HISTORY

OK, clear your desks.  It’s time for a quiz.

Which of the following made statements in the period between 1998 and 2003 that Iraq had or was developing Weapons of Mass Destruction:

President Bill Clinton
Madeline Albright, Secretary of State
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Advisor
Democratic Senator Carl Levin
Democratic Senator Tom Daschle
Democratic Senator John Kerry
Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Senator Bob Graham
Democratic Vice President Algore
Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy
Democratic Senator Robert Byrd
Democratic Senator Jay Rockerfeller
Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton
Democratic Representative Henry Waxman
Dr. Hans Blix, United Nations weapons inspector
German Intelligence
British Intelligence
French Intelligence

Yep, trick question – every one of these people and agencies made such statements.  Interestingly, Hillary Clinton said something to the effect that she wanted to be certain so she did her own investigation.  That’s also interesting because she now says she made a mistake, but it was George W. Bush’s fault.  I might be willing to chalk it up to an old age memory lapse, but she has a record of lying.  It only happens when her lips are moving, but they’re moving most of the time so, well…you know.  “W” sure is wily.  He managed to fool all those politicians, the Brits, the Germans and the French.  Especially the French since they don’t trust America in the first place.

This summer General Ray Odierno was being interviewed by Charlie Rose and Rose brought up the subject of flawed intelligence.  I believe he was hoping  the General would say something damning about Bush, but Odierno stated emphatically that he absolutely believed that Saddam either had WMDs or a program to create them.  In fact, he related that one of Saddam’s Generals, who he had come to know after the war, told him (Odierno) that he still believes that Saddam had a WMD program.  Of course, we also now know that one of Saddam’s henchman admitted after the war that Saddam actually had a program to convince the rest of the world that he did have WMDs.  If all of this were not enough let me describe another interview by Charlie Rose just this past week.  Charlie was interviewing Mike Morell, former Deputy Director and Acting Director of the CIA, who made an astounding statement.  He said that in the FBI’s interrogation of Saddam after his capture, Saddam stated that he thought he actually did have a WMD program.  I don’t know exactly how to process this statement, but it is clear there was plenty of reason to believe that Iraq did have a WMD program.  With this knowledge I believe it would have been malfeasance on Bush’s part to not invade Iraq.

Bear in mind, also, that Saddam had ignored 14 U.N. resolutions.  By not acting the U.N. had just about rendered its sanctions and itself meaningless.  Saddam had been stealing much of the money from the Oil for Food Program that was supposed to provide food and humanitarian necessities for the Iraqi people under the U.N. sanctions.  Prior to the invasion of Iraq, uber leftist Noam Chomsky had been accosting any news-person he could find to charge that the U.N. sanctions were killing 5000 Iraqi children each month.  Since no one in the media ever challenged him on those figures, I can only assume that they must have been accurate.  On that basis alone it seems to me that Bush’s 10-year war (which ended those sanctions) must have saved 600,000 Iraqi children and Bush therefore is deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize.  I mean, Obama got one for doing nothing, right?  So I’m certain that anyone who saved 600,000 children should receive that award.  Right?

Democrats characterized the Iraq war as the “bad” war and Afghanistan as the “good” war.  Then, of course, under Obama both were described as being successful wars with good outcomes and Obama made all kinds of flowery speeches about how great things were as we slipped quietly out of Iraq and began to draw down troops in Afghanistan.  Now things have gone south in Iraq and it’s back to being Bush’s “bad” war.  In fact, now the Afghan war is bad, too.

Now let us suppose that Bush had not invaded Iraq.  Where would we be today?  Well, the U.N. after being stiffed by Saddam on all those resolutions would be rightly seen today as an ineffectual non-entity.  It probably is anyway, but that’s a subject for a different time.  What would the Middle East be like today?  With the sanctions of a toothless U.N. falling apart would any reasoning person argue that Saddam would not have pursued WMDs –  including the A-bomb?  And would Saddam’s mortal enemy Iran have let that happen without seeking its own weapon?  You know as well as I the answer to that.  So feel free to send “Thank You” notes to George W. Bush c/o the RNC.

What the world does face now is Iran headed toward a nuclear weapon in 5 to 10 years.  As I have pointed out in previous posts when they get the “bomb” they will use it.  So tighten your seat belts folks, it’s going to be a bumpy future.  Feel free to send “Thank You” notes to POTUS Obama c/o the DNC.

