The contrast between the way Italy and the U.S. have treated its Iraq war casualties couldn't be more striking.
"President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi led the nation in mourning at St Paul's Basilica, Rome's second-largest church, where the 19 coffins rested on a red carpet in front of the altar."
The Center for American Progress makes this observation:
"Since the war started, President Bush has attended a total of 36 fundraisers for his political campaign – and not one funeral for fallen soldiers in Iraq."
It is not as if President Bush has no time to attend memorial services. Just a few weeks ago he made time to fly out to California to have his picture taken while consoling victims of the brush fires around San Diego.
I'm sure that Bush is being told that he needs to downplay U.S. casualties in order to maintain support for the Iraqi occupation. But that is no excuse to ignore the sacrifices of our soldiers. The very fact that Bush is still having to try and defend and justify his decision to go to war in Iraq at this point is really pathetic. If it was such a great decision it should have been more obvious by now, instead our position in Iraq continues to deteriorate while the real enemy - working elsewhere - continues to strengthen.