Monday, October 31, 2005

New site on the blogroll

We have a new site on the blogroll, The Air Force Pundit. Be sure to check it out, it is a great new site! Happy Halloween to all!

The American Spirit: A Campfire Chat

In all the craziness that is the ever-changing America of today, it is easy to lose sight of what a real American man is supposed to be like. The constant news stories that reflect the changing values of many Americans makes it easy to view this country as a country of new-aged, politically correct, serially offended, socialist victims. The media portrays men as the second-class and weaker sex in popular fictional dramas where gun-wielding, butt-kicking women lead the charge in everything from fighting crime to leading the country. This promotes a new ideal of what a man should be. All this is enough to think that the spirit of the traditional American man is all but gone.

It is the spirit of perseverance in times of crisis. It is the spirit of making your own way in life regardless of the misfortunes that may befall you. It is the belief that a man is responsible for himself and his family. In a broader sense it is the spirit that America is still great and a place of opportunity no matter what your life has dealt you. It is the faith in core values that have made America strong, the same values that are being chipped away by "progressives" who peddle victim mentality and social programs to soothe these victims. It is this spirit that lead American men to volunteer to fight in WWII after they had suffered the ravages of, yet persevered through, the Great Depression in the decade leading up to the War. It is a spirit that I thought was nearing extinction, until this past weekend.

I was camping in a state park outside Natchez, Mississippi over the weekend with a friend. We were headed to the Angola Prison Rodeo in Louisiana on Sunday. We were sitting around the fire discussing the erosion of traditional American values, the fading masculinity of American men and the death of that American spirit that has made this country great. We discussed the aftermath of the recent hurricanes in the context of the victim mentality that contributes to the death of the American spirit. Shortly after this discussion evolved into some other topic I don't recall, the men in the adjacent campsite returned in the dark.

As I watched one of the two trying to back a trailered bass boat through the trees and the other attempt to direct him in dark I walked over and gave the one directing a flashlight. I quickly detected an accent that wreaked of New Orleans. Upon completing the task he came over to our fire to return the light and a conversation ensued initiated by an inquiry into the fruits of his labor on the lake that day.

In the discussion of fishing he remarked about how lucky he was because even though all his expensive fishing rods were flooded with muck during Katrina, they still functioned properly. Upon hearing this I began questioning him about the ravages of the storm and found out that his house had been flooded with 3 feet of water, on the second floor! His house which included his home office for the two small businesses he ran was completely destroyed. It gets worse. His businesses were operated out of a warehouse in New Orleans that also flooded. He lost one operation completely and is only able to serve a minimal number of his former customers with his second business. This man is a victim for sure, right? Well don't tell him that; true American men are not victims.

In this discussion he told how he had taken his family to Baton Rouge prior to the storm in order to protect them. He mentioned several times,not how hard it would be to recover but that it would be years and he was going to be fine because, in his words, "When something like this happens you just deal with it and keep going, that is all you can do."

In all this talk of the storm and his misfortune this man, who had lost everything but his family and his own life, never once blamed anybody; he never once whined about not getting some handout. He accepted his lot in life as that which occurs in the aftermath of a natural disaster. He accepted his role as the man responsible for himself and his family's well-being in this time of crisis. He also accepted his responsibility for securing a better future and herein lies the hope, not hopelessness, that permeated his story.

As he thanked me again for the flashlight and walked away. I looked at my friend and said, "That was an American man."

Quote of the Week

"The ultimate determinant in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas-a trial of spiritual resolve: the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish and the ideals to which we are dedicated."

Ronald Reagan

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Evil Evangelicals

Thursday I posted a small piece on former Republican Senator John Danforth’s speech at the Bill Clinton School of Public Service. During that speech he asserted that evangelical Christians and the political influence that they possessed were hurting the Republican Party and dividing the country. In addition, since Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to the Supreme Court democrats have employed fear-mongering politics. They have been screaming to anyone that will listen that President Bush succumbed to pressure from the radical Christian right by allowing the Harriet Miers’ ship to sink.

