Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hoo-rah! Hoo-rah! Hoo-rah!

Sitting on the edge of the bed, she reaches down to tie her low-cut boots and to fold over the cuff in her khaki socks. She rises stiffly, and inspects herself in the mirror, straightening the khaki-colored turtleneck sweater and her short camo pleated skirt. Not bad, considering. (Considering what, Spotty? Well, considering that we are looking at the country’s oldest living military cheerleader.)

Once on the field, she begins her extended stretching and warm up; those jumps are getting harder and harder to do. Often, after warming up, she is almost too exhausted to do the routines. She feels a little silly sometimes. But for her commander in chief, no sacrifice is too great (except for sacrificing her kids, but that’s another story).

Yet again, Katie has put on the uniform to cheer for the war in Iraq. In her column today, entitled Reservist says protesters are breaking faith, Katie trots out the latest GOP meme, and she is happy to parrot it. She quotes Reserve Col. Jeff Vold from Maplewood, who says regarding the war protests here in the United States:
Antiwar demonstrators sometimes claim that their prime motivation is concern for the safety of American troops. "Support the troops," the lawn signs say, "bring them home."

But it doesn't work that way, says Vold. "I try not to take it personally. The reason I'm a Marine is to ensure this is a free country. But I don't think the protesters know the effect they're having on the soldiers. You're always tired, cold or hot, homesick. The last thing you need is a sense that people back home say your mission is doomed, when you see good things happening all the time."
The meme is of course that anybody who questions the war is an unpatriotic lout, is insensitive to the feelings of our Fighting Men and Women, and just might be a traitor. Essentially, it is psychological manipulation. It’s a variation of the If you loved your Mother, you would call once in a while stratagem.

Katie didn’t think this up on her own. Since the unlikely candidate Cindy Sheehan ignited ant-war sentiment around the country, Republicans have made strenuous efforts to paint the anti-war movement as kooks and “out of the mainstream.” One writer in the local Edina Sun Current weekly newspaper described the 400 odd demonstrators at a Cindy Sheehan vigil here as “fringe.” It is well, silly, to call that mostly-middle age crowd “fringe.” It is, Spot supposes, because the fringe is now the majority of the country.

The Heritage Foundation, the conservative “think” tank, is also getting into the act. Spotty commends The Politics of Slander, an article on Cursor’s Media Transparency site for a discussion of this. Katie weighs in today. She continues in the column:
How did the Sheehan protest play in Iraq? Yesterday, I asked Vold's friend, Lt. Col. James MacVarish, an adviser to Iraqi troops in Fallujah. He told me in an e-mail that the Iraqis he works with believe such protests and the press they generate "play directly to the strengths of our mutual enemy." Iraqis "are absolutely astounded," he adds, "that we 'allow' that to continue." A few days ago, he had to give his Iraqi colleagues an hour long civics lesson on freedom of the press.
No. What emboldens the enemy is the utterly stupid way the war was promoted (yes promoted), planned, and fought. The notion that the US can only lose if decides not to win is an exercise in titanic hubris. Oh sure, we might pacify the country if we occupy it with 400,000 troops more or less indefinitely, but that isn’t going to happen. We probably couldn’t round up that many soldiers if we wanted to, absent a draft.

This whole fiasco came a cropper before George Bush strutted on the aircraft carrier and announced mission accomplished. Only we, and probably he, didn’t know it yet.

Vold also makes the point that we have to leave our military twisting in the wind in Iraq so as not to embolden the “terrorists.” They seem pretty bold already, don’t they Colonel? Not to mention the fact that the US is responsible for making Iraq the hotbed of “terrorism” that it is today.

So Katie, keep cheering as the stands get emptier and emptier. Don’t forget your pom-poms.


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