Area 45

Written by SK Ashby

(Cartoonist - Rob Rogers)

In other news, the northwestern heatwave has now been blamed for at least 63 deaths in Oregon and possibly hundreds in British Columbia.

In British Columbia, at least 486 sudden deaths were reported over five days, nearly three times the usual number that would occur in the province over that period, the B.C. Coroners Service said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Mexican health officials raised the country's COVID-19 death toll by 60 percent(!) to over 351,000 this week.

Finally, former secretary of defense and architect of the Iraq War, Donald Rumsfeld, died yesterday at the age of 88.

Rumsfeld died surrounded by his family in "his beloved Taos, New Mexico," according to a family statement. No cause of death was immediately provided.

A long-time associate of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld made a shock return to the Cabinet when he was named to run the Pentagon by the inexperienced new President George W. Bush, who took office in January 2001.

He had previously served in the role for President Gerald Ford in the 1970s and history will remember him as the youngest and the second-oldest defense secretary.

Rumsfeld talking about "known unknowns" was permanently seared into my brain during a period of my life when my liberalism was solidified. The Iraq war turned a majority of millennials into reliably democratic voters.

This feels like something I need to explore further in writing, but it just struck me that some of my closest friends are veterans who were actually there when Rumsfeld spoke about 'going to war with the army you have.' The consequences of what happened 15 to 20 years ago is part of their everyday lives and to some degree it is for me now, too, when I help them get through another tough day.

It's too easy for the average person to put this out of mind and I will include myself in that. I'm more acutely aware now than I was before.