A Presidential Address

Earlier today, President Bush delivered a commencement address at the West Point Military Academy that was nothing short of inspiring:

“This is only the beginning… . The message has spread from Damascus to Tehran that the future belongs to freedom, and we will not rest until the promise of liberty reaches every people in every nation.”

Spanning 35 minutes, President Bush's address was heard by 861 cadets, or what I like to call American heroes. Deb Riechmann of the Associated Press writes perfectly:

"Overcast skies threatened rain but did not dampen the graduates' enthusiasm for the president’s tough talk against terrorism."

President Bush went on to criticize previous administrations for their willingness to overlook a freedom deprived region for so long:

"By standing with democratic reforms across a troubled region, we will extend freedom to millions who have not known it and lay the foundation for peace for generations to come."

Comparing his role in the War on Terrorism to that of Henry Truman in the Cold War, President Bush announced:

"Today, at the start of a new century, we are again engaged in a war unlike any our nation has fought before, and like Americans in Truman's day, we are laying the foundations for victory."

President Bush also touched on the terrorists' ambitions to secure WMDs while perhaps alluding to Iran at the same time:

"If our enemies succeed in acquiring such weapons, they will not hesitate to use them. . . . Against such an enemy, there is only one effective response: We will never back down, we will never give in, and we will never accept anything less than complete victory."

To hear such strong words issued from our leader reveals his unshakable determination to preserve our freedom and to protect America from future threats. Let me just say that preemptive action is no sin; a sin would be to sit on the sidelines while allowing these threats to materialize.

One can only hope that future administrations, whether republican or democrat, will have a similar foreign policy approach. Our world today is smaller than it has ever been. An aggressive, anti-American regime, even at the farthest corner of our globe, is no less threatening than a terrorist within our own borders. We cannot allow these countries to continue raising jihadist sheep, who want nothing more than to destroy America in the name of Allah. The concern of every American must be the safety of all Americans. We cannot handle our international affairs with the same PC mentality that has destroyed our domestic affairs.


Finally, let me just remind you all—and I'm sure that this is unnecessary—to say a prayer for our troops who remain in harms way. Be sure to set some time aside this weekend to remember the sacrifices of our soldiers, past and present, who have made America the greatest country on this planet. After all, Memorial Day (weekend) is not the shopping holiday that retailers have turned it into.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Let's make sure that we spend this weekend thanking those patriots.

Posted by Dr Politico at May 27, 2006 6:28 PM
Comments
Comment #151981

What Bush meant to say was :

“This is only the beginning… . The message has spread from Damascus to Tehran that the future belongs to freedom, and we will not rest until the promise of liberty reaches every people in every nation or the United States goes bankrupt, whichever comes first.”

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 27, 2006 7:13 PM
Comment #151983
Comparing his role in the War on Terrorism to that of Henry Truman in the Cold War, President Bush announced:

I have read about Harry Truman. He was President when I was born. I respect Harry Truman, he was a hero of mine. President Bush, I can tell you now, you are no Harry Truman. Not even close.

RIP Lloyd Bentsen.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 27, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #151993

True, President Bush is no Harry Truman. Truman, after all, actually used WMD in wartime, and justly in my opinion. Truman also instituted the Truman Doctrine, whose goal was “to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” Now that I think of it, he sounds very similar to President Bush, doesn’t he?

Posted by: David W. Hammons at May 27, 2006 8:37 PM
Comment #151995
“The message has spread from Damascus to Tehran that the future belongs to freedom, and we will not rest until the promise of liberty reaches every people in every nation.”

Does that mean he’s also invading Dubai, Pakistan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia?

Posted by: pianofan at May 27, 2006 8:42 PM
Comment #152000

I’d suggest a re-reading of the Truman Doctrine before deciding that Bush was like Truman.

here

It is one thing to assist those who ask, it is another to determine we think we know what is best for a nation.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at May 27, 2006 9:01 PM
Comment #152002

I also have to add

The seeds of totalitarian regimes are nurtured by misery and want. They spread and grow in the evil soil of poverty and strife. They reach their full growth when the hope of a people for a better life has died. We must keep that hope alive.

Then reflect on this:

“If we turn our heads and look away and hope that it will all disappear then they will - all of them, an entire generation of people. And we will have only history left to judge us.”

Said by George Clooney…about what is happening in Darfur…

Ironic how selective we can be on who should saved and who should receive the Trumanesc hope.

http://savedarfur.org

Posted by: Lisa Renee at May 27, 2006 9:09 PM
Comment #152006

Lisa,

I too am disappointed with the manner in which the Sudan genocide has been handled thus far. However, I can still appreciate both the noble and necessary functions of the War on Terrorism.

Posted by: Dr Politico at May 27, 2006 9:36 PM
Comment #152014
“I can still appreciate both the noble and necessary functions of the War on Terrorism.”

Oh my gosh golly, Dr. Politico. Are you really equating the war in Iraq with the war on terrorism? Are you one of those who still believes there was a direct link between 9-11 and Iraq?

Posted by: pianofan at May 27, 2006 10:10 PM
Comment #152015

pianofan,

“Are you really equating the war in Iraq with the war on terrorism?”

No.

Posted by: Dr Politico at May 27, 2006 10:18 PM
Comment #152016

pianofan,

now let me ask you a question. do you deny that Saddam Hussein was involved in terrorist activities? I’m curious because most on the left ignore that he was paying $25K to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. Does that meet your threshold for terrorist activity?

