"While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began," President Bush told a largely military audience in Pennsylvania, in a speech to mark Veterans' Day. (The Guardian, Nov. 11 2005)
This is a rare situation where I agree completely with President Bush. It is irresponsible to rewrite the history of how the war in Iraq began. It is clearly and completely irresponsible to claim that we went into Iraq with the sole intention of procuring Iraqi freedom. Whether or not it was a well agreed upon noting that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, it is irresponsible to, after the war has already been launched, give the troops a new purpose.
Personally I am surprised that El Presidente even recognized the legitimacy of criticizing the war, through this administrations time in power they have shamelessly quelled negative responses to the war, in the form of hand selected audiences in “town-hall meetings”, in the form of designated “Free-speech Zones” (as if all of America weren't intended to be) to keep protesters away from political rallies, and by refusing to even listen to proponents of peace, including but not limited to Cindy Sheehan.
“The stakes in the global war on terror are too high and the national interest is too important for politicians to throw out false charges," Mr. Bush said. American troops, the president went on, "deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them". (The Guardian)
yes, the troops absolutely need to know that their elected leaders continue to stand behind them. The troops need our total support. Why then do they not all have proper armor, why then are we still driving our 2 mpg SUV's creating a larger demand for oil and putting more pressure on our troops to sustain Iraqi oil pipelines, and why then do we remove all ceremony from the transportation of our fallen heroes from the place of their deaths to our own soil? Not only do we not fully support them by making sacrifices at home and by giving them the protection they need to properly do their jobs, we add insult to injury by not fully recognizing those who have died for their sacrifice, for their life.
If suggesting that criticism of a clearly tenuous war is irresponsible wasn't enough of an affront to American ideals, this speech was made on Veterans Day. A day meant to honor our fallen soldiers, a day meant to honor those who have given their time, or their limbs, or their lives to protect our nation. On this day Bush does nothing more than criticize his critics for trying to bring our troops back alive. And Bush has still not gone to a single soldiers funeral.
Next time you bring up the myriad of irresponsibilities which have been part of and which have surrounded this war, you may want to remember that you are culpable for it, and for many of it's failings. This seems to me to be just a little like the famed “mission accomplished” photo op.
The entire original coverage in the Guardian can be found here