Sunday, May 28, 2006

Turn Right on Engstrom Rd.

NTodd "the Pantless one" over at Dohiyimir is holding a blogathon over at his place. I'm hoping at the end of the day he will have a tearful reunion with his pants. Stop over and say hi (or donate money or buy a print or something I'm not sure what we are supposed to do). I'm doing it because I'm under the mistaken impression that this will allow us N-Tier bloggers to move up to the G-Tier NTodd level. I mean it's not like Jeff Goldstein or Atrios ever linked to me or introduced me to the wonderful Candleblog people. NTodd is the little engine that could of the left bloggersphere. He's good people, and I mean that in a totally symbolic literary deconstruction way.

But don't be staying there forever! One time Blogger messed up my commenting software here and I didn't know it and when I got it turned back on I lost Ellroon. :-(
So keep coming back! It works! or something like that...

P.S. The headline? If you work you know where you will get the painfully obvious reference. Wishing you all a happy Memorial Day.
Today's research topic? Number of actual solider's funerals that George W. Bush has attended.
Either from Afganistan or Iraq . And I mean, "out there funerals", not the hugging of "the moms" behind the scenes later. Is he still using the lame excuses to not go?
What kind of President doesn't go to the funerals of the soliders of the men he sends into combat?
Could he go to at least 1 percent of them? Landmark ones? Local ones? I'm just askin'.


Anonymous Nora said...

What kind of President doesn't go to the funerals of the soliders of the men he sends into combat?

And then makes speeches on Memorial Day about sacrifice and the nobility of soldiers. Don't forget that. I am losing faith in a just universe a little more every time that man opens his mouth and doesn't get struck by lightning.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

I wonder how many funerals Eisenhower went to during WWII?

I can't think of any president going to any military funerals.

9:03 PM  
Blogger spocko said...

Jim: Thanks for forcing me to revisit this issue. Sometimes I bristle at your comments, but as usual you helped me clarify and get some confirming info. (Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush (Sr.), and Clinton all attended funerals for soldiers who were killed in conflicts under their command. I didn't dig into Eisenhower yet, but just the 4 most recent presidents. See below)

There was much debate about this topic. Mostly around trying to give a justifiable reason Bush's action (or lack of action) regarding funerals. I thought this little note back in 2003 from Big Time Miliary guy Wes Clark might me interesting (see bottom). And for the record. No, the president shouldn't spend all his time going to funerals.
Bush not attending funerals is a cynical calculated POLITICAL choice. Karl Rove is VERY aware of the visuals and it is one he just doesn't want to provide. Why? Because he knows how it will be used. It's all about the image. And that he found all sorts of reasons and people to back that behavior is not surprising, but saddening.

And I will note that when other presidents attended funerals, they are too were making a political choice (but a choice most decent people understand), the very act of NOT going says something.
It says, "a previous standard of respect and caring will not be applied, because it can be used against me and will point out that people have died in the war I started. Therefore I will put as my priority avoiding that image in the minds of Americans."
He KNOWS that what he is doing is just not decent and respectful and all the excuses in the world won't hide that.

(and For Immediate Release
Date: November 23, 2003

General Wesley K. Clark Calls on President Bush to Start Honoring Soldiers who Died in Iraq
Last Spring, immediately prior to the war in Iraq, the Pentagon issued a directive stating: "There will be no arrival ceremonies for, or media coverage of, deceased military personnel returning to or departing from Ramstein Airbase or Dover base." President Bush has strictly enforced this directive throughout the war.

"This is absolutely unacceptable. The brave men and women who've lost their lives in Iraq deserve proper public ceremonies to honor their service. And the American people should know the consequences of the Bush Administration's reckless war," General Wes Clark said. "Many of the men I served with in Vietnam came home in coffins. The government started bringing them back in the middle of the night to hide the casualties from the American people. I never thought anything like that would happen again. Apparently, I was wrong."

President Bush has also refused to attend a single military funeral of any soldier killed in Iraq. Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush (Sr.), and Clinton all attended funerals for soldiers who were killed in conflicts under their command.

"Part of being a leader is facing the consequences of your actions, no matter how hard or painful that is," said Clark. "President Bush owes more to the families of our soldiers. They should not be mourning alone."

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info Spocko. Is the image of the president standing in front of a flag draped coffin an image we as Americans want to project to the world? I agree that in principle the president should attend as many military funerals has he has the time to attend. However, would it be responsible if having those images available gave encouragement to terrorists? (not that I am claiming that Bush could think that far ahead but maybe Rove can)

9:50 AM  
Blogger Interrobang said...

I'm willing to bet any putative terrorists care more about illegal invasions, US troops stationed in their countries, and things like Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, and the Haditha massacre -- all of which happen to be going on in their neck of the woods, sometimes close enough to be seen out the window -- than they do about a few pictures of the US President with some flag-draped coffins in the US media. There are plenty of other things going on that provide far better fodder for riling up the home front than some morbid Presidential photo-ops, and the pictures are easier to get.

Not everyone outside the US sees everything that goes on in the US media, and not every wire service and/or foreign newspaper breathlessly follows every news development in the US -- we actually oftentimes have to consciously look for US news. Stuff happens in the rest of the world, too.

I'd say, "Stop being so Americocentric," but that would be a waste of time.

Spocko, the first part of the infrastructure series is up, and the second part should be up shortly. I'm looking forward to hearing what you might have to say about it, if anything.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Interrobang said...

Spocko, you have mail.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Eason said...


12:03 AM  

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