Sunday, May 20, 2007

Iraq Daily War Grief

I’m a bad liberal blogger. I forgot all about Armed Forces Day yesterday. I forgot that it was on the third Saturday of every May. Save for some bloggers this holiday also went mostly unobserved in the MSM. We as a nation, however regrettably, should’ve dropped our coverage of Paris Hilton’s 45 day sentence, Paul Wolfowitz’s shaming in Washington, DC not for getting over 3400 troops killed but for greed and cronyism. We should’ve started by commemorating the deaths of seven troops and a translator killed in Iraq on, with the hideous irony that stalks this administration like Henry Waxman, on Armed Forces Day.

I’m glad that some of us had mentioned that George W. Bush, our war preznit who’s trying to divest himself of whatever responsibilities he ever took on for Iraq by nominating a war lord, nixed a measly 3.5% pay hike for the troops as Armed Forces Day approached. Which isn’t surprising when one recalls that he’d actually proposed cutting their pay even as he was dropping them into Iraq’s meat grinder and has systematically cut VA funding and outsourced their patient care to the point of scandal.

Now, in case no one’s mentioned it yet, I’ll throw in my belated two cents by adding that in his weekly Saturday radio address to the nation, George W. Bush commemorated Armed Forces Day in the grand old style of the Grand Old Party by talking about… immigration. He never once mentioned Armed Forces Day, never mentioned Iraq, never mentioned Afghanistan. In fact, if you use the White House’s own search engine using the keywords “Armed Forces Day, 2007” the results will show two hits for National Day of Prayer, 2007 and nothing for yesterday’s holiday.

And that seems to approach the problem with this administration, if not actually get to the rotten heart of it, the role that religion plays in this government and in this war like a bad, hammy actor who isn’t talented enough for dinner theater in the Adirondacks. It’s the typical Appalachian type of Christianity that subscribes to Alexander Pope’s purely Republican dictum of “Whatever is, is right”, the type of Christianity in which blind faith supplants flexible, independent thinking.

It’s this blind faith in an unprovable deity that, perhaps more than anything else save for oil wealth, served as the rationale for dropping our pursuit of the Taliban and al Qaida in Afghanistan to run roughshod over one of the few Middle Eastern countries that had nothing to do with 9/11.

And despite being proved wrong time and again, despite his support being shaved down to the rock-hard, bare kernel of the 27% dead-enders that favor the Rapture and an Apocalypse over peace, our Crusader in Chief still cannot bring himself to admit that he was even wrong in the slightest on March 19, 2003 and every single day thereafter.

George W. Bush may be loath to mention the troops on Armed Forces Day and farm out the presidential duties of Veteran’s Day to Dick Cheney as he did in 2005 and even commemorating our troops both past and present has become at the very least an affair tinged with sadness.

But some people, in particular 3408 families, don’t have the luxury of selective memory and, as much as it hurts, still have to go to the burgeoning Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery and remember.