: views from the Hill

Friday, October 20, 2006

A note from Kevin Tillman re Pat Tillman, our current war and Pat's upcoming bday

A note came to me in e-mail today from a long-time friend.

I'd been reading the papers. I'm aware that there's a buildup of ugliness in Iraq and elsewhere right before our elections.

I'm aware that people are asking why. I'm aware that in this runup to the election there's been a political spin to the questions.

Is the ugliness an attempt to influence the elections? If so, who would "they" want to win? Are "they" wanting the Democrats to win because the Democrats are soft on defense and ready to cut and run? (Well, so say Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and others of the Benevolent & Protective Order of Ilks of the USA as they warn us to stay the course and vote Republican because "they" would like us to do elsewise.)

My guess is that "they" would want the status quo to win because the status quo is, afterall, the best recruiting mechanism they have ... but then I've been a chess player since pre-school.

After Pat's Birthday
By Kevin Tillman

Editor's note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother
Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Pat was killed in Afghanistan [ST: belatedly acknowledged after
the memorial services and sermons and op-eds to be friendly fire
and that that information was kept from his family and from
his brother who was serving with him] on April 22, 2004. Kevin,
who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read

It is Pat's birthday on November 6, and elections are the day
after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with
Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks
with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at
the mercy of the American leadership and the American people.
How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition.
How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice…
until we get out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:
Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct
threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored
terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or
received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile
weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we
needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or
stop a civil war we created that can't be called a civil
war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow America has become a country that projects
everything that it is not and condemns everything
that it is.

Continued in After Pat's Birthday, by Kevin Tillman

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