Mike Farrell on "Baghdad ER"
I saw "Baghdad ER" on HBO last night (Sunday, May 21). I'd heard that the Defense Dept. had issued warnings urging servicemen and women back from Iraq to be wary of watching as it might trigger PTSD symptoms. Perhaps they hoped those about to go wouldn't watch as well, for fear they might not show up.
"Baghdad ER" is a documentary about a "CASH," a Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. I recommend it for every American, but the queasy be warned: it is excruciating. I cringed at the gore, was sickened by the death, wept at the frustration and resignation of the medics, at the faith of the chaplain, at the simple, shocked, blank expressions on the faces of kids younger than my son – victims of this fool's war. Listening to the bravado of some, aching to comfort those who came in knowing they were hurt but not how badly, made me want to scream. Watching this horrifying, endless process, the tears on my face kept drying from the heat of my anger. Glorious, generous, talented, dedicated human beings forced to be part of this circus of carnage made me so furious I couldn't speak at the end.
I loathe the people who have created this monstrosity. I want the criminals who lied and cheated and pretended and twisted and perverted reality - and those who rationalized their crimes - so they could send over 2400 servicemen and woman to their death, nearly 18,000 to come home torn - some never to be whole again - thousands more to suffer mental damage, and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians to be swept into the garbage can of "collateral damage," to pay. These bastards and their apologists should be stripped naked and forced to walk the main streets of America, allowing every city and town that has lost a loved one to injury or death in this shameful catastrophe to heap on them the scorn they deserve.
John F. Kennedy said America would never start a war. Well, it has now, and its architects have damaged our character, poisoned our standing in the world and soiled the soul of what was once the greatest nation in the history of the world.
---by Mike Farrell