Support Our Troops," shout the magnetic yellow ribbons that you see on cars and trucks anywhere in America -- it's certainly a sentiment that I embrace wholeheartedly.
Our volunteer soldiers, as well as the conscripted Reserves and National Guard, are putting their lives on the line every day for George W's ill-conceived and ill-prepared Iraq war -- and every day some more of those soldiers are killed. I believe that every one of the solders sent over there by Washington politicians deserves the fullest support available from those of us sitting safely and comfortably back here at home... but they are not getting it.
"Support Our Troops" has to be more than putting a yellow magnet on your car. That's rhetoric, not support. How many of us know, for example, that BushCheneyRumsfeld and gang rushed our troops into that war without the protective armor required to save their lives from bullets and blasts -- an unforgivable, scandalous failure of leadership that continues to this day?
And how many of the yellow-magnet people are aware of how our government "supports" those troops who die in Iraq? While it's been widely reported that the families of civilians killed in the horrible 9/11 terrorist attacks have received an average of about $3 million each in overall compensation, do you know what the compensation is for the families of soldiers killed in Iraq? It's $12,000.
A spouse is gone forever. A child loses a father or mother. A lifetime breadwinner is taken from the family. Yet the White House, Congress and Pentagon deems that life to be worthy of a mere $12,000 -- even as the same public officials attend rah-rah rallies urging us to "support our troops"... and, oh, by the way, vote for us.
If you think the families of those who make the ultimate sacrifice deserve more than empty rah-rah and $12,000, call Operation Truth at (212) 982-9699.
Publication date: 12/16/04