Posted by: Dr Politico at May 27, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #152017

Dr. Politico, I believe the War on Terrorism does have some importance, I however believe the larger focus should have remained on Afghanistan. Any perceived future threat of Saddam could have waited until that situation was more stable and the real powers behind 9/11 diminished or brought to justice. Realistically had the terrorist powers in Afghanistan been fully dealt with a majority of the problems in Iraq could have been avoided. Or at best less powerful. With or without the UN.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at May 27, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #152018

Dr Politico:

Thanks for your thought and prayers. Thanks for keeping the sacrifices in your thoughts. I would ask that everyone that has lost friend or family member that had served their Country please go to the cemetary and take a flower, it doesn’t matter what kind, and place it on their grave. If you dont have family or friends that served and have passed, take a flower to a local Veteran’s Administration(National Cemetaries are normally close) and say thanks to someone that you never knew….and remember that he/she laid down their life so you could enjoy life, enjoy freedom and enjoy everything that they gave up for you.

Posted by: submariner at May 27, 2006 10:34 PM
Comment #152020

Not to be crass, but I would suggest not taking a flower and instead donating the cost of that flower to one of the many organizations that is trying to save lives in the many places of the world like Darfur.

The dead cannot appreciate flowers, and I’m sure if they can hear you they would appreciate your thoughts and prayers just as much minus a floral tribute.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at May 27, 2006 10:55 PM
Comment #152022

Lisa

So George Clooney advocates unilateral American military action in Sudan. That guy does not have a clue. He thinks words – his words – are enough.

Do you also advocate U.S. military action. Now you cannot say rely on the UN. The UN will not do this one. Just as in Iraq, the Chinese and Russians are benefiting from the current situation and allied with third world kleptocrats and despots, they will wreck any UN action. Of course, the French has forces in Chad. I dot need to praise the French, but it is true that as an organized military forces, the French could route the Sudanese militia in a matter of hours if they wanted to. But then they would be in a smaller version of our Iraq predicament, along with blame of those whose conditions they bettered and the hate of those they guard. And Rudyard Kipling is unpopular these days anyway.

Posted by: Jack at May 27, 2006 11:03 PM
Comment #152031

I still like Kipling, and I used Clooney’s statement as an example of a similar train of thought rather than trying to create discussion on his individual characteristics.

Nor did I say I was against the US acting without the UN if necessary. What I did state is I believe the War on Terror originated with those in Afghanistan and that was the primary goal that was not accomplished before our government moved on to Iraq. That had the proper course been taken in Afghanistan first, Iraq could have been a much easier situation as far as the outcome.

As well as believing there are other places in the world right now that badly need financial support in much smaller dollar amounts than we have spent on Iraq that would have resulted in a better outcome for larger numbers. If we are going to be selective, which from a financial aspect we have to be, I’d prefe we concentrate on where those dollars can have a more positive end result.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at May 27, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #152040

Wonder where Iran got all that nuclear tech?

wonder where hamas got all them rockets they are now using?

Maybe Sadam was who he was!

Bush needs to get his head out on the border issue or we may find his WMDS right here.

Posted by: lm at May 28, 2006 12:06 AM
Comment #152042

Lisa

There is a problem with giving money to third world countries when it comes from governments and/or goes to governments. If this sort of foreign aid actually worked, Tanzania would be the richest country in the world.

Sudan really cannot use any more aid. It needs order and someone needs to impose it. The U.S. is being asked to do it by some, but if we did those same people would hate and criticize us.

We did good in Iraq. We deposed one of the worst dictators in the world and brought more democracy to the place than it ever had in its 5000 years of history. And we reap the same reward, the blame of those we better and the hate of those we guard, plus the rest of the world.

All the while the non-partisipants and nay sayers are lionized. The doubters are called wise. It would be the same thing if we saved the people of Sudan. If we could not save ALL of them w/o any mistakes, the world would just call it more U.S. imperialism.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 12:14 AM
Comment #152047

Dooo do doo,

I just had dinner with some Chinese and Asian friends and they believe the demise of the US as a worldpower is less than 5 years away. They thank Bush.

Doo do doo.

When this nation ceases to be a great place to raise kids, have the values I believe in, can no longer afford good education or opportunities, I am outta here.

Posted by: Max at May 28, 2006 12:26 AM
Comment #152048

Dooo do doo,

I just had dinner with some Chinese and Asian friends, and they believe the US will stop being a a worldpower less than 5 years from now. They thank Bush.

Doo do doo.

When this nation ceases to be a great place to raise kids, have the values I believe in, can no longer afford good education or opportunities, I am outta here.

Posted by: Max at May 28, 2006 12:29 AM
Comment #152051

Max

Don’t be silly. Your Asian and Chinese friend don’t know what they are talking about. It takes a billion and half Chinese to make less than half as many things as 300 million Americans. If they manage to catch up in 20 years it will just mean that it takes a bllion and a half Chinese to make the same amount of goods as 300 million Americans.

And life is China sucks. Pollution there makes the worst place in the U.S. look like an Arcadian paradise. It is not denegrating Chinese progress to say that life for the average Chinese is only now approaching the level we achieved in the U.S. in 1900. They had a long way to come, but they still have a long way to go.

