The anti-war Left couldn't wait for the death of the 2,000th soldier in Iraq. Peace activists have been gearing up for protests, vigils, and other events this week to mark the completely bogus milestone. Why 2,000? Was the 2nd or 555th or 1,678th death not as worth mourning as any other death with nice round numbers?
Cindy Sheehan barely contained her macabre lust for the spotlight in preparation for the artificially constructed, media-hyped occasion. "I'm going to go to Washington, D.C., and I'm going to give a speech at the White House, and after I do, I'm going to tie myself to the fence and refuse to leave until they agree to bring our troops home," Sheehan told a reporter last week as the death count neared her lottery number pick.
"And I'll probably get arrested, and when I get out, I'll go back and do the same thing," she vowed.
This time, Sheehan's public relations team would be wise to make sure she tries not to look like she's having so much fun. The carnival-like atmosphere that surrounded her arrest at the White House last month did little to convince military families that Sheehan and her pink lingerie-clad Bush-bashing brigade have the troops' best interest at heart.
Those "911 was an inside job" and "Castrate Cheney" signs didn't help much either.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, director of the force's combined press center, is pushing back against the inevitable media tide. He deserves our support. In an e-mail to the press that should be disseminated far and wide, he properly challenged the anti-war movement's number as a phony excuse to protest.
"I ask that when you report on the events, take a moment to think about the effects on the families and those serving in Iraq," Boylan wrote on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press (which has been among Sheehan's most ardent sycophants). "The 2,000 service members killed in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom is not a milestone. It is an artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives."
Indeed. These are people, remember, who liken Iraqi terrorists to America's Minutemen during the Revolutionary War.
Who oppose not only the war in Iraq, but also the invasion of Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Who believe the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and at Shanksville, Pa., were a Bush conspiracy with Israel and/or Saudi Arabia.
Who applaud when left-wing professor Ward Churchill gloats about "chickens coming home to roost" and suggests that the peace movement should support the fragging of American troops.
Who use the names and images of dead American soldiers against their families' wishes to propagate anti-Bush hatred.
Who believe Saddam Hussein should be freed and Guantanamo Bay emptied.
Who carry around banners that proclaim "WE SUPPORT OUR TROOPS WHEN THEY SHOOT THEIR OFFICERS."
Lt. Col. Boylan reminded the media that "the 2,000th Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine that is killed in action is just as important as the first that died and will be just as important as the last to die in this war against terrorism and to ensure freedom for a people who have not known freedom in over two generations." He advised journalists to pay as much attention to the true milestones in the war -- including the momentous events of Iraqis voting, training for the police and security forces, and joining the new government.
"Celebrate the daily milestones, the accomplishments they have secured and look to the future of a free and democratic Iraq and to the day that all of our troops return home to the heroes welcome they deserve," Boylan urged.
For the "peace activists" who hate the president with far more energy than they could ever muster in genuine support of our troops, this simple request to appreciate the fruits of hard-fought freedom is too much to ask. And too much for them to bear.