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Monday, May 30, 2005

Reluctant Warrior

Pig in a blanket.

Even on Memorial day Bush just can't resist wrapping himself in the flag, turning a day of mourning and remembrance into a day of political posturing.

I don't know. Maybe I'm being extra harsh in my criticisms of the Prez. But, it just seems that he always manages to slide in a political maneuver here or there. And today seemed, to me, to be no different. If you read the full speech, it's fine till about halfway through. It ends alright, too. But in between, is a load of crap. Sort of a shit sandwich. In my humble opinion, he had no business reading selected excerpts of letters, written by some of the soldiers who have died in the Iraq war, which just happened to fit his agenda...

"My death will mean nothing if you stop now," said Louisiana National Guard Sgt. Michael Evans. "I know it'll be hard, but I gave my life so you could live, not just live, but live free," Evans wrote.

Realize that I died doing something that I truly love for a purpose greater than myself," Marine Capt. Ryan Beaupre of St. Anne, Ill., wrote to his family.

"I do wish America could see how awesome a job we're doing." - Corporal Schumann

...Nor was it appropriate to pontificate about his war and it's "successes".

"Two terrorist regimes are gone forever, freedom is on the march and America is more secure,"

If you're still asking, "why do you take issue with these things?" Then, let me state my case more clearly. First, I take issue with the quotes specifically because they represents only a part of the picture or only some of the service men and women this country has lost. Many are not pleased with the administration's handling of the war, and not all believe in this war anymore. Many are tired of being stretched thin, having their tours of duty stretched out ever longer, while only being allowed brief excursions back home before being asked to return to the battle zone. And quite a few are angry for not being provided the proper equipment to protect themselves by their country. Remember back when Rumsfeld was grilled for this very thing by the troops?

"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmour our vehicles?" Army Spc Thomas Wilson asked.

A false image indeed.

Seconldy, what the qoutes do, in my mind, is politicize the issue. It turns a day of remembrance in to "I support the war and our president" day, by taking quotes from dead soldiers that not only endorse the war but push for furthering it into the future. A very underhanded tactic. Very nasty. And the president didn't stop there:

"And we must honor them by completing the mission for which they gave their lives, by defeating the terrorists, advancing the cause of liberty, and building a safer world." - GW Bush

It's clear with this that he intends to influence the public even more by tugging a the heart strings of Americans, and toying with their sense of honor and diginity. This is shameless and disgusting behavior for a President. It is G Dubbya, though. Guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Finally, I take issue with the mentioning of the "successes"of the war, because They are out right lies...or exaggerations - used to prop up the President's image, on a day meant to honor the fallen. The war is so politically charged, that it's measurable successes have no place in a celebration of our fallen and their honorable service. And to try and bring the two together shows how blunt and insensitive our president is. I guess he needs to measure their honor in terms of their success rates as he sees them.

Good job, Mr President! You're a complete ass!

I think I've said enough.

On a side note:

our President wants to cut benefits to veterans (more links: Here's what's left blog, To The Point radio show) - making them pay for their healthcare if they make above a certain level of income, like $25,000. It's not enough that they gave their all, they need to pay a little extra to get decent care, too.

The President's full speech can be found here .
The Yahoo news story can be found here.