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Fog of war blurs terrible truths

January 1, 2007

Before Cindy Sheehan comes to town and the eagles and the doves dump a heaping helping of Iraq crap on Chico, I’d like to squeeze in a few rational words.

There has been enough fact distortion on both sides that it’s easy to lose track or keep score of what’s going on. Score one for the Bush administration. They’ve managed to create a pea-soup fog around the reality that is the failure to take out terror.

You remember the War on Terror? Al-Qaida knocked down the towers in New York City, and we went to take them out, as well as the Taliban that were sponsoring them in Afghanistan.

It was a noble goal that former Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman decided he would fight for.

“A lot of my family has gone and fought in wars, and I really haven’t done a damn thing,” he said during a Sept. 11 interview.

Tillman fought bravely in Afghanistan, and we finished the job and caught Osama Bin Laden, and everything is just fine now.

At least that’s how it could have been had our president decided not to avenge his father and feed Dick Cheney’s pocketbook through Halliburton.

Instead, we split our hand and fought in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Now our military has been spread ridiculously thin, and Tillman died in a friendly fire accident because of it.

Had we dedicated our resources entirely to Afghanistan, perhaps Tillman would still be alive today. But that was three years ago, and it couldn’t be relevant today.

Except for the fact that documents and congressional testimony from soldiers on the field found that the cause of Tillman’s death was intentionally withheld, and in the information pipeline became a valiant tale where he died at the hands of enemy fire while trying to save some of his team members.

But that’s just small potatoes. It’s not like they didn’t bother telling his family about this before that made-up story was told many times in the press and at his nationally televised funeral.

Oh wait, it was.

This is the kind of distortion I hate. It’s one thing to lie about a few facts, but when you spill the blood of brave soldiers just so you can look better in the history books, that’s disgusting.

But people have lost the facts in the fog of stories with nut-job astronauts going on diaper-wearing rampages. It’s hard to keep track of reality when fantasy is constantly tugging on your attention span.

One of the few stories worth pulling our attention away from Iraq was the massacre at Virginia Tech. Thirty-three students died

April 16 and left tears across the nation.

If only we cared that much about our soldiers overseas. More than 3,300 soldiers, most of college age, have died in Iraq. This month alone has claimed more than 100 lives.

If there’s one thing we can learn from both Sept. 11 and Virginia Tech, it’s that one idiot with death on his mind is impossible to stop. What matters most is how you respond when they strike.

At Virginia Tech, 30 students could still be alive today if authorities acted properly after the first shootings. If we stuck to our guns in Afghanistan, 3,000 of our best and brightest could still be alive.