Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Baghdad ER

(HBO, 2006)

Instead of the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, this is the Combat Army Surgical Hospital, C*A*S*H. They don’t operate in tents, but in clean and modern hospital rooms. But the medevacs keep arriving every day with the ruins of American boys and girls and Iraqis, most of them blown up by IEDs. Over 17,000 Americans at this writing. Some of those are simple shrapnel wounds, the guys are back on the line three days later with a purple heart on. Some are double amputations.
The makers of this one-hour documentary were scrupulous in not bringing politics into it, so I will be, too, in the sense that I won’t point out that all this death and suffering were not necessary and that it can all be laid at the feet of a small group of cynical politicians in Washington and London … oops, there I go. Anyway, you can’t avoid being political if being anti-war is a political position … and if you can watch this hour of carnage and not be anti-war, I don’t want to know you. In fact, I don’t want to be in the same state or on the same planet with you. In fact, I hope you die soon, from an IED explosion, dismembered, blind, skinned alive, and without the heroes of the C*A*S*H around to alleviate your pain.