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Where is the leader?

The Bush Administration: Putting the “ass” back into compassion.

Sunday’s missile attack, which also wounded 20 troops, closed out a week that began with a similarly grim new record. On Oct. 27, three dozen people died in a wave of suicide bombings in Baghdad, the bloodiest day there since President Bush declared major combat over May 1.

Bush, spending a long weekend at his Texas ranch, said nothing in person about the helicopter shoot-down Sunday, a day in which three other Americans, including two civilian contractors, also were killed in Iraq.

Attempts to distance the ugliness of war from Americans is nothing new. Since March, no cameras have been allowed to photograph the caskets of dead soldiers arriving at Dover air force base. Deaths are left abstract as Bush, who likes to present himself as an everyman, someone who understands the grief of regular Americans, attends no funerals. Now it appears that in the wake of the single most fatal event of the entire war, he has nothing to say.

The restriction of cameras might, as one general suggests, be in the name of family privacy. But when it’s just one event in a series of actions that serve to hide or ignore the deaths and gruesome injuries incurred in war, how dare these people claim to serve any interests but their own? The Bush Administration brought this war to us, and it is despicable that they refuse to count the cost.