Quote of the day, from Paul Rieckhoff on Hardball:
"Our troops are not political props, and they aren't chew toys".
Remember that Rieckhoff is an Iraq War vet, and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. He was responding to the GWBush speech today to the VFW, and also to Ari Fleischer's (R-Warmonger) new war porn group.
Here's from the IAVA response to the speech:
“President Bush failed to adequately address many of the urgent issues facing veterans today. The last thing these veterans needed was a history lesson. They remember America’s wars because they actually fought them. Instead of making references to previous conflicts, we need the President to take more seriously the myriad of issues facing veterans and their families right now. There were glaring omissions in his remarks, including answering who will replace Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson when he steps down in October,” said Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA Executive Director. “Instead of offering a history lesson, President Bush should be specific about taking immediate action on the recommendations of the Dole-Shalala Commission to fix the deplorable conditions and poor care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. These are matters of life and death for America’s newest generation of veterans, but on these critical issues, President Bush came up short.”
IAVA Director of Government Affairs, Todd Bowers, attended President Bush’s address to the VFW. “While IAVA commends the Veterans of Foreign Wars for hosting such an important gathering, we were disappointed by what President Bush said, and more importantly, did not say this morning. It’s critical that President Bush place a higher priority on implementing the recommendations of the Dole-Shalala Commission to ensure that veterans receive the honor and care they deserve.”
Here's more about Ari's new play date club:
Beginning today, Freedom’s Watch, a new right-wing front group for the White House, “will unveil a month-long, $15 million television, radio and grass-roots campaign” to pressure Congress to continue supporting President Bush’s disastrous Iraq strategy. The group, which is “funded by high-profile Republicans who were aides and supporters of President Bush,” is headed by a familiar face from the Bush war effort: former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer.
Swell. As usual, zombies are those who don't have the good sense to quietly go off and die.
Update: via email from Paul Rieckhoff:
Great blog. Thanks for running that quote and for supporting our work.
Also, here's another from Think Progress wherein Paul rebuts Ari.