Today’s 4th of July – More Patience More Casualties
Posted by bosskitty on July 4, 2007
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – The public is not invited to attend President Bush’s Fourth of July visit to Martinsburg, W.Va.
The president will focus on mingling with members of the 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard and their families, said Blair Jones, a White House spokesman. Bush plans to speak about the War on Terror and recognize the Guard members for their military service.
You know Bush thinks this will be the safest place for him to show his face on the 4th of July. Bet they will be screening the soldiers for signs of PTSD! Enjoy the beautiful Op Ed from today’s Charleston Gazette.
Nick Casey: Charleston Gazette
Welcome to West Virginia, President Bush. We hope that you enjoy your brief stay in Berkeley County on this July Fourth.
Mr. President, West Virginians are a proud people. We are proud of our state and our nation. And we are extremely proud of our sons and daughters who valiantly heeded the call of service to this nation.
Our country has undergone great loss during these last four years as you have waged a war in Iraq. More than 3,500 brave men and women have perished. More than 25,000 have suffered injuries. Here in West Virginia, we have lost loved ones in Iraq — 19 to be exact. In addition to the precious lives lost, our nation and state have paid a great price. The war has sent federal spending to unprecedented levels, thereby creating increased debt and a deficit for generations to come.
Independence Day is about having the courage to oppose what is wrong and unjust. There is nothing courageous about staying the course in a war fought for uncertain objectives and for questionable reasons.
For four long years, Mr. President, you and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito have overseen and pushed policies to continue a war with no end in sight. Mr. President, you have incited and provoked our enemies with careless and irresponsible rhetoric. You have turned a blind eye to the needs of the men and women returning from service — many with visible physical wounds and many more with less visible, mental ailments.
Americans and West Virginians are ready for a new direction in Iraq. This conversation is not about the past. It is about the future. How is America going to build upon its greatness that started 231 years ago with the signing of the Declaration of Independence? How is America going to reclaim its greatness in the world? Will America treat its returning service men and women with the dignity they have earned and deserve?
Already, people in your own Republican Party, such as Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., are calling for a change in strategy and policy in Iraq. In recent days, even more congressional Republicans have sided with him. I call on Rep. Capito to look at the facts, not the spin, and follow Sen. Lugar’s lead.
There is nothing shameful or embarrassing about changing course in Iraq. The American people want it; retired military commanders advise it; the Iraqis want it; and the world wants it. The current increase in violence is spiraling out of control among the different Iraqi factions. It is an internal battle left to be worked out by the Iraqis, not by American troops.
Our troops have completed their mission. They have successfully deposed Saddam Hussein, overseen elections, and armed and trained the Iraqi security forces. America’s military mission is complete — anything more in Iraq must be spearheaded by the Iraqis.
Mr. President, July Fourth marks the birthday of the Declaration of Independence, the precious document that sets forth the ideals of the Constitution that have time and again been ignored by you and your administration in the war on terror and the war in Iraq.
The principles of the Constitution are rooted in our freedoms that allow us to wave the American flag freely and to mark our homes with yellow ribbons to remember our loved ones serving in the military. And, as the yellow ribbons line the trees and mailboxes across the nation and American flags wave proudly this July Fourth, a nation awaits a new direction in Iraq.
Casey is the chairman of the West Virginia Democratic Party.
What more can be said? What are we doing about this!