(Above Video) Just A Common Soldier, also known as A Soldier Died Today, is one of the most popular poems on the Internet. Written and published in 1987 by Canadian veteran and columnist A. Lawrence Vaincourt, it now appears in numerous anthologies, on thousands of websites and on July 4, 2008 it was carved into a marble monument at West Point, New York. This year marks the poem’s 25th anniversary.
Please enjoy this tribute to the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen who have given so much for our country.
(Son to Father. . .) Do not call me, father. Do not seek me. Do not call me. Do not wish me back. We’re on a route uncharted, fire and blood erase our track.
On we fly on wings of thunder, never more to sheathe our swords. All of us in battle fallen – not to be brought back by words.
Will there be a rendezvous? I know not. I only know we still must fight. We are sand grains in infinity, never to meet. nevermore to see light.
(Father to Son . . .) Farewell, then my son. Farewell then my conscience. Farewell my youth, my solace, my one and my only.
Let this farewell be the end of the story, A solitude vast in which none is more lonely, In which you remained barred forever From light, from air, with your death pains untold. Untold and unsoothed, never to be resurrected. Forever and ever an 18 year old.
Farewell then. No trains ever come from those regions, Unscheduled and scheduled. No aeroplanes fly there.
Farewell then my son, For no miracles happen, as in this world Dreams do not come true.
Farewell. I will dream of you still as a baby, Treading the earth with little strong toes, The earth where already so many lie buried.
This song to my son, then, is come to its close.
(Extract from a poem by Jr. Lt. Vladimir Pavlovich Antokolski. Killed in action, June 6th, 1942)
(Via Gateway Pundit) Brothers Forever–Travis Manion and Brendan Looney were roommates at the naval academy and became as close as brothers. One became a Marine stationed in Iraq, the other, a Navy Seal in Afghanistan. Both died in action years apart and were laid to rest side-by-side in Arlington’s National Cemetery.
It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN, not the politician, Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the VETERAN who can at times lay us down in green pastures.
It is the VETERAN, not the televangelist, Who can get people out of wheelchairs.
It is the VETERAN
(Also See Tribute Video for all the kids who lost their loved one)
Never Forget Their Sacrifice
This amazing photo was taken in 1918. It is a photo of 18,000 men preparing for war at Camp Dodge in Des Moines, Iowa (Above)
While the speeches and cartoons are perfect for this Memorial Day… they do not express the loss persons individually feel that express our Nation’s loss through their pain. Pray for the families of the fallen, always.
A few of the below are from the same heroes funeral,
Gay Patriot introduces us to the myth often put forward by the left. This post by Gay Patriot will add to the video by Bill Whittle that follows it:
One of the myths Progressive Leftists elevate to “fact” by constantly repeating it to each other is the idea that Scandinavian countries are the closest on Earth fulfillment to their socialist dream utopia. ~ Gay patriot
Visitors say Danes are joyless to be around. Denmark suffers from high rates of alcoholism. In its use of antidepressants it ranks fourth in the world. (Its fellow Nordics the Icelanders are in front by a wide margin.) Some 5 percent of Danish men have had sex with an animal. Denmark’s productivity is in decline, its workers put in only 28 hours a week, and everybody you meet seems to have a government job. Oh, and as The Telegraph put it, it’s “the cancer capital of the world.”
So how happy can these drunk, depressed, lazy, tumor-ridden, pig-bonking bureaucrats really be?
I think my favorite paragraph is where he cites the Scandinavian Social Contract as the “Ten Commandments of Buzzkill.”
“You shall not believe that you are someone,” goes one. “You shall not believe that you are as good as we are,” is another. Others included “You shall not believe that you are going to amount to anything,” “You shall not believe that you are more important than we are” and “You shall not laugh at us.”
They read like the 10 Commandments of Progressive Leftism…
…From 1970 until 1989, taxes rose exorbitantly, killing private initiative, while entitlements became excessive. Laws were often altered and became unpredictable. As a consequence, Sweden endured two decades of low growth. In 1991-93, the country suffered a severe crash in real estate and banking that reduced GDP by 6 percent. Public spending had surged to 71.7 percent of GDP in 1993, and the budget deficit reached 11 percent of GDP.
