Thursday, May 31, 2007

Move America Forward Makes Healing Its Priority; Offers Olive Branch, Bids on Sheehan Land

In an act of what can only be considered true compassion the pro-troop organization Move America Forward has offered to bail anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan out of her financial troubles by buying a 5-acre tract of property Sheehan owns near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.

The proposal from MAF also includes plans to erect a monument on the property to the heroes of the Afghanistan and Iraq fighting in the War on Terror.

The artists' rendering of the monument:

Sheehan rose to national prominence as the darling of the left-wing anti-war media when she accused President Bush of needlessly causing the death of her son Casey who died fighting terrorists in Baghdad.

She camped out on the road leading to the Bush property attempting to recreate a 60s era anti-war movement. Although some fringe elements did join here there, she also was opposed by many Gold Star families, whose sons and daughters also were killed in the fighting, and Blue Star families whose sons and daughters are fighting the terrorists and who opposed her stance on the war and the president.

On Memorial Day this year Sheehan announced that she was stepping down from her leadership role in the flailing anti-war movement, after she had begun questioning Democrats in Congress as she had previously questioned Republicans, and was roundly criticized by her own backers for her statements.

Move America Forward is chaired by Melanie Morgan, who with co-author Catherine Moy, wrote the book American Mourning: The Intimate Story of Two Families Joined by War, Torn by Beliefs which compares how two American families reacted to the loss of their sons in combat in Iraq.

The book relates how Cindy Sheehan's reaction was so different from Joe Johnson, whose son Justin was Casey Sheehan's best friend and who also died in Iraq a few days after Casey. Morgan, co-host of the morning drive-time radio show on KSFO in San Francisco, with Lee Rodgers, sent me the following news release from Move America Forward:

SACRAMENTO - The nation's largest grass-roots, pro-troop organization, Move America Forward - - is announcing today its plans to acquire the 5 acres of land in Crawford, Texas that had been used by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and her supporters.

Move America Forward has retained the services of award-winning real estate agent, Holly Williams - - to broker the deal. Once the land has been obtained, Move America Forward plans to erect a "Monument to America's Heroes" on the property.

"I'm honored to be able to broker such a deal, and help turn this piece of land into a memorial that honors our brave men and women who fought for our freedom overseas. I am familiar with the land having spent time in Crawford and seeing first hand how Sheehan used the land to undermine the mission of our troops. I can't think of a better use than to buy the land that was used to defile our troops and turn it into something beautiful that honors them," said Holly Williams.

Sheehan acquired the 5-acre plot of land in July 2006 for $52,500 using insurance money from the death of her son, Casey Sheehan, in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Cindy Sheehan declared at that time that the land would be used, "until George's (Bush) resignation or impeachment." However, this Memorial Day weekend Sheehan reversed course and gave her "resignation" as the face of the anti-war movement, announcing that the 5-acres in Crawford, Texas were up for sale.

"This land has been used as a staging ground for anti-war activists to denounce and denigrate the heroic service of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. It is our intention to turn this around and make this the site that will honor the heroic accomplishments of the men and women who have fought with honor and courage in the war against Islamic terrorism," declared Melanie Morgan, Chairman of Move America Forward.

Robert Dixon, Executive Director of Move America Forward, said the money to purchase the land would come from the financial contributions of Move America Forward's one-million members.

"We've already raised the initial sum to kick-start this effort and we will be collecting donations to fund both the purchase of this land and to pay for the construction of the Monument to America's Heroes," Dixon said.

As I said at the outset, this is obviously an act of compassion with a true sense of honoring the troops. The biggest question now, however, is how will Cindy Sheehan respond to an offer to permanently honor her son, and the other men and women who served as well.

Ahmadinejad to Bush - SUCKER!

There is a basic concept in street fighting that if a potential adversary is bigger and more powerful than you, the first order of business is to get that adversary off guard, then smack him in a vital spot so you can bring him down to size.

The best way to do this is to appear non-threatening, even friendly if necessary, and get close enough to land a sucker punch. An even better technique is to take a two-by-four and hit the big guy across the shins, which inevitably bends him over in extreme pain, which gives the smaller combatant a clear opportunity to hit again, harder.

If you just want to get your adversary's attention, you hit him with the flat edge of the board, which hurts, but spreads out the pain over a wide area. However, if you really intend to inflict some damage, you try to land a blow with the sharp edge of the board, which means a far more concentrated, and far more incapacitating encounter.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, known none-too-affectionately in this column as Green Bean Almondine, employed this technique in recent days, lulling the Bush Administration into a false sense of security through his willingness to send envoys to Iraq for direct talks with the US for the first time since the unpleasantness of the late 70s.

Bush bowed to international pressure for "talks" and sent our guys to sit down with Green Bean's guys. They shook hands, talked all day long, got exactly nowhere, and then adjourned, promising to have another day of "talks" at some undetermined time in the future.

No sooner had the Iranian envoy gotten out of the area, and while the Bush Administration was still basking in the afterglow of "acceptable" international relations, than the media reported that gunmen dressed like Iraqi police kidnapped 5 British subjects right in the center of Baghdad.

The Brits were snatched from a Finance Ministry facility in a mock police raid that Iraqi officials said was carried out by the Mahdi Army Shiite militia. You may recall that the Mahdi Army is the enforcement arm of the fake cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr's criminal enterprise.

Al-Sadr bolted from the Sadr City slum in Baghdad where his enterprise is headquartered immediately after being tipped off by the media that US forces were going on the offensive known as the "Surge" and were no longer adhering to the diplomatically enforced "hands off" policy.

Al-Sadr, courtesy of Green Bean, hid out neighboring Iran, which is openly backing his efforts by sending bombs, terrorists and training cadre into Iraq to undermine the Iraqi government and the US War on Terror.

Al-Sadr hid out in Iran for nearly four months, but showed up last week in a city south of Baghdad, along with an entourage and a few thousand screaming followers, claiming once again that he was going to be a major force in determining Iraq's future, and demanding that U.S. troops leave.

Once again, we either missed, or were not allowed to take advantage of, an opportunity to blast him into paradise ... because we were going to sit down and "talk" with his principal supporter in the volatile Middle East.

Almost simultaneously with Sadr's reappearance, and the simple yet effective diversion by Green Bean - agreeing to the talks - was the raid that resulted in the capture of the Brits.

So first off we get suckered, then we get smacked. And that is just the set up. The next shot we take is the one that will matter. It hasn't been delivered yet, but you can be sure it is coming.

Regular readers of this column are well aware that I have been very, very reluctant to join the chorus of critics who fault President Bush and his administration for everything from the weather to their daily horoscopes. I make the point that I don't always agree with his tactics, but I also temper my criticisms by pointing out wherever possible that many of his decisions were based on good and solid reasoning, that just came to a different conclusion than mine.

The reason for this is simple - I agree that we should have gone into Iraq, because the terrorists moved there after we beat them in Afghanistan. Also, I have been ever watchful of the ongoing 60s style movement on the left to again undermine our troops, ostensibly by saying the war is the issue not the military, when the real issue all along has been the military. I don't want to give the left any ammo.

I am firmly convinced that just as we overwhelmingly defeated the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese communists in Vietnam, regardless of what the media continues to say about it, we also can defeat the Islamo-fascists we are fighting now. But the media now, as then, is flooded with negativity and daily body counts on our side, all the while ignoring our successes, terrorist body counts, and the real casualty issue, the number of Americans who would be dead or wounded from terrorist attacks if our military was not where it is, doing what it is.

On the domestic scene Bush is more than a little distracted by the uproar over the newest incarnation of an immigration bill, and I was hesitant to pile on only because there already is so much criticism from the conservative base. But in the last week or so I have heard Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy praise the president, conservative editor, writer and commentator Fred Barnes praise Ted Kennedy, and the president praise a bill that even his staunchest supporters say has more loopholes than a sieve.

Obviously something is terribly awry inside the Washington, D.C., beltway. But I don't want an obvious attempt to sucker us into a situation in Iraq that will cost us the lives of American troops if not dealt with immediately go unnoticed and unremarked upon.

Ahmadinejad is up to something and we have only seen the first phase of it. He went completely out of character by agreeing to talk with us, using a three-carrier battle group in the Persian Gulf as an excuse to make us believe he is really worried. The carriers are there because Green Bean is moving forward in his efforts to make bomb grade nuclear fuel from his nuclear power plants, against all the pointless and unenforceable resolutions from the Untied Nations.

So he ignores the resolutions and sanctions, continues to move forward with his nuclear program, we send in some carriers and suddenly he is more agreeable? No he isn't. This is an old ruse, and one which is easily recognizable to anyone who has ever had to fight their way out of a sticky situation, especially one where there are no rules.

But most of Bush's advisers inside the Beltway apparently have never had to fight their way out of anything, at least on a physical level. Politics they understand, but street fighting is not their forte.

In the meantime the New York Times has run a story revealing that some people in the Bush Administration are privately talking about getting out of Iraq sooner rather than later. It isn't by accident that Al-Sadr showed up right on the heels of this revelation, regardless of whether it is accurate.

Al-Sadr and Green Bean smell fear, real or imagined, and they are hoping to exploit what they see as weakness in the Bush Administration. To make their point, and to hurry the rumored retreat of American troops, Al-Sadr and Green Bean will likely intensify their efforts against US forces, hoping that increased casualty levels will convince both the Congress and the Bush Administration to cave in and run away.

The short-term impact on our troops and the long term impact on our country will be devastating if Bush allows this scenario to play out. Ahmadinejad has suckered Bush into letting his guard down, and has responded with a two-by-four across the shins.

That was bad enough, but this bears repeating. Another shot is coming and it is coming soon. The follow-up to the board across the shins is usually a slam upside the head, right on the temple.