The demonizing of Bush’s capitulation on the Miers nomination once again shows that the hypocrisy of the democrats knows no bounds. Many of the same democrats that are criticizing Bush for not resisting the right-wing of his party today were, up to a couple of days ago, criticizing him for nominating Miers in the first place. Of course this flip-flop comes as no surprise to anyone as this is the standard modus operandi for democrats.

Evangelical Christians have long been characterized as part of the extreme right-wing and a target of scorn by the left-wing. This has been exacerbated since they have been credited with Bush’s victory in 2004. The shock of the overwhelming rejection of John Kerry led the left-wing to assert that evangelical Christians staged a coup of sorts by turning out in droves to ensure Bush’s re-election and essentially stole an imminent Kerry victory. This caused several prominent democratic leaders to hold an emergency meeting to determine the reason for their defeat. The conclusion reached was that it was basically due to ignorance. Nancy Pelosi came to the realization that they, the democrats, just had to do a better job of educating “these people“. Of course she was talking about the mindless minions of the Christian right that have yet to be enlightened.

I have never bought into the notion that evangelical Christians ushered George Bush to victory in ‘04. That could be because my definition of what constitutes an evangelical Christian may be different than that of others. Webster defines evangelical as:

1: of, relating to, or being in agreement with the Christian gospel especially as it is presented in the four Gospels
2: Protestant

This definition is not what comes to my mind when I hear the term evangelical Christian and in my judgment it is not the definition used by the left-wing or MSM. When I think of this term the image that comes to mind is that of a devout believer that bases all aspects of their life on their Christian faith not just someone that is protestant or in agreement with the Christian gospel.

Democrats and members of the MSM basically conjure up the same image when they hear that term. The difference is they believe or at least pretend to believe that these evangelical Christians have some kind of control over the ignorant and are poised to goosestep down Pennsylvania Avenue to usher in a regime of Christian Fundamental Fascism. This is the myth that they perpetuate when using their fear-mongering tactics. They attempt to convince the American people that President Bush and the Republican Party are vessels in which the Christian right can facilitate their coup and institute their fascist theocratic rule over all Americans. This is absolute nonsense. Of course there are those extremist Christians on the right wing that fit this profile but they are the exception not the rule.

What some on the left refuse to believe is that they were rejected by heartland America. Eight years of Clinton, convinced that Bush stole the election in 2000, and with firm control of the MSM they believed ‘04 was going to be a landslide victory. The left was suffering from delusions of grandeur. These delusions were partly a result of hearing the, far from fair and balanced, MSM excessively broadcast their propaganda. Another reason for the delusion is that they consider themselves the party of the people. Touting rights to privacy, multiculturalism, universal health care, entitlements, and the institution of a nanny state to assist in child rearing. It had to be the evil, intolerant, pro-life, rascist, and homophobic evangelical Christians with their control of the mindless masses that defeated them.

Another conspiracy theory can be laid to rest. It was not evangelical Christians, as I define them, that rejected the democrats and assured Bush another four years. It was “Joe Six-pack”, the hard working husbands and mothers of all faiths, and varying levels of participation in that faith, that rejected the democrats in ‘04. These people are not ignorant, mindless, and not controlled by evangelical Christians. They can clearly see that the policies the left are pursuing are nothing more than those of the utopian socialist society.

Evangelical Christians are not dividing the country and the perceived division of America is vastly exaggerated. It is the left that is attempting to divide America with their intention of eraditcating Christianity and the inherently American culture. The left continues to attack Christianity to sustain the right wing Christian takeover conspiracy in an attempt to divide republican support. Apparently the democrats are incapable of learning a lesson. Their attacks will continue to galvanize the average American against them in spite of recent republican setbacks. They will come together not because they are overly religious or overly Christian but because they reject the notion of a God less, immoral, socialist state.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Perpetual Flip-Flopping

I read this today from Brit Hume's Political Grapevine. John Kerry gave a speech recently in which he attacked President Bush and his Administration in the handling of the Iraq War. In one part of the speech he points out how wrong it was that the Administration essentially ignored former Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shineski when he stated that more troops were needed in Iraq. Apparently forgetting what he had just said, later in the speech he stated that the insurgency will not be defeated until U.S. troop levels are drawn down, agreeing with General George Casey's belief that our large troop level "feeds the notion of occupation."

