Ladies and gentlemen:
During the Memorial Day Holiday, it is customary to honor those courageous individuals who lost their lives in the numerous wars America has fought during its two hundred and thirty years of existence. But it goes without saying that nobody questions the bravery, the commitment and the sacrifice made by those intrepid men and women.
So, in today’s world, it is perhaps more fitting to devote a Memorial Day Speech to the cowards, the liars, the hypocrites and the exploiters who made many of these wars, including the current Iraqi war, possible.
First and foremost, we must thank George W. Bush, a “pro-life” warmonger who instigated the Iraqi war based upon nothing but outright lies, and who then “intrepidly” challenged Iraqi insurgents to “bring it on” from the safety of the White House in Washington D.C., one of the most fortified buildings in the world, located in one of the most fortified cities in the world.
Americans should not forget that, when the time came for Bush to serve his country during the Vietnam War, he did not hesitate to use his family’s wealth and influence to avoid combat duty, instead performing some National Guard duties, the nature of which remains nebulous to this day.
Soldiers wounded in Iraq should also remember that even though their conditions could potentially be improved through advancements in stem-cell research, Bush opposes such research, thus ensuring that such advancements will never be made.
Americans should also not forget the “heroism” of the venal Dick Cheney, who received five separate deferments to avoid combat duty in Vietnam. When asked why he took such extraordinary measures to avoid military service, Cheney replied that he had “other priorities.” Well, I’m sure that many of those who did serve in Vietnam (or who are currently serving in Iraq) had (and have) other priorities as well.
We must also not forget that paradigm of cowardice and hypocrisy, Tom Delay. Delay’s cowardice was shown by the lame excuse he gave for his failure to serve in Vietnam: That so many “minority youth” had enlisted in the military, there was no room for “patriotic folks” like him.
Delay’s hypocrisy was shown when he proclaimed during the Clinton administration that “bombing a sovereign nation for ill-defined reasons with vague objectives undermines American stature in the world,” yet announced during the Bush dictatorship that “it's not the time to be questioning this president on how he is carrying out the war."
Of course, this speech would be remiss if one did not mention how an apparent alliance between “The Swift Boat Veterans” and Sinclair Broadcasting Group, owner of the largest chain of television stations in the United States, resulted in hypocritical attacks on Presidential Candidate John Kerry and his conduct during the Vietnam War, particularly since, by attacking Kerry, these veterans were basically endorsing the candidacy of two cowards who avoided even serving in Vietnam.
And naturally we should not forget all those other politicians who have emulated Bush and Cheney by voting to send young men and women off to wars that neither they nor their loved ones have volunteered to participate in. After all, why demand that Bush’s twin daughters endure the rigors of fighting in a war their father illegally started when they can “productively” spend their time drinking excessively and running nude through hotel hallways in Argentina?
But war would not be war without its legion of fans, particularly the fans of country music. Performers in this genre have made the exploitation of war an art form. So thank you Tim McGraw for performing “If You’re Reading This,” at the Academy of Country Music Awards—a venue much more fitting than singing in combat fatigues from the front lines in Iraq. And thank you Toby Keith for “bravely” volunteering to “kick ass” in Iraq from the safety of the concert stage and recording studio. And we should not forget to thank Kid Rock, that transparent opportunist who suddenly began appearing on country music stations when his support of the Iraqi war lost him fans in the “rock-and-roll” arena. Nor should we forget to thank the equally opportunistic Larry the Cable Guy, who used the comedy stage to praise Toby Keith’s cowardice, while condemning the Dixie Chicks for having the courage to denounce this cowardice.
But these performers would not be possible without all those country music fans who buy their records and attend their concerts or movies, never once asking these performers why, if they are so “patriotic,” they aren’t serving their country in the military, instead of just singing about it.