If, as is often reported, Bush has only a handful of advisers whom he trusts, it would be advisable for them to figure out what this translates to in terms of our presence in Iraq and prepare for it. When this blow will be delivered is the only question. That it will be delivered should be a foregone conclusion.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Unionize Wal-Mart? Are You Crazy?

Another in an occasional series From the Flight Deck

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal on challenges facing the airlines mentioned how Northwest was having a very difficult time completing timely luggage transfers between connecting planes.

Apparently, after all the cutbacks that have been plaguing the industry, Northwest couldn't attract sufficient numbers of dependable ramp workers - luggage handlers - at the starting wage of $8.75 an hour.

Northwest management decided that to attract more dependable workers they should up the starting wage and agreed that a $1 per hour increase would do the trick. We're not talking highly skilled tasks here, but still, timely luggage arrival is a major factor in airline customer satisfaction, which is a major factor in helping potential customers decide which airline to select when they travel.

In accordance with contract dictates the Northwest management approached the union leadership proposing to increase the ramp workers' starting wage by $1, with the end goal of increasing customer satisfaction, attracting more customers, and keeping everyone employed.

The union responded that it was an all or nothing issue. Either all the other job classifications immediately got a raise by the same amount proposed for the baggage handlers, or no one got a raise.

Rather than working with management, helping improve the product, and bringing on more customers, which would bring in more money, which would lead the union to a far better bargaining position in the next round of contract talks, the union leadership typically went for instant greed over long term common sense.

The cost of immediately increasing everyone's wage base by $1 per hour was far outside of the company's abilities, so Northwest scrapped the idea. Everyone lost.

Northwest is now looking to outsource its ground/ramp work.

So, at what point in this issue did the union really look after the workers and balance the long term benefits with short term goals, which would have led to a stronger corporation and better wages all around? Right. Never.

Now let's talk about Wal-Mart and the national left-wing efforts to run it into the ground because Wal-Mart workers aren't unionized.

Although I now am in the flight industry, I started my working career right out of high school, while I was attending college, at the Sam's Club division of Wal-Mart. When Wal-Mart and Sam's Club first came to my community the crowds applying for positions there were huge, and it was obvious that with such a vast pool of potential employees, the firm was in a position to select the best. I was proud to be among those who were offered positions.

I spent several years with Sam's Club, starting out stocking shelves, unloading trucks, driving forklifts, and ultimately moving upward in the organization until I was managing people and merchandise.

It was obvious that if I had decided to stay under the Wal-Mart umbrella the stairway always led upward and the opportunities for advancement were constant. This applied across the board to everyone who came to work with a decent set of skills and a positive attitude; race, gender, and age all were irrelevant. Motivation was relevant.

In recent years I have become increasingly aware of how the country's business climate can affect my job possibilities, and have taken to watching the Saturday morning business blocks on Fox News. Unfortunately, in the interest of presenting balanced perspectives, these blocks are loaded with pro-union talking heads, often claiming that Wal-Mart treats its employees harshly, and that a union would solve all their woes.

What a crock!

When I joined Sam's Club I was trying to find a job that paid well and had a flexible schedule so I could continue my education. I also wanted to do some traveling, and having employment opportunities in other areas of the country if I decided to relocate was a major consideration.

Not only did I find that I could work a wide range of hours that fit my school and personal schedules, but Sam's management had no problem with me moving around the country just as long there was a club in the new area with a need that I could fill.

With that as a background I have been listening with a heightened level of astonishment as these TV "experts" discuss Wal-Mart's relationship to its employees, and how Wal-Mart employees are just too stupid to know there is a better life out there if only the union was involved.

What they don't talk about are all the things Wal-Mart provides in addition to flexible schedules and working conditions, those 'other' factors commonly known as benefits. The benefits were great! I may not have been able to go to the doctor with a hangnail and pay $10 for the visit, but should I have encountered an illness or injury, my medical benefits were there for me.

In addition to medical benefits, I also had a stock purchase plan which allowed me to purchase Wal-Mart stock at discounted rates. For a person in their 20s this was a gold mine. I also was able to invest in the company's profit-sharing plan.

Those are just some of the tangible benefits I received during my tenure at Wal-Mart.

One of the intangible benefits I received was the training on how to be an effective team leader/manager. It was unparalleled and provides a model that other industries certainly could use to their advantage. The training I received then still is valid in my career today.

To those who say we who work or worked at Wal-Mart are too stupid to know better I say, perhaps you need to take an updated IQ test. Then, when you see the results, sign up for some remedial training in basic business management.

Wal-Mart's critics are using the same tactics that they use against our people in the armed services - making false statements, or selecting a small sliver of data that reflects only a minuscule portion of the overall picture, but portraying that sliver as the whole.

To what end? Look what the unions have done for GM and Ford in recent years. Toyota is killing America's car manufacturers because the unions don't care about the long term. It bears noting here, that when unionized workers are laid off or go on strike, the union representatives and executives don't suffer. Their salaries are paid from workers' dues, not by the company, so when others are on strike or unemployment with reduced or no income, their union reps talk sympathetically, but they aren't the ones sacrificing.

On the corporate level, the unions simply won't let organizations do what they have to do to stay competitive. And in the culture of Wal-Mart, every cent of cost they cut directly impacts the costs of the merchandise.

Just for the sake of argument lets say the union finally gets established inside of Wal-Mart - who do you think is really going to pay for the increased costs? That's right - the employees and the consumer.

For all you pro-unionists out there, take a look at what happened when your cohorts kept going after Halliburton. They finally pulled up stakes and moved to the UAE.

Using that as an example, I would look very carefully at what can happen if you continue to target the country's LARGEST employer outside of the federal government.
Monday, May 28, 2007

A Memorial Day Tale of Two Warriors; One Tour of Duty Ends, One Begins

Memorial Day, USA. Parades, speeches, shows of support for the troops, followed by backyard picnics, time with the family, perhaps even the beginning of vacations and summer leisure.

Well, for some of us. On this Memorial Day the family of Deborah Johns is celebrating and thanking God for her son William's safe return from Iraq. He has just finished his third tour there as a Marine and received a well-deserved hero's welcome Saturday when he arrived in San Francisco.

For my sister-in-law, my nieces, and our entire extended family, there is a different mood, as this Memorial Day marks the end of my brother-in-law David's first week in Iraq. His first tour as a U.S. Army pilot is just beginning as is the long year of waiting and worrying.

I haven't met William Johns, but we certainly know a lot about him. In March, I interviewed his mother, Deborah, for this column, and she gave us quite an insight into the pride and fear that a mother feels as a son goes to war.

As a single parent she had wanted William, who was a top-rated baseball player, to go to college on an athletic scholarship, a dream that crashed when William sat out his junior year due to an injury. That year William became interested in the military, and decided he wanted to become a Marine.

Deborah eventually signed his enlistment papers and after graduation from high school William left for boot camp, then infantry training, and ultimately was assigned to Iraq where he was a sniper.

While he was gone, on his first tour, then his second, then his third, Deborah became a vocal and active supporter for our troops and a welcome counterpoint to the negativity of the mainstream media.

She and her friend Colleen Tanenbaum organized the first meeting for Marine Moms in Northern California, she worked with her church and a local radio station holding donation drives for the troops, and she encouraged people to put yellow ribbons on their trees to support them.

News reports say that even though he has served three tours in Iraq, William still has three years to go on his enlistment and conceivably could go back again. It is my hope that he won't have to and I'm sure his family feels the same way.

Deborah's description of her son leads me to believe that he probably is very much like my brother-in-law David, and it appears there is much the two warriors share, including their faith and sense of duty to their country and freedom.

David has been in the Army for more than 20 years, both active and reserves. He has not been in combat previously, but he is not the kind of man or soldier to shirk his duty. His absence will be felt deeply, but I also know him to be the kind of man who wants to be able to look inside himself and know that he did what was necessary for his country and family when he was needed.

David is a quiet and dignified man of enormous personal character and faith, a man I consider to be a born leader, and most certainly the kind of man I would have been proud to fly with in Vietnam.

He is simply one of the most competent individuals I have ever met, has an understated sense of humor, and a way of quickly seeing through the phony trappings of life to get to the reality that lies below.

I hadn't thought he would be in the rotation to go to Iraq, but I have to also say that I wasn't all that surprised when I heard he was going. David's sense of duty and responsibility is such that he would never allow someone else to fill his slot, nor would he leave the defense of his country overall, or his family in particular, to others.

I don't know where David is assigned yet, or how to get in touch with him, but when I do you can be assured that I will be in contact with him often. I already hear regularly from Marines and other service members who are in Iraq, some serving with units I served with in Vietnam.

Their input is invaluable to understanding and appreciating all that is going on in that war zone. I am anxious to hear my brother-in-law's take on the Surge and the mission there overall. One thing I will know without question is that whatever he can tell me, within the confines of mission security, will be honest.

I have tried to put myself into David's shoes mentally and remember what my first weeks in a combat zone were like. It was blindingly hot when I got to Vietnam, a few weeks after the onset of the dry season, and I was stationed near the DMZ on a coastal plain that probably has more in common with deserts than jungles.

Sand, wind and constant oppressive heat are my memories of that time and that much I share with him. It will take him a few weeks at the least to acclimate to the heat, and then he will have to deal with work days that regularly last up to 16 hours and sometimes even longer.

He will face hours, perhaps days, of sheer boredom, interrupted by minutes of violence of a kind that even television images can't accurately portray. I have no doubt that he will rise to the challenges he faces. He is that kind of man.

Beyond that, our tours probably will have other areas of commonality, and it is my hope that when he returns we will have times to talk about these things as one veteran to another. I have always been immensely proud to have David as a brother-in-law. In fact, I have been very lucky across the board to have inherited a family full of in-laws much like him.

But a transition is underway, one which will take many months, perhaps even a year or more, and when it is completed, in addition to being my brother-in-law he will be my brother-in-arms. That is a special distinction.