TURNING POINT The combination of the crisis and the non-socialist government under Carl Bildt from 1991 to 1994 broke the trend and turned the country around. In 1994, the Social Democrats returned to power and stayed until 2006. Instead of revoking the changes, they completed the fiscal tightening. In 2006, a non-socialist government returned, and Finance Minister Anders Borg, with his trademark ponytail and earring, has led further reforms. Sweden successfully weathered the global financial crisis that started in 2008, and the Financial Times named Borg Europe’s best finance minister last year.
Before 2009, Sweden had a budget surplus, and it has one again. For the past two years, economic growth has been 4 percent on average, and the current-account surplus was 6.7 percent in 2011. The only concerns are the depressed demand for exports caused by the current euro crisis and an unemployment rate that is about 7.5 percent.
Sweden’s traditional scourge is taxes, which used to be the highest in the world. The current government has cut them every year and abolished wealth taxes. Inheritance and gift taxes are also gone. Until 1990, the maximum marginal income tax rate was 90 percent. Today, it is 56.5 percent. That is still one of the world’s highest, after Belgium’s 59.4 and there is strong public support for a cut to 50 percent.
The 26 percent tax on corporate profits may seem reasonable from an American perspective, but Swedish business leaders want to reduce it to 20 percent. Tax competition is fierce in some parts of Europe. Most East European countries, for example, have slashed corporate taxes to 15-19 percent….
Reason.org Weighs in on the “Swedish” experiment, how it got its wealth, noting how it squandered it, and how it is returning to the pre-70’s ideology:
Sweden is a powerful example of the importance of public policy. The Nordic nation became rich between 1870 and 1970 when government was very small, but then began to stagnate as welfare state policies were implemented in the 1970s and 1980s. The CF&P Foundation video explains that Sweden is now shifting back to economic freedom in hopes of undoing the damage caused by an excessive welfare state.
And do not think for a moment that the free-market has not allowed Sweden or other Nordic nations to get back on their feet. This is is pointed out in the following “101” presentation on economics:
For those of us who place more trust in free markets than state-directed economies, we must inevitably (and repeatedly) confront the skeptical interlocutor who details the “successes” of Swedish social democracy. “If state intervention into the economy is so bad, high taxes so destructive, then why is Sweden such a success?” It’s an irritatingly simple question with a incredibly complicated answer, though I do recommend pointing out, when the conversation turns to health care and secondary education, that nothing, in a state the confiscates a massive portion of your income, is “free.” But as many have pointed out, during its boom years, Sweden was a pretty free market place; from the 1970s through the 1990s—when taxes and regulation dramatically increased—the economy slowed until it spun out in the early 1990s…
…So here is my bottom line: When some American pundit, with expertise is everything, explains why some European welfare state “works,” or how everything you know is wrong about taxing income at 75 percent, do a little digging, make use of Google Translate, and don’t trust that, because Swedes and Danes tell researchers that they are happy, the United States should introduce “daddy leave” and provide subsidies to syndicalist newspapers.
The best English-language explication of the Swedish model comes from my pal Johan Norberg, who wrote this brilliant piece for The National Interest a few years back. And watch my interview with Norberg on Swedish welfare politics here and on Naomi Klein here.
The following interview is Johan Norberg, author of In Defense of Global Capitalism, sits down with reason.tv’s Michael C. Moynihan to sort out the myths of the Sweden’s welfare state, health services, tax rates, and its status as the “most successful society the world has ever known.”
National Review seems like a good place to continue the theme of showing how the Nordic countries have used the free-market system to recoup what it has lost with previous regulations that crippled free-enterprise. Here is a comparison between Sweden and Venzuala that was helpful in explaining how Sweden has less regulations that us in many places (a recent phenomenon BTW):
Talk to a Bernie Sanders voter about “socialism” — and they can be very insistent about using the word — and you’ll get paeans to Sweden, which is not a socialist country but a country with large, expensive welfare state. The distinction is not trivial: There is relatively little in the way of state-run enterprise in Sweden; the Swedish government is in fact only a 60 percent partner in the postal service. The Swedish government is, alas, in the casino business, albeit in a more transparent way than American government is. On the Heritage economic-freedom rankings, Sweden isn’t that far behind the United States. It has very high taxes, but taxes are not the only burden that governments put on the economy, not necessarily even the most important, and Sweden outscores the United States on a number of important metrics: free trade, property rights, freedom from corruption, investment freedom, monetary policy, etc. The United States’ small edge in the rankings comes mainly from relatively low taxes and a much less regulated labor market.
Reason.org again weighs in on whether Sweden is the right model for the U.S. to emulate:
The Above Video Description:
To the American mind there may be nothing more quintessentially Swedish than the leggy, blond supermodel.