Now Kerry apparently has a plan for Iraq, albeit too late to be elected president. I believe the appropriate name for this obviously well thought out policy should be the Hokie-Pokie Iraq plan. Think about how advantageous this plan could have been for Kerry. He could have stationed a division of troops on a border, any border with Iraq. When critics claim that there are not enough troops in Iraq he could have ordered them to put one foot in. When they complain of no exit strategy he could have simply ordered one foot out. Too bad he did not think of this in '04. Maybe in the spirit of bipartisanship Bush should adopt the Kerry Hokie-Pokie plan. Absolutely brilliant!

Politically Incorrect Pic




Here for your viewing pleasure, or displeasure as the case may be, is my politically incorrect picture of the week. Now I do not know if I will continue with politically incorrect pictures every week, but this was just too tempting to pass up. Now I do not want to intentionally offend anyone I just wanted to give yet another example of the obsurdity of some aspects of political correctness.

For those not aware a couple of banks in Britain have banned the little pink piggy bank that was used as a symbol for savings because it may be offensive to Muslims. Absolutely ridiculous!

Political Hack of the Week

Former Republican Senator John Danforth gets the washed up political hack of the week award. Danforth also an Episcopal priest gave a speech at the Bill Clinton School of Public Service, of all places, yesterday. Apparently wanting to gain favor with the students of Bill's school of socialist thought he attacked evangelical Christians, stating that the political influence that this group possessed was not only hurting the Republican Party but dividing the country.

Damn those evangelical Christians pushing such divisive thoughts as the ten commandments, moral virtue, and family.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

2000

About an hour ago an AP report stated U.S. Army Staff Sergeant George T. Alexander died of wounds suffered in Iraq on October 17th at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. This brings the number of U.S. service members killed in Iraq to 2,000.

This 2,000th death is what many in the MSM and the anti-war crowd have been waiting for the last few days. I'm not sure why. What makes the 2,000th death anymore significant then the previous 1,999? Oh yeah, it is just another chance to talk about the body count of U.S. service personnel. Another reason to have anti-war commentary on the MSM news shows. Another reason for op-eds to debate the WMD "lie" or ask if Iraqi's are really better off without Saddam, or wonder if Saddam really supported terrorism. Another reason for Cindy Sheehan to get back in the news, whom as I write this, after hearing of the 2,000 mark being reached, has planned to lie down in front of the White House simulating a dead soldier in protest of the Iraq war.

It is terrible that it is not a chance to console the family of Sgt. Alexander and the families of the previous 1,999 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines that have fallen in the service of their country. Terrible that it is not a chance to thank the brave men and women that are serving and sacrificing for this great country. Terrible that Bush Derangement Syndrome has caused those in the media and anti-war left to treat a death, any death, so callously with the bestowal of such an inauspicious milestone as that of the 2,000th death.

Reluctantly the MSM has had to report a wonderful milestone that was reached today with the passing of the Iraqi constitution. Happily, they get to temper that great news with the exploitation of the number 2,000. Not much, if any, mention will be made of the other wonderful milestones that have been reached nor any debate of the positive effects taking place as a result of the war in Iraq and the broader war on terror. This is truly a travesty.

The MSM and others should take the advice of Lt. Col. Steve Boylan and "celebrate the daily milestones, the accomplishments they have secured and look to the future of a free and democratic Iraq and to the day that all of our troops return home to the heroes welcome they deserve."

My sincerest condolences to the family of Staff Sgt. George Alexander, may he be remembered for the brave self-sacrificing hero that he truly was and not for the number 2000.

