Via CBS News, what we should come to call The Iraqi Orphanage Nightmare:
Inside the building, a government-run orphanage for special needs children, the soldiers found more emaciated little bodies tied to the cribs. They had been kept this way for more than a month, according to the soldiers called in to rescue the 24 boys.
"I saw children that you could see literally every bone in their body that were so skinny, they had no energy to move whatsoever, no expression on their face," Staff Sgt. Michael Beale said.
"The kids were tied up, naked, covered in their own waste — feces — and there were three people that were cooking themselves food, but nothing for the kids," Lt. Stephen Duperre said.
"I got extremely angry with the caretaker when I got there," Capt. Benjamin Morales said. "It took every muscle in my body to restrain myself from not going after that guy."
"I picked him up and then immediately the kid started smiling, and as I got a little bit closer to the ambulance he just started laughing. It was almost like he completely understood what was going on," Beale said.
Later at the hospital, Lt. Jason Smith brushed teeth and helped clean up the boys. He and his wife are both special education teachers, and he was proud to tell her what the soldiers had done.
"She said that one day was worth my entire deployment," Smith said. "It makes the whole thing worthwhile."
It was even worse than that---this is just an excerpt. Fortunately, CBS News was there, which means it really happened. Do read the whole thing, and remember this in the coming days, which will get worse. Remember.
We here in the fat, relatively happy and somewhat civilized west take order and minimal humanitarian conduct for granted. But we forget that just over sixty years ago, westerners conducted a Holocaust themselves, and worse, it was by intention, not mere neglect.
The Bushies, associated neo-cons, and anti-warriors alike misunderestimated the depths of human depravity when it came (comes) to Iraq. The Cradle of Civilization refuses to cease making our jaws drop in uncomprehension.
It was said, and fairly, by our troops in Vietnam that they were the unwilling doing the unnecessary for the ungrateful. That's not the case here. Our troops are willing, doing what is necessary, and every person of good will toward men is grateful.
"I picked him up and then immediately the kid started smiling, and as I got a little bit closer to the ambulance he just started laughing. It was almost like he completely understood what was going on," [Sgt.] Beale said.
We all do, Sgt. Beale, we just want to pretend that we don't, back here at home. I don't blame any of us, because it's only human. But I do not see how we can pull our heroes like you and Benjamin Morales and Jason Smith away from what is manifestly a sacred mission. I just don't. God bless, and Godspeed.