But there’s another Swedish model that inspires almost as much admiration—the Swedish economic model. With a generous welfare state and high living standards, Sweden seems to prove that socialism works. Much of the hope that swept Barack Obama into the White House rests on the belief that America could reach new heights under a regime of enlightened progressivism, that we could be more like the Swedes.
Not so fast, warns Stockholm University sociologist Charlotta Stern: “If an American told me that the US should be more like Sweden I would say I don’t think it’s possible.” The United States can centralize its health care system and pass other laws that mimic Sweden’s welfare state polices, says Stern, but it’s impossible to replicate a culture that allows those policies to operate about as smoothly as possible. Swedish bureaucracies inspire trust, but their American counterparts (DMV, TSA, IRS) inspire punch lines, if not outrage.
But America could emulate some of the Swedish policies that don’t require extensive bureaucracies. Take school vouchers. Teachers unions in America regard the idea as free-market radicalism, but families in Sweden enjoy universal school choice. Sweden adopted its famously progressive policies during the 1970s, but after years of sluggish economic growth the land of ABBA altered its course in the 1990s, adopting a host of free-market reforms, from deregulation to tax cuts.
Although much of the disco-era welfare state remains, economist Andreas Bergh credits the free market reforms with reviving his nation’s economy. “Sweden is moving in the market economic direction,” says Bergh, “but that does not mean America should be moving in the socialist direction.”
What if the two nations continue on in different directions? Maybe some day when America is looking for a way to rejuvenate its economy, pundits will point to a different kind of Swedish model. One that increases individual choice and competition.
“Sweden—A Supermodel for America?” is produced by Daniel B. Klein, and written and produced by Ted Balaker, who also hosts. Shot by Jonathan Liberman and Henrik Devell, with additional production support by Zach Weissmueller and Sam Corcos and post production by Hawk Jensen and Austin Bragg. Special thanks to Niclas Berggren, Martin Borgs, Nils Karlson, and the Ratio Institute.
Finland is joining military exercises with other Scandinavian countries, as well as several members of NATO, in late May, Finnish media report. The maneuvers called Arctic Challenge will span 12 days, starting May 25, and include nine countries and close to 100 planes. The drills, over Sweden and northern Norway, come amid increased tensions between Russia and its Baltic and Nordic neighbors.
Sweden and Switzerland, which like Finland are not members of NATO, are expected to join the exercise, along with NATO members Norway, the Netherlands, Britain, France, Germany and the United States. Finland plans to send 16 F-18 Hornet fighter jets, while the other countries will supply Gripen “multirole” fighters, F-16s, Eurofighters and Jet Falcons, as well as transports and tankers, Russian news agency Sputnik reported. The Norwegian armed forces said the purpose of the Arctic Challenge exercise is to “learn to coordinate efforts in complicated flight operations conducted in cooperation with NATO.”
Russia has ramped up military activity along its borders with northern Europe, causing consternation in several Baltic and Nordic countries and pre-emptive actions to head off — or prepare for — a possible military crisis. Latvia, which reported a Russian submarine near its coast in mid-March, is beefing up security on its eastern border, while Finland recently began a letter campaign notifying some 900,000 reservists of their duties in a potential crisis. Sweden also intercepted four Russian planes flying over the Baltic Sea in March with their radios off. Russian jets have been intercepted in other instances while flying in European international airspace….
I also pointed out that this promise went back to the Cold War, and was not known about till a Swedish defense think-tank/security firm uncovered the agreements in 1994. The original story’s link has been lost, but it is here on FOI’s site. FOI’s “about us” page has this:
FOI is one of Europe’s leading research institutes in the areas of defence and security. We have 1,000 highly skilled employees with various backgrounds. At FOI, you will find everything from physicists, chemists, engineers, social scientists, mathematicians and philosophers to lawyers, economists and IT technicians…. The Armed Forces and the Swedish Defence Material Administration are our main customers. However, we also accept assignments from civil authorities and industry. Our clients from the defence sector place very high demands on advanced research, which also benefits other customers.
