Friday, March 30, 2007

First off excuse my rather lengthy absence from updating my humble blog. Life is odd sometimes and I just wasn’t able to update with anything I felt good enough. Of course some people argue that I never update my blog with anything good but that’s another entry.

Pat Tillman was a rather atypical athlete. He was well read. He was selfless. He was loyal to the team that drafted him, the Arizona Cardinals, and stayed with them turning down millions from the St. Louis Rams. After the attacks of September 11th the enlisted in the Army turning his back on a successful professional football career. He wanted to help bring those who perpetrated the attacks to justice. On April 22, 2004 Pat Tillman was fatally wounded while serving in Afghanistan. His death was held up as heroic. Sports writers said he should be enshrined in every football stadium in the NFL and placed in the Professional Football Hall of Fame. He was a war hero. He was straight out of a John Wayne movie. He sacrificed a privileged life to fight and died at the hands of the terrorists who sought to harm us. While forsaking a career in the NFL to serve one’s country is indeed noble and he was undoubtedly brave. He did not die from a terrorist’s bullet or bomb. Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire. Of course the military as they so often do dragged their feet in this instance. Just today it was reported that, and I quote this article, “Just seven days after Pat Tillman's death, a top general warned there were strong indications that the NFL star-turned-soldier did not die in an ambush in Afghanistan, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press. But it was not until a month afterward that the Pentagon told the public and grieving family members the truth — that Tillman was mistakenly killed in Afghanistan by his comrades.
The memo reinforces suspicions that the Pentagon was more concerned with sparing officials from embarrassment than with leveling with Tillman's family.” So the military was more concerned with covering their asses than the truth. The military was more interested in selling Pat Tillman as a hero than as a victim of a tragic mistake. Pat Tillman’s family deserved far better.

Look at this picture.

In it you see Marine Sgt. Ty Ziegel and his fiancée Renee Klein before Ty was shipped of to fight in Iraq. They are a typical young engaged couple full of hopes and dreams and looking forward to a life together.

Now look at this picture.

That’s Ty and Renee on their wedding day in 2006. In 2004 a roadside bomb in Iraq injured Ty. That’s what Ty looks like after 19 surgeries, loosing sight in one eye, melting most of the skin off his body and so badly damaging his skull it had to be replaced with plastic. Look at Renee’s face. She is not the usual blushing bride. She looks like someone who has had all her hopes and dreams ripped away. She looks like someone who can’t for the life of her understand why this had to happen to him.

For the life of me I can’t understand it either. Why so many people have had their lives taken or forever changed for a war that should have never been fought. There was no good reason for us to go into Iraq. There was never any noble cause. There was never any justification or provocation. Whether or not is was a lie or a mistake isn’t as important as us admitting we need to leave. But Bush is forever belligerent. Bush will neither listen to Congress or the American people that it is time to end this war in Iraq. We need to end our occupation. We need to get our troops out of harm’s way. I know this will not resurrect Pat Tillman or heal Ty Ziegel’s wounds. But we can ill afford more deaths and injuries such as these. We need to shout until Bush listens. Sadly enough I’m not sure he ever will. The foolish consistency that has been the hobgoblin of his administration seems to be unrelenting. Bush seems bound and determined to fight this war forever. Of course his twin daughters won’t come home in a casket or with melted flesh.

I hate this war with a fervent passion. I hate this war not because as the proponents of this war assert that I have no will to fight or I am somehow morally weak. I hate this war because I am strong enough to be heartsick when I hear stories such as these and empathetic enough to not want to happen to anyone else.

Though Pat Tillman did not die in Iraq he did fight there and was not happy about it according to his family. The war he died fighting in Afghanistan is also failing as the Taliban has regrouped and strengthened and Osama Bin Laden still is a free man. We should end our occupation there as well. We have accomplished little with Bush’s War on Terror. All we have to show for it our lies, death, horrific injuries and shattered dreams.

I can stand little more of Bush’s belligerence. Bush now is so bereft of any real positive news from Iraq he has to quote Iraqi blogs in his speeches. He threatens to veto Congress’ spending bill for Iraq that requires we have a timetable for exiting Iraq. How is threatening to cut off funds to the soldiers supporting our troops in any real way? Bush has never really changed course in Iraq. There have been many other plans offered to him and he has by and large ignored them all. He stands ever defiant. He defies logic and reason and conscience and faith. He vacations at his Crawford ranch while 500 to 1000 veterans of the War on Terror are now homeless. He needs to be told that the War on Terror needs to end and needs to finally listen.


Post a Comment

<< Home