New site on the blogroll

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Reaganites Unite! to Magnums blogroll. As the heading states this is "A place on the web holding to the ideals of the most effective conservative of our lives, with news, commentary, satire, and links to the greater blogosphere". I encourage all to check it out!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Gun Control: A Lesson From Europe

When accepting the offer to write for Magnum's Conservative Voice I decided that I would try to stay away from just pasting links to other articles and try to provide some original, fact-based insights using links as supporting sources for information. But, every now and then find something that sums up exactly what I want to write about (and likely does a better job of it than I would). So today I will succumb to the desire just to paste a link and let you read away. I will try not to make a habit of it. Carrying on with our unplanned European theme, I have provided a link to an op-ed by John Lott. Enjoy.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=105002026

Winds of Change in Poland

The very fact that this story was even released by the AP is amazing enough, but you had better read it quickly because it will surely be swept under the mainstream media rug after this weekend.

There is a monumental run-off election taking place in Poland today, the results of which I have not been able to determine at this time. The election will put the final nails in the coffin of former communists that have been running the government of Poland.

Former Warsaw mayor Lech Kaczynski and lawmaker Donald Tusk are the two candidates involved in today's run-off election for President. Both candidates promise to bring sweeping changes to Poland's economy and welfare state. With one candidate endorsing a flat tax rate and the other wanting higher earners to pay more but endorsing large family deductions it looks a lot like a battle that would take place in this country between Republicans and Democrats. One glaring difference in the campaign that you would not find in America today is that Kaczynski endorses Roman Catholic values, a sentiment that would certainly send the loonie left in America into convulsions.

There is no mention in the article about either candidates' feelings toward America, but Poland has been a strong ally of ours since Ronald Reagan helped secure their freedom from the Soviets and it is likely that will remain the case. The article does mention that both campaigns have hinted that Polands 1500 troops could remain in Iraq, a reversal from the outgoing administrations' pledge to withdraw these troops sometime early next year.

As the article states in conclusion it does not seem to matter much which candidate wins. Both promise sweeping changes in Poland that will greatly improve their economy, strengthen their membership status in the European Union and rid the country once and for all of communist influence.

The socialist leaning American media will certainly not enjoy this news of a European country endeavoring to establish such a captilalistic model of government nor enjoy the success of either candidate bringing such sweeping changes.

Quote of the Week

Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.

Thomas Jefferson

Friday, October 21, 2005

The People (of Germany) Have Spoken

Anyone following international news has likely found a scarcity of reporting on the controversial elections that took place recently in Germany. At least this has been the case for me. Like most things that are avoided by the American mainstream media, this has been avoided for a reason. What could that reason be?

Well, all I have heard about Europe over the past 3 years is how much they hate America. I heard this about Great Britain, then they re-elected their pro-American Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Leading the anti-American movement in Europe has been Jaques Chirac of France and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, or should I say former German Chancellor Schroeder. Schroeder ran on an anti-American platform as a member of the Social Democrats and was successful. He held that office for seven years. During those seven years he has fought both publicly and privately to distance Germany from the US and to disrupt American policies worldwide. As a result both he and Chirac have become darlings of the American media who love to see opposition to the US when their man is not in office.

Based on American media reports of worsening sentiment in Germany about the US due to the Iraq War, Guantanamo Bay and the Kyoto Treaty, among other things, it seemed a given that Germany would continue with the status quo and keep the anti-American, socialist Chancellor in office. This is not what happened.

What happened was an extremely close election, reminiscent of the 2000 elections in the US, in which Schroeder had to step down and yield power to conservative Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Party. Because of the way the German government is organized, the closeness of the election resulted in the negotiations for and the subsequent sharing of power between Schroeder's and Merkel's parties in the German cabinet. The nuances of the political system go beyond my knowledge of the German system. What is important is the election of a conservative. This is why the American media has kept its coverage of this to a minimum, afterall this is a historical election for Germany, worthy of much news coverage.

Merkel is the first woman Chancellor of Germany. She is also from the former East Germany, which gives her first hand experience with communism. Sounds newsworthy to me, as much so as is a change in the balance of power. According to her statements, Merkel is committed to improving relations with the US strained by Schroeder's opposition to the war in Iraq. This is not what the American media wants you to hear. After all, we are supposed to have no friends in Europe. John Kerry ran on the mantra of the US isolating itself from its European allies. It appears the people of Germany, at least a small majority, want somebody to undo the damage done by Schroeder, his anti-American posture and Germany's socialist domestic policies.

