Major E writes:
Happy Veteran’s Day, Powerline! Attached is a photo of a painting that hangs in our living room at home. “Heading Home” by Thomas Kinkade is a work he painted as a tribute to his father who served in World War II. I think it beautifully captures the spirit of Veteran’s Day.
When my wife and I saw it in a gallery in Carmel, California a few months ago I was heading back to Iraq the next day and as we looked at the painting, we both slowly started to realize that the light makes it so one cannot tell whether the ‘home’ to which the servicemember is being called is earthly or heavenly. It reminded me of the sacrifice that I have seen up close in Iraq and Afghanistan, and my eyes started to water right there in the gallery (if I were more secure in my masculinity, I would tell that I started crying so much that the lady working there had to bring me several Kleenex–but I am not, so I won’t.)
Anyway, my family and I appreciate what you do for those in uniform and hope you will keep up the good work.
On a different note, I went to the official Veteran’s Day ceremony in my hometown in Northern California this morning and the guest speaker was a retired military officer, let’s call him Colonel Jones, who happens to be running for congress in the district.
I found this hard to believe, but while he was speaking about supporting the troops one of his campaign operatives was handing out “Jones for Congress” brochures that said, among other things, “with this high security clearance he knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq…” and “Bush (and others) led us into the Iraq war based on lies and deception.”
I was stunned that anyone, let alone a military veteran who was a guest of honor, would use a Veteran’s Day ceremony as a chance to advance a partisan agenda. I e-mailed him and am interested to hear his response.
Anyway, since Colonel Jones was passing out literature saying these things, I would like to address those who argue that the administration used anything other than what the intelligence community told them about Iraq’s WMD programs. I served as a WMD analyst working directly with the national WMD experts at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory during the run-up to the Iraq War.
Based on that experience, I can assure you that the intelligence community told the Bush Administration that Saddam did indeed have active WMD programs. If people disagree with Bush’s policy and want to argue that we would be better off if Saddam’s tyranny still ruled the day and that the votes of the 10 million Iraqi Shia, Sunni, and Kurds who accepted a constitution for a new, democratic Iraq do not really mean that much after all then, fine, let’s debate that. But the “lies and deception” smear campaign against the President is completely without merit.
Well, Happy Veteran’s Day to all of your readers and thanks to them for all of the encouraging e-mails!
It is simply unbelievable to me that the Democrats are trying to rewrite the history of the Iraq war, while it is still in progress, in defiance of all known facts and of the first-hand testimony of men like Major E. It is a truly disgraceful performance.
UPDATE: Here is the photo of the painting that Major E sent: