Memorial Day musing...
Yeah, this will undoubtedly tick off a few folks who will first tell me I don't have the right to feel this way because I don't understand geo-politics, the big picture.
And maybe I'm just a little soft on the whole terrorism thing. Or maybe I just don't understand the political process.
Well, everyone needs a little justification to get through the day and the 25 percent of the nation that still beleives in Bush's plan for the Middle East – nation-building – and making the nation safe from terrorists need to beleive that everyone else is wrong or their own value system might take a tumble.
I did not serve in the military, but I grew up in a military family as my dad was a three-war, 26-year veteran of the Air Force.
My father never voted in an election while he was in the Air Force as he said his opinion was that folks in the armed services should be politically neutral.
I've wondered if he would have thought the same today.
Well, another point he would like to make is that it doesn't matter what a recruiter promised a person as they were signing up, it only mattered if a President and a Congress lived up to those promises.
The fate of the American military is not in the hands of their professional commanders, but is the responsibility of elected officials.
The president likes to call himself "the Decider," and has routinely criticized members of Congress who want the Iraq war over as people who want to "micro-manage" and "politicize" the conflict.
Apparently that is what Congress believes as well with the gutless and pointless deal they struck last week with The Decider over continued war funding.
The common reaction from many pundits is that the Democrats don't want to be seen as people who've cut funding from the troops a political weakness that might be exploited in future elections.
So American and innocent Iraqi lives are being put in jeopardy because some senator or representative is concerned about a smear ad back in the district.
There are many reasons to consider the cowardice of their actions. Let me give you 3,425 of them: the American dead as of May 23.
Here's 26,188 more reasons: the wounded who've come back home.
By the way, what The Decider hasn't decided to talk about is the wounded very much. More than 4,600 Iraq vets have suffered a severe head or brain injury. What is going to be the long-term costs of care for them?
The amputation rate in Iraq is nearly double that of other wars. More than 1,300 soldiers have lost a limb. What is the cost for their care?
If you want more statistics, log onto www.motherjones.com/iraq_for_dummies.
Don't these men and women, whose lives have been ended or altered forever, who have demonstrated the principles of honor and duty, shouldn't they expect the same kind of courage from members of Congress? It shouldn't be difficult for the House and Senate to show this kind of backbone because they are being backed up by a majority of the American people who sent a clear message during the last election that the war should end.
This war and now the Democrat's failure to take a stand are among the most shameful events in the history of this nation.
The blood of the dead is not longer just a stain on The Decider's hands. It is on every member of Congress who supported this "compromise."
© 2007 by Gordon Michael Dobbs