25 March 2008

Putting the "dick" in Dick

Froomkin documents the atrocity:
ABC's Martha Raddatz: "Mr. Vice President, I want to start with the milestone today of 4,000 dead in Iraq, Americans, and just what effect you think that has on the country. Your thoughts on that?"

Dick Cheney: "Well, it obviously brings home, I think for a lot of people, the cost that's involved in the global war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Death's funny that way, Dick -- V.) It places a special burden, obviously, on the families. We recognize, I think -- it's a reminder of the extent to which we're blessed with families who have sacrificed as they have. The President carries the biggest burden, obviously; he's the one who has to make the decision to commit young Americans. But we are fortunate to have the group of men and women, the all-volunteer force, who voluntarily put on the uniform and go in harm's way for the rest of us. You wish nobody ever lost their life, but unfortunately it's one of those things that go with living in the world we live in. Sometimes you have to commit military force, and when you do, there are casualties."

Maybe it's me, but, just off the top of my head, I can think of about 158,000 people carrying a bigger burden than the president. "Making the decision" doesn't hold a candle to actually putting one's life on the line--or, for that matter, living for months and years on end, worrying about a loved one who is.

And that's only considering the men and women who will be coming home in one piece.

There's nothing more insulting to the thousands killed and tens of thousands wounded (and their families) than to suggest that a politician in Washington--ANY politician in Washington--is more burdened by this war than they are. Our president thinks he's Harry Truman. Any "burden" he carries is offset by the delusion that history will vindicate his decision to embroil our nation in this war of choice as a wise and necessary one. And as for the 5x draft deferred Mr. Cheney, he has little right to even speak about the burdens borne by our troops and their loved ones, much less suggest that theirs are secondary to anyone else's.

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