All About Trey

Life, Travel, Adventure

18th and K St NW

I went on a bike ride on Saturday. Across Dupont, down Rock Creek Parkway, then into Georgetown and onto the Capitol Crescent Trail. Up, up, up I rode to Bethesda. Then turned around and came back. This was all before my session with my trainer and NOT a good move. My legs were like big block of stiff rubber by the time I made it to the gym.

On the way home, I decided to stay on K St coming out of Georgetown, go straight down K till I get to 15th and then it's just a short ride home. The lights on K St are timed, but not for a bike. So I stopped at 18th and K St waiting for the light. I normally don't go down K St. It's just ugly during the weekdays, just too much traffic and all of the buses, plus you can't take a left off K St onto 15th. But there's another reason I don't like to go down K St. At the corner of the 18th and K there is a sign that shows how many US service members have been wounded in Iraq (over 13000) and how many have been killed (1945 as of Saturday). It's a grim, and depressing, reminder of the huge human toll this conflict is taking on our country.

And it makes me mad. It's a small little sign on K St. Do any of the major newpapers show the currently tally of wounded or killed on their front pages (and I mean the print edition, not the online version. The Wash Post has a good online section)? No, there are stories about 2 killed, 4 wounded, etc. And unfortunately we've now become used to this slow attrition of our soldiers. It's easier to think about when it's a handful, when the number is small. Oh it's bad, but it's not that bad. And that's just WRONG! The number of soldiers killed is almost half of a small town where I once lived in Missouri. Imagine waking up one day to find out that every other person you knew in a town was gone. The number of wounded is close to a third of the population of that county.

As a veteran, I'm just appalled at what is going on. I have no doubt that we got into this war for the wrong reasons. But we are there, and leaving is not an option. We need more troops, better equipped troops, more allies, etc. And yet I don't see it happening. The Pentagon has decided to not just drink the kool aid, but they are bathing in it. They recently put out a report that things are looking good in Iraq. Admittedly my view and knowledge of the situation on the ground is limited, but using one very important metric: the number of American lives lost in the last few months, I have a hard time accepting such a rosey picture.

And as much as I am frustrated with the senior decision makers at the Pentagon, I'm more furious with our political leaders. Can someone please tell me why this sentence:

"I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky" is an impeachable offense, but:

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." which was patently untrue or
"Mission Accomplished" which was patently untrue or
"Bring it On" which invited the insurgents to attack US forces are not?

Clinton's actions discredited the White House and soiled a blue dress. Bush's actions continue to discredit the White House and led to the deaths of over 1900 US service members.

When will there be some accountability? When will we make the changes necessary to really win this war?