Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Saturation Point

It now appears that The New York Times will never get it, not until the presses shut down for good.

Today’s article, “It’s About Aid, and An Image,” is unbelievable in its stupidity, portraying President Bush as embattled with the task of disproving “the perception that took root in his first four years in office that he is all about America first.”

So just what should the President of the United States be about first? France?

This so-called “news analysis” goes on to bemoan the fact that $13 billion has been approved by Congress for hurricane aid in Florida, “where Mr. Bush loaded fresh water and dry goods into the trunks of cars.” The piece then smugly notes that “Of course, that was home turf, and an election campaign was under way, and even Mr. Bush's critics do not expect spending on that scale for the far greater disaster in South Asia.”

Excuse me, but are we supposed to ignore our own countrymen? Is there something sleazy about helping our citizens? Is putting the United States second now the elitist requirement for America's acceptance into world citizenship? Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont “just about went through the roof” when he heard the “bragging about $35 million.” Bragging? Interesting choice of words—somewhat subjective, wouldn’t you say? I took it as an announcement of initial assistance rather than “bragging,” but what would a self-centered American like me know about it? The good Senator goes on to carp, “We spend $35 million before breakfast in Iraq." He continues by urging that part of the “largely unspent 18 billion for Iraq reconstruction be re-directed for Asian relief efforts.”

I doubt that his figure is accurate, but I understand hyperbole. What I don’t understand is the unwillingness of Americans to be on America’s side. In fact, I have reached my saturation point with anti-American Americans, especially those who are in elected office. Elected representatives have a sworn obligation to place American interests first, but some of them quite arrogantly refuse to do that. It appears that everything and everyone is a higher priority, provided it doesn’t benefit the United States.

Those millions spent in Iraq are keeping millions of Americans at home safe and protected. Are we to apologize, to elected U.S. officials of all people, for defending our nation? Are we to divert funds that will ultimately support our troops and their mission in Iraq? I think not, Senator. You might want to read over your Oath of Office when you have a moment. And oh, have you made your individual donation to the relief efforts yet? Pledged any of your government salary? Taken the money your Senate office would have spent on that free postage you receive as one of your many perks and sent it off to the Red Cross or Salvation Army? No need to answer, Senator. I was just wondering.

The tsunami catastrophe in Asia is devastating beyond our comprehension. Of course, the whole world should participate in helping, as should America. Our country certainly will give more than our fair share, indeed we are already doing so, with military as well as financial aid to the stricken regions. The United States is always the first country to step up to the plate, and it donates more to international aid than all other countries combined. That does not even touch upon the charitable foundations, non-profit organizations, and private donations that will shower upon Asia all the money, resources, and aid that it needs to recover and rebuilt after this terrible disaster.

Victor David Hanson touched on this subject with customary eloquence and accuracy in his web posting today, noting that the elitist Left can “yet somehow ignore things like over $100 billion to Afghanistan and Iraq or $15 billion pledged to fight AIDS in Africa. These academic white papers likewise forget private donations, because most of the American billionaires who give to global causes of various sorts do so as either individuals or through foundations. No mention is made of the hundred of millions that are handled by American Christian charities. And the idea of a stingy America never mentions about $200 billion of the Pentagon's budget, which does things like keeping the Persian Gulf open to world commerce; protecting Europe; ensuring that the Aegean is free of shooting and that the waters between China, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan are relatively tranquil; and stopping nasty folk like the Taliban and Saddam from blowing up more Buddha monuments, desecrating Babylon, or ruining the ecology of the Tigris-Euphrates wetlands.”

Yes, as astutely noted by Hanson, so many of our nation’s contributions to building a better world are ignored in the interests of advancing misguided political agendas. I’m sick to death of it, and so are 51 million other Americans. George W. Bush is our President for this reason. Deal with it, Lefties. And tell your buddies at the Old Gray Lady that her ship is just about sunk. The blogosphere will continue blasting her to bits unless she decides to report the news instead of retooling it to fit her fancy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

A Stingy Sentiment

It shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. Jan Egeland, UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, made reference to the United States as “stingy.”

This not only surprises me, it ticks the socks off me. Within one day of the tsunami tragedy in Sri Lanka, the United States was stepping up to the plate with the first chunk of millions, fifteen of them. But, to certain international-type folks who are used to sucking non-stop from the bottomless teat of American goodwill, that just wasn’t good enough.

Well, excuse us for not coming up with more than $15 million in the first 24 hours! How tacky of us! And scarcely before Colin Powell had time to remind Mr. Egeland that “The United States is not stingy. We are the greatest contributor to international relief efforts in the world.”,
that initial amount from the U.S. had been increased to $35 million. In the midst of dead bodies still washing ashore, we are accused of negligence. Can the world not give us a minute to get to the bank and put the check in the mail? And oh, by the way, the U.S. is also sending military resources in the form of aircraft carriers and airplanes to assist. For those world citizens who are used to relying on America to help them with every crisis, allow me to point out that operating and diverting ships and planes costs money--lots of money.

Don’t get me wrong. We’ll gladly send the cash and the resources, and we don't even care about a thank-you. Americans are always happy to help. Witness the private donations pouring in from uncounted thousands of American citizens to the tsunami relief efforts. Private donations from individual Americans undoubtedly will reach far into the millions. I think our willingness to assist our overseas neighbors in need is a two-edged blade. Yes, the charitable U.S. accomplishes many positive things. But our generosity doesn’t seem to foster much gratitude. Instead, it tends to feed a sense of entitlement from the rest of the world that we “owe” them because we have it so good.

They may be right. I will certainly make an appropriate donation to the relief organization of my choice, and I’ll say my prayers for the dead and suffering people of Asia. But I’ll do those things because I know Who I owe—and it sure isn’t Jan Egeland.

Monday, December 27, 2004

A Dreamer's Reality

Years ago, I dreamed that one day I would become a newspaper columnist. I spent considerable time wondering how I could ever achieve such a lofty goal. Year in and year out, as I was working 9-to-5 trying to pay the bills and buy the groceries, I would ponder the question: How could I possibly become a columnist?

I had almost given up the dream in the interests of practicality. Then came Internet web blogs, or "blogs," as they are colloquially termed. In August 2004, I took my little byte out of the blogosphere and launched my column. According to the newly released book Blog, by Hugh Hewitt, I am one of five million bloggers today.

I don't have deadlines to deal with, unless you count firsthand queries from my handful of readers. Nothing can inspire a blogger's output quite so fast as a regular reader asking, "Why haven't you posted anything lately?"

There are no "assignments"--I get to pick what I write about, when I write, how many words, and what editorial slant to take. The only rules are to be honest with your audience and tell the truth, at least as you see it. Readers are smart. They'll know if you're not it playing straight. Just ask any of the hurting bigshots in Old Media.

Blogging is a dream job that is its own reward. That's is a good thing, since there's no money coming in to my blog. Just honesty going out. Hugh Hewitt today proclaimed on his talk radio program words to the effect that "citizen journalism is going to change everything for the better."

It has already changed my life. It made me a columnist, at long last. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

War and Christmas

When one looks at the photos of the massacre in Mosul, it can be difficult to reconcile such horror with the festive season we at home are enjoying. How do we reconcile the emotions wrought by the brutal murder of U. S. soldiers with our own merry celebrations?

Stop and think a moment, back to September 11, 2001. Do you remember how nervous people were that such a disaster would happen again on our soil, and that it would happen repeatedly, throwing our country into chaos? But the events unfolding out of 9/11 didn’t happen quite that way.

We went on the offensive quickly. The Taliban in Afghanistan fell with remarkable speed, due to the good work of our outstanding military. And when the United States decided that the time had come to call Saddam Hussein to account for his transgressions, our military stepped up once again to do the job.

It has not gone quickly, nor smoothly, in Iraq. It is a long, hard road, one that our troops will be traveling for many difficult days. Yesterday was one of those days. Americans died at the hands of suicide terrorists, just as they did on 9/11. But this time is different, for many reasons.

These Americans were members of the United States military. They were stationed on foreign soil to prevent a repetition of such carnage in our country. They died fighting for a cause that they knew was just and right—the safety and security of their family at home. They died in the line of duty, and such a death is the most precious sacrifice. The Gospel of St. John tells us that “greater love no man has, than to lay down his life for his friends.”

To anyone who doubts that these brave soldiers are in truth fighting for us, fighting in place of ourselves, so that we can continue to enjoy our comfortable lives, I would ask this question: Do you worry about suicide bombers when you enter a crowded mall to do your holiday shopping? I’m guessing that you probably said “No, I don’t.”

I don’t worry, either. I don’t worry because I know that our courageous military forces are keeping the terrorists extremely busy in their own part of the world. And the heroic dedication of our troops allows us to drink our eggnog and trim the tree in peace and safety. Their courageous service allows us to view September 11 through the gauzy filter of history, perhaps forgetting that only their blood and sacrifice has delayed a recurrence. It is because soldiers are dying overseas in their mission of protecting Americans that we at home can enjoy the luxury of celebrating a traditional Christmas with our loved ones.

As you wrap your gifts this year, please remember the gift that our heroes who died in Mosul gave to us this Christmas. Their gift is priceless, and it can never be repaid.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

A Simple Mystery

Every Christmas season, people of faith know to expect the “bah-humbugs” of secular Scrooges.

The latest editions of both Time and Newsweek magazines have done a number on the Christmas story. The Newsweek story, by Jon Meacham, is the more outrageous due to its highly subjective tone and extremely selective use of “scholars.” To Meacham, the only scholars who qualify are those who don’t accept the truth of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. If Meacham truly was interested in the opinion of scholars, he might have considered looking into the writings of Sts. Augustine, Thomas Acquinas, Teresa of Avila, or Francis de Sales . But then, citing such intellectual and spiritual giants might have hurt Meacham’s primary agenda, which was to portray people of the Christian faith as simple-minded morons.

We’ve been here before, fellow believers. Especially in today’s world, we are used to being condescended to, looked down upon, and viewed with disdain and disinterest. Witness Mel Gibson’s remarkable film, “The Passion of the Christ,” destined to be one of the most successful, highest grossing movies of all time. Not only was it badmouthed and belittled prior to and during its release, it was completely ignored this week in nominations for Hollywood’s Golden Globe awards, the first round in a nauseating parade of Hollywood’s annual self-congratulatory celebrations. Most likely, Gibson is relieved.

“The Passion of the Christ” depicts the end of Our Lord’s life, but to Christians, the ending explains and validates the beginning. The truth of the Christmas story is proven through the Resurrection of Jesus, an event historically recorded in the Gospels and the Acts of the New Testament.

What mortal man could rise from the dead? Logic tells me that only one born of Divine origin could accomplish such a wondrous deed. Of the Incarnation, Meacham himself grudgingly admits that “the simplest explanation is that it happened.” Through faith, Christians accept the short version of the story. For us, Jesus was born, lived, died, and lived again. Again and forever, He lives.

Peace to men of goodwill.

Better Answer Needed

“As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They’re not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

So spake Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld when questioned last week by a soldier about the lack of armor on some of the military’s vehicles.

You could have presented a better answer, Mr. Secretary. The Secretary of Defense should be proactive on troop protection rather than waiting to be blindsided by shortcomings of the status quo.

You could have explained that, originally, CENTCOM had ordered only 1,000 up-armored vehicles for the battlefield, but that number was increased to 2,500 by April 2004 in response to terrorist tactics. An additional 2,000 up-armored vehicles were scheduled to be delivered by December 2004. That gives our soldiers a total of 4,500 up-armored humvees to date.

An additional 8,000 humvees have had up-armored kits installed. This is an improvement, but the kits leave tops and bottoms of vehicles vulnerable.

I realize that we don’t live in a perfect world. We work with what we’ve got. However, I would like it if we worked more quickly and with more focus towards supplying our soldiers with every advantage. Our troops are America’s sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, and friends. They are precious gifts, both to their loved ones and to the United States. They are not IED fodder to be flung at the terrorists like so many tin cans. I don’t have a son on the battlefield, but if I did I would raise unholy hell until he had the use of an armored vehicle.

I’ve read that the soldier’s question was staged, it was planted by an embedded reporter, its purpose was to embarrass the Bush administration. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be asked, or that it should be disregarded. I do support the war, and I support the president’s administration, but this is a case that needed to go public. It’s interesting to hear the Secretary’s remarks on the several humvees that were tooling around Washington D.C. for election security:

“The other day, after there was a big threat alert in Washington, D.C. in connection with the elections, as I recall, I looked outside the Pentagon and there were six or eight up-armored humvees. They’re not there anymore. They’re en route out here, I can assure you.”

Excuse me, but did he really say “the other day”? The election was over a month ago, Mr. Secretary. Why did Rumsfeld take such a long time to notice the “six or eight” up-armored humvees lingering outside the Pentagon? And why hadn’t anyone else mentioned to him that maybe, just possibly, the troops in Iraq could use this hardware?

Keeping our fighting soldiers as safe as possible is vitally important. It’s important to their safety, to their morale, and to the success of their mission—which is our protection. For me, the troops come first. They come before saving the president or his representatives any embarrassment. The troops shouldn’t just “deserve the best,” they should have it, and have it promptly. In my opinion, Rumsfeld deserved to be clobbered on this question. I say the Pentagon should get our soldiers the armor they need, get it fast, get it right, and don’t wait to be either asked or told about it.

Maybe I’m a hopeless idealist, but I think that’s a better answer.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Picture of Honor

I've told you that I received a surprise package from my solider in Iraq. Did I mention he included snapshots of himself and his men at work? If not, I should have.

The countryside appearing in the photos is arid, rough, and desolate. Empty sand stretches for miles with nothing for contrast except the cobalt blue sky. It is barren desert, punishing land. My soldier and his men are camped there for nearly a year now. They're supposed to come home in February, but plans are subject to swift change in the military. If they have to stay longer, I know they will do so without complaint.

I look at their photographs, these heroes I have "adopted" through Soldiers' Angels, and I'm moved by their dedication, their bravery, and their honor. Their families, their daily lives, and all the comforts of home await them here, all suspended like a deep breath held long and tightly. So much sacrifice from our troops, so that we in the U.S.A. can continue to live safely and enjoy our Christmas season as though September 11 had not happened.

I've never met my soldier, but he is a dear and lifelong friend to me. I can never repay him, but I can be grateful to him for the rest of my life. And I will be. Every American should be so grateful. As I look at the photo of my soldier smiling back at me from the parched battlefields of Iraq, I know it's the very least he deserves.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Who’s Thanking Whom?

Late last week, I received a package from my soldier in Iraq. I refer to him in the possessive ever since I adopted him through Soliders’ Angel Foundation last March.

The box was bright yellow, covered in smiley face print. My husband and I were like kids on Christmas morning as we opened it and spilled its booty across our kitchen table.

It contained four Operation Iraqi Freedom tee-shirts—one for each of us in our family. Among the other goodies were similarly named key rings and a refrigerator magnet. But my favorite treasure from the box was a collection of photos taken by my soldier, showing him and his fellow troops at work and at rest.

It’s beyond humbling to realize that the soldiers who are risking their lives by standing between my world of comfort and safety and the dark forces of terror that want to blow it apart are “thanking” me. I adopted him so I could express my gratitude for his service and protection , and eight months later, he’s thanking me. Assigned to a dangerous desert, uncounted thousands of miles from home, in the midst of constant peril for my benefit, my serviceman thanks me.

It’s enough to make a grown woman cry.

The December 4 edition of NBC Nightly News carried a story about the survivor members of 9/11 families who are supporting the troops. The kids are making gifts and drawing cards, the adults are packing boxes and shipping them out. It’s difficult to express how refreshing this heartwarming story was to me. After all the naysaying, all the doom-and-gloom, it was a breath of fresh air to see a major network presenting a positive story about our troops. And what made it even more meaningful was that the story was from the perspective of people who understand the military mission the best, people who lost loved ones on 9/11. One fireman’s widow, whose husband had been a U.S. Marine veteran, simply stated that if the positions were reversed, her husband would be the first to help the troops.

It’s long past time we heard this type of message from mainstream media.

I can only hope that this story of support for our troops is a sign of more good news to come from NBC about our heroes in the military. Our troops are fighting and dying for us. Showing support for their dedication and sacrifice is the very least we can do.

We can thank them, but we can never repay them.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The New Final Solution

It’s back, all dressed up in new clothes, and slinking down the slippery slope in our direction.

The Final Solution, Hitler’s plan to exterminate the Jews, was not stopped by VE Day nearly sixty years ago. Now we learn that it was merely interrupted for a few decades. Today, The Final Solution rises from the slime of its own horror and slouches onto the world stage under the deceptive guise of medical efficiency.

The Groningen Protocol introduced in the Netherlands tries to paint a respectable face on cold-blooded murder. It allows a committee of doctors to decide if a mortally ill child, up to the age of twelve years, may live or die. Parents have no say in the medical verdict; this is a “professional” decision.

Hippocrates, the great Greek founder of medicine, must be flipping in his grave. And he's got plenty of company in the here-and-now, people all over the world who are appalled, outraged, and sorrowful that humanity has sunk to this travesty against life.

The Groningen Protocol sounds a bit like the title of an old Robert Ludlum novel, but the premise is more unbelievable than fiction. The idea of doctors calmly deciding to murder innocent babies has left me reeling with shock and bursting with questions. Have we truly forgotten, in the mere six decades since World War II, how incapable we humans are of handling the judgment of who among us should live and who should die? Do we honestly not realize that we are simply not up to this? Can we not accept that such power does not originate within us and that we have no claim to it?

The silence with which this new practice has been greeted is even more frightening. Have we reached a point where human life has become so cheap and meaningless that such evil actions as those embraced in the Netherlands do not merit the slightest whisper from mainstream media?

In the past generation, we have learned very well how to put our own interests before all else. An inconveniently-timed pregnancy ends in abortion, as carelessly as a toothache results in a trip to the dentist. How nonchalant we have become towards the miracle of life, how disrespectful, how selfish—how cold-blooded.

Dr. Suess tells us that “a person is a person, no matter how small.” And there is an old saying to the effect that “every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of men.”

He may not yet be discouraged of us, which is an amazing demonstration of Divine mercy. But I shudder to think what His justice will hold for the perpetrators of the Groningen Protocol.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


I've just concluded a long Thanksgiving weekend with my family. As we move into the Advent and Christmas season, it's a good time to reflect upon the many gifts and blessings that Americans enjoy in life.

We are so fortunate in this country. No matter what circumstances Americans are born under, we have it better than most of the world's population. Not only are we born in a country of abundance, but we are born free. The overwhelming majority of us have solid roofs over our heads and plenty of food in our stomachs. Our education is provided for us at an undergraduate level, and a wide array of funding, both public and private, is available for our higher education.

