Sunday, March 14, 2004

The Dover Test

I wanted to come home to a little quiet on the news scene. It seems that's an impossible wish.

Something that caught my eye right away was a story with the headline: "Families of slain troops join antiwar protest outside Dover air base." This has been a sore spot with journalists, democrats and some military members since the beginning of the never-ending "war on terror." Now it seems that family members have finally had enough.

"...about 600 demonstrators Sunday who marched to the gates of the base to protest the war and complain about restricted access to installations, like Dover, where the bodies of those killed in Iraq are returned.

The protest attracted various groups opposed to the war: veterans, pacifists and church groups that bused in from Philadelphia, Baltimore and other northeastern cities. But it was the military families - who traveled from around the country - who were the centerpiece of a 3.5-mile march from a local meeting house to the massive military base.

Forbidden from entering the complex, the marchers crammed themselves on a sliver of lawn at a busy intersection outside the base and listened as some members of Military Families Speak Out read the names of the more than 560 troops who have been killed since the war began last March.
I haven't had any doubt, and many in the blogosphere have agreed with my assessment, that BushCo. could never survive "The Dover Test," the non-stop parade of flag draped bodies being returned, under the full and unblinking glare of free media coverage. Yes, yes, I know the policy has been in effect since the Clinton years (before that as well?); but it was never enforced until our current preznit decided that such scrutiny would ill serve him.

"Bush lies and who dies?" said Fernando Suarez del Solar of San Diego. "My son, Jesus Suarez del Solar Navarro, March 27."

"I'm very disillusioned with the American government," del Solar said before the march. "For it to get involved in an illegal war and to play with the emotions of the American people with 9-11 (Sept. 11, 2001) for politics is wrong."

Several family members said it's also wrong for the Pentagon to prevent people from witnessing the return of the remains of soldiers killed in Iraq to American soil.
There is no such thing as a "bloodless war," no matter the high-tech methods involved. Even if those high-tech methods include trying to hide our soldiers as they return to be buried in Arlington and other military and civilian cemeteries around the country.

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