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VETERANS’ DAY

Except for the last two paragraphs the following paragraphs are excerpts from the excellent book Guns at Last Light by Rick Atkinson.  I have made several very small edits to help link together the excerpts, but I have made every effort to retain the power of Mr. Atkinson’s moving words.

Among Dwight Eisenhower’s comments at a ceremony on June 12, 1945 upon receiving the thanks of the British government and monarchy – “humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends.”

Two thirds of the soldiers commanded by Ike in Western Europe from D-Day until the end of the war were Americans.  Of those 60 divisions thirteen suffered 100% casualties and another five suffered 200%.  Casualties totaled 587,000.  Of the 361,000 wounded there were 1,700 left blind, 11,000 at least partially paralyzed and nearly 18,000 amputations.  This does not include the mental scars carried by both the wounded and the “unwounded.”

Another 75,000 Americans had been listed as missing or captured during the European campaign; thousands still were not accounted for at war’s end, leaving their loved ones with the particular anguish of uncertainty.  An estimated 25,000 GIs lay in isolated graves around the Continent, many of them hidden or lost.

No sooner had the ink dried on the surrender documents than mobile teams fanned out across Europe to seek the dead and the missing.  In three years, European fields, forests, orchards and cellars would yield 16,548 isolated GI dead.  These dead and all GIs interred in cemeteries on German soil were re-interred in 38 temporary European sites of which ten would eventually become permanent American cemeteries.  On May 30, 1945, Memorial Day, at the Ninth Army cemetery in Margraten, Holland, Dutch citizens gathered flowers from sixty villages and spread them like a brilliant quilt across 17,000 graves.

In 1947, the next of kin of 270,000 identifiable American dead submitted Quartermaster General Form 345 to choose whether they wanted their soldier brought back to the U.S. or left interred with comrades abroad.  More than 60% of the dead worldwide would return home, at an average cost to the government of $564.50 per body.  Each affected grave was opened by hand and the remains sprinkled with an embalming compound.  Wrapped in a blanket each body was then laid on a pillow in a metal casket lined with rayon satin.

The first of twenty-one “ghost” ships, the Joseph V. Connolly, departed Antwerp bearing the remains of 5060 American soldiers.  Thirty thousand Belgians bade them adieu from the docks, while pledging to look after those remaining “as if,” one man vowed, “their tombs were our children’s.”

On October 27, the Connolly berthed in New York and the caskets were removed in specially designed slings.  Most then traveled by rail across the republic for burial in their hometowns.  Among those waiting was Henry A. Wright, a widower living on his farm near Springfield, Missouri.  Gray and stooped the elder Wright watched as one by one his three sons were carried into the bedroom in which each had been born.  Neighbors kept vigil overnight, carpeting the floor with roses, and in the morning they bore the brothers to Hilltop Cemetery for burial side by side by side under an iron sky.

Many years after the war the daughter of a Major buried at Colleville, just above Omaha Beach wrote of seeing his headstone for the first time.

“I cried for the joy of being there and the sadness of my father’s death.  I cried for all the times I needed a father and never had one.  I cried for all the words I had wanted to say and wanted to hear and had not.  I cried and cried.”

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As a child my Dad took me along to my uncle’s house where he was helping my uncle build a garage.  It was a hot summer day and my uncle removed his shirt as they worked.  I still remember my shock upon seeing the scars of the grievous wounds suffered by my uncle at Anzio.  But at least I got to know him.  I never met my father’s younger brother.  He disappeared with his PT boat in the Pacific.  I guess his epitaph would be the same as his boat – “overdue and presumed lost.”  Freedom is indeed not free.

If you pass a soldier or an ordinary citizen wearing a ball cap identifying them as a veteran please thank them for their service.  If you have a few minutes ask them about their experiences.  I passed a very old gentleman in the grocery store wearing a cap identifying him as serving on the USS Randolph, a WW2 aircraft carrier.  When I asked him what his job was his demeanor totally changed.  He seemed 50 years younger as he described his experiences.  I’m not sure which of us was more uplifted by the exchange.

QUICKY OBSERVATION

I just wanted to relate a touching moment I witnessed on TV.  My sister is a fan of a show titled Right This Moment which shows video clips from various sources.  A recent episode featured Halloween clips wherein different households left large bowls of candy on their porches under the watchful eye of security cameras, but depending on trick-or-treaters to observe the “honor system” in taking a treat.  In all the clips the honor system was thrown under the proverbial bus and the candy was mostly or wholly taken.  In the first clip an adult woman not even in costume picks up a plastic cauldron of at least 5 gallons full of candy and staggers off carrying the heavy load.  But the clip that touched my heart and brought a tear to my eye followed a dad and his two small children.  To see this man passing on his fatherly wisdom to those tykes as he taught them to steal a large quantity of candy was just so moving.  I expect these kids may be on TV again in a few years on another show called Bait Car which follows law enforcement programs that use especially equipped cars in a sting operation to catch car thieves.  And, you know, I’m sure daddy will be just so proud of his little moppets.

