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V for Vanity

'I'm So Sorry'

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V for Vanity

Aug. 22- The grieving room was arranged like a doctor's office. The families and loved ones of 33 soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan were summoned to a large waiting area at Fort Bragg, N.C. For three hours, they were rotated through five private rooms, where they met with President George W. Bush, accompanied by two Secret Service men and a photographer. Because the walls were thin, the families awaiting their turn could hear the crying inside.

President Bush was wearing "a huge smile," but his eyes were red and he looked drained by the time he got to the last widow, Crystal Owen, a third-grade schoolteacher who had lost her husband in Iraq. "Tell me about Mike," he said immediately. "I don't want my husband's death to be in vain," she told him. The president apologized repeatedly for her husband's death. When Owen began to cry, Bush grabbed her hands. "Don't worry, don't worry," he said, though his choking voice suggested that he had worries of his own. The president and the widow hugged. "It felt like he could have been my dad," Owen recalled to NEWSWEEK. "It was like we were old friends. It almost makes me sad. In a way, I wish he weren't the president, just so I could talk to him all the time."

Bush likes to play the resolute War Leader, and he has never been known for admitting mistakes or regret. But that does not mean that he is free of doubt. For the past three years, Bush has been living in two worlds—unwavering and confident in public, but sometimes stricken in private. Bush's meetings with widows like Crystal Owen offer a rare look inside that inner, private world.

Last week, at his ranch in Texas, he took his usual line on Iraq, telling reporters that the United States would not pull out its troops until Iraq was able to defend itself. While he said he "sympathized" with Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, he refused to visit her peace vigil, set up in a tent in a drainage ditch outside the ranch, and sent two of his aides to talk to her instead.

Privately, Bush has met with about 900 family members of some 270 soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. The conversations are closed to the press, and Bush does not like to talk about what goes on in these grieving sessions, though there have been hints. An hour after he met with the families at Fort Bragg in June, he gave a hard-line speech on national TV. When he mentioned the sacrifice of military families, his lips visibly quivered.

All war presidents find ways to deal with the strain of sending soldiers off to die. During the Vietnam War, LBJ used to pray after midnight with Roman Catholic monks. Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, prayed with the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church on the eve of the first gulf war. For George W. Bush, these private audiences with the families of dead soldiers and Marines seem to be an outlet of sorts. (They are perhaps harder for Laura, who sometimes accompanies Bush and looks devastated afterward.) Family members interviewed by NEWSWEEK say they have been taken aback by the president's emotionalism and his sincerity. More complicated is the question of whether Bush's suffering is essentially sympathetic, or whether he is agonizing over the war that he chose to start.

Bush routinely asks to see the families of the fallen when he visits military bases, which he does about 10 times a year. It does not appear that the White House or the military makes any effort to screen out dissenters or embittered families, though some families decline the invitation to meet with Bush. Most families encourage the president to stay the course in Iraq. "To oppose something my husband lost his life for would be a betrayal," says Inge Colton, whose husband, Shane, died in April 2004 when his Apache helicopter was shot down over Baghdad. Bush does, however, hear plenty of complaints. He has been asked about missing medals on the returned uniform of a loved one, about financial assistance for a child going to college and about how soldiers really died when the Pentagon claimed the details were classified.

At her meeting with the president at Fort Hood, Texas, last spring, Colton says she lit into Bush for "stingy" military benefits. Her complaints caught Bush "a little off guard," she recalls. "He tried to argue with me a little bit, but he promised he would have someone look into it." The next day she got a call from White House chief of staff Andrew Card, who said the White House would follow up. "My main goal was to have him look at my son, look him in the eyes and apologize," says Colton. "I wanted him to know, to really understand who he has hurt." She says Bush was "attentive, though not in a fake way," and sometimes at a loss for words. "He didn't try to overcompensate," she says.

The most telling—and moving—picture of Bush grieving with the families of the dead was provided by Rachel Ascione, who met with him last summer. Her older brother, Ron Payne, was a Marine who had been killed in Afghanistan only a few weeks before Ascione was invited to meet with Bush at MacDill Air Force Base, near Tampa, Fla.

Ascione wasn't sure she could restrain herself with the president. She was feeling "raw." "I wanted him to look me in the eye and tell me why my brother was never coming back, and I wanted him to know it was his fault that my heart was broken," she recalls. The president was coming to Florida, a key swing state, in the middle of his re-election campaign. Ascione was worried that her family would be "exploited" by a "phony effort to make good with people in order to get votes."

Ascione and her family were gathered with 18 other families in a large room on the air base. The president entered with some Secret Service agents, a military entourage and a White House photographer. "I'm here for you, and I will take as much time as you need," Bush said. He began moving from family to family. Ascione watched as mothers confronted him: "How could you let this happen? Why is my son gone?" one asked. Ascione couldn't hear his answer, but soon "she began to sob, and he began crying, too. And then he just hugged her tight, and they cried together for what seemed like forever."

