Some people are upset because the soldiers sent to the Gulf Coast seem anxious to shoot people at the drop of a hat. Some people get upset over anything. Killing people is what soldiers are for. If you don’t want people killed, you don’t need a soldier; that’s what they do best.

Training people to kill implies that killing is a good thing. The trainees may have to figure out when and where to do murder in the moment, but murder itself is just fine. That’s the government’s position.

Where soldiers are concerned, somebody else orders them around and tells them who to shoot at and maybe why they should shoot at them, which is where the bushwa comes in.

Sometimes soldiers decide later that the people they were shooting at didn’t really deserve to be shot. Of course, by then it’s too late. So for soldiers, the problem is that they agree up front to kill anybody they’re told to kill, no matter who it is, as long as their superiors—an interesting notion, that—say so.

Cindy Sheehan seems like a nice woman, and I’m sorry her son was killed in Iraq, but she’s barking up the wrong tree in blaming the president. The question isn’t why Dubya sent all those murderers to Iraq—oil and war are immensely profitable, as always, and that was reason enough.

The question is why did Casey Sheehan go over there? Cindy Sheehan has said that Casey’s agreement to do the bidding of the government was “noble and honorable.” Really? Were Nazi soldiers in the Second World War noble and honorable? Were Saddam Hussein’s soldiers noble and honorable too? Is any blind commitment noble and honorable? How about the Manson family? Casey Sheehan was a grown man, and he volunteered to do the Army’s bidding, whatever that turned out to be. It happened to get him killed, but he knew the risks when he went in.

Ms. Sheehan’s pain on losing her son is almost unimaginable for someone who hasn’t been through that particular hell, and I don’t want to make light of that. But her wailing and whining to George Bush disrespects Casey and diminishes his role in determining his own fate.

Casey Sheehan decided to join the army himself, and it just didn’t work out well for him. Things happen. If the military is a noble and honorable calling, she should take heart in there being thousands more to take his place, although apparently not as many as there used to be. That’s social evolution.

President Bush now wants to send soldiers to give us flu shots. I can hardly wait.