Initially after the end of World War II, Sweden quietly pursued an aggressive independent nuclear weapons program involving plutonium production and nuclear secrets acquisition from all nuclear powers, until the 1960s, when it was abandoned as cost-prohibitive. During the Cold War Sweden appeared to maintain a dual approach to thermonuclear weapons. Publicly, the strict neutrality policy was forcefully maintained, but unofficially strong ties were purportedly kept with the U.S. It was hoped that the U.S. would use conventional and nuclear weapons to strike at Soviet staging areas in the occupied Baltic states in case of a Soviet attack on Sweden. Over time and due to the official neutrality policy, fewer and fewer Swedish military officials were aware of the military cooperation with the west, making such cooperation in the event of war increasingly difficult. At the same time Swedish defensive planning was completely based on help from abroad in the event of war. Later research has shown that every publicly available war-game training, included the scenario that Sweden was under attack from the Soviets, and would rely on NATO forces for defence. The fact that it was not permissible to mention this aloud eventually led to the Swedish armed forces becoming highly misbalanced. For example, a strong ability to defend against an amphibious invasion was maintained, while an ability to strike at inland staging areas was almost completely absent.
In the early 1960s U.S. nuclear submarines armed with mid-range nuclear missiles of type Polaris A-1 were deployed outside the Swedish west coast. Range and safety considerations made this a good area from which to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike on Moscow. The submarines had to be very close to the Swedish coast to hit their intended targets though. As a consequence of this, in 1960, the same year that the submarines were first deployed, the U.S. provided Sweden with a military security guarantee. The U.S. promised to provide military force in aid of Sweden in case of Soviet aggression. This guarantee was kept from the Swedish public until 1994, when a Swedish research commission found evidence for it. As part of the military cooperation the U.S. provided much help in the development of the Saab 37 Viggen, as a strong Swedish air force was seen as necessary to keep Soviet anti-submarine aircraft from operating in the missile launch area. In return Swedish scientists at the Royal Institute of Technology made considerable contributions to enhancing the targeting performance of the Polaris missiles.
Some More Discussion
In this first back-and-forth, I noted some of the above and got this response:
Seems Sweden is searching for the viable balance of Capitalism and Socialism. Good for them. Bernie Sanders seeks the same.
To which I respond:
They want [and have] a lower tax rate than Sanders wants. They dumped their “wealth tax” and “death tax.” They lowered their corporate tax-rate and want it at 20% and below. Lessened regulations on businesses… on-and-on.
Bernie wants the 70’s through 90’s Sweden… I am down with the 2006 and beyond Sweden.
Someone else joined the discussion, and mentioned the following:
My family is Swedish and I can tell you with 100% accuracy they are way better off than we are…. Across the board pretty much.
Again, I respond:
There is a Swedish economist in the post that from first hand experience (and expertise in his field) telling you they are where they are because of the free market and a reduction [greatly] of the welfare state/socialism enterprise. [And, BTW, they use the many life saving drugs produced by the profit motivated “Big Pharma” spending on R&D to extend the lives of their fellow Swedes.]
When you get all these health care services for “free” then people start taking them for granted, calling ambulances without second thoughts, and going to the doctor for simple things that you don’t really need to see a doctor for… False alarms for ambulances and fire trucks end up costing the government and indirectly tax payers huge amounts of money every year. Which is why Sweden has as of late started to reform its health care system by privatizing parts of it. Mind you, these are somewhat limited in scope, but people are able to pay now for private care (1-in-10 now have private insurance/health-care).
…The paradox is that America has been doubling down on government authority over healthcare with the Affordable Care Act, just as more and more European governments, including Denmark, England, Finland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden, have been forced by public outcry to address the unconscionable waits for care by introducing new laws. But it is even more essential for American voters to realize, and for our government leaders to acknowledge, what other countries are beginning to recognize all over the world. These governments have started to understand that the cure for their failed nationalized health systems is a shift to privatization. And citizens under government-dominated health systems are increasingly circumventing their own systems, pursuing private healthcare to solve the uniformly poor access to care and limited choices.
Let’s consider Sweden, often heralded as the paradigm of a successful welfare state. The facts tell a very different story. Having failed its citizens in healthcare access, the Swedish government has aggressively introduced private market forces into healthcare to improve access, quality, and choices. Although once entirely public, over a quarter of Swedish primary care clinics are now run by the private sector. Sweden’s municipality governments have increased spending on private care contracts by 50% in the past decade. Private nursing facilities now receive substantial public funding to care for patients. Widespread private sector competition has also been introduced into pharmacies to tear down the pre-2009 monopoly over all prescription and non-prescription drugs. Since the Swedish government sold over half of its pharmacies to private firms in 2009, 20 private firms entered the market and over 300 new pharmacies opened, not only improving accessibility but providing the first pharmacies ever to many small towns.