Ascione's family was one of the last Bush approached. Ascione still planned to confront him, but Bush disarmed her in an almost uncanny way. Ascione is just over five feet; her late brother was 6 feet 7. "My whole life, he used to put his hand on the top of my head and just hold it there, and it drove me crazy," she says. When Bush saw that she was crying, he leaned over and put his hand on the top of her head and drew her to him. "It was just like my brother used to do," she says, beginning to cry at the memory.

Before Bush left the meeting, he paused in the middle of the room and said to the families, "I will never feel the same level of pain and loss you do. I didn't lose anyone close to me, a member of my family or someone that I love. But I want you to know that I didn't go into this lightly. This was a decision that I struggle with every day."

As he spoke, Ascione could see the grief rising through the president's body. His shoulder slumped and his face turned ashen. He began to cry and his voice choked. He paused, tried to regain his composure and looked around the room. "I am sorry, I'm so sorry," he said.

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I've never seen this side of him..

Source:Michelle Malkin

Added link to source.. Because of copyright issues we have to remeber to include a link to the original story.

Edited by Kismit

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bathory

in a way i think its good both the media and the whitehouse don't whore this image of the president out

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V for Vanity

Nobody can...nobodys seen this side of the President...I almost had tears in my eyes reading that article myself. It's nice to know we have a President who really cares about the soldiers and their family.

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Celumnaz

common knowledge among those that pay attention, it'll just get ignored in the "mainstream" lefty media.

btw hehe... What's the source of this?

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Talon
common knowledge among those that pay attention, it'll just get ignored in the "mainstream" lefty media.

I really don't get why you keep saying media outlets are left-wing. huh.gif You obviously don't understand what left-wing means. Left-wing is an economic ideology which revolves around society standing up for the poor, as opposed to the right which is letting the rich walk over the poor.

The most powerful media outlets will be contolled by media tycoons, i.e. people with more money than they know what to do with, which means they'll be right-wing. The fact you can claim its left-wing at all I think says something more about your own lack of understanding of basic politics, and who's in chrage of your most wtached News channel and local papers that anything else.

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Celumnaz
I really don't get why you keep saying media outlets are left-wing. huh.gif

Because of the reporters and editors.

The Next Conservatism: The Danger of the Ideological State

Paul Weyrich

Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2005

If there is one clear lesson from the 20th century, it is that all ideologies are dangerous.

As Russell Kirk wrote, conservatism is not an ideology, it is the negation of ideology. Conservatism values what has grown up over time, over many generations, in the form of traditions, customs and habits.

Ideology, in contrast, says that on the basis of such-and-such a philosophy, certain things must be true. When reality contradicts that deduction, reality must be suppressed. And when an ideology takes over a state, the power of the state is used to accomplish that suppression. The state's citizens are forced to mouth lies.

One of the new facts the next conservatism must address is the fact that America, for the first time in its history, has become an ideological state.

The ideology commonly known as "political correctness" or "multiculturalism" now shapes the actions of government in thousands of ways. Under the rubric of "hate crimes," it sentences American citizens to additional time in jail for political thoughts. As "affirmative action," it "privileges" women, blacks and homosexuals over heterosexual white males.

In some cases, it requires private businesses to give their employees "sensitivity training," psychological conditioning in obedience to the state ideology, including its demand that everyone express approval of homosexuality. Employees who demur lose their jobs.

It is ironic that after the catastrophic failure of ideologies in the 20th century in Russia, Germany, Italy and many other countries, America should now head down the same road.

How did it happen? While conservatives slept, ideology crept in on little cat feet, taking over all our cultural institutions, just as Gramsci demanded in his "long march." As I have said before, culture is more powerful than politics.

What should the next conservatism do about it? First, it needs to reveal this ideology for what it is. In terms of its historical origins and basic nature, it is Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms.

The translation was undertaken largely by the unorthodox Marxists of the Frankfurt School – Horkheimer, Adorno, Fromm, Reich and Marcuse, to name the most important players. Contrary to Marx, they said that the culture is not just part of society's "superstructure," but an independent and very important variable.

They concluded that for Communism to be possible in the West, traditional Western culture and the Christian religion first had to be destroyed – a destruction to be accomplished by "critical theory" and "studies in prejudice," to use their terms.

Most important, they realized they could not destroy our historic culture through philosophical arguments. They turned instead to a much more powerful weapon, psychological conditioning, in effect crossing Marx with Freud.

Marcuse then injected the whole poisonous brew into the baby boom generation in the 1960s. The result? A brilliant success for them: America now has a Marxist ideology, not the Marxism of the Soviet Union but cultural Marxism, imbedded in and supported by the power of the state.