As we mature, we get to choose a career. If we're reasonably smart and very hardworking, we can enjoy lives of great comfort. The opportunities for Americans to achieve are endless.

We're in a war today, and I'm thankful that we have such a superb military force dedicated to our protection from those who mean us harm. Our American service men and women are a national treasure. They are our modern heroes, and I'm so grateful to have their example to hold up as a standard for future Americans.

I think every American should add an "attitude of gratitude" to their holiday wish list. Let's face it: nobody has it better than we do.

Monday, November 22, 2004

A Simple Question

There is an unrelenting quality to the post-election protestations from the left. In the face of all proof, they seem to remain incredulous that things turned out as they did. I'm reading analyses by the score insisting that the right is too single-minded to be able to see things clearly. We must be a bunch of wild-eyed fanatics, dangerous "our country, right or wrong" types.

It's not so. We merely understand that the world has changed, and it changed long before 9/11. That grim anniversary simply marks the day we could no longer pull the covers over our heads and ignore reality. Not if we wanted to survive, we couldn't.

No sane person wants war. All sane people want a safe home in which to raise their children and live their lives. Americans who support the war, some very reluctantly, are clear-thinking, logical pragmatists. Sometimes, we understand, war is the only way to secure that safety for our future generations. No amount of post-election pontificating can change that fact.

Why is this rational fact of life so difficult for the lefties to assimilate?

Friday, November 19, 2004

Disconnected From Reality

Still reeling from a decisive defeat in the November 2 elections, liberals are casting about for convenient justifications to hang their tattered hats upon.

A poll by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland makes much of the lack of WMDs discovered in Iraq. It suggests that the misguided American majority chose to stand with President Bush because somehow, Bush supporters are afflicted with "cognitive dissonance." Even in light of the Duelfer Report, the liberals lament, Bush supporters persist in their delusions about WMDs.

Voters' personal faith is also raised as an incentive to support President Bush--faith over reason, of course. The faith issue serves as a handy rationalization to assist liberals in believing themselves intellectually superior to the mindless and ignorant conservative masses.

Well, libbers, here are some hard facts:

1. The Dems got nationally spanked in this election.
2. The majority of Americans prefer Bush over Kerry.
3. The War on Terror is a huge concern to most Americans.

These realities are not based on faith but rather on a logical understanding of the clear and present danger to our nation from Islamic radicals, as demonstrated on 9/11. The Madrid and Beslan massacres only underscored our need for strong leadership in the face of a brutal and merciless enemy.

Speaking only for myself as a Bush supporter, the WMDs were never the reason I supported the Iraqi war. In fact, they were an inconsequential red herring. The war was logically necessary for a number of reasons outside of WMDs, the most compelling of which was Saddam Hussein’s proven track record of atrocities. Other reasons, among them his funding of suicide bombers and support of terrorist training camps, buttressed my conclusion beyond all doubt.

I think American voters forgave Bush his error on WMDs because they understand what is at stake. To ensure America’s safety in a post 9/11 world, Saddam simply had to go. After the election, a British publication bemoaned the stupidity of 59+ million Americans in reelecting Bush. How’s that for twisting the data to fit the mindset!

Personal faith had nothing to do with my Republican vote, although I understand it’s within the liberal comfort zone to accept such a simplistic interpretation of the popular mandate (more CD there, perhaps?). No, my faith is not orthodox by any standard. But I do believe in right and wrong, good and evil. I believe in killing those who are determined to murder us and our loved ones, killing them first, quickly, without hesitation and in the largest numbers possible. That belief meant voting for President Bush, because Kerry was not to be trusted with such vital decisions. I’m relieved for all of us that Bush won.

Liberals may call my position cognitive dissonance if they like. I call it common sense in its most clear-eyed and righteous form. And I’m proud to be only one of 59+ million.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Thank You, Marines

To Our Fighting Marines:

First and foremost, thank you all so much for the hard work you are doing to keep us safe at home in the U.S.A. I’m sorry, and I’m angry, that many of our spoiled, pampered, ignorant, often stupid Old Media representatives are criticizing some of the actions you have had to take in the course of your battles. I hope you won’t pay any attention to them. There are none so blind as they who refuse to see the truth, even when it’s caught on videotape.

I suppose some idiots really do think it would have been more appropriate for you risk your lives, and the lives of your buddies, to wait and see if there was a suicide bomb or some other hidden weapon on a wounded terrorist. As for me, I agree with every word Matthew Heidt posted on Nov. 15.

In the 1860s, Gen. William T. Sherman once said that “War is all hell.” The oft-quoted adaptation of his statement unfortunately omits the key word, “all.” War is indeed all suffering, all pain, all danger, all fears, and all split seconds suspended between life and death. The decisions you make on the fields of battle within those instants weave the difference between survival and extinction, victory and defeat, and the triumph of good over the domination of evil.

You certainly don’t need me to tell you, but I’ll say it anyway. You are doing the right thing. Despite the hateful stupidity of Old Media, the overwhelming majority of your countrymen are very proud of you. We support your every effort, we respect your sacrifices and your decisions, and we pray for your safety and success.

Semper Fi, brave friends, sons, and brothers.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Honor and Remembrance

When you take a week's vacation in today's world, you have to be prepared for fast and dramatic changes to the status quo. Since I signed off last Saturday, John Ashcroft has resigned, Yasser Arafat has died, and the battle of Fallujah has raged and subsided into an occupation.

Also this past week, as I enjoyed a cruise with my mother, the U.S. Marines (USMC) celebrated the anniversary of the Corps on November 10, and the United States observed our nation’s annual Veterans Day on November 11. On November 11, I was browsing in one of the shipboard shops and noticed one of my fellow passengers wearing a Pearl Harbor Survivor baseball cap. I greeted him and thanked him for his service; this is a new habit I am proud to have acquired since becoming a Soldier’s Angel. We chatted for a couple of minutes, and this hero of yesterday proudly pointed out his USMC tie clip and belt buckle to my mother and me. Then, he pulled from his shirt pocket a pen with the Marine Corps emblem on it, opened it, and it played the Marine Corps hymn. “Yesterday was my birthday,” he smiled, referring to the USMC anniversary.

Sixty-three years after Pearl Harbor, this man still identified that strongly with “the Corps.” Now an elderly leisure traveler with white hair and a relaxed smile, he was once a young GI who survived the hell of Pearl Harbor and went on to fight as a warrior in the brotherhood known as the U.S. Marines. Our soldiers fighting in Fallujah today are as blood family to him.

My mother and I spent some time talking about war on this trip, both World War II and Iraq. She believes that our country needs more information about our troops in order to feel more connected to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Mom suggested a revival of the service flags that WWII families would hang in their windows as one way to recognize the service of our military today. She said that in World War II, the service flags were a message to all that a member of this home was serving in the military. Blue star flags signified a star for each family member in military service. Gold stars told the sad story of those lost in battle. My mother said that she and her friends would stand in awe before the windows that displayed two or three gold stars. The weight of this crushing sacrifice gave pause to every passerby. The terrible human cost of war was clearly understood and deeply respected. We could use more reminders of our military’s sacrifices to help unite us as a nation in support of our troops today.

I agree with her. As most of us know, mother is always right.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Taking a Break

I'll be offline for one week, starting Saturday, November 6. Be well, readers.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Ten New Rules For Old Media

Attention, please, ladies and gentlemen of old mainstream media. America has sent you a resounding message in this year’s election. Here’s a list of things you’ll need to keep in mind for future elections, if you’d ever like to see “your candidate” win again:

1. You can’t force Americans’ hands on what to do, how to think, or especially how to vote. We’re not going to take orders from your elitist playbook. Stop trying to control the news, and start reporting it. Treat our majority opinions with respect, and we might listen to your side of the story.

2. Stop talking down to us. We’re not half as stupid as you think we are. In fact, we’re smarter than many of you, which is why you all look so surprised and baffled at John Kerry’s defeat. We knew he wasn’t the man for the job. You refused to listen. Pay more attention to average America, and you’ll have better luck achieving your goals in four years.

3. People know when you’re keeping a double standard, so make an effort to measure all candidates with the same yardstick. You kicked up an endless dust storm over Bush’s National Guard records but remained disinterested and silent on the inconsistencies of John Kerry’s Vietnam stories and the validated criticisms from Vietnam veterans and POWs. That got noticed by a lot of voters. Americans despise unfairness, so play by the rules and you’ll do better.

4. In view of the sweeping defeat of the gay marriage proposals on the ballots of eleven states, wake up to the fact that the vast majority of Americans don’t want to legitimize gay marriage in the United States. Get over it and move on to a less radical issue that might be more successful in reaching Mr. & Mrs. America.

5. Keep in mind that all this talk about “reaching across the aisle” applies to Democrats, too. In fact, it applies to them especially since they lost. It wouldn’t hurt you to try to view things through a Republican looking glass once in a while.

6. The blogosphere is here to stay. Deal with it. It’s not the evil “blog machine” that Dan Rather whined about during his election night coverage. It’s a valid, alternative news and opinion source for millions of Americans, and it is the new media. It wouldn’t exist if the demand for it was not there. You can’t beat it, so maybe think about joining, or at least learning from, the blogs. Pay extra heed to the conservative blogs and you’ll have better insight into the thinking of the 52% of Americans who elected President Bush to a second term.

7. Recognize that we are at war, that the majority of Americans understand we are at war, and also that we must win it. Consider throwing a positive story on the progress of the war into your coverage once in a while, instead of a steady diet of casualty counts and “failures.” Our military families deserve at least that much recognition for their sacrifices.

