Friday, November 03, 2006

The Sentinel: John Kerry Was Right Mr. Bush

I know I could not say this any better myself... We need to bring these kids home from Iraq, not be sending more there. There's plenty of kids that knew exactly what Kerry was talking about, kids in a inner city schools who have few choices. Kerry was speaking the cold hard truth and he was right.

John Kerry was right Mr. Bush
By Gabe Caggiano

If you live in Montgomery County and you're thinking of joining the military, then you might want to listen to John Kerry.

He is in a lot of trouble, according to Republicans and to those who believe the war in Iraq is still a noble endeavor.

But what Kerry said is the hard, cold truth, especially when one examines the meaning of his words.

What Kerry said before an audience in Pasadena was, "Get an education, or you'll end up in Iraq." This has the Republicans up in arms and screaming for Kerry's blood.

But Kerry's assessment isn't wrong. You don't see the president's daughters in the military. You don't see Karen Hughes' son at West Point. He is at Clueless Condi's alma mater, Stanford. Another young man, Blake Gottesman, who served as Bush's personal aide, is now at the Harvard Business School after a four-year tour of duty in the West Wing.

Kerry's point is well-taken. Without an education you can end up a grunt on patrol in Samarrah and hope a shard of metal from a roadside bomb doesn't maim you for life the way it has so many dedicated soldiers who believed in this war.

While Bush blathers on, there is proof American soldiers are being sacrificed without an iota of concern from top Bush officials. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has steadfastly refused to send more troops to help out in Iraq, leaving a too-thin force even more vulnerable to insurgent attacks.

In October, 101 American soldiers were killed, the highest one-month total in years. Rummy said two years ago with a smile on his face, "Well, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you want."

Is that so, Mr. Secretary? What a glib and heartless remark coming from a man who enjoys peaceful weekends by the shore at his oceanfront home in St. Michaels while 20-year-olds don't know if they are ever going to get out of that giant litter box formerly known as the country of Iraq.

Recently, Sen. John McCain told Chris Matthews he has no confidence in Rumsfeld and wants him to resign immediately. McCain knows when soldiers are being taken care of and when they aren't.

McCain can hardly contain his fury at Rumsfeld for all but abandoning U.S. troops by keeping troop levels so low that the mortality and injury rate is rising at a stomach-churning rate. Things were supposed to be calm and under control by 2006 when the war started in 2003, but it isn't.

President Bush says Kerry owes the soldiers in Iraq an apology. Perhaps Kerry needs to clarify further his respect for the courage shown by our men and women in uniform, but Kerry does not need to apologize for his opinion that only suckers end up on patrol in Mosul.

If that wasn't the case, why can you count the number of offspring from members of Congress fighting in Iraq on one hand? Because they were smart enough to get an education and land jobs that provide fat paychecks, not helicopter rides to combat-support hospitals in war zones.

There is a reason the media cannot gain access to the military field in Dover, Del., where KIAs come home in flag-draped coffins. Bush and Company want to praise the soldiers while they are alive and keep them hidden from American eyes when they come home dead. Kerry is right. Stay in school. Or risk being an underpaid sap for project Halliburton.

And if you get your legs blown off?

Too bad, but we admire your courage. Any 21-year-old kid who is told that and is not set up financially for life has been taken for a ride. And that is what is happening every day, while the well-educated monitor their stock portfolios and enjoy peaceful sunsets along the Eastern Shore.


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