Moreover, despite the fact that an average Swedish family already pays nearly $20,000 annually in taxes toward healthcare according to Swedish economist Per Bylund, about 12% of working adults bought private insurance in 2013, a number that has increased by 67% over the last five years. Half a million Swedes now use private insurance, up from 100,000 a decade ago, even though they are already “guaranteed” public healthcare….
…In the pre-Reagan Era, the media was just as left-leaning and reluctant to discuss the poverty and oppression that permeated the Soviet Union. But there were enough people willing to talk about it outside the media for the truth to get out. The pervasiveness of social media should make it easier, not harder, for conservatives to get a message out around the media gatekeepers. Millennials should be told what happened in Venezuela after his ideological brother Hugo Chavez took over; they should be told how toilet paper became a black market commodity and supermarket shelves became bare. And they should be made aware that Sweden is not quite the utopia they’ve been taught it is, either.
In one of the most aggressive actions in recent memory, Russian warplanes conducted “simulated attacks” on the a U.S. Navy vessel in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday, repeatedly flying within 30 feet of the ship, according to a defense official.
Sailors aboard the destroyer Donald Cook said the aircraft flew low enough to create wake in the sea waters surrounding the ship, and the ship’s commanding officer said the incident was “unsafe and unprofessional,” the defense official said.
“This was more aggressive than anything we’ve seen in some time,” according to the defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because U.S. officials have not officially disclosed the incidents.
Sailors aboard the ship described the Sukhoi Russian Su-24 as “wings clean,” meaning there were no visible bombs or armaments on the aircraft, the defense official said.
The nature of the overflight as a “simulated attack” may violate a 1973 treaty between the U.S. and Russia that specifically prohibits this type of maneuver, the defense official said…..
A United States Navy Destroyer operating in international waters in the Baltic Sea experienced several close interactions by Russian aircraft on April 11 and 12. USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) encountered multiple, aggressive flight maneuvers by Russian aircraft that were performed within close proximity of the ship.
Yet another unfounded swipe at the Iraq War. John Van Huizum lives in a bubble where if he has come to a conclusion years ago… that’s it! History forever stays right where John wants it to stay. Here is an excerpt of John’s (click to enlarge it) article shows a complete lack of history.
I doubt he think any differently about Vietnam based on his 1970’s conclusions. It wouldn’t matter that after 1990 — the fall of the Wall — 100,000 of thousands of Soviet era documents were now being translated and reviewed by military historians and good books based on MORE historical documents. Because these new documents support the traditional (and not the Left’s reasoning) for entering and fighting this proxy war of WWIII (the Cold War), this new information is rejected from the matrix of the left’s consciousness. But that is neither here-nor-there.
So, let’s deal with some of the contentions in John’s excerpted article. Firstly he notes that there were insufficient reasons for going to war.
May I remind him there were many U.N. Resolutions against Iraq that were almost all not met:
UNSCR 678 – November 29, 1990
UNSCR 686 – March 2, 1991
UNSCR 687 – April 3, 1991
UNSCR 688 – April 5, 1991
UNSCR 707 – August 15, 1991
UNSCR 715 – October 11, 1991
UNSCR 949 – October 15, 1994
UNSCR 1051 – March 27, 1996
UNSCR 1060 – June 12, 1996
UNSCR 1115 – June 21, 1997
UNSCR 1134 – October 23, 1997
UNSCR 1137 – November 12, 1997
UNSCR 1154 – March 2, 1998
UNSCR 1194 – September 9, 1998 (“Condemns the decision by Iraq of 5 August 1998 to suspend cooperation with” UN and IAEA inspectors, which constitutes “a totally unacceptable contravention” of its obligations under UNSCR 687, 707, 715, 1060, 1115, and 1154.)
Official U.N. resolutions aside, Bush went to Congress and made his case with these and many other points. One point being that Iraq was firing almost everyday on our fighter pilots in the no-fly zone. In the cease fire of the First Gulf War, this was enough — under international law — to RESUME aggression.
But I also argue very forcefully that WMDs (and AMDs) were found in Iraq. And I made a case for it via a debate with a professor of history from the University of Michigan. The ever growing case for it can be found here on my WMD PAGE. Another site that is more in-depth than my own is this one. On it we find an even more in-depth quoting of Democrats — in other words, not Cheney — making Bush’s case:
“One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”
~ President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.
