“Each of these men and women left grieving families and loved ones back home,” [President] Bush said here at the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “Each of these heroes left a legacy that will allow generations of their fellow Americans to enjoy the blessings of liberty.”
Then he said he would not bow to growing pressure to withdraw troops immediately from Iraq: “We owe them something. We will finish the task that they gave their lives for.”
Excuse me, but just how does the killing in Iraq “allow generations of . . . Americans to enjoy the blessings of liberty?” And we owe the dead more dead?
“We’ll honor their sacrifice by staying on the offensive against the terrorists,” Bush said. By making Iraq into a terrorist recruiting camp?
“It pains me to hear that more people should die because those people have died,” said [Celeste Zappala of Philadelphia, a co-founder of the antiwar group Gold Star Families for Peace and the mother of a son who died in Iraq]. “That makes no sense. We can honor them by having an intelligent, honest policy.”
Indeed. If we honor the 1864 dead Americans by sending more into harm’s way, how shall we honor the tens or hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis? How shall we honor those whose homes have been flattened? How shall we honor those whose sewer systems have been destroyed?