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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Please, somebody close the Hatch

I have my doubts that Joseph Anzack had the luxury of choosing his station in Iraq. I also doubt that he had the privilege of being protected by military escorts while being shuttled around in an armored vehicle. No, it was Anzack who did the protecting. He went where he was told, like a good soldier does, and he ended up losing his life.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch did, however, have the benefits not afforded to our average American joe on his most recent jaunt to Iraq.

Upon his return from a visit to Ramadi and Baghdad, Hatch said in a press release, “A lot has changed since I was last in Iraq. When I was there a year ago–the day the parliament was finally convened–there was a real sense that the security situation was slipping backward. I came back from this trip with a more positive view of the overall situation.”

Really? So, a truck with chlorine gas in it explodes in Ramadi the day after you leave, while news breaks of the discovery of a missing soldier’s body, and you have a positive view of the overall situation? This could just be me, but the events that unfolded around Hatch’s trip, in addition to the fact that as of Memorial Day there had been at least 102 U.S. soldier deaths in the month of May–putting it in line to be the deadliest month for our troops in two years–seem to be indicative of a backward slip in security.

Here’s the thing: We’ve got troops–thousands of them–in harm’s way. We’ve got soldiers, like Anzack, who are kidnapped and murdered. We’ve got one of the deadliest months in the history of this war on our hands. Then, we’ve got Sen. Hatch, who goes to Iraq for two days, is shuttled around in an armored car, wears protective equipment that some of our own troops weren’t afforded at one point, has soldiers there to guard him and then comes back to the safety of his home to tell us that a visible improvement has been made.

Hatch may as well have come back and made a statement using the phrase “peachy-keen.”

There is a difference between being pessimistic and being honest. Hatch didn’t need to come back and say that things are hopeless, but he did need to be honest with his constituents about the serious situation our troops are in right now.

Given the grave circumstances, to come back after seeing it first hand and say that you now have a positive view of the situation in Iraq is to act as though losses are not happening.

On his website, Hatch makes no mention of the bomb, the murder of Anzack or the shocking death toll. His news goes from promoting his heartwarming trip to Iraq to peddling the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007–which is obviously more important than having an ounce of the integrity it would take to tell us that, although our troops are doing their best, there has been an increase in deaths and a happy ending isn’t as near as anyone hopes.

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