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.