Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A Prayer For Our Heroes

Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my petitions.
If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?

But there is forgiveness with you,
therefore you are feared.

I wait for the Lord,
My soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
My soul longs for the Lord

More than watchmen for the morning...

It would behoove every American, every day, to pause and remember at what staggering cost our comforts and freedoms are secured.

God bless and protect our brave troops in harm's way. There is no greater love than theirs.
(Jn 15:13)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

One Word Answer

.... You ask, What is our policy? I will say; "It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy." You ask, What is our aim? I can answer with one word: Victory - victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.
Sir Winston Churchill, 1940, first address as newly appointed Prime Minister

President Bush addressed the nation tonight from Fort Bragg, NC, to reaffirm our mission in Iraq and the Middle East. He will never match Churchill for delivery, eloquence, or elegant phrasing--not many speakers can. The times and circumstances of the War on Terror differ greatly from those of World War II, but the threat to our cherished way of life and liberty is the same.

The message is unchanged.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

Far From Reason

Who thinks that a war can be won without losses and sacrifices is far from reason.
~ Mohammed, IRAQ THE MODEL

The debate rages on in this country between those who see the War on Terror as an absolute imperative and those who view is as a complete catastrophe. Most in the former group are conservatives. The latter group is comprised largely of liberals.

Very sensitive, and, in my view, very irrational liberals.
  • Liberals who obsess about the level of air conditioning at Gitmo, but are unconcerned with the hellish temperatures that drove our neighbors out of the top windows of the Twin Towers.
  • Liberals who agonize over panties on a prisoner's head, but ignore beheadings of their fellow citizens.
  • Liberals who insult our brave military by comparing them to Nazis, Soviets, and Pol Pot, but forget that Saddam Hussein's regime dropped live prisoners into giant shredding machines--head first for a merciful death, feet first if more punitive measures were in order.
Do liberals sound insane? That question is a matter of some debate in conservative circles. I don't profess to know the answer, but I do know what I see and hear.

What I see and hear is that liberals are through the looking glass, and their world is a scary landscape of moving walls, revolving doors, and sliding floors. There is no right or wrong, no good or evil. The rules are subject to constant change, and change they do. Somehow, since 9/11, liberals have evolved their thinking to a point where America is wrong, the enemy is right. Our military is wrong, the terrorists (excuse me, the "insurgents") are right.

Freedom of speech applies only to them. If conservatives say something disagreeable to their current stand, liberals will be offended to the point of hysteria. Take this quote by Karl Rove, senior advisor to President Bush:

"Conservatives saw the attacks and prepared for war. Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers."

Now, based on the behavior I have seen from conservatives and liberals since September 11, that statement makes perfect sense to me. But it just about put the liberals over the edge.

And the edge of reason cuts quite sharply whenever emotions are allowed to rule the day.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Classic Quotes

AFI's 100 Years Movie Quotes, which aired on network television last week, was a delightful treat for anyone who loves movies. And I do love them!

I have seen almost all of the movies that yielded the top 100 classic quotes, and they're all good. Some of them are great. One of them, in my opinion, is the greatest.

To entice you to read the full list of quotable gems in the title link, the top ten are listed below:

1. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." - GONE WITH THE WIND, 1939

2. "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse." - THE GODFATHER, 1972

3. "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am." - ON THE WATERFRONT, 1954

4. "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." - THE WIZARD OF OZ, 1939

5. "Here's looking at you, kid." - CASABLANCA, 1942

6. "Go ahead, make my day." - SUDDEN IMPACT, 1983

7. "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." - SUNSET BOULEVARD, 1950

8. "May the Force be with you." - STAR WARS, 1977

9. "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night." - ALL ABOUT EVE, 1950

10. "You talking to me?" - TAXI DRIVER, 1976

Great stuff, huh? I've seen all of these ten movies, and I own a copy of half of them. They don't make them like this anymore.

There was a viewers hint on the way to a commercial break that said that the number one movie quote was "the last line of the best selling novel of all time."

