some with the forfeiture of their lives.

The shot heard ’round the world. The Battle of New Orleans. Gettysburg. The Hundred Day Offensive. Pearl Harbor, Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and Iwo Jima.  The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. The Tet Offensive.  The Mother of All Battles. Kabul. Baghdad.

No matter your thoughts on these wars, you have to respect those that fought them for us, and those that made the ultimate sacrifice. They deserve no less.

Today, when you sit down with your family, friends or even alone, take a moment to reflect on those that stood tall to protect our freedom and liberty.

But I would also suggest that you remember those that lost their lives, but not in uniform, but for a cause greater than themselves.

Medgar Evers. Dr. King. Rachel Corrie. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. Matthew Shepard. Harvey Milk. Rachel Corrie. Tom Hurndall. The Kennedy’s. And many, many more.

Today is the day we set aside to honor those that have come before us, blazing a trail so we all may have a better life. As you celebrate the day, stop to remember and honor those that have made this day possible.

It’s the least we can do.


William Stephenson Clark

10 Comments

Filed under Celebration, History, President Barack Obama, Tributes, WAR

U.S. on Pace to End Iraq War

More than seven years after it began, the end may be near for the Iraq war. According to Vice President Joe Biden, who is managing the withdrawal, the administration’s goal of removing all combat forces by August is proceeding as planned. But Iraqi leaders have yet to form a government close to three months after a contentious election and violence is still simmering, raising the possibility that the situation could deteriorate. “It’s going to be painful; there’s going to be ups and downs,” Biden told the Washington Post. “But I do think the end result is going to be that we’re going to be able to keep our commitment.” Experts say that the drawdown is especially crucial given the escalating conflict in Afghanistan, which is seeing a surge in U.S. troops.

20 Comments

Filed under President Barack Obama, WAR

Could Israel Attack Iran?

The Wall Street Journal says, “The Israeli security establishment is divided over whether it needs Washington’s blessing if Israel decides to attack Iran, Israeli officials say, as the U.S. campaign for sanctions drags on and Tehran steadily develops greater nuclear capability.”

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Filed under WAR, World Politics

The Threat of Bioterrorism

Bioterrorism – the next phase of the War on Terror?  Where will the billions for this war come from?    We’ve been at risk for a long time but we are still too busy debating the merits of the wars we have already spent billions on (and currently spending) trying to kill all radical Muslims – and that has not done much good, has it?

Will Bioterrorism be the next political football that gets kicked down the road for someone else to promise to fix?

Lilac

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/26/us-unprepared-for-bioterr_n_436785.html

3 Comments

Filed under Democratic Party, President Barack Obama, Republicans, terror, WAR