As we all know now, this past weekend, liberal Senator Barack Obama announced his intentions to run for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. In a speech in Iowa on Sunday, he made the following comment about our troops in Iraq:
Senator Obama: We ended up launching a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged and to which we have now spent $400 billion and has seen over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans wasted.
The video is here:
The Senator has sice ‘apologized’ and tried to rephrase his remarks:
During his first campaign trip last weekend, the Illinois senator told a crowd in Iowa, “We now have spent $400 billion and have seen over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans wasted.” He immediately apologized Sunday, saying the remark was “a slip of the tongue.”
During an appearance Monday in Nashua, N.H., he apologized again, telling reporters he meant to criticize the civilian leadership of the war, not those serving in the military.
“Even as I said it, I realized I had misspoken,” Obama said. “It is not at all what I intended to say, and I would absolutely apologize if any [military families] felt that in some ways it had diminished the enormous courage and sacrifice that they’d shown.”
Riiiight. Which is why you didn’t retract it after you said it. Sounds suspicially like a similar lame excuse given by Senator John Kerry and his supporters last November after he was caught on tape insulting our troops and their education (it was a “botched joke” – uh huh).
Senator Obama and his base-pleasing rhetoric is just one example on a long list of Democrats like Speaker Pelosi (and, sadly, a few Republicans) who have essentially claimed that the President “lied” or “deliberately mislead” about the rationale used for the Iraq war. Such assertions – if they were true (and they’re not) – would mean that the 3,000 plus who have given their lives there have died for ‘no reason’ aka “their lives were wasted.” I have argued at this blog numerous times that these Democrats, many of whom have known since before Bush was President that Saddam was considered by the US gov’t as a threat to this country, are using irresponsible and dangerous defeatist rhetoric, that serves to negatively influence opinions about the war at home and abroad, hurt troop morale, and worst of all: encourage the enemy. I’m not the only one who has made this argument – prominent pundits have, and so have members of Congress on the floors of the House and Senate respectively. Still, the “wasted lives” argument persists.
I submit this to anyone who makes that argument: I don’t think any life we have lost there has been wasted, not the lives of the soldiers who gave their lives guarding a school or hospital, not the soldiers who gave their lives standing watch at check points, not the soldiers who gave their lives by holding back on using their weapons rather than risk killing innocent civilians, not the soldiers who’ve given their lives giving food, water, shelter, and blankets to poor Iraqis, not the soldiers who’ve given their lives so that their fallen soldiers wouldn’t be left behind, not the soldiers who’ve given their lives in order to transport wounded Iraqi children to hospitals out of the country to get help they can’t get in Iraq, not the soldiers who’ve given their lives in order to rescue innocent hostages, not the soldiers who gave up their lives after they had the opportunity to stay home once they completed their tours but wanted to go back anyway and did.
As far as the “we can’t win” assertion goes, it’s easy to use hindsight and say something wasn’t winnable, but think about what this country (and world, for that matter) may be like today if FDR didn’t think WWII was winnable, or Lincoln didn’t feel like the North winning the Civil War was achieveable. And speaking of that, what if the North had lost the Civil War? Would the Yankee deaths have been ‘wasted’ fighting for what they were because the goal hadn’t been achieved? No. They were fighting a cause worth fighting for – and dying for. In that respect, it’s no different from what our troops in Iraq.
I guess it’s all just a matter of how certain folks view things. Me, I think the following are examples of lives wasted: two very young children drowned by their mother in a lake, five people at random murdered in a mall as a result of some fanatic on a rampage, a school shooting which takes the lives of numerous students and a teacher, an eight year old crushed to death in the back seat of a car by a drunk driver, a woman and man viciously murdered by the husband in a jealous rage, a man lynched to death for the color of his skin, two teenagers who killed each other in a gang war, a college student who has died as a result of a hazing incident, a little girl kidnapped out of her own home, raped, and murdered, 3,000 innocents (like Peter Edward Mardikian) killed one beautiful Tuesday morning in September as they were going to work, or travelling on a plane. All people whose lives were taken for nothing. But a US soldier who gives his life fighting to defeat the terrorists there in Iraq, so we won’t have to here, to help establish democracy in a country that was upside down before we even got there? Life wasted?
Not a chance.