But, I knew immediately that was wrong.

How did I know that? Well, as a teenager, I read every word of GWTW at least eight times. The movie was re-released in theatres during my high school years, and I saw it on the big screen at least half a dozen times. In later years, I owned it on video, and today on DVD. I also have read a few books on the making of this amazing movie.

So here's good advice: Don't challenge me in GWTW trivia. Ever.

Anyway, I know that the last line of the book is "...tomorrow is another day." But that was Quote #31 on the list, and we had already passed that point when the hint flashed on screen. So I knew instantly that some improperly disinterested editor had mixed up the two most famous lines in GWTW.

I know, it's a 66-year old movie, and probably some Gen-Xer was doing the editing. But to quote Rhett Butler, "frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." This, you need to get right, because "Gone With The Wind" is the greatest movie ever made.

You may quote me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

An Angel's Prayer

I've never heard from my Marine in Iraq.

As a Soldier's Angel, I know that our job is to provide support to the troops--cards, letters, care packages, tiny pieces of home. Our role is to give encouragement and provide what little respite we may to our fighting heroes. We are not looking for penpals, and we don't expect the troops who are in harm's way to take time away from their all-important duties to write letters to us.

I care about this young Marine with whom I've never exchanged a single spoken or written word. I worry about his safety and fret about his circumstances. There is another goody box for him, packed and ready to hit the mail. And although it is a grim and nerve-wracking task, once again I have finished searching the casualty lists for his name before sending his package.

If you've ever read or seen "Gone With The Wind," you may remember the scene where all the townspeople of Atlanta await news from the battle of Gettysburg. When the casualty sheets are passed around the frantic crowd, there are cries and screams of grief from those who have lost a loved one.

It's a powerful scene that always evokes a shiver and a tear.

Today, I read the modern version of GWTW's casualty list--the internet site for the Dept. of Defense. I work backwards from today to the date of my last package. The press releases pop open, one by one, and announce their sorrowful content to me. Age 19, 20, 23, 26...from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas. Each screen that opens finds me holding my breath as I search the sad statistics for the name of my Marine.

His name isn't there, so his care package is good to go. I trust God will keep him safe to enjoy receiving it.

Prayer to Saint Michael

Saint Michael, Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And you, Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

More From Mark

For a massive dose of common sense, infused with biting humor, Mark Steyn is just what the doctor ordered. Reading the healthy truth has never been so much fun.

If only Durbin would take his medicine.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Dear Senator Durbin

Dear Senator Durbin:

I visited your website today and saw something quite extraordinary. Here is a direct quote from the "Issues and Legislation" link:

Senator Durbin believes that although the U.S. military is the best equipped and well trained in the world, it is the fine men and women who fill its ranks that are the true pride of the country. They exhibit tremendous leadership, courage, and bravery in their efforts to secure America and its interests, and America owes it to them to ease the burdens of their service.

Now, forgive me, Senator, but I'm not quite following. You see, I read this long article by Hugh Hewitt in the Weekly Standard that has direct quotes from you comparing the Guantanamo detention facility to Hitler's concentration camps, the Soviet Unions gulags, and Pol Pot's genocide.

Be patient with me a moment, a lowly working gal, and help me to decipher your message.

Did you mean that the Nazis, Soviets, and Pol Pot "exhibited trememdous leadership, courage, and bravery in their efforts to secure" their own countries? If so, you're the first person I've ever met who has felt that way. Oh, but of course, as you explain in the article--it's our own fault if we misunderstood you.

Have you ever spoken to anyone who was in a gulag or a concentration camp? I have. Those who were in such places don't see much agony in glazed chicken, prayer books, air conditioning, or loud music. Not to mention zero death counts.

