Harry Whittington, the lawyer whom Vice President Dick Cheney shot during a hunting trip on Feb. 11, was discharged from the hospital on Friday. The vice president's hunting companion will be OK; the same cannot be said for everyone who bears the brunt of the vice president's poor aim.
Last week, while the national media was fixated on Cheney's Elmer Fudd moment, the Pentagon announced that these servicemen would never again see their loved ones:
- Lance Cpl. Matthew R. Barnes, 20, of West Monroe, La., and Cpl. Rusty L. Washam, 21, of Huntsville, Tenn., who died on Valentine's Day when a suicide car bomber attacked their vehicle near Al Qa'im, Iraq.
- Lance Cpl. Michael S. Probst, 26, of Irvine, Calif., who died the same day from an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations near Abu Ghraib, Iraq.
- Cpl. Andrew J. Kemple, 23, of Cambridge, Minn., who died in Tikrit, Iraq, on Feb. 12 when his vehicle came under small-arms fire.
As of the end of last week, at least 2,273 members of the U.S. military had died since the beginning of the Iraq war, the Associated Press reported.
According to a comprehensive database maintained by the Iraq Body Count Web site, approximately 30,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed as a result of the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq.
Cheney said in a televised interview last week that the day he shot Whittington was "one of the worst days of my life." But every day in the United States and Iraq, people are suffering the worst days of their lives as they learn of the deaths of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and husbands and wives in a foolhardy war that is largely the doing of the vice president.
The media spent last week obsessing over what Cheney had done with a shotgun. But sober minds must not forget what the vice president, as one of the main architects and propagandists of the Iraq war, has done with the nation's military.
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©2006 The Anniston Star