October 30, 2008
Like most thrifty people around here, we were at the Dollar General store the other day, stocking up on household staples which are twice the price in the adjacent grocery store. As we waited in line, the distressed-looking cashier, who appeared to have been crying, carried on a conversation with a friend of hers who was in a nearby aisle. The conversation was remarkable for the fact that Pajamadeen is stuck in the (usually) conservative Bible Belt, primo Republican territory. If this conversation reflects the sentiments of other locals, John McCain won’t stand a chance here when the polls open on Tuesday.
We gathered that the cashier’s son or grandson had just been shipped to Iraq. “They’re stealing our babies,” she fumed. “They’re sending them to Iraq. They’re killing them. They’re stealing children from families now. F—— Bush is stealing children from families.” After she made several ill-advised comments about George Bush, we nodded sympathetically and said we hoped that the war will be over soon. She answered: “We can only hope, but I doubt it very goddamn much.”
Statistics from the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count indicate that 4,189 troops have died in Iraq. Ahmed Qusai al-Taei, a U.S. Army translator of Iraqi descent, has been missing since October 2006, when he was abducted while visiting family in the central Baghdad neighborhood of Karradah. Suicide has been a problem, with an astonishing 160 soldiers, sailors and Marines having committed suicide during their “Operation Iraqi Freedom” tours of duty. About 53,000 injured troops have required medical air transport out of Iraq. Yes, 53,000 injured.
The noted photographer Platon has taken a remarkable series of images depicting the Iraq War, including this iconographic image of Elsheba Khan mourning the death of her son, Specialist Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, who died in Iraq. See more images from this spectacular, if painful, series.
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Photo credit: Gateway Pundit and Platon
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