With regard to our service men and women, what about how "America owes it to them to ease the burdens of their service"? By you handing flaming ammunition to a gleeful enemy, you eased our troops' burdens in exactly what way? It seems to me that you may have added to their burdens just a tad. Because of your insults to them, I think the military now needs to be concerned that another few thousand of "the fine men and women who fill its ranks," "the true pride of the country," will be KIA by the reinvigorated enemy. Nice job, Senator.

And "although the U.S. military is the best equipped and well trained in the world," they are powerless before such ignorant and malicious stupidity. Especially when it emanates from a supposed "leader" of their country they are fighting to protect.

Dear, dear Senator Durbin. I'm afraid you don't make much sense, which is all well and good. It's no crime to be stupid. But to deliberately endanger our military forces who are fighting to protect your oversized mouth and microscopic brain is much more than a crime. It's treason, as defined by our Constitution, Article III, Section III:

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."

By assaulting the honor of our troops, you are indeed "levying war against them." Your words will be used to inflame and recruit innumerable enemy combatants, to the peril and suffering of our armed forces.

By your public verbal attack upon our soldiers at war, you are "adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." The floor of the U.S. Senate should be no protection for you. You are a traitor to our fighting men and women.

It's not only that you don't deserve your government power and position. You don't deserve U. S. citizenship.

If it was up to me, you wouldn't even get residency.

One For the Women

As an American woman, this story makes me especially proud.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day to the dads out there.

"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." ~ Sigmund Freud

Friday, June 17, 2005

Perfect Response

If you read only one blog this weekend, make sure it is Froggy Ruminations. The posts for June 16 and 17 are not to be missed by any American who cares about what happens to our country and our troops.

Matthew Heidt says it better than any pundit possibly could, and he says it with a passion and knowledge that only a military man can bring to addressing such a blatant betrayal as the cowardly, ignorant Dick Durbin has inflicted upon our troops. Matt's righteous, blistering rage is completely justified and perfectly appropriate. And wow, can this man write!

Once again: Go, Froggy, GO!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Quote of the Day

In addressing the disgraceful remarks of Sen. Durbin regarding Gitmo on Hugh Hewitt's show, Mark Steyn described the absurdity like nobody else can:

"And this...I think illustrates completely, the derangement of the Democratic party*, because the idea that four years after this jihad killed 3,000 people in the heart of New York and Washington, you'd be worrying because they were getting ghastly, vulgar American pop records being played too loudly to them, and women were coming on to them in provocative clothing. I mean this isn't the Soviet gulag. This is Club Med. It's ridiculous."

Amen to that!

(*emphasis added)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Ours Alone

Ground Zero is located in lower Manhattan, but it is a living part of every American who experienced September 11, 2001. It is our sacred site, an aching scar of war upon America's body. As fellow Americans, it is our hurt, our loss, our sorrow and grief that defines the essence of Ground Zero.

Ground Zero has nothing to do with Hitler's concentration camps, Stalin's gulags, or Mao's prisons. To drag any foreign country, or the actions of their various dictators, into a commemoration of 9/11 is well beyond a travesty of justice. It is defamation of a purely American tragedy, an insult to our fellow citizens who were murdered, and an affront to their families.

But that is of no concern to the International Freedom Center (IFC). The ideologically "global" window dressing they intend to install at Ground Zero will effectively obscure any sense of the intense post-9/11 suffering that is uniquely American.

What is the genesis of this refusal to allow any modicum of national dignity to remain for America? Why must "the globe" always be the bottom line in any collective endeavor undertaken within this country? Wasn't the United States of America born of a yearning for freedom and independence? Is it not true that people still flock to our shores and borders today in search of a better life? So why, then, must we become homogenized and "international" in our focus?

September 11 is an American loss. It ranks with December 7, 1941, as a "date which will live in infamy." If you think it would be appropriate that the U.S.S. Arizona be remodeled to reflect assorted conflicts and tragedies in other countries, then you probably agree that "this ambitious and vital new forum" at Ground Zero is a good idea.

If you believe, as I do, that only the stories and memories of the Americans who died that day should be honored at Ground Zero, then you will probably want to visit the "Take Back the Memorial" website to see how you can help the efforts to preserve this precious memorial site for America.