Merkel views the current direction of German socialism to be detrimental to the future of Germany. The fact that a majority of Germans share this view is another thing the media does not want you to know. After all, they are constantly pushing a socialist agenda in this country and paint the picture of a European/Canadian utopia as a result of socialism. The reality is much different.

Germany's economic growth has been basically nonexistent over the past 2-3 years. It is the fifth largest economy in the world yet it is the slowest growing economy in Europe. Social security payouts have exceeded the contributions from workers. Strict regulations on laying off workers and the national setting of wages have resulted in chronic unemployment. Unemployment is 11.2% in Germany. Their national healthcare system is in bad need of reform. Germany has a lavish welfare system which has been stressed by immigration due to its lax immigration laws. In short, socialism is catching up to Germany. Those from the east who know the pitfalls of this system were primarily responsible for putting Merkel in office. Those in the west are busy blaming the former East Germans for the problems.

So will the election of Merkel affect great changes in Germany and in German-American relations? Well it is hard to say. I suspect the tone will change more than the policies, due to the power sharing agreement that keeps the Social Democrats in charge of eight cabinet seats. They include the foreign, finance, labor, justice, health, transport, environment and development ministries. Merkel's party gets six ministries. Merkel's party has 226 votes in the 614-seat parliament; the Social Democrats have 222. Other parties occupy the additional seats. It looks like the statement made by the people of Germany may be the most important outcome for the US. Getting any real significant changes within Germany's socialist system and foreign policy will be unlikely due to the power sharing agreement and the lack of a majority in the parliment by Merkel's Christian Democrats.

The important things for Americans to realize are that a lot of Germans have not abandoned the US and those Germans are not too happy with where socialism has taken them. These are the last things the mainstream American media powerhouses want you to know.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Through the Crossroads

The Democrats and left-wingers are positively ecstatic over the apparent upheaval in the conservative base. Suddenly a party devoid of ideas, devout obstructionism, and persistent pessimism have grasped a perceived spark of optimism from the apparent split of the Republican base.

In an earlier column I wrote about seeing the Republican Party at a crossroads. I talked about how President Bush must move back to the right or risk losing his base and possibly fragmenting the GOP. That was before the Harriet Miers nomination! Even though no one from his administration will most likely make a serious run in 2008 the loss of some in the conservative base is not without consequences for Bush. Already weakened by low poll numbers and the controversy surrounding Karl Rove and others, with a real or perceived split in his base it will be increasingly difficult for Bush to have the political capital to push his second term agenda. This certainly has the Democrats licking their proverbial chops over the upcoming 2006 elections thinking that there is a chance to retake control of Congress because disillusioned conservatives will stay home and not go to the polls.

In that column the crossroads at which I saw the GOP had nothing to do with Supreme Court nominees. The problem I saw with Bush in relation to the conservative base was his and the Republican controlled Congress’ lack of fiscal conservatism and the proposals of expanding the federal government in an overreaction to the Katrina aftermath. Then came the Miers nomination which provided the spark that ignited the powder keg under the conservative camp and with the resulting explosion it is no wonder that the Democrats are so unusually optimistic. But alas, this optimism will turn out to be much ado about nothing.

The sounding of taps over the Republican Party’s grave is just a little premature. Conservatives are not leaving or even threatening to leave the GOP. On the contrary, they have rallied to consolidate the party and bring it back to a more conservative agenda. The conservative base which has been lying mostly dormant for the past five years allowing President Bush wide latitude in fighting the war on terror has sent shock waves through the Bush Administration as well as the Republican leadership in Congress.

I also wrote that I believed that the leadership for the movement of the party back to conservatism would have to come from Bush. I was wrong about that. The direction is coming from the core itself. The Republican Study Committee, a group of fiscal conservatives, and Operation Offset led by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) have rallied to the cause of steering the Republican Party through the crossroads and putting it back in touch with conservatives, at least fiscally. The good news is that the Republican leadership is listening and reacting. Fortunately they seem to understand that it was the very conservative values that they abandoned that not only got them elected but established the GOP as the majority party.

