Friday, March 24, 2006

Save the Penis

Have you heard the term Humpty Dumpty, Bush? Not the one in the nursery rhyme. Well, not quite. A Humpty Dumpty, in the lingo of the medical staff at field hospitals in Iraq, is an Improvised Explosive Device victim so badly blown apart that they have no hope of putting him back together again. It's a term not of disrespect, I think, but of despair.

They did warn me. I was sitting there in the parking lot of the local grocery market here in sunny Southern California, listening to NPR news on the car radio. I heard the caution: the next report was "graphic" and might disturb some listeners. How "graphic" could a radio report be, I wondered? Well, Bush, pretty damn graphic. The report on the military field hospital, its staff and the work they're called upon to do was about as horrific as anything I've ever heard. I was glad only that Ellie was doing the shopping in the market, because she would have asked me to switch it off, and I would have been hard put to refuse her. Yet it was something I needed to hear, because it brought the war home to me in a way that even televised reports have failed to do.

The wounds described were absolutely heart-wrenching. There was the case, for example, of an insurgent, brought in with a badly wounded leg and "shredded genitals." The staff, bless their dedicated medical souls, would do no less for this man than they would for an American soldier. They would do their best, as one surgeon put it, to "save the penis." The very thought makes you wince and shudder, doesn't it? And more gut-wrenching still were the sounds of men in extreme agony, the moans and cries for help, the screams of pain--sounds all the more dreadful for the fact that they were simply in the background.

I'll spare you further details, Bush. I doubt you heard it for yourself. When it was over, I found myself wishing you could be stationed there, in that field hospital, for just one week. Just a day. Just an hour. You and your Rumsfeld, and all those who promoted your war with their deceits and lies. So that you could experience at first hand what all of you managed to duck out of, years ago, and yet exposed so many others to--men and women, American, Iraqi, friend, foe, military, civilian and yes, even those insurgents--with such scant forethought. I hope it would break your heart, Bush, to witness this human tragedy, as it broke mine to simply hear it on the radio.


dennis said...

Peter: Since your diaries form a chronical of causes and effects of the Bush Administration, I was wondering if, within them, it is noted this important and significant effect; that by invading Iraq, Bush/Cheney strengthened, immeasurably, the current government of Iran. This, some argue, is a more detrimental effect in the region than the taking of Iraq itself, a huge strategic blunder.

dennis said...

Oops: that's chronicle!

PeterAtLarge said...

Yes, Dennis. You're right. And The Bush Diaries has referred to the fact more than once along the way. ANOTHER strategic blunder! Cheers, PaL

PK said...

I wish they would show this on TV, not just have it on the radio. And not just on cable, but regular TV. We saw a lot of Nam on TV. If they would, it would start to fire people up a bit more.