Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day: under attack and underestimated

Bush gave a Memorial Day speech at Arlington today. What a way to ruin a nice spring day. These speeches always piss me off, but today I’m thinking it’s a bit hypocritical to be pissed off only with Bush and not also just a little bit with the people who are taken in by his lies, even if they are dead war heroes, like Marine Sgt. Marc Golczynski, who Bush cited in his speech, who thought he was being a better father to his 8-year-old son Christian (“We are warriors, and as warriors have done before us we fight and sometimes die so our families do not have to”) by volunteering for a second tour in Iraq, where he was killed in March, than by helping him with his homework, giving him advice about girls (or whatever), cheering him at his high school graduation, etc. People like Bush told him he was, he believed it, and he was wrong. Also, while Bush twice quoted soldiers saying they were fighting so their children wouldn’t have to, we know that for Bush withdrawing from Iraq before Christian Golczynski reaches military age is just an artificial timetable.

Bush said, “As before in our history, Americans find ourselves under attack and underestimated. Our enemies long for our retreat. They question our moral purpose. They doubt our strength of will.” The sentence about questioning our moral purpose is kind of snuck in there, as one of the ways in which we are mis-under attack and misunderestimated: they simply don’t understand and don’t acknowledge that we are morally superior to them, and the sooner they get it through their thick skulls, the better.

As in all Bush Memorial Day speeches, he insisted that the best way to honor his war dead is to make more of them: “Our duty is to ensure that its outcome justifies the sacrifices made by those who fought and died in it.”

Then all that remained was to look all squinty and somber-like and not at all like he had anything to feel guilty or ashamed about.

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