July 08, 2005

T-SHIRT

I got an email from Mrs. Sims today. She belongs to a support group for OEF and OIF widows. Apparently most of their correspondence deals with anti-war messages they see and hear, things that would have made their husbands cringe. Mrs. Sims was especially appalled by a t-shirt she saw and the accompanying message from its creator:

tshirt.GIF

The background of this image is created by the names of about 1,700 U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq between March 21, 2003 and June 13, 2005. The names are in alphabetical order, with half the names on the front, and the other half on the back. The names are small, but easily read without magnification.

I think of this product as both a scathing indictment of George W. Bush and a memorial to the brave young soldiers who gave their lives in Iraq on behalf of their country. Perhaps someday they will get the memorial they deserve in Washington. Until then, this will have to suffice.

This t-shirt is not a monument to soldiers; if it were, the Bush slur would have been left off. You made this t-shirt for selfish reasons, as you admit later. Don't even try to sugarcoat it.

Bush is most famous for lying about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It was this lie that arguably was most responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. soldiers in Iraq, not to mention thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians.

But Bush has lied in many other areas as well, from denying global warming to boasting about an improving economy that is actually on the skids. His lies are legion, and have spawned a cottage industry of books including The Lies of George W. Bush by David Corn and Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them by Al Franken.

Blah blah blah. If you want to make an anti-Bush shirt, do it. Just leave the fallen soldiers and their families out of it. Putting their names on your shirt implies that they support the message you're peddling for twenty bucks a pop...

I want to acknowledge that a number of relatives of fallen soldiers have contacted me to express their displeasure (or disgust) with the products I sell that bear the names of their loved ones.

Uh, gee, ya think? I know a few of those names, and I'm disgusted; can you guess how disgusted their wives and mothers and brothers are?

I admit that I did not contact the families of soldiers to get their permission. This would have been a monumental exercise, and would no doubt have proved impractical given the differing opinions among various family members.

It would've been too hard and most of them would've said no, so I just went ahead and did what I want regardless.

Of course, this product is not meant to be a statement on behalf of the families or the fallen soldiers. It is a statement on behalf of those who believe that this war was a tragic and terrible mistake -- and not an innocent mistake.

Ah, there's the selfish reason. You didn't make this t-shirt as a monument to the fallen, as you claimed in the beginning of your justification. You made it to prove your own point, using the names of people who don't agree with you and probably would like to punch you in the face if they ever met you. Hope you feel good about that.

I should also like to point out that many of the soldiers who died in Iraq believed that they were fighting for democracy. Democracy is built in large part on freedom of speech. The First Amendment to the Constitution protects these products, and all such similar examples of free speech.

Why does this remind me of the South Park commercial against Harbucks Coffee? ("It's time to stop large corporations. Prop Ten is about children. Vote yes on Prop Ten or else you hate children. You don't hate children, do you?") If you don't like this shirt, well then you must not believe in democracy and free speech and stuff. Oh, and you're disrespecting your husbands because, naturally, they would've fought to the death for my right to make this t-shirt. Isn't that how the saying goes?

Finally, I would like to express my sincere condolences to all of those who have lost loved ones in this war. No matter what they believed, or which side they were on, those who died will be missed.

Dan R. Frazier

In the end, as disgusted as I feel that Mrs. Sims knows her husband's name is on a shirt that makes her sick, I'm sure that the owners of these shirts will someday be ashamed. When Iraq is on her feet, as Germany and Japan are today, these shirts will have been burned or hidden. I'm confident that history will justify CPT Sims, not Dan Frazier.

Nonetheless, I send my condolences to all of the spouses, parents, and siblings of those whose names appear on this nauseating t-shirt. I know this shirt is not in our name.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:52 AM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
Post contains 849 words, total size 5 kb.

1 Sometimes there just isn't any justice, and I am ashamed at what fellow citizens do with a gift that has been handed to them. Others have suffered and paid the bill, so dickweeds like this can prattle on in unimaginable ignorance.

Posted by: Jason at July 08, 2005 10:37 AM (565iX)

2 If Dan Frazier was on fire,I wouldn't waste my spit on him to put the fire out. I'm Sorry Mrs.Sims that there are people in the great USA like Dan Frazier. I get angry and upset about these kind of things. I want Mrs.Sims to know how grateful I am for her husbands service. I cherish him and all those that gave the ultimate sacrifice. Not a day will pass by for the rest of my life that I won't give thanks to God for them... I am forever grateful and humbled, and honored....

Posted by: 1AD Army Mom at July 08, 2005 06:51 PM (lZ8lX)

3 Using someone's name to sell a product while they're alive can get you sued. When the person is a dead soldier, unfortunately it's just disgusting.

Posted by: annika at July 08, 2005 08:47 PM (YmJn+)

4 The guy is a disgusting slug.

Posted by: Jim - PRS at July 08, 2005 10:15 PM (BjDAE)

5 Great piece. I feel like I need a shower just from reading about this.

Posted by: Tony B at July 09, 2005 02:05 PM (QBrm4)

6 I can't believe anyone in this country can be so ignorant. Don't these damn fools realize we are really at war? That we were atrtacked? Bty the way, there was a court case where the judge awarded judgement because the plaintiff 's lawyer provided suffcient evidence there was a justification for the war in Iraq. I have a verbatum copoy of the news article on my site. Only a small newspaper accounting ever appeared in the newspapers.

Posted by: devildpg6771 at July 10, 2005 09:33 AM (VT3Uv)

7 As a Vietnam vet with some experience I have to ask which do we need more? A constitutional amendment against flag burning or one outlawing the use of the names of Americas heros to undermine the very exsistance to the country the fought and died for?

Posted by: Doug R at July 10, 2005 09:49 AM (M7kiy)

8 It is too simplistic to simply lambast Mr Frazier. First, President Bush deserves critcism of the decision to go to war in Iraq and the names on the shirt are the folks who have had to pay the price for a short sighted decision that does nothing to advance the cause of the US in teh global war on terror. Second, the names are a matter of public record. He's well within his rights to use it, and from what you have printed he has not been in any way disrespectful of their memory.That's a basic American freedome that I and many others have served to protect. The real issue comes down to the expectations that the administration painted for the war and sadly the critics have been proven right, the Bush team blew it. Now they have to deal with the consequences of very wrong headed decision. 9-11 and Iraq are two different events and the linkage of the 2 does no one any good. The wars are different conflicts , yet they exact the same price. So IMHO this is no big deal. Don't buy the shirt.

Posted by: skippysan at July 10, 2005 10:18 AM (OI//T)

9 Think again, SkippySan. The names do not 'Belong' to anyone but the dead, and their families. It is unspeakably rude and downright degrading to tie the names of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to a cause that they would not have championed. I am not speaking for them, just saying that since none of us can speak for them, this is wrong. If this idiot cared for the well-being of the soldiers and their families, then all proceeds would be donated to charities which benefited the families. Gee, do you think that happened here? *snort* Yeah, didn't think so.

Posted by: Barb at July 10, 2005 05:41 PM (g9qHI)

10 'short sighted decision' 'does nothing to advance' 'critics have been proven right' 'Bush team blew it' 'very wrong headed decision' 'does no one any good' You seem pretty sure of yourself, Skippy. i think that's sad.

Posted by: annika at July 11, 2005 03:02 AM (1jbos)

11 Yes, that right Skippysan they are within their 'legal' rights. But haven't you (or they?) ever heard of RESPECT!? As far as your other comments go. Your ignorance isn't worth my time to bother responding.

Posted by: Charles at July 12, 2005 12:14 PM (u8N2O)

12 When i saw this post i thought "there is no way that someone can be that sick" So i decided to ignore it. Then i saw a couple other posts about it and so i went and checked it out and the answer is "yes, someone can be that sick." What pisses me off the most is that Gavin J. Colburn, who saved my sister and died in the process, his name is on there. Gavin fought and died doing something he believed in. I am so pissed that someone would use his name on a damn t-shirt that makes it look like Gavin died for nothing. God that pisses me off. If anyone buys any of this fucking t-shirts that is just wrong. I hope that the person who made these makes absolutley no money off of them. Why would you put a dead person's name on something that goes against everything that they fought for. Man, i am just sooooooooooooooo pissed off by this. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Posted by: April Shah at July 19, 2005 11:07 AM (Gj9e6)

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