Both George Bush, who never fought for his country, and the American Legion, with a membership consisting of some men and women who have fought for their country, seem to have no clue what the men and women who have died fighting for their country have died for.
In Idaho, at a speech on Wednesday, August 24, George Bush seemed to be saying that only Americans who agree with him are worth recognizing and praising, and that Americans who disagree and protest are not worthy and that their very citizenship is in question.
Here is what Bush said:
There are few things in life more difficult than seeing a loved one go off to war. And here in Idaho, a mom named Tammy Pruett -- (applause) -- I think she's here -- (laughter) -- knows that feeling six times over. (Applause.) Tammy has four sons serving in Iraq right now with the Idaho National Guard -- Eric, Evan, Greg and Jeff. Last year, her husband Leon and another son, Eren, returned from Iraq, where they helped train Iraqi firefighters in Mosul. Tammy says this -- and I want you to hear this -- "I know that if something happens to one of the boys, they would leave this world doing what they believe, what they think is right for our country. And I guess you couldn't ask for a better way of life than giving it for something that you believe in." America lives in freedom because of families like the Pruetts. (Applause.)
I don't think Bush can possibly explain how "a better way of life than giving it for something that you believe in" is better than living a peaceful life in a free country. But his message is clear. For Bush, there are the good families and the bad families. Cindy Sheehan's poor son is part of a bad family. America doesn't live in freedom because of Sheehan and her son, but because of people like the Pruetts. Here is what Bush had to say about Sheehan: "She doesn't represent the view of a lot of families." Nuff said...Bush shoots first, asks questions later...Cindy Sheehan and her bad family are history. Doesn't he have a clue about what's happening out here? Or he does, and simply doesn't care?
In Salt Lake City, the Commander of the American Legion, in his address to that organization's convention, basically said that protesting the Iraqi war should not be permitted. I'd like to suggest to this pinhead that his organization is not called the Communist Legion or the Nazi Legion, but the American Legion. I'd like to remind him that the dead Americans who are not able to be living members of the American legion died precisely so that Americans can oppose the war and can oppose their government. What kind of an idiot is leading the American Legion? Is there any member of the American legion who's going to stand up and have some spine and correct this nitwit?
Here is what he actually said, from Editor & Publisher:
"The American Legion will stand against anyone and any group that would demoralize our troops, or worse, endanger their lives by encouraging terrorists to continue their cowardly attacks against freedom-loving peoples," Thomas Cadmus, national commander, told delegates at the group's national convention in Honolulu.
The delegates voted to use whatever means necessary to "ensure the united backing of the American people to support our troops and the global war on terrorism."
In his speech, Cadmus declared: "It would be tragic if the freedoms our veterans fought so valiantly to protect would be used against their successors today as they battle terrorists bent on our destruction.”
He explained, "No one respects the right to protest more than one who has fought for it, but we hope that Americans will present their views in correspondence to their elected officials rather than by public media events guaranteed to be picked up and used as tools of encouragement by our enemies." This might suggest to some, however, that American freedoms are worth dying for but not exercising.
These people aren't Americans. Real patriotic Americans don't talk like this, and they don't think like this. This is a totalitarian mentality. It's the kind of behavior we used to expect from Soviet Communists. It's the kind of thing we hear in the news out of Communist China. Who are these people and where did they come from? Has there been a slow anti-American, anti-democratic infiltration of the American Legion?
The American Legion does not see that an American can support the troops and respect their sacrifices, and still oppose the war, criticize the shame of the lies that brought us to that war, and condemn the chickenhawk President who told those lies.
What the American Legion proposes is the kind of blind allegiance that veterans around America should condemn. It's reminiscent of another blind allegiance that brought the world a war that killed over 20 million people.