Of course if you want to leave, let me paraphrase Henry V

Those who have no stomach for the fight, let them depart. We would not live with such men who doubt their fellowship to live with us.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 12:47 AM
Comment #152052

I’m sick to death of people trying to inspire me who can’t seem to inspire themselves to get their policy in working order. As a writer of fiction, I have s great appreciation of the inspirational ability of well-chosen words that don’t reflect reality.

Bush is in a state of cognitive lockdown. He’s not stupid, but he’s a man too invested in his own story to get the big picture about the real story he’s in. You don’t lose the faith of so many Americans after managing to get re-elected without there being great differences between what you promised to do, and what you actually did.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 28, 2006 12:50 AM
Comment #152053

One more thing to tell your Asian friends. IF the U.S. collapsed as they think, they would have to patrol their own sea lanes and trade routes. And w/o U.S. security guarentees, each of the countries would have to develop a real defense capacity, including some lift capacity. They soon would miss us as much as Americans missed the Royal Navy when it no longer protected us from agression. Life would not be so easy for them, in other words.

Don’t be fooled by their false sophistication. They don’t have any idea how much it costs when you don’t have protector of last resort.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 12:53 AM
Comment #152054

So do we patrol and make safe the sea lanes out of the goodness of our collective tax paying hearts or do these other Countries gaining the benefits of this protection ante up their fair share of the costs for his valuable service?

Posted by: j2t2 at May 28, 2006 1:14 AM
Comment #152057

We patrol because we can and we are the most powerful. Most other countries do not pay their share. Our European allies do not spend enough to protect themselves and almost none of them can move forces outside their. Most countries in Africa or Latin America have militaries suited only to oppressing civilians.

This is the same pattern always. The U.S. enjoyed the benefit of the Royal Navy for more than 100 years. That is why we could have such a small military relative to our power until post WWII. Now others benefit at our cost. At some point the Chinese may have to protect their own stuff. Then we can complain about their agression.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 1:41 AM
Comment #152058

Jack,

“Don’t be silly. Your Asian and Chinese friend don’t know what they are talking about. It takes a billion and half Chinese to make less than half as many things as 300 million Americans. If they manage to catch up in 20 years it will just mean that it takes a billion and a half Chinese to make the same amount of goods as 300 million Americans.
And life is China sucks. Pollution there makes the worst place in the U.S. look like an Arcadian paradise. It is not denigrating Chinese progress to say that life for the average Chinese is only now approaching the level we achieved in the U.S. in 1900. They had a long way to come, but they still have a long way to go.”

Capitalism isn’t the be all and end all of life. Life is life in China as it has been for millenia.

The Chinese have a 5,000 year head start on America when it comes to culture, and no amount of whoring out to capitalism is going to change that.
Whether they will become as dependent as Americans on the creature comforts that we call our “higher standard of living” is yet to be seen.

Yes, to your western eyes, life may well suck in China, medicine may not be as good, the air may not be as good, life by American standards, may not be as good.

So what?

The people I met in my travels to China, were happier than most of the Americans I have met. Though it has been nearly 10 years since I have traveled there, I really don’t think it has changed that much.

It doesn’t take a “higher standard of living” to be happy or even satisfied with life.

Posted by: Rocky at May 28, 2006 2:04 AM
Comment #152059

Rocky
It is always hard to judge happiness or a “good” society. Sometimes people who live through a great oppression are happy since they have seen the worst. 40 years ago this month, China suffered from the Cultural Revolution, one of the worst oppressions in history. Everything looks up after that.

What I know is that few average American workers or farmers would want to trade places with an average Chinese worker or farmer, while hundreds of thousands of Chinese risk their lives and health to start at the very lowest rung of our society. They are showing their true preferences, no matter how much they smile or what they tell us.

I have my own theory based on nothing but my own observations. I think that people are unhappy when they are poor but being rich doesn’t make you happier. My own feeling is that a person needs to make around $60,000 in today’s USD. After that, additional money doesn’t make him very much happier (although most people still want it)

It is also important that a person feel useful. That is why just giving someone money does little for him. YOu are much kinder to make a person suffer a little to earn his money. It is not logical, but it is true.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 2:19 AM
Comment #152060

“It doesn’t take a “higher standard of living” to be happy or even satisfied with life.”

What does it take then? A repressive government that limits information flows and personal freedoms. Or perhaps government endorsement of slave labor. Maybe a social doctrine like the one child policy that has resulted in epidemic levels of kidnapping and severe reduction of available women in the population. Then again, remnants of one of the most repressive communist regimes in history could be the true key to the happiness you speak of.

I see your point, Rocky.

Posted by: Dr Politico at May 28, 2006 2:19 AM
Comment #152061

What I don’t understand is why Bush and Cheney constantly belittle and deride countries that don’t fall in line with their democratic principles. It seems like that’d be the worst way to persuade someone to come to your side. Furthermore, why must we try to stir up old enmities where deep wounds have been healing? I can’t tell you how many Chinese people and Russians I meet every day whom I must convince ‘We The People’ actually don’t hate them.

We’re good people and I agree with Jack that we have the greatest nation on earth. I do, however, wish that we didn’t have to do so much damage control all the time.

