Bush insults those making the supreme sacrifice.

Bob Hubbard

Retired
MT Mentor
Founding Member
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 4, 2001
Messages
47,245
Reaction score
769
Location
Land of the Free
Seems ol 'W' is more concerned with fund raising and flag waving than paying proper respect to those he and his buddies have sent to fight and die.

First he pushes through a cut in veterans benefits, Then a cut in combat pay, and now this. Must be nice to not have a heart...or soul. If this is an example of good Christian values, then color me glad I'm not one.

:soapbox:

Spinning in their graves

November 15, 2003

The fighting in Iraq is real. But there is a traditional aspect of war that Americans now see only in the movies - it is the solemn homecoming for the dead.

There was a time when the United States paused as the TV cameras panned over rows of coffins flown home from battle, when it was impossible not to share the sorrow of the families there to receive them, and when there was a genuine sense of shared pain when the president or very senior members of his team attended memorial services.

But George Bush has fenced off himself and his team from the cemetery, and there is a ban on cameramen entering the central military morgue at Dover, in Delaware, where hundreds who have died in Iraq are received. It is also difficult for the photographers to get past security at the Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington, where thousands of the wounded have been treated.

So the American dead and the injured from Iraq pass through a politically imposed void, until their coffin - or stretcher or wheelchair in the case of the wounded - arrives in the back blocks of Idaho or Texas, by which time they have long ceased to be a prime-time or national story. Usually only family and friends witness the handing over of the triangulated Stars and Stripes to grieving spouses or parents.

It wasn't like this during the Vietnam War. Even in the Afghanistan war, flag-draped coffins were filmed, and during the Kosovo conflict, president Bill Clinton was on the tarmac to receive the US dead. The repatriation of the bodies of the American servicemen who died in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 was a national story - with images - and presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, respectively, attended services for the 241 Americans killed in Beirut and for the troops killed in the failed hostage-rescue in Iran.

But it was during the Panama conflict, in 1989, that the first President Bush, George snr, dropped his media guard. At the precise moment that servicemen's caskets were being offloaded at Dover, he did a goof-walk for the cameras of the White House press corps, to demonstrate the effect of pain he suffered in his neck. At least three of the national networks split their screens, showing viewers an apparently thoughtless commander-in-chief acting the fool as the bodies of men he had sent to war were removed from a military transport.

Retribution was swift. The media were banned from Dover and the traditional body receival ceremonies were ended. Over time the ban came to be ignored, but in the days before this year's Iraq war, the Pentagon ordered that it be observed to the fullest.

The media manipulation of this Bush's team borders on paranoia. They go to great lengths to set the scene - carting specially produced backdrops around the country for his public appearances and even floodlighting the usually darkened Statue of Liberty for one of his New York night-time speeches.

The words get the same care and attention - death in Iraq is bad news, so he doesn't talk about it. He has met some of the families of the dead in private and they all get a letter of condolence, but he is happier talking about the grand scheme of the war on terrorism or, better still, the economy.

Some Republican commentators are beginning to question the President's aloofness. But the spin from the White House, as told by one of his aides to The New York Times, is that Bush would seem insensitive if he publicly acknowledged some, but not all, the deaths.

Asked about the remarkable presidential silence that greeted the death of the 15 servicemen in the downing of a Chinook helicopter in Iraq early this month, Dan Bartlett, his communications director, dissembled: "If a helicopter were hit an hour later, after he came out and spoke, should he come out again? [The public] wants the commander-in-chief to have a proper perspective and to keep his eye on the big picture and on the ball. At the same time, they want their president to understand the hardship and sacrifice that many Americans are enduring at a time of war. And we believe he is striking that balance."

It is all part of the Bush Administration's ongoing war with the media: when it is not denying them access to Dover, it is attacking them for not reporting the "good news" out of Iraq; denying reports of its own cavalier prewar predictions of finding Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and of a warm welcome in Iraq; and rejecting allegations from within the intelligence community that, after Iraq, it is now deliberately exaggerating the threat from weapons of mass destruction posed by Syria, Libya and Cuba.

