Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day

Traditionally, Memorial Day was a day of mourning. We mourn the men and women who sacrificed their lives in defense of our freedoms. This Memorial Day is even more poignant for us because we not only mourn the loss of those fallen soldiers, but also the loss of our national integrity. We've lost our nation and everything it purportedly stood for.

We learned (from the Times of London) via the 'Downing Street Memo' that our Administration engaged in 'fact fixing' as early as the Summer of 2002 to support their intended invasion of Iraq, even as the Administration pretended to the UN that it would go along with the Security Council in pressuring Iraq to to cooperate with weapons inspectors.

Now we learn (again from The Times of London) that both the USAF and RAF had increased bombing dramatically even earlier:

THE RAF and US aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq in 2002 in an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein into giving the allies an excuse for war, new evidence has shown. The attacks were intensified from May, six months before the United Nations resolution that Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, argued gave the coalition the legal basis for war. By the end of August the raids had become a full air offensive.

Further, later in the article we learn the following:

They opted on August 5 for a “hybrid plan” in which a continuous air offensive and special forces operations would begin while the main ground force built up in Kuwait ready for a full-scale invasion.

In other words, the US and Great Britain fully intended to go to war, legality be damned, even before May, 2002. We were lied to, although by now, most Americans, whether they currently oppose the war or they currently support the war, will admit that.

That is bad enough. However, the soldiers sent to this war were sent without adequately armored vehicles, without their own personal armor, and frequently without adequate ammunition. And when (if) they come home, they will have to continue to fight: for adequate medical care and disability benefits as a result of the injuries they sustained while serving. This Administration has broken every key promise made to our soldiers.

I was struck by this editorial from the Star Tribune.

In exchange for our uniformed young people's willingness to offer the gift of their lives, civilian Americans owe them something important: It is our duty to ensure that they never are called to make that sacrifice unless it is truly necessary for the security of the country. In the case of Iraq, the American public has failed them; we did not prevent the Bush administration from spending their blood in an unnecessary war based on contrived concerns about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. President Bush and those around him lied, and the rest of us let them. Harsh? Yes. True? Also yes. Perhaps it happened because Americans, understandably, don't expect untruths from those in power. But that works better as an explanation than as an excuse.
As this bloody month of car bombs and American deaths -- the most since January -- comes to a close, as we gather in groups small and large to honor our war dead, let us all sing of their bravery and sacrifice. But let us also ask their forgiveness for sending them to a war that should never have happened. In the 1960s it was Vietnam. Today it is Iraq. Let us resolve to never, ever make this mistake again. Our young people are simply too precious.



Post a Comment

<< Home