Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sad Excuse for a Gift

Mark Hyman gives us another of his military birthday salutes, this time saying we “extend our heartfelt wishes [sic]” to the Army on the anniversary of its founding.

As we saw as recently as yesterday, honoring the military and individual servicemen and women is something Hyman is happy to do, unless it gets in the way of his political agenda.

Given that Hyman serves as a stalwart champion of the Bush administration’s military policies, I can’t help but wonder what a soldier on the ground in Iraq might think about Hyman extending his “heartfelt wishes” to members of the Army. Given what our soldiers have experienced and lost as a result of the decisions made by the current administration, and championed by Hyman and others of his political ilk, “heartfelt wishes” seems like kind of a weak gift.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be stuck on the ground in Iraq given the current circumstances. But if I try, I can come up with a few things that I think more than a few of our soldiers might want from Bush, Hyman, and other war-backers that would be more meaningful than heartfelt wishes.

I’d imagine a soldier in Iraq coming up with a wish list that looked something like this . . .

How about apologizing for not sending enough soldiers to prevent looting and the stealing of explosives that are being use to kill us?

How about an apology for “fixing the intelligence” in order to have an excuse to send us halfway around the world?

How about doing away with the ridiculous “war on terrorism” metaphor that you’ve used to send us to fight against an abstraction that, by definition, can’t be completely defeated?

How about giving us enough body armor to protect ourselves?

How about not giving no-bid contracts to companies that give to the G.O.P. and provide U.S. troops with shoddy service?

How about not ignoring our superiors at the Pentagon on
three separate occasions when they told you they could take out Zarqawi before the invasion because you wanted to use him as a talking point to get support for sending us here?

How about not ignoring our superiors at the Pentagon
who asked you not to inflate Zarqawi’s role in the insurgency, all because you wanted good domestic P.R.?

How about actually rebuilding this country rather than handing it over to the sons and daughters of prominent neo-cons who have frittered away time and money, allowing the insurgency to grow?

How about not using the lowest level soldiers as scapegoats to protect our civilian commanders from having to face up to their bad decisions?

How about not cutting funds for veterans and our families?

How about not using us for photo-ops when it suits you?

How about getting rid of “stop gap” policies that keep reserves away from their families for longer than you promised?

How about not condoning torture, something that only enflames the passions of our enemies and ensures that those of us on the ground will bear the brunt of that rage, should we ever be captured?

How about listening to some of our former commanding officers who have pointed out the poor decisions civilian leadership has made rather than simply attacking them. You might learn something from what they have to say.

How about actually honoring our comrades who’ve fallen, instead of silencing a tribute because you thought it wasn’t politically correct?

How about not slandering former members of our ranks, such as Kerry, Murtha, McCain, and Cleland, who served honorably, just because you disagree with their politics? If we come back and don’t happen to back your particular brand of politics, will you turn on us as well?

How about apologizing for not having any plan about how to get us the hell out of here?

How about explaining why the country we’re in is more dangerous than ever before, is suffering near daily deaths of innocent civilians, and is still in chaos even though it’s been three and a half years since you sent us here—the same length of time it took us to defeat both Germany and Japan in WWWII?

How about starting what you finished, instead of leaving our fate in the hands of “future administrations”?

How about explaining to us why you chose to send us to war against a country that didn’t attack us and posed no threat to us?

How about explaining to our widows and orphans what we died for?

And that’s The Counterpoint.


At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo Ted!
Another great Counterpoint, thanks.

I am reposting a comment that I made back in March of 2005. The only thing that has changed is the number of casualties on both sides, the number of American deaths has increased to 2500 from 1500 then, another THOUSAND senseless deaths, and an unknown number of innocent civilian deaths and injuries.


I think the controversy over support for the men and women serving in our military can be summed up as follows:

Hyman and the rest of the Neo-Facists calling themselves conservatives, don't care now, nor have they ever cared about the real people serving in the military. They don't support the military, they simply favor militarism and the use of armed forces to further their 'Pax Americana' agenda and hegemony.

As far as I know, neither Bush nor Cheney nor Rumsfeld have attended a single funeral for any of the over 1500 fallen American soldiers, and Hyman went to great lengths to insure that their names were not read aloud in tribute on the ABC Nightline special on Sinclair stations. And, while the soldiers are falling in battle, their efforts to cut combat pay and dependent and veterans benefits belies their flag-waving rhetoric in support of the troops and shows their true colors, not red, white and blue, but instead - green, the color of money.

On the other hand the liberals and progressives actually care about the people, the humanity on both sides of the conflict and all of the families that have been destroyed by the senseless death, injury and destruction being wrought by Mad-Cowboy-Disease!

Thanks Ted, and keep bustin' Hyman!

Mike B. in SC


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