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IN MY OPINION . . .

A Brutally Frank Assessment on Memorial Day

(Note: A version of this piece was published in The Record on May 21, 2015)

How can we honor, on this Memorial Day, those servicemen and service women who fought and died by the thousands, or who were grievously wounded by the tens of thousands, in a war that most Americans now believe was a mistake? We can begin by not lying to them and their families. They did not die, and they were not maimed, physically and mentally, to protect our freedom or to safeguard our liberty. Our freedom and liberty were not threatened by Saddam Hussein; in fact, one could argue that his removal put the United States at greater risk, because it also meant the removal of a counterweight to Iran's hegemony in the region and its larger global ambitions. No, American lives were not spent for some noble purpose. They were put in harm's way by politicians who were too quick to choose war as the option of first rather than last resort; who failed to consider the unintended consequences of their actions; and who, to put it bluntly, screwed up royally. Read More 
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"Come home, America"

Okay, I'll admit it. In the 1972 presidential election, I voted for George McGovern over Richard Milhous "I'm-not-a-crook" Nixon. But it wasn't because of Watergate, which had barely invaded the national consciousness at the time.

Democratic nominee McGovern didn't get to make his acceptance speech at his party's National Convention that summer until the early morning hours, after most television viewers had gone to
bed. Consequently, few Americans heard one of the finest, most patriotic speeches ever delivered in a political campaign. Few Americans heard World War II-hero McGovern's stirring, eloquent plea, "Come home, America," in which he made the case for the United States to end its destructive, ill-conceived foray into Viet Nam and come home.  Read More 
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