Ground Zero, located in lower Manhattan, belongs to America. It is ours, alone.

Let's take it back.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

For Flag Day

Barbara Frietchie
by John Greenleaf Whittier

Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.

Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple and peach tree fruited deep,

Fair as the garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,

On that pleasant morn of the early fall
When Lee marched over the mountain-wall;

Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town.

Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars,

Flapped in the morning wind: the sun
Of noon looked down, and saw not one.

Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten;

Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag the men hauled down;

In her attic window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet,

Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.

Under his slouched hat left and right
He glanced; the old flag met his sight.

'Halt!' - the dust-brown ranks stood fast.
'Fire!' - out blazed the rifle-blast.

It shivered the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash.

Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf.

She leaned far out on the window-sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.

'Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country's flag,' she said.

A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;

The nobler nature within him stirred
To life at that woman's deed and word;

'Who touches a hair of yon gray head
Dies like a dog! March on! he said.

All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet:

All day long that free flag tost
Over the heads of the rebel host.

Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well;

And through the hill-gaps sunset light
Shone over it with a warm good-night.

Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er,
And the Rebel rides on his raids nor more.

Honor to her! and let a tear
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewalls' bier.

Over Barbara Frietchie's grave,
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!

Peace and order and beauty draw
Round they symbol of light and law;

And ever the stars above look down
On thy stars below in Frederick town!

"Amazing...Historic...Gigantic Step Forward"

Donald Rumsfeld explained to MSM where the real news story is today. Too bad the reporters are so busy chasing down missing Koran pages at Gitmo that they have failed to realize the enormity of what is unfolding in the Middle East before our very eyes. Worse, they have failed in their responsibility to report what is newsworthy in this war.

Worse than that, they do not seem to care. But worst of all is that, judging by their reporting (or lack of same), MSM actually seems to wish harm upon our military and our government.

But in speaking about the formation of the Iraqi constitution, Rummy put a fine point on the true story of the 21st century for the media, sharp enough to penetrate even the thickest Blame-America-First media spin:

And then, it'll be there, and then they'll vote on whatever that constitution says, for a president, or a prime minister, whatever, representatives, they'll have a chance to vote on that in December. This is amazing. This is historic. This is a gigantic step forward. This ought not to be dismissed or trivialized. This is a big deal. Will it happen? I think it'll happen. Can I guarantee anything in life? No. I can't. No one can. It's their country.

The full transcript of Rumsfeld's briefing is posted on the Dept. of Defense website. Better yet, listen to the full 4 minutes at Radioblogger. You won't hear it on the alphabet networks, that's for sure. And a big HT to Hugh Hewitt for his post on "Flying Angels" today.

After reading it, I have material for a new post: "Weeping Blogger"

Monday, June 13, 2005

One Question

Having sat on a jury multiple times, I realize that jurors have access to information that the general public does not. I'm not in the habit of second-guessing jury verdicts.

But I do have one question for the jurors who found Michael Jackson not guilty on all counts:

Would you allow your child, or grandchild, to spend a weekend alone with him?

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Destiny's Task

Victor Davis Hanson makes perfect sense again, as always, in "The Global Shift." The thought that one day soon we may again have to bail out our "friends" in Europe is enough to ruin my weekend.

But then, I need to remind myself of our obligations as the greatest nation on the planet.

Tony Blair made a brilliant speech to Congress during his July 2003 visit to the United States. It's long, but it's worth taking the time to read every word. Towards the end of his speech, Blair reminded us of our responsibility as Americans:

We are fighting for the inalienable right of humankind--black or white, Christian or not, left, right or a million different--to be free, free to raise a family in love and hope, free to earn a living and be rewarded by your efforts, free not to bend your knee to any man in fear, free to be you so long as being you does not impair the freedom of others.

That's what we're fighting for. And it's a battle worth fighting.