Later today I will go the center of my community, join up with other veterans, and march in our annual Memorial Day Parade. I will take part in memorial services to previous generations of veterans, and listen to the speeches and the roll call of those who died fighting for us. But my mind will be elsewhere, somewhere in the sands of Iraq, where my brother-in-law has answered the call and taken up the cause of freedom.

Memorial Day, USA. Parades, speeches, backyard picnics, even the beginnings of vacations and summer leisure. For some of us.

But for many American families, represented by the two warriors I write of today, Memorial Day will forever mean something a bit different, and more precious.

For the Johns family, their warrior, who has given so much of himself for his country, so selflessly, has returned, and for now the war and the wait are over.

For David's extended family, the war and the wait have only just begun. We will be thinking of him today, as we will throughout his tour, and we will say silent prayers for his successes, his safety, and his return to his family and country.

Such is the price of war. Such is the cost of freedom.
Saturday, May 26, 2007

Since When Is Terrorism "Chic?"

Pamela Geller who writes the Atlas Shrugs blog - - has been hammering away for several months now on clothing stores that sell look-alike Palestinian terrorist headgear as some kind of fashion 'chic.'

I have been remiss in not following her lead more quickly, but I have seen this so-called 'fashion' wear on two occasions in recent months and while this is comparatively late, it still is worth noting.

In both cases the wearers were not unaware teen-aged twits who don't know the difference between cool and uncool. In both cases the wearers were groups of teen-aged (or young twenties) twits who knew exactly what the clothing stood for and wore it anyway.

Once was at the Gathering of Eagles in Washington, D.C., when the checkered headwear covered the empty craniums of a group of wannabe anarchists, who were also wearing black, carrying Palestinian Authority flags and had their faces masked so their parents couldn't tell it was them.

The second time was last week when a similar group gathered with the other pro-communist demonstrators at the Coast Guard Academy's graduation ceremonies in New London, Connecticut. They also wore black and again hid their faces presumably so their mommies and daddies wouldn't pull their support payments.

Teen-aged rebellion is not an unfamiliar concept to me. In fact, my father considered it one of my identifying characteristics before I left home to join the Marines. So rebelling against authority is not something I generally have a big problem with, so long as that rebellion doesn't bring harm to others and their property.

But I also was reminded last week of an incident that happened long ago in the lunch room of my elementary school when I was 10 or 11. A classmate, who had been waiting in line, turned to another boy, raised his arm in the Nazi salute and declared "Heil Hitler."

A Jewish girl who was standing a few feet away instantly dressed him down, no maybe I should say she verbally filleted him, explaining just who Hitler was, what he had done to so many people in Europe and why his name and symbols were especially reprehensible to members of the Jewish faith.

The thing was, most if not all of my classmates agreed with her, not him. That is because most of our fathers and uncles had fought in WWII, and many had been on the drive across Europe that ended for some with the liberation of the concentration camps.

The stories of those horrors were all too real and personal for schoolchildren of my generation, and the Nazi swastika was a hated symbol that wasn't even allowed to be displayed in mock 'war' games.

But now, a generation or more later, it is considered desirable in some areas to wear the clothing that emulates that worn by some of the worst butchers on the face of the earth since Hitler died and the Soviet Union fell. Why is this? What is wrong with people that their view of life is so skewed that they would openly embrace and propagandize a segment of the human population that uses murder, torture, sexism, racism and wanton abuse as tools of the trade?

The animals these young geniuses are mimicking are so lacking in basic human dignity and intelligence that they will turn on members of their own race and religion at any provocation, however slight or contrived. They attack like rabid dogs and glory in the dismembered bodies of babies and the elderly as proof of their manhood.

Their tactics and strategies are the most heinous and cowardly ever visited on the human race and yet we have children in our own country who openly copy them.

There probably are myriad reasons for this. Television violence, video game slaughter, all enjoyed with detachment that also allows participants to get up for dinner before resuming play, certainly have a part in it.

But I think there is more. The 60s spawned one of the most pampered, drugged out, egotistical, me-first generations to ever disgrace the face of the earth. To this day some of its disciples glory in statements such as "If you remember the 60s you weren't there."

Well I was there, and I wasn't wandering around in a non-stop drug induced haze that continues to this day, and I remember it pretty well, especially fighting the communists in Vietnam, as do the majority of people I have called friends over the years since.

But the children of the psychedelic generation are in many cases the children who have no sense of responsibility for their actions now. They don't relate to the carnage the terrorists spread wherever they go, because their parents can't tell them of the carnage the communists spread in the 70s - can't or don't want to, because it would be the proof of the lie that was their lives then and is their lives now.

The 60s were a wonderful time in many ways, but they also were a horrible time. And the people who thought smoking dope or injecting hallucinogens into their bodies was somehow going to make terrorism go away are the same people who brought us incurable sexually transmitted diseases, destruction of the family unit, and a third generation drug war that has wreaked havoc on our citizenry.

Unfortunately, for many of these 'Children of the 60s' their brains are so fried that they not only can't remember what they did back then, they have no idea what they are doing now.

So we get teen-aged twits who think emulating terrorists somehow makes them desirable, or even tough, although I have yet to see a one of them who could make it through military boot camp.

A friend who was with the Gathering of Eagles at both the Coast Guard Academy and DC, and who just happens to be a 3rd-degree black belt in karate, had to be restrained from teaching some of these air-headed dope fiends a lesson in reality last week, especially after they started dragging the American flag he had fought for through the dirt.

Cooler heads prevailed then, and my friend was reminded that he would be the one who ended up in jail if he kicked the crap out of the wannabe terrorists, regardless of how much they deserved it.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be anyone around to teach these punks what an 11-year-old Jewish girl so eloquently explained to a classmate in my school lunch room many years ago. Too many people have grown up in this country without having to fight even for a second for their 'rights,' and their children have no family lore on which to base their decisions on right, wrong and fashion sense.

And the real tragedy is that if the terrorists they emulate were ever to win the war we are now fighting, the first people they would torture, maim, rape, abuse and eventually kill, would be the very same idiots who think that wearing offensive clothing is a sign of solidarity.
Thursday, May 24, 2007

President Bush Issues Wake Up Call; Will America Listen?

President Bush's commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy graduation Wednesday revealed a litany of planned terrorist attacks on the US that have been intercepted and defused before they could be executed.

Information in the speech included some that is newly declassified that gave a broad and sobering view of the intensity of ongoing Al Qaeda efforts to again breach the defenses of the United States and again unleash horror on our citizens. These include bombings, repeated use of aircraft to attack buildings and people, and efforts to poison the water supplies of our major cities.

All were real plans, all were progressing to a horrible conclusion, all were intercepted and defused by our intelligence services, the FBI, police and military. So far.

I was invited to attend the ceremonies as a member of the Connecticut GOP delegation that welcomed the president to our state, and listened closely to his account of the ongoing, behind-the-scenes efforts to keep the terrorists at bay while our troops are fighting them head-on elsewhere.

While I was at the academy, family members were watching the president on the Internet, and the reaction when I returned home was even more dramatic than what I observed on the scene. "We were given a warning," was the succinct and all-to-accurate assessment of his comments.

The huge audience at the academy, several thousand, was warmly receptive to the speech and especially the president's acknowledgement of the major role the Coast Guard plays in our nation's defense.

But I can't help wonder just how far the impact of that speech will extend. A common expression regarding the War on Terror is "The military is at war, America is at the mall."

Unfortunately this seems to be all too true, as a large percentage of our population either has concluded based on no information or false information that we have successfully thwarted the terrorist threat permanently, or that if we up and leave Iraq now there will be no further repercussions to our country.

I believe many Americans have been lulled into this false sense of security because we have been so successful on one hand and the media has been remiss in not reporting either the extent of our successes or the extent of the continued efforts by the terrorists on the other. For instance, it only recently has been reported that the anticipated, full-scale Spring Offensive by Taliban/Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan has failed to materialize.

Why? Well because American and NATO troops have been killing terrorists, and especially their field grade commanders there with enormous success. But we don't hear too much about Taliban and Al Qaeda failures, all we hear is how many American or coalition troops have died.

As an example, according to a CNN website, casualties in Afghanistan since the 9-11 attacks are "575 coalition deaths -- 386 Americans, one Australian, 55 Britons, 54 Canadians, one Czech, three Danes, six Dutch, nine French, 21 Germans, nine Italians, one Norwegian, one Portuguese, four Romanians, one South Korean, 20 Spaniards, two Swedes - in the war on terror as of May 21, 2007." I should point out that although these numbers are supposed to be combat casualties in the Afghan theater it turns out the total includes deaths due to accidents, and even some in other areas including Kuwait and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Nonetheless, according to some reports, coalition forces have killed more than 1,000 terrorists in Afghanistan this year, which has put a major crimp in the Taliban's plans to launch any kind of major offensive.

But as American and coalition troops are fighting these maniacs, many Americans are getting really annoyed that they have to be continually reminded of this pesky War on Terror. Presidential candidates don't even want to call it what it is, a War on Terror. They want to come up with some inane, sound-bite, bumper sticker slogan that makes it appear to be different and less dangerous than what it is.

Unfortunately, some Americans in the most unlikely of places are buying into this nonsense. While I was inside the Coast Guard Academy a group of protesters, sponsored by the pro-communist coalition A.N.S.W.E.R, was outside on one corner of the street leading directly to the main gate, touting the downfall of capitalism, sporting terrorist-chic clothing, and dragging American flags in the dirt.

Fortunately, a similar-sized crowd of veterans, organized by Connecticut Gathering of Eagles liaison and former Marine James Bancroft, was on the other side of the street offering an opposing viewpoint. News reports said there were more pro-communist, pro-terrorist supporters than veterans, but Bancroft obviously was far better prepared tactically and had obtained permits that enabled the veterans to extend from the corner of the street more than a hundred yards right to the main gate.

