The Bush administration has gone so far as to limit the amount of time the Disabled American Veterans folks can counsel wounded soldiers. The visits are few and those permitted closely supervised. The President has not attended one funeral of an American soldier killed in action. Not one.

If the wounding and maiming of Americans in Iraq is given little attention in the media, deaths get scant more attention. The reason being that the Pentagon and White House wish to protect the privacy of the families. This is both nonsense and offensive on the part of the Bush White House. This decision (probably made by Karl Rove and company) is designed to glean the maximum political advantage. Pictures of flag- draped American coffins will not help shore up G.I. George’s shaky poll numbers; therefore they won’t be allowed.

Unfortunately for the thousands of mostly green US troops now heading for Iraq, Insurgent activity is escalating in violence and skill. More Americans will be killed and maimed before this madness is finished, if it ever will be.

Outright full scale civil has not quite broken out yet in Iraq, but what is happening within the Sunni triangle and across the rest of the country will do as a prelude.. As we go to press, rocket attacks on both civilian and coalition targets are increasing. Drive by shootings, ambushes, and running gun- fights erupt in dozens of incidents each day. It’s difficult to keep track of the details. The murders of coalition employee civilians are commonplace and the ill trained and worse equipped Iraqi police can do little but write a report after cleaning up the mess.

The only Iraqis venturing out after the curfew are those intent on mayhem. The numerous explosions are now hardly noticed by the general population, unless it happens to blow them personally to bits.

And the spin goes on. As the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, the Bush administration continues to spit out the same line; we tossed out the tyrant, the world is safer, the terrorists are on the run, if you’re not with me you are against me, someday WMD’s might be found, American democracy will spread its self-righteous wings across the middles east and the world will be made safe for mom, apple pie and the girl I left behind. That is, if she can be distracted long enough from shopping the local Mall to pay any attention. Since the beginning of hostilities a year ago, almost 700 Iraqis have been killed by suicide bombers, far more than those in Palestine. The car bomb seems to be the weapon of choice. Much like the Kamikaze of WWII fame, it’s spectacular, cheap, and very lethal when used properly. Suicide’s driving cars seem the most popular variation on a theme against Iraqi soft targets. But Car bombs don’t work well against American GI’s. Anything approaching an American checkpoint that seems the least bit hostile will be shot to pieces. When innocent Iraqis are caught in the cross fire, the locals accuse the Americans of cold- blooded murder. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They don’t understand that the average GI now realizes that he isn’t fighting for freedom, but for Halliburton. He/she is simply using the Bush doctrine of preemptive war to save his own skin. He sees an imminent threat to himself and his friends in the approach of an automobile hurtling at his roadblock, and acts accordingly: with massive, overwhelming firepower instantly delivered at the call of a handset. I’m surprised that entire sections of Downtown Baghdad haven’t been carpet bombed to bits by b-52’s unloading 2000 pound bombs called in by nervous privates.

Collecting the American spent brass and other shell casings will no doubt produce the first crop of Iraqi millionaire entrepreneurs.

We have all seen the images of shot up cars and trucks. But I can tell you that I would have fired the first shots. I myself would call in the air strike. Don’t kid you soon to be downsized self. So would you. Conflict resolution has no place in a firefight. By Grady Hawkins

As of March 26th, the American death toll in the Iraq war and occupation has reached 590 while some 3.362 have been wounded. These numbers are suspect as they discount the well over 9,651 other casualties who have been evacuated by the U.S. military’s Transportation Command from hospitals in Germany. These ‘other’ casualties include vehicle accidents, severe (fatal) illnesses, suicides, psychological casualties and even the 500 female soldiers who have been sent home after being discovered pregnant. We will never know these numbers. Releasing accurate casualty figures have been strictly avoided by the Bush administration. After waiting patiently for six weeks for updated casualty figures and the number of awarded Purple Hearts, Senator Chuck Hagel (R) Nebraska, was told by the Department of Defense that it did not have the requested information, and he would have to wait. The Media are not allowed to film the transport flights that arrive nightly at Dover Air Force base in Delaware, filled with young men and women who have lost arms, legs, eyes, and minds. These images are not compatible with an American public focused on the next ‘American Idol’ winner and what cell phone should they buy next. The military-Industrial complex does not want the civilian population thinking about anything but what it wants to sell them.