President Bush spoke in Utah Monday defending his policies and practices in Iraq, and I have to say he seems focused solely on getting his agenda accomplished, regardless of who has to die unnecessarily in the process.
Referring to the "sacrifice" of the more than 1,800 American lives lost in Iraq to date, he said we must honor what they died for.
He left out the part about how they died for lack of proper armor, that the money for proper gear and equipment is still largely unaccounted for, that the families of the connected and powerful aren't sending their kids to die, that there weren't enough troops sent from day one, that their deaths will continue to mount for years to come, or that he started this war on false premises.
"What they died for" is a complete mystery. As one grieving mother of a son killed in Iraq said, Bush is asserting that "more people should die because these have died," which makes no sense.
Maybe they died so Iraq can draft a constitution in line with radical Islam, which would suppress women and ultimately destroy Israel.
Maybe they died so Mobil / Halliburton / McDonald's can have free rein and profits galore in the Mideast.
Maybe they died so U.S. Army Inc. can have a permanent base and continue imposing our will by force on another region of the Earth.
Maybe they died so Bush wouldn't have to answer bothersome questions about Karl Rove.
Maybe they died so Iraq can have the same rigged and untraceable elections we do, putting inept but connected people in office to start wars unnecessarily.
If these brave men and women died for something worthwhile, why are their returning coffins kept off the news? Why has Bush yet to attend one funeral of such a brave and noble "sacrifice"?
The other thing I keep getting confused on is: When we defend our country, we're "patriots," but when Iraqis defend their country, they're called "terrorists." So, our patriots kill their terrorists, and this makes it a noble cause worth dying for?
The president has a lot of nerve, talking about "sacrifice,"duty,"honor" and such lofty ideals, when he and "five-deferment" Dick Cheney ran and hid when it was their turn to go to Vietnam.
Bush has no problem sending others to die, as he so deftly demonstrated as governor of Texas in signing the U.S. record number of execution orders of over 150 persons, including minors and the mentally ill.
He has no problem with people dying, as long as his agenda is furthered.
I hope that either a) his agenda doesn't cost me my life soon, or b) someone gets him to change tactics.
Ken Lessley, New Hope, is a construction estimator.
© 2005 Star Tribune