But there is a question of how long its media management can be sustained. Increasingly, the rising disquiet is not just about Bush's refusal to acknowledge the dead or to attend their funerals, but about the things he does find time to do instead.

While families and whole communities grieve about their losses in Iraq, he storms the country with his hand out for tens of millions of dollars in donations for his forthcoming re-election campaign. While he talks about the war dead in only the most general terms, he goes on and on about signs of economic recovery.

He avoids the photo-op with the mothers of the dead from Iraq, but he had the time in his busy schedule on Thursday to wheel three judicial nominees into the Oval Office as a backdrop for his gripes about the Democrats blocking their appointments to the bench.

The pragmatism - some might call it cynicism - is understandable in terms of pure political strategy because, despite all the talk about patriotism and the defence of freedom and liberty, Americans are getting sick of this war.

For the first time since the opening attack on Baghdad on March 20, most Americans - 51 per cent - disapprove of the President's handling of the war. In a Washington Post-ABC News opinion poll taken before the Chinook helicopter disaster, 87 per cent of respondents said they feared the US would be bogged down in Iraq and 62 per cent rated the death toll as unacceptable.

With the passing of each week, the war touches thousands more American family circles in the most direct way. The Pentagon talks of a 20 per cent reduction in total US numbers in Iraq by next northern spring, but in the past two weeks 85,000 army and marine forces have been told they will be going to Iraq so that others can be rotated home. That's more worry and anxiety to feed into the next batch of opinion polls.


This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/11/14/1068674378831.html

and

Bush Ignores Soldiers' Burials

By Christopher Scheer, AlterNet
October 30, 2003

On Monday and Tuesday, amid the suicide bombing carnage that left at least 34 Iraqis dead, three more U.S. servicemen were killed in combat in Iraq. In the coming days their bodies will be boxed up and sent home for burial. While en route, the coffins will be deliberately shielded from view, lest the media capture on film the dark image of this ultimate sacrifice. It is almost certain, as well, that like all of the hundreds of U.S. troops killed in this war to date, these dead soldiers will be interred or memorialized without the solemn presence of the President of the United States.


Increasingly, this proclivity on the part of President Bush to avoid the normal duty of a commander-in-chief to honor dead soldiers is causing rising irritation among some veterans and their families who have noticed what appears to be a historically anomalous slight.


"This country has a lot of history where commanders visit wounded soldiers and commanders talked to families of deceased soldiers and commanders attend funerals. It's just one of these understood traditions," says Seth Pollack, an 8-year veteran who served in the First Armored Division in both the first Gulf War and the Bosnia operation. "At the company level, the division level ... the general tradition is to honor the soldier, and the way you honor these soldiers is to have high-ranking officials attend the funeral. For the President not to have attended any is simply disrespectful."


Repeated questions on the matter posed to the White House over the past week earned only a series of "We'll call you back" and "Let me get back to you on that" comments from press officer Jimmy Orr.


Soldiers in the field, say veterans who have been there, have a lot more on their mind than whether or not the President has been photographed with a flag-draped coffin. But for those vets' rights activists who have not only noticed but begun to demand answers from the Bush Administration, the President lost the benefit of their doubt by his actions over the past six months. "I was really shocked that the president wouldn't attend a funeral for a soldier he sent to die," said Pollack, who is board president of Veterans for Common Sense. "But at the same time I'm not surprised in the least. This Administration has consistently shown a great deal of hypocrisy between their talk about supporting the troops and what they've actually done," he added.


"From the cuts in the VA budget, reductions in various pays for soldiers deployed . . . to the most recent things like those we've seen at Fort Stewart, where soldiers who are wounded are not being treated well, the Administration has shown a blatant disregard for the needs of the soldiers." Pollack was referring to 600 wounded, ill and injured soldiers at a base in Georgia who were recently reported to be suffering from terrible living conditions, poor medical treatment and bureaucratic indifference. During a recent stop at Fort Stewart, President Bush visited returning soldiers but bypassed the wounded next door.


"Bush's inaction is a national disgrace," said one Gulf War I vet, speaking off the record. "I'm distressed at the lack of coverage amounting to government censorship of the funerals of returning U.S. service members.