Next we must thank the stars of television and movies: the Gary Sinises, the Ron Silvers, the Dennis Millers, the Bruce Willis(s), the Elisabeth Hasselbecks, and other such cowards who, like many of their country music counterparts, “fight” the Iraqi war from the safety of television and movie studios. After all, if there weren’t real soldiers actually risking life and limb, people, like Willis and Sinise, could not draw bloated paychecks playing soldiers in the “Hollywoodland” of make believe.
Then we must thank those who “support the troops,” as long as it results in cheap publicity: the Wrestling Federations who film their excursions to Iraq so they can demonstrate their “patriotism” in televised specials back home; the cast of the movie THE DUKES OF HAZZARD, who conveniently visited an army base to tell the troops “thank you,” at the same time their movie was being released; and all those other celebrities who conspicuously make a point of discussing how they’ve gone to Iraq to “entertain” the troops. Whatever happened to entertaining the troops simply for the sake of entertaining the troops, without the need for crass self-promotion?
Nevertheless, it should be remembered that the Iraqi war would not have been complete without the invaluable assistance of the world’s most famous lap dog, the soon-to-be former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who, through his fawning subservience to George W. Bush, proved that Neville Chamberlain was not the only British Prime Minister willing to appease a tyrant. At least Chamberlain was trying to avoid a war, instead of provoking one.
Lastly, Memorial Day would not be Memorial Day unless we thank the pundits, especially those “heroic” neo-conservative warmongers, almost none of whom have ever served in combat, nor even in the military. Thank you Rush Limbaugh for avoiding Vietnam because of an alleged cyst on your posterior; Thank you William Kristol for your Cheshire grin as you promote your warmongering agenda on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox “News” Channel, the network that has apparently been inspired by the Joseph Goebbels “school” of journalism; Thank you Charles Krauthammer for adding your arrogant smirk to Kristol’s grin as you hawk the war you’re too gutless to fight in; Thank you Bill O’Reilly for “courageously” telling documentary filmmaker Michael Moore you would risk your life (though not the lives of your children) “for the defense of Fallujah.” Apparently Fallujah must now be located in the Fox “News” studios, since you certainly have not relocated yourself to the city of Fallujah in Iraq; Let us also thank the Richard Perles, the Ann Coulters, the Sean Hannity(s) and others whose warmongering cowardice is an inspiration to all those people who demand that others do what they will not.
Finally, a big thank you to Rupert Murdoch for opining that the casualty figures in Iraq are “minute.” Regretfully Murdoch and the scum he supports seem inordinately unwilling to risk becoming part of this “minutiae.”
Just think about it America! If the nation had to depend upon those politicians, pundits and celebrities who instigated the Iraqi war to fight the Iraqi war, there would be no war. Strange how those who are quickest to pontificate about sacrifice and courage are the ones least likely to demonstrate these virtues in their personal lives.
This list, however, would not be complete without thanking all the Las Vegas tourists who engaged in a “pro-war” riot, after singer Linda Ronstadt took an anti-war stance during one of her concerts. I wonder how many of you have transformed your willingness to riot into a willingness to perform combat service in Iraq. Thanks to the United States Supreme Court for ignoring all ethical, moral and legal precedent in its corrupt zeal to catapult a war criminal like George W. Bush into the highest office in the land.
But most of all, thank you Americans (you know who you are) who supported, and in some cases continue to support, the Bush dictatorship. Without your short-sightedness, without your slavish obedience and reckless belief that warmongers never lie, without your support of those politicians, pundits, singers and entertainers who expect sacrifices of others they are unwilling to make themselves, many young people would be celebrating Memorial Day at home with their families, instead of risking and losing their lives in Iraq.
So as we close this Memorial Day weekend, America can be assured that many of its people will remain oblivious to the lessons of history; thus liars can still gain power, exploiters can still use war for profit and self-promotion, and Americans can still be duped into supporting unnecessary wars.
Sadly this also means that Memorial Days in the future will continue to be used to eulogize those who didn’t have to die.
David R. Hoffman
Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru