Published on Sunday, September 19, 2004 by the Long Island, NY Newsday
A Key Question from a Slain GI's Mother
by Jimmy Breslin
Sue Niederer was standing in the middle of the large audience in the Colonial Volunteer Fire Company house in Hopewell Township, N.J. She was looking up at Laura Bush, who was speaking sweetly to the audience.
Sue wore her new T-shirt, "George Bush You Killed My Son." On January 17, she stood in the Baltimore airport with her son, Army 1st Lt. Seth Dvorin, 24, who was boarding a flight to Iraq. She remembers saying to him, "Do you want to go?" And he said, "No, Mom, I don't want to go back."
"Come on," she said. She said that she would take him anywhere. He said, no, he had 18 men to watch over. So he kissed her and boarded the plane. A month later, Army people came to her house in Pennington, N.J., to tell her he was dead.
"George Bush killed my son," she said.
She spent her first 11 years on Kings Highway and Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn and the direct speech remains. And now the other night she was in the crowd at the firehouse and Laura Bush started to talk about Iraq. "She said how high the morale was," Sue was saying on the phone yesterday. "Then she started to say what a wonderful job her husband was doing running the war. I was waiting for that."
Sue Niederer called out to Laura Bush, "When are yours going to serve?"
Sue thought that Laura Bush looked dumbfounded. She saw Laura Bush turning away.
"I thought they would send someone up to me and bring me back and let me tell her in private about how I felt, and many others, too. Not these people."
Of course they whisked her out of the place and arrested her for using free speech. But her words remain.
She is the only one that I know of who has stood up and asked the question that should be asked of every government person in charge of this war: "Where are yours?" If Bush wants to send her son to get killed, she reasons, then why doesn't he have his two daughters, both of military and night club age, go into the service?
This was not the last time that Sue Niederer will be heard. Because her hurt does not go away and George Bush's war does not go away.
The names listed below arrive on a fax machine that seems to weep as the pages come out. The names are quite real. They are dead. The documents are not forged. Bush and the CBS television station argue about some cheap forgeries. They are supposed to distract us from the fact, that John Kerry was in the war in Vietnam. He performed the hardest, most brutal task for his country: killing somebody. George Bush ducked it and his most hazardous duty in the National Guard was to face a dentist's drill.
The center of the election should be the dead of Iraq. This is something that Bush and his lackeys do anything to dodge.
And now there are well over 1,000 dead Americans and Bush walks past them as if he had nothing to do with them. He is the president. What has this got to do with me? That is his style of lying. Do not recognize what is there and tell the populace the direct opposite and never stop doing this. "The war goes great!" Do not dare mention bin Laden because he means terrorism. Instead crow that we captured Hussein, who did not attack us, and we are tangling with Iraq and this is our war on terrorism.
This leaves you with Montaigne, whose words speak for the dead listed below:
"If we recognized the horror and the gravity of lying, we would persecute it with fire more justly than other crimes."
The names are an indictment of a government that put them into Iraq on a cold premeditated lie. The dead American servicemen of just the last several days - maybe you ought to get the number from information and give them a call to let them know that people love them:
Army Spc. Edgar P. Daclan Jr., 24, lst Battalion, 18th Infantry Division, Schweinfurt, Germany. Killed by an explosion Sept. 10 in Balad. Home: Cypress, Calif.
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class David A. Cedergren, 25, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Forces Atlantic. Killed Sept. 11 near Iskandariyah. Home: South St. Paul, Minn.
Marine Pfc. Jason T. Poindexter, 20, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment lst Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Killed Sept. 12 in Anbar province. Home: San Angelo, Texas.
Marine lst. Lt. Alexander E. Wetherbee, 27, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, lst Marine Division, lst Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Died Sept. 12 in Anbar province. Home: Fairfax, Va.
Maine Lance Cpl. Dominic C. Brown, 19, Headquarters Battalion, lst Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Died in Anbar Province. Home: Austin, Texas.
Marine Lance Cpl. Cesar F. Machado-Olmos, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Died in vehicle accident in Anbar Province. Home: Spanish Fork, Utah.
Marine Lance Cpl. Michael J. Halal, 22, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. Died Sept. 13 in Anbar province. Home: Glendale, Ariz.
Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew D. Puckett, 19, 3rd Assault Amphibious Battalion, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Died Sept. 13 due to enemy action in Al Anbar province. Home: Mason, Texas.
Army Staff Sgt. Guy S. Hagy, Jr., 31, 1st Battalion, 12 Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Killed by explosive Sept. 13. in Baghdad. Home: Lodi, Calif.
Army Sgt. Carl Thomas, 29, 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash. Killed by explosive Sept. 13 in Baghdad. Home: Phoenix.
Sgt. Jacob S. Demand, 29, 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash. Killed Sept. 13 in Mosul when convoy attacked. Home: Palouse, Wash.
Staff Sgt. David J. Weisenburg, 26, National Guard 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry, Corvallis, Ore. Killed Sept. 13 after vehicle attack in Taji, north of Baghdad. Home: Portland, Ore.
Spc. Benjamin W. Isenberg, 27. National Guard 2nd Battalion, 162 Infantry, Corvallis, Ore. Killed Sept. 13 after vehicle attacked at Taji, north of Baghdad. Home, Sheridan, Ore.
Cpl. Adrian V. Soltau, 21, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Killed due to enemy action in Anbar Province. Home: Milwaukee.
Maj. Kenneth M. Shea, 35, (died on birthday) 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Home: District of Columbia.
Marine Corps Cpl. JayGee Ngirmidol Meluat died Sept. 14. Home: Guam.
Marine Drew Uhles, 20, died Sept. 15 in field hospital in northern Iraq. He had been assigned to an area between Husaybah and Al Qaim, along Syrian border. Home: DuQuoin, Ill.
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