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Memorial Day 2008: A Commemoration of Shame

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On Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery, hallowed ground from which George Bush should be banned in perpetuity, America's Commander-in-Chief self-righteously attempted to pay tribute to America's fallen warriors. By uttering a number of astoundingly insincere platitudes:

"It only remains for us, the heirs of their legacy, to have the courage and the character to follow their lead and to preserve America as the greatest nation on Earth and the last, best hope for mankind."

Us, presumably meaning he and his deceptive and manipulative Vice President, who on rare occasions "courageously" sneak into and out of undisclosed safe positions in Iraq under cover of darkness, protected by gunship helicopters and hundreds of soldiers, all the while striving to make America not the last, best hope but rather the worst fear of peace-seeking mankind the world over.

Have the courage and character? This from the man who owns what surely must be the only ranch in Texas without horses, because he is afraid of them.

Rational Americans rightfully wonder when, if ever, Commander-in-Chief Bush will display a single ounce of personal courage. Even for so safe and simple a task as meeting face to face one on one with a single Gold Star mother and truthfully explaining the noble cause for which her son Casey died.

"On this Memorial Day, I stand before you as the Commander-in-Chief and try to tell you how proud I am..."

Proud? Pride as exemplified by years of success in his unceasing efforts to deprive soldiers and veterans of counseling medical care and benefits to which they are entitled.

"I am humbled by those who have made the ultimate sacrifice... "

Humbled? An all-time first for President Bush. Astounding. Unbelievable.

Solemn pronouncements quickly completed, Bush's armed, fortified and heavily protected motorcade left the cemetery. Bush returned to the White House, for an "important" Memorial Day meeting. ... with head coaches of five college football teams.

But not before admonishing American citizens to pause for "a moment of remembrance," to place a flag at a veteran's grave or go to a battlefield or say a prayer.

Presumably upon his request, the nation "appropriately" honored its many fallen warriors. Major league baseball games paused, if only momentarily. The National Memorial Day parade halted, also momentarily. Amtrak trains blew their whistles.

Such severe sacrifices our Commander-in-Chief called upon American citizens to make in time of war. Words like shallow and insincere do not even begin to do justice.

A Legacy of Vietnam

In the Vietnam era, the Pentagon trained our finest young men to be warriors, sent them out on patrol as sitting duck targets for lack of a better strategy, or even any coherent strategy at all, and then ordered them to retaliate by killing defenseless women and children and to commit atrocities against an enemy the Pentagon couldn't even identify, let alone understand or engage effectively.

And then refused to humanely provide for the injuries its troops suffered as a result of its arrogance, ignorance and incompetence.

Mental injuries as well as physical injuries. The Pentagon continues to hide the shameful fact that, as of 1990, the number of American soldiers killed in combat in Vietnam was exceeded by the number of vets who died by suicide. The end result of training our soldiers to be noble warriors and then ordering them to be common killers of everyone who might associate with an enemy the Pentagon was never able to even identify.

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The author is a retired professional civil and structural engineer, reformed attorney, fierce Progressive, policy junkie, vociferous reader, lifelong learner, aspiring writer and author of the crime-thriller "The Geronimo Manifesto". He is also a (more...)
 

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