And I know it's hard on America, and in some small corner of this vast country, out in Nevada or Idaho or these places I've never been to, but always wanted to go...

I know out there there's a guy getting on with his life, perfectly happily, minding his own business, saying to you, the political leaders of this country, "Why me? And why us? And why America?"

And the only answer is, "Because destiny put you in this place in history, in this moment in time, and the task is yours to do."

If and when the day comes when Europe again begs for our help, I know we will give it freely. We're Americans; that's what we do.

"Much is expected where much is given."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

By The Numbers

As of today, 1,685 of America's finest have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Was/is it worth it? We hear the questions all the time, from MSM, from left-wing pundits, college professors, and politicians. Doubt permeates the airwaves. A pervasive lack of faith in our nation's mission in the Middle East is entrenched within the political left and its loyal mouthpiece, MSM.

I bear in mind always that every American who dies in this war is both an individual family tragedy and a devastating loss to this nation. We civilians, who are safe at home because of the brave service men and women who stand in the constant shadow of harm's way, can only step aside in awe and honor of their courage and sacrifice. We can never adequately thank our military for protecting us.

All that being said--is it worth it? The war is nearly two and one quarter years long, and we have lost 1,685 heroes. How can we justify such a loss?

Think back. Way back through tunnels of history, all the way back to September 11, 2001. How many Americans did we lose in the space of one hour?

Total number killed in attacks (official figure as of 2005): 2,992

That figure includes the casualties at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, on the airplanes and the hijackers.
  • Number of firefighters and paramedics killed: 343
    Number of NYPD officers: 23
    Number of Port Authority police officers: 37
    Number of WTC companies that lost people: 60
    Number of employees who died in Tower One: 1,402
    Number of employees who died in Tower Two: 614

And 9/11 was the attack that kept on attacking:
  • Number of people who lost a spouse or partner in the attacks: 1,609
    Estimated number of children who lost a parent: 3,051
    Percentage of Americans who knew someone hurt or killed in the attacks: 20
    FDNY retirements, January–July 2001: 274
    FDNY retirements, January–July 2002: 661
    Number of firefighters on leave for respiratory problems by January 2002: 300
    Number of funerals attended by Rudy Giuliani in 2001: 200
    Number of FDNY vehicles destroyed: 98
    Tons of debris removed from site: 1,506,124
    Days fires continued to burn after the attack: 99
All this destruction, sorrow, and suffering wrought in a single hour, simply because the terrorists hate us for being free Americans.

The lefties never sleep when it comes to pressing forward on their internationalistic agenda, but I thought they might brake at 9/11.

I was wrong.

The memorial planned for the World Trade Center has taken on a "global" cachet, with the International Freedom Center (IFC) wanting in on the planning. Debra Burlingame, sister of one of the 9/11 pilots, is fighting them as worthily as any soldier.

Among Ms. Burlingame's very cogent statements is this:

The so-called lessons of September 11 should not be force-fed by ideologues hoping to use the memorial site as nothing more than a powerful visual aid to promote their agenda. Instead of exhibits and symposiums about Internationalism and Global Policy we should hear the story of the courageous young firefighter whose body, cut in half, was found with his legs entwined around the body of a woman. Recovery personnel concluded that because of their positions, the young firefighter was carrying her.

September 11 is an American story, with American heroes and American war dead. The battlefields were New York City, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. In one brutal hour, we lost nearly twice the number of Iraq War troops killed since March 2003. The number of firefighters killed in a few burning seconds in the Twin Towers equal nearly 20% of all troops killed in Iraq to date.

Do not let the "globalists" defile their memories. Not any of them. Not the firefighters, police, rescue workers, innocent people doing their daily jobs or taking a plane trip who were killed as the war began. Neither allow the internationalists to defile the memory of the troops who have died in combat, taking the war to the enemy's backyard. And do not permit such an insult to the bravery of those who fight for us today.