Posted by: Beijing Rob at May 28, 2006 2:26 AM
Comment #152063

Jack,

“What I know is that few average American workers or farmers would want to trade places with an average Chinese worker or farmer, while hundreds of thousands of Chinese risk their lives and health to start at the very lowest rung of our society. They are showing their true preferences, no matter how much they smile or what they tell us.”

If you never knew the difference it wouldn’t matter, and these “boat folks”, didn’t know the difference until after WW2.
If a person goes about their daily life, even a repressive regime doesn’t really effect them that much, unless of course, you’re being starved out.

Do you think a guy in Africa, that lives in a mud hut feels oppressed because he doesn’t have a computer?
Hell, he doesn’t even have electricity!

The Chinese way of life in the rural areas is pretty much the same as it was a thousand years ago, other than electricity, except now because of “modern conveniences” like TVs, they know how shitty their life is compared to folks in the cities where the “standard of living” is higher.

It’s all relative.

Posted by: Rocky at May 28, 2006 2:38 AM
Comment #152064

That doesn’t mean I’m going to move there any time soon.

I like western plumbing.

Posted by: Rocky at May 28, 2006 2:49 AM
Comment #152065

Jack said: “YOu are much kinder to make a person suffer a little to earn his money. It is not logical, but it is true.”

Then Jack, you must be a staunch supporter for inheritance taxes. I mean being born with a silver spoon in your mouth from birth to death is hardly suffering for one’s wealth. Let’s be kind to the rich and do their kids a favor, and tax inheritance over 10 million by 90 percent. If you can’t live on a million without suffering, then it should be good for you, eh. A public service to the wealthy’s progeny. I am all for making folks suffer for their money. Let’s bring back the sweat shops and child labor too! That will make most folks in this country more appreciative of what they have - left! (Pun intended.)

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 28, 2006 2:52 AM
Comment #152079

Lisa Renee:

You are missing the point. If you want to donate money to a chairity, then by all means please do so. Although a dead man/woman cannot appreciate a flower, what about the son/daughter that grew up without a Dad/Mom. What about the kids that never got to meet a parent because they died on deployment.

Why is it a difficult to just say thanks? Why must it become an international PC statement just to have a holiday to honor those that have given it all so that we can solve all of the worlds problem’s via blogs?

I really wish that most could understand what service members sacrifice just to get to the point of laying down their lives for their country. When I was in the divorce rate for submariners was about 80%. Children were lucky to see their Dads for 6 months out of a year. If there was a custody issue, it then became 6-12 weekends a year at the most. An E-4 with a wife and child qualified for food stamps, WIC and Welfare(most didnt accept it though). Every 3 years or so you had to move across the country or globe. You got to forfeit your right to free speech, you couldnt activily campaign for a politician or cause and you normally got to live in conditions that would cause widespread outrage if we put a confessed and convicted rapist and murder in.

I personally was a rifleman to over 30 funerals during my stint in the Navy and can vividly remember children crying and screaming, “WHY? WHY?”, not to mention the widows. I guess that they wouldnt appreciate a flower either. I guess that the tens of thousands of veterans that will be hospitalized this weekend, that can look out over the cemetaries wouldnt need or appreciate it. I guess that if a person dies for his country, a simple $1 show of respect and thanks is just too much to ask. Hell, I would have thought it a bargain. Or am I just being crass?

Posted by: submariner at May 28, 2006 8:43 AM
Comment #152080

David,

Sometimes you just make me want to scream. You pull out all the left wing rhetoric and get totally off topic anytime someone on the right makes a decent point. You argue, fuss and fight for the sake of arguing, fussing and fighting, How did you get from the standard of living in China to taxing inheritances? If you think every other country is run better, has a better way of life, has more to offer, why are you here? Every time I read one of your posts, I start to wonder if you don’t actually live elsewhere and are only on this board to make trouble.

Jack,

You’re right. If other countries had to foot thier own bills for the protection and services we provide, they would be bankrupt. Personally I think we should let all of them fend for themselves.

Saddam had to go. Hilter had to go. Japan deserved to be blown up for what they did to us. Vietnam was a waste of time and personnel as was Korea. The Taliban needed to be stopped. These are areas that we were morally obligated to do something. Now it’s time for the Iraqis to police themselves. They are the ones allowing the insurgents to live among them. They should be the ones to fight them. We did our part. We need to continue to train them and even help the government get on it’s feet. As for all the other countries benefiting from our power, they should either pay for it or lose it.

Lisa,

Parroting movie stars will get you nowhere. Do something - don’t just talk. If the situation in Dafar (which has been the situation there for years, despite attempts at the diplomacic level the left is so fond of…) upsets you - donate YOUR time, money and offer YOUR solutions to anyone who will listen. Don’t fall into the trap that actors by virtue of being visable are therefore more intellegent or more capable of dealing with these issues then the people already dealing with them. Anyone can be an armchair quarterback. And by the way, spreading the wealth to other countries with constant handouts doesn’t help them solve their own problems. Helping them to educate themselves and bring thier countries into the 21st century is the only way. “Give a man a fish and he eats for one day - Teach a man to fish and he feeds himself and his family for ever” (paraphrased but accurate).

Dr. Politio,

Nice post. President’s Bush’s speeches have been more inspiring of late. Most media types expect him to focus on their pet issues. I like his commitment - his “this is what I think and I’m not going to change my mind just because you say so” attitude.

