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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Death Benefit

It looks as if the death benefit paid to the beneficiaries of military killed in action will be raised from $20,000 to $100,000. In a combat situation like Iraq it will be $250,000. While that will amount to about $1.25 per US citizen for the current number of US deaths in Iraq, I fully support it. The American military is made up of some of the best family men in the country. Many have young wives and young children at home who depend on their support. If they can't be there, they should be able to leave sufficient compensation to keep their families above water.

At the same time, there is a movement (hopefully shrinking) to pull military forces out immediately. The latest argument for this is disturbing. US personnel are being described as a target for violence and a focus for insurgents. The conclusion is that moving them out of Iraq will somehow prove that America has no ulterior designs on taking over the country. This seems to be the unfortunate influence of an international community that seeks to insulate themselves and treat terrorist evil as a law enforcement issue.

This is also the convoluted logic of supporting the troops by keeping them out of any armed conflict. This is the dichotomy of claiming that Bush didn't prepare the troops with enough equipment then tying his hands with the drumbeat of a $200 billion Iraq war tab. This is the ridiculous notion that painting American service people as thugs and torturers is going to help bring them home faster.

I would submit that the anti-war crowd does not like the military. Not just Rumsfeld, but the generals and the officers and the enlisted soldiers who go where they're told. They use American deaths to prop up their argument. They cheer when they're able to convince some marine to ask a newsmedia question while regarding that man as some sort of meat puppet. And they put up a mosiac on their websites of Americans killed in action forming the face of George Bush when he wins the presidential election. I wouldn't be surprised if one stood on a fallen soldier's casket to be more easily seen at an anti-war rally.


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