WE HAVE SOWN THE WIND AND NOW WE ARE REAPING THE WHIRLWIND.

BAD BOYS, BAD BOYS – WHO YA GONNA CALL?

Well, I see that the cop in the South Carolina school dust up has been fired.  My first advice to you is to go to Rev. Al Sharpton’s web site and Jesse Jackson’s web site and get phone numbers for each organization.  This is important because when trouble comes and there are no cops left who will come to help you, Al and Jesse will be your only hope.  Good luck.

Maybe it’s just my imagination, but it seems to me we have entered a period when liberals are micro analyzing every action by police.  And if that action has the slightest hint of physical confrontation the police are vilified and a chorus of calls for their firing and prosecution erupt.  Even among government officials who should be supporting the police, there is an assumption that the cops are the problem.  In Baltimore’s Freddie Gray case the immediate response by city officials was to automatically condemn the cops, begin a prosecution of the cops involved and settle a lawsuit at supersonic speed.  Then when a group of troublemakers rioted and destroyed the property of innocent people, the reaction of those city officials was that the police needed more training to avoid inciting the rioters.

In Ferguson, Missouri it mattered not the slightest that Michael Brown, the “gentle giant,” had strong armed a store-owner and stolen items from the store.  It mattered not that Brown assaulted the cop and tried to take his gun before he was shot.  The crowd, the media and city officials vilified the cop.  And following the requisite rioting those city officials decided that all of the cops needed…well, I guess it could best be described as sensitivity training to better appreciate the tender sensibilities of the criminal rioters.

Ever notice that the solution to these policing problems always involves the police changing, reforming or retraining?  It never involves the citizenry modifying their attitudes or their behavior.  I can tell you what the best action to take to cure policing problems would be.  Beginning in the 7th grade, every student should be required to attend once a week an assembly and watch an episode of COPS starting with season one.  What young people – especially young black people – need to understand is demonstrated in every episode of COPS.

There are a couple of principles by which police officers must operate.  The first is that the cop must always be in control.  If he is not in control the chances that he will go to the morgue rather than home that night are greatly increased.  Another is that the cop has legal authority to require a citizen to comply with certain requests depending on the circumstances.  For instance, if you are driving and a cop pulls you over he can arrest you if you refuse to identify yourself.  Although it is not an operating principle, probably the most important thing a young person can learn about cops is that if you do exactly what you are told to do by the cop, he will treat you with respect.  On COPS I have seen felons who, when apprehended, simply comply with the officers’ directions and are treated in return with respect and even almost friendly conversation.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to just do what the officer tells you.  If you think he is in the wrong address that later with a lawyer, a civil rights organization or in court.

There was a very unfortunate case that was caught on video within the last year or so.  An officer confronted a man in, I believe, a service station.  I can’t recall all the details, but at some point the man wanted to show the cop some papers, perhaps his registration.  But he turned his back on the cop and reached into the cab of his truck in a way that the cop could not see his hands.  The cop screamed for him to stop, but he did not.  The cop shot him.  In the video the man can be heard to ask, “why did you shoot me?”  I don’t remember if the cop can be heard replying to him, but I will answer that question for you.  It was because if the man had a loaded gun on his front seat he could have spun around and shot the cop.  If the cop waited for the man to whirl around he could have been shot even if he (the cop) fired before the other man actually pulled the trigger.  Think for a minute.  Put yourself in the cop’s shoes.  You’re yelling at someone to not reach into his truck, but he does anyway.  If you wait to see what he has retrieved from the truck you may very well go to the morgue at the end of the day instead of to your home and family.

I have discussed before in earlier posts my views on the causes and cures for the high rates of murder of young black people by other black people.  That is the real problem black leaders should be addressing, but are not.  If they feel the need to address the issue of relations between blacks and cops, it should be to encourage respect and cooperation with the police.  Until the black community decides to reject sleazoids like Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and listen to those authentic preachers of God’s Word, all the retraining of cops in the world will make little difference.  In fact, it may well lead to less commitment by cops to help the black community.

WE HAVE SOWN THE WIND AND NOW WE ARE REAPING THE WHIRLWIND.