Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pasting feathers together, hoping for a duck

"I just shot him, they killed him." That was the defense of Charles J. Guiteau during his trial for the assassination of President James A. Garfield. On July 2, 1881, Guiteau shot Garfield in the back and medicine back then was a bit primative. "At least a dozen medical experts probed the president's wound, often with unsterilized metal instruments or bare hands, as was common at the time." Garfield developed sepsis, a massive infection, which resulted from unsterile practices and contributed to his death." Garfield died 80 days after being shot. It also didn't help that his doctors "believing that the bullet might have pierced his intestines..limited his solid food intake" and fed him "rectally [with] beef bouillon, egg yolks, milk, whiskey and drops of opium." "They basically starved him to death," said medical historian Dr. Ira Rutkow, explaining that "the president lost over 100 pounds from July to September." Guiteau "criticized Garfield's doctors, suggesting that they were the ones who had killed the president. I just shot him," he said they killed him. Guiteau was hanged on June 30, 1882.

In his new book, "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq" Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas E. Rick's writes of Iraq, "The U.S. led invasion was launched recklessly with a flawed plan for war and a worse approach to occupation. Spooked by its own false conclusions about the threat, the Bush administration hurried its diplomacy, short-circuited its war planning and assembled an agonizingly incompetent occupation. None of this was inevitable. It was made possible only through the intellectual acrobatics of simultaneously worse-casing the threat presented by Iraq while best-casing the subsequent cost and difficulty of occupying the country." There was no guidance for restoring order in Baghdad, creating stability nationwide, creating an interim government or providing essential services to the people of Iraq. A colonel assigned to the Coalition Provisional Authority summarized his office's work in an end-of-tour report writing it was like, "pasting feathers together, hoping for a duck."

What you hear from the Bush administration and their enablers in Congress and on Faux News is that they didn't kill Iraq they just shot it. You know who these people are. They're the ones holding the glue and feathers.


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