Sunday, April 02, 2006

It's Just a Game

On a trip to England this week, Condoleezza Rice recently said the United States had probably made thousands of errors in Iraq, but defended the overall strategy of removing Saddam Hussein. Gee, when the U.S. Secretary of State starts confessing like that, it makes me feel so much better that my only child, Lt Ken Ballard was killed because of these thousands of errors. But, it's okay because we had to get Saddam.

I guess Condi had time to think about what she said, those thousands of errors, because she came back the next day to clarify, when she said that the U.S. had made "thousands" of mistakes in Iraq she meant figuratively, not literally. So it wasn't really thousands, maybe alot, maybe some, but not thousands of errors, right, Condi? And the thousands of American soldiers that have been killed? And the thousands of Iraqi civilians that have been killed? Were they just symbolic, too?

You'd never know that this country was at war with the flippancy that the adminstration treats these kinds of discussions. Like the backdrop on Bush's landing on an aircraft carrier with a banner that stated Mission Accomplished on May 1, 2003. Ken hadn't even arrived in Iraq and anyone who knew anything knew that this war had just begun. There had been no sign of flowers or chocolates and there never would be. That was flippant, too. So was Bush's taunt to those tempted to attack U.S. forces, "Bring them on." on July 2, 2003. Ken had been in Iraq for a little more than a month; he had just been notified that he would be in charge of a platoon of tanks instead of traveling in a HUMVEE. He was so proud of his guys and he was going to be a great platoon leader. I cannot say how offended and horrified I was to hear the president say those words. It still haunts me to hear those words, as if his macho rhetoric would scare anyone off.

It's all just a game to this administration. Despite what they say, they don't care about my son's death or any of the 2332 American casualties or the 17,000 American injuries and they certainly don't care about the "30,000 Iraqis, more or less, who have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis." 30,000 more or less....that's what Bush said, more or less. As if he was talking about buying salami at the deli...a pound, more or less.


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