"Bush loves to go to military bases near fundraisers," he continued. "The taxpayers pay for his trip, then he rakes in the cash. Soldiers are ordered to behave and be quiet at Bush events. What a way to get a friendly crowd! The bottom line is that if Bush attended a funeral now, it would highlight a few things: 1) There's a war going on, stupid; 2) There are bodies flying home in coffins censored by the Pentagon; and 3) Bush is insensitive to families and veterans."


Even as a propaganda strategy hatched by a PR flak, Bush's absence at funerals or memorial services or even being photographed greeting the wounded is starting to look less savvy. On September 8, Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy wrote of one D.C. family's outrage that the President had not only been unable to attend the funeral of Spec. Darryl T. Dent, 21, killed in Iraq while serving in the District of Colombia's National Guard, but hadn't sent his condolences either.


"We haven't heard from him or the White House, not a word," Marion Bruce, Dent's aunt and family spokeswoman, told Milloy. "I don't want to speak for the whole family, but I am not pleased." A month later, after it was revealed by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post that the Pentagon was for the first time enforcing a ban on all media photographs of coffins and body bags leaving the war zone or arriving in America, more critics came to believe in their heart what their guts had been telling them for some time: that the White House was doggedly intent on not associating the President with slain American troops, lest it harm the already tarnished image of the Iraq occupation as a nearly bloodless "cakewalk" for the United States. (One official told Milbank that only individual graveside services, open to cameras at the discretion of relatives, give "the full context" of a soldier's sacrifice: "To do it at several stops along the way doesn't tell the full story and isn't representative.")


"I'm appalled," said Gulf War I vet Charles Sheehan-Miles, when asked about the lack of attention paid the dead and wounded. "The impact of the president not talking about [casualties] is huge it goes back to the whole question of morale of the troops back in Iraq; they're fighting a war that the president says is not a war anymore but still is ... they haven't restored democracy, nor did they find any weapons and they are being shot at every day."


"It goes back to the reasons behind this war in the first place," continued Sheehan-Miles, executive director of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute. "We've got this constant rhetoric that supporting the troops is the equivalent of supporting the President's policies. If you're against the war then you're not for the troops. And this is one of the key things that show the lie of that. The President, the Pentagon and, to a lesser extent, the Congress has shown that they don't have any regard for the people who are fighting the war on their behalf."


Sheehan-Miles noted that the Bush Administration has in recent months sought, and in many cases received, major cuts or elimination of funding set aside for school districts that host military bases (since the troops are exempt from paying the taxes to support these schools), combat pay, Veterans Administration per capita expenditures, life insurance benefits and base housing modernization, all the while dramatically lengthening deployment periods. Soldiers are so badly paid their incomes are usually too low to receive Bush's ballyhooed per-child tax credit, Sheehan-Miles adds; while living conditions in Iraq are considered grim even for a war zone.


"I correspond with people in the military," says Sheehan-Miles. "One of my friends was in a combat battalion who just came back; they were basically just hunkered down there trying to stay alive. He's not going to talk about it though; he's a 20-year vet with a career on the line."


Add to all this the fact that the rate of U.S. military casualties is rising rather than falling, and it becomes understandable why some veterans' advocates are so frustrated with the president's lack of attention to decorum. And for some military families, anger at the war in general is driving otherwise private people to go public with their concerns.


"With any military family, most of them feel very isolated and afraid to speak out," Paul Vogel, whose son Aaron is posted in Iraq, told the Barrington (IL.) Courier-Review. "It's a very frustrating thing for a military family to realize they're paying the price for a war that, at least for military families, is really hard to get all patriotic about. It seems to be unwinnable and unending, and those are the worst words anyone in a military family could hear.


"Our feeling is Bush needs to be as noble and as contrite as he can be to say, 'Hey, we made a mistake, and we need help.'"


Perhaps a funeral would be a good place to start.


Christopher Scheer is a staff writer for AlterNet. He is co-author of the "The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq."
 

Ender

Black Belt
Joined
Apr 25, 2003
Messages
684
Reaction score
21
oh real good...can't come up with your own opinion so you get one from some penny ante web site..*LOL....
 