So that’s my soapbox for the day. Have a Blessed Sunday….

Posted by: Ilsa at May 28, 2006 8:44 AM
Comment #152084

Submariner

Thank you.

Posted by: Ilsa at May 28, 2006 8:49 AM
Comment #152088

I was struck at how Bush passed the buck to the next generation for winning the War on Terror. That speech is his admission that its NOT HIS FAULT if Al Queda and Bin Ladin is still alive 2 years from now. Bush is already preparing the ground in absolving himself for his incompetence.

What a wuss.

Posted by: Aldous at May 28, 2006 9:12 AM
Comment #152091

Ah, Aldous,

You’re still out there spouting idiocy. You miss the point every time. He was addressing men and women who choose to serve thier country as officers in time of war. They are the brave ones, they know the stakes, the know what potential outcomes are possible. He wasn’t speaking to left wing wusses like you.

Posted by: Ilsa at May 28, 2006 9:27 AM
Comment #152094

Ilsa:
You are welcome, but this is about our fallen countrymen/women. I am just taking a stand that we should show appreciation to them and their loved ones for the sacrifice. It doesnt matter if the person fell in 1777, 1812, Desert Storm I or II, Vietnam, Korea, the Cold War or during peace time. It doesnt matter if they were drafted or volunteered.

Every freedom we enjoy, every opportuninty we have, every sucess we achieve and yes every mistake and failure we make has been paid for by these people.

Aldous:

If you think that killing Osama would end terrorism against America, you are sadly mistaken at best and a political opportunist at worst. Just curious, if you were the President how quick would the war on terror be over? If you had to order the troops in the field to end the war, which units would you send to the mountains of Afghanistan? What would be their TO&E? What are the logistics to support them and thier rules of engagement?

The Cold War lasted over 45 years, are Presidents Truman through Carter just as culpable as President for preparing for a long drawn out war? Please, oh please, sage of the keyboard lay out the solution in detail and remember that mistakes cannot be made.

David:

Please give a top dollar amount that we can spend defeating terrorists or tell us at what point would it be cost effective for us to submit to them?

Posted by: submariner at May 28, 2006 9:35 AM
Comment #152095

Dr. Politico

George Bush’s inspiring words, are just words.
Freedom, Liberty, And democracy are words that mean a lot to us, but we never define them. We can not even agree on them here in the US.

We see and define these values through the eyes and culture of being American. We define them on our terms and our values without regard to the receiving country’s needs and culture. We impose Americanism.

We adjust our values to pursue our interests. Oil! Our dependency on Saudia Arabia and other oil rich countries temper our pursuit of democratic reforms in those countries.

If a country is an enemy, they need democratic reform. If they are an ally or serve our interest, we are much less aggressive.

These words from GW ring hollow to the rest of the world becasue they see that America does not practice what it preaches. Torture, Abu Gharib, NSA, Patriot Act and rendition programs. GW has no credibility when he speaks.

It was Jimmy Carter who fashioned a foriegn policy of human rights and was criticized for doing so and being unrealistic. Why is it different when GW speaks of these words?

But GW is much more simplistically idealistic and dangerous than Jimmy Carter. He believes he has the moral authority in the name of God to use military force to impose American values.

Posted by: jerseyguy at May 28, 2006 9:41 AM
Comment #152097

The tree of liberty has to be refreshed from time to time,with the blood of patriots.
How about this? Only patriots,otherwise know as the men and women of our armed forces,possess the ability to vote for our leaders.
This would no doubt minimize the creeps,panderers and do -nothings who now inhabit the halls of congress.
If we kept the voting population and the electable population reserved to those who have already sacrificed in good measure,how much different would our history and future be?
Maybe Robert Heinlein was right!

Posted by: jblym at May 28, 2006 9:53 AM
Comment #152099

Dr. Politico:

Spanning 35 minutes, President Bush’s address was heard by 861 cadets, or what I like to call American heroes.

Why would you consider the cadets heroes? So far all they’ve done is go to school for several years and receive a bachelor’s degree…then every person graduating with a degree in this county is a hero. And what is heroic about learning to say “Yes, sir; No, sir; No excuse, sir” as the only acceptable answers? And what is heroic about allowing a wild-eyed little rich boy to send them into a war generated by an illegal invasion of a sovereign country?

My heroes are people who actually think.

Posted by: Lynne at May 28, 2006 9:57 AM
Comment #152100

jblym:

Although the country would certainly be different, it would not be better. As a matter of fact, it would be an abomination to the people that laid down their lives for our country.

Posted by: submariner at May 28, 2006 9:59 AM
Comment #152103

Lynne:

Those Officers(cadets no more), not only volunteered during a time of war, but had to compete for the Honor af being an officier in the United States Army. They as kids had to come to the conclusion that nothing mattered more to them than the defense of thier country and way of life.

American soldiers were already dying half way around the globe before they started the application process and STILL they chose their path. They still said that our country was worth more than their own lives.

How dare you belittle them? How dare you not see any redeeming qualities in wearing America’s uniform? How dare you think there it takes an imbecile to learn honor, dicipline and sacrifice in defense of your country? How dare you sit behind a computer and think that typing a few words is more heroic than serving your country?

Sorry, I see my error. You can dare to do so because many of these non-heroic morons chose to do the same over the last 200+ years. What have you done?

