My brother is in the Army National Guard and I hope no President ever uses him for a prop for their photo-ops.


(from Crooks and Liars)

Generals To Bush: “Soldiers Not Props”

I have all sorts of snarky things to say about this, mostly on the plane that all soldiers have ever been to Bush are props, but I think these pictures say it better:

bush-soldiers.jpg bushteleconferencewire.jpg

Chicago Tribune (thanks to all the C&Lers who sent this link)

A trio of retired generals concerned that President Bush might use his scheduled appearance this afternoon at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center to try and score political points against Democrats, urged the president, via a teleconference with reporters, to focus strictly on the problems with military medical care.

The generals were spurred into action by news reports that suggested the president might use the event to take on Democrats as both sides clash over the Iraq and Afghanistan spending bills just passed by the Senate and House which include timelines Bush fiercely opposes for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.

Some of the pointiest of comments came from retired Army Major Gen. Paul Eaton [..]:

I’m equally happy, Gen. Garde is on target, that the president is going to visit our wounded soldiers. I’m convinced that he would honor them more if he would refrain from using soldiers as props in political theater.

We have a commander-in-chief who does very well when he is unscripted, unrehearsed and engaging with soldiers. But too often those who handle his performances try to turn the American fighting man and woman into a political prop for the scenery.

So I would be very happy to see him do the Water Reed visit more like the commander and secondarily as an inspector general instead of as a politician. The inspector general in the U.S. army is the fellow charged with ferreting out problems such as Walter Reed and delivering the nature of the problem to the commander. So it is best that the commander in chief pursue this visit to Walter Reed as commander in fact of the American fighting man and the American fighting woman.

All I can say to Gen. Eaton: Well done, sir.

President Bush eating with soldiers

President Bush with wounded soldiers

President Bush with soldiers