Webdiarist Alun Breward translated a piece from Der Spiegel before the US, Britain and Australia invaded Iraq called A think tank war: Why old Europe says no which is Webdiary’s most read entry. In this piece, he translates a weblog about a speech to the US Democrats Convention published by Germay’s national broadaster that will get no publicity here. The speech was by Steve Brozak, a registered Republican voter who served in Iraq last year and is now a Democrat candidate for Congress.
Conservative American values, that Brozak doesn’t see in Bush
by Rainer S�tfeld, 29 July 2004
John Edwards has had plenty of coverage from those who witnessed his performance at the Democrats Convention or at the Press Centre. But who witnessed Steve Brozak�s speech?
Brozak spoke too, sometime during the shutdown of TV coverage, after the evening news and before Wheel of Fortune. His speech won�t register in any transcript. But nonetheless he represents the great hope of the Kerry campaign, the essence of this four day stageshow, which aims to show an electorate which craves national unity that Democrats are just like them.
Steve Brozak is an ordinary American and Democrat, but only since the war on Iraq. One Friday afternoon, just after the attack on Baghdad, this ordinary, short man (a serving Lieutenant of the Reservist Marines) walked into the Westfield Town Hall. He had his name struck off the Republican voter roll and registered as a Democrat. One small step for mankind, but for this conservative businessman the greatest possible protest against his Commander in Chief, George W. Bush.
The forty-three year old is living proof that not every soldier is game to follow Bush; that the Republicans do not own the votes of the armed forces.
Bush began to lose the support of this firm patriot long before the Iraq adventure, when Brozak noted that Bush�s allies were treating Vietnam Vets like John McCain and Max Cleland like dirt.
His anger grew as he realised how the Bush administration treated armed forces Reserves. Seventy percent of Brozak�s New Jersey National Guard are on deployment – more than at any time since World War Two. Their tours of duty are constantly extended, with the result that they lose their jobs and their businesses fail. But in response there has been no sign of help from the top brass in Washington.
This made him increasingly angry. It drove him to change sides. The Republican Party under Bush had shifted ground, leaving Brozak, with his political convictions unchanged, firmly in the camp of the Democrats. That is why he stood at the lectern that Clinton, Carter and Edwards had used, and where Kerry will soon speak.
And Steve Brozak, the man you�re unlikely to hear of again, is not stopping there. He will be standing as a Democrat for Congress. He wants the USA to be strong and respected once again. He wants no-one to look askance at the US soldier again, on some future unilateral USA deployment. It�s not about political parties any more, it’s about the America that you learnt about in school.