More "Support the Troops"
It was the best of armies. It was the worst of armies. Two news stories paint a picture of the way the nation honors the defense of freedom on Memorial Day.
From The Daily Freeman (appropriately named)
Appeals court bars Cheney foes from West Point
WHITE PLAINS - The mere presence of Vice President Dick Cheney does not turn West Point into a public forum and is not an "open invitation" to protesters, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.
Cheney is scheduled to deliver the commencement speech at the U.S. Military Academy today, and about 1,000 people had hoped to march onto the campus for an anti-war demonstration. ....
The protesters' attorney, Stephen Bergstein, said the military gets too much respect.
"No other institution in our society enjoys the deference that the military establishment enjoys," he said. "There are things you can't do in our society, and protesting at a military institution is one of them. It's a shame because they invite Cheney and he can say whatever he wants."
Besides the constitutional issue, the court agreed with the Army that it had legitimate security concerns.
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[In another story, some "legitimate security concerns" show up prominently.]
CNN: Young officers leaving service at 'alarming' rate
CNN reported on Friday about the "alarming number" of mid-level army officers leaving the military as soon as they complete their initial commitment, many of them citing family reasons and multiple deployments. The army has been forced to offer new incentives for re-enrolling, including bonuses and extra training.
The percentage of career officers deciding not to stay in the military is the highest it has been since the Vietnam War and includes many West Point graduates, "creating a brain drain in the top ranks." A general interviewed by CNN expressed concern that "we're losing the next generation of future combat leaders for the army."
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Perhaps what our intelligent career officers have figured out is that the current and future wars of Bush and Cheney have had a negative effect upon the defense of freedom in "Homeland" (formerly known as the U.S.A.). In years to come perhaps Memorial Day will become a time to remember the wisdom of avoiding the kinds of unjust, futile slaughter that cynical old "leaders" often impose on American youth. In this mode, Memorial Day could start by asking: What kind of war is it that will not permit photographing coffins of our fallen soldiers?