8. Review the media coverage of World War II for some helpful hints on supporting the Commander-in-Chief of our nation in a time of war. Observe how celebrities of that era campaigned for war bonds, entertained the troops, and sometimes even joined the service (e.g., actor Jimmy Stewart, baseball legend Ted Williams).

9. On the subject of show biz, consider a new roster of celebrity mouthpieces. To be specific, Michael Moore and Co. should probably take a seat well out of the media spotlight for a while.

10. Most importantly, support our troops. They are in harm’s way, fighting and dying to protect all of us, Old Media included. Show them the honor and respect they’ve earned with their bravery and their blood. Do that and you’ll certainly get more of my attention.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Evening

I'm catching the Old Media TV coverage in bits and pieces tonight. It is highly amusing to watch Old Man Dan on CBS trying to contort the outstanding states into a configuration favorable to John Kerry. On ABC, "PJ" confided that he didn't want to "take a shot at the President," then he promptly did just that by inferring that the nation didn't feel it was at war because President Bush hasn't "involved" us adequately.

Excuse me, PJ, but I think I get it. I don't need further explanation of the War on Terror. And, as an active Soldiers' Angel, I feel sufficiently involved, thank you. You might want to try involving yourself, PJ, instead of waiting for the President to lead you by your condescending nose.

It's still too early to tell what will happen at the end of this Election night, but I suspect that things are looking far better for the President than Old Media thought they would. As my mother would say, "let this be a lesson to them."

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Tapes From The Edge

America now has two more insanity tapes to deal with. One is a warning of "blood in the streets" and the other is a lecture from our infamous bad-penny enemy, Osama bin Laden. Is it Osama, or Usama? Either way, he spells bad news.

These two timely messages from psychotic killers serve as a handy reminder of what we are up against. It's fair to say, judging by what we hear on these tapes, that the Islamic fanatics are insane. You can't have all your marbles and threaten further, much more severe death and destruction to your enemy's homeland, and expect said enemy to pick up their battle balls and go home. This is not logical thinking by any definition. It highlights the chilling psychosis with which we are dealing in the War on Terror.

These butchers can't be reasoned with. They can't be appeased, or mollified, or negotiated into neutrality. They can't be bought, they can't be convinced. They have one purpose in life: American deaths. They are dedicated to our destruction.

To win the war and secure our country's safety, we need a ruthless approach to crushing the terrorists and an unflinching leader to compelte the hard task. France doesn't care. Germany will not help. We've got to get it done by ourselves, for ourselves. There's only one presidential candidate with the internal grit to see us through this challenge.

The tapes could serve as a one-two punch in knocking Kerry out of the race completely and reelecting President Bush. On the contrary, they could also underscore the fact that we are still in danger, and tilt some wavering votes towards Kerry. It's hard to know what the Islamo-maniacs are hoping to achieve by interjecting their messages just prior to Election Day.

Undecided voters, if indeed there are any of you left, think carefully about these tapes from the edge of insanity. The enemy is watching, and he would very much like to see us afraid. Let's send a message of our own back to the psychopaths: This is our country, our election, our choice. Don't mess with us. We're keeping George W. Bush in the White House, and your mind-bending tapes be damned.

It's time to send the terrorists back to their caves to work on a rewrite for their next script. Will they live to complete their next tape? Not if our troops have anything to say about it. Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 28, 2004

A Commanding Flop

OK. Let me see if I’ve got this straight.

First, ABC News says that approximately 380 tons of explosives were stolen right out from under the noses of the 3rd Infantry Battalion and the 101st Airborne in the opening weeks of the Iraq war. Never mind that the accuracy of this report is in question, that there may have been only 3 tons, and forget about the Russian trucks linked to the site. After all, ABC is Mainstream Media, not interested in pressing for facts when there’s a political agenda to push to the left.

Next, John Kerry pounces upon this story as a weapon to bludgeon the President and leaps smartly into the ring, armed with the missing munitions story. Kerry expounds with great gusto on the failure of the troops and commanders to secure the ammunition stores.

With his consistently off-key political pitch, Kerry is willing to bet that this bombshell of a story will knock Bush to the ground. He fails to consider that perhaps by trashing our troops, he might offend, oh, a few hundred thousand of them. Neither is he concerned that such criticism just might irritate their wives, husbands, children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, and neighbors, not to mention every United States veteran in the country.

In fact, anyone who gets to vote next Tuesday might take issue with negative remarks about our outstanding military during this time of war, especially from one salivating to become Commander-in-Chief.

Does Kerry actually think that badmouthing the military is going to help him win the Presidency? I thought this guy was supposed to be the smart one! The military, for the most part, positively loathes the man. (In his letters to me, my soldier in Iraq never refers to Kerry as anything but “the Liar.”)

To advance his personal ambitions, Kerry is willing to slander the efficiency of our soldiers and the competency of their officers. He’s willing to give aid and comfort to the enemy by attacking Americans in harm’s way. He did this once before, in 1971, and he did it with impunity. He went on to build a career in the Senate, as lackluster as it was, based on those treacherous lies.

I don’t think Kerry’s going to get away with sticking it to the military this time around. Not when so much is at stake for all of us, and when so many of us know how critical the role of our troops is in keeping us safe. Can you even imagine a Commander-in-Chief Kerry? After he denigrates our military to the world? (oh, excuse me, “the globe”).

I don’t believe Americans are going to stand for his disrespectful nonsense with regard to our troops. Kerry doesn’t really want a U.S. military. He just wants the title of Commander-in-Chief. Our troops know that. I’m betting the voters do, too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


I just finished watching a movie, "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal." A Navy veteran friend of mine loaned me his copy. Although riveting, it's a tough 42 minutes.

I feel sick to my stomach at the unfathomable suffering the POWs endured in Vietnam, as described by the surviving veterans interviewed. I'm awed by their strength and proud of their dignity. That men could suffer so deeply, so unjustly, and yet go on to live good and noble lives, is truly inspiring.

On the other hand, I'm completely disgusted at the very thought of John Kerry. His disgraceful betrayal of his comrades is beyond comprehension, even taking his personal ambitions into account. His lack of remorse is even more unbelievable, considering that his 1971 play for political exposure through his Congressional testimony added years to the imprisonment of the POWs.

How can this poor excuse of a man have come so far on such utterly self-serving, dishonest, despicable methods? To what low standards has our country sunk, that such a wretch as Kerry can actually be a contender for the highest office in the land?

This is the same John Kerry who berates President Bush for being unable to admit a mistake. You want to talk about mistakes, Senator? Why don't you go first? And please, start in 1971 at the Winter Soldier hearings. Keep right on going, for 33 years, until you get to your wrong answer to the infamous $87 billion support for the troops question.

I can certainly understand why the Kerry campaign has fought so hard to keep "Stolen Honor" off the public airwaves. If every voter could see it before Election Day, the margin of victory for President Bush would be staggering.

Kerry claims that President Bush is an unfit Commander-in-Chief. Not only is Kerry unfit to be CiC, he's unfit to be a veteran.

After watching "Stolen Honor," I think Kerry's unfit even to be a U.S. citizen. In fact, he may not be fit for anyplace, to use his own words, "on the globe or elsewhere."

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Making an End

We're about ten days away from the election, and I think I speak for most of us when I say that I can't wait for it to be over.

In the movie "The Agony and The Ecstasy", Michelangelo is taking such a long time to complete the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel that the Pope whines, "When will you make an end?" Good question for election season. This particular campaign cycle does seem as though it's dragged on for years.

I've been following the polling data , and I think President Bush will win reelection. That, in itself, is not enough this year. The Democrats will most certainly challenge any type of close result. Therefore, I hope it's a blowout, a landslide victory for President Bush, simply because the thought of another "recount" trauma is too exhausting to contemplate. "If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat" by Hugh Hewitt is required reading for any voter still on the fence.

We, as a nation, don't have time to fiddle around with recounts of any type. We need to stay focused on our mission, which is to win the global War on Terror as quickly and as decisively as possible. The country is at war. Our troops are in harm's way. Let's get the Commander-in-Chief reinstated for another four years and see that the job is done.

Let's do it, America. Let's make an end.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

A Real Job

I had to chuckle at Teresa Heinz-Kerry's faux pas (excuse the French) over Laura Bush never having had a "real job." Spoken like a true blueblood with no clue about real life. The ensuing media furor and resulting apology from Heinz-Kerry was even more amusing. Oh yes, the library and the classroom do count as jobs, Laura, so sorry. But raising two daughters? Not even worth mentioning. Of course, it's an understandable oversight on Kerry's part. I've heard that the rich folks have people to do that sort of thing for them.

In making her denigrating remarks, it could be that Heinz-Kerry was simply letting the catty side of her female self take charge of the moment. I noticed that John Kerry made a point of formally acknowledging his admiration for Laura Bush and complimenting the President on his wife in both the second and third debates. President Bush, to his own self true, did not return the compliment. In the final debate, Bush talked about meeting Laura and falling in "love at first sight." In his turn, John Kerry talked about having "married up" before moving on to a story about his mother. That's enough to throw any gal into a hissy fit.

Laura Bush was characteristically gracious in stating that no apology from Teresa Heinz-Kerry was necessary. This campaign may come down to which woman the voters wish to see as First Lady for four years. Which, by the way, certainly qualifies as a separate career in itself. Do we want poise, genuine charm, graceful class, and quiet intelligence? Or do we want irritability, blunt criticism, inappropriate language, and angry impatience? Hmm....let me think about this for a minute.

