Mark Shields & the "Dover Test"
Mark Shields writes that it's time to take (Wesley Clark nemesis) General Hugh Shelton's "Dover Test". General Shelton opined that military action "must be subjected to what I call the 'Dover test.' Is the American public prepared for the sight of our most precious resource coming home in flag-draped caskets into Dover Air Force Base in Delaware -- which is a point entry for our Armed Forces? This is an issue, I think, that should be raised early on. It should be discussed, and it should be decided by our political leadership before any operation begins." In the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Bush administration chose instead to duck Shelton's 'Dover test.' The scene so familiar to older Americans -- of the military honor guard in white gloves, respectfully accompanying from the aircraft to the waiting loved ones the remains of the fallen warrior in the coffin covered by Old Glory, often with a military band offering an appropriately solemn piece -- was simply banned. George W. Bush's war against Iraq could not flunk the Dover test because there would be no Dover test. "