News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: The Lies Our Leaders Tell

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Lies Our Leaders Tell

In his recent speeches to US troops and veterans, Pres. Bush has implied that those who are now questioning both the reasons for going to war and the plan to get troops out of Iraq are undermining troop morale.

This message is subtle, is implied, rather than stated outright. The message is that anyone who asks questions or seeks answers about these issues is somehow playing into the terrorists' hands. For example, Pres. Bush said in his speech to veterans:

"As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them. Our troops deserve to know that this support will remain firm when the going gets tough. And our troops deserve to know that, whatever our differences in Washington, our will is strong, our nation is united and we will settle for nothing less than victory."

This statement is disingenuous if not outright scandalous. It implies that those who oppose this war do not care about the soldiers and their welfare.

If there is anything that soldiers who are fighting for freedom do is to ask questions. For the President to suppose that our troops are simply mindless drones who do not question and seek answers for they kill starngers or are killed by strangers is simply a disservice to our soldiers at the least or a simple refusal to see the reality that the soldiers see.

The soldiers themselves want to know why they are there, strangers in a strange land, called upon to carry out acts that many will experience nightmares about for years, many of whom will not be able to live with themselves perhaps as long as they inhabit this realm of life.

I wish the President could hear these words, expressed simply but powerfully, by a young Arkansas soldier on leave who is sitting around with his buddies "shooting the breeze":

MATT HERTLEIN: And right now, man, the people that are over there that are dying -- I mean, sure, I’m not -- you know, they’re patriots and they're dying for their country and everything, but I think they're dying for the wrong cause.

Do you hear that, Mr. President? The soldiers want to know why they are dying.

Related Story: Burn in Hell, Mr. President
GOP senator hits Bush for attacking war critics; Hints Congress endorsing another Vietnam by staying silent

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