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The Washington Post today has an article that proves that all politics is local, or at least personal. Seems that Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) met an Army captain in Iraq last December who was articulate and passionate in his views that U.S. troops were being overtaxed and overstressed in their missions in Iraq. He had the courage to tell them these things, and he was, you know, articulate, so no doubt they saw a little of themselves in him (or at least Kerry did, since he had something in common with him, disagreeing with the prosecution of a war that was wreaking havoc on the troops who were fighting for a cause that was no longer widely supported at home, etc).

Anyway, Brian Freeman was killed in Iraq a little more than a week ago, just after a short visit home to his (yes) 14-month old daughter and two-year-old son.

Senator Dodd, speaking about Freeman, said, “This was the kind of person you don’t forget,” strongly (but accidentally) implying that many of those other 3,000 dead, or 22,000 wounded — they are precisely the kind of persons one does forget. And that would seem to be the case, because, no matter how many times legislators make trips out to VA hospitals to see the troops that make it home, and no matter how many condolence letters their 22-year-old staffers forge their signatures on, and no matter how many funerals they show up to in their home districts and states, it’s precisely this point — that families other than their own are paying so dearly for this conflict — that Sen. Boxer (D-Calif.) was trying to make when she was toying with the Secretary of State a few weeks ago.

Senator Kerry also spoke up about Freeman, drawing the connection to his own past in explicit, if grammatically tortured terms.

“When I returned from war, almost 40 years ago now, I stood up and spoke from my heart and my gut about what I thought was wrong,” Kerry said on the Senate floor last week as he recounted his meeting with Freeman. “I asked the question in 1971: How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? . . . I never thought that I would be reliving the need to ask that question again.”

Ah, yes. “Reliving the need to ask that question again.” Making the first time he needed to ask that question again — what — a few years ago? So the first time he asked it was back in 1971, and then he relived it once in 2004 (but not very effectively), and now — even though he lost and the same President is persisting in the same war — it somehow still needs to be asked again? Even though he already relived it?

The problem, as always, is that it really doesn’t matter that these fellas feel like the war is personal now that they met an articulate white guy who didn’t like the way things were looking and then died because of the way things are.

What matters, as always, is that there’s a 14-month old, a 2-year-old and a widow, and the last thing any of them needs is a few rich white guys with blood on their hands smacking their foreheads and saying they get it now.

A little bit more about Freeman is here and here

Some information about a different soldier, also killed, also named Brian Freeman, can be found here and here.

A soldier named Bryan Freeman — same name, spelled differently — was killed in Iraq in 2004. You can read about him here and here. He was in the reserves.

You can choose any dead soldier’s name and find other dead soldiers with the same or similar names. It’s not just familiar, it’s the same.


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