Along the Tracks

Friday, November 11, 2005

An insult on Veterans Day

I was quite disgusted by comments Mark Shields made tonight on "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer" during his segment with Rich Lowry debating politics (no audio or video link up as of 8:25 p.m.).

Lowry had made a point that left-wing critics and politicians who level the false charge that Bush "lied" us into war hurt the morale of American troops serving in Iraq, who are there sacrificing because they believe in their country and the cause.

Shields responded that troops aren't there fighting for their country or a cause, they're fighting for their unit and the buddy next to them. What's more, he said "that's always been the case."

I certainly appreciate the special bonds formed in military service and don't discount the motivation those friendships provide. But come off it, Mark. How incredibly insulting to say those young men (and women) aren't there because they believe in their country. What a low blow to insinuate they take no stake in a cause they are killing and dying for. And then to extend it back historically to all past veterans as well.

Critics are constantly claiming Bush has "questioned their patriotism." By dismissing the love of country and the cause of freedom as the forces driving American troops, Shields has questioned their patriotism.

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