Updated and Bumped
I guess that’s WJIM’s official title. They just use “A Dose of Dan” as the tag line to describe “what the daily commuter needs.”
Today, Dan celebrated Memorial Day in a discussion about Iraq with a couple of National Guardsmen. He opened the show with a vague reference to misleading reasons for invading Iraq, followed by a rundown of the body count – dead Americans, that is.
May is better than April (he gives the numbers), but there are still lots of Americans being killed. Contractors are being killed, too. He wonders if we’ve ever privatized war like this before. I don’t know Dan, but I’m not taken aback by it. I can spell Hessians. And, unlike the Hessians, most of these people were there to help rebuild infrastructure.
Mulhern notes there are nearly 2 million Iraqi refugees. He mentions the monetary cost of the war in Iraq several times. In fact, his opening question to the guardsmen includes asking how they feel about the money being spent. I don’t get it, I thought Memorial day was about blood, not treasure. Are they supposed to feel guilty? Maybe double up on body armor?
…I’m beginning to get the impression there is nothing more important to the Associated Press in its Iraq reportage than the number of “American soldiers killed in this unpopular war.” That phrase, with a number, is typically trotted out no later than graph three in AP stories on Iraq. It’s as though the body count is the sole measure upon which all decisions and action must turn. There certainly has been no effort by the Associated Press, or other major news organizations on the ground in Iraq, to examine progress in anything but the most dismissive manner, with a quick revert to body count.
…There will be more death before it is over, in Iraq and Afghanistan and probably other places. It may well pick up over the summer, and there will be other terrible days for American families, and more wartime Memorial Days. The blood of our soldiers is part of the price a few pay for the freedom and security of us all. Their sacrifice is meant to be honored on Memorial Day, not used for for scoring cheap political points.
Mulhern indicated that one of the rights our soldiers die to preserve is the right to have a conversation criticizing the government. He is correct. However, that does not mean it is appropriate to celebrate Memorial Day by emphasizing the treasure or questioning the blood in an active war. Tomorrow and yesterday, fine. Today is for gratitude – not politics. One suspects Mulhern would find some common ground with John Edwards campaign to support the troops by surrendering, but less of it with General John A. Logan.
TOC noted earlier today the words of General Logan when establishing the first Memorial Day in 1868:
We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.
Update: 7:30PM 29-May-07
Since I originally assembled this post, John Edwards’ site “supporthetroopsendthewar” has changed its message. I linked to it above without expectation of change. Silly me.
The new message is nothing to cheer over, but its earlier incarnation, at the identical link, was much worse. It encouraged people to come out and protest at Memorial Day parades.
Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards has been urging supporters to demonstrate against the war at Memorial Day parades. The Hill reported a week ago that Edward’s anti-war Web site, supporthetroopsendthewar.com, suggested that people make signs that say: “SUPPORT THE TROOPS — END THE WAR.” The paper quoted the Edwards site as saying:
Bring them to your local Memorial Day parade. Then take a digital photo of yourself and your family or friends holding up the poster and tell us about it. We’ll include it in a ‘Democracy Photo Album’ on our site.”
But the Web site is a little different now. After much criticism of the call for Memorial Day protests, Edwards’ site now says Monday should be off limits for such demonstrations.
One might say John Edwards has not the courage of his convictions, but one would then be wrong twice.
John Edwards is prettier than Jimmy Carter, but he would make an even worse President. He may already be the worst ex-Vice Presidential candidate, if you keep track of such things.