Posted by: submariner at May 28, 2006 10:14 AM
Comment #152104

Sorry for the spelling errors.

Posted by: submariner at May 28, 2006 10:18 AM
Comment #152106

submariner:

American soldiers were already dying half way around the globe before they started the application process and STILL they chose their path. They still said that our country was worth more than their own lives.

People who think like that are NOT my heroes…why would any thinking person volunteer to be killed in an illegal war that was started by an illegal invasion of a sovereign country which was no threat to the U.S. (except by controlling their own natural resources)??? The soldiers in Iraq are NOT ensuring my freedom, but they sure are helping inflame future terrorists who may then threaten my freedom.

I don’t support the so-called “Iraq war” and I don’t support anyone who participates in it willingly.

Posted by: Lynne at May 28, 2006 10:32 AM
Comment #152108

David

This is my dilemma about the inheritance tax. A big part of life is to pass something on to your kids. In my case, I take great joy in planting trees. One of the reasons is that I believe my children and grandchildren will use and enjoy them. So I think it is a right of THIS generation to leave something to the next. In some cases the next generation has put in some work. Parents teach their kids to run the businesses etc.

On the other hand, I do not believe anyone should inherit enough money never to have to work again. As a matter of fact, I think it is immoral not to work no matter how much money a person has. I don’t like the idle rich (or the idle poor). All non-working people suck. (BTW- I define working as WORKING, not just blue collar and not just poor)

On the THIRD hand, I don’t like to government to be entitled to what people earn in a lifetimes. And the fact that a person can pass along wealth creates a necessary counter to the power of government, which is intergenerational.

On the FORTH hand, people who inherit lots of money tend to be liberal by the third or forth generation unless they run a business. Think Kennedy, Rockefeller.

Anyway, I could write a whole post and still not resolve all my inconsistencies, so this is my arbitrary bottom line. Each individual should be able to inherit up to 2 million tax free and this should be adjusted for inflation. The rest we can tax at the normal income rate.

Re suffering for money, I am serious. Getting something for nothing too often is a curse.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #152110

Lynne:

So basically the “rule of thumb” of heroism is do you agree with a political elected official. Moreover, the “rule of thumb” for the need for any standing military is simply do I agree with the President.

Should all of the men and women that have served in the military in your lifetime have checked with you first? Is America only worth defending when you agree with a politican? Well think of the money we can save. When someone is elected that you dont like we should disband the military and pay off the debt. I got it, lets just have enlistment ceremonies every four years on inaugeration day and we can decide if we will have a standing army for that President. All enlistments will be for 4 years so that if the elections go the wrong way we can disband it for four years.

I submit to you that it doesnt matter in peace or war, Democrat or Republican President, what orders a soldier recieves. It can be to Fort Ord, Norfork Naval Base, Camp Perry, Andrews Air Force Base, Camp Comfort, Iraq, Afghanastan, Guam or Gitmo, and the results are the same. A military person following orders is defending the Constitution and the laws passed on the authority given to the government by the people. Or should we let the military decide which orders it wants to follow?

Please tell me why it is not heroic nor intelligent to defend the constitution. Please tell me where you would be today if people that didnt agree with you decided not to protect your freedoms.

Posted by: submariner at May 28, 2006 11:02 AM
Comment #152111

Lynne:

Also please tell me that if our country is not worth serving, why are you still here?

Posted by: submariner at May 28, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #152112

submariner:

Also please tell me that if our country is not worth serving, why are you still here?

Another non-thinking, knee-jerk reaction…THINK about what I wrote…I said nothing of the kind!!

Posted by: Lynne at May 28, 2006 11:12 AM
Comment #152113

submariner:

Please tell me why it is not heroic nor intelligent to defend the constitution.

You’re asking the wrong person that question…why not ask the president who consistently undermines our Constitution???

And since when does the so-called “Iraq war” have anything to do with defending our soil or our Constitution???

Posted by: Lynne at May 28, 2006 11:14 AM
Comment #152114

Here’s the real threat to our Constitution and way of life:

Bush challenges hundreds of laws President cites powers of his office By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | April 30, 2006

WASHINGTON — President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.

Among the laws Bush said he can ignore are military rules and regulations, affirmative-action provisions, requirements that Congress be told about immigration services problems, ”whistle-blower” protections for nuclear regulatory officials, and safeguards against political interference in federally funded research.

Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush’s assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty “to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to “execute” a law he believes is unconstitutional.

Posted by: Lynne at May 28, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #152115

Lynne

“People who think like that are NOT my heroes”

Are you sure you don’t mean people who don’t think like ME are not my heroes. Whether you would choose the same path as these HEROES is not the question. They have chosen to serve and sacrifice for their country not for the war. If you disagree with the Iraq War, you should reserve your anger for the government, not the men and women of the armed forces.

Submariner,

Thank you for your service.

Posted by: Dr Politico at May 28, 2006 11:29 AM
Comment #152116

Dr Politico:

How many of our current soldiers have really, and I mean REALLY thought out U.S. foreign policy vis a vis other nations intelligently before signing up? Not many…most just can’t find a job and want some training…the majority of soldiers are not our best students…they are not the brightest…and our president is using them as cannon fodder…but they never “thought” they’d be killed and the majority have been brainwashed into thinking that “dying for their country” is always a grand and glorious event…there is a small group who no doubt have thought this all out, but it is an extremely small minority.

