Sometimes a story comes along that may look to be something particular, but then turns out not to be. The story written by Associated Press (AP) journalist Patrick Condon titled: "Sign Tallying Iraq Casualties Causes Stir" is just such a story.
Condon seeks to portray Vietnam veteran Scott Cameron as anything but an anti-war, politically motivated Democrat, who just so happens to have his "modest memorial" to U.S. forces posted in the Campaign office of Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Steve Kelley. Kelley's office just also happens to be next door to the Army's military recruiters office.
The sign reads, "Remember the Fallen Heroes," and contains three tallies: the number of American troops killed in Iraq, the number wounded and the days passed since the war began."
Thought AP characterizes Cameron’s "refusal to take it down despite Army requests," it is, in fact, Democrat Steve Kelley’s Duluth office. It would seem that, in truth, it is candidate Kelley who refuses to remove the sign, as well as Scott Cameron.
Cameron says that he considers himself "pro-veteran," which is like saying that you are "for the troops," a favorite refrain from liberals and Democrats as they then declare that the war is unwinnable, as Howard Dean did a few weeks ago, or demand immediate withdrawal, as Congressman John Murtha did nearly a fortnight ago.
Some even say they are "for the troops" and "pro-military" as they then proceed to characterize U.S. forces as terrorists, like Senator John Kerry did on national TV on 12/4/05.
But Mr. Cameron is anti-war, as he himself says so in an interview with local NBC affiliate station News6 in Duluth, Minnesota. In his own words, Cameron says: "I consider the sign to be a pro veteran sign, not an anti war sign."
Yet further down in the report filed by NBC's News6 Kellie LaVoie, Cameron says this to a question asked of Cameron by CNN: “Do you consider yourself anti–war?”
“I consider myself pro veteran. I don't believe in the war in Iraq, but in the same perspective my sign and the message I want to relay with my sign is totally a pro veteran sign.”
A distinction without a difference? I leave that to you, the discerning reader. But I for one see a better late-than-never anti-war activist feeling quite at home with the local Democratic candidate for governor, Steve Kelley. Cameron, by the way, is a campaign volunteer for the Kelley campaign, and has plans for a National anti-war appeal, ala Cindy Sheehan.
"Cameron said he's always regretted not speaking out against Vietnam after his injury. He's hoping to steer media attention over the sign toward veterans' problems. He wants Congress to pass legislation that would prevent future cuts in benefits.
He said he's contacted several manufacturers to produce and market a line of signs like his that war opponents could post on their lawns or elsewhere. A portion of the profits would go to veterans’ organizations.
"I'm in awe of what's happening here," Cameron said. "If that sign can be used as a force for good, then it's worth it."
Meanwhile, the sign that Cameron posts says nothing regarding "veteran’s rights," or proposed "cuts in benefits," but instead engages in a national media pastime of counting aloud the dead among U.S. servicemen.