“Together we must also confront the new hazards of chemical and biological weapons, and the outlaw states, terrorists and organized criminals seeking to acquire them. Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade, and much of his nation’s wealth, not on providing for the Iraqi people, but on developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them.”
~ President Clinton, Jan. 27, 1998.
“Fateful decisions will be made in the days and weeks ahead. At issue is nothing less than the fundamental question of whether or not we can keep the most lethal weapons known to mankind out of the hands of an unreconstructed tyrant and aggressor who is in the same league as the most brutal dictators of this century.”
~ Sen. Joe Biden (D, DE), Feb. 12, 1998
“It is essential that a dictator like Saddam not be allowed to evade international strictures and wield frightening weapons of mass destruction. As long as UNSCOM is prevented from carrying out its mission, the effort to monitor Iraqi compliance with Resolution 687 becomes a dangerous shell game. Neither the United States nor the global community can afford to allow Saddam Hussein to continue on this path.”
~ Sen. Tom Daschle (D, SD), Feb. 12, 1998
“Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.”
~ Madeleine Albright, Feb. 18, 1998.
“He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.”
~ Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb. 18, 1998.
“We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”
~ Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998.
“As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”
~ Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.
“Hussein has … chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.”
~ Madeleine Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.
“This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.”
~ Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.
“We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.”
~ Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002.
“We know that he has stored away secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”
~ Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.
“Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”
~ Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.
“We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.”
~ Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002.
“The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons…”
~ Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002.
“My position is very clear: The time has come for decisive action to eliminate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. I’m a co-sponsor of the bipartisan resolution that’s presently under consideration in the Senate. Saddam Hussein’s regime is a grave threat to America and our allies…”
~ John Edwards (D, NC), Oct. 7, 2002
“I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.”
~ Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002.
“There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years …. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.”
~ Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002.
“He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do.”
~ Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002.
“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members…. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
~ Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct. 10, 2002.
“We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.
~ Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002.
“Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime …. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation … And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction …. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ….”
~ Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003.
Nope, no one named Dick Cheney there.
Now, on to my second grievance with John’s ignorance of history. And it has to do with God’s existence and war. While I will grant him that Islam has inherent to it properties that make them go to war… constantly, their whole history.
John Quincy Adams is worth reading at greater length on the topic, as he provides some insight into what has been going on in Iraq now that Obama has prematurely removed our troops:
▼ In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar [i.e., Muhammad], the Egyptian, […..] Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST. – TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE…. Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant … While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.
Winston Churchill deserves a longer hearing too:
▼ “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.
Islam has not changed over the centuries. All that has changed is that never before have we been ruled by people who take Islam’s side against us.
(Click to enlarge)
Other religions do not. But the Left typically will think religion is the main catalyst for war throughout history. This is not the case. Let me repeat that, this is NOT the case.
A recent comprehensive compilation of the history of human warfare, Encyclopedia of Wars by Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod documents 1763 wars, of which 123 have been classified to involve a religious conflict. So, what atheists have considered to be ‘most’ really amounts to less than 7% of all wars. It is interesting to note that 66 of these wars (more than 50%) involved Islam, which did not even exist as a religion for the first 3,000 years of recorded human warfare. Even the Seven Years’ War, widely recognized to be “religious” in motivation, noting that the warring factions were not necessarily split along confessional lines as much as along secular interests.
Alan Axelrod & Charles Phillips, Encyclopedia of Wars, Facts on File, November 2004
John Entick, The General History of the Later War, Volume 3, 1763, p. 110.
So I would argue the further you get from the Judeo-Christian ethic/God, the more violent a culture gets. As we become more secularized, we (Judeo-Christian adherents) meet snorts and ridicule:
“No culture is perfect – far from it. But all healthy cultures reward virtue and punish vice, encourage what is noble and beautiful and discourage what is base and tawdry, promote liberty, and restrain license. [Every young man] must now dwell in a perverse anti-culture in which his attempt to practice the demanding virtue of purity meets less than approval. It meets snorts of disdain and ridicule.”
Anthony Esolen, Defending Marriage: Twelve Arguments for Sanity (Charlotte, NC: Saint Benedict Press, 2014), 54.
We know that our Constitution was founded for a particular people, which is what the left want a “living/breathing” constitution which is based in a different worldview than those who wrote it: “Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and practice” ~ Woodrow Wilson.
“…we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
John Adams, first (1789–1797) Vice President of the United States, and the second (1797–1801) President of the United States. Letter to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, 11 October 1798, in Revolutionary Services and Civil Life of General William Hull (New York, 1848), pp 265-6.
