Brandon Friedman at VetVoice notes that for its "Pledge of Allegiance video" on Tuesday night, the Republican National Convention used stock footage of a staged military funeral, along with actors - fake soldiers and a staged military funeral instead of the real thing.
The issue here isn't that the RNC used actors in what might have been a haste. Rather, the underlying problem is that Bush and McCain supporters don't like to deal with the messy reality of warfare that genuine troops bring to the table. That is, they feel compelled to stage a funeral with actors. Because to show a real military funeral--with the heaving chests of a broken family clutching a flag-draped coffin containing the pieces of their dead soldier--might just make the funny hat-clad, stupid button-wearing audience blanch. And that doesn't make for good TV. Plus, people just wouldn't go for it. So they use sanitized actors.
But this is an insult to the military. The use of actors shows an unwillingness to face up to what they've done--to the military and to the nation. And it shows that the only way to keep up support for the war is to hide its reality from the American people.
If I said that something like this surprised me, though, I'd be lying. But then, this is also why troops overseas are donating to Obama at a six to one rate over McCain. They're tired of being treated like this.
I'd add that its another example of the glorification of war - something that can only be done by sanitizing it - that McCain says he hates but that Republicans indulge in at every turn. Even some on the Right have previously noted McCain's love for warmongering.
Meanwhile, the wars that Bush involved America in continue to take their toll. Army leaders said today that soldier suicides this year could surpass the record rate of last year and attributed the increase directly to a force strained by two wars.
As of the end of August, there were 62 confirmed suicides amongand Guard and Reserve troops called to active duty, officials said. Another 31 deaths appear to be suicides but are still being investigated.
If all are confirmed, that means that the number for 2008 could eclipse the 115 of last year — and the rate per 100,000 could surpass that of the civilian population, Col. Eddie Stephens, deputy director of human resources policy, said at a.
With Richard Holbrooke warning that, because of Republican incompetence, Afghanistan is shaping to be a 'long war' which will outlast even Vietnam's 14-year term, we can see clearly where a McCain-Palin administration would lead - and it isn't a glorious future unless the thousands of dead, crippled and grieving are to be played by actors too. It bears repeating - in the first four days of the Republican convention, Afghanistan didn't rate a single mention. That's shameful.
Crossposted from Newshoggers