The facts of the matter are, Laura Bush has had several challenging jobs in her life. She has been a teacher and a librarian. She is a wife and a mother. Her impassioned advocacy for national literacy has made her one of the most admirable First Ladies the United States has ever been fortunate enough to have.

I vote for letting Laura Bush keep her job for another four years. How many of you ladies--especially you hard-working, full time moms--are with me?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Making Sense

Readers who have visited my site before may remember that I have a young adult son. I recently reported that he was an undecided voter. I'm pleased to update that news. Last week, my son told me that he is going to vote for President Bush.

He still has some reservations about GW, but that's okay by me. If we can just get the president into a second term, we can try to work out all the bugs. You may wonder, what was the deciding factor in my son's decision? Quite logically, it was the War on Terror. I don't think he's the Lone Ranger in using that overriding issue as a discriminator. It will be interesting to see on Election Day just how many voters' decisions have turned on the shadows of 9/11.

An examination of John Kerry's 20-year Senate record speaks for itself, and it screams pacificism, retreat, and subjugation of our sovereignty to foreign powers. Now is not the time in United States history for that approach, if indeed such a time ever existed. After much consideration of the facts before him, my son came to the conclusion that President Bush simply makes more sense as the best leader to preserve our safety and our national security in the next four years.

What can I say about his decision? One thing's for sure: his momma didn't raise any fools.

Monday, October 18, 2004

An Easy Choice

After the ethical squalor that was the Clinton years, we have a president who truly believes in God, himself, family, the military and the nation.

Why vote for George W. Bush? Because he has faith, values, and principles, and he’s not afraid to fight for all of them. He’s not overly concerned with those who don’t agree with him, and he sticks to facts when trying to change minds. He expects difficult days in the War on Terror and stoically accepts the media flak they generate. He keeps the interests of our troops front and center, where they belong. He is a true leader for our times.

What’s wrong with Kerry? He is lacking in faith, values, and principles, and he’s afraid to fight for any of them. He’s overly concerned with those who don’t agree with him, and he’s not above fabricating facts to force a change of mind. He decries difficult days in the War on Terror and verbosely exploits the media flak they generate. He keeps the interests of our troops in his back pocket, far underneath his criticisms of the war. He is a menace to our national security.

The global war on terror will not be won with polls and popularity. Our victory lies in strength, and strength lies within President Bush. I’m voting to win the war, not waver on it.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Below the Barrel

John Kerry’s insulting and inappropriate mention of Vice President Cheney’s daughter Mary in his debate response on gay marriage is the most repulsive example of gutter politics I have ever had the misfortune to witness. It was a stark revelation of his true lack of character, and it will cost him more dearly than he realizes.

The fact that John Edwards had the temerity to first introduce the topic in the vice presidential debate was indisputable evidence of a campaign both tasteless and ethically challenged. Mary Beth Cahill’s nonchalant arrogance in stating her “fair game” justification compounds Kerry’s offense exponentially. The accusatory nastiness of Elizabeth Edwards in trying to project “shame” onto the Cheney family merely ties up the whole sordid package in a very seamy ribbon. It confirms what many people already knew, “in their guts,” as Kerry likes to say.

These people, John Kerry, John Edwards, Elizabeth Edwards, have no shame. They have no shame because they have no sense of decency. The two qualities are inextricably linked--where there is no shame, there is no decency. Not only do these people have no comprehension of decency, they have no regard for fair play, no honor for individuals or their families, no respect for privacy, and no understanding of values, ethics, principles, or even common courtesy. They care only for their own interests. They can never be wrong on any issue, because all things exist to serve their ends. They have lots of cash, but zero class. They are below-the-bottom feeders in a noxious barrel of political bile called Campaign Kerry-Edwards 2004.

The Democrats will pay a huge price at the polls for their self-serving abuse of Ms. Cheney and for their premeditated public exploitation of a private, personal matter. Most Americans understand and respect personal boundaries, especially when family members are involved. When the attacked person is a child, every parent in the nation feels a primal surge of protectiveness. The outraged empathy for the Cheneys will continue to burn in the hearts of parent voters, and Kerry votes will evaporate in its heat.

Shakespeare tells us that “truth will out.” None of us can hide the essence of who we are indefinitely. At some point, true colors shine through. The darkly jaundiced shades of Kerry were on full display when he went after the Vice President’s daughter for the selfish purpose of advancing his own agenda. And the fact that Kerry remains convinced he was completely justified in doing so puts the exclamation point at the end of this debate.

Mrs. Cheney said it best. “This is not a good man.” I have no doubt that many more voters agree with her now than before Wednesday night.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

A Broken Record

For all his protestations that he has “a better way,” and let’s not forget the secret “plan,” John Kerry would not have much luck with any voters if they only took the time to research his Senate voting record.

For an eye-opening account of Kerry’s votes over the years, I’ve linked Robert J. Caldwell’s article from the San Diego Union Tribune last Sunday. Beginning with his first Senate vote, to slash President Reagan’s defense budget, Kerry has been on a mission to dismantle the defense resources of the United States. Based on what we have learned in recent months from observing Kerry’s neck-snapping reversals of position, it’s safe to say that the one area in which he has been consistent is his opposition to military spending.

This is quite an unsettling record for a would-be wartime President to have. In fact, in my view, his record makes the Senator unelectable in the midst of the War on Terror.

Kerry’s record is much easier to follow than his flip-flops. How many people noticed, during the second debate, that Kerry described Iraq as “a threat” in one answer, but “not a threat” a few questions later? That’s a difficult message to decipher. Just where does the good Senator stand on the Iraq issue? I suppose he has yet another "plan" to let us know which it might be, threat or no threat, after Election Day.

But Kerry’s votes against funding the Tomahawk cruise missile, a Navy aircraft carrier, Air Force fighter planes, and unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles speak very clearly. There is no confusion hidden in his record; it is plain for anyone who wishes to see the truth. What Kerry’s record tells me is that he will not be committed to protecting the citizens of the United States from the radical Islamists who want us all dead. I can only conclude that I’m not safe with him as President and neither is my family.

I think untold numbers of Americans feel exactly as I do. Our numbers are far greater than any of the Old Media polls suggest. On November 2, I’m betting that John Kerry’s record will come home to roost.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Hitting Home

My sister’s town is one of those found on that CD from a dead terrorist, the disk that showed the floor plans of schools. The school had a meeting Friday night for the parents. The County Attorney and the head of their area’s Counter-Terrorism Force, a retired FBI agent, addressed the parents.

My sister said that she has noticed police presence there since school started—patrol cars in line with parents dropping off kids, police on the grounds, other patrol cars circling the surrounding streets. Two weeks ago, my brother-in-law was sitting in his car one night after dropping off my niece for an SAT prep class. He was going to wait out the hour by walking their dog around the school grounds, which include a large field. A cop materialized out of nowhere, banged on his window, and told him to get moving—even after he had identified himself as a town resident and parent of a student.

All of this extra security made sense after the news broke on Thursday about the disk. At Friday night’s meeting, several parents were upset over not knowing the facts for the past month. The County Attorney said that the info was classified and could not be disclosed. The Counter-Terrorism speaker calmed the crowd by saying, “Look, I’m a parent, I’m a grandparent. I understand your concerns.” And he proceeded to point out all the measures being taken to protect the kids.

At the end of the meeting, one parent asked, “Do we know everything now?” The answer was, “No. You don’t know everything. You only know what has been declassified. That’s all we can tell you at this point.” And again, the protection of the kids was emphasized.

I asked my sister how she feels about sending her kids to school. “No place is safe,” she answered immediately. Her theory is that, because there is construction going on at the school, it creates a good cover for unidentified persons trying to enter the premises. The Beslan school had been remodeled over the summer, and at some point the weapons were stashed under the flooring.

She also thinks that a coordinated attack similar to the 9/11 strike was being planned, considering that the schools named on the disk cover far-flung regions of the USA: Northwest, South, Northeast. I think she’s right. Perhaps Beslan was a dry run for the grand attack on the US.

My sister lives in NJ, close to downtown Manhattan. Her community was among the hardest hit on 9/11. Dozens of her friends and neighbors perished in the attack. Her town “gets” the War on Terror like few others. I asked her, “Who are people voting for back there?” “Oh, are you kidding?” she exclaimed. “BUSH! We’re all voting for Bush!”

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Allied With Reality

Watching the second Presidential debate last night, my husband and I were incredulous at how many times John Kerry talked about America's need for "allies" and "alliances."

The friendship and sacrifices of countries like Great Britain, Australia, and Poland, as well as the 27 other nations fighting with the United States, are summarily dismissed by this pompous jackass. Because France and Germany aren't involved in the effort, all of our many other allies are airily swept off the table by this condescending puffball who assures us that he "can do better."

We are not "going it alone," as Kerry is so fond of lamenting. We are fighting, side-by-side, with our allies. Allies are not the former friends of 60 years ago, i.e. France. In fact, France has made it clear that, regardless of who wins on Nov. 2, they won't be joining us in Iraq. So what is Kerry carping about? He insists that we build a "real" alliance. With whom? Kerry can't say, because every ally willing to fight with us is already by our side.

Kerry must have learned this psychotic approach to diplomacy on one of his "elsewhere" planets. Ignoring and belittling actively participating allies is certainly no way to schmooze your way to "winning the peace." We are by no means "going it alone." Check your dictionary, John. We are fighting alongside our allies, defined as those countries that stand with us.