All this is lost on John however… it is like teaching a new trick to a very old dog. But people are entitled to their opinions… just not their own facts.
Did the United States win or lose the Vietnam War? We are taught that it was a resounding loss for America, one that proves that intervening in the affairs of other nations is usually misguided. The truth is that our military won the war, but our politicians lost it. The Communists in North Vietnam actually signed a peace treaty, effectively surrendering. But the U.S. Congress didn’t hold up its end of the bargain. In just five minutes, learn the truth about who really lost the Vietnam War
Remember, these countries actually fell to the spread of Communism:
➤ Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Yugoslavia, and half of Germany, North Korea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, Congo-Brazzaville, Benin, Vietnam, on and on.
Here is a great thought experiment from David Mamet:
Let us squint for a moment, to see if we may blur the particulars and perceive a familiar outline in an unfamiliar act. A young wealthy woman puts on vaguely military garb and travels to a far-off, less-developed land to participate in adventure. She meets there the more primitive indigenous people, admires their hunting abilities, and, in fact, poses with one of their large guns, famous for having bagged many trophies.
Q. What is she doing?
A. Going on Safari.
Essentially, yes. The woman, however, would be appalled had the big gun been used to kill an elephant. But it has not. It has been used to kill American fliers.
Jane Fonda’s Adventure Tourism is, then, incorrectly, identified not as a safari but as “Ending the War.”
This was a no-cost, exhilarating adventure, all the more attractive because it took place in the purlieus of danger, but contained no danger; and it could be described as “humanitarianism,” which is an edifying title, rather than “slumming,” which is perhaps less so.
Ms. Fonda did not choose to take her wish for adventure into the veldt, where, after all, the beasts might strike back, but to Hanoi in 1969. At the height of the Vietnam War—to pose with the enemy, secure in the knowledge that her (largely inherited) position would protect her from prosecution for what was, arguably, an act of treason.
In her reliance upon this protection she was, of course, availing herself of that same privilege and culture whose destruction she was endorsing in posing by the gun.
Her pilgrimage, as Mr. Hollander points out, was not unique. Intellectuals through the twentieth century have traveled see the Potemkin Villages of Stalin’s “Workers Miracle,” the happy children of China, and the grinning, sun-drenched Campesinos [peasants] of the Island Paradise. They have believed what they were shown.
From the Webbs, and Bertrand Russell, to Susan Sontag, Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, and various movie stars of our day, these happy dupes reward themselves for feeling superior to their own country, from which country they were free to travel, and to which they were free to return, while the smiling folk they visited were locked in slave states.
See also the brave actors who endeavored to boycott, and so close, the 2009 Toronto Film Festival because it offended by showing films from Israel.
This “visiting” and political pilgrimage differs from safari in that one does not here toy with danger. It more closely resembles the Victorian practice of “going among the poor.”
It used to be called “passing out tracts.”
David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), 96-98.
The following is Dennis Prager’s interview of Senior Fellow at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy, Bruce Herschensohn, about his latest book: An American Amnesia: How the US Congress Forced the Surrenders of South Vietnam and Cambodia. An excellent interview with two calls included.
And here is a longer dealing with myths surrounding Vietnam, via the indomitable Michael Medved:
Michael Medved (in this edited version of this Lie #1) talks to the reasons and history behind us entering the Vietnam war. This can be listened to in whole via iTunes free subscription to American Conservative University’s channel, or on their website: acu.libsyn.com/
(Click article to enlarge) This installation of Concepts is pretty ambiguous and I agree with most parts of it. The connection of sports with politics is a bit for me, but to each their own. I really only take issue with John Van Huizum’s view of history. And really it isn’t just John’s lack of applying our past to our current situation, but many American’s lack this knowledge of our political past. So this isn’t an issue I bring up merely to debate with John about, but to edify all me readers knowledge about.
The first is that money has always played a part in our political structure, always. Almost all of its people that have run for president have been very well-to-do, i.e., the one-percent. This disparity in Congress of millionaires and the creation of Super-Pacs has recently become more lopsided due to campaign finance laws which had caused nearly half of Congress’ members to be millionaires, including about two thirds of Senators. Ironically, the much heralded campaign finance reform that was supposed to level the playing field in a populist direction has only served to increase the likelihood of more millionaire candidates, even though millionaires constitute about 1 percent of the American population. But these are discussions for another day. I wanted to focus in on this idea that our political landscape is “less and less friendly,” as if we have reached some apex of name calling and “meanness” in politics and partisanship. This just isn’t the case, as the video included herein points out.
