Friday, August 14, 2009

Bill Cahir

Back before the Pennsylvania primaries, I interviewed Bill Cahir, then running in the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania's 5th District Congressional seat. He was a thoughtful, eloquent candidate, sharing his positions on media consolidation and making a case for single-payer health care as well as elaborating on the best way for the US to get out of Iraq.

Bill Cahir was killed in Afghanistan on Thursday, according to the Washington Post.

Cahir had to get an age deferment to join up with the Marines after September 11, 2001, but he felt that it was the right thing to do. When we spoke, he was still trying to do the best thing for America, and he died still serving his country. He would have made an excellent congressman, and I truly had hoped that he would run for office again.

Before signing up with the Marines, Cahir was a journalist, and he returned to reporting after his tour of duty in Iraq, before deciding to run for Congress. I stumbled across the news story by accident today while fact-checking a piece for the Nation and it brought me up short: I have several friends who've served in Iraq and Afghanistan, but no one (thank whatever you believe in) has yet been killed. I only spoke to Cahir once, but it brought the war back home to me.

Every death in Afghanistan and Iraq is tragic and unnecessary, and Cahir's is sadly not out of the ordinary. My interview with him is here, if you're interested.