Out of Sight, Out of Mind

by James Glaser
October 23, 2003

After the failed hostage rescue mission in Iran that he approved of, President Jimmy Carter attended ceremonies for the troops killed. President Ronald Reagan went to the Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and participated in memorial services for the 241 Marines killed in Beirut. He also went to Andrews Air Force Base to pin Purple Hearts to the caskets of Marines killed in San Salvador.

During every war, Americans have the responsibility to honor those that have given their lives for this nation. Seeing those flag-draped caskets tells every citizen the price we are paying for whatever war the current President has us in. Seeing too many of those caskets and the American people start to ask questions, but that will not happen to President Bush.

There is an election next year and Bush does not want caskets filled with young Americans to cost him votes, so his simple solution is, not allow any Americans to see those caskets again.

Flag-draped coffins will continue to arrive back to the States on an almost daily basis as long as this Iraq war continues, but "public dissemination of such images" by news media are now banned. There will be no more photography allowed at Dover, Delaware or Ramstein, Germany.

There will no longer be arrival ceremonies for deceased military personnel for the media to cover. Out of sight and out of mind, at least that is what the President hopes for.

It was reported that there were 43 attacks on the American Military in Iraq on Monday, but no one kept count of the number of wounded. There are no numbers given as to the number of Iraqis killed or wounded either.

The Pentagon still counts the number of Americans killed, but we don't know how much longer that will continue. President Bush feels that the American people are not getting the true picture of what is happening in Iraq and dead Americans are part of the "negative" story the media is painting for the people back home and Bush is going to correct that.

Many of those in Congress that have voted for this war have gone to Iraq and have come back with glowing reports of what a splendid job we are doing. It is true that these Congressman do not stay over night in Iraq, but sleep in Kuwait and every Iraqi they talk to loves the American occupation. How would you like to be a young soldier getting asked questions by a powerful Senator with your Commanding Officer standing there. Wouldn't you tend to be positive about your job? "No complaints here sir."

How about if you are an Iraqi business man and want to some day get an American contract? These guys lived under Saddam, they know how to answer any questions from those in power.

George Bush's administration is doing everything it can to sell us this war. Soon no news films will be allowed out of Iraq or any place else we have troops. Control the media and you control the message. Too many embarrassing facts have been reported to the American people and Bush cannot allow that to happen any longer if he wants a second term.

Some information taken from "Curtains Ordered for Media Coverage of Returning Coffins" by Dana Milbank, Washingtonpost.com Oct. 21, 2003

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