OP
Bob Hubbard

Bob Hubbard

Retired
MT Mentor
Founding Member
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 4, 2001
Messages
47,245
Reaction score
769
Location
Land of the Free
Heh. Naw, the info I got from several other sites...those 2 just had the better articles.

I've -always- thought W was/is a putz.

I thought that regardless of who won the last election, both the Dems and the Reps. fronted bad candidates.

This stuff however just keeps confirming it.

On the lighter side of things.... W is in the running for the Guiness Book for "Most coverups in a year".

I believe Bill Gates is currently in the lead though. :D
 
P

pknox

Guest
This makes me completely sick. And so close to Veteran's Day -- takes real chutzpa on his part. :rolleyes:

Ya know, if I were Wesley Clark, I might just use this. Imagine the commercial:

Screen cut in 1/2 vertically - one side a picture of W landing that jet on the aircraft carrier, one side black.

In bold white print on the black side, talk about how many soldiers have been killed since the conflict in Iraq was "downsized." List all the goals that W planned to accomplish. Then list the ones that were actually successful (pretty much a blank screen). Talk about the $87 billion he wants. Change to picture showing W in his flight suit and his goofy grin.

Change to a picture of a flag-draped coffin, and run info from the articles Kaith posted. Talk about how our "veteran", "pro-military" prez has screwed those men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.

Change to a picture of W in his national guard jet, "defending the homefront" (I didn't realize Texas was such a strategic target back then.) After 2 or so seconds, show Wesley Clark in his full regalia.

Let people make their choice.
 

Ender

Black Belt
Joined
Apr 25, 2003
Messages
684
Reaction score
21
Originally posted by Kaith Rustaz
Heh. Naw, the info I got from several other sites...those 2 just had the better articles.

I've -always- thought W was/is a putz.

I thought that regardless of who won the last election, both the Dems and the Reps. fronted bad candidates.

This stuff however just keeps confirming it.

On the lighter side of things.... W is in the running for the Guiness Book for "Most coverups in a year".

I believe Bill Gates is currently in the lead though. :D

try using some critcal thinking next time....the ban on cameras has been in place for over 12 years...*L

Clinton used the re-patriations as a photo op...many of the families requested he not be there, the policy was set up for families of the deceased and THEY can invite the media if THEY choose. but who cares what the families want right?....now THAT is disgusting.

and then we have Maxine Waters decrying that GW doesn't attend all the funerals....funny how 3 people die EVERY night in her district from shootings, but why doesn't she attend those funerals???

do some analysis without the slant and maybe what you post might have some credibility.
 
OP
Bob Hubbard

Bob Hubbard

Retired
MT Mentor
Founding Member
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 4, 2001
Messages
47,245
Reaction score
769
Location
Land of the Free
You may be right. (I haven't had a chance to dig as much as I'd prefer).

Even if so, does that really excuse the cuts in benefits and pay? Especially when every year congress seems to vote itself a pay raise?

I do include Clinton (and her husband) in the 'Putz List'.


It may be a 12 yr old ban. The point is, this is the largest military operation in a decade. We are asking these men and women to sacrifice and die. Don't they deserve a more respectful treatment?

Clinton and W both have issues with military service...I believe 1 was a draft doger, the other AWOL.

We are also not talking about random civilian deaths. Now, are those 3 deaths every night average joes, or are they cops, firefighters and other service personel?
 
OP
Bob Hubbard

Bob Hubbard

Retired
MT Mentor
Founding Member
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 4, 2001
Messages
47,245
Reaction score
769
Location
Land of the Free
1 thing: Some of the information I post may be in error. It is what I can find though. If anyone has information that will prove this wrong or correct, please post it.

Thanks.

:)
 

michaeledward

Grandmaster
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Messages
6,063
Reaction score
82
One other thought ... the 'So-Called-Liberal-Media' is doing a great job reporting on the 7 or 8 injured soldiers for every death. Well over 2000 soldiers have been 'injured' .. but I have only heard a couple of stories about this .. and just one report from Walter Reed.

but 'injured' is such a nice, pleasant word for what happens to these guys. The injuries are often the result of Rocket Propelled Grenades blasting through the transport vehicles during an ambush. ... and then the rocket part of the weapon will rip through an arm or leg. The other day .. I read a truly scary story from a solder who suffered such an attack.