The more I hear him speak, the more convinced I become that John Kerry is living in a September 10 world. This is a frightening trait in a would-be president. Regardless of how unpleasant reality is, we must learn to live and deal in it. The world of September 10 has vanished into history.

John Kerry just doesn't seem to comprehend this crucial truth. George Bush certainly gets it. In fact, former administrator L. Paul Bremer III has felt compelled to correct the media distortions of his comments about the War in Iraq. Bremer states, "I have been involved in the war on terrorism for two decades, and in my view no world leader has better understood the stakes in this global war than President Bush."

That about says it all. If we keep the world's post-9/11 realities in mind as we choose our next president, we all just might live long enough to take advantage of our Medicare prescription drug benefits.

Kerry vs. Bush is tantamount to Fantasy vs. Reality. Vote accordingly; our allies will appreciate your support.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

On Our Own Soil

My son is an undecided voter. Each Sunday after the family dinner, we sit at the kitchen table and debate the Presidential candidates and the Iraq War in hammer-and-tong style.

I vividly remember my feelings about the Vietnam War when I was a youngster, so I can empathize, perhaps more than he realizes. He can’t understand why we didn’t finish in Afghanistan before invading Iraq, and he dislikes the Halliburton connection

Halliburton is an oil industry corporation. It employs about 100,000 people worldwide. I’m no expert in high finance, but you don’t need to be one to understand that Vice President Dick Cheney would be a much wealthier man today if he had remained head of that company. He chose, instead, to serve his country as Vice President when asked. Halliburton has American employees in Iraq, working to rebuild the country. Some of those employees have died in the war efforts, just as employees from my own defense contracting company have died there.

The Halliburton connection may have bothered me at age 21, but it certainly doesn’t in the current era of attacks upon America.

I tell my son that Iraq was one of the largest heads of the terrorist hydra rearing up at us, and we argue that one for awhile. Saddam Hussein’s terrorist training camps, his payouts to families of suicide bombers, his past history with invasion of his neighbors and use of WMDs help support my points. But to me, the WMDs were always beside the point. Under the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive strikes, Saddam simply had to go. He was too dangerous to citizens of the United States to be left to his own evil devices any longer.

There is a manager at my company who is a former member of the CIA. When the war first started, in March 2003, I asked him if he thought we were doing the right thing. He is calm, polite, soft-spoken, and very reserved, this extremely smart and accomplished gentleman. He is completely silent about his prior career, as quite rightly he must be. But when I asked him that question, he looked straight at me and said, “Knowing what I know about Saddam Hussein, I would have put up my own retirement fund to take him out fifteen years ago.” That was all he said, and it was all I needed to hear.

When I listen to John Kerry talk about alliances and a “plan” to end the war, I shiver with dread. The radical Islamist terrorists who seek our deaths are brutal, cold-blooded, animalistic killers who have already murdered thousands of innocent Americans on our own soil. By what manner of self-deluded conceit does Kerry think that these monsters may be reasoned with? They must be killed, as poisonous snakes who threaten must be killed. George W. Bush “gets” this basic truth. John Kerry continues in his dangerously psychotic dream of diplomacy. And if we Americans want to live, we can’t afford the luxury of indulging Kerry's personal fantasy.

When I ask my son if he would like to be alive in five years, he scoffs at my question as “American scare tactics.” But I'm not trying to scare him; I'm trying to bring him to an understanding of the peril all Americans live in today.

Today as I drove home from work, I listened to Hugh Hewitt, as always. I heard that there were new security alerts at schools. I listened to the report of suspected Islamic terrorists downloading floor plans of certain schools in six states. As the states and cities were announced, I heard the name of my sister’s town. A cold knife of fear sliced deep within me, and I gasped a prayer for the safety of my two young nieces.

I’ll be sure to tell my undecided voter son of that news report, as I can't rely on Old Media to get the message to him. Is this story a scare tactic? Or is this a real-life menace? Today, the reported threat involves his cousins. Next time, it could be him, his sister, or his parents. The terrorists are at large, and they want Americans dead. When John Kerry speaks of his will to “respond” to “any attack,” I have to wonder where on “the globe, or elsewhere,” was this man on September 11, 2001? How many catastrophic attacks would America have to suffer on our own soil before Kerry, as president, would “respond”?

Do you want to be alive in five years? President Bush wants you to be. Vote to live.

Monday, October 04, 2004

A World of Hurt

OK, I knew the “global test” remark was going to drop John Kerry into some hot water. But I had no idea that it would be at such a rolling boil so quickly.

Kerry is backpedaling to clarify his outlandish statement, and he’s getting his bell bottoms caught in the wheel. As noted by Hugh Hewitt , Kerry now says, "But I can do a better job of protecting America's security because the test that I was talking about was a test of legitimacy, not just in the globe, but elsewhere."

Scotty, beam me up.

This “elsewhere” quote is eerily reminiscent of a Gray Davis gaffe in 2003. As Davis struggled unsuccessfully to save his governorship, in one painful speech he noted that people from “many other planets” lived here in California. When Election Day arrived, Davis was set free by the people of California to explore those other planets in his newfound leisure time.

And so it will be with Klingon Kerry

There isn’t time before Election Day to mine the wealth of nutty gold nuggets to be found in Kerry’s debate. People, including President Bush, are tending to stop short at the “global test” line, which is fair enough. There's enough horsepower in that one "Oops!" to blow him away. But there were so many other outer space whoppers in Kerry’s performance, it’s almost a shame to ignore them.

Like shutting down the bunker buster bomb program, while offering nuclear aid to Iran. Now, there’s an idea that could probably cause trouble elsewhere than the globe! And what are the chances of Kerry building a “true coalition,” as he insults and dismisses the good friends who are standing with us? His message seems to be, hey, if you're not France and you're fighting with us, then you're stupid.

What did you think of his idea of ending the war with a summit meeting? Why, that’s brilliant! Why hasn’t Condi or Colin thought of that yet? How would you like to be the event planner for the “Ending the War on Terror Cocktail Reception”? Masks are optional, please check your machetes at the door, self parking only for suicide bombers.

As for Osama bin Laden being our prime target, how does Kerry know that ObL is even alive at this point? What about the millions of other killers intent on seeing Americans dead—including Saddam Hussein?

There are so many directions you can travel to explore the strange new worlds of John Kerry. Unfortunately, we have to live in this world right now, so we need solutions that work here on the Third Rock From the Sun. I suppose John Kerry understands the War on Terror about as well as the next extra terrestrial alien being. In his wildly inaccurate imagination of his ability to communicate with an enemy who will not listen, he’s able to go where no man has gone before. In his hubris, he's able to convince himself that the terrorists will listen to him, and to him only.

After Election Day, I’m hoping Kerry will have as much leisure time as Gray Davis does to travel the globe. Or, maybe even go elsewhere.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Style vs. Substance

Millions of people watched the first Presidential debate last night. I was one of them. At the end of the ninety minutes, I thought John Kerry had looked better, sounded better, and maintained his composure better.

I also think that he lost the debate.

Of course, Old Media is practically swooning over Kerry's "win." As they keep telling us ad nauseum, he came across confident, forceful, well-prepared. He was positively presidential. But were any of these liberal groupies listening to what he was saying?

Kerry does not have the stomach, the principles, or the backbone, to lead a war. No matter how necessary to our defense or security, I can not visualize this man ever sending troops into battle, under any circumstances. And that makes me frightened for our future under a Kerry presidency.

Did anyone hear Kerry mention his 20-year Senate record? Of course not. Throughout his tenure, he has consistently voted against military spending or defense appropriations, right up to and including the $87 billion supplemental bill to support the troops in Iraq that he approved before he rejected. That bill provided for the body armor he now laments the troops not having.

His hypocrisy makes my head hurt.

Of all the preposterous and dangerous words Kerry uttered last night, none were so telling, so bone-chilling as his assertion that a "global test" of support for any action that the United States might take to defend itself is necessary.

Excuse me? I don't think so. Go try to sell "global test" in American towns in the flyover states. And good luck to you, Prince Orator.

President Bush held his own. He looked tired, as a man who had spent the day visiting Florida's hurricane victims, in addition to running the war and the country, would. Unlike dandy Kerry, there was no time in President Bush's day for a salon manicure. He didn't speak as well as Kerry did, but then, John Kerry talks for a living. President Bush acts. And he acts in our country's best interests, not in response to the political winds of the moment.

John Kerry speaks in stentorian, condescending tones. His “plan” to end the Iraq war is to hold a meeting. He excels at describing what he would do, but we don't hear much of what he has actually done. To borrow a pithy phrase from MacBeth, he is "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

George W. Bush speaks from the heart, haltingly at times, but always with honesty and principles. America knows what he believes, where he stands, and how he will stop at nothing to protect us. President Bush understands that we can not be safe at home until the radical Islamist terrorists abroad are destroyed. He’s not afraid to go after them in their homelands, instead of allowing them to attack us again in ours.

And that’s not debatable.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Soul Debts

Yesterday, I was grateful to receive another card from my soldier in Iraq. He writes of many things in each greeting, but a consistent theme is his fear of a John Kerry win in the Presidential election. He has a good deal of company among his colleagues in the U.S. military in this particular apprehension.

Every time I write him, I tell him not to worry, that the country is not about to hand over our safety and security to the likes of “Cut-And-Run Kerry.” I hope I’m right, because the consequences of a Kerry win are too dreadful to contemplate.

