Archive for December, 2006

Not One of the Presidents\’ Men

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

The details of Woodward\’s 2004 interview with Gerald Ford were to have been kept private until after Ford\’s death. They should have at least remained private until after his funeral. This display of poor judgement should color all of Woodward\’s assertions, reaching all the way back to Deep Throat. Woodward made a name for himself by illuminating Nixon\’s contempt for the law. Now, in an illuminating display of hubris, Woodward demonstrates a similar lack of regard for decency and decorum. Apart from this, why do so many of Woodward\’s interviewees make such requests? Are their perspectives that difficult to defend?

Osama was Right

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

It would seem that Osama Bin Laden was right; having turned left, America doesn’t appear to have the heart or the stomach for prolonged conflict, not to mention protracted war.

No real American wants war. Starting a war is un-American. It is the ultimate violation of the most basic right of an individual (or a nation); that being the right to freely choose one’s course of action (which is also bound by the duty to protect the identical rights of others). Launching a war is the violent manifestation of tyranny; the callous effort to subdue or exterminate all opposition. No real American would support such unbridled and grotesque selfishness. As a result America has never engaged in unprovoked aggression, except perhaps in Vietnam.

Defensive war is another thing altogether. Any nation (or individual) attacked by another nation or group (the Barbary Pirates or Al Qaida for example) possesses not only the right but the obligation to defend itself by any means necessary. No honest or intelligent person can reasonably argue otherwise. America has been coerced into many wars by the malevolent behavior of others. Few are the generations of Americans that have not been required to stand in defense of their freedoms. The exercise of bravery and courage in the face of naked aggression is a proud and heroic American tradition.

The world, however, is very different from the world in which President Kennedy delivered these remarks one cold January day in 1961;

“The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe — the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans — born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge — and more.”

How different is the world today? In view of the dim understanding illustrated by the words and actions of Ted Kennedy, Durbin, Boxer, Kerry and Schumer (to name but a few), the torch didn’t get passed to everyone, or if it did it was allowed to flicker and die. Osama was right; we will no longer bear any burden or pay any price; not for our friends, not for ourselves. The world is very different now. This is no longer JFK’s America.

If JFK had presided in a post 9-11 world would he have plotted a significantly different course than President Bush? The only clues we have are his words and deeds, but most poignant are the words with which he concluded his Inaugural Address:

“With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God\’s work must truly be our own.”

The world is different now. In our increasingly Christophobic culture such conclusions would constitute secular heresy. Just ask President Bush.