Sunday, June 03, 2007

You Lost Your Son In Iraq? Here, Have One Of My Coins

But Don't You Go Sell It On eBay

Some 3500 American military personnel have been killed in the Iraq War, but President Bush has not attended even one military funeral. He does, however, occasionally visit the wounded, and also meets with the mothers of those who died in the war.

A first hand report follows from one of those mothers, Elaine Johnson, who met with President Bush after her son was killed in Iraq. Her recounting of the meeting is disturbing in the extreme.

From Chicago Tribune blog 'The Swamp' :

"And in the room that I was in it was only me and four more other families. And I asked him questions you know, on um why we were over there? He couldn’t answer that. I said, well what are we fighting for? He said to finish a mission.

"I said, why was my son and the rest of the soldiers on the Chinook helicopter, which was supposed to be only to transport cargos not humans? He said, well he didn’t know. He referred me to General Wilson, which was in the same room. General Wilson’s response was that they, you know, they was transporting them on that same helicopter and never was shot down.

"President Bush...he told me I was kind of, seemed like I was kind of hostile. I said, ‘yes I am hostile, because you sent my son over there.’ So my thing is -- all the questions that I asked him, he didn’t know nothing then, and he definitely don’t know nothing now, because the United States is in worser shape now that it was in 2003 that my son died.''

"I said what’s, what’s the mission? He couldn’t give me an answer. I says, well I’m going to tell you what: I’m on my mission now. My mission had just begun. And my mission is to fight to bring these troops home, to take care of these troops when they get home.

"Then he gave us a presidential coin,'' she said. "He gave six of us a presidential coin, tell us not to tell the rest of the people that was there, and then after that he told us don’t go sell it on eBay. Now you tell me how insensitive that can be? What kind of caring person is that?

This is only one of the numerous accounts from mothers of the war dead who have met with the president and spoken later of how bizarre and horrible their encounter turned out to be. It is another example of how President Bush likes to make jokes in such tense times, as though he wishes to wipe away the seriousness and levity.