The next conservatism needs to shout from the housetops: "People, here's what this stuff really is! It's not about 'being nice' or 'toleration.' It's about destroying our culture and our religion, and it is succeeding!"

Then, when we have the American people behind us, which we will once they learn the real nature of "PC," we need to comb through every law, every government regulation, every federal office and department and weed the cultural Marxism out. The goal should not be to replace it with any ideology of our own – again, if we are real conservatives, we don't have one – but to restore a non-ideological American state, which is what we had up until the wretched 1960s.

Cultural Marxism is a particularly nasty ideology, as we see all around us in its products (just turn on the television; the cultural Marxists took over Hollywood decades ago). But all ideology is wrong, because the concept of ideology is wrong in itself. Society cannot be made to fit some abstract scheme dreamed up by this or that thinker, and attempts to make it do so always result in disaster.

To see the truth, all we need to do is compare most aspects of life in America in the 1950s, our last non-ideological decade, with life now. The next conservatism should work to get our old country back.

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2...15/150707.shtml

Edited by Celumnaz

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bathory

MSNBC: Source

This is the source as far as i know

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Talon
Because of the reporters and editors.

Who are hired and fired by capitalist media tycoons.

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Celumnaz

I see ya missed the part about culture in the referenced article.

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V for Vanity

The source is from MSN

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Conspiracy
Nobody can...nobodys seen this side of the President...I almost had tears in my eyes reading that article myself. It's nice to know we have a President who really cares about the soldiers and their family.

792600[/snapback]

if he cared he wouldnt be sending them to thier deaths but thats just my opinion

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V for Vanity

Are you saying that he doesn't care then? He's not sending them to their deaths he's sending them to fight for America. If they die they die for our country.

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iaapac

"Are you saying that he doesn't care then? He's not sending them to their deaths he's sending them to fight for America. If they die they die for our country."

Hmmm . . . .

Terrorists from Iraq crashed into the World Trade Towers? Maybe it was all those arms of mass destruction that caused the U.S. to invade Iraq, 'eh? Or maybe it was the ties to bin Laden that have never been discovered or proven.

Oh, the terrorists crashing into the WTC were from Saudi Arabia??? I see. So I assume the U.S. has also invaded Saudi, right? No??

Oh . . . it all makes sense now.

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V for Vanity

Yea but guess what caused us to invade Iraq from the first place, despite the oil.

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morpheas

-Post removed-

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Celumnaz

Like... the ones that fled Afghanistan went to Iraq for safe haven?

There's probably over two dozen Good reasons.

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morpheas

-Post removed-

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iaapac

Does anyone think that it might be remotely possible that Bush simply wanted Hussein because " . . .he tried to kill my daddy." But in the meantime the Bush clan is enjoying oil at $65.00 a barrel and has not one damned interest at what you pay at the pump.

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morpheas

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Celumnaz
shucks, i waiting....... for 'misspirate' to answer sad.gif

Doh sorry. crying.gif She can still answer. Sorry Misspirate!

There's probably over two dozen Good reasons.

yeh they just keep changing, lets not forget, bushy baby had to make daddy proud, that has to score highly as a good reason yes.gif

793661[/snapback]

I guess. I wouldn't call that a good reason, but the leftys and peaceniks seem to think so. Guess that's how their minds work.

Does anyone think that it might be remotely possible that Bush simply wanted Hussein because " . . .he tried to kill my daddy."  But in the meantime the Bush clan is enjoying oil at $65.00 a barrel and has not one damned interest at what you pay at the pump.

793671[/snapback]

Blame the high prices on the Liberal side of things. Talked about elsewhere on this site. Can't produce our own. Not Bush's fault. Only need to go far back as Clinton, but Carter sure mucked things up too.

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Babs

This is the real Bush. It is real hard to do what he does and it is draining to him, personally, but he does all this with the families and is still committed to his decision to go to war.

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Kismit

As always my sympathy goes out to the soldiers the civilians the families of those effected by War. It does not however go out to a grown man who only now seems to be getting to grips with the effect his choices have had on people.

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__Kratos__

Anybody notice the date of Aug. 22 on the story? From last year already... blink.gif

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Kismit

Nope Kratos, I didn't notice blush.gif then all I can say is when was the election held?

I'm sure this story wasn't some ploy for the liberal vote, surely not.

Edited by Kismit

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bathory
Does anyone think that it might be remotely possible that Bush simply wanted Hussein because " . . .he tried to kill my daddy." But in the meantime the Bush clan is enjoying oil at $65.00 a barrel and has not one damned interest at what you pay at the pump.

the Iraq war has had zero effect on the price of oil, so please don't comment on things you obviously have no idea about.

Anybody notice the date of Aug. 22 on the story? From last year already...

eh? where abouts is that? are you talking about when one of the meetings occured?

Edited by bathory

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