Colonel Brian Allgood, West Point grad, army surgeon, Doctor Allgood, died last weekend in a helicopter crash, among a dozen unlucky American soldiers being transported across Baghdad. By all accounts he was an exemplary soldier.
Rest in peace. But why should he get peace, and not everybody?

Allgood worked for the Department of Defense whose chief function has been to kill people. As a doctor, Allgood’s particular role was to save people from dying, mainly of course those on our side. Allgood was a surgeon who healed battle injuries, reconditioning combat soldiers, as opposed to a doctor who ensured that subjects of interrogation did not succumb to their torturers before they fulfilled their intelligence potential. Without painting too dark a picture, we should be frank about the Hippocratic Oath in the military.

So let’s suppose for the sake of argument that Allgood’s proper name meant exactly what it said. Let’s say he wasn’t a sadist on a USDD Approved power trip, or a moral dimwit loosed on the sanctioned lawlessness of a battlefield, venting his anger with his sidearm, authorizing gunfire over video monitors, or ordering the destruction of communities for the sake of protecting US ambulance routes; say Allgood wasn’t a blind proponent of US imperialist superiority; say he wasn’t an Eichmann cog enabling the massive machinery of our military to grind its way through the bones of peoples and cultures; say he wasn’t an idealogue of convenience holding out for his honorable discharge, fearing a court-martial for disobeying orders, thinking about his family and his pension.

Say Mr. Allgood was an all-American do-gooder think-gooder. How much can that matter? Isn’t it time he would be the last?

Isn’t it time our soldier-citizens there in Iraq admit to themselves what they are seeing? Soldiers cannot blame a complicit media for keeping them from the darkness of their deeds. When can we expect these gun-ho idealists to figure out that shooting Iraqis is not the way to help them?

Allgood is dead -I wouldn’t be writing about him but for his name. Allgood was killed with a dozen maybe just as red-white-and-true soldiers. And this Blackhawk Down should take with it our national dellusion. Even America’s best are going to be pulled into the buzz-saw. Is this not the face of what will be America’s heavy price: Our innocence shattered, the same that we’ve done to the Iraqis as they look upon the senseless loss? The sacrifice of Allgoods of our own will join the sides of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi innocents.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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1 Response to Allgone

  1. Avatar The 13th says:

    I’ve no humorous words per this post. As memorium, it deserves some attention. Maybe the structure of this entry is derived from a pun, but the message is more than word play or sentiment.

    It’s not Allgood. I’ve a proud family including many veterans and farmers in the lineage. I would NOT attempt to insult their memory, but blood lines are better when they flow to the next generation, and not the ground.

    Rest in peace, Mr. Allgood. Whether star or blue sky, you are with God. The rest is politics. Amen.

    From 9-11 to Pearl Harbor and the ghosts of soldiers worldwide. Memory is for Learning as well as Sentiment. Let’s keep heart and brain over the guns, until the guns are known as obsolete and barbaric, NOT privilege.

    I DO remember WHAT my forefathers faught for, but America was founded on belief in change, too. Our greatest presidents were peacemakers and generators. And you can be too.

    The crux at home and abroad centers in part around The Right to pursue happiness VERSUS The Right to bear arms. Both are currently protected rights, and it’s time we make some choices as to if this paradox is still necessary for “civilized” men, family, nation, and world.

    I believe the U.S. is BIG ENOUGH and SMART ENOUGH to take better steps of existence/presence through realistic goals of sharing and developing the true wealths of human progress: health, fairness, food, and invention. These are the fruits of Liberty that we “cling to”. The logical “protection” of them is their propagation.

    Humanitarianism IS a better crop than fear and violence. Fence the farm, but spending more on scarecrows than grain will NEVER work.

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