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Bush dishonors war dead by using their families

Bob Geiger: To Bush, they're just pawns in an agenda.
 
 
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George W. Bush gave another White House speech on Monday in which he again misled the American people on the Iraq war and, at the same time, moved to new depths in his penchant for using the troops and their families as cheap props to eke out another sliver of faith in his failed policies.

I'm sure White House staffers don't tell these families how their anguish is to be used and Bush didn’t waste much time yesterday before harnessing that grief to bolster his disastrous non-strategy in Iraq. The family of Michael Carlson, who died in Iraq two years ago, was present and Bush lowered the ethical bar still more by using the Carlson family -- and even a poem about being a soldier that Michael had written in high school -- to goad Congressional Democrats into accepting his ridiculous stay-the-course policy.

Here's Bush:

"It's important as people debate this issue to think about somebody like Merrilee Carlson, with us today. She's a Gold Star Mom. Two years ago, Merrilee's son, Michael, gave his life in Iraq when his platoon was on a night mission to take out two terrorist bomb-making factories. As they approached their target, they passed over a culvert that gave way, and their Bradley fighting vehicle plunged into the water and Michael and four others in the vehicle died that day.

"We owe it to the Carlson family, we owe it to other Gold Star families here today, to complete the mission for which their loved ones gave their lives. We owe it to a future generation of Americans to help secure peace. We owe it to the American people to make this nation safer. The most solemn obligation of the government and Washington is to provide security for the American people and to protect them from harm."

He then went on to use that as a platform from which to bash Democrats for having the temerity to listen to the majority of the American people and call for our troops to be withdrawn from the Iraqi civil war.

How disgusting is that? At the same time, how sadly unsurprising is it?

Bob Geiger is a political writer, specializing in coverage of the United States Senate for AlterNet and other Progressive web sites. You can reach Bob at geiger.bob@gmail.com and read more from him at BobGeiger.com.

 
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