Even CNN is shocked by this cynical manipulation of American soldiers. Let’s see, how did they do this? First we go looking for National Guard soldiers who are stiil basically civilians and probably less inclined to the kinds of suicidal and nihilistic behavior which make Regulars unreliable in political matters. (generals excepted).
Then you go through the available population looking for sycophants and Bush loyalists like the sergeant who pled for recognition as having been in New York when the president told Bin Laden that his days were numbered.
Then you have various colonels and generals stand around to make sure no one misbehaves. Then you have some "wag the dog" creature coach them.
Most of these brave souls believe in the holiness of their mission. God Bless Them.
This is wrong. The American citizen soldier should not be treated this way.
Watch "Rome" on HBO and you will see where we are headed.
I’ m sorry to say I can’t remember the entire episode, but my father, who as the Navy Department described it on his Marine discharge, “participated in the consolidation of the Northern Solomon Islands”, had a “run in” with Eleanor Roosevelt. Evidently, his group of combat veterans had been held in review for hours in the hot sun and the First Lady made the mistake of stopping and asking him how things were. I like to think now that this too eventually got back to Franklin via his “eyes and ears.”
Regarding this most recent of deplorable staged events, I understand five of the eleven hold the rank of captain.
As an old Navy man myself, I got royally pissed when Deputy Dubya abused the crew of the U. S. S. Abraham Lincoln with his now notorious “mission accomplished” action-figure, flight-suit photo op. He even later blamed the sailors for putting up the sign.
This “hide behind the troops” bit has begun to wear awfully thin, though — and about time, too. Not long ago, just after the Fort Bragg photo op with the 82nd Airborne serving as red-beret-wearing captive wallpaper, a columnist for Newsweek Magazine noted (with suitable discretion, of course) how Bush and the somber, soon-to-face-redeployment soldiers seemed eerily reminiscent of Saddam Hussein and his chief military officers sitting around together in a windowless meeting room somewhere in the middle of Nowhere (and I don’t mean Greek for Utopia spelled backwards.)
The President’s detachment from reality and the yawning credibility gap between his statements and facts on the ground pose real dangers for the men and women who have to catch the flak for the discrepancies. To the best of my recollections, captains, lieutenants, and sergeants have nothing whatsoever to do with “strategy” and only work at the company, platoon, and squad tactical levels, respectively — mostly in a desperate attempt to keep themselves alive for another day. For the President of the United States — or, “commander in chief,” as he likes to style himself — to ask (at a suitably safe distance) low-ranking grunts to speak of “strategic” or “policy” matters borders on the ludicrous. Hell, even Bush’s own generals don’t seem to have much of a grasp of those.
I see where we’ve lost another 33 men in only the first two weeks of this month. I just want to scream.
Off the wall:
Obscenity and … obscene take their derivation from the Greek terms ob skene, which literally means “offstage”. This is because violent acts in Greek theatre were committed off stage. It then descends into the Latin word obscenus, meaning “foul, repulsive, detestable” ….
Interestingly — I was in a TOC filled with 42nd officers when this live interview came on. Though most of them do seem to support the war everyone i spoke to thought this scripted event emberrassing, foolish and bad for the army.
This is off topic but I thought folks might be interested in seeing it. It comes from a post on NRO’s the Corner.
“WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST [Andy McCarthy]
This is from a page one story today in the WSJ (subscription required) about our troops’ efforts to ease the tensions between Sunnis and Shiites in the Iraqi city of Tal Afar, near the Syrian border: “In May 2005, not long after he arrived in the city, Col. Hickey sat in on the interrogation of a 17-year-old member of a Sunni assassination cell. Under questioning, the boy explained that his job was to hold the legs of the victim while someone else lopped off the head. When the interrogator asked the boy what he aspired to, ‘he responded that he wanted to be the guy who got to cut off the head,’ Col. Hickey recalls. ‘It was chilling.’
This is somewhat off topic [OT], but check this story out — how to REALLY respect the sacrifices our service people have made: dun them for money:
Col. Lang: I would have sent you this directly, but I’ve lost your email address.
@Alvord – is that the same Col. Hickey who did that media compatible Saddam capture?
“Watch “Rome” on HBO and you will see where we are headed”
Headed? We’re already there.