Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Freedom isn't free . . .

Part of the guv's announcement yesterday concerning the Guard call up in Minnesota:
We've all heard the phrase that freedom isn't free. It's also true that not everybody pays the same price.
Spotty wishes he had a nickel for every time some wing nut said freedom isn't free. He would endow a chair at the vet school.

The governor fell right in line with the rest of the government charlatans who continue to mislead their citizens - with decreasing success - about the misconceived and totally bungled war on terror. They try to sooth our doubt with platitudes about supporting the troops and the price of freedom.

It's all a giant confidence game. More people are recognizing that all the time. Cindy Sheehan's camping adventure may be a tipping point, and that is why this plain spoken but obviously angry woman is driving the right wing crazy. They vilify her, call her names, question her patriotism, but they can't lay a glove on her. Why? Because she has a moral authority that none of the administration's toadies and sycophants can touch.

There was an op-ed piece in a Lexington, Kentucky newspaper last Friday, August 12th. Here is some of that letter:

Iraq war: tragedy of errors
Honorable Marine died in dishonorable war
By Missy Comley Beattie

He is number 1,828, 1,829 or 1,830. We don't know for sure, because so many died last week.

Marine Lance Cpl. Chase Johnson Comley died when his vehicle was hit head on by a suicide bomber. His death admits his family to a club no one wants to join: the grieving, questioning families who have heard the dreaded ring of the doorbell followed by a messenger's words, "We regretfully inform you that your son ..."

You realize that nothing you've thought, done or felt has prepared you for this reality. The feeling is so much worse than a broken heart. It is an evisceration.
. . .

For those of you who still trust the Bush administration -- and your percentage diminishes every day -- let me tell you that my nephew Chase Johnson Comley did not die to preserve your freedoms. He was not presented flowers by grateful Iraqis, welcoming him as their liberator.

He died fighting a senseless war for oil and contracts, ensuring the increased wealth of President Bush and his administration's friends.
. . .

He died in a country erupting into civil war and turned into a hellhole by Bush, a place where democracy has no chance of prevailing, a country that will become a theocracy like Saudi Arabia.
. . .

And think of someone who says, "We will not cut and run," but who did just that years ago when he was called.
. . .

For many Americans, the war is an abstraction. But it is not an abstraction for the innocent Iraqis whose lives have been devastated by our smart bombs. And it certainly is not an abstraction for those of us who have heard the words that change lives forever.

So think of my family's grief -- grief that will never end. Think of all the families. Think of the wounded, the maimed, the psychologically scarred.

And then consider: The preservation of our freedom rests not on U.S. imperialism but on actively changing foreign policies that are conquest-oriented and that dehumanize our own young who become fodder for endless war as well as people in other countries who are so geographically distant that they become abstract.

The answer is not Bush's mantra: "They're jealous of our freedoms."

And, finally, think about flowers: The flowers for Chase Comley will be presented not by grateful Iraqis but by loved ones honoring him as he's lowered to his grave and buried in our hearts.

Missy Comley Beattie of New York is the aunt of Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley of Lexington who was killed in Iraq last weekend.
You can and should read the whole thing here. It is raw and electric throughout. Governor Pawlenty, who just consigned more Minnesotans to death and dismemberment, should read it and weep.

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