The willingness of the Republican leadership to look toward spending cuts as a way to pay for Katrina has gone a long way in making conservatives happy. Many are still outraged over the Miers nomination and it is very unlikely that Bush will pull the plug before the confirmation hearings. Remember not many conservatives were happy about the Roberts nomination until they watched the confirmation hearings and after learning more about his philosophy they eventually embraced him. Even if there is no repeat of this for Miers the shock of not getting the pick they wanted will eventually fade and if Bush embraces the conservative realignment on other issues it will go along way in strengthening his political capital.

The biggest fear for Republican members of Congress that are up for re-election in ‘06 should be a challenge in the primaries from a Republican candidate running on a platform with whom the conservatives can identify. The larger majority of conservatives are not going to sit out an election and risk Democrats regaining power. Moderates are certainly not going to be alienated by a shift back to conservatism because they helped elect these representatives based on conservative principles. Besides, the Democrats still have no platform for governing America, unless you count socialism.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Iraqi Constitution

The referendum on the Iraqi constitution that was held this weekend was a huge success, although you would never believe this if you have been listening to or reading the mainstream media. Even though the results are not clearly known and even amid speculation of voter fraud the vote was a success nonetheless. It was a success for the mere fact that the people came out and voted, even under the threat of terrorist violence Shiites, Kurds, and Sunnis came out and cast their ballots.

Of course the media has done nothing but focus their attention on the thought that the Sunnis were possibly unable to block the constitution and the disillusionment with the political process this may cause. Never any optimism to be found in the media. Nothing but prognostications of greater Sunni support for the insurgency and an almost outright disappointment that the referendum may have passed.

They even seem to be lamenting the fact that there was little violence during the vote. The media refuses to acknowledge that U.S. and especially Iraqi forces did an outstanding job securing polling places, instead they believe and report that the lack of violence was probably due to a self imposed cease fire on the part of the insurgents in order to allow Sunnis the opportunity to turn out and vote “no” on the referendum. The biggest headline so far has been about the U.S. air strike in the area of Ramadi that possibly killed some civilians.

The media’s hatred of President Bush knows no bounds. They are so disappointed that their headlines could not be about the defeat of the Iraqi constitution and another setback for the Bush Administration. All the while knowing that the insurgents would see the defeat of the constitution as a victory that would lead to more violence against innocent Iraqi citizens. They focus on possible voter fraud and increasing sectarian violence. They totally ignore the fact that in two of the four Sunni majority districts the constitution seems to have been supported. Also ignored is that a major Sunni party, the Iraqi Islamic Party, issued a statement of support for the constitution after concessions were made that will give the Sunnis a chance to amend the constitution after parliamentary elections in December.

Sure there will be those Sunni factions that will and are crying foul over the voting, there may even be some that throw there lot in with the insurgency, but it seems from the voter turnout, and the good faith concessions of the Iraqi parliament, that the majority are siding with the political process. The Sunnis obviously learned a valuable lesson from boycotting the first parliamentary elections and the inability of the insurgency to stifle political progress. Many are already gearing up for the upcoming parliamentary elections to ensure strong Sunni representation for possible amendments to the constitution.

While the passing of the Iraqi constitution may not be the end all of sectarian strife in Iraq it is certainly a step in the right direction. This is a work in progress, with voter turnout higher than most U.S. elections and with the possible affirmation of a constitution in considerable less time than it took our founding fathers, we should all be optimistic about the fledgling democracy taking hold in Iraq.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Quote of the Week

"The real distinction is between those who adapt their purposes to reality and those who seek to mold reality in the light of their purposes."

Henry Kissinger

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Quote of the Week

"I don't believe in a government that protects us from ourselves."

Ronald Reagan

Friday, October 07, 2005

Who Are Our Enemies?

As of today we are waist deep in the war on terror. We are witness to successes and hardships in this war on a daily basis. Whether is another round of successful elections in Afghanistan, a country that was not supposed to be capable of democracy, an offensive operation in western Iraq, an I.E.D. killing innocents in Baghdad or suicide bombers in Bali, it is obvious we are at war on many fronts. That war is not only a military war, but also a war of intelligence, law enforcement, diplomacy and aid/development. But who is our enemy?

