No matter what your views are on the war in Iraq, most people can recognize the bravery and honor of our men and women in uniform.
They have sacrificed so much for our country, and we owe them our deepest respect and gratitude. Unfortunately, our troops are caught in the middle of the latest witch hunt by Democrats in Congress.
On September 21, 2007 the Department of Veteran Affairs released an update from Operation Stolen Valor, which investigates and prosecutes those who lie about their military records for financial gain or other reasons.
In the press release, they announced the sentencing of (among others) Jesse MacBeth from Tacoma, WA.
Macbeth received five months in prison for untruthfully claiming he was a Corporal Army Ranger who served in Iraq. He later sought medical benefits from the government.
In a video that circulated the Internet, Macbeth claimed to have been ordered to commit unthinkable war atrocities, including the slaughter of over 200 civilians by his hands alone.
After an investigation, it was found that Macbeth was never a Ranger and has never set foot in Iraq. In reality, Macbeth was booted from basic training after about 40 days for being unfit for duty, as noted by U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Sullivan.
So what does this have to do with anything?
Last Thursday, America’s Anchorman Rush Limbaugh was talking with a caller on his radio show when they discussed Macbeth’s case. In that conversation, Limbaugh referred to the people with falsified military records as “phony soldiers.”
Taking his comments out of context, the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America group claimed Rush said that any soldier that opposes the war in Iraq is a “phony soldier.”
But the fun didn’t stop there.
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) chastised Rush on the floor of the Senate.
Reid claimed Limbaugh “call[ed] our men and women in uniform who oppose the war in Iraq, and I quote, ‘phony soldiers.'” He later went on to say, “Rush Limbaugh took it upon himself to attack the courage and character of those fighting and dying for him and for all of us.”
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Democrats have been the ones attacking the courage and character of our troops.
It was Reid that said in April that the war is lost.
It was Chuck Schumer earlier this month that said U.S. troops are unable to protect Iraqis from Al-Qaeda.
It was Dick Durbin on June 14, 2005 who compared our troops to Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, and Pol Pot.
It was Jack Murtha that called our troops in Haditha murderers before any trial took place. Murtha never apologized to those soldiers after they were cleared of charges.
The old proverb of the pot calling the kettle black does this scenario no justice.
Instead of condemning a private citizen for things never said, Democrats should focus on helping the troops.
If they are so concerned about troops, they won’t hesitate in signing the upcoming war-funding bill from President Bush.
If they care so much, they will stop criticizing our men and women in uniform and let them do their jobs.
Nick Hemenway is a senior mechanical engineering major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.