Of course, for only those attacks that result in at least 1 death are the number of injured reported in the media. If nobody dies, we don't hear about it.

And ... from the 'We live in a great country' department. Our battlefield medical techniques have improved to the point that far more injured are saved.. (there is this neat little packet of a powder that clots the blood almost immediately) ... and those who do lose a leg, or an arm, do get the very best prosthesis available .. as well as extensive instruction on how to live with the device.

I know this post rambled a bit ... oh, well.

Mike
 
P

pknox

Guest
Originally posted by michaeledward
And ... from the 'We live in a great country' department. Our battlefield medical techniques have improved to the point that far more injured are saved.. (there is this neat little packet of a powder that clots the blood almost immediately)

I actually saw that on "Tactical to Practical" on the History Channel, a few months back. Very cool stuff, and according to the program, it is supposedly going to be available for civilian use shortly.
 

ABN

Green Belt
Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Messages
182
Reaction score
2
Location
NJ
Originally posted by pknox
After 2 or so seconds, show Wesley Clark in his full regalia.
Let people make their choice.


After you see Clark in his regalia, read what fellow officers he served with, over, and under have to say about him. You'll find a repetetive theme that centers around his lack of professionalism and integrity. Personally I would have no problem with a former military man running for office, just definitely not Clark. This man ain't no Eisenhower.


Regards,

andy
 

Touch Of Death

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
May 6, 2003
Messages
11,610
Reaction score
845
Location
Spokane Valley WA
Originally posted by ABN
After you see Clark in his regalia, read what fellow officers he served with, over, and under have to say about him. You'll find a repetetive theme that centers around his lack of professionalism and integrity. Personally I would have no problem with a former military man running for office, just definitely not Clark. This man ain't no Eisenhower.


Regards,

andy
If Clark was such a charleton how the hell did he make General. I think these people popping out of the woodwork to bash him are just rallying for their lame political agendas, Why didn't they complain to whomever would listen as he went up through the ranks? How do you know he aint no Ike anyway?
 
P

pknox

Guest
Originally posted by Touch'O'Death
If Clark was such a charleton how the hell did he make General. I think these people popping out of the woodwork to bash him are just rallying for their lame political agendas, Why didn't they complain to whomever would listen as he went up through the ranks? How do you know he aint no Ike anyway?

Possibly. However, if the claims are true, I think the key phrase there is "whomever would listen" -- if the man was on the fast track for Generalship, getting in his way may have been akin to career suicide. Few people would want to take that chance. I also don't believe he would be the first General who had made enemies along the way. Even if the complaints are true, that doesn't necessarily mean he's a bad guy. It just may mean that his detractors are more vocal than his supporters. The military can be very political - especially when you start getting to the higher ranks, where promotions become much more competitive. If he has done some truly nasty stuff, don't worry -- I'm sure the Republican powers-that-be will dig it up and tell us about it. :rolleyes:

Either way, the real question is whether or not he is a better alternative than what we have now. If he's Ike or not doesn't really matter - it's whether or not he's good enough to do the job. Unfortunately, I don't think our present leader is. But that's just my opinion. Next November is a long way away - let's see how it shakes out.
 

ABN

Green Belt
Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Messages
182
Reaction score
2
Location
NJ
Originally posted by Touch'O'Death
If Clark was such a charleton how the hell did he make General. I think these people popping out of the woodwork to bash him are just rallying for their lame political agendas, Why didn't they complain to whomever would listen as he went up through the ranks? How do you know he aint no Ike anyway?

You'd be amazed at how politicized the upper echelons of the military became after the Clinton administration moved into power. (remember stress cards, don't ask don't tell etc. if you didn't play by the rules you were gone) Many "warfighters" were quietly eased out into retirement (such as the current CoS Army GEN Schoomaker) while many corporatists moved in. Why didn't anyone complain as he moved up? It all depends on who you have watching out for you. In some ways, the conventional military can be a "go along to get along" and "don't rock the boat" environment. Alliances are forged over careers and people look out for each other. Clark was also aided by the fact that he was from Arkansas and had been a Rhodes scholar. (sound familiar?)

