My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


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Here's some ideas I would love to hear from the President this week. It goes a li'l somethin' like this:

In 1941 this country was attacked by a bold and determined enemy. Our response was to mobilize the greatest military action the world has ever seen; within a few months, our Navy was rebuilt to the point of fighting the Japanese to a draw at Midway. Within a year our young men had peopled a military to dwarf those of the rest of the world to be able to fight in two theaters. And within two years those who stayed behind in America had built a Navy to fill the seas and an air force to blot out the sun.

Three years after The Day Of Infamy, our military, in conjunction with our powerful and steadfast allies, invaded an entire continent to repel an enemy. This enemy had not attacked the United States, and had only a very limited capacity to do so. But the atrocities of its expansion and the stated hostility towards America was enough to motivate great action.

The invasion was not always easy, nor was it without blemish. In September of 1944, three months after the Day of Days, our army got bogged down in Holland in the now infamous "Operation Market Garden". In a bold effort, the Americans tried to end the war before Christmas, unsuccessfully, resulting in the deaths of over 3,000 American soldiers. Three months after that our forces had to repel a Nazi offensive in the Ardennes forest. The cost of this action, over the course of five weeks, was 19,000 Americans.

But Americans do not run from the enemy when the going gets difficult. The American people, the American leadership, and the American military persevered. And just five months later Americans had liberated millions of people from the Nazi threat, including those incarcerated in the abominations of Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, and others.

Twenty-five years later, in January 1968, the American people were confronted with a different situation. Engaged in a war on foreign soil, against an enemy which had not attacked America, and had little capability to do so, but who had expansionist ambitions and a stated hostility towards America, the Vietnam War was a flashpoint of controversy and high emotion. When the Vietcong army launched the Tet Offensive, America and its allies responded with overwhelming prowess. And though the American military lost 1,100 courageous men, the enemy lost about 9 times as many, and was thoroughly repelled.

Unfortunately, for that one instance in all of American history, America did not respond with resolve, but allowed a military victory to be turned into a political defeat. America abandoned its allies, and relegated hundreds of thousands to death, torture, and displacement.

America now faces a similar choice to the ones it made in the last century. We have been attacked by a shadowy and nebulous enemy. We have responded by taking the battle to the enemy; and as a result, Afghanistan and Iraq are now on the road to democracy.

It has not been, and is not, an easy road. But the choice before the American people could not be more clear. We can live up to our best traditions, best character, and noblest spirit by enduring the difficulties in full faith that by doing so, we will make the world a better place for our children. Or we can pull back, seek compromises that dilute our objectives, shrink from danger, and leave the future in the hands of people and organizations whose commitment to liberty, plurality, and freedom is, at best, dubious.

September 11th made it all too clear that the world is a dangerous place, and we can no longer afford to wait for the enemy to announce its intentions and its methods. This enemy would destroy us, if it could, for no better reason than because we enjoy liberty, plurality and freedom. And this enemy will not be found in neat, orderly ranks under the flag of one country. Our one, best weapon in this war is to create and expand the conditions on this planet that encourage people to seek their own destinies. We have enjoyed that condition in America for over two-hundred years; we forgot how difficult such a transformation can be. But we know that such freedom is our natural ally in this war; and if billions more around the world become our allies, our enemy will have nowhere to hide.

Or something like that.

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