Carloads of families and friends coming in to attend the ceremonies had a brief encounter with the pro-communists, but an extended encounter with the veterans. Good move on Bancroft's part. After the ceremonies had ended, the veterans, as usual, cleaned up after themselves, while the A.N.S.W.E.R. protesters left graffiti including defacing the main sign at the entrance to the academy.

Between the graffiti, the high school kids in terrorist headgear and masks, which really upset the platoons of police on the scene, and the abuse of the American flag, it is hard to find any validity to their viewpoints. The support for communist criminals like Che Guevera and speeches calling for an end to capitalism give a true indication of the intent of the alleged "anti-war, anti-Bush" protesters.

Yet, a person sitting near me claimed that the people outside the gate were well meaning, mainstream Americans who were legitimately exercising their right to free speech. I see. I guess wearing clothing that mimics and celebrates terrorist organizations who routinely murder, torture and rape civilians as a military tactic, carrying signs celebrating communist criminals, and dragging upside down American flags in the dirt are appropriate displays of the "New Patriotism." I must have missed the memo on that.

I'm glad Jim Bancroft, the American Legion Riders and hundreds of other veterans and their supporters lined the street into the academy. If the rag tag, anti-American anti-democracy forces on the other side are indicative of some people's definition of 'mainstream' America, it is clear that another point of view is necessary.

President Bush opened up to America on Wednesday and those who were listening received a rare and while disturbing, nonetheless welcome insight into the information he sees every single day. It would be good for our country if more Americans look up his speech on the Internet and take the time to study what was revealed.

While I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the daily status of the war against us, one thing in the president's speech that I found technically correct still needs comment. He said, accurately, that one big difference between the War on Terror and the Vietnam War is that back then we were fighting an enemy that could not, and did not intend to invade the US.

Now, we are fighting an enemy that already has shown it intends to and can attack us in our own homes.

Technically that is correct. North Vietnam couldn't invade us here. But North Vietnam was only one piece of the encroaching communism puzzle. I would invite the president's speech writers to take a map of the world as it existed prior to 1917, and then decade by decade from 1917 until 1965 color in all the countries that had fallen to communist domination in red.

Then make a bar graph of the percentage of the world population that was also enslaved by the communists, decade by decade, with a sidebar also showing the continents where communism was making inroads. What you will have is a very visible and very dramatic display of just how far and how fast communism was progressing in its drive to take over the world.

North Vietnam may not have been able to invade the US. But communism, like Islamo-fascism, was driven not by one country, but by ideologues, who respected neither national boundaries, nor international law. Communism was on its way and we now know that even the US had been infiltrated, in our media, our state department, our universities, and our Congress.

Whether North Vietnamese agents would have launched the eventual attack on us is not relevant. What is relevant is that an attack was coming, sooner or later, and the US government decided back then to make a stand in Vietnam before we had to make a stand in New York City.

As a result of having to divert enormous percentages of their resources to Vietnam for more than a decade, the seeds were sown for the ultimate bankruptcy of the Soviet Union, which was the outcome we had wanted.

What the downfall of the Soviet Union showed was that communism was beatable, if we stayed strong and united in our determination to fight it. Many Americans from the 1930s through the 1970s tried to portray communism as a benign economic system that actually was far better than capitalism, much as a speaker outside the Coast Guard Academy claimed on Wednesday.

The truth was that communism was not much different than the terrorism we are facing today, and in practice it was a repressive, brutal governmental system that merely replaced the old forms of government with a new, more controlling, more deadly form.

It would be hard to find a more terrible form of government than communism, but I believe the terrorist have found it. One significant difference between the communists and the terrorists is that the communists didn't believe in any deity, thus they didn't willingly go out on the battlefield to commit suicide.

There were some enemy suicide squads in Vietnam, but no more or less than you will find in any military at war.

But the Islamo-fascists believe in a deity that rewards slaughter, and promises an unbelievably unlikely paradise to its adherents, especially if they blow themselves up to further the cause.

It will be hard to defeat the terrorists, just like it was hard to defeat the communists in the Cold War. But it can be done, if America stays focused, united and aware.

President Bush did his part at the Coast Guard Academy. He told America the truth, he opened up the parts of the files that he could and gave us a glimpse of what he sees every day.

The issue in this case is not President Bush. The issue is just how many people still think A.N.S.W.E.R. represents mainstream America, and whether the rest of the population will wake up and pay attention, or just head off to the mall.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

PBS Censors Melanie Morgan; Feminism Dies; Bullies Reign

The taxpayer-funded Public Broadcasting Service has censored conservative San Francisco radio talk host Melanie Morgan, and banned her from future appearances, after she stood up to and refused to be bullied by a liberal male guest on the News Hour show earlier this month.

PBS claims that Morgan was banned due to viewer complaints that she was "rude" to her opponent on the segment, because she interrupted him four times. But a review of the transcript shows that interruptions were a two-way street, as they are on many such formats, and that her opponent interrupted Ms. Morgan an equal number of times without rebuke or penalty.

In the fantasy world of equality for the sexes, supposedly a bastion of left-leaning outlets such as PBS, the diminutive Ms. Morgan's refusal to be cowed by a larger and presumably stronger male guest would have been seen as a triumph for feminism. But if there were any lingering doubts about the moral bankruptcy of the feminist movement, and the left in general, after its tepid reaction to the myriad sexual abuse scandals during the Clinton administration, the decision to to ban Ms. Morgan is obviously the final nail in liberal feminism's coffin.

The scenario that led to Ms. Morgan's censorship was a debate on News Hour between her and Jon Soltz, co-founder and chair of, an organization that supports withdrawing from Iraq.

Soltz served as an Army captain in Iraq for about four months in 2003, and says he speaks for veterans of the War on Terror. Soltz said that his organization "is the leading political organization in America of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. And not only do we represent thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, but we represent over 40,000 veterans and support our veterans across the nation.

And we're working as part of a much larger coalition, Americans against Escalation in Iraq, which represents many, you know, base organizations, the Center for American Progress,, and so forth."

Since approximately 1.4 million servicemen and women have served in Afghanistan and Iraq since the terrorist attacks of 9-11 it is apparent that even including veterans from other eras, Soltz's power base amounts to less than 4 percent of all who have served in the War on Terror.

By contrast, Ms. Morgan chairs Move America Forward, which represents "over a million people who belong to our organization, which is the largest pro-American, pro-troop organization in the United States. And we are a group that speaks loudly for the military families, Gold Star family members who still support the war, who still support the president, and our efforts to stabilize Iraq, and the global war on terror ..."

But numbers aren't the issue here. The issue is that Ms. Morgan gave as good as she got on the show, stood her ground, refused to be bullied and as a result has been censored. Apparently conservative women are welcome on the News Hour only when they are demure, keep their eyes downcast, their voices barely above a whisper, their hands folded in their laps with a lace hanky handy to dab their eyes when they are suitably chastened, and adhere to the approved propaganda line instead of having a mind of their own.

When a man speaks she is supposed to be quiet, when a man disagrees with her she is supposed to immediately recognize the error of her ways, and above all she is never, ever, to disagree or be reproachful to any man, any time, but especially in public.

Shame on Melanie Morgan. Considering that she grew up in a very liberal family, and has spent her entire career in journalism and broadcasting, I bet she actually believed the leftist ideologues who said she could aspire to the American Dream with every bit as much fervor as her male counterparts. I bet she believed in the dictates of feminism as espoused by left-wing role models.

Really, she should have known better. (You, dear reader, do get the sarcasm and irony dripping from the previous paragraph, right?)

The arguments that were presented on PBS the night the lights went out on feminism are pretty well known to those who follow the American political scene. Soltz wants the US out of Iraq, has no use for George Bush, and supports withdrawal ala John Murtha, a former Marine Vietnam War hero whose derring-do and courageous battlefield exploits have made him the leading expert in Congress on the War on Terror. (Yes, more sarcasm.)

Ms. Morgan supports the Surge, the ongoing offensive in Iraq, and wants us to leave when we are victorious. I should point out, however, that on her morning radio show on KSFO in San Francisco, which can be heard on the Internet as well as on Bay Area radios, she and co-host Lee Rodgers have been highly critical of President George Bush's handling of the war in Iraq, not to mention his stance on immigration.

As the co-author with Catherine Moy of the acclaimed book American Mourning: The Intimate Story of Two Families Joined by War, Torn by Beliefs she is more than a little familiar with the issues surrounding the war in Iraq and its impact on America. As a featured speaker and highly visible backer of the Gathering of Eagles in Washington, D.C., on March 17, who has donated her services and even her own money on occasion to support worthy veterans' causes, Morgan comes to the table with considerable credentials.

Yet, when she stands up for her beliefs on the taxpayer-funded Public Broadcasting Service she is immediately slapped down, told to mind her place, which apparently is several steps behind any man who holds differing opinions, and banned from future appearances.

What are they saying? Apparently a young man with obvious political aspirations on the left side of town can portray himself as speaking on behalf of veterans, and that is acceptable to PBS.

But a woman who speaks for an organization with a documented million-plus supporters is not allowed to disagree with the aforementioned young man without being banned from the taxpayer supported public airwaves.

Hello censorship, pleased to meet you propaganda, goodbye feminism. Considering the way Morgan was treated we should probably be thankful the powers-that-be at PBS merely said she was disrespectful instead of calling her a bitch. I mean, that is the left-side code word for a woman who has strong opinions, and has the temerity to challenge a male, right?

I read the transcript of the exchange on PBS and the one thing I did not see was anything remotely resembling disrespect or disinformation coming from Morgan. What I saw was a woman who has opinions diametrically opposed to those of the featured guest, that being a male who served in the armed forces, and the confidence to meet said male veteran head on, issue by issue, with no backing down and no waffling.

Well, we certainly can't have that now can we?

