Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Memorial Day questions
Is it fitting to critize the war in Iraq, or President Bush, on Memorial Day? Or is this a time to, in a non-partisan way, simply honor the fallen and respect the mission they have been sent on by our political leaders?

Columnist Paul A. Morin says today should be a day to honor the fallen without critiquing their mission or their commander in chief:

The families of those killed in war should not be led to believe that their loved ones died for a less-than-worthy cause. They died because they took an oath to defend this nation and its Constitution.

The sacrifice is the same whether it’s for a “popular war” or an unpopular one. Memorial Day should be an occasion to bring Americans together to honor these heroes.
Morin's point was to criticize presidential candidate John Edwards, who has advocated using this day to speak out against the war.

Well, Mr. Morin, allow me to say that that's patently ridiculous. What you're essentially saying is that the families of U.S. troops should be coddled, spun and lied to, because somehow that will make them feel better. Well, tell it to the family of Pat Tillman. The families of U.S. military personnel know more about war and about sacrifice than anyone else in this country, and they know it uniquely, because they alone are bearing the sacrifices of war. They deserve to be treated as adults, and when facts come to light which shed doubt upon the circumstances surrounding their loved ones' deaths, they deserve to know them.

Of course, there are military families who choose to support the president and the war wholeheartedly, because in fact that does give them comfort. That, too, is their right. But there are also families who question the deaths of their loved ones, and they deserve respect, too. Instead, the armchair warriors of the right choose to ridicule them, and even the troops themselves, when they espress dissent or doubt, as "whiners" and "publicity hounds." (See the way they've treated Cindy Sheehan.)

It would also be nice if our armchair warrior friends would speak out as vociferously against the red tape and neglect faced by our young troops when they come home as they do against anti-war protesters. But then again, what do they care. The troops are only useful to them as battering rams. Back home, they're just more welfare charity cases and liabilities.

Today is a day to remember the fallen from all of America's wars. It's also a day to reflect, and I mean really reflect, on why American sends its young, and its best, to war. For good, or for ill.

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