Frank Rich: Supporting our troops over a cliff
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Saturday June 3, 2006
Americans should feel "guilty" because the Bush Administration "has asked no sacrifice of civilians other than longer waits at airline security," while our troops go to war in Iraq so "we can party on," writes Frank Rich in his column slated for the Sunday edition of The New York Times, RAW STORY has learned.
"For all the politicians' talk about honoring those who serve, Washington's record is derelict: chronic shortages in body and Humvee armor; a back-door draft forcing troops with expired contracts into repeated deployments; inadequate postwar health care and veterans' benefits," Rich writes. "And that's just the short list."
Rich also slams President Bush's campaign for a federal marriage amendment while the war drags on ("...we are planning an indefinite stay of undefined parameters," according to Rich).
"Though the amendment has no chance of passing, Bush apparently still thinks, as he did in 2004, that gay-baiting remains just the diversion to distract from a war gone south," Rich writes.
Excerpts from Rich's column:
...Nothing, including the atrocities of Abu Ghraib and Haditha, has shaken American affection for the troops. Nothing should. These men and women go to war so we can party on...We've even been rewarded with a prize that past generations would have found as jaw-dropping as space travel: a wartime dividend in the form of tax cuts.
"It shocked me that the country was not mobilized for war," said Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who retired after his stint as a commander in Iraq and became an outspoken critic of Donald Rumsfeld. He told The Wall Street Journal that "it was almost surreal" that the only time some Americans "think about the war is when they decide what color magnet ribbon to put on the back of their car."
Should we feel guilty? Yes. The sunshine of last weekend, splendid as it was for a cookout, could not eradicate the dark reality that we keep sending our troops into a quagmire. At Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, the president read a poignant letter that 1st Lt. Mark Dooley, killed by a bomb last September in Ramadi, wrote to his parents. What Bush did not say was that now, nine months later, insurgents rule Ramadi...
TIMES SELECT SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ FULL RICH COLUMN HERE