Feb 4, 2007
Republicans will take every opportunity to make political points, and their choice of venues surpasses all accepted norms of taste and appropriateness.
The four-year Iraq occupation has killed more Livingston County soldiers and Marines than were lost in the entire 16-year conflict in Vietnam. Livingston County has lost nine service members in the ill-conceived occupation compared to seven causalities in Vietnam. To maintain support for the occupation in an atmosphere where more and more Americans are turning away from Bush’s failed Iraq policies the current Administration has blocked photos of and media coverage of the caskets of men and woman coming home from Iraq, but they use the funerals of these brave men and woman to make political points and push their disproved reasons for the invasion.
The latest incident is the funeral of Marine Cpl. Mark D. Kidd of Milford in neighboring Oakland County. Cpl. Kidd was a member of the Cornerstone Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brighton Township, one of the most conservative mega-churches in Livingston County, and that’s where the funeral was held.
The church’s pastor, Richard Alberta, compounded the tragedy of the death of such a promising young man by pushing his distorted, hard-right Republican opinions.
A political tone crept into the service when Alberta took task with politicians and Hollywood questioning President George W. Bush's Iraq policies. Alberta said if there was any doubt about whether Marines like Mark Kidd are successful in Iraq, people should ask the little girls there who now attend school or the little boys once shot for saying something that upset the Iraqi politicians.
"I am ashamed, personally, of leaders who say they support the troops but not the commander in chief," Alberta said while the mourners' thunderous clap nearly drowned him out. "Do they not see that discourages the warriors and encourages the terrorists?
"When the next 9/11 comes and the world is terrified, we will not look toward Hollywood who played Marines; we'll look to the real ones. Thank you, guys," he said, addressing a group of Marines.
These inappropriate comments are wrong on so many fronts. It’s not just ”politicians and Hollywood” questioning the President’s failed Iraq polices, it’s the majority of the American people, and they are simply exercising their rights and responsibilities as citizens to do so for good reason. This invasion and occupation was based on misinformation and deceit and nothing has changed. Despite four years of these funerals there’s still no clear, coherent policy.
No one doubts that the soldiers, sailors, airman and Marines are doing an excellent job under extremely trying conditions, but at no time was the reason given for invading a sovereign country was that so boys and girls could go to school.
Of course you can support the troops and not support the Bush failed Iraq policies. Now, Rev. Alberta obviously knows more about history than I do, but this country was formed on the basis of the governed questing the civilian government that control the military. That concept is as American as apple pie, so what is he ashamed of? It’s our absolute responsibility as citizens to hold the government and politicians accountable. Isn’t that what the Founding Fathers stressed?
I would also like to ask Rev. Alberta what does 9/11 have to do with Iraq?