No matter how often we try to make life simple and understandable, we fail. It isn’t.
The blogosphere is alive with the story of Robert Loria, who “returned from Iraq missing a hand and part of his left arm”. Obviously my opinion is he should not have answered his country’s call in this instance. Some would even claim that he is liable for his actions according to the standards created by the United States for the Nuremberg trials; I don’t claim to know enough to judge that.
What I do know is that the actions of the United States government with regard to Mr. Loria are shameful in the extreme, and as ReddHedd says at firedoglake, completely unacceptable. Just before Christmas, after his recouperation at Walter Reed, the Army garnished his wages and sent collection agencies after him. What is it they wanted him to pay? Well, turns out he didn’t manage to serve long enough to accrue the enlistment bonus they paid him up front: he was wounded too quickly. So the Army wanted its money back.
Fortunately Loria lives in New York, The Empire State; his two Democratic Senators and his Democratic Representative intervened. But really, can you believe this? No self-respecting empire would deny compensation to its wounded soldiers. This seems to me to be evidence that the policy makers in the Bush Administration aren’t really interested in empire. That’s a neo-con project, which the real powers, located in the vicinity of the Vice President’s office, are willing to go along with as long as it provides no-bid contracts for Halliburton and Bechtel. But they’re not really interested in a New American Century. They long ago left behind the concept of nationalism; so should we.