Monday, December 6


As the scion of a decades-old-tradition military family, three of our young men who have fought in the recent Iraq incursion, I have an opinion on the Pat Tillman affair.

This is not the first time a young American man has heroically and, at great sacrifice to himself and his family, offered his services to the U.S. military to protect and defend our country. And it is not the first time that political objectives (at home and, secondarily, abroad) have been used to deceitfully lure into battles whose objectives are obscure or covert, brave and selfless young people who ultimately lose their lives in a pointless and, sometimes, corrupt, military engagement. In Pat Tillman's case, it seems that a FUBAR battle in a FUBAR war, led to the death of a singularly fine, selfless, patriotic young man. I cannot hope that his wife and small children will find the comfort in the heroism of his death, now acknowledged as a tragic accident wherein our own military fired upon and killed this fine young American; nothing will compensate them for the loss of their husband, son and father. I cannot hope that they will find some nobility and purpose for his death. The Taliban is resurging, the opium trade in Afghanistan has tripled since our invasion, and Osama Bin Laden has not been captured. So, I ask, why did Pat Tillman die? Why did he risk the futures of his wife and children, and their lives together? Was he just a raging lunatic Republican? That would make him one of a few. None of the other raging lunatic Repugs we're familiar with risked even their comfort, their livelihoods, much less their lives, at any time to defend America: not Bush, not Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc.

Pat Tillman wanted to avenge the deaths of the 9/11 victims and, mostly, protect Americans from further attacks. I honor him for that intention. Incompetent military officers and political decision-makers put him in harm's way, denying him even the chance to accomplish his selfless goals. There was never any chance, we now know, that the U.S.A. intended to go all-out to capture Bin Laden. We were too busy focusing on an invasion of Iraq, for which purpose we still don't understand.


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