Wednesday, the Des Moines Register reported this: The Iowa State Daily story that started it all was feel-good feature about College Republicans from across the state who hoped to spark some cheer in those spending the holidays thousands of miles away from home.
Thomas Walker, a lecturer in an intensive English program, intended to draw attention to misplaced national priorities that favor excessive national defense spending over assistance for the neediest Americans, and a lack of concern for returning veterans. But he made his points with a partisan flair that has instead ignited conservative criticism, and propelled his letter across the internet.
Tweets from the National Review Online, a mention from conservative talk radio hosts and posts on FreeRepublic.com have voiced sometimes profane outrage over the letter, and called out the phrase “eleemosynary travesty” as an example of ill-advised thesaurus use.
“Necessities should be doled out to people who really need them and who might get them if not for the hundreds of billions of dollars being funneled to the Pentagon in the greatest squandering of money on the planet. If anything, Republicans should sympathize with veterans struggling to find employment, a challenge that may daunt the discharged soldier, who might wish he had reenlisted,” Walker wrote. He continued: “Soldiers are to Republicans as fetuses are to them: prized. But once out of the womb-like army, Republican solicitude for hapless veterans goes where extracted zygotes go.”
|Where would you put your treats anyway?|
The American Legion posted a level-headed response today on its blog predicting the letter will backfire. “Frankly, I think you will lead 10 people that wouldn’t be as likely to send a care package to do so, and for that I thank you, even if that clearly wasn’t your intent.”
Matt Strawn, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, summed up the general sentiment in a Twitter message sent Tuesday, “What a disgrace.”
On November 23rd, we had a similar take. It was then that a New Hampshire lawyer, currently serving in Afghanistan, resigned from his job as a law professor at a Massachusetts university after a colleague wrote in an email that sending care packages to U.S troops serving overseas was "shameful."
U.S. Army Reserve Maj. Robert Roughsedge, a Hampton resident, has resigned his position teaching law at Suffolk University in Boston, after a fellow professor, Michael Avery, sent out an email to university colleagues attacking the school's efforts to collect and ship care packages to U.S. soldiers serving on foreign soil.
"I was disgusted, but not surprised," Roughsedge said in an email to the New Hampshire Union Leader from Afghanistan. "Professor Avery is a radical."
Fox News reported Avery wrote in his email, "I think it is shameful that it is perceived as legitimate to solicit in an academic institution for support for men and women who have gone overseas to kill other human beings. Why are we sending support to the military instead of Americans who are losing their homes malnourished, unable to get necessary medical care, and suffering from other consequences of poverty? As a university community, we should debate these questions, not remain on automatic pilot in support of the war agenda."
I find the words of these two professors, Walker and Avery, appalling. I'd have to think the two of them also had no problem with our government refusing to pay the troops last winter when there was the threat of a government shutdown. It might be fitting to count the hours our men and women commit to our country each day. In essence, their on guard 24/7. They work through holidays and they do it with little sleep...all for us. Sending packages of love and appreciation seems like the least we can do.
If you must complain about the war professors, look a different way. You are way off base here. That's as good as educated guess as I can offer.