But what about the children?
Sen. Barbara Boxer says she wasn't taking a dig at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for being childless; rather, she was pointing out that like the senator herself, Rice has no family members in the military, and thus doesn't appreciate the personal toll that Iraq War is taking on military families:
Senator Boxer read excerpts from a radio interview with an American family that lost a son in Iraq. “You can’t begin to imagine how you celebrate any holiday or birthday,” Ms. Boxer said. “There’s an absence. It’s not like the person’s never been there. They always were there and now they’re not and you’re looking at an empty hole.”
It's no doubt true that unless you have a loved one in the military, you don't what it's like to watch them go off to war, nor what it is like if they don't come back. Every kind of loss is different, and any kind of grief you've experienced is no doubt unlike what someone else has, and vice versa.
But is that any kind of basis for setting foreign policy? Don't get me wrong; I feel the same way about the war as Barbara Boxer. But a person's right to agree or disagree with the president's policy should not be diminished by the fact that they have no relatives in uniform, any more than the opinions of those with children or other relatives in uniform should count for more than those who don't.
I'm reminded of the pointless criticism of the president for waging a war in which his own daughters will not have to fight. Would you be more in favor of the war if the president's daughters were patrolling Baghdad right now? Perhaps you think he would not have gone to war in the first place were his daughters in the military, or subject to a draft. Somehow I don't think it would have changed matters much. After all, not every parent of a child lost in Iraq feels the same way as Cindy Sheehan.