Is it worth it? Before answering that question, I ask the following:

Has there been another September 11 in America these past four years?
When over 2,900 of our fellow citizens are murdered, should we rise and fight?
Would those 1,685 fallen heroes be proud of what they have accomplished in keeping their homeland, and thus their families, safe?

I'm a word person, but these questions I answer by the numbers. To me, the numbers say it's worth it.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Hour Come Round

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
~ from "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats

When Yeats wrote this poem in 1921, he believed that the end of time as foretold in Revelation was drawing near, and he thought that humanity had reached a threatening state of transitory principles and values.

Oh dear. Whatever would he say in 2005?

Kathryn Jean Lopez takes the liberals to task in the National Review Online, pointing out the absurdity of requiring parental consent for teenagers using a tanning machine or taking Tylenol, but not for getting an abortion. Lopez hits the bull's eye on the left's true agenda:

At the heart of the yelling against a common-sense attempt to keep kids away from making such a grave decision without parental inclusion is the worry that guides a lot of the actions from the Left in America today: an opposition to anything that might in anyway restrict legal abortion in America.

Preserving totally unfettered access to abortion, by any female of any age, is a much higher priority for the lefties than either protecting children's welfare or defending parental rights.

It smacks of Communist Russia, this slinking behind a parent's back to further a political agenda at the expense of children--both teenaged and unborn. Certainly, the poet's "ceremony of innocence is drowned" by such tactics. To encourage a child in serious crisis, a pregnant teenager, to evade a parent's rightful authority is deceitful, irresponsible, selfish--it's wrong on so many levels that it becomes difficult to choose a single adjective.

Liberals may be "full of passionate intensity," but at what cost to our young people? Is this cold, court-sanctioned separation of the family the "rough beast, its hour come round at last" that Yeats warned was "slouching" our way?

How can parents fulfill their responsibilities towards their children if they are not made aware of such a crucial issue as a daughter's pregnancy? How can the law see fit to separate parent and child at such a critical time, when a child needs her parents and their guidance more than ever before?

"The falcon cannot hear the falconer..."

Monday, June 06, 2005

Mining the News

I've learned how to hunt for my daily news reports.

The U.S. Dept. of Defense website today records some refreshingly common sense questions and comments by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, to reporters in Malaysia today.

Contrasting Newsweek's alleged abuse of the Koran with the actions of the terrorists, Myers asked "What does the enemy do on a daily basis? And what does the press report about the enemy? On a daily basis in Iraq, what the enemy does is kill innocent men, women and children."

Also noted in the same DoD article:

Myers noted that Jordanian-born violent extremist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said that he would kill innocents to try to spark a civil war between Sunnis and Shiias. Extremists under his direction have launched some of the bloodiest attacks in Iraq. Zarqawi and his henchmen have chopped off their victims' heads and put the murders on the Internet for the world to see.

"That's abhorrent behavior," he said. "That's what the press ought to be focused on -- not a couple of incidents where an overzealous guard or interrogator abused a Koran."

Myers said that even in the few cases where Koran abuse is found, America will investigate and punish those found responsible under the rule of law.

I don't doubt that those responsible for any mistreatment of the Koran will indeed be dealt with in accordance with U.S. military rules. I'm also confident that any consequences meted out for such conduct unbecoming to our military will merit short shrift from MSM.

Chairman Myers had much more to say regarding Guantanamo Detention Facility. I would have liked to read his statements in the newspaper, or heard them on the evening news. Of course, that won't happen--at least, not anytime soon. But if I can find such intelligent news online, I can link other readers to it.

So much the better.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Required Reading

Victor Davis Hanson explains the complexities, challenges, and choices of the War on Terror in such a straightforward and sensible way that it is required reading for anyone even slightly interested in connecting the dots from September 11, 2001, to today's conflict in Iraq.

Meanwhile, this weekend our troops have been especially busy and productive.

Finally, Saddam Hussein's trial is coming right up.

Having read all that, I'm ready to face another Monday.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Holier Than Thou?

