Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

CROSSROADS COMMENT -- Remembering the Veto


I’ve marked May 1 on my calendar every year for five years. It’s the “Mission Accomplished” date in Bush’s illustrious career as a military leader. I used to inwardly laugh at the memory of his rehearsed strut and swagger across the deck of U. S. S. Abraham Lincoln. But by year three this laugh was forced and hollow. Now I just sigh with sadness.

So try this. Circle October 1, 2007, on your calendar.

By that date, phased withdrawals of American troops should have taken place. But Bush vetoed the $124 billion emergency military funding bill proposed by the newly elected Democratic majorities in Congress. He did it because it included time tables for the careful redeployment of our military forces. And now, following Bush’s veto, in a narrow lockstep display of political partisanship, the Republicans in the House of Representatives have upheld his veto.

This means that between now and October 1, 2007, we will not be reading reports of troops coming home or being reassigned to posts where they can make a difference in the war against terrorism.

October 1, 2007, will be another day of news reports of the deaths of brave women and men serving in Iraq. On October 1, 2007, every member of Congress who upheld Bush’s exercise in stubborn and misguided righteousness should stare at his or her calendar and think about the true patriots they have left in Iraq and those they continue to send into the crossfire of a sectarian civil war.

And the rest of us at home? On October 1, 2007, look up at your marked calendars, take out a pen and write in the five-month total of casualties amassed in Iraq, that false front in the war on terrorism. Repeat on October 1, 2008. This exercise should make it easier to cast your vote in November 2008.

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