Friday, March 16, 2007

Wasted - Not Sacrificed

This is from one of my favorite sites. I hope they don't mind if I reprint this as I couldn't of said it better myself.


The right wing echo chamber went into overdrive, a few days back, when Barack Obama had the temerity to say that the lives of the 3000-plus americans who have fallen in Iraq were "wasted." After the usual suspects subjected Obama to a nonstop barrage of hyperbolic bile and anger, he apologized, and said that, instead, these lives had been "sacrificed."

Naturally, these same usual suspects were curiously mute when John McCain said precisely the same thing- that these american lives had been "wasted." McCain issued an apology, today.
Thus, the democratic party has again deferred to the ravings of the radical right, and the war of words has suffered its first casualty: the word "waste."

Let's take a look at those two words: "waste" and "sacrifice."

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "sacrifice" is defined as:
"An act of giving up something one values for the sake of something that is of greater importance."

I have spent a goodly number of hours today wondering what the "something that is of greater importance" is that necessitates the use of this word. As most of us (I hope) remember, this war was initiated to rid Iraq of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction- so, scratch that "greater importance." Next up, we have the "bringing democracy to the heart of the muslim world."
Considering that the government that we've installed in Baghdad can't even govern Baghdad properly, I fail to see a "greater importance" there, either. Thirdly, we've been told that the war in Iraq is essential to combat terrorism. Unfortunately, this, too, falls flat on its face.

Next, let's take a look at the meaning of "waste:"
"(to) use carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose."

American men and women are being sent into Iraq for no other purpose, than to cover Bush's rear, so that he can continue the war, and hand it over to his successor. They are being sent without proper armor protection, and without adequate training. If this callous disregard for the safety and well-being of our troops isn't "waste," I don't know what is...

The word "sacrifice" is yet another attempt by the right to smear lipstick on the grotesque pig that is the war in Iraq. It is a rhetorical bandaid- an empty, meaningless affectation that the pro-war minority uses to make their reckless, callous disregard for our men and women in uniform sound patriotic and gallant.

I have used the word "sacrifice", in times past- but no more. These thousands of american lives were wasted- there's no other way to put it.

It is essential that the democratic party- and particularly those democrats running for president- stop letting Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, and Matt Drudge dictate what language they use. Words, after all, are powerful things, and when we permit these charlatans- these representatives of a tiny minority of the american people- to frame the debate, they're given a power far beyond that which they deserve.

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