Monday, November 03, 2003

We Agree

Mark Shields awakens from his usual slumber:

In the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Bush administration chose instead to duck Shelton's "Dover test." The scene so familiar to older Americans -- of the military honor guard in white gloves, respectfully accompanying from the aircraft to the waiting loved ones the remains of the fallen warrior in the coffin covered by Old Glory, often with a military band offering an appropriately solemn piece -- was simply banned. George W. Bush's war against Iraq could not flunk the Dover test because there would be no Dover test.


After 241 U.S. servicemen, mostly Marines, were killed in a terrorist attack on their Beirut barracks, Reagan went to Camp Lejeune not simply to console the grieving, though console them he did, but to do what President Bill Clinton would later do so memorably after the deadly attack on the USS Cole and the murder of U.S. diplomatic personnel in Nairobi -- to give voice to the national sense of grief and offer meaning to the ultimate sacrifices made.

Where is the outrage on the part of the press? Are we lapdogs? The administration in full spin control insists that the reality on the ground in Iraq is much more positive than the press reports. Yet the administration denies reality at home -- the reality of the recent heroism of this nation's fallen sons and daughters.

By official government policy,. there is no band to welcome them home. No honor guard to present the folded flag to their widow and orphan, to make certain the family knows that their loss is also their country's loss, that they do not weep alone. It is a cruel and ugly policy that robs the patriot of the glory and public honor he has earned and deserves.

...Harley Sorenson also notes that for some reason the wounded never die.