On Wednesday, as Rob noted, newspapers across the country made a huge, coordinated deal out of the 2,000th American troop death in Iraq. Yesterday, John Kerry joined the exploitation by releasing the transcript of a speech he gave at Georgetown University.
Here’s an excerpt (bolding mine):
A few weeks ago I departed Iraq from Mosul. Three Senators and staff were gathered in the forward part of a C-130. In the middle of the cavernous cargo hold was a simple, aluminum coffin with a small American flag draped over it. We were bringing another American soldier, just killed, home to his family and final resting place.
The starkness of his coffin in the center of the hold, the silence except for the din of the engines, was a real time cold reminder of the consequences of decisions for which we Senators share responsibility.
As we arrived in Kuwait, a larger flag was transferred to fully cover his coffin and we joined graves registration personnel in giving him an honor guard as he was ceremoniously carried from plane to a waiting truck. When the doors clunked shut, I wondered why all of America would not be allowed to see him arrive at Dover Air Force Base instead of hiding him from a nation that deserves to mourn together in truth and in the light of day. His lonely journey compels all of us to come to grips with our choices in Iraq.
First, nobody is “hiding him from a nation,” as Kerry despicably (and disingenuously) suggests. The reason cameras don’t greet coffins is because that would give a propaganda tool to our enemies, and tempt ghoulish freaks like Kerry to exploit a solemn occasion for political gain. Secondly, what are the odds that a randomly chosen soldier would want his casket to be a sailboard-like prop for the junior Senator from Massachusetts?
Oh, I should probably explain why I bolded the text above. It reminded me of something Scott Ritter wrote in 1998:
The white, lumbering aircraft was a civilian variant of the cavernous C-130 and there were only three of us in the flight cabin, sitting on a bench just behind the cockpit crew.
It’s like Groundhog Day, except scary.