We went through an entire decade where those on the right wrapped themselves in the flag and manipulated what it actually means to support the troops. We were told that any criticism of the president during a time of war would embolden the enemy and put our troops in harm's way. Interesting how that argument only applies when a Republican is president.
We witnessed how those on the right vilified and questioned the patriotism, courage, and honor of those who disputed the validity of the administration's misbegotten war. We witnessed the Rovian attacks on triple-amputee Vietnam veteran Senator Max Cleland, morphing his image in campaign ads with Osama bin Laden. We witnessed how they swiftboated combat veteran and presidential candidate John Kerry, and how at the GOP convention they mocked his war wounds. We witnessed how they vilified Cindy Sheehan, a mother of a fallen soldier, for simply questioning the war. We witnessed their cover-ups, politicalization, and propaganda efforts surrounding the events of Pat Tillman's death and the "heroics" of Jessica Lynch. We witnessed "Freedom Fries" and the vilification of our allies who differed with the administration's neocon war policies. We witnessed how in their rush to war they sent our troops off to combat without the proper equipment.
Recently we have witnessed the continued opposition from those on the right for the repeal of DADT, even though their dire predictions of what would occur if DADT was repealed never happened. We witnessed at a GOP presidential debate how a gay soldier stationed in Iraq was booed for asking whether the candidates would support the progress made for gay and lesbian soldiers, and we witnessed the utter silence from the candidates to condemn those who had booed this soldier. We have witnessed the disheartening fog of lies and hypocrisy from the same chicken hawks who banged the drums for war throughout decade now thumping their chest for more war adventures to satisy their unquenchable bloodlust. And we have witnessed how these same people on the right who so often declare their love of the troops repeatedly propose to cut the benefits that were promised to our veterans and their families.
On this Memorial Day, honor our veterans by remembering what we have witnessed.