Protest for peace at a Federal Way corner

By Karen Backman, political commentary

  • Saturday, April 26, 2008 8:02am
  • Opinion

By Karen Backman, political commentary

One greatly dislikes intruding into the fantasy world of political columnist Angie Vogt, but it’s becoming quite apparent that intervention is necessary.

A case in point is Vogt’s Dec. 29 column. She mentions a soldier who is returning to Afghanistan after two weeks home with his family. The soldier exclaims how gratified he is about his mission — we must remember his mission is in Afghanistan, not Iraq — but in the next paragraph he has major problems: Getting the supplies and materials he needs requires constant haggling with the bureaucracy…

I must ask, in all honesty, as one who is opposed to Bush’s invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq, why the precious time of a soldier must be spent constantly haggling with the bureaucracy.

Making it necessary to haggle with the bureaucracy is clearly not supporting the troops.

Supporting the troops is supplying the military with everything it needs to conduct a mission. The mission of a soldier is not haggling with the bureaucracy, the unsupportive bureaucracy of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld.

Supporting the troops is providing our military with the armored vehicles, the best and most up-to-date there is, with the best body armor, with the best helmets, with the best weaponry available. The Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld bureaucracy has failed to support our troops in this very important way of supporting the troops.

Supporting the troops is making damned sure — and I do not use the word damned advisedly because I’d like to use a far stronger word — that our troops are provided with the best medical care in the world when they fall in battle. Support is making damned sure that the returning soldiers who died in battle are given full recognition and honors, not hidden away as if they are something to be ashamed of. This had not been the case with the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld bureaucracy.

I am very, very, very angry over this gross mistreatment of our troops, this grave bureaucratic disrespect shown our troops by the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld bean counters.

That is one of the specific reasons why I stand on a corner in Federal Way almost every weekend protesting the occupation in Iraq because it is not a war — it is a never-ending occupation, and if it is truly a war, I can’t express myself on how terribly incompetently this war has been conducted by the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld bureaucracy without cursing a lot.

So, instead of cursing, I stand on a corner urging that our troops be delivered from the mistreatment they suffer from the gross misconduct of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld bureaucracy because if you’re not going to do right by our troops, bring them home.

I also constantly hassle my senators and congressmen to do the right thing by our troops, by making sure our troops are not stabbed in the back by the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld bureaucracy as they carry out their mission.

Oh, and a final word about peace and sissies: Peace, as an endgame, is not for sissies, says Angie Vogt. I’m having a devil of a time trying to figure out what that means.

But I do recall who the real sissies are. Sissies like George Walker Bush who avoided serving in combat in Vietnam by having his rich and powerful daddy pull some strings for him so that someone else came home from Vietnam in a body bag. Sissies like Dick Cheney who finagled five deferments to avoid service in combat in Vietnam. Rumsfeld may have been in the military, but he sure didn’t see any combat.

So we know who the sissies are. And I protest when sissies send our young people into war and combat when they themselves were too cowardly to serve in combat. And I will continue to protest until our guys are home. They don’t deserve that kind of mistreatment by the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld bureaucracy.

Federal Way resident Karen Backman can be reached at

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