Clean language just doesn't cut it anymore.

Jan 16 2007 Published by under Uncategorized

It is rare that I find myself at a loss for words. Anyone who knows me can tell you that. Right now, though, I'm having a very, very hard time coming up with family-friendly language that covers the way I feel about President Bush right now. Why? Because I just saw that half-witted, sneering little lower primate say this:

MR. LEHRER: Let me ask you a bottom-line question, Mr. President. If it is as important as you've just said - and you've said it many times - as all of this is, particularly the struggle in Iraq, if it's that important to all of us and to the future of our country, if not the world, why have you not, as president of the United States, asked more Americans and more American interests to sacrifice something? The people who are now sacrificing are, you know, the volunteer military - the Army and the U.S. Marines and their families. They're the only people who are actually sacrificing anything at this point.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, you know, I think a lot of people are in this fight. I mean, they sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night. I mean, we've got a fantastic economy here in the United States, but yet, when you think about the psychology of the country, it is somewhat down because of this war.

Yes, they serve too, who watch TV then go get another beer.

To be semi-fair to the twisted little refugee from the shallow end of the gene pool, he did have a reason for comparing the sacrifices of the American Military with the sacrifices of cable subscribers all over the nation: he needed to justify - wait for it - the tax cuts for the rich:

Now, here in Washington when I say, "What do you mean by that?," they say, "Well, why don't you raise their taxes; that'll cause there to be a sacrifice." I strongly oppose that. If that's the kind of sacrifice people are talking about, I'm not for it because raising taxes will hurt this growing economy. And one thing we want during this war on terror is for people to feel like their life's moving on, that they're able to make a living and send their kids to college and put more money on the table. And you know, I am interested and open-minded to the suggestion, but this is going to be -

MR. LEHRER: Well -

PRESIDENT BUSH: -- this is like saying why don't you make sacrifices in the Cold War? I mean, Iraq is only a part of a larger ideological struggle. But it's a totally different kind of war, than ones we're used to.

Before I continue my rant against the moron who, unfortunately, continues to lead the nation, let me explain my anger. My wife missed our son's seventh birthday because she was in Iraq. She missed his sixth birthday because she was away training for the Iraq deployment. She missed his fifth birthday because she was in Afghanistan. She will probably be back in time for his eighth birthday, but that is far from certain. That is part - a small part - of the sacrifice that she has made. It is part - a small part - of the sacrifice that the rest of our family has made. Similar sacrifices have been made by tens of thousands of military families over the last few years, and those sacrifices are nothing, nothing compared to the sacrifices of the families of those who have lost their lives in this conflict.

Comparing sacrifices of that nature with getting a little worried after watching TV is quite simply obscene. It is disgusting. It displays an insensitivity to what military families go through that is absolutely, completely unforgivable, especially coming from the commander-in-chief.

Sadly, though, that's not the worst part of this episode. Earlier in the day - the same day - the White House Press Secretary used "the troops" in an attempt to shield the president's ill-conceived "surge" "strategy" from congressional criticism:

Q: Okay. The sense in the Senate, this non-binding resolution, perhaps, that's going to move forward this week -- can you give a White House take on what that means, if the votes are there, that --

MR. SNOW: Well, look, they're claiming the votes are there. Again, the question you have to ask yourself is, do you understand what possible ramifications are? In an age of instant and global communication, what message does it send to the people who are fighting democracy in Iraq? And, also, what message does it send to the troops?

That's right. It's OK for the president to send the message that the sacrifice that the troops are making can be compared to the sacrifice that the TV-watching public is making, but it is A Bad Thing for the Senate to send, in a non-binding resolution, the message that they think that the president is out of what little there is of his mind to want to send more troops into the hellhole he has created in Iraq.

