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What Bush Should Have Said

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Message Missy Beattie
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I was asked to speak Saturday on behalf of Gold Star Families for Peace at Veteran's Park in Highland Falls, NY during a protest rally while George W. Bush delivered the commencement address to the graduating class of the United States Military Academy.

Jonathan Tasini, my candidate for the US Senate, stood with me, holding a picture of my nephew. This is my speech:

Kudos to the cadets and their parents. I wish them peace. One of their own was just killed. West Point graduate Capt. Doug DiCenzo died Thursday when his Humvee hit a roadside bomb.

I know many of the cadets must be conflicted because this war is illegal, immoral, and based on lie after lie. I wish my nephew had been conflicted. Instead, he bought the jingoism of the Bush Administration. And he paid dearly.

Marine Lance Cpl. Chase Johnson Comley deployed in March 2005, pounding his chest and saying, "Back to back in Iraq." He called every week when he wasn't in the field. My parents believe he came to realize
the truth of war. In his last call, he said he was counting the days. He had 73. He was home much sooner, killed August 6th by a Vehicle Borne IED,
his face completely blown off.

I think of all the Chases, counting the days 'til they come home. I think of the dead and injured. And I think of the Iraqi people

George Bush Doesn't Care. If He Did, This Is What He'd Say To The Cadets Today:

To celebrate this day and the achievement of all cadets, both current and past, I would like to praise West Point for its principles which serve as a beacon for the nation. As your Commander-in-Chief, I have not met these standards.

The cadet honor code is: 'A cadet will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.' Please break the code briefly and tolerate me as I apologize for my failures of mass proportion.

First, I must express regret to the families of dead soldiers and to the physically and psychologically maimed. And to the Iraqi people. I beg mercy for cheating them of their loved ones, for stealing their futures, and causing never-ending grief.

I apologize for lying about WMD and linking Saddam Hussein with 9/11 in every speech I've given to promote this war. I apologize for saying the United
States doesn't torture while I have condoned and encouraged it.

I apologize for violating the Geneva Convention.

My desire for 'regime change' in Iraq as a basis for the use of force is barred by the United Nations Charter. I have interpreted the nature of defense and reinterpreted the Constitution to suit my will. For this I apologize.

I apologize for violating the Nuremberg Tribunal Charter. I have committed crimes against humanity. I have used white phosphorous and depleted uranium. In other words, WMD. I have destroyed a culture. My entire presidency is an improvised explosive device.

'If the war is illegal, then you as members of the armed forces have a legal and moral obligation to resist illegal orders.'

Honor, as it is understood by the Corps of Cadets, is a 'fundamental attribute of character. Honor is a virtue which implies loyalty and courage, truthfulness and self-respect, justice and generosity. Its underlying principle is truth. If a cadet is true in thought, word, and deed, there is no question about his or her meeting the standards of the Corps.'

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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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