Cold-Hearted Bastards

Well, it’s official. The so-called “compassionate conservatives” at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are, in fact, sanctimonious, uncaring, hypocritical bastards.

And the President who claims to care so much for the Americans he has sent in harm’s way in Iraq cares so little for the soldiers who have given their lives for their countries that he has not attended a single ceremony when those dead heroes came home.

Not one. Nada. Even a draft dodger named Bill Clinton took the time to stand and recognize fallen soldiers when they came home.

Not Dubya. He’d rather not deal with those who died fighting his war in Iraq. He won’t take the time to honor them when they come home. Even worse, his administration has banned the the traditional homecoming ceremonies that honor the war dead.

In March, on the eve of the Iraq war, the administration issued the following directive to all U.S. military bases. “There will be no arrival ceremonies for, or media coverage of, deceased military personnel returning to or departing from Ramstein [Germany] airbase or Dover [Del.] base, to include interim stops.”

In other words, no ceremony to honor those who fell in battle. Nothing. Just unload the casket from the airplane and send it to the family. We mustn’t let the dead show up on the 6 o’clock news. That might mean bad press.

The Pentagon has had policies in place since the Clinton administration limiting press coverage of ceremonies when the dead come home but the order was loosely enforced and did not ban the ceremonies themselves. But the Bush administration ordered the Pentagon to ban the cermonies and enforce the rules “without exception” because the homecoming ceremonies would focus too much attention on the body counts from Iraq.

Hell of a way to dishonor those who served their country and sacrificed their lives.

Up until now, I thought Bush’s bible-thumping might be sincere, that maybe underneath that hardened heart of a political opportunist there was still a shred of humanity that cared for Americans who die for their country.

Apparently not. In Bush’s world, those who go to war and die for their country are best hidden from view, best forgotten. Reminding the American people that young men and women are dying in far off lands is not good when there’s an election to win. Must avoid bad press.

Before Bush, every Commander in Chief who sent Americans into battle cared enough to show up for at least one of the cermonies when they brought the dead back to American soil. Not him.

Before Bush, even when the media were not allowed on base, the dead were still honored with a ceremony attended by their comrades and family. It is the least a grateful nation should do when someone gives their life for their country.

But George W. Bush apparently doesn’t care to honor the dead. He has banned the ceremonies themselves. Oh, he has put in an appearance or two visiting families and the wounded at Walter Reed but he can’t be bothered when it comes to attending a cermoney that honors those who have fallen.

Compassionate conservatives my ass. The men and women who fought and died for their country deserve far better.

So does this country.