Wednesday, January 21, 2004
A good read: Australian newspaper The Age has an excellent opinion piece by Caroline Overington.
Most Americans also support Bush's decision to go to war with Iraq. They are not stupid. They know that the so-called intelligence about Saddam Hussein was wrong. Despite this, 67 per cent still believe the US did the right thing.
Because I live in New York, I rarely get to hear the voice of this majority. Instead, I get magazines such as Vanity Fair, which last month had a column by the editor angrily listing statistics from the war in Iraq. Such as: number of American soldiers killed: 500. Number of weapons of mass destruction found: 0.
But, as some readers pointed out, there were statistics missing from the list. These include: number of mass graves uncovered in Iraq: around 260, containing as many as 20,000 bodies. Number of people liberated from brutal, murderous leadership: 12 million. And number of times Bush lied about receiving oral sex from a White House intern: 0.
Overington also relates an encounter she had on an airplane in the first weeks of the war with the parents of a fallen U.S. soldier.
I was reading USA Today and, as I opened it to study a map of Iraq, one half of the newspaper fell into the lap of my fellow passenger. I turned to apologise, but he said: "No problem. Actually, do you mind if I have a look?"
Together we studied the picture, trying to work out how far the Americans were from seizing power. It was clear from the diagrams that troops were near Saddam's airport, and close to the centre of Baghdad. I turned to my seat mate and said: "I don't think this is going to be a long battle, after all."
It was only then that I noticed, with horror, that he had started to cry. And then I noticed something else: a photograph, wrapped in plastic, pinned to his lapel. It was a picture of his 20-year-old son, a young marine who died in the first days of the war. The man's wife was sitting across the aisle from us. She had a round bowl on her lap, filled with water and some drooping tulips. The movement of the aircraft was making the water slop around. She was trying to wipe her hands, and her tears.
The couple told me they had just been to a private meeting with Bush to discuss the loss of their son. [emphasis added]
When anti-war/anti-America celebrities complain about Bush having not attended the funerals of any fallen American soldiers, what they're really attacking are appearances. For them, the funerals as events are more important than the soldiers or their families as people. I'm sure that this isn't the only family that's had a private meeting with President Bush. Bush is more concerned about the people than the photo op.