Posted by: Lynne at May 28, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #152119

Dr. Politico,

You might want to read Joel Stein’s “Warriors and Wusses” in the January 24th LA Times…unfortunately, that link is no longer extant, so I’ll give you a few quotes:

But I’m not for the war. And being against the war and saying you support the troops is one of the wussiest positions the pacifists have ever taken — and they’re wussy by definition. It’s as if the one lesson they took away from Vietnam wasn’t to avoid foreign conflicts with no pressing national interest but to remember to throw a parade afterward.

Blindly lending support to our soldiers, I fear, will keep them overseas longer by giving soft acquiescence to the hawks who sent them there — and who might one day want to send them somewhere else. Trust me, a guy who thought 50.7% was a mandate isn’t going to pick up on the subtleties of a parade for just service in an unjust war. He’s going to be looking for a funnel cake.

Besides, those little yellow ribbons aren’t really for the troops. They need body armor, shorter stays, and a USO show by the cast of “Laguna Beach”.

The real purpose of those ribbons is to ease some of the guilt we feel for voting to send them to war and then making absolutely no sacrifices other than enduring two Wolf Blitzer shows a day….

I understand the guilt. We know we’re sending recruits to do our dirty work, and we want to seem grateful.

After we’ve decided that we made a mistake, we don’t want to blame the soldiers who were ordered to fight. Or even our representatives, who were deceived by false intelligence. And certainly not ourselves, who failed to object to a war we barely understood.

But blaming the president is a little too easy. The truth is that people who pull triggers are ultimately responsible, whether they’re following orders or not. An army of people making individual moral choices may be iefficient, but an army of people ignoring their morality is horrifying. An army of people ignoring their morality, by the wan, is also Jack Abramoff’s pet name for the House of Representatives.

I do sympathize with people who joined up to protect our country, especially after 9/11, and were tricked into fighting in Iraq….

But when you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you’re not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you’re willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism, for better or worse. Sometimes you get lucky and get to fight ethnic genocide in Kosovo, but other times it’s Vietnam.

And sometimes, for reasons I don’t understand, you get to just hang out in Germany….

I’m not advocating that we spit on returning vetarans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn’t be celebrating people for doing something we don’t think was a good idea. All I’m asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health and a safe, immediate return. But, please, no parades….

I lost several close friends in the Vietnam Conflict…it was a waste of 3 perfectly good lives of men who would’ve made great citizens, good dads, and wonderful husbands…let’s stop killing our sons and daughters.

Posted by: Lynne at May 28, 2006 11:45 AM
Comment #152136


Imagine a Memorial Day when we thank all those who have given their lives in causes they believed because due to their sacrifices wars for oil, economic expansion, greed, fear, and terrorism are unnecessary.

If everyone wanted it to happen it would happen.

This Memorial Day! Please remember its purpose.

Posted by: jaguy at May 28, 2006 12:28 PM
Comment #152137

Submariner,

My point was that there are families out there right now in need, if you’d like to extend that to the US it’s equally applicable. I’m not going to disagree with you on the financial situtation of many of our military veterans or their families.

I paid my respects to my family members who died, some in the service of their country. However, considering the great need of others, I suggested not paying for a floral arrangement and making that donation count towards something.

Just as I donated to purchase a poppy on Friday from an American Legion member and as always I thanked him.

The reality is most people don’t do enough to help not only here but in places overseas. So I’m not going to “shut up” Ilsa, and I stand by my suggestion that the dead do not appreciate flowers yet the living need help.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at May 28, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #152140

Lynne

The U.S. military is generally reflective of our society. Since virtually all military has at least a HS diploma, and not all Americans do, they are slightly better educated than their peers. Military officers are very well educated as a group. The more intellectually inclined among them spend a lot of time in academic type environments. The difference is they get to test their theories in dangerous situation, which makes them a little more practical and realistic than your average professor of gender studies has to be.

It is not their business to figure out the nuances of U.S. policy. U.S. policies are likely to change. You cannot have a military that decides which to support and which not.

I am not sure what you point is about the military. If you are saying that it is staffed by people who are on the lower end of the achievement scale, you are mistaken. Consider a 20 year old on patrol in Iraq and compare him to his friend who is working at Burger King or the sophomore pontificating about the theory of war at the local university. Or consider the young captain a few years out of the academy and compare him to the manager at the local Coldwell Banker.

Re war in general, it should be avoided. But it is much more complicated than giving peace a chance. There are bad guys out there and there are just ordinary folks who would take what you have and hurt you given the incentive of a chance. The maintenance of peace requires the capacity to wage war and the occassional resort to it. When leaders forget that, more people die.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #152152

Submariner-I cant speak for the people who have paid the ultimate price-but consider this. There is precendent for this type of situation. In the early days of our Republic,only land owners could vote. By allowing only those who have served our country in this very personal way to vote,we are still getting a real cross section of americans to speak their minds. And as a bonus,would probably get a much higher voter turnout!

