Friday, August 5


President Bush lamented the deaths of 14 Marines in Iraq Wednesday, calling the deadly attack a "grim reminder" America is still at war.

Who needs a reminder except the absentee president? Every day more Americans die in Iraq or Afghanistan and every day more are shipped over to serve as fodder for Bush's cynical political games. Next week my daughter's 19-year-old former boyfriend will arrive in Iraq. His job? To search out and dismantle IED's (improvised explosive devices), one of the most hazardous duties in theater. The kids met because they both sail competitively. C's right-wing yahoo father all but forced him to enter the Army to "make a man of him." I remember C sitting on our couch last fall watching Fahrenheit 9/11 on our TV (he was excited about being able to vote for the first time) and asking him afterwards for his reaction. I was pleased and just a bit surprised at the vehemence of his response -- he was disgusted and appalled with Bush and Company.

This is a sweet-natured, gentle young man who we'll be praying for every night until he returns safely. But meantime I can't help but wonder what would motivate a parent to offer up the sacrifice of their son for the sake of this benighted adventure.

Most of us don't need any reminders we're at war. We don't have the luxury of month-long vacations and hordes of sycophants to shield us from the realities of Bush's disastrous policies. We count the dead and the wounded, and we shake our heads in despair. After all, "we" chose this war, it wasn't thrust upon us out of necessity. We know that now even if we didn't before. The only grim reminder we need is the smirking face of the void we see on TV defending it.


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