I'm so disgusted that I find it difficult to say anything constructive about the Iraq War these days. On a daily basis, American and Iraqi lives are sacrificed on the altar of George W. Bush's arrogant stupidity. I don't know what will happen after the U.S. leaves Iraq, but I can't imagine that our continued presence in that country improves its prospects in any way.
Parents who lose children, whether through accident or illness, inevitably wonder what they could have done to prevent their loss. When my son was killed in Iraq earlier this month at age 27, I found myself pondering my responsibility for his death.
Among the hundreds of messages that my wife and I have received, two bore directly on this question. Both held me personally culpable, insisting that my public opposition to the war had provided aid and comfort to the enemy. Each said that my son's death came as a direct result of my antiwar writings.
This may seem a vile accusation to lay against a grieving father. But in fact, it has become a staple of American political discourse, repeated endlessly by those keen to allow President Bush a free hand in waging his war. By encouraging "the terrorists," opponents of the Iraq conflict increase the risk to U.S. troops. Although the First Amendment protects antiwar critics from being tried for treason, it provides no protection for the hardly less serious charge of failing to support the troops -- today's civic equivalent of dereliction of duty.
I don't blame the war's supporters generally for the cretins who wrote to Bacevich to call him a traitor after the death of his son, but you can bet that they were inspired by the Limbaugh-Malkin-Pajamas axis of idiocy.
UPDATE: "Oakleaf" at Polipundit, who seems to have turned decisively against the war in Iraq posted a link to the article. Among the classier comments is this: "He recently wrote 'I Lost My Son to a War I Oppose. We Were Both Doing Our Duty' which is extremely moving. The Oprahfication of America. Extremely moving!"