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Report of Cheney's visit to Caserme Ederle, Vicenza, Italy today

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lebkuchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-04 01:13 PM
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Report of Cheney's visit to Caserme Ederle, Vicenza, Italy today
This afternoon on Armed Forces Radio I listened to Dick Cheney reenlist four soldiers at Caserme Ederle, Vicenza, Italy, home of the 173d Airborne Brigade.

He also pinned on purple hearts to two soldiers who were wounded during Operation Iraqi Freedom. I believe they were with the 4ID, which is about to redeploy out of Iraq. There was mention made of the number of casualties suffered by the 173d Airborne in Iraq so far, around 60, I think. According to the 173ds webpage, theyve had nine KIAs.

When Cheney walked into the auditorium, the theme song from "Rocky" was being played. His wife and daughter were with him. His wife was introduced as a historian and writer of children's books (the childrens book is a jingoistic rant about patriotism.)

Cheney gave a speech, saying, We will honor those who have lost their lives during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and we won't forget their names (I wonder why, then, he won't allow the media to film the caskets being taken off the planes. That seems rather impersonal.)

During his speech, he said that after 9-11, everything had changed, and we had to strike at the center of terrorist organizations before we were forced to deal with them in our own streets (he is still fixated on a link between 9-11 and Saddam Hussein).

He said the Taliban were gone forever, that Afghanistan was being rebuilt, and that the Afghanis lived in peace and freedom as a result of the armed forces' success in striking at this terrorist center (no mention of the bumper crop of opium, not to mention the warlords who rule the roost).

He said that Italy has been a great ally (implying that France and Germany have not been).

He mentioned the capture of Saddam (applause line).

Of the four soldiers hed reenlisted, one was from Romania (an indication of the depth to which the DoD has to dig into other countries' human resources to fill US mercenary ranks), one was working in Account and Financing, one was working at Armed Forces Network, and the other was an MP. The above positions are desireable, especially considering the location, with the unlikelihood of having to deploy (except, perhaps, the MP). Why not reenlist a guy stationed in the Sunni Triangle whose MOS has been stop-lossd, and really make an impression?

This event was broadcast throughout Armed Forces Radio, giving Cheney lots of exposure to promote reenlistments, which the DoD sorely needs. He also promoted Bush, whose own photo-oping w/troops has worn thin as shown by the letter complaints printed in "Stars and Stripes.

This was Cheneys second visit overseas since the election and his first visit to a cemetary dedicated to the allies landing in WWII. Armed Forces Networks evening news program just showed Cheney in slo-mo, placing a bouquet at the tombstone of an American soldier, with background commentary reporting Cheney wasnt in Italy for photo-ops (those negative Bush letters must have struck a nerve), but to commemorate the fallen (I wonder if he will be honoring our many recently wounded at Landstuhl military hospital in Germany, with a personal visit.)

It sounded like Cheney got a decent applause from what I could hear on the radio, with some whistling and hooting in the background (AFN only showed about 30 seconds of it, five minutes dedicated to Cheney at the cemetary of the fallen). Hes redeploying the 173d to Iraq in April. Cheney got five military deferments to keep himself out of VietNam. I wonder if anybody in the audience was asking themselves, Why do we support this guy?

According to AFN, the event appeared to be last minute, quick notice, but it was actually planned and coordinated three months in advance. Perhaps well find out who was allowed to attend the event and who wasnt. Its unlikely the Bushies left anything to chance.

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lebkuchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-28-04 12:31 AM
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Edited on Wed Jan-28-04 12:32 AM by lebkuchen

Photo of Mrs. Cheney, touting her "patriotism" book to military children in Vicenza, Italy, 27 January, 04.

Mrs. Cheney,

The children of military deployed to Iraq, indeed, a brigade that has already suffered many deaths and casualties, with another deployment pending, have more to think about than your book and "patriotism," especially on a day when six more of our soldiers had been killed, and who knows how many more wounded.

If you want "patriotism," why not get your husband to release his iron-clad fist around his rule prohibiting the media from filming flag-draped caskets coming off the cargo planes, and refrain from indoctrinating our soldiers' children, who mean nothing more to you than cannon fodder coming down the pike. Your brand of "patriotism" isn't going to see their families through the absense of a parent for reasons they can't understand.

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