Band-Aids, Bullets and Broken Hearts

t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Thursday 02 September 2004

Band-Aids, Bullets, and Broken Hearts
By John Cory

It must have been a proud moment for Johnson & Johnson, watching their product passed around opening night at the GOP convention: Band-Aids with painted purple hearts and snarky comments about self-inflicted wounds. Who says conservatives don't have a sense of humor? This was funny stuff.

I wonder how funny that Band-Aid stunt was to the nearly 7,000 troops who have lost legs, and arms, and eyes, and suffered other mutilations in the Iraq War, and now wear a real Purple Heart. I'll bet they rolled around in their wheelchairs and fell off their crutches in roaring laughter. Can these GOP Band-Aids reattach limbs?

I'll bet they were laughing in Idaho, too. Especially Tom Titus, former Army Ranger and Vietnam vet with two Purple Hearts. On Monday he received another Purple Heart, for his son Brandon, killed in Iraq. A father and son, both veterans, both with Purple Hearts, except the father had to bury his son. Is there a funny Band-Aid for death?

In Florida last week, Carlos Arredondo was informed that his son Alexander had been killed in Iraq. Mr. Arredondo poured the gasoline of his sorrow on the van that delivered the news, and in the process, set himself aflame in grief. Is there a Band-Aid for that pain?

And the GOP is the party that supports our troops?

Don't expect a GOP denouncement of the Band-Aid debacle, and certainly not from George Bush. These folks are busy building platforms on the graves of American citizens and soldiers in order to appear tall and patriotic.

The GOP wages war on heroism, vilifies suffering, and exonerates smearing the valiant service of all veterans, in the name of partisan gamesmanship.

For all the talk of conservative compassion and the American way, the GOP has proved itself to be the party of Band-Aids, Bullets, and Broken Hearts.

And isn't that funny?

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