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The Crisis of Outrage

By       Message Thurman Hart     Permalink
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These are the sound-bites that try men’s souls. On every channel, the faux outrage from Republicans over MoveOn.org’s “General Betray Us” ad is faux palpable. I don’t think a single Republican has spoken on national media or at any public event since that ad ran that they haven’t used it as an excuse to accuse Democrats of being ready to sell out, surrender, turn tail and run, or any of a dozen comments that mean we want our Army to be beaten. John McCain, in particular, speaks of “character assassination” and “disrespecting the troops”.

But where were these protests when Saxby Chamblis was attacking the patriotism of Max Clelland? When Republicans were busy morphing the face of a Bronze Star and Silver Star recipient who had lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam, there was nothing but deafening silence. When Ann Coulter said that Clelland should not be referred to as a “war hero”, where was the Republican outrage? Where were the outraged voices of Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, and Fred Thompson then?

If it is wrong to question how the political ideology of a general will effect his reports to Congress - which it isn’t, but if it were – then how wrong is it to question the patriotism and dedication to defending America of a man who has sacrifice major portions of his body for it? If saying that General Petraeus’ report was slanted will discourage our troops in Iraq, how much more discouraging must it have been for them to see a wounded comrade-in-arms ridiculed for the price he paid for volunteering to enter a combat zone?

How can they even mouth the words that MoveOn is manipulating information when they are the ones serving as President Bush’s primary apologists? What McCain does in the Senate, Romney, Thompson, and Giuliani are doing with the public spotlight. They claim to make America safe by killing Iraqi civilians – but which one of them has captured Osama bin Laden? In exactly what part of Iraq do they think the terrorist mastermind is hiding?

They talk about supporting our troops but these men opposed the Webb Amendment that would allow battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to decompress at home. But these are the same armchair warriors that sent our troops to Iraq without adequate body armor or intelligence. They yanked National Guard troops away from their families and sent them into a battle zone without adequate supplies and munitions. They have watched the bodies of American soldiers come home day after day after day and done nothing to either force the President to win in Iraq or bring our troops home.

Not one peep of outrage was heard from any Republican when the President stated emphatically that he envisioned war without end in Iraq. The comparisons to Korea imply that the President cannot fathom any victory and may hope, at best, to accomplish a détente over a divided country. Where is the outrage over his misuse and abuse of the US military to accomplish exactly nothing?

Why didn’t John McCain step forward and correct Minority Leader John Boehner when he said that the more than three thousand dead American soldiers from Iraq were “a small price to pay”? Will Romney, Thompson, and Giuliani have the gumption to look into the eyes of sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives and repeat that lie? “Sorry, but the death of your loved one just isn’t a very high price at all. We’re buying Iraqi freedom on the cheap here and your loved one’s body was on the sale rack. Buck up. It’s for a good cause.”

And where, by the way, is the Democratic outrage over these developments? Instead of rushing to prove they aren’t beholden to MoveOn, why didn’t they stand up and point out that if anyone in Washington is guilty of character assassination, it is the Republican Party who has lived and died by it? Why did they not stand up for the men and women who are in harm’s way and say, “These Republicans should shut their mouths if they can’t address the facts of the matter!”?

Our troops are busy staying alive, and they depend upon our political process to provide them with a military goal and an eventual return to their families. But they are currently caught between a crop of summer soldiers and sunshine patriots who are too busy scoring points from their armchair to realize that the bright red stain on the Iraqi sand is the blood and guts of some of our best young Americans. Eventually, they will have to face the fact that it is also on their hands – Democrat and Republican – and no amount of faux outrage will make the damned spot go out.

 

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Thurman Hart says that the reason he writes is to show that "a Christian Liberal is not an oxymoron." He holds a Master's Degree in Political Science from the University of Central Florida and specializes in Public Policy (energy and taxation) and (more...)
 

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