Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Honor Snatchers

If there is one thing that sums up Pat Tillman and his life, it is that he deserved better than this. From the WP article:
That their son was famous opened up the situation to problems, the Tillmans say, in part because of the devastating public relations loss his death represented for the military. Mary Tillman says the government used her son for weeks after his death, perpetuating an untrue story to capitalize on his altruism -- just as the Abu Ghraib prison scandal was erupting publicly. She said she was particularly offended when President Bush offered a taped memorial message to Tillman at a Cardinals football game shortly before the presidential election last fall. She again felt as though her son was being used, something he never would have wanted.
Yes, it is absurd that Newsweek gets scalded for an honest mistake by the same manipulative con men who concocted this shameful tale. But is anyone also noticing that things tend to go horribly wrong with this administration's ham-handed "hero" campaigns? From mission-not-accomplished, to Jessica Lynch, to Pat Tillman, veracity seems to be in short supply among our political and military leaders when they decide we "need" to hear something. This exposes the cynicism of those who don't believe in the power and truth of their own policies and ideas.

The irony--and the outrage--is that Tillman was a real hero. His life was all about truth. He turned down a pro-football contract worth millions so he could serve in the military, and insisted on being treated like every other soldier. But the military couldn't even honor that one wish, even in death. They used that death as a cheap stunt while Abu Ghraib was breaking during an election year. We'll remember his sacrifice as honorable, despite the best efforts of his superiors.

Based on how the Abu Ghraib inquiry got stomped on before it got near anyone who set policy, demanding that the military yank this one out of its memory hole long enough for an investigation that results in anything is probably futile. But whoever is responsible should be stripped of rank and dishonorably discharged if military, and publicly exposed and shamed if civilian.

One reason the war is off the public's radar screen is because the military prohibits photographs of soldiers' caskets, ostensibly for the privacy and dignity of the families. But when those bodies can still be used for propaganda, privacy and dignity and honor all take a back seat.

Par for the course with this bunch, isn't it?

13 Comments:

Blogger Spider said...

My sister is currently serving in Iraq and won't be home until December. (Fingers crossed that it won't be longer.) It is crap like this and in the last post that just turns my stomach. How the administration uses the stories of soldiers to further their politcal gain is just appalling!!

Not saying that the Democrats do all that better either.

If you want to hear stories from troops who have been to Iraq and Afganistan and will tell the real tale, then go to www.optruth.org and read for awhile.

5/25/2005 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great post TCR...

5/25/2005 11:41 PM  
Blogger Tayefeth said...

I wish the optruth.org bumper stickers said "Support the troops" on them.

5/26/2005 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't agree more.

5/26/2005 3:05 PM  
Anonymous mary said...

just went to the optruth site, thanks for the link. one of the troops linked to his blog, it's really worth reading

http://www.misoldierthoughts.blogspot.com/

5/26/2005 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading Thomas Friedman Op-Ed on 5/27, "Just Shut It Down", I'm wondering if the administration was trying a diversion tactic with Newsweek. It sounds like something uglier is coming out about Guantanamo Bay. :-(

I highly recommend Operation Truth, as mentioned by others.

I wish the optruth.org bumper stickers said "Support the troops" on them.

I really dislike that saying. Does anyone not support the troops? Duh! Yes absolutely we do, they are our neighbors, our children, our co-workers, and our friends. Words are cheap, action is priceless. If we took all the money that was used to produce and handle that sticker, and donated it, we'd actually be doing something substantial, that could make a difference.

A popular tactic to use, and this Republican party and Karl Rove are very good at it, is to divide and conquer. They'll through a word-bomb out into the public forum through an outlet, and we on the right, left, and in between, start fighting with each other, and presto, they have achieved their mission and all they had to do was pit us against one another. They don't care how they do it; the means justify the ends. Political gamesmanship at its finest. While the right and left are duking it out (because someone like a Karl Rove has dropped a word-bomb), this administration will do what it darn well pleases. Diversion baby.

5/27/2005 6:03 PM  
Blogger Tayefeth said...

I dislike an unqualified "Support the troops", myself. However, "Support the Troops: Listen to Them" would be a stronger sentiment, IMO, than just the OpTruth logo.

5/27/2005 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Support the Troops: Listen to Them"

Good one!

Also write a letter to your representatives, maybe even demonstrate:

To ensure our service people have the body armor they need; the protected vehicles. Stop the stop-loss program and other funny accounting tricks to keep people involuntarily in a voluntary service.

We not only must listen, but act on their behalf.

Did anyone catch Andy Roodney on 60 Minutes on 5/29? He honored his fellow servicemen, and others that followed. However he made a good point, how about this and future Memorial Days we think of a replacement for war so we honor and save the lives of potential future service people.

5/31/2005 11:47 AM  
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