It’s a tiny snapshot of a soldier’s life, my soldier’s monthly letter. Sometimes he tells me he is writing by flashlight at 2:00 AM. This time, he reports that the daily temperature is down to 120 degrees, from a high of 140 degrees in August. I imagine the uniform, the boots, the gear these troops must wear and carry in such heat, and I’m humbled that men and women I’ve never met would willingly, even gladly, suffer such hardship on my behalf.

Always, he thanks me. He thanks me for the packages, for the prayers, for the support. This soldier I have never met, who risks his life every moment to keep himself between the terrorists and America, thanks me. And his thanks bring me to tears, because there is no possible way for me to ever adequately thank him back.

They had a memorial service on 9/11, he writes, and he was glad. It helps them to remember why they are fighting. I must tell him, next letter, that I believe it’s likely that part of the reason there has not yet been a second 9/11 is because our military is keeping the terrorists rather busy in their own region.

Yesterday, it was 5:30 PM and he wrote that he and his unit were “going on patrol.” In closing, he asked me to “keep the prayers coming.” Immediately I complied, as I felt a cold chill shoot through me. Going on patrol, into God knows what peril. And he probably does this every day. I just happened to find out about it yesterday.

I’ve never met this man, or his guys, but I love them and I owe them. Every American owes them, whether they realize it or not. It’s a soul debt all civilian Americans must carry, this state of being beholden to our troops, and it can never be repaid. This is one debt that can only be acknowledged, remembered, and respected.

But I do have my monthly statement of what I owe. It comes in the form of a thank-you card, in an envelope postmarked Iraq, written in the hand of a hero.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Supporting Our Troops

I don’t understand people who say, “Sure, I support the troops, BUT…” Laura Ingraham calls these people the “butt monkeys.” I agree with her.

You either support the troops, or you don’t. If you support them, you speak up on their behalf. You tell people that you are grateful to them, that you remain in awe of their bravery, dedication, and patriotism. You might write letters and e-mails to encourage them, or send care packages of favorite items from home, as do the Soldiers’ Angels . If you truly support the troops, you understand that we Americans can never repay their many very difficult sacrifices on our behalf.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with the politics of the war in Iraq. The fact remains, the best and bravest of our young people are fighting and dying to protect us at home from the onslaught of the radical Islamist terrorists. That’s what we need to remember. They deserve our full support. We should speak out for them as we would our own children. Our military is entitled to far better treatment than the constant bad-mouthing of their efforts that permeates the airwaves of Old Media.

There was no greater offense to our troops than the blathering of the senior windbag from Massachusetts, Sen. Ted Kennedy. To advance his warped agenda, the morale of our troops becomes his burnt offering on the altar of party politics. I don’t think he deserves the protection of our military, but he gets it anyway. The troops don’t discriminate for idiots. They do their jobs for all of us, regardless of our worthiness. Because of them, Kennedy gets to bellow and sputter about the “quagmire” they’re in. Thanks, Senator, you’re a big help—to the terrorists. How encouraging must it be for the terrorists to listen to Kennedy’s drivel! If I were a terrorist, I’d be able to hunker down for at least another month on the strength of Teddy’s disgraceful naysaying. It's tantamount to cheerleading the enemy.

We hear many references to “free speech” when this topic comes up. Yes, we all have the Constitutional right, as Americans, to speak our minds, freely and without censure. Are enough of us aware of what a blessing we have in our homeland? How many other countries have this unfettered right to mouth off at will, regardless of the stupidity of our words?

With rights come responsibilities, always. Yes, we have the right to free speech. How we apply it, with regard to the troops, says everything about our sense of responsibility. We can serve our own agendas with single-minded purpose and complete disregard for consequences to others. Or, we can think of those who are in harm’s way to defend our lives and our rights, and speak in support of their valiant work.

I was a teenager during the Vietnam War. I hated the very idea of that war, for reasons that any young person would recognize. Did I support the troops? I hope so. It didn’t matter that I didn’t like the war; our guys were over there. At school, I got the name of a soldier to write to in Vietnam. We exchanged letters regularly for six months, and then his letters stopped coming.

I never had the courage to try to find out what happened to him. But if I ever visit the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C., I know I’ll look for his name. And if I find it, I know I’ll cry.

Support our troops. What they are giving us, in time, in duty, and in blood, we can never repay.

Friday, September 24, 2004

The Ladies' Man

I heard that one of the ubiquitous election polls this week noted that President Bush is pulling ahead of John Kerry with women voters.

People seem to be shocked, shocked that Bush could possibly pull ahead in this prized electoral demographic, a treasured Democrat stronghold. Kerry is the candidate of the pro-choicers, always a winning theme with the majority of politically (and sexually) active female voters. This sudden trend towards conservative country by the XX chromosome crowd seems stunning, on the surface.

But in fact, it’s not at all surprising that the President is showing a lead among women. Women have a natural proclivity for strong men, men who take a stand and are not afraid to defend it. Women are hardwired to love feeling protected, and they love it even better when they feel their children and families are protected.

John Kerry worries us. He says he’ll “respond” to an attack on the U.S. Does that mean we must wait for another 9/11, or perhaps an American version of Beslan—maybe in our own children’s school? No wife or mother will respond well to that prospect. We want to feel confident that the next president will take care of the terrorism business before it takes care of us or our loved ones.

(And besides, Kerry changes his mind way too often. Almost daily. Doesn’t traditional wisdom tell us that’s a woman’s prerogative?)

A man who says what he thinks, acts on what he says, and sticks by his word regardless of how tough the challenges become is going to be a difficult leader to resist during a global War on Terror. In George W. Bush, American women have discovered such a man.

What makes him even more attractive is, he doesn’t seem to care if we women prefer him or not. He’s going to do what he thinks is right no matter who does or doesn’t vote for him.

In my book, that’s one irresistible guy.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The Unattainable

John Kerry is learning the hard way that money has its limitations.

Regardless of his personal wealth, he can’t purchase the silence of the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth . Their bestselling book and their website continue to do damage to Kerry, the extent of which will remain unknown until Election Day. However, Kerry will continue to slander and vilify these brave men who sacrificed so much for their country. Apparently, only John Kerry’s sacrifices in Vietnam count, at least to him.

Kerry’s money can’t prevent glimmers of good news of America’s progress in Iraq from breaking through via the ever-growing blogosphere. One doesn’t have to hunt very far online to find rational, well-researched support for the war from extremely intelligent, educated, logical, articulate sources. The next time you log onto “Google,” plug in the names Hugh Hewitt, Victor Davis Hanson, or Mark Steyn, to name just three of my favorite websites. Do a bit of reading and you’ll see why John Kerry, founder of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, is a man lost in the ghosts of an obsolete past.

His material riches can’t protect Kerry, or the U.S., from this conflict. The War on Terror will be long, as President Bush warned us it would be when we undertook this fight. War is bloody, it is painful, it is costly, it is difficult, it is tragic—and it is necessary to ensure our safety and survival. Money can’t change that fact.

Last winter, John Kerry fell off his snowboard and blamed a Secret Service agent. Big of him, wasn't it? Today, we heard him give a back-handed slap to our nation’s guest, the Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi, who was here to thank America for helping his country. Allawi addressed Congress to say that we are achieving our objectives, that Iraq is growing stronger against the terrorists. Kerry labeled that sincere act of gratitude and hope as nothing more than a political maneuver.

How gracious of you, John. You really did our nation proud with that snide, insulting remark. I’m embarrassed for you, since you don’t have the sense to be.

Keep in mind, Teresa Heinz Kerry spouts off at reporters to “shove it” and calls critics of her husband “scumbags.” Such elegant elocution for a prospective First Lady!

Money can buy so many things. John Kerry may have multiple mansions, a fleet of “family” SUVs, windsurfing, skiing, and snowboarding equipment, and as many trips to France as he pleases. But as his behavior and that of his wife proclaim, there’s one thing for sure money can’t buy.

Cash doesn’t buy class.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

An Absence of Valor

The Islamic terrorists did what they do best, two days in a row. They again beheaded innocent civilians who were bound, blindfolded and totally defenseless.

That’s quite a brave accomplishment. I can’t imagine how much courage it must take to slaughter unarmed prisoners who can’t see or touch you.

Since you’re such fierce, mighty warriors, tell me: Why do you hide in remote caves, dark rooms, and secret hideaways? Why do you cover your faces from identification? Why do you have to keep videotaping your atrocities? Do you need a record to prove to yourselves that yes, look at that, we really did it, guys, we butchered another American?

Please excuse so many questions from such an ignorant infidel. I’m having trouble following how these massacres are a great victory for you. You see, I’m accustomed to a much different type of warfare.

I’m used to seeing soldiers who stand and fight on open battlefields in the sunlight, fighters who look their enemies in the eye before they kill or fall.

You terrorists put on quite a blood-soaked show. Are we supposed to be frightened? If that was your aim, you’ve missed your mark with many Americans. Your brutality only proves to us that we are right to go after you, to root you out—to kill you now, before you kill us.

You’ve sickened us, you’ve outraged us, but you don’t scare us with your sub-human tactics. Your swaddled faces, your hidden rooms, your secret “army” all bear the mark of cowardice. If Allah is any god at all, he is more disgusted than any person could be at your mindless massacres.

Oh sure, you’re jihadists, ready to die for Allah. So why is it that you remain alive, deprived of paradise, always ready to murder again? I think I know why. It’s the same reason that shields your face in shadows and holds you in your hideaways.

