A Cautious Man
December 01, 2004
"Al Qaeda couldn’t kill Christian Engeldrum, but his own government’s dishonesty and incompetence could"
From Eric Alterman, something which should make you angry upon learning of it -
Christian Engeldrum of Ladder Company 61 in Co-op City in the Bronx, was killed while serving with the New York National Guard on Monday when a roadside bomb exploded near his convoy outside Baghdad. He lived through the attacks of 9/11 that took the lives of many of his friends and comrades, which took place even though his government was repeatedly warned to be on the alert for just such an attack but took no measures whatever for the protection of the nation. (He even helped raise the first flag over Ground Zero after the attack.) He lived through the still-unknown health effects on his respiratory system, after breathing the air at Ground Zero when his government lied to him about its safety. What he didn’t live through, however, was a war, which his government lied to try to tie to the attacks, in order to win the support of people like Christian, who had every right to be furious at America’s assailants, but whose duty and courage was exploited to attack people who had nothing whatever to do with it. Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda couldn’t kill Christian Engledrum, but his own government’s dishonesty and incompetence could. His two sons have lost a father, his wife, a husband, his parents a son, and for what? Yes Saddam Hussein is in prison, but is anyone really better off for the unending chaos and catastrophe this bunch has unleashed in Iraq? Most Iraqis certainly don’t think they are and the rest of the world hates us more than ever. Isn’t it about time we had an anti-war movement in this country to honor the deaths of exploited heroes like Christian Engeldrum and do our damnedest to minimize the number of brave mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters, husbands and wives, must follow in his footsteps?(Emphasis added) I would just add that the results of the last election did not make opposition to the Administration's approach to war and foreign relations irrelevant; instead, it makes it necessary.