Saturday, May 27, 2006

Casualties of War

Christopher Hitchens has a Memorial Day-related column in Saturday's Wall Street Journal (subs. req'd; alt. free link) and while it generally sticks to a discussion of military memorials, good and bad, he couldn't resist a little spinning for Bush along the way:

Since all efforts at commemoration are bound to fall short, one must be on guard against any attempt at overstatement. In particular, one must resist efforts to ventriloquize the dead. To me, Cindy Sheehan's posthumous conscription of her son (who fell on Memorial Day) is as objectionable as Billy Graham's claim, at the National Cathedral, that all the dead of Sept. 11, 2001 were now in paradise. In the first instance, we have no reason to believe that young Casey Sheehan would ever have supported, and in the second instance we cannot be expected to believe that almost 3,000 New Yorkers all died in a state of grace.

If anyone is going to speak for Casey Sheehan, wouldn't it better that it be his mother than, say, Michelle Malkin -- "I can’t imagine that Casey Sheehan would approve of such behavior" (referring to his mother's anti-war activities)? And this weekend's official services are going to consist of lots of people from Bush on down ventriloquizing the dead, with references to the need to "honor their sacrifice" and how "they would have wanted us to complete the mission." But the only person Hitch can find to criticise is a person with the temerity to make George W. Bush look bad.

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