Tuesday, May 30, 2006
“The best way to pay respect is to value why a sacrifice was made.” That’s quoting George Duhbya Bush’s quote from a letter written by Lt. Mark Dooley to his parents before his tragic death in Ramadi last year. More about this in a minute.
In his Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, the Bushwhacker played fast and loose with the rhetoric as he downplayed his own complicity and guilt in starting and perpetuating the Middle East debacle dubbed “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” What a load of propaganda that’s turned out to be. (Hint: “Propaganda” and “bullshit” are synonymous.)
It should be obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention that the only thing Bush wants more than to duck accountability for his part in the Iraq fiasco is unfettered access to the billions of barrels of crude that lie beneath Iraq.
Now that I’ve vented about Bush’s motives and hypocrisy, let’s revisit that quote I mentioned at the beginning of this rant.
“The best way to pay respect is to value why a sacrifice was made.”
What does this mean, exactly? Because I haven’t seen Lt. Dooley’s letter, I can’t comment on the meaning he intended to convey. Perhaps he referred to a soldier mowed down in a fusillade of enemy fire as he attempted to rescue a wounded buddy (a sacrifice worthy of value and respect). Perhaps Lt. Dooley referred to something else. Context is everything, but for now it remains unknown.
Bush’s use of the phrase is less ambiguous. Clearly, he meant to bolster support for the war in Iraq. What comes through, however, is a meaning he almost certainly didn’t intend. “ . . . to value why a sacrifice was made” is key to a deeper meaning.
Okay, so let’s examine why so many lives have been sacrificed in Iraq before assigning any value to the reasons. Why were lives sacrificed? They were sacrificed because of avarice and arrogance and stupidity, but most of all they were sacrificed because of a lie—the lie that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq—that Bush told to justify a large military presence in the Middle East.
Do I pay respect to the lives that were lost or shattered in Iraq by valuing the reasons why they were lost or shattered? Hell, no! I’ve never valued greed or incompetence or lies. Do I show respect for lost or shattered lives by sending others to die or suffer the wounds of war? Hell, no!
What I do is support bringing the troops home, now. That’s the most respect I can give them, and the best support they can get.
2469 U.S. troops killed, 17,869 wounded since March 20, 2003. Also, numerous coalition troops and countless thousands of Iraqis. Waaaaay too much carnage for a species that calls itself civilized.