Memorial Day in 2003 came a mere three months after disastrous invasion of Iraq. I wrote then on my old blog about the destroyed lives of the soldiers recklessly sent into harm's way by Junior Bush and his various enablers. Back then, the deaths were relatively few and more traditionally battle-related, as opposed to the continuing crisis, where our troops -- when they are not walking targets for those still avenging the violation of Iraq's sovereignty -- are getting caught in the crossfire of a civil war.
Here is a re-print of my May 26, 2003 post:
Every Memorial Day, I think about the Unnecessary Dead. This year, more than ever, it is important to remember those who have been put in harm’s way by vapid politicians in unworthy and undefined causes, in the pursuit of only power and wealth. The number in the Iraq invasion is 162 (and counting – more deaths today). And, this Memorial Day, I am celebrating the life and family of one of the first to die in this most-recent stupid war – Kendall David Waters-Bey of Baltimore, Maryland.
Kendall, an African-American and a Muslim, died in a helicopter accident on the first day of the invasion. It’s the kind of accident that happens when fragile equipment meets desert wind and sand. Acceptable collateral deaths, no doubt, by the likes of Donald Rumsfeld and G.W. Bush.
Not so to Kendall’s father, Michael Waters-Bey. Holding a picture of his son for TV cameras at the time of his son’s Unnecessary Death, he said: "I want President Bush to get a good look at this, really good look here. This is the only son I had, only son." Asked what he say to Bush, the boy president, if he had the (unlikely) chance, he said: "This was not your son or daughter. That chair he sat in at Thanksgiving will be empty forever."
Kendall’s sisters were even more clear: "It's sad that this war is going on and that we have to lose so many people over nothing...This war is all about oil and money. But he [Bush] has already got oil and money. It's about greed. ... He ought to send his daughters over there to fight. See how long they'd last over there."
Whoa. Those of you reading this for the first time – over two months after these statements were lightly and, mostly, only locally reported – now can understand why you might have missed it. The justifiable rage of the Waters-Bey family and their poignant comments were completely ignored by the mainstream media, which opted for the more predictable, banal and (most-importantly) war-supporting "he died doing what he wanted to do" comments of the more traditional, er, white families.
You wonder what happened later to the Waters-Bey family. I think I remember Bush staging a photo-op with the families of the Unnecessary Dead. Didn’t exactly notice whether the Waters-Beys were in front of the line. Or invited at all.
So here is to the memory those American soldiers who died in Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Iraq and all the dirty little secret and not-so-secret wars before and since. No one supports the troops more than those who try to stop the Unnecessary Deaths.