05 August 2005

Cogent Observations on War

Rosemary Palmer and Paul Schroeder, "parents of Lance Corporal Edward Schroeder, who was among the 14 Marines who lost their lives in yesterday's [August 3] attack in Iraq," spoke with Hardball's Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS: Rosemary, let me ask you about the—what is your feeling about this war and the goal of trying to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people? And do you think that was a smart thing for us to try to do?

PALMER: It was a very naive thing for us to do.

You don't go to another culture and try to impose yours and expect it to work. We're not Iraqis. We don't have the same culture. And while I understand that we're a multicultural nation, we don't act like it sometimes. We act like the whole world thinks exactly the way we do...

Since it is not working, then we have to make a change, that it is not worth the sacrifice if it is just more bodies on to the heap. Like President Bush said, he wanted to stay the course and honor the memory of the ones who died by continuing to fight. If it didn't work before, why does fighting more—you know, you do the same thing over and over, that's—expecting a different result is, I think, the explanation of insanity.

MATTHEWS: Do you have a sense, because of your son's tremendous, permanent, total sacrifice of his life and his experience in these months fighting this war, that the middle-level officers, the majors, the captains, do they have a sense of a clear vision of what they're getting done over there?

SCHROEDER: I can't speak to those fellows. I have great respect for the Marine officers at that level and the sergeants who made these troops, great respect. I would tell you that they probably are frustrated, just like a lot of the ground troops, the lance corporals and the privates are. I would say that one thing that we have to make crystal clear, which is why we agreed to talk today, is that there is a—you cannot equate. There is a clear difference between supporting the troops on the ground and supporting the policies that put them there.

The president likes to make those—to equate those two things. If you don't support the war, you don't support the troops. And too many American people are buying into that. I don't buy into that. Rosemary doesn't buy into that. It is time that we say, look, we can support the troops all until the cows come home. We don't support the policies that put them there.

(Seen at Crooks and Liars)
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