OK, OK, we get it already. The Koran was mishandled, yes, yes, the Koran was mishandled. Shame on us gulag-keepers. We should all be beaten with our rosary beads and strangled with our prayer shawls.

Take a deep, cleansing breath--OK. That's better. Now, if the Koran was mishandled, that's certainly wrong. No matter who did it, under what circumstances, mishandling the Koran is wrong. I learned that value growing up in a Catholic home, where my father admonished us kids that people of different religions hold their faith to be as true and important as we do ours. Therefore, all religions should be respected and treated with dignity. If the Koran was mishandled, we should apologize to Muslims.

I do have one question for the self-flagellating American liberals. Why doesn't respect apply equally to those of Judeo-Christian beliefs?

I refer to Charles Krauthammer's column in the Washington Post, "We've done enough beating ourselves up." Here is an especially pertinent passage:

Let's understand what mishandling means. Under the rules later instituted by the Pentagon at Guantanamo, proper handling of the Koran means using two hands and wearing gloves when touching it. Which means that if any guard held the Koran with one hand or had neglected to put on gloves, this would be considered mishandling.

On the scale of human crimes, where, say, 10 is the killing of 2,752 innocent people in one day and 0 is jaywalking, this ranks as perhaps a 0.01.

Moreover, what were the Korans doing there in the first place? The very possibility of mishandling Korans arose because we gave them to each prisoner. What kind of crazy tolerance is this? Is there any other country that would give a prisoner precisely the religious text which that prisoner and those affiliated with him invoke to justify the slaughter of innocents? If the prisoners had to have reading material, I would have given them the book "Portraits 9/11/01" - vignettes of the lives of those massacred on Sept. 11.

And here is another:

Civil libertarians, who have been dogged in making sure that FBI-collected Guantanamo allegations be released to the world, seem exquisitely sensitive to mistreatment of the Koran. A rather selective scrupulousness. When an American puts a crucifix in a jar of urine and places it in a museum, civil libertarians rise immediately to defend it as free speech. And when someone makes a painting of the Virgin Mary, smears it with elephant dung and adorns it with porn, not only is that free speech, it is art – deserving of taxpayer funding and an ACLU brief supporting the Brooklyn Museum when the mayor freezes its taxpayer subsidy.

Why is the Koran holier than other religious symbols held sacred by other faiths? Why is there no worldwide outrage over desecration in the examples named above, as well as over anti-Semetic acts such as the defacing of synogogues?

The prisoners at Gitmo get prayer rugs, times to pray each day, culturally and religiously appropriate food--and Korans. Free exercise of religion, American style--to an extent some Americans may not even enjoy, depending upon their local litigation regarding separation of church and state issues.

Terrorist prisoners aren't getting killed at Gitmo for being Muslim. And no one in MSM seems to remember that the 9/11 victims were killed because they weren't Muslim. Too bad that fact doesn't make headlines.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Accentuate the Positive

In searching out good news from Iraq, savvy news consumers know that we have to hunt for it. The title link, from National Review Online, covers encouraging news from Fallujah, the likes of which I can only hope we'll someday see highlighted on network evening news (HT: Froggy Ruminations).

I have my own version of a classic Bing Crosby song:

Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive
E-lim-inate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Media Mainstream

Of course, the true lyric in the last line is "Don't mess with Mr. In-Between," but that hardly applies in the case of MSM. There is nothing "in-between" about MSM's left-leaning tendencies. So with all due respect to Bing and Johnny Mercer, I adjusted the song for the reality of our modern media.

Iraq the Model is another fine source of stories on current progress in Iraq, with blog postings by two brothers, Omar and Mohammed, natives of Bagdhad who are living and working there today. I doubt that MSM could have a more accurate source of real information on events in Iraq and the outlook of the Iraqi people in response to those events.

Until MSM starts covering all the Iraqi news--the progress and success there as well as the disasters and setbacks--I'm making it a point to Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive...Don't mess with Media Mainstream.