Ms. Morgan said on the Hannity and Colmes show Monday night, May 21, that she wants a public apology from the show's producer. Morgan said she had several phone conversations with the producer prior to the show and was told that it was going to be a no-holds-barred, gloves off confrontation and to come prepared. So she did.

An apology may be enough for Melanie Morgan. But the public that pays the salaries of the propagandists on the News Hour and other PBS shows deserves far more.

It is time for Congress to stop the merry-go-round hearings displaying Democrats' dislike for our first Hispanic Attorney General and let Alberto Gonzales get back to doing his job. My first suggestion would be a full-scale investigation of PBS funding and expenditures to determine whether any improprieties exist.

That should be joined by a FCC investigation into whether taxpayer's were deceived into supporting a political propaganda outlet when they thought it was a non-political source of information.

And besides the apology that Ms. Morgan is due, the producer of the show should be fired.

I have said in this space on other occasions that I realize I may not be able to change the world, but I can tend to business in my own back yard. So, while the fat cats and power brokers at PBS may not care about my opinion, I can have an impact in my area.

I have supported PBS programs in the past, but as of now, any future support I may have considered for Connecticut Public Television, which carries the News Hour, will be diverted elsewhere. And it will stay diverted until the News Hour producer is sent packing.
Sunday, May 20, 2007

Gathering Of Eagles To Support Coast Guard Grads

One spinoff of the highly successful Gathering of Eagles in Washington D.C. on March 17, where some 30,000 veterans turned out to stand vigil over the national war memorials and show support for our troops, is a system of regional organizations that are carrying on the work of the original gathering.

Veterans and our supporters have already organized vigils and counter-demonstrations in places where the far-left, pro-terrorist, pro-communist, pro-socialists have previously gathered with impunity to spew their messages of hatred and opposition to democracy.

This Wednesday, May 23, veterans from through New England and further will be gathering at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, to cheer on the graduating cadets, and to give their friends and relatives a vision of support when they arrive for the ceremonies.

The pro-communist group A.N.S.W.E.R (you can look them up on the Internet if you wish, I'm not giving them any more space here) has also taken out a permit to demonstrate at the academy. It isn't by chance that President George W. Bush is the commencement speaker, of course, but the pro-terrorist groups are making a huge tactical error by using a graduation ceremony at one of the country's service academies to voice their hatred of the president and democracy.

Many of the protesters claim that they support the troops, but oppose the war and the president, but their decision to stage a demonstration at the Academy shows the hypocrisy of those statements. There is no way they can stand outside the academy gate spewing anti-American hatred and claim that they aren't attempting to disrupt troop morale.

It never ceases to amaze me that people who live their lives under the sheltering umbrella of democracy, and owe the very freedoms they abuse to the troops who defend them, are the loudest in their denunciations of the military.

I don't care if someone has differences of opinion with George Bush. I have my own differences of opinion with some of his decisions, not all, but some, and that is one of the beauties of democracy. I can say so, I can write it here, I can email my friends, I can go stand on a street corner and spout off if I want.

But I don't have to infringe on others to make my voice and my opinions known. I wouldn't take my ideas, however mild or extreme they might be, to the doorstep of a service academy on graduation day, which is no more than an obvious attempt to smear what should otherwise be a proud moment for the grads and their families.

There is a special place in the hearts of many in New England, with its seafaring tradition, for the Coast Guard, and I have a personal reason for sharing that feeling. Two decades ago, when I was a journalist, I spent a couple of days out on the North Atlantic on an 80-foot Coast Guard boat, during a patrol that was participating in Operation Grunion, intercepting boats smuggling drugs into New England.

The captain's chair in the wheelhouse was 17 feet above the waterline, and the reason I remember this is that the seas were at 18 feet and rising, meaning every time we went down in the trough between waves, we couldn't see over their tops. I had ridden out two typhoons during my time in the Marines, one in the Pacific and one in the South China Sea, both times on LPHs, helicopter carriers, so I wasn't exactly unfamiliar with rough seas.

But riding the roller coaster of a North Atlantic storm in an 80-foot Coast Guard cutter on patrol is an experience all its own.

LPHs aren't huge ships, but they were a hell of a lot bigger than the patrol boats and cutters the Coast Guard calls home. I didn't get seasick on that ride, but I still came away at the end of the patrol with a wider and deeper appreciation for the "Coasties" and their capabilities.

So when I heard that New England veterans associated with the GOE were going down to New London to stick up for our newest generation of soon-to-be veterans, I didn't hesitate to sign on.

I don't care that people want to voice their disagreements with the President, and I also don't believe we should be showing up every place they do to counter them. That kind of thing gets old pretty quickly and this isn't about silencing free speech.

But just as we had good reason, based on their own comments, to believe that ANSWER and its affiliates intended to deface our memorials in DC, and would have if they could have gotten through the police and the veterans, I also believe that protesting a graduation at a service academy is shameful and boorish.

Parents who have supported their children through college, and most certainly also are dealing with their own private fears and concerns over the next duty station their grads will attend, should not have their day besmirched by a bunch of people who do an awful lot of talking, but very little in the way of real performance. By that I mean, when was the last time you saw an American leftist pulling up stakes to permanently relocate to a communist country?

Yeah, me too. Right around the never mark on the American history timeline. Lots of talk in those groups, but very little direct action. Maybe they do study their own history and are acutely aware of how many people like themselves end up in labor camps or in front of a firing squad in countries the communists control. But obviously, aside from talking and showing that their upbringings were lacking, they never seem to want to experience the communist Utopias in person.

So the pro-communists, pro-terrorist people will shout their slogans, and carry their signs, but as in DC, there will plenty of evidence that another point of view exists as well. I don't expect to see 30,000 veterans at the academy Wednesday, but the major veterans organizations, including the Connecticut American Legion department and Veterans of Foreign Wars have been active in publicizing the gathering, as has the Marine Corps League, and the American Legion Riders.

It should be an interesting event. I'll be the guy with the sign that says USMC Salutes USCG - Semper Peratus, Semper Fidelis.
Friday, May 18, 2007

What is a WAR CZAR? And Why Do We Need One? Is Anyone Really Buying This Immigration Conflagration?

President Bush's appointment of Army Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute to serve as a new White House "war czar" overseeing the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan was all over the news media this week.

Yet in few if any places, did I find an explanation for just what a war czar does, and why it is deemed necessary. OK, there were the usual 'nut graphs' in the news stories - that being a boiled down explanation of the story - that said he is supposed to be a liaison between the military, the civilian bureaucrats and the White House, but still, just what is this person supposed to do?

The Washington Post reported that "Bush hopes an empowered aide working in the White House and answering directly to him will be able to cut through bureaucracy that has hindered efforts in Iraq.

Ah hah! I see! Well maybe. I wasn't aware that we had bureaucratic inefficiencies hindering our war efforts in Iraq. According to Congress, our military can't get the job done and lost the war long ago. From what I have seen in the international media the Iraqi government itself is none to excited about asserting its independence from America in any meaningful way, such as taking over its own security so our troops can come home, so how does that relate to the bureaucracy?

Yes, I'm being sarcastic, and No, I don't believe these pessimistic or simplistic explanations of the situation in Iraq or the War on Terror in general. But that is the impression you get from the international media combined with non-stop news conferences in Washington. So where did this impasse come from that suddenly requires a 'czar' to resolve?

The appointment has not been met with a whole bunch of support from the military community, nor, and maybe especially from the retired military community. Of special note is that the job was offered to several higher ranking officers first, before Lt. Gen. Lute accepted it.

The Post also reported, "The selection capped a difficult recruitment process for the White House, as its initial candidates rejected the job. At least five retired four-star generals approached by the White House or intermediaries refused to be considered. Lute, a three-star general now serving as chief operations officer on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in effect will jump over many superiors as he moves to the West Wing and assumes authority to deal directly with Cabinet secretaries and top commanders."

I received an email from a retired officer whose views I respect highly, noting that it will be difficult if not impossible for a three star general to tell a four-star general or for that matter five-star generals and admirals, what to do. He can always run to the president and complain that the bigger kids won't let him play in their games, but that won't go a long way toward resolving major issues either.

Another friend, who also is a retired officer, told me he has about a 30 percent understanding of what Lt. Gen. Lute is supposed to do, and how, and about 70 percent questions. This from a man who has a solid understanding of the military, Washington politics and the situation in Iraq.

If he has 70 percent questions about this appointment it doesn't bode well for understanding the issue by the general populace.

Again, from the Post "Until Bush decided this spring to create the position, the highest-ranking White House official working exclusively on Iraq and Afghanistan was a deputy national security adviser reporting to Hadley. Lute, by contrast, will have the rank of assistant to the president, just as Hadley does, and report directly to Bush, while also holding the title of deputy national security adviser.

The new war czar will consult with generals and diplomats in the field each morning, then join Hadley in briefing Bush and spend the rest of the day talking with officials ..."

Well, I sure hope all that planned talking accomplishes something.

The problem I have with all of this is fairly simple. In World War II we were fighting major enemies on two fronts. I am not ignoring the major differences in wars fought against discernible enemies with geographic boundaries, versus terrorists fighting a borderless ideological conflict, but there is a concept here that works regardless of what kind of war we are fighting.

But back then we had Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower in charge in Europe. Adm. Chester Nimitz was Commander of naval operations, and Gen. Douglas MacArthur was in charge of army forces in the Pacific. They were backed by some very reliable subordinates of course, but the fact is, they were the go-to guys. They had the authority and they also shouldered the responsibility when things didn't go right.

So, why, all these years later, considering all the war fighting we've done since, do we now need a man to act as a liaison between two much smaller war zones, and the Washington bureaucracy, and the President?

Some say that Lt. Gen. Lute is taking a mission that others don't want, because the mission itself is so poorly defined that there is no way to tell if it is being accomplished. If you listen to the non-stop press conferences out of Washington, you'd think that there has been zero advancement on the political, and economic fronts in Iraq, and that our troops are taking a horrendous beating.