Posted by: jblym at May 28, 2006 1:18 PM
Comment #152183

Jack, thank you for one of the most candid and straightforward answers to my reply. And you know what? Bottom line, I agree with you 100% with certain exceptions, as for those who are not capable of taking care of themselves. Kim Peek (I think his name is), the man the movie Rain Man was patterned after, will soon be without a father to do the myriad things for Kim that keep him appearing normal. If Kim were poor, I believe society owes him the cost of support. If they don’t owe him that, then it would be cruel to allow him to suffer the inability to clean himself after going to the toilet and die in horrible pain and discomfort from infections caused by his inability to maintain even the most elementary hygiene. Hence, the humane alternative to society supporting him, would be to put him to sleep permanently.

The larger our population gets, the more such folks need social support. Given that exception, we are in complete agreement. Kim Peek is not the most appropriate example since his autism’s gift of lacking a link between his brain hemispheres actually has commercial value and he can earn his support by being a freak of nature. But, many others cannot.

Can we also perhaps find agreement here, that where private charity cannot support such members of our society, tax payers should?

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 28, 2006 2:58 PM
Comment #152185

Ilsa, I am complimented by your ire. Thank you. I am doing my job when others feel compelled to read opinions they don’t yet share or, are unfamiliar with.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 28, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #152187

Jack:

The U.S. military is generally reflective of our society.

Until the military is 50% or more female, it won’t reflect “our society”…

Posted by: Lynne at May 28, 2006 3:06 PM
Comment #152201


” This is only the beginning… . The message has spread from Damascas to Tehran that the future belongs freedom, and we will not rest until the promise of liberty reaches every people in every nation.”

This is only the beginning——we will maintain the peace by continuouly waging war.

The message has spread from Damascas to Tehran—-where taking the oil, stop us if you can.

The future belongs to freedom——we will allow no resistance to the capitalist free market system.

We will not rest until the promise of liberty reaches every people in every nation—- we will not rest until market forces are brought to bear in every nation.


WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

G. Orwell 1984

Posted by: jlw at May 28, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #152235

Lynne

You have a point, but you know that the average female cannot toss a grenade far enough so that she won’t be hurt of killed by the explosion. Battlefields are not equal opporunity. Maybe we should pass a law mandating that the enemy stand closer.

Some of these theories that work so well in the classroom don’t work in reality. A combat force that started off 50% female would not stay that way very long.

Posted by: Jack at May 28, 2006 6:05 PM
Comment #152246

Jack…then you would agree that the U.S. military does NOT reflect society…

Posted by: Lynne at May 28, 2006 7:32 PM
Comment #152249

Lynne & Jack,

The military does not and should not reflect American society. The function of the military is to protect society.

When I imagine a military that is reflective of our society, the following themes come to mind:

Fat

Lazy

Unmotivated

(yes, I am very much talking about myself :)

Posted by: Dr Politico at May 28, 2006 7:38 PM
Comment #152251
“Pianofan: now let me ask you a question. do you deny that Saddam Hussein was involved in terrorist activities? I’m curious because most on the left ignore that he was paying $25K to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. Does that meet your threshold for terrorist activity?


Plenty of other countries have engaged in terrorist activities; do we invade them all? Libya comes to mind. They even admitted their part in killing Americans in the Lockerbie crash - and Bush just normalized U.S. relations with them.

Posted by: pianofan at May 28, 2006 7:48 PM
Comment #152266

It doesn’t take a “higher standard of living” to be happy or even satisfied with life.

Posted by: Rocky at May 28, 2006 02:04 AM

right on rocky, else the criminal element of Mexico would not want California. What a dump.

it would serve them right if they got it and then if fell off into the ocean!

Posted by: lm at May 28, 2006 9:09 PM
Comment #152278

Dr. Politico:

The military does not and should not reflect American society. The function of the military is to protect society.

Then why is the army mainly lower class and lower middle class and the ones who get the most out of their protection are the upper class (who don’t serve anymore because there’s no equitable draft)??

Posted by: Lynne at May 28, 2006 10:05 PM
Comment #152377
Comparing his role in the War on Terrorism to that of Henry Truman in the Cold War

Yikes! 56 years later, there are still troops in Korea and the Kim dynasty is an even greater threat to the world than it was then.

Is that President Bush’s vision of the War on Terror? No wonder he doesn’t care where bin Laden is.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 29, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #152393

Im,

The view must be pretty good from up there in the cheap seats.

Posted by: Rocky at May 29, 2006 10:50 AM
Comment #152475

Lynne

The military is broadly representative of the American population. It does no reflect gender because women cannot do many of the things required. Combat is still a physical activity.

I can concede that point (which is obvious) with no problem. It will never be 50% female, just as child care will never be 50% male. You may have noticed that men and women really are different, despite feminist claims.

Besides gender, there are a few anomolies in the military. Probably not the ones you thought. It has fewer recruits from the very poorest places and fewer recruits from urban areas. This is partially explained by the requirement that recruits have HS diplomas. HS drop outs, which are more common in poor areas, cannot get in. It tends to be more rural and more southern. Whites and blacks are “over represented” Hispanics, Asians and immigrants are underrepresented. If you look at the pictures of those killed in action, you will not find any hint of racism.

One thing true about today’s military is that they are all volunteers. We should be happy they choose to do this.

I don’t know what point people try to make about the military anyway when they talk of being representative. No institution is. Half of all voters voted for Bush. How many professors at Harvard did so? Do you notice lots of hispanics in the NBA? What % of Berkeley’s freshman class is Asian? People make different choices.

Posted by: Jack at May 29, 2006 5:16 PM
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