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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Limits of Civil Speech, Part 1 of ??

"I swore to myself that I would not let them down. They sacrificed and gave to me something that I could never repay; freedom."

- Staff Sergeant Joe Goodrich in an email to his wife from Iraq

I know that the blogosphere, Fox, et al, have beat this one to death, but...
I didn't learn of it until yesterday and just feel an urgent need to waste some invective on the moonbat Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, Catherine Baker Knoll, who showed up uninvited to the funeral of a Marine who was killed defending his country and its ideals. She passed out cards, introduced herself to family members, pandered for votes a bit, and then, to quote the Pittsburg Post-Gazette,

Knoll said, 'I want you to know our government is against this war.'"

The family, as you can imagine, was aghast:

"Our family deserves an apology," Rhonda Goodrich said. "Here you have a soldier who was killed -- dying for his country -- in a church full of grieving family members and she shows up uninvited. It made a mockery of Joey's death."

For the first two days following, Knoll "could not be reached for comment." An aide issued a statement that said,

"The family members of fallen soldiers are in our hearts and prayers. Our prayers go out to their loved ones in their hour of grief."

Asked to comment on Goodrich's complaints about Knoll's conduct at the funeral, the aide said that "would be inappropriate."

No apology, just standard liberal grief-mongering. She felt their pain. The family then contacted the Governor and demanded an apology, which he gave, but only grudgingly:

"It's not the business of state government to support the war, but our state supports the men and women who are fighting this war," Rendell said during an appearance in Mt. Washington.

In other words, he only spoke of it when asked by the press and made it clear that his Democratic administration opposed its own national government's conduct of the war. May I presume that he and his lieutenant were elected on a states' rights platform?

Under whithering pressure over the next several days from press and protesters, the governor forced Knoll to write a letter of apology to the family:

Sergeant Goodrich’s service was beyond the call of duty. If my regard for his family’s grief was seen another way, it is thoroughly regrettable. The fact that you have been offended deserves and receives my most profound apology.

I will continue to support our troops in my role as Lt. Governor and support our President as an American. That I somehow conveyed an impression that was interpreted as other than that will forever be saddening and upsetting to me.

Classic! Typical lefty weasel-words, worthy of Turban Durbin himself! Note the passive voice: "it is regrettable...receives my most profound apology...was interpreted as...will forever be saddening..." I hope I use words as carefully in writing military doctrine!

Close reading shows that Knoll is not actually apologizing; she is blaming her audience for interpreting her words wrongly. It was their fault! Never does she say simply, "I'm sorry...I regret...I spoke wrongly..." She comes close twice, but never quite gets there.

This is so typical of the leftist mentality. These types have no lives outside of their political identities (or other public poses); admitting outright they are wrong is the equivalent of a Christian being asked to publically denounce Christ.

Michelle Malkin is absolutely right: This is not good enough. We need a good, publicly humiliating bootlicking from both her and her master if they expect to survive this.

Meanwhile, closer to ground, incidents directed against the families of soldiers are on the increase:

American flags, lining the lawn of the mother- and father-in-law of fallen U.S. Army Pfc. Timothy Hines Jr., were heaped in a pile early Saturday and burned under a car parked in front of the home - less than 24 hours after Hines was buried in Cincinnati's Spring Grove Cemetery.

The flames totaled Sara Wessel's car.

Hines, 21, was buried Friday after more than 400 people mourned his passing and celebrated his life at the Vineyard Community Church in Springdale. He was buried with full military honors, leaving behind a pregnant widow who expects to give birth in about two weeks and a 2-year-old daughter.

Hines died last week from injuries suffered when a roadside bomb exploded June 19 in Baghdad.

The 20 flags were replaced with more than 200 by Saturday afternoon. The flags came from family, friends and neighbors.

"We have a great neighborhood," Wessel said.

Cap'n Ed summarizes things admirably:

This doesn't constitute protest or political speech; it reflects madness. America-haters have come unhinged. When displaying our country's flag makes a dead soldier's family a target for political violence -- and there seems to be little doubt of the nature of this attack -- something terrible has gone wrong with the Left.

Quite right. This type of thing goes far beyond anything crazy the right did during Clinton's Time of Troubles or the 2000 election. Unfortunately, I believe the left is showing its true colors now. We will see more, not less, of this kind of thing in American public discourse as "all the poison that lurks in the mud hatches out."

Unfortunately for the left, we in the "silent majority" will not remain silent this time around (like we did the first time around, during Vietnam). If this sort of thing does continue, many on the left will live to regret it.

That's not a threat...that's a promise.


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