To a lot of people, the enemy in the war on terror is Bin Laden and al-Qaida and only Bin Laden and al-Qaida. These are the same ones who scream about Saddam Hussein not being responsible for the attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001, therefore not a legitimate target in the war on terror. To these naive people getting Bin Laden means an end to the war and we will therefore live happily ever after. I would argue that getting Bin Laden now would ultimately hurt our efforts to defeat terrorism worldwide.

It is obvious that much of the American populace has little stomach for the sacrifices that war brings; after all many even expect wars to be virtually casualty free. These Americans would see the end of Bin Laden as an end of any reason to support ongoing operations against other terrorists organizations worldwide, since none of these groups attacked us on 9/11. In short, they view the war on terror as a reaction to the 9/11 attacks with the wiping out of the guilty party as its only mission. This, of course, is part of the mission. Al-Qaida is still a big threat to us but Bin Laden's role has been minimalized. I want to see Bin Laden brought to justice as much as anyone, but if it means having to give up the war on all the threats that face America, I say let him sweat a few more years. The war on terror is much bigger than him.

There is another group of Americans that understand the global, proactive doctrine that underlies the war on terror. They understand that this war is about eliminating threats BEFORE they attack us and it gows well beyond al-Qaida and even Iraq. During the 9/11 Commission hearings all I heard was the phrase about connecting the dots. Well, the dots were connected to some degree for years. We were all well aware of al-Qaida and the threat they posed prior to 9/11 since they had blown up two of our embassies, one Navy ship and attempted to blow up the World Trade Center almost a decade prior. We knew that they were being trained and were based in Afghanistan. So why didn't we do something BEFORE they attacked us on 9/11? Well, it is very simple. We lacked the leadership and fortitude needed to launch a proactive war to prevent the attacks. Now we have such a war and everybody is pitching a fit.

So who are the other threats in this war? Let's take a look first at South America. "What?" you say. Not all of our enemies are Middle-Eastern or even Muslim, though they may be working together. In Columbia we have the narco-terrorists called the F.A.R.C. (aka the Revolutionary Forces of Columbia). They are a communist guerilla group, 9,000-12,000 men strong, that is responsible for up to 70% of the cocaine that enters the U.S. They also have support in the communist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has recently supplied them with 100,000 AK-47s. The F.A.R.C. is notorious for the rampant kidnappings, assassinations and trafficking in drugs and arms in Columbia and other South American countries, these include the kidnappings and killings of Americans. There are more, many more terrorist threats.

Another is called Abu Sayyaf and operates in the Philippines. They are a small, but extremely radical, Muslim group that has already attracted the interest and action of the U.S. military. We have had special operations and support personnel in the Philippines working as advisors as part of the Joint Combined Exchange Training Program to help support the Army of the Philippines in combating this terrorist group. Ten U.S. servicemen died in a helicopter crash in this effort. This terrorist group has ties to and receives support from Middle-Eastern terrorist groups.

The list goes on. There is Palestinian group Hezbollah who usually receives regular press for it's suicide bombing attacks on Israel. Hezbollah bombed our Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 killing more than 200 Marines, they also bombed our Embassy in Lebanon in 1984. They have established cells in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. They receive support from Syria and Iran. They, and the terrorist group Hamas, also openly received funding from Saddam Hussein. He paid the families of suicide bombers $10,000 each totaling 35 million dollars prior to his removal from power. So much for Hussein not supporting terrorists.

I think I have made my point, but if you would like to educate yourself further on who our enemies are then visit the links below. One will quickly realize the magnitude of the threat and that more, not less, needs to be done in the war on terror. One will also realize that what is needed now is more fortitude, more solidarity and more commitment on the part of American citizens. Our enemies are many and spread around the world. The war is much bigger than Iraq and Afghanistan, not smaller. It is about preventing attacks not waiting on them to happen.


http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/fs/37191.htm

http://library.nps.navy.mil/home/terrorism.htm

http://www.terrorism.com/

http://www.specialoperations.com/usspecops.html

Sunday, October 02, 2005

This Week's Quote

"Still if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."

Winston Churchill

(Special thanks to my friend Kodiak for this quote)