Jefferson called Adams “a blind, bald, crippled, toothless man who is a hideous hermaphroditic character with neither the force and fitness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”
The Federalists attacked the fifty-seven-year-old Jefferson as a godless Jacobin who would unleash the forces of bloody terror upon the land. With Jefferson as President, so warned Adams (actually the Connecticut Courant), “Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced, the air will be rent with the cries of the distressed, the soil will be soaked with blood, and the nation black with crimes.” Reportedly New Englanders hid their Bibles for fear that the infidel Jefferson would declare them illegal if elected. In 1828, supporters of John Quincy Adams called Andrew Jackson a murderer and a cannibal.
Cronkite, A Liberals-Liberal
“I know liberalism isn’t dead in this country. It simply has, temporarily we hope, lost its voice….We know that unilateral action in Grenada and Tripoli was wrong. We know that ‘Star Wars’ means uncontrollable escalation of the arms race. We know that the real threat to democracy is the half of the nation in poverty. We know that no one should tell a woman she has to bear an unwanted child….Gawd Almighty, we’ve got to shout these truths in which we believe from the housetops. Like that scene in the movie ‘Network,’ we’ve got to throw open our windows and shout these truths to the streets and the heavens. And I bet we’ll find more windows are thrown open to join the chorus than we’d ever dreamed possible.” (link in pic)
One small point to add, as I am apt to do in my rants. John Huizum mentions implicitly Walter Cronkite as some pinnacle of fairness. My deep study of the Vietnam ground war in the larger Cold War (some would say WWIII) and Walter Cronkite’s liberal slant (and all the networks of the time leaning that way) is an example of the monopoly one viewpoint had on the news people took in as a whole. Cronkite, while very liberal, did however control it much better than many CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and FOX hosts today do — not to mention he was an all-around good guy who had many friends on both sides of the isle. That being said, this “non-control” isn’t a bad thing. To be clear, Cronkite was more left leaning than many have previously allocated to him… but choice in what bias one prefers was not present during those days like it is in ours. This freedom of choice is what many liberals do not like. Unfortunately for John, Mr. Cronkite was a very leftist person, and his leftism crept out into his reporting during the Vietnam War, and he ended up NOT being “the most trusted man in America.” Granted, Cronkite was not as publicly left as, say, Rachel Maddow [who stated she is to the left of Mao], but Douglas Brinkley’s new book makes his leftism very clear.
Key to this debate is that Democrats hate competition, but once-in-a-while a liberal comes out on the side of fairness and competition of ideas, one such person is Camille Paglia. She is certainly no conservative, she had a lot to say to fellow progressives and Democrats in regards to the “Fairness Doctrine” and makes some fine points:
Speaking of talk radio (which I listen to constantly), I remain incredulous that any Democrat who professes liberal values would give a moment’s thought to supporting a return of the Fairness Doctrine to muzzle conservative shows. (My latest manifesto on this subject appeared in my last column.) The failure of liberals to master the vibrant medium of talk radio remains puzzling. To reach the radio audience (whether the topic is sports, politics or car repair), a host must have populist instincts and use the robust common voice. Too many Democrats have become arrogant elitists, speaking down in snide, condescending tones toward tradition-minded middle Americans whom they stereotype as rubes and buffoons. But the bottom line is that government surveillance of the ideological content of talk radio is a shocking first step toward totalitarianism. One of the nuggets I’ve gleaned from several radio sources is that Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who has been in the aggressive forefront of the campaign to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, is married to Tom Athans, who works extensively with left-wing radio organizations and was once the executive vice-president of Air America, the liberal radio syndicate that, despite massive publicity from major media, has failed miserably to win a national audience. Stabenow’s outrageous conflict of interest has of course been largely ignored by the prestige press, which should have been demanding that she recuse herself from all political involvement with this issue. (Capitalist Fanboys)
We should all be for fairness and friendliness in interactions with each-other, of course, who wouldn’t be for this. But Cronkite’s Republican friends were thick skinned, which is why Nixon (a thin skinned Republican) hated him. We all have to all play hard ball, and part of doing so in our Republic is by incorporating and knowing our history and to limit the “limits” we want to place on each others freedoms.
Michael Medved (in this edited version of this Lie #1) talks to the reasons and history behind us entering the Vietnam war. This can be listened to in whole via iTunes free subscription to American Conservative University’s channel, or on their website: acu.libsyn.com/