Sunday, October 08, 2006

Just Doing Their Jobs While Their Leaders Are Not

When I was at Camp Democracy in Washington DC last month, I met a marine who had just reenlisted after being out of the Corp for six years. Several of the activists there were trying to talk him out of it. Why would he want to go back to that God-forsaken place to fight a war that he agreed was founded on lies and deceit?

He argued that all he could think about was his brothers over there giving their lives while he was safe at home. The activists told him to think of himself. Think of all the good he could do here to help bring them back.

But I told the marine that I could not fault him at all for wanting to go watch the backs of his buddies who were sent into a hostile region short-handed and without adequate supplies. Certainly no one could refute that those kids over there need the help.

Whether you believe they are following illegal, immoral and unjust orders or not, the men and women of our military are willing to make the supreme sacrifice. They put their lives on the line every day. Why? Because their job is to protect and defend their country. They aren't allowed to debate whether the cause is right or wrong. They do their jobs.

The Washington Post reports that Iraq casualties have soared to their highest level in two years with over 1000 soldiers wounded in the last five weeks.
More than 20,000 U.S. troops have been wounded in combat in the Iraq war, and about half have returned to duty. While much media reporting has focused on the more than 2,700 killed, military experts say the number of wounded is a more accurate gauge of the fierceness of fighting because advances in armor and medical care today allow many service members to survive who would have perished in past wars. The ratio of wounded to killed among U.S. forces in Iraq is about 8 to 1, compared with 3 to 1 in Vietnam.
Yet the war rages on with little or no support from the American people and little or no protest from the Congress of the United States.

For the past week the media has been focused on the electronic exploits of a would-be child molestor in the halls of Congress. They have ignored the men and women who are fighting for their lives in an unwinnable war that they should not be in in the first place.

The soldiers who are giving their lives or their limbs to the US war effort are doing their jobs, following orders. In a letter published recently in Time Magazine, a Marine in Iraq says the 18-20 hour days he works is "not really like Ground Hog Day, it's more like a level from Dante's Inferno."

The anonymous soldier describes the man he calls " Bravest Guy in al-Anbar Province"
Any Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EOD Tech). How'd you like a job that required you to defuse bombs in a hole in the middle of the road that very likely are booby-trapped or connected by wire to a bad guy who's just waiting for you to get close to the bomb before he clicks the detonator? Every day. Sanitation workers in New York City get paid more than these guys. Talk about courage and commitment.
Courage and commitment indeed. There isn't as much courage in the entire Congress as one of those Marines has in his little toe.

It is becoming more apparent that Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert didn't do his job. One of the most basic animal instincts is to protect our young, to protect our children. When it was learned that Republican representative Mark Foley was harassing high school boys, Hastert chose to protect the adult who should have known better and the party that grants him power.

The Democrats on the Hill aren't doing their job. They aren't functioning as an opposition party. They function as a weak counter balance to the Republican rubber stamping of the neoconservative agenda. Several of them crossed the aisle to vote in favor of torture and the centuries old legal principle of habeas corpus.

None of these members of Congress is doing their job. The oath they swear is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, but they have allowed and approved several illegal and unconstitutional acts by the Bush/Cheney regime.

Why can't they just do the job? Is it really that hard?

We have another shining example of a soldier standing up for the Constitution and fighting against torture.

From The Seattle Times:
The Navy lawyer who took the Guantánamo case of Osama bin Laden's driver to the U.S. Supreme Court — and won — has been passed over for promotion by the Pentagon and must soon leave the military.

Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, 44, said last week he received word he had been denied a promotion to full-blown commander this summer, "about two weeks after" the Supreme Court sided against the White House and with his client, a Yemeni captive at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.

Under the military's "up-or-out" promotion system, Swift will retire in March or April, closing a 20-year career of military service.

A Pentagon appointee, Swift embraced the alleged al-Qaida's sympathizer's defense with a classic defense lawyer's zeal, casting his captive client as an innocent victim in the dungeon of King George, a startling analogy for the attorney whose commander-in-chief is President (George) Bush.

"It was a pleasure to serve," said Swift, who added that he would defend Salim Hamdan again, even if he knew he would have to leave the Navy earlier than he wanted.

"All I ever wanted was to make a difference — and in that sense, I think my career and personal satisfaction has been beyond my dreams," he said.

This is the thanks our members of the military receive. All the calls to support our troops are going unheard by the government that leads them.

Swift was doing his job, defending a man whose life was at stake. He pleaded the man's case and won in the highest court of the land, and for that he is pushed out.

Well, it's time for us as citizens to do our jobs. It is time for us to remove these deadbeat Congressional dingbats from office. They are serving no one but themselves. It's time to replace them with someone who will be about the job of doing what the American people want. The lives of our troops depend on it.


Post a Comment

<< Home