Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, James Baker and Alan Greenspan all attended the services. Their relationships with Gerald Ford spanned several decades. But while Mr. Ford retained his humanity throughout these years, his political proteges morphed into mean-spirited men. Ideologues who created an imperialist war machine out of America. The same America Gerald Ford returned to decency over thirty years before.
George W. Bush attended one President Ford memorial. Cheney and Rumsfeld attended them all. At these services, as in most official venues, Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney are in the company of our military. Courageous young men and women who volunteered to serve. I usually view our military as heroes. But in the presence of Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush, I see them as victims instead. Sacrificial pawns of these chickenhawks who prey on the children of others.
In fact, seeing Rumsfeld and Cheney around the grandchildren of Gerald Ford gave me enormous discomfort. These men are parasites of the worse kind. They honor the legacy of a grandfather, then sacrifice his grandchildren to war. Outlandish? Not when one considers they've done it over 3,000 times before. Every casualty is somebody's grandchild whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, America or Darfur.
And so it was that today I had an illusion.
At the interment site for President Ford, the American flag that draped over his casket was handed to Vice President Cheney. At that moment I imagined not one, but over 3,000 memorial flags being handed to Dick Cheney all at the very same time. A shower of American flags to honor all who had fallen. A surge of American flags for those who had died in His war.
I wondered how much this many flags would weigh...
I researched and discovered there are three types of flags used most often to drape the coffins of our fallen in war. The flag most commonly used is cotton, likely similar to the one used today. The cotton memorial flag weighs approximately 2.3 pounds.
As of this writing, 3,004 American military men and women have perished in the War on Iraq. The combined weight of that many flags is approximately 7,000 pounds. Mr. Cheney would be crushed under the weight of this many flags. As would Mr. Rumsfeld, Ms. Rice, Mr. Bush, Mr. Wolfowitz, Mr. Perle, Mr. Crystal, Mr. Feith and Mr. Powell. They'd all be crushed. Crushed like the families of the fallen whom they had sent off to war.
Then imagine the weights of the bodies. And make a pledge not to surge any more.