|Blogs > sfvppl818 > A Theatre of the Absurd ::::::|
Take a Moment, Remember Why We Have Monday Off
Take a Moment, Remember Why We Have Monday Off
This is neither a partisan nor political statement. It's very true I despise this administration, with very good reason, while serious conservatives without a bonfire of social destruction are starting to lean this way too. I am fine with putting away that argument for a while, to a future date when complaining and prattling on about my disgust would be far more appropriate.
So while you enjoy the extra day away from your daily hassles, and cracking that 10th beer ... take a second and remove yourself from that selective outrage we all seem to share about Iraq these days.
I saw something this afternoon that put it all in perspective.
Joe Galloway, the fabled war correspondent, now reporting on military affairs for Knight Ridder’s Washington bureau, retires next week after more than four decades in journalism, during which he covered numerous foreign wars, from Vietnam to Iraq, and was one of the rare civilians awarded a Bronze Star for bravery. Not surprisingly, he is going out with a bang. A series of combative and revealing emails between Galloway and chief Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita concerning Donald Rumsfeld’s management of the military and the Iraq war have surfaced which cut to the heart of the country’s current trauma. Retired General Barry McCaffery, a familiar figure nowadays as a cable news commentator, urged Galloway to release the emails, calling them “the most powerful stuff hands down I have ever read about this war. ...this exchange ought to be your going away gift to the capital.”
Galloway did share them, of course: “I like to think that is what I am doing also, and it is a struggle that grows out of my obligation to and love for America's warriors going back 41 years as of last month.
There are many things we all could wish had happened. I can wish that your boss had surrounded himself with close advisers who had, once at least, held a dying boy in their arms and watched the life run out of his eyes while they lied to him and told him, over and over, ‘You are going to be all right. Hang on! Help is coming. Don't quit now...’ Such men in place of those who had never known service or combat or the true cost of war, and who pays that price, and had never sent their children off to do that hard and unending duty.
I could wish for so much. I could wish that in January of this year I had not stood in a garbage-strewn pit, in deep mud, and watched soldiers tear apart the wreckage of a kiowa warrior shot down just minutes before and tenderly remove the barely alive body of WO Kyle Jackson and the lifeless body of his fellow pilot. They died flying overhead cover for a little three-vehicle Stryker patrol with which I was riding at the time. I could wish that Jackson's widow Betsy had not found, among the possessions of her late husband, a copy of my book, carefully earmarked at a chapter titled Brave Aviators, which Kyle was reading at the time of his death. That she had not enclosed a photo of her husband, herself and a 3 year old baby girl.
Those things I received in the mail yesterday and they brought back the tears that I wept standing there in that pit, feeling the same shards in my heart that I felt the first time I looked into the face of a fallen American soldier 41 years ago on a barren hill in Quang Ngai Province in another time, another war. someone once asked me if I had learned anything from going to war so many times. My reply: yes, I learned how to cry.”
We need more Joe Galloway's and more Barry McCaffery's. People who never retreat from the truth. And if you think that you have been forgotten, Colonel Hackworth ... Rage On!
5/26/2006 9:43 pm
For a while I considered writing an update to the article itself, but I did not want to detract from the purpose of Joe Galloway's words, a lesson undoubtedly learned through the lens of Vietnam. It seems we have learned to separate the troops from the war itself, but that simple perception could change in an instant. But the purpose of this update is not to speak of such atrocities, but of the life and times of David Hackworth, the most decorated American soldier at his most untimely death, from bladder cancer at 73, a common occurrence for Vietnam-era soldiers exposed to Agent Orange.|
In June 1971, Colonel David Hackworth, probably America's most decorated soldier in Vietnam, appeared on ABC television and told his countrymen that the war could not be won, that US military leaders had failed to understand or train their men for the nature of the country or the conflict, that Saigon would fall to the communists within five years and that one of every five American casualties had been the victim of so-called friendly fire.
This criticism put Hackworth under concerted attack from his superiors, an assault made easier to sustain by the fast and loose approach to regulations he had employed as commander of a Blackhawk air cavalry brigade in Vietnam. His troops wore US civil war hats, and Hackworth, as commander of the unit, later became the model for Colonel Kilgore, the abrasive, cigar-chomping officer played by Robert Duvall in the 1979 film Apocalypse Now.
He was an original and he continues to be missed ... David Haskell Hackworth, soldier, born November 11, 1931; died May 4, 2005.
Did you notice? Born on Veterans Day.
5/27/2006 12:46 pm
I recall Col. David Hackworth's appearances on CNN or perhaps it was FOX as an expert on military strategy. I respected his service and his expert views regarding the military. I was saddened to learn here that he died earlier this month!|
No one likes to see flag-draped coffins! No one! This cuts across all political lines. We are all Americans this weekend! This is a weekend to honor those who have served our country, who have sacrificed so much as well as those young men and women who are serving us today in many faraway lands!
I respect you for not turning this post into a political rant. We all agree that we want to see the Iraq war end as soon as possible. The unity, parliamentarian government is stood up in Iraq. But no Defense Minister is in place yet. They need to get the Iraqi command and control structure in place even as our brave young men and women train Iraqi troops and police. Let us pray to God that this will eventually be successful and that we can begin to turn over more and more responsibility to the Iraqis. Prime Minister Tony Blair was in Washington, D.C. Thursday and Friday for discussions about the plan to begin the withdrawal of coalition forces. My understanding is that the U.S. has 130,000 troops in Iraq right now. Those who do not want freedom, democracy and this form of secular unity government to succeed will fight hard ... probably desperately in the next few months to resist this. Remember the terrorists and insurgents now fight the Iraqi unity government duly elected by 12 million who voted in their free elections. Because of the selfless bravery of our military men and women and their determination to complete their mission, WE WILL SUCCEED. God bless them all. God bless their families who worry, sacrifice and await their return. God bless our country and those who have the awsome burden of leadership during these difficult and divisive times.
A very nice Memorial Day tribute! Have a wonderful weekend!
5/27/2006 5:09 pm
Naked Tuesday, are you talking about the 'god hates fags' lunatics, who picket gay people and recently got backlashed for picketing gay soldiers? or is this a whole nother group?|
because that group is anti-christian, ot christian.