I don't agree. There has been progress politically and economically, it just doesn't get reported. That's not to say the political situation in Iraq is resolved, far from it, but there has been progress.

On the military front our troops are hammering terrorists at a 10 to 1 rate. Nonetheless, most of the advancements in Iraq have been accomplished by the military, and many critics, skeptics and observers believe that the military has been forced into a job that the State Department should be doing, but either can't or won't.

I have a solution. It may sound simplistic, but hey, I have a reputation for cutting through the B.S. and getting to the heart of issues, show why should today be any different?

Since we are nearing completion of the buildup the media has called the 'surge' in Iraq, and the purpose of this offensive is to knock the terrorists and the warring factions in Iraq into next year, why not use this as a springboard to accomplishing all of our goals at once?

How do we do that? First, we unleash the full power of our military as it exists in Iraq, with no Rules of Engagement, and no hand-wringing over our international image or 'Moral Standing.' We are in Iraq, we are fighting a war, the people who disagree with us do so in many cases because we interrupted the flow of bribe money to their pockets, they aren't going to like us no matter what we do, so let's just ignore them for the sake of preserving our own country.

The military knocks the living crap out of the various factions that are fighting in Iraq, including the terrorists, and for once there is no one on the other side to synchronize bombings, assassinations and ambushes. In the meantime, we tell the Iraqi government in no uncertain terms that when the 'surge' is finished, we are too.

We stabilize, have a nice transfer of power ceremony, then pack our gear and head down the road to Iran, which we're going to have to do anyway. Simple? Maybe, but I bet it works.

Then the War Czar can be promoted, and say with honesty that he did the job he was asked to do, he did it successfully, and if Iraq later deteriorates into anarchy it sure as hell won't be his fault, or our fault, or the president's fault. It will be their fault, and they can deal with it.

Immigration Policy or Outright Fraud?

There is no need for this to be long or involved. The Senate passed a compromise immigration bill yesterday, and now senators from both parties are scrambling all over each other to convince the public that it isn't what we think it is - a sellout.

It is a sellout. It is nonsense. No one with half a brain is buying it, and people with full brains are labelling it as a total crock.

Plenty of commentators with far more time and space than I have are dissecting it on a line by line basis, so I won't do it here.

But the fact is, we have about 12 million people in this country illegally, without benefit of the usual controls that regulate immigration. We are told we need these people to do jobs that other Americans won't do. Nonsense.

When a poultry processing plant in the mid-west was raided this spring and a bunch of illegal workers were apprehended and deported, the line of legal workers applying for the suddenly vacant positions was huge! Maybe legal Americans know better than to work for slave wages, but that doesn't mean that the jobs go begging.

The jobs go begging if they don't have reasonable wages and working conditions attached to them.

I see two reasons why the Democrats and Republicans are joining forces on this. Since most of the illegal immigrants are Mexicans, and many of them are Roman Catholics, the Republicans believe they are getting a bunch of new allies in the anti-abortion fight.

On the other hand, since most will be working in lower level, unskilled jobs, the Democrats think they can sign them up in unions, which traditionally are pro-Democrat and lean heavily toward a socialist form of government. More voters for the Democrats in that scenario.

The reason why both parties are looking for a 'surge' in enrollments is because neither party is truly representing the majority of Americans any longer, if they ever did. The vast majority of eligible voters are non-affiliated, and many simply refuse to vote in national elections because they don't like either candidate from the major parties.

That is why most elections are so close, percentage wise, and why no American president in the last two decades has been approved by much more than one-quarter of eligible voters.

There may be elements of truth to each side's point of view, but the overall truth is that we have been invaded by a foreign army that is 12 million strong, and is attempting to dictate a new concept of America and liberty to the 300 million who got here by birth or following established immigration policy.

Both parties have copped out. Both parties have sold out. Neither party deserves respect or support on this issue.

All I can say is I sure hope Fred Thompson is watching this closely. If he wants to walk a red carpet right into the White House all he has to do is denounce this fraud for what it is, campaign against it and point out at every opportunity that the front-running candidates from both sides supported it.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007

William Westmoreland, Walter Cronkite, and Brit Hume; Another Tet Offensive?

In 1967 Army Gen. William Westmoreland, commander of all troops in Vietnam, was adamant that if he could lure the North Vietnamese communists and the southern Viet Cong guerrilla troops into a major stand-up fight with American and allied troops, the communists would get hammered.

The media at the time wasn't very friendly to the general, and many mocked him, based on their preconceived conclusion that we could not and would not win in Vietnam.

In late 1967 it was apparent that the communists were up to something, and it seemed that Gen. Westmoreland would be getting the fight he wanted. It has become part of the great myth that is Vietnam, that no one in America or South Vietnam had the slightest idea that the Tet Offensive of 1968, officially launched on the night of Jan. 31-Feb. 1, was imminent.

That simply isn't true, but it also is irrelevant. The fact was, the Tet Offensive was launched, and despite attacks on some 155 cities, villages and hamlets across South Vietnam, the communists got hammered. The Viet Cong strength before the offensive began was about 70,000 troops, many of them kidnapped conscripts who had been forced to serve to save their families from the communists.

But more than half, some 37,000 in all, were killed in the first three days of fighting. In fact with the exception of the Battle of Hue, where two North Vietnamese divisions, about 12,000 troops, infiltrated the undefended city and then staged a pitched battle in which an estimated 8,000 communists were killed, most of the fighting was over in the first 72 hours.

Hue lasted most of the month of February, and the siege at Khe Sanh went on into April with fighting flaring there until mid-summer when the base was officially abandoned as no longer necessary. Nonetheless, in every single phase of the Tet Offensive, including Hue and Khe Sanh, the communists were annihilated.

Westmoreland got his stand-up battle, and it turned out as he had predicted. Some historians now say that the North Vietnamese had actually planned an even bigger battle later in the spring, but had based that plan on their belief that they would score decisive wins over the US and South Vietnamese forces in the Tet Offensive.

It is generally accepted, based on admissions from the North Vietnamese communists since the end of the war, that more than half of all communist forces were killed in action in this period, and that doesn't include the numbers wounded or captured.

The communists were devastated in Tet 1968 and never mounted an effective campaign against the south again, so long as American troops were involved. In 1972, the communists launched the Easter invasion of the south, in which southern troops backed by American air power were the primary fighting forces. The communists suffered a similar defeat, losing up to half of all their invasion forces killed in action. But that is another story.

When it was apparent that the communist offensive at Tet had failed overwhelmingly, their allies in America realized that something would have to be done, and done fast, to offset the devastating battlefield losses. Communists have long been masters of the use of public relations and propaganda to divert attention from their real goals and actions, and the Tet Offensive was an extreme emergency for them, requiring emergency response.

So American newsman Walter Cronkite, the anchorman for the national CBS evening news, known as Uncle Walter, The Most Trusted Man in America, because his on-screen demeanor gave him a knowledgeable and trustworthy appearance, made an emergency visit to South Vietnam to give Americans the benefit of his view on the war.

There, Uncle Walter, who it would later be revealed was a communist sympathizer, if not an outright agent, lied through his teeth. Cronkite called the war "unwinnable" based on his review of the events in the field, a total fabrication and deliberate distortion of the true situation in South Vietnam.

There are many who say the role of the press in the outcome of the Vietnam war was minimal. Bull. The press played a major role, for a couple of reasons, not the least of which was that Cronkite, and some of his peers, were pro-communist and slanted the news over a period of years so that it focused on American troop losses as opposed to the victories that they died to achieve.

Even then, however, America solidly backed the war, and wanted a victory.

But American politicians, starting with President Lyndon Johnson, caved to the media pressure, and refused to acknowledge or didn't have the ability to understand, the battlefield situation. As a result of Cronkite's report and the media pile-on that ensued, Johnson refused to run again and the American political scene was thrown into turmoil at a time when victory was in our grasp and we most needed stability on the home front.

The rest is history and I'm not going to dwell on it, other than to point out the similarities between then and now, and to repeat, that as a result of Walter Cronkite's duplicity and the 'follow the leader' mentality of the American media, some 4 million residents of Southeast Asia were slaughtered by the communists after the fall of Saigon in 1975.

Now, about Brit Hume, the Washington D.C., Managing Editor for Fox News.

In my opinion, he is the single most influential and trusted newsman on the American scene today. This is not to say that he doesn't have some completely capable, knowledgeable and influential peers on the American media screen. He does, many of them colleagues at Fox News including Chris Wallace, Neil Cavuto and John Gibson.

But Brit Hume has the 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. evening news slot, a full hour of news stories, panel discussions, and perspective. He has competition in the networks to be sure, but let's be up front about this, the network news shows don't have the confidence of the American public any longer, and haven't for a long time.

Fox has replaced them in the trust and confidence category, and it is doubtful that any of the major network news shows could stand on their own, based on advertising revenues, if they didn't have corporate funds backing them.

In my opinion, based on his position in the news lineup, his status as the D.C. Managing Editor, and his weekly appearances on Fox News Sunday in which he shares his opinion on the news of the day, Brit Hume is on a par with Walter Cronkite, with one major exception - Brit Hume is honest.

I have seen nothing in the years I have observed his reporting that indicates he is a closet sympathizer for Islamo-fascists or the resurgent communists for that matter.

Thus, it didn't escape my attention this weekend when, on Fox News Sunday, during a discussion of Cronkite's betrayal of America, Hume queried whether another Tet Offensive is possible in the War on Terror.

It was obvious that he means another Tet Offensive in which we are overwhelmingly victorious on the battlefield, but in which the media and Congress portray the terrorists' ability to launch a coordinated attack as a total surprise to our political and military structure. This then would be used as an excuse for immediate withdrawal, surrender negotiations (does anyone know to whom we are supposed to surrender?), and ultimately the downfall not just of Middle East democracies, but the United States too.

