Robert Steinback writes in the Miami Herald:
Somewhere in Iraq today is a U.S. soldier, probably several, who will run for the Senate.
Dozens of American soldiers and Marines, who at this moment are wondering if tomorrow will be the day they are introduced to a sniper’s bullet or a roadside bomb, will one day vie for seats in the House of Representatives.
A future presidential candidate might have participated in harrowing door-to-door sweeps during the bloody fight for Fallujah last month.
Their courage and valor will be rightfully extolled. But will those who are putting their lives on the line in Iraq also earn the right to speak freely about it?
If a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom says he believes the war was a waste, will he be smeared by talk show hosts who never shot at anything more dangerous than a golf green? If a future testifier before Congress tells of atrocities he witnessed in Iraq, will some well-paid political spin doctor later denounce him for turning on his fellow soldiers? Will a future candidate be Kerrified by Fallujah Veterans for Truth, who will allege that he or she didn’t bleed enough to have earned this or that medal?
A generation from now, we’ll be trampling on the memory of Iraq just as we are the history of Vietnam today — particularly if the current war turns out no better.
Does that mean that somewhere today some drunken frat boy, a son of privilege and prince of arrogance, is being groomed by some future Karl Rove to be president? You bet.