WaPo: A Hawk Questions Himself as His Son Goes to War
As I watched President Bush give his speech.. I contemplated [ the war] from a different vantage than my usual professorial perch. Our oldest son now dresses like the impassive soldiers who served as stage props for that event; he too wears.. a Ranger tab. Before long he will fight in the war that I advocated..
.. The scholar in me is not surprised when our leaders blunder [in the war], although the pundit in me is dismayed when they do. What the father in me expects from our leaders is, simply, the truth -- an end to happy talk and denials of error, and a seriousness equal to that of the men and women our country sends into the fight.
Surprisingly there were no tar and feathers, no digging dirt and relentless evaluation of what Cohen has ever said in his life..
Arianna Huffington said it all:
Arianna Huffington: Why Are the Media Having Such a Hard Time Covering Cindy Sheehan?
..it's about time we put an end to the absurd double standard wherein a private citizen, staging a courageous and selfless protest, has every word she's ever uttered dug up and scrutinized more closely than some residual DNA on CSI while public officials making life and death decisions are allowed to say the most ludicrous things without being held accountable.
It's truly amazing: the MSM want to hold Sheehan's feet to the fire on statements she's denied making about Israel while allowing Dick "last throes" Cheney, Condi "mushroom cloud" Rice, George "slam dunk" Tenet, Alberto "quaint" Gonzalez, and George "Mission Accomplished" Bush a free pass.
Cindy, Cohen are just parent that want the truth about the war their son's are fighting
Cohen said essentially the same as Cindy: As a parent he wants the truth or as he said so well an end to happy talk and denials of error, and a seriousness equal to that of the men and women our country sends into the fight.
More Cohen musings about the war
A Hawk Questions Himself as His Son Goes to War: "
Your son is an infantry officer, shipping out soon for Iraq. How do you feel about that?
Pride, of course -- great pride. And fear. And an occasional burning in the gut, a flare of anger at empty pieties and lame excuses, at flip answers and a lack of urgency, at a failure to hold those at the top to the standards of accountability that the military system rightly imposes on subalterns.
It is a flicker of rage that two years into an insurgency, we still expose our troops in Humvees to the blasts of roadside bombs -- knowing that even the armored version of that humble successor to the Jeep is simply not designed for warfare along guerrilla-infested highways, while, at the same time, knowing that plenty of countries manufacture armored cars that are. It is disbelief at a manpower system that, following its prewar routines, ships soldiers off to war for a year or 15 months, giving them two weeks of leave at the end, when our British comrades, more experienced in these matters and wiser in pacing themselves, ship troops out for half that time, and give them an extra month on top of their regular leave after an operational deployment.
It is the sick feeling that churned inside me at least 18 months ago, when a glib and upbeat Pentagon bureaucrat assured me that the opposition in Iraq consisted of '5,000 bitter-enders and criminals,' even after we had killed at least that many. It flames up when hearing about the veteran who in theory has a year between Iraq rotations, but in fact, because he transferred between units after returning from one tour, will go back to Iraq half a year later, and who, because of 'stop-loss orders' involuntarily extending active duty tours, will find himself in combat nine months after his enlistment runs out. And all this because after 9/11, when so many Americans asked for nothing but an opportunity to serve, we did not expand our Army and Marine Corps when we could, even though we knew we would need more troops.
A variety of emotions wash over me as I reflect on our Iraq war: Disbelief at the length of time it took to call an insurgency by its name. Alarm at our continuing failure to promote at wartime speed the colonels and generals who have a talent for fighting it, while also failing to sweep aside those who do not. Incredulity at seeing decorations pinned on the chests and promotions on the shoulders of senior leaders -- both civilians and military -- who had the helm when things went badly wrong. Disdain for the general who thinks Job One is simply whacking the bad guys and who, ever conscious of public relations, cannot admit that American soldiers have tortured prisoners or, in panic, killed innocent civilians. Contempt for the ghoulish glee of some who think they were right in opposing the war, and for the blithe disregard of the bungles by some who think they were right in favoring it. A desire -- barely controlled -- to slap the highly educated fool who, having no soldier friends or family, once explained to me that mistakes happen in all wars, and that the casualties are not really all that high and that I really shouldn't get exercised about them.
There is a lot of talk these days about shaky public support for the war. That is not really the issue. Nor should cheerleading, as opposed to truth-telling, be our leaders' chief concern. If we fail in Iraq -- and I don't think we will -- it won't be because the American people lack heart