Hume has raised a valid point and it is one that should keep us all on the alert. Hardly any news coverage in either Afghanistan or Iraq talks about American victories. In fact, if you only watch network news, or read the mainstream print media, you would probably be of the opinion that we have been getting our heads handed to us in the War on Terror.

The truth is our troops have been winning every time and have killed tens of thousands of terrorists since 9-11. If the terrorists do launch a coordinated attack in Iraq, Afghanistan, both, or even on our homeland, it should be no surprise. It would only mean that our methods to monitor what the terrorist leadership is doing have been compromised.

Remember, these are the people who have been attacking American interests and our homeland since the 1970s. They are ruthless, imaginative and capable.

The constant public waffling and debating in Congress is providing the terrorists with hope, the one thing that they need most to continue the war against us. That hope is useful in recruiting new fighters, new suicide bombers, and in providing the impetus to formulate new tactics.

If another attack, series of attacks, or coordinated attack is launched against us, overseas or at home, the one thing the news shouldn't do is label it a surprise or a defeat, as Walter Cronkite did in Vietnam.

Unfortunately, much of the mainstream media still plays follow the leader, and journalists who are on lower rungs of the network ladder tend to play monkey-see, monkey-do rather than think for themselves.

And, while many of our politicians still are swayed by headlines and haven't grown independent backbones, there are some major differences between now and the Vietnam era. We have the Internet, we have a healthy distrust of the mainstream media, and we have journalists like Brit Hume and they have an outlet to the American public.

It would be in America's best interests if that combination is successful in accurately informing us of the true implications and outcomes of any future attacks.

The slaughter of so many innocents in South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos was a tragedy of enormous proportions. And if a similar scenario plays out in the War on Terror and the Battle for Iraq, a similar tragedy could well occur again, right here in America where it will be American citizens who are unmercifully butchered.
Monday, May 14, 2007

American Troops Attacked by Pakistanis? A Query on Losing

American troops by the thousands are searching an area south of Baghdad for three of their brothers-in-arms who are presumed to have been captured by terrorist forces during an ambush this weekend.

Meanwhile, news has surfaced that American troops, after meeting with Pakistanis on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, were themselves ambushed by Pakistani forces and there have been American casualties.

These incidents show once again that the War on Terror knows no boundaries or artificial borders, and regardless of the constant din from Congress it is not going to be over any time soon. If anything, these incidents should remind Americans and our representatives in Congress that the terrorists are spread across many countries, and are ideologically inspired.

I firmly believe as I have said in that past that we will be in a shooting war for at least 20 years, and that in each of these 20 years the numbers of terrorists killed by our forces will have to far outnumber our losses. So far this has been the case, but it is difficult to envision our successes continuing with the constant carping from Congress.

Even at the end of a generation of fighting, we should consider ourselves successful only if we have convinced the upcoming generation of potential terrorists that their cause is hopeless, and thus they refrain from further terrorist attacks. That will give us time to use more diplomatic means to convince the unborn generation that a world at peace is a far better place for all of us than a world at constant war.

Despite what we hear on the news daily, we are primarily engaged in fighting terrorists in Iraq, even though one of their tactics is to encourage violence between factions of the Muslim religion to make it appear that the country is in an all out civil war. A terrorist group was responsible for the ambush that killed five or our soldiers and resulted in the missing troops, and you can be sure that terrorists are responsible for the attack on our troops on the Pakistani border.

Our relationship with Pakistan seems tenuous at best, with the president publicly on our side, but also having to answer to many in his country who are at least tacitly siding with the Muslim extremists.

I wouldn't be surprised if the the attack on the Pakistan border was coordinated by the terrorist leaders to coincide with fighting in Iraq, in an effort to further demoralize our Congress and hasten the calls for surrender. I'm not sure exactly how retreating in Iraq where we haven't been beaten by anyone, where in fact, we have been eminently successful in thwarting all attempts by the terrorists to dominate there, will bring an end to the fighting.

I believe it will simply embolden the terrorists to make further attacks on us at home, and it certainly won't change anything worldwide except to make us again appear weak, uncertain, tenuous, and lacking in determination.

If we are to make any headway in this war we need to be firm, overwhelming in our response to attacks, and resolute. But I have concerns, and I am not alone.

What follows came to me in several emails from fellow veterans in recent weeks, regarding an ambush against US Marines in Afghanistan in March.

It is essentially opinion, based on a real event, but the important thing to remember is that many Americans share this opinion.

Author unknown

We are so losing this war.

Here is an example. It has to do with a Marine Corps Special Forces company. In the first place, there shouldn't be one. Marines don't come in different flavors. They're all Marines ... an elite fighting force by their very nature. The concept of the Marine Corps is that everyone is in the Special Forces.

But that didn't satisfy Donald Rumsfeld. So the most dangerous secretary of defense since Robert McNamara forced the Marine Corps to change its organizational structure and core mission so that he could have some more gee-whiz Spec Ops toys. And thus was born the Marine Corps Special Operations Company.

There are now four of them. And the first one went into combat in January. Six weeks later it was relieved of combat duty and given the ultimate disgrace of being pulled from the theater. That's why we're losing the war. Because of idiot moves just like that.

Here's what happened. Somebody forgot to tell the Marines that they weren't allowed to fight back. They somehow missed the briefing in which American forces were told their only mission on the modern battlefield is passing out candy to kids, feeding stray dogs and working on their cultural-sensitivity lessons. Somehow, these Marines thought they were actually supposed to fight a war.

And so it was that on the 5th of March they found themselves, all 120 of them, on a convoy in Afghanistan. It was a Taliban town and they were the freaks on display. And, right on schedule, the Taliban launched an ambush - a fairly sophisticated ambush. It commenced with an explosives-laden minivan ramming into the convoy, making one heck of a loud noise, and it followed up with a crap-load of Third Worlders firing a whole bunch of AKs at the Marines. It was shooting at fish in a barrel and the Marines were the fish.

Unfortunately, they had not yet had the cultural-respect lesson that would have taught them that, in the event of a deadly ambush, American forces are supposed to immediately apologize, toss candy to the kids, promise to build a school and throw their weapons down.

Instead, these Marines fought back. They didn't know they were supposed to be cannon fodder. They thought they were United States Marines in a combat zone. So they fought back. They fought their way out of the ambush.

The company commander kept his men together, they maintained combat cohesiveness, they returned fire and, doggone it, if they didn't win. They won because they shot back.

The buildings in which the Taliban welcome-wagon crew was hiding got shot up pretty good. Now, this was in a town,and the Taliban picked the spot - a spot that was in the middle of a residential area. They did this because they're a bunch of castrati who hide behind women and children.

They did this because the asinine top-down rules of engagement the brass force on our troops essentially forbid them from shooting their guns if there's the slightest chance that anyone will get hurt. But the Marines didn't get the memo that said they were supposed to be patsies. So they shot their way out, and got on down the road, Marines and equipment intact.

Which, of course, ticked off the Afghanis, who were deeply offended that infidels would actually discharge their weapons. So the locals complained and it went all the way up to Afghanistan's president, and he expressed outrage to the Americans.

Seems like a guy who was put in power by the force of American arms wouldn't bite the hand that props him up quite so often. But he complained to the three-star general guy and the general immediately began kissing Afghani keester and selling out U.S. Marines.

The general decided that the Marines had really damaged the relationship Americans had with the local savages and so the entire company was pulled out of Afghanistan. Relieved of combat duty. And, get this, there's going to be an investigation. The Pentagon boys haven't been this turned on since Abu Ghraib.

In the War To Destroy The American Fighting Man, they've found some more scapegoats. And they've shown exactly why this country can't fight its way out of a paper bag anymore. We've taken Frank Burns as the model for the American general corps and turned combat into a game of JAG gotcha.

If the enemy shooting at your front doesn't get you, the comrade shooting at your back will. They've got it worked out so one way you go to Arlington and the other way you go to Leavenworth. And that's ridiculous.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Veterans' Necks on the Chopping Block - Show Us The Money!

A friend of mine, a fellow Vietnam vet, revealed the other day that the Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded him a 10 percent disability rating for hearing loss suffered when he was a helicopter crew chief and spent the better part of four years in close proximity to jet engines.

That in itself is not so amazing, but what is truly astounding is that he first applied for the disability rating 22 years ago! Worse, his hearing loss was discovered and duly noted during his discharge physical.

Many veterans report that they were given cursory end-of-service physicals that overlooked or simply didn't record injuries that may have caused disabilities that surfaced long after they were discharged from active duty.

Yet, in my friend's case, even though he had the medical evidence all along, the VA continually ruled that his hearing was just fine, there was nothing wrong, all is well! Meanwhile, in the contradiction of contradictions, the VA also paid for his hearing aids!

In recent weeks I also have been seeing a surge of Internet postings from veterans who have had disability ratings for years due to service-connected illnesses, injuries and wounds, saying the VA is notifying them that they must submit to a review or face loss of compensation. The problem is, many vets are receiving notices to report to regional VA offices for review on a specified date, but the date had already gone by before the notice was mailed!

Thus their disability compensation is halted and they must go through a lengthy review process to get it reinstated.

Now, let's combine this with a recent decision by the VA to award bonuses to senior officials. News reports say the budget presented by these same officials fell $1 billion short and is not providing sufficient funds for veterans' health care, but they were given additional compensation because many senior Veterans Affairs employees are paid far less than they would receive for comparable jobs in the private sector.

I am NOT opposed to giving bonuses to VA employees who are doing exemplary work, especially the doctors, nurses and support personnel who do so much with so little. But bonuses should be performance based, and if the performance isn't there, the bonuses shouldn't be either.

Last but certainly not least, I have been hearing in the last few months from the major veterans organizations that of the estimated 1.4 million troops who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan since 9-11, about 300,000 are expected to file claims for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD.