It is here that words fail me. There is more - much more - that I'd like to say, but I cannot find the words. I thought that I had gotten used to the routine exploitation of the military by the administration, but they have somehow managed to sink to a new depth. They had to dig to get there, but they did manage to go lower. I'd like to think that they've finally hit bedrock, but that's probably unreasonably optimistic.

12 responses so far

  • RBH says:

    I'm a veteran (four years as an enlisted man long ago), and sure sympathize. Recently I tried to make the 'shared sacrifice' argument (as in, why aren't we?) to a local conservative radio host. It was not apparent that he even understood what I was talking about. It's as though there were a cognitive filter somehow distorting my words, so only a buzzing noise got through to his brain.

  • It really shows you the difference in political culture we have from the generation that fought WWII. I don't really think that Americans even understand what in the living hell "sacrifice" is anymore.
    I remember a time when I was arguing against a proposal to bring back the draft, and someone who knew me asked "What do you care, you can't be drafted." His argument being that, since I've been mentally hospitalized and take medication for bipolar disorder, in all likelihood I wouldn't be drafted and therefore shouldn't care. That I could possibly object to any proposal to compel citizens by force to go into the mid-east meatgrinder we've created in Iraq just didn't occur to them, providing I personally was not one of those affected.

  • John McKay says:

    I started to write a comment, but when it grew to be 1500 words long, I posted it at my own place.
    http://johnmckay.blogspot.com/2007/01/sacrifice-in-wartime-mike-dunford-is.html
    It's really my own opinion, I hope you don't mind.

  • As a taxpayer I resent Bush twisting the reasonable question about sacrifice to a a plug for staying the course on tax cuts. Sacrifice, Mr. President, not ideology about tax policy. The men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq, and their families -- they know about sacrifice. You, Mr. President, clearly don't.
    I liked David Letterman's comments on the current round of Bush TV interviews. I don't have a transcript of either the interview in question, or the Letterman show, so this is from imperfect memory.
    Bush said: "I didn't go to war to be popular."
    Letterman: "In that case, 'Mission Accomplished!'"

  • mtraven says:

    As offensive as Chimpy's remarks were, I'm guessing that this will make you even madder. As the commentator says, they are basically planning to use US troops as hostages in order to force the hand of Congress. I'm not surprised by such a corrupt, selfish, partisan, and utterly immoral scheme, although I must say I am a bit surprised that they don't even bother to hide it any more.
    Not that I want to add to your load or anything. May your wife stay safe.

  • Roger says:

    Never been in the military, but have had people in my family serve in every war since the founding of this country. I think what some of my aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, and assorted ancestors would say and wonder what is going on. Sacrifice as in losing some TV is very different from what they went through or are going through

  • DaveScot says:

    Mike
    My brother-in-law that I've known since he was 10 years old served on the Navy Seals anti-terrorism team from 1998-2005. He was in Middle Eastern theater most of the time including Afghanistan and Iraq. His opinion of the commander-in-chief is diametrically opposed to yours. You will I hope understand when I use him instead of you as a benchmark of how the people doing the fighting feel about their mission and their leaders.

  • Oscar Barker says:

    Mike, You have a hell of a nerve using that language to refer to the president of our country.

  • Mike Dunford says:

    Dave:
    Frankly, I think you'd be foolish to pick any one person as a benchmark of how the people in the military feel about the mission and/or the civilian leadership. There are a hell of a lot of people in the service, from a hell of a lot of different backgrounds, and their views are shaped by a lot of different experiences. It's no more likely that there would be a single opinion within the military community than in any other large and diverse group.
    PopPop:
    I'm sorry if you were offended, but while I have the utmost respect for the office of the president, I have very little remaining respect for the person currently holding that office.

  • Ric says:

    Oscar, no office commands respect. It is the behavior of the person in that office that must command-- or fail to command-- that respect.

  • brightmoon says:

    "Mike, You have a hell of a nerve using that language to refer to the president of our country." -oscar barker
    i agree, referring to bush as a "sneering little primate" is an insult to primates

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