Veterans Day: Dishonoring Our Dead

…. of an agonizing nation caused by the conscienceless. On Veterans Day, instead of honoring our fallen defenders of freedom, those who declared the war they fought and died for, “illegal”, defiled their supreme sacrifice for dying in vain …

Soldiers Worse Than Treason

Treason is betrayal of country. But to me the worst treason is when haters of America who are fuming mad, curse our dead soldiers by milling around their grave protesting burial with honors because according to them, those dead soldiers died in an “illegal war” in Iraq.

First of all, there is no such thing as “illegal war”. If there is, under what law is it declared “illegal”, and who is declaring it as a war that violates whose law or laws in international relations is a challenge that may be difficult to address.

Had President George W. Bush plunged this country to war in Iraq without the approval of Congress, that perhaps would have been an “illegal war” because it would be in violation of our fundamental law – the Constitution of the United States. But this is not the case … Congress had approved the war in Iraq in consonance with the pertinent provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

Note that only a handful of members of Congress who did not vote for the war in Iraq, are saying that the war was “illegal”. Just because only a couple of them or so in Congress like Sen. Barack Obama and his kind did not vote for the war on Iraq does not make the war that was approved by Congress an “illegal” war.

There was a butterfly exception: Those who voted for the war on Iraq when it was a popular public demand then, and afterwards declared the war that they voted on illegal when that popularity declined, may be easily identified as opportunistic political butterflies. Liberal Sen. Hilary Clinton of New York who is currently running for President this coming 2008 presidential election leads that exception. Gravely insulted, our dead soldiers stirred in their graves in shame when these opportunist butterflies declared the war they fought and died for, an “illegal war”. Instead of honoring our fallen defenders of freedom on Veterans Day, they were defiled for dying in vain … why what a way to thank them for what they did to this nation.

Why dishonoring our dead soldier is worse than treason? I will tell you why: When we attack our own soldiers for dying in war, it is no different from the enemy killing them in the battlefield. Thus aside from this kind of giving aid and comfort to the enemy that defines treason by the book, desecrating their sacred burial grounds in this most despicable way pours acid on the wound we sustained while already painfully grieving for heroes’ demise.

Every year on the 11th day of November, we are supposed to be setting aside a day to honor our soldiers and veterans. But on many occasions, witnessing protesting haters of America heap insults on their burial sites let alone slander their memory on Veterans Day, is like tearing the nation’s heart into pieces. Our soldiers are already dead and ready for burial with the highest honors we could bestow, but they are killing them one more time with their uncontrollable anti-war outrage. It is a black pit of betrayal to defile the honor and prestige of our finest military institution known and envied the world over, let alone disrespect the dead, sully and tarnish our loving remembrance of those very dear to us who fighting for their country had valiantly passed away.

It now appears that when our soldiers and veterans give away their lives as a supreme sacrifice to defend America, it is an ultimate affront to those who believe that America is an evil empire that’s always in the wrong side of the equation. Ergo, because to them those soldiers died in the wrong side of the great divide, like evil America, they are also evil and do not deserve to be entered in their final resting place with honors.

In a vehement protest to this display of violent mayhem on our dead heroes, I have written an editorial report on Memorial Day with vivid observations similar to this. The title is: “Memorial Day Is Never Honored By War Haters: It Is The Day They Dishonor Our Dead Soldiers”. This could be found and read by surfing the Web. It was a painful account of this travesty of justice for our dead soldiers, for corrupting our men and women in uniform in particular, and in general, for giving a bad name to our nation’s soldiery.

My lamentation and deep expression of grief spring from the fact that the radical Left and their “fightingest” Democrat colleagues in Congress, and the protesting Liberals at large do not believe that our soldiers in Iraq are fighting for their country. Liberal candidates wanting to be the next President of this country are unanimous in their pledge that when any of them becomes President, the first thing they will do is pull our troops from Iraq because they believed they are fighting not only an unnecessary war but a wrong war in the Middle East. We have just celebrated the horrors of Halloween about a couple of days ago but this is creepy and still a part of the story of ghouls and goblins ever told.

There is this prevailing politically scripted ghost-like paranoia that President George W. Bush sent their sons and daughters who volunteered to serve in the military, to Iraq not to fight a war for America, but to be “murdered by terrorists to save Israel”, whatever that [in the light of me, and please don’t ask me, to avoid a whole book response] means.

The macabre rationale is that our soldiers deserve a hero’s burial only if they died in a war they themselves as war dissenters had chosen, or have died in a war that only they wanted America to fight. Beyond this, soldiers dying in any war other than they prescribed and dictated, are against the law, therefore their internment with honor is illegal.

This is weird, to say the least, and it had earned them the unsavory compliment of being called “weirdoes”. This is no worse condescending than when those anti-war harbingers of defeat, death and doom are described as having no humane consideration at all as to how this nation feels when our soldiers come home in boxes draped with our national flag, which tells us in silence the story of why they died in battle so that we may live.

I am attempting to express this excruciating empathy of an agonizing nation harassed relentlessly by the conscienceless I have just described. This can be found in the Internet caught by many online publications. The title is: “You Can Protest the War Until You Turn Blue But Never Slur a Dead Soldier”.

I captured in one paragraph, the indignation of the American public with this direct and frank advice to all sound and sundry:

“Whatever is in your mind when you protest a war is your own business. You may claim your freedom to protest, and cry out your loudest complaint to high heavens against this war in Iraq until your lungs burst out, or until hell freezes over, whichever comes first, in which case I wish you luck. Just don’t smear a dead soldier who fought and died for this country even as you flaunt your right to protest, for if you do, this nation will step down on you as an imp more treacherous than a rotten scoundrel.”

It was just my other way of saying to haters of America that if you shame a dead soldier, obviously you become a national problem, which of course is everybody’s business. I was reminding those what others do not hesitate to describe as “weirdoes”, that their wild and inconsiderate swinging of elbow of freedom to disagree was landing on someone else’s nose.

Maybe it was pure coincidence, but after the said written editorial swept the Web, Congress passed the “Respect For America’s Fallen Heroes Act” on May 29, 2006. This law “… [P]rohibits protests within 300 feet of the entrance of a cemetery from 60 minutes before to 60 minutes after a funeral. Penalties for violating the Act are up to $100,000 in fines and up to one year imprisonment.” [1] It was Congress’ response to organized picketing of military funerals led by Pastor Fred Waldron Phelps, Sr., openly known to be the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.

The law had been challenged by anti-war radicals. But a challenge of this kind from the Left against our soldiers who died in war normally bites the dust. The U.S. Supreme Court did not leave any room for doubt when it ruled on the nature of this violation: “ [A]ny individual willfully making or assisting in the making of any noise or diversion that disturbs or tends to disturb the peace or good order of the funeral or memorial service or ceremony" can be made to answer for this violation. [The U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Grayned v. City of Rockford.] [3]

Today we need to light a candle inside our heart so to speak, and seize that flitting moment of silence as we look deep into our soul to see if those who spit on the grave of our fallen heroes deserved the legacy left by our soldiers who sacrificed their lives in Iraq. #

© Copyright Edwin A. Sumcad. Access November 05, 2007

The writer is a veteran diplomat-journalist for more than 45 years and a recipient of excellence awards in journalism. He is a former Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations; he is also an economist, a lawyer and an ASEAN specialist on fiscal policy and regional industrial cooperation. His human interest writings and editorial insights appear in other publications and published in several websites. A brief comment may be e-mailed to ed.superx722@yahoo.com.sg.

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