I think the last time I actually posted anything with political overtones was on the first anniversary of the WTC and Pentagon bombings; I quoted a blog account by a dad who was considering the last moments of an unrelated three-year-old girl who died when the airliner she was riding in was crashed into the WTC. I also quoted a Shanksville firefighter who had been on-scene at the PA crash.
9/11. So, some people seem to have gotten over this pretty easily. My company lost six employees that day between the WTC and Shanksville crash. Even discounting that fact, I love NYC and loved the WTC (I'd been up there three or four times... And ever since I was a little kid, I'd always gaze at the towers whenever I'd drive by on the turnpike). So, I'm still pretty bent about the whole thing.
Back to the first paragraph; I think everyone should be able to do what they want. And you know what? Not just people lucky enough to be born into the luxurious heaven that is America (arguments? Name me one place that's better to live than the US, then explain rationally why you do not live there).
I'm sick and tired of hearing people who have never had to nor chosen to give anything to support their freedoms bitch and moan about the fact that the US has a moral agenda to spread freedoms to other people. It is as though these people think that life under Hussein was more or less like life where they live, except with pictures of Saddam here and there.
I don't care to debate the DNC/ANSWER talking points. They are specious. No blood for oil? That one sounds good, doesn't it? Tell you what, let's drill ANWR, then. No WMDs? Why wouldn't Hussein comply with the thirteen UN resolutions demanding documentation and inspection, then? And what about the Kurds? What about the gallon-or-so of sarin that showed up the other day? (I know, it was a Haliburton plant to prop up Bush).
Of course, the DNC/ANSWER agenda is silent, oh so silent, on comparative human rights. It's much more of an affront to humankind that we don't allow gays to marry than it is that the Chinese stifle peaceful dissent with violence. It's far more important to secure the rights of minors in America to abortion than it is to support the pursuit of rights for any women in the middle east to walk without a hajib, to drive a car, to pursue education or business, or to own property. And it undermines the whole role of America in Iraq that .025 of the troops behave like idiot frat boys and girls, to the point that it would have been better to leave Hussein in charge.
Let me ask you this. It is by no means assured that we will win our fight against Islamic fundamentalism. Will we lose our freedoms and culture faster under Bush or Kerry?
Fundamentalist Islam, in my book, seems a little more dangerous than Christian fundamentalism. Sure, the Christians would prefer that you not have abortions and do not practice homosexuality, but the Islamics have the same tenets. I haven't actually worked the numbers, but I don't think the occasional clinic bombing or shooting gets close to the severity of attacks by Islamics. There's certainly nothing as high in profile over here as the 3000+ killed in September '01. And while the Christians would support the 'American way' as they know it, the Islamics would replace it with Sharia. I'd rather live in 1950's America than 1990's Iraq or current Saudia Arabia.
Okay, so the crusades are an example of Christianity attacking Islam? Mmm-hmm. So, if the middle east was ruled by Rome (which is to say, western civilization) at the time of Christ, why were 'we' (which is to say, western civilization) fighting the turks and moors there a few hundred years later?
Also, you wouldn't know by reading the MSM, but there's a big scandal going on over at the UN. It seems that billions of dollars were diverted from the oil-for-food program. Guess who collected? You won't believe me, so do your own research. But it certainly seems from where I sit that there were good cash reasons why the French and Russians opposed our Iraqi action.
There are two hundred thousand US troops over there. These are people who put their lives on the line every day, even while they sleep, so that other people may have the opportunity to travel freely, work and play as they like, and not live or die at the whim of tyranny. These people are making real sacrifices.
The media has been having a field day with the Iraq prison scandal. Some bad people did bad things to some Iraqi detainees. Bad. We all agree. We are punishing the bad guys (and girls. I know you feminist-american types like to think you don't have it in you, but Lynndie says you do. So, there you go).
The media doesn't care to consider that under Hussein, these same people, or people like them, would have been fed to wood shredders, gang raped, or electrocuted as an institutionalized practice. And their families. And their clans, if they happened to be Kurdish. And their town, if they happened to back the US in Gulf War 1.
I know the hate-america-first crowd would like to claim that there was an institutionalized culture on the part of the Americans that led to these horrible abuses. I think that is asinine, but even if true, it hardly rises to the level of evil shown by the Iraqi government under the Husseins. In actuality, though, these people involved with the prison scandal represent a diminishingly-small percentage of the troops we have there. Hands up. Who here would 'torture' prisoners? I wouldn't. I served in the active duty military, so I empirically reject the notion that there is a culture in the military that supports such idiocy.
I'm reminded of an NYT article on the prison 'scandal'. I don't usually read the NYT as they are pretty biased, but some koolaid-republican site that I look at linked to the article. Anyway, this prisoner had been humiliated by the Americans who played loud music and forced him to remain naked for a while and put a woman (a *woman*, for garsh sake!) in charge. He was so humiliated that he could no longer face his neighbors. The Americans owe him restitution for the grave harm they had done. He suggested that a reasonable reparation would be to be moved to America in order to not have to face his neighbors in his humiliation. Yep, we're so darned evil and have treated him so badly that he wants us to pay to move him here.
Now, of course, people are up in arms that Bush is actually trying to honor the turn-over date he proposed way back when. He just can't win, can he?
Right. So with that introduction, here is what I really have to share with you today.
A little pro-America propaganda. Don't bother to read it; it's about moms of soldiers deployed, or about to be deployed, to Iraq.
Back to me. I am teaching my children that the freedoms that they enjoy are at constant risk from forces within and without.
You may consider this hyperbole on the face, but you would also accuse Bush of trying to turn America into a theocracy; that would certainly be a risk to our freedoms, would it not? So we agree.
Also, once the liberals give the country to Islam (since it is uncivilized to actually resist), things will certainly change. Take a look at France for an example of what attempting to appease Islam brings; in parts of Paris, women can't walk the streets without hajib or risk being attacked by street gangs. Don't take my word for it; do your own research. I don't want that here. Remember; I'm big into freedoms. Worship or not as you choose, but don't bother me with it.
I also teach my children that people who serve in the military are to be honored and respected for the choices and sacrifices they have made. The old saw about it not being any big thing because people are being forced into the military for economic reasons doesn't work; for every person serving in the military due to perceived economic necessity, there are several in civilian life depending on welfare and medicare and doing no work whatsoever. Let me tell you; it is way easier to collect welfare than it is to serve in the military. No one is forced into the military.
To the people serving over there, I would say, thanks for serving from the bottom of my heart. It makes me proud to know that there are Iraqis, the vast majority, who today have freedom. It makes me proud to know that there are people, Americans, who risk all, who leave their families for months on end, to secure rights for people they don't even know. Stay the course; it took seven years to stop the axis and forty years after that for us to get out of Germany and Japan; you people are doing a great and speedy job. I thank you, my family thanks you.