Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Life Wasted

The opinion piece in The Washington Post by the father of a Camp Lejeune marine who died in Iraq is one of the most powerful pieces I've read by a parent. This is more powerful than anything I've read by Cindy Sheehan. Paul Schroeder may be speaking from grief, but his thoughts are clear and expressed beautifully.

Lance Cpl. Edward "Augie" Schroeder died, along with 13 others, on his fifth mission to clear Haditha, Iraq. Paul Schroeder comments that the reality of the situation as told to him by his son was in stark contrast to what was being relayed by Condoleezza Rice.

I am outraged at what I see as the cause of his death. For nearly three years,the Bush administration has pursued a policy that makes our troops sitting ducks. While Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that our policy is to "clear, hold and build" Iraqi towns,there aren't enough troops to do that.

In our last conversation, Augie complained that the cost in lives to clear insurgents was "less and less worth it," because Marines have to keep coming back to clear the same places. Marine commanders in the field say the same thing. Without sufficient troops, they can't hold the towns. Augie was killed on his fifth mission to clear Haditha.

Schroeder goes on to say that Americans need to criticize the war more openly. He says it isn't a dishonor to those who have fallen and that Bush's claim that it is, is twisted logic. You don't honor the dead by killing more innocent Americans. Schroeder says his son's death was a waste.

Though it hurts, I believe that his death -- and that of the other Americans who have died in Iraq -- was a waste. They were wasted in a belief that democracy would grow simply by removing a dictator -- a careless misunderstanding of what democracy requires. They were wasted by not sending enough troops to do the job needed in the resulting occupation -- a careless disregard for professional military counsel.

As I read this piece I wanted nothing more than to reassure Mr. Schroeder that his son's death was not a waste. Mr. Schroeder, my words are meaningless, but I am so very sorry. Sadly, this attempt at a legacy by Bush has robbed our country of so many promising lives. How can that be anything but a waste?

President Bush, democracy in Iraq won't be your legacy. History will remember you as the President who killed thousands of innocent Americans for a made-up war with trumped-up causes. The names of thousands of innocent Americans who died in Iraq will be linked to your name forever. We will never, ever forget.

This is cross-posted at Americans Deserve the Truth.


Blogger Gothamimage said...

I Read that - very sad

4:53 PM, January 03, 2006  

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