Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Team Orwell vs. the mothers of U.S. troops

I try to stay away from the overtly political pages of the newspapers. Reading them can be a distraction, and it's not good for my digestion. But a recent development in the Cindy Sheehan story has made me angry. Apparently (I don’t listen to them or read them, so this is admittedly based on second-hand information), the Republican attack dogs (Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and other assorted liars for hire) have started attacking Cindy Sheehan personally. What message does that send to our troops? "If you do die, make sure that your mother doesn't cry too loud, because if she does, she will get disrespect like you've never seen." From the beginning of the Iraq war the message seemed to be along the lines of "Dear Mrs. Smith, We regret to inform you ... supreme sacrifice … but, hey, let's just keep this between you and me. You must understand that giving your son [or daughter] the honor that we both know that he [or she] deserves would hurt our recruiting efforts." Examples of this include rules about what pictures can be shown (e.g. no caskets) and opposition to honoring the dead by reading their names. It seems like they have now gone too far. Certainly, insulting the mothers and families of our servicemen doesn't seem like a real good idea to me, but I guess George W. is counting on Karl Rove to make it all come out OK in the end.

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