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By Sheila Samples

And it's up against the wall American Muthers,
Barbara Bush, who raised her son so well.
Now Dubya's out there smirkin' in God's honky tonk,
Just kickin' soldiers' asses and raisin' hell.
~~apologies to Jerry Jeff Walker

Once a year, George Bush shows up at Arlington National Cemetery and tells a tightly controlled, thoroughly vetted audience that he 'preciates the sacrifice of those who volunteered to die "in freedom's cause." There, surrounded by silent tombstones and armed Secret Service Police, this most infamous of military deserters befouls not only the hallowed ground, but the very air, as he regurgitates words he babbled the year before...and the year before. He reminds us that America is a "reluctant warrior," but we are resolved; our will must not be broken, no matter how many sacrifices it takes.

During the annual photo-op, Bush reads exerpts of farewell letters allegedly from fallen soldiers and marines, all apparently honored to have died in Bush's noble cause. Their words passed on to us by Bush are eerily familiar -- stay the course -- complete the mission of ridding the world of evil -- spread freedom and democracy to the four corners of the earth. Then, after hoping that the slain heroes made peace with their Maker before being blown to bits, and a final admonishment to "support the troops," Bush cuts out until next year.

The camera never strays from Bush's twitching mouth, darting eyes -- never scans the audience so we might see who these people are who applaud him so vigorously. It must be members of his administration and those legislators who follow him around like whipped pups, for I cannot imagine mothers willing to either sacrifice their children to bolster Bush's poll numbers in a barbaric slaughterhouse that grows more bloody and chaotic every day, or to cheer him on. Somehow I cannot conjure up an image of mothers offering up their sons and daughters to a pathological narcissist killer, knowing if they are returned at all it will be either in pieces or in boxes.

Hiding the Troops

Either way, Bush is determined to protect us from seeing the steady stream of ghastly homecomings. That's what mothers are for. Bush says he wakes up every morning trying to figure out how to protect the American people, and -- like his mother says -- folks shouldn't have to worry their beautiful minds with such depressing images.

So Bush not only banned the media and the public from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware where dead soldiers are secretly shuttled back in country in the dead of night, but from military installations around the world.

Bush also restricted the media from covering funerals at Arlington, apparently deciding that the best way to support the troops is to "disappear" them from our view forever. Besides, if you've seen one aluminum transfer tube covered with the old red-white-and-blue, you've seen 'em all. Why bother parading 2,500 of them past a bored, disconnected, disinterested citizenry, most of whom have no children in this fight and could care less about other people's children...

General Tommy Franks, former Central Command Commander, who developed and executed the bloody Iraq fiasco, recently told the National Rifle Association that it wasn't important how many Americans died -- that those who count the increasing number of American soldiers killed in Iraq are missing the bigger picture. "What we're talking about is neither 2,400, 24,000 or 240,000 lives," Franks said. "Terrorism is a thing that threatens our way of life. It doesn't have anything to do with politics."

Americans fail to realize that words mean far different things to Bush, and apparently to Franks, than they do to coherent, rational people. To Bush, "support the troops" means don't criticize him when thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of innocents die in an illegal, bloody mess that he lied to get us into.

Bush brags that he's a war president. He says he sits in the Oval Office with war on his mind. He doesn't read -- doesn't need to because his gut makes all the decisions, and anybody who doesn't like that is aiding and abetting the terrorists.

So -- stick a yellow ribbon on your vehicle, shut up, and support the troops.

Supporting the Troops

In the only evidence of support I am aware of, just months after getting his war on, Bush opened a new $30 million, state-of-the-art, 70,000" square-foot mortuary at Dover to support the troops, or what is left of them, when they are sneaked back to the states under cover of darkness. Since then, he has sent America's sons and daughters unprepared and unequipped into a raging guerilla insurgency with orders to kill anything that moves.

Bush and his entire Iran-Contra war-criminal chickenhawk administration are devoid of ethos; incapable of empathy or compassion, and could care less about supporting troops. Bush has said on more than one occasion, "My attitude is, any time we put one of our soldiers in harm's way, we're going to spend whatever is necessary to make sure they have the best training, the best support and the best possible equipment."

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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.

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