Did He Die Defending Freedom? Does His Death Enhance Our Security? ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Did He Die Defending Freedom? Does His Death Enhance Our Security?

Ursula Bowen (center) stands outside St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church after the funeral of her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Collin J. Bowen, a member of the Maryland National Guard. Standing with Ursula are (from left) Erin, 13; Katelyn, 10, (Sgt. Bowen's daughters from a previous marriage) and Gabriela, 3. (Baltimore Sun photo by Kim Hairston / March 25, 2008)

Although Sergeant Bowen served and died in Afghanistan, CP openly opposed this war of folly in Iraq by protesting in public and by writing letters to the newspaper and elected officials. I wondered why we did not send divisions to Afghanistan, rather then the few brigades or so we have there now. The Taliban and Al Qaida, our real enemies, were in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but there was no oil to be had. Only poppies. Instead, we invaded Iraq and it has been a disaster in every way imaginable. I have always said the other real enemies are Saudi Arabia and Iran. They need to be dealt with. They hate us. Diplomacy needs to be applied. We have only ruined Iraq and helped Iran and the Al Qaida.

Meanwhile, China watches and laughs, paying our debts, hosting the Olympics and cracking down on Tibet. Talk about invading a country! Where is the outcry about Tibet? I guess we don't hear much because they have not yet pinned it on "The Zionists" and there are no poor Arabs or Palestinians there....or no oil (that's my slam against the left and peace weenies in case you did not notice..).

I could have chosen a photo of a soldier from MD who died in Iraq instead, but this allows us the opportunity to think about Iraq versus Afghanistan, about a "good" war or a "bad" war. To be clear, I am not a peace-weenie pacifist. I think World War 2, about which I have read a lot, and in which my father and all my uncles served, was crucial to human freedom. I think we were justified in dropping the A and H bombs which saved lives and saved Japan.

However, that war came about in many respects, because we allowed it, such as letting Hitler run into Spain in the 30's, not dealing properly with Japan, and we were unprepared. But I digress. When I warned how Iraq would be "another Vietnam" some people said I did not know my history, but my brother served during the Vietnam era, and I remembered the nightly news broadcasts, the protests and the war here at home. Yes, we had a war at home! A few years ago, I had a neighbor, a Marine officer, who was sent to Kuwait and Iraq. We spent nearly every day with his family while he was overseas. Another Marine officer on my street was upset that all of his "guys" as he put it, were over there and he was not. I have seen this war at home too.

Five years later, four-thousand American dead, and trillions and trillions spent. Division at home. Deficits. Families torn apart. Police and fire fighters sent away. Iraq in shambles. The entire Middle East in worse shape than before. We fought a war against vastly more powerful enemies on two global fronts from 1941 to 1945 and we defeated them in less time.

We see no progress in Iraq. We have not calculated the real costs. They are too high.

The only reason we have not reacted and put a stop to this as we finally we were able to do in Vietnam in the early 70's is simple. We are not being asked to pay for this now. We are not being drafted. Yet has anyone noticed how the disproportionate numbers of soldiers with Hispanic names who have been killed? That says a lot. Draw your own conclusions. The same is porably true for black soldiers.

Bush and company are liars. Plain and simple. The vast right wing conspiracy that worked overtime to destroy Clinton and found little after great cost and great energy was wasted, has ignored the lies and follies and unpatriotic behavior of the worst president in American history. I don't like that Clinton wagged his finger at me and lied and fooled around at his Oval office desk, but really. Let's be honest. It pales in comparison.

These same Republican liars that tried to label Clinton as a draft dodger ignored Bush's entire Texas Air National Guard schemes and lies. They instead went after John Kerry, who volunteered for dangerous duty in Vietnam and tried to pin him as a phony. They destroyed a real patriot, a disfigured veteran named Max Cleland of Georgia. Even Al Gore went to Vietnam. So he went as a journalist and his tour was short, but he and Kerry went there while Bush and his chicken hawk buddies got out. Kennedy was a decorated war hero, whose name, home state and war duty were similar to Kerry's and he ran against Goldwater who also served honorably in the Army Air Force and was a reserve general. And if you remember, George McGovern was a decorated war hero, a bomber pilot. Daddy George Bush was shot down over the water. Nixon served in the Navy in The Pacific. Se what I am getting at here?

I just had to get this out after seeing the photo of the three year old girl from Perry Hall whose father came home in a coffin.

America is on the way out. Our century has ended, sped on by Bush and company who reversed progress in so many areas and poisoned the well of respect we once enjoyed. Wiretapping. Torture. Firing federal prosecutors. Chasing young and older officers out of the military. Wiping out our military abilities. Bankrupting us. Allowing China to ascend globally. Making it hard for us to fill the ranks of police and firefighters. And then he has the audacity to tell us last week that the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice did so to secure peace.

It's the oldest lie in the book.

Remember this--when they torture abroad, we will be the next victims.

And we continue to swallow their lies.

Look at the widowed woman and her daughter.


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