Regarding the commentary made by other retired Generals, I don't think there is any political motivation behind it whatsoever. Schwarzkopf declined the Chief of Staff's job because he had no desire to play politics. Hugh Shelton and Clark were contemporaries who served as Generals under the same administration. Shelton also has no political agenda. Also if a General had problems with another Generals policies or views they usually remain quiet about it, however when you hear things such as issues of integrity being raised by several senior officers about another, that should raise more red flags than a May Day parade.

How do I know he ain't no Ike? take a look at his handling of the Bosnia/Kosovo campaign. He literally hugged and traded hats with Ratko Mladic (Serb indicted for war crimes) and made several intelligence gaffes (remember the tomahawk that hit the Chinese embassy? Old Wes went on faulty intel that was not verified by secondary sources, which is SOP,before ordering the strike). His lack of discipline and following orders of the civillian National Comand Authority was so bad that he had to have both a DOD and State Department representative with him at all times to keep him from spouting off and trying to make his own policy. It's pretty bad when you can infuriate both DOD and State at the same time. finally he was so incompetent that he had to be relieved by Clinton. Now that's bad. I also have had the oportunity to talk with several friends who have done Bosnia and KFOR missions from the inception of the operation until now. Collectively they all had nothing good to say about Clark. Many people said the same things he wouldn't act on solid intelligence, acted rashly on poor intel, he would take credit for the accomplishments of others but, was quick to delegate blame for his mistakes. As an NCO I can tell you that is the worst kind of officer to have to serve under. Now that he's retired and I'd no longer fall under his orders, I wouldn't follow him to heaven.
His waffling on "I loved him then, I don't love him now that I'm running" in regard to the current administration just shows how opportunistic a man he is.

Regards,

andy
 

michaeledward

Grandmaster
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Messages
6,063
Reaction score
82
I just read this article ... http://slate.msn.com/id/2091194/ ... and it seems to relate to several of your thoughts.

For instance, if General Shelton thinks that General Clark has some integrity issues, it is unfair to make the charge without backing it up with facts, (If it is an opinion of the man, that's different, opinions are like @$$holes <g>) especially if these integrity issues would somehow be relevant to being President.

According to the article, Secretary Cohen was responsible for General Clark's dismissal. President Clinton signed the order thinking it was a normal succession order.

But for me, the silliest phrase in your post is ...

acted rashly on poor intel

Wow .. where have we seen that recently ?

Peace ... Mike
 

ABN

Green Belt
Joined
Mar 6, 2003
Messages
182
Reaction score
2
Location
NJ
Originally posted by michaeledward


But for me, the silliest phrase in your post is ... "acted rashly on poor intel."
Wow .. where have we seen that recently ?

Peace ... Mike


TOUCHE! Sir, my head is bloody but unbowed. Very good point. We could definitely have a good thread about that.

One thing to consider about why Shelton didn't mention specific facts is the possibility that some of them could be sensitive (such as deals being made during the Bosnia campaigns for some Serbs to be left alone for hypothetical example). food for thought...

andy
 

Ender

Black Belt
Joined
Apr 25, 2003
Messages
684
Reaction score
21
Originally posted by Kaith Rustaz
You may be right. (I haven't had a chance to dig as much as I'd prefer).

Even if so, does that really excuse the cuts in benefits and pay? Especially when every year congress seems to vote itself a pay raise?

I do include Clinton (and her husband) in the 'Putz List'.


It may be a 12 yr old ban. The point is, this is the largest military operation in a decade. We are asking these men and women to sacrifice and die. Don't they deserve a more respectful treatment?

Clinton and W both have issues with military service...I believe 1 was a draft doger, the other AWOL.

We are also not talking about random civilian deaths. Now, are those 3 deaths every night average joes, or are they cops, firefighters and other service personel?


The ban was put in at the request of the families and the military to give them privacy ..pure and simple. if they wish to invite the media. they are free do to so. ...but, it has been the policy of the Bush administration to hand write a letter each each of the fallen, and to not politicize these deaths as many try to do. i beleive that is the best course to take in my opinion.

again with the AWOL?..come on now, you're just parroting the media.
 
Top