Put it together and what do you get? The US government setting one generation of veterans against another generation of veterans to take money out of one hand and put it into another hand. Once again, in a deplorable tradition that predates the US Constitution, the government is shortchanging those who helped create and defend this country, while artificially claiming care and concern.

It is obvious that since PTSD has become the marquee disability, and vets are encouraged across the board to at least seek counseling if they have experienced the trauma of combat or lengthy separation, the VA is taking away from the older generation of veterans, in hopes of having enough money to treat the younger generation or veterans.

My question is "Why is there not enough to treat all veterans."

Although severe PTSD cases resulting from intense combat trauma may require hospitalization and long-term therapy, much of the treatment needed for the latest generation of veterans probably can be provided through counseling of the kind that was widely available to Vietnam veterans through the Vet Centers in the 80s and 90s. Those centers gave veterans individual counseling as well as a place to gather and discuss their shared experiences, and also provided an informal support structure through social and professional networking with other veterans.

Yet with the trillions of dollars the federal government spends each year, there suddenly is not enough money to take care of the veteran population without shortchanging one group in favor of another?

Let's get something straight here. I do not support communism, nor socialism. Both are unworkable economic models that conveniently forget the human element, that being, if one group is constantly working its butt off to provide for another group of slackers, sooner or later the workers are going to say 'enough!' Socialism only works when you have the proper balance of sadists, who enjoy inflicting pain on others, and masochists who enjoy the pain!

Nonetheless, I do believe in safety nets, not welfare, not socialized medicine, safety nets! I believe in caring for those who absolutely can not care for themselves, and I believe in support for the veteran community.

My reason for this position is simple. Of the 300 million residents of the United States of America, only the veterans have actually interrupted their lives and careers, gone off to often inhospitable distant lands, and served the remaining population by ensuring our homeland is secure and free from attack.

We live in a brutal world, and in many parts of this world people would love the opportunity to wage war on us, in our homeland, for no other reason than to give themselves what they see as our power, and to take what we have. They can't be reasoned with, they can't be diverted by peer mediation, they aren't diplomats and they see talk as weakness.

America's military has been successful at keeping this part of the human race at bay for more than two centuries. But that can not and will not continue unless America's politicians take a hard look at their spending priorities and realize that shortchanging veterans is ultimately shortchanging America.

We constantly hear about the tax cuts initiated by the Bush Administration and how they have provided the impetus for a booming economy. We hear that even with the high cost of waging the War on Terror the federal deficit is shrinking at a much faster rate than expected.

So why is there no money to treat veterans? Where did it go? Show me the MONEY!

One last point. Out of a (legal) population of 300 million, only about 2.4 million are in the military, active and reserves included. That is less than one percent of the total population, meaning 99 percent are living off of the sacrifices of one percent.

Only about 7 percent of the total population ever served, meaning 93 percent of America enjoys a life of freedoms and opportunities that are unprecedented in human history, due to the service and sacrifices of 7 percent. If that 93 percent can't or won't make sure that medical care and compensation for disabilities is available for those who preserve and defend our freedoms, then you are watching the disintegration of America and setting the stage for its downfall.

I doubt we need more taxes to take care of our veterans. I think we merely need to take a hard look at our priorities and get serious about where we spend our money. Veterans took time, at the risk of life and limb, to make America a priority.

It is high time we end the tradition of veteran abuse, and make veteran care and support an American priority.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Long Live the Queen; Thank You Tony Blair; Send Harry Reid to Finishing School

Britain's Queen Elizabeth is wrapping up her visit to the United States after official appearances at historic sites, state dinners, entertainment and of course a day at the races.

It is always a treat when the Queen comes to visit the US, bringing with her as she does a touch of the best of the old aristocracy, that being the refinement, the manners, and gentility. I'm well aware that the aristocracies owed their existence to the labors of the lower classes, which is why that form of government has pretty much fallen by the wayside across the globe, yet there still were some aspects of the lifestyle worth saving.

The Queen's visit has given Americans a welcome respite from the non-stop political back-biting, back-stabbing, chicanery and duplicity in Washington - and that is just what the Congress is doing to American citizens. When you add in what they are doing to each other down there it amounts to outright mayhem.

The official reason for the Queen's visit was to mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of the first successful English colony at Jamestown, Virginia, and she also used the opportunity to visit with friends, see the sights and hang out with George Bush.

It's interesting about Jamestown. When I was in grade school and heard only about Pocahontas and John Smith, I wondered why the native tribes that first encountered the English didn't just mass for one major attack and push them off the beach.

As it turns out, they did try, repeatedly. In fact, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Magazine had a great article this month on the early years of Jamestown, reporting that fighting between the native tribes, just those in the immediate vicinity of the colony, and the English soldiers went on for nearly a decade. That was after 20 years of intermittent fighting between English explorers and native tribes. There were many times when the future of the colony was in doubt, and English forces on occasion suffered 100 percent fatalities.

In November 1609 a force led by Capt. John Ratcliffe was ambushed, suffered 66 percent fatalities, with Ratcliffe captured and skinned alive with mussel shells! Things would have been much worse for the settlers if John Smith hadn't been an accomplished military man and formed more effective militia groups. (Did you know that Smith fought the Muslims in Hungary before coming to America, killing and beheading three Turkish commanders in hand-to-hand combat? Effective then, but it would get him a one-way ticket to prison today.)

The fighting in Jamestown colony ended in 1614 when Pocahontas married John Rolfe (not Smith, Rolfe). But up to that point the natives had killed nearly 25 percent of all the settlers who landed in Jamestown beginning in 1607.

It occurred to me that if the natives had been more politically astute they would have gotten on a ship, sailed to London, and impressed on the English Parliament that they couldn't win in America, and it would be best if they cut funding for the colony, and pulled the troops back to Bermuda.

But they didn't, the English were both stoic and persistent, and ultimately the colony succeeded. That was the foundation for a four-hundred year relationship between England and what eventually became the United States, one that overall has been beneficial, despite a few historic moments of unpleasantness.

In addition to marking Jamestown's anniversary Queen Elizabeth attended the Kentucky Derby, where she saw Street Sense, which regular readers of this column will immediately see as an omen, come from way back to win.

And she actually got President George Bush to put on a white tie, and mind his manners at a state dinner in her honor at the White House. It has become a requirement for the mainstream media to make it appear that our president has no social graces, conveniently forgetting that he was born and raised in an environment where white tie dinners are more or less common. It isn't that he can't function with aplomb in that atmosphere, he just doesn't like it. (Most American males agree with him on this point.)

While at the White House, the Queen may have noticed that it is still in good shape after what happened to it in that last moment of unpleasantness, known on this side of the Atlantic as the War of 1812.

Since then, however, there has been plenty of good will between the US and Britain and to this day, most recently through the efforts of Prime Minister Tony Blair's government, we have one solid and dependable ally in the War on Terror.

Prime Minister Blair will be stepping down this month, and while I am sure the British will have plenty of qualified people to vie for replacing him, I think Blair's tenure will be seen by history as one that equates quite well with the Churchill era.

I have written here before that we make it a point in the Winter household to watch the Prime Minister's Questions on CSPAN, a regular meeting, or perhaps time of direct confrontation, between Blair and the Parliament. If you ever want to see a Master of the Art of debate, go online and call up the videos of those encounters.

Regardless of whether you agree with his politics, Tony Blair can be counted on for lively debate, knowledge of the issues, a rapier-like wit, and the ultimate in British good manners, even in the midst of a knock-down parliamentary floor fight. He is a terrific ambassador of goodwill for Great Britain and his presence on the world political stage will be sorely missed.

Which brings me to Harry Reid, Democratic Senator from Nevada and majority leader of the Senate Democrats. In the midst of all the pomp and circumstance, in the midst of good manners, George Bush in a white tie, Laura Bush absolutely resplendent both in dress and demeanor, hosting the Queen of England at the ultimate formal dinner, Harry Reid snubs the Queen! He claims he had something better to do than attend a state dinner with the Queen of England!

What a total horse's ass. What a boor. What a despicable, low, crass example of the absolute worst of guttersnipe behavior. For what? Political points?

Note to Comrade Harry and your fellow communists: The aristocracies are gone. They are merely symbolic, and in the case of Queen Elizabeth the citizens of Great Britain have said repeatedly that they want that symbol to continue. It is none of your business!

The aristocracies as a form of government, the excesses they created, and the power they wielded, which formed the basis of the communist philosophy you adhere to, are gone, as is the reason for your existence. Get a grip. The aristocracies are no longer relevant.

What is relevant is the role the senior American senator plays in international relations and to snub the head of state of one of our most solid and longstanding allies is reprehensible.

Once again, leaders of the Democratic majority in Congress have demonstrated that while they constantly criticize what everyone else is doing, when given the chance to actually show their stuff, they fall flat on their faces. Exactly what is a deliberate snub to the Queen of England supposed to demonstrate? Knowledge of international relations? Where, oh where, is John Kerry when we need him?

Harry Reid and his allies, Nancy Pelosi, Carl Levin, John Murtha, John Kerry, Jane Fonda, Cindy Sheehan, etc. etc. etc., have once again shown that all they really have to offer is mouth, with no substance behind the white noise they generate.

The Queen is heading back to England and Tony Blair will be wrapping up his affairs and going off to a somewhat more private life. I seriously doubt that Reid was missed at dinner, or that the Queen was more than slightly aware of or concerned by his incredible gaffe.

But Americans should be! The Democrats have claimed for years that America is looked upon with disfavor internationally, all because of George Bush. But Harry Reid has shown that the real boors in the American government are not in the executive branch, they are on the Democratic side of the aisle in Congress.

Maybe Reid can take some time during the summer recess to enroll in a finishing school and learn some basic manners.


hypoctite sm

Granny Snatching


Signed author copies


NEW! e-Book Available on Amazon

Masters of the Art

Masters final cover
Personalize inscription


NEW! e-Book Available on Amazon and Barns & Noble

Blog Archive





Popular Posts