I was scanning the AM radio dial on my way from lunch and hit the local broadcast of Paul Harvey's news program (or, as he accurately describes it himself, “news and comment”). I've always found Harvey much too complacent concerning Republican high crimes and misdemeanors, so I seldom listen to him. This time, however, he caught my attention:
Partly personal: Once upon another war, when Eisenhower needed bodies with which to hit the beaches of Normandy, he wiped out the Air Force cadets—and wanna-be flyboys were overnight foot soldiers. Well, that backfired. Fliers caught in that crossfire never forgot. And here we go again! Twenty thousand of our airmen have been reassigned—trained fliers reassigned—put in jobs for which they were not trained: guarding prisoners, and driving trucks, and typing. Our Air Force's present top general, Michael Moseley, is frustrated. He is angry. As he should be.Although Harvey, a World War II Air Force veteran, does not actually name the person responsible for the situation he decries, we all know that it is the commander-in-chief who is to blame. The broadcaster has on occasion been a little more direct, as when he specifically took issue with President Nixon over the Vietnam War. At that time, he said, “Mr. President, I love you, but you're wrong.” It sounds as if Harvey is ready to dust off that quote and use it again.
Today's complaint sounds familiar, doesn't it? John Murtha has been denouncing the Bush administration's insistence on shorting U.S. troops on training, equipment, and R&R. The president uses the nation's troops like toy soldiers, as if they have no human needs and can be discarded when playtime is over. Unfortunately, our puffed-up commander-in-chief has yet to grow tired of his bloody war games.
The rest of the country is growing tired. Is tired. The people of the United States and the people of Iraq agree that it is time for the military occupation of Iraq to end. Bush begs to differ, but has no solution of his own other than “staying the course” and continuing to push exhausted and under-equipped troops into the meat-grinder of a civil war.
Two years ago, Bush awarded Paul Harvey the American Medal of Freedom. Today he may be regretting that.