On this Veterans Day, the fuss over the Bush administration’s decision to prevent American media from showing caskets of dead soldiers returning from Iraq continues.
In March the Defense Department said, “There will be no arrival ceremonies for, or media coverage of, deceased military personnel returning to or departing from Ramstein airbase or Dover base.”
Now, the once-limited rule extends to all bases.
Many have accused the Bush administration of misleading the public by hiding American deaths, and point to this latest policy as evidence that Bush and company are not owning up to their policies. But these accusers are the ones doing the misleading.
Preventing images of caskets being shown is not a political stunt. After all, we already know of their deaths. Numerous media outlets each day inform us of soldiers killed in Iraq, and I doubt a wee bit of casket propaganda will increase noteworthy information about the deceased.
Indeed, preventing a media circus centered around dead soldiers is priority number one for the Bush administration. Watching their sons, daughters, husbands and wives turned into pawns for purposes of a partisan battle between who’s going to capture the White House in ’04 is something families of the dead should not have to watch.
And we shouldn’t want to watch it, because it’s no way to cover a war.