Semper Fi

This may come as a surprise to some of you on the Right who believe that God is a Republican and that we on the Left hate everything that is good about America (read some of the “choice” comments to the previous posts on this site) but we in the the Blue States bleed just as red, white, and blue as you in the Red States.

On 9/11 or any other day. Including yesterday.

Yesterday, of course, 14 more United States Marines made the ultimate sacrifice for this debacle in Iraq, joining more than 1800 other brave Americans on this endless march of death.

As in the previous generation’s quagmire, in Vietnam, our warriors have been caught in the middle, in the political crossfire — all the while under very literal, very lethal fire — as the powers-that-be debate the inevitable, yet seemingly unattainable “end game”: how to achieve “peace with honor” — as Nixon said and no one believed — or how to hand the fighting over to the Iraqi government (a far cry from ending, let alone never beginning, the increasingly ethnic, Sunni vs. Shiite, Iraqi civil conflict) and only then will we bring “our troops home with the honor they have earned” — as Bush declared yesterday yet again and as yet again roiled my soul (yes, my Rightist friends, we Leftists do indeed have souls; and they are not necessarily on the road to Hades…unless they do not cry out against injustice).

Mister Bush, our warriors have already more than earned their honor in this war — voluntarily putting their lives and limbs on the line to do whatever their Commander in Chief orders them to do — regardless of whether or not they believe in the cause (and, as good soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines, most reportedly do) and regardless of whether or not their Commander in Chief actually did the same in his day (or went AWOL during wartime) and regardless of whether or not the war in which they fight and die is almost universally condemned as an unprovoked violation of International Law. It is you, Mister Bush, who has not earned his honor in this war in Iraq — a diversion at first, an inflammation at present to the genuine War on Terror.

Our Marines and other warriors are semper fi to our nation. We civilians — and the military chain of command, ultimately answerable to us — must be always faithful to them. We must never put them in wars we do not need them to fight. We must hold accountable those who start such wars, particularly by telling lies and half-truths that, if told by those in uniforms not in thousand-dollar suits, would invite the most righteous of courts martial. We must do everything in our power to reach out to moderate peoples throughout the world to promote the cause of peace. And we must do everything in our power to bring our loyal troops back home to us as soon as we can…without, of course, having left things worse than the way we found them for the people in the “Pottery Barn” whom we — our troops — are trying our best to help.

We on the Left love our nation and all that it stands for as much as you on the Right do; the difference seems to be that we have to clean up the messes — in the budget or the battlefield — that you just can’t help but make.

Semper fi.

Doug Drenkow

P.S. Check back to this blog in the days ahead for some in-depth reporting on perhaps crucial aspects of the outing of Valerie Plame previously unexamined.

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