You are unspeakable cowards. When your day comes to die, you will roar with fear like the inhuman beasts you truly are. The depth of your cruelty is directly proportional to your absence of valor.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

A Hard Stand

Although many fellow Americans agree with my position on the War on Terror, some people are somewhat disturbed by my hard line stance. These are friends, coworkers, and associates who think the United States should seek the more “sensitive war” that John Kerry referred to recently. After all, they point out to me, our traditional allies, France and Germany, are not with us in this endeavor. Russia may have new reason to change its mind in the wake of the Beslan horror, but until now, they did not support our military actions, either.

May I say upfront that those who protest my position are good people, often very dear to me. However, on this subject, I do not believe they could be more wrong.

I don’t believe it is possible for any American truly interested in the future of our country’s safety and our families’ well-being to give the slightest hoot what any other country on the globe has to say about the actions the U.S. takes to defend itself.

We are right to defend ourselves. And it is long past due the time we did exactly that. I would prefer it if American leaders stopped tippy-toeing around the “holy shrines” . Let our forces do their job. Allow them to win! Please, Major Media, spare me the sacred history of the “shrines.” If terrorists with intent to murder are holed up inside a "shrine," loaded with ammo and weapons, firing at American troops, how holy can the joint be? I’d be happy to see that "shrine" reduced to sandbox filler.

Oh, but then you’ll “be like them,” my friends gasp. I don’t think so. We’re not fighting the terrorists because they don’t go to church on Sunday. We’re fighting because they attacked our country and slaughtered thousands of innocent civilians . I’d prefer it if that didn’t happen again, thank you, and I support the full use of force to ensure that objective.

Oh, but “America has been wrong, too,” they chide me. No doubt, we have been. Does that mean I should sit quietly by, trying to “understand where they’re coming from,” and maybe watch my own children be murdered by Islamo-maniacs the next time? No, that's not an acceptable course of action to me, at least not in this lifetime.

“But what about Vietnam?” they ask me. Well, what about it? That was a different war, in a different time, with very different stakes. Unless I had a soldier fighting there, the Viet Cong weren’t coming after my loved ones. In the War on Terror, every American, old or young, civilian or soldier, is the target--merely because we exist.

I never used to discuss politics much. Voting was a matter of conscience, I believed, a personal matter. In fact, when asked, I wouldn’t divulge for whom I had voted. I used to answer that generations of American military had died to ensure my right to a secret ballot, and I was honoring them by staying silent.

That was before 9/11 . Every American was changed by 9/11, some more profoundly than others. For me, it opened my eyes to the dangers and the enemies surrounding us. Ii issued a clear call for each citizen’s proactivity as necessary to help keep our homeland safe.

Ever since that terrible day, I honor our country’s fallen heroes by speaking out against terrorism and in support of President Bush, who has proved himself worthy of leading the fight against its evil forces.

I take a hard stand in support of America’s defense, and I don’t waste a thought on which foreigners may object. As for fellow Americans, especially those close to me, I don’t mind if they are upset by my opinions. I much prefer that people I care about be slightly annoyed rather than totally annihilated.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Lighting a Candle

This week, the terrorists’ highly-favored car bombing technique was again applied to murder Iraqi civilians who wished to serve their country by joining the new national police force.

The terrorists, insistently termed “insurgents” by Major Media, are racking up quite a body count among the native Iraqis. Courageous Iraqi men, citizens who yearn for an independent homeland, continue to attempt to join the police force. But the terrorists do what they do best to ensure that such an ambitious reach for free statehood will be destroyed, and the brave young Iraqi men continue to die trying.

Critics who claim that American presence in Iraq is causing all the suffering simply aren’t paying attention.

It would be easy to allow the bad news to pull us down into depression. But there is some good news. I’m weary of finding the good news on page A24, if at all. So I thought I’d mention a foundation called Operation Iraqi Children .

Founded by actor Gary Sinise and“Seabiscuit” author Laura Hillenbrand , the organization sends donations of school supplies to Iraqi schools. To hear of such a worthy endeavor amidst so much death and destruction is a breath of fresh air, a ray of sunshine penetrating the fog of war.

When approached by a discouraged volunteer one day, who bemoaned the fact that she couldn’t help enough poor children, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta very wisely advised the woman, “If you can help only one child, then help that one child.”

It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Operation Iraqi Children helps to light young lives in Iraq through the opportunity of education, provided with caring and compassion. The children who benefit from this wonderful effort will grow into Iraqi citizens who understand the difference between disagreement and destruction and who would like their own children to attend school undisturbed.

When that day arrives, “insurgents” beware.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Completely Bogus Story -- CBS

It appears that reporters looking for answers from Dan Rather or CBS News on the memo fiasco have a lifetime hobby.

Dan and Co. have dug in their heels on the current flap over the Bush National Guard memos at CBS. Under mounting evidence that the documents are phony, CBS clings to its crumbling cliff by interviewing an 86-year-old retired secretary who declares that she didn't type them, but "the information in those is correct."

"It is notable that she confirms the content of the documents, which was the primary focus of our story in the first place," said CBS News spokeswoman Sandra Genelius.

Excuse me? This is a major news organization? It's now defending itself with sentiment and opinion rather than facts and documentation to validate stories. Radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt is calling for Congressional hearings on the grounds that "Memogate" constitutes tampering with a presidential election. In a perfect world, that would indeed happen.

All questions currently being put to Dan Rather or the CBS network are met with stubborn stonewalling. I have never heard so many contorted ways of dancing around questions without answering. Of course, a direct answer would screw him either way. There are only two possible scenarios. Either Rather was duped, or he's lying. Neither alternative is attractive to a "news legend." Hence, all his responses boil down to "These documents are authentic because I say so." Nice try, Dan, but we're not all that stupid.

Can you imagine the CBS suits, including Old Man Dan, actually having to sit down and answer questions if indeed the Congressional hearings come to pass? I would pay admission to watch that show. The news anchorman who brings down presidencies, brought down by his own deviousness and arrogance--it would be quite a trip on the Karma train.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Body Count

For those Americans who might be debating their presidential vote for the November election, it may help to review the chronology of attacks perpetrated upon Americans by radical Arab Islamists in order to retrace the path that led us to Iraq.

Let’s start on April 18, 1983. What, over 20 years ago, you ask? Sadly, yes, Americans were already dying in the radical Islamic war against us, although we were asleep at the switch and didn’t realize the evil that was bearing down upon us and seeking our destruction.

On April 18, 1983, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, was bombed, killing all 63 occupants of the building, including 17 Americans. On October 23, 1983, over 240 U.S. Marines were murdered in their barracks in Beirut by a truck bomb at 6:22 on Sunday morning.

Move ahead to December 1988. Pan Am Flight 103, over Lockerbie, Scotland, was blown to fragments by a terrorist bomb. The death toll was every person on the plane, 259 innocent people, plus eleven innocents on the ground.

In February, 1993, the terrorists got ambitious and tried to blow up the World Trade Center in New York. They miscalculated their logistics and had to settle for a disappointing toll of six people dead.

It is said that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Left unaccountable to the United States for their evil actions, the terrorists would return.

On June 25, 1996, Islamic terrorists exploded a fuel truck at the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia at Building #131 in the housing complex. This eight story building mostly housed United States Air Force personnel from the 4404th Fighter Wing. In all, 19 U.S. servicemen and one Saudi were killed and 372 wounded .

Facing no consequences from the United States in the wake of these atrocities, Islamic terrorists grew bolder and stepped up the pace of their brutal attacks. In August 1998, terrorists bombed the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, resulting in 224 dead.

On October 12, 2000, the USS Cole was bombed in the water as it refueled in Yemen. Seventeen U.S. sailors died.

On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center was again attacked in New York City, NY, this time by radical Arab Islamic terrorists hijacking jet airplanes. The Pentagon was attacked in similar fashion, and United Airlines Flight 93 went down in a Pennsylvania field because the courageous Americans onboard fought to defend their lives and country.

Nearly 3,000 innocent Americans were slaughtered in little more than an hour on 9/11.

The people of the United States were forced to realize that, although we had not sought war, war had long ago been declared upon us by hate-filled fanatics. War had been thrust upon us by Islamic fanatics both dangerous in their blind hatred and determined in their will to destroy us.

The beheadings of Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg, Paul Johnson showed us the evil, cowardly depths to which our enemy will sink.

And so, we fight. We fight to protect our homeland, our families and loved ones, our way of life, and our freedom. America began its stand in Afghanistan, with stunning success, in a battle that to date has cost 135 brave American lives. In Iraq, the tragic toll changes daily; today’s official tally was 1,018 of American’s courageous young people.

Using basic arithmetic, the above record tallies nearly 5,000 innocent American lives--men and women of the United States who have been slaughtered by the followers of radical Islam, all in the name of Allah. Being such religious folks, they would dearly love to see many millions more of us infidel Americans dead.

Americans are fully alert to the danger now, as a nation and a people. The U.S. military and its alliance of coalition forces is doing the hard work of ensuring that the butchering of Americans has become a much more difficult task for the Islamic killers.

Health care, jobs, the economy, certainly are all important issues facing us today. But if Denver or St. Louis or Milwaukee vanishes under a mushroom cloud, I doubt many of us will be debating Medicare benefits. If Chicago or New York or Los Angeles suffers a smallpox epidemic, not many Americans will be fretting about the quarterly job statistics.

There is no luxury of denying that we are in a fight for our survival against the Islamic murderers. It’s time to re-elect a strong leader, one who has proven he knows how to take the fight downtown on the terrorists’ turf.

This is real. This is war. Help defend America by voting for President Bush.