In reflecting on Tennyson’s poem Charge of the Light Brigade (See post of 7/8/07) it occurred to me it has meaning in connection with the Iraq war. Not only as a similar unwinable military action, but as to the Bush administration’s attack on anyone who is critical of the Iraq war. In the Crimean War a brigade of British calvary was sent on a suicide mission into the face of superior forces and overwhelming gun power because of a senseless and incompetent order issued by commanders. The men unflinchingly rode into the valley of death. Afterwords, their bravery was admired by all but, the commanders who made the blunder were condemned.
Isn’t that analogous to Iraq? With Iraq, we have the four horsemen of evil, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and Donald Rumsfeld leading us into a war that can’t be won and should never have begun, through lies and deceit, causing the death of thousands. When we condemn the actions of the leaders, these leaders immediately accuse critics of being unpatriotic and attacking the dedication of the troops. Yet, it is perfectly fair and right to praise and support the troops as dedicated soldiers while pointing out the ruinous and deceitful conduct of the leaders who put the troops and this nation in that situation. Just as the calvary in 1854 were enormously brave and dedicated, it is also true their leaders deserved total condemnation for putting them in that situation. To suggest Americans cannot be critical of the leaders who got us into the morass of Iraq because that is an attack on the soldiers involved is illogical and a Karl Rove attempt at manipulation of public thought.