Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Enemy Press: Pentagon Slogans On Troops' Gravestones!

The Enemy Press Washington Post headlines a story thusly: "Troops' Gravestones Have Pentagon Slogans." (reg req)
Ok, what slogans would those be? "Rumsfeld Rules, McNamara Drools?" or maybe "The Inner Ring is Number One?" or perhaps "My Joint Chief Is Better Than Your Joint Chief?" That's a slogan. But no, these Fifth Columnists don't mean slogan, they're just saying it this way to denigrate the Pentagon, and by extension, the President.
The uproar -teapot tempest really- is about the words on the gravestones. You've probably seen pictures of Arlington Cemetary with its rows of white marble headstones in crisp military order. You may have a relative with this type of headstone in your local cemetary. You see, the Enemy Press doesn't want you to support the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. To that end they use their stories to cast aspersions on all that emanates from the White House or any government department.
Here's the lede: "ARLINGTON, Va. -- Unlike earlier wars, nearly all Arlington National Cemetery gravestones for troops killed in Iraq or Afghanistan are inscribed with the slogan-like operation names the Pentagon selected to promote public support for the conflicts." Yeah, well as seen above on the sample headstones, we saw what conflict the interred participated in. It was engraved on the stone. What is different in this case is that the naming style has changed, nothing more. WWII could have been called Operation Free Europe, but it wasn't. Why get in a tizzy over the way something is named? Because they hate the President and all he does.

Witness the reactions from the typical quarters: First the family of a slain soldier who apparently do not support the war. "Nadia and Robert McCaffrey, whose son Patrick was killed in Iraq in June 2004, said 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' ended up on his government-supplied headstone in Oceanside, Calif., without family approval. 'I was a little taken aback,' Robert McCaffrey said, describing his reaction when he first saw the operation name on Patrick's tombstone. 'They certainly didn't ask my wife; they didn't ask me.' He said Patrick's widow told him she had not been asked either. 'In one way, I feel it's taking advantage to a small degree,' McCaffrey said. 'Patrick did not want to be there, that is a definite fact.'" Ok, because Maureen Dowd of the Enemy Press New York Times declared that families of dead soldiers have an absolute moral right to speak, then I guess I'll have to trust them. Ah, but as President Reagan once said, "Trust, but verify." Let's see a letter from Patrick saying he didn't believe in the war, not a letter saying he wanted to come home, every soldier wants to go home. No, nothing less than a bold statement opposing the liberation of Iraq will do. Sorry to sound harsh, but those who oppose freedom will use any tactic they think will work to destroy the will of the soldiers and the public to continue the fight.
Second is the reaction from a headstone provider. "The owner of the company that has been making gravestones for Arlington and other national cemeteries for nearly two decades is uncomfortable, too. 'It just seems a little brazen that that's put on stones,' said Jeff Martell, owner of Granite Industries of Vermont. 'It seems like it might be connected to politics.'" If you don't like it, why not give up your contract to supply headstones?
Again, there is no difference between listing WWII or Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Department of Veterans Affairs agrees. "'The headstone is not a PR purpose. It is to let the country know and the people that visit the cemetery know who served this country and made the country free for us,' VA official Steve Muro said." Exactly right.
Let's not leave without hearing from a politician. A politician who tried to run on his military career but fell short at election time. "Former Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga., who lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam (by accident) and headed the Veterans Administration under President Carter, called the practice 'a little bit of glorified advertising. I think it's a little bit of gilding the lily,' Cleland said, while insisting that he's not criticizing families who want that information included." Oh, yes you're not criticizing the families who want that. Don't want to be misunderstood do you? You might have to make an "apology."
"'Most of the headstones out there at Arlington and around the nation just say World War II or Korea or Vietnam, one simple statement,' he said. 'It's not, shall we say, a designated theme or a designated operation by somebody in the Pentagon. It is what it is. And I think there's power in simplicity.'" What is it about words these people don't understand? Well, actually they do understand. But they believe the more they lie, the more people will think their lies are the truth. There is no difference between engraving WWII or Operation Iraqi Freedom on the headstone. The style is different not what it represents!
Not all people oppose the change. "American Legion spokesman Donald Mooney said the organization hasn't heard any complaints from its members."
"'I'm concerned that we do what the families want,' said Bob Wallace, executive director of Veterans of Foreign Wars. 'I don't think there's any critical motivation behind this.'" Absolutely correct! Do you hear that "anti-war Americans?" No complaints from the people that matter.


GUYK said...

I agree with you Scott and it is an obvious left wing ploy to discredit the military and the administration.

Off subject but the two spammers above this message picked a funny place to commit-marketing niche for a cemetary? The other titled indy parking-year in the damn I'm tired been at this all day and my fingers hurt.

ScottG said...

Comments deleted! And there was another one too.