lasting wounds of war

Via the Washington Post:

While attention remains riveted on the rising count of Americans killed in action — more than 100 so far in April — doctors at the main combat support hospital in Iraq are reeling from a stream of young soldiers with wounds so devastating that they probably would have been fatal in any previous war.

More and more in Iraq, combat surgeons say, the wounds involve severe damage to the head and eyes — injuries that leave soldiers brain damaged or blind, or both, and the doctors who see them first struggling against despair.

Numbers tell part of the story. So far in April, more than 900 soldiers and Marines have been wounded in Iraq, more than twice the number wounded in October, the previous high. With the tally still climbing, this month’s injuries account for about a quarter of the 3,864 U.S. servicemen and women listed as wounded in action since the March 2003 invasion.

Meanwhile, as the president of the United States asks young men and women to make sacrifices he never made in support of a questionable-at-best war, the Bush campaign’s flying monkeys have the audacity to try to make Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s service in Vietnam an issue. It’s not that I think only war vets should be president, but if you weasel your way out of the draft and then embroil your country in the kind of conflict you were avoiding, then the word “hypocrite” only begins to capture what kind of person you are.

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