August 28, 2005
Like many of us in this great country, I have never been able
to say that I am totally in the political camp of either the
far Left or the far Right. I am a middle-of-the-roader on
most issues, as I have learned most Americans are. They officially
call us "centrists".
I want to touch on a couple of topics this week that are
directly related to that notion and while at first blush they
may seem unconnected, please bear with me. There's a story
in this week's column.
Last week I wrote about the stand-off in Crawford, Texas
where Cindy Sheehan, whose son died in combat, is demanding
President Bush call our troops home. She claims she and her
anti-war counterparts speak for the vast majority of Americans
who either have loved ones overseas, or have lost loved ones
in Afghanistan and/or Iraq.
I don't want to belabor the point or repeat territory covered
in my previous column. However, I have reached the point where,
after talking with my recently-released Air Force Special
Tactics Staff Sergeant Son, I think am ready to go down to
Crawford and join the chorus of the protestors.
No, no, not the anti-war protestors who wear T-shirts or
carrying signs that read: "The country is with Cindy."
Rather, I'm inclined to wear one that either says, "This
country is TIRED of Cindy" or one proclaiming "Our
country is with our heroes and damn Cindy and her crowd."
My Son shared with me a story about a young soldier who the
anti-war crowd sponsored at an anti-Bush rally and he claimed
to be a first-hand witness to U.S. atrocities, anti-war American
soldiers and Marines, and a slew of other horrific stories
from the battle lines in Iraq.
As the young man, dressed in military fatigues related his
stories, my Son began to realize the only lines this kid had
seen were the order lines at McDonalds. This anti-war traitor
was talking about seeing hand-to-hand combat with insurgents,
yet under questioning from my Son, he identified his role
as being in an artillery unit, far, far from the front lines.
He finally confessed his phoniness.
For those of you lacking military knowledge or experience,
the artillery regiment fires its rounds from a distance, carefully
calculating the geometry and precise location of where they
are to land downrange.
It was clear to my Son that this kid was being used an a
puppet by these anti-war-mongers and after risking his own
life in multiple tours of Afghanistan and Iraq, an working
hard to ignore a potential permanent limp from his reconstructed
ankle, my Son had to fight back like his was trained to do.
He exposed the young soldier and his anti-war-schmucks as
the phonies that they are. He peppered the complainer with
questions about where he was, how long he was there, the predominant
mission in that area, where help came for U.S. military operatives,
which religious element controlled the area, and who served
as the liaison with them. My Son knows that if you're really
on the front lines and facing the enemy at such close range,
as my Son has done, you know these answers as a survival tool.
It was clear this hapless, clueless, puppet was of more value
to the enemy and those siding with the enemy, than he was
to the military, and perhaps this is why he was now following
orders from Leftist yahoos rather than an Army squad leader.
By the time my Son was done dissecting this whiner in fatigues,
a number of those in attendance, I call them middle-of-the-roaders,
realized they were being lied to by the anti-war propagandists,
and they asked my Son to tell them more about what was REALLY
going on with our brave men and women.
I tell you all this because it has become increasingly clear
to me that liberal media bias (Yes, it REALLY does exist),
is anti-American at its very core and most people actually
support the U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, as difficult
as the missions may be.
Let me clarify this by saying that many Americans, including
this one with the hero Air Force veteran and his reconstructed
ankle, cringe every time we hear another life has been lost.
But I hope we are intelligent enough to realize that the fight
there, and its attendant losses of Americans, is a better
alternative to losing lives in our backyard to terrorists
blowing up schools or local diners filled with innocent children
and adults. We want the truth from the war zone and we'll
make up our own minds.
I don't like war any more than the next guy, but I understand
and respect why we are in this one, regardless of whether
or not we found Weapons of Mass Destruction. I have seen and
heard the positive stories, as well as the negatives ones,
of what has gone on in the ancient Land of Babylon.
And we need to finish the job there, for those who have died
there, like Cindy Sheehan's son Casey; for those who carry
the scars of their commitment, like my Son; and for those
Iraqi's whose lives have been improved by our willingness
to fight the oppressive forces. Hopefully Iraq will soon have
a constitution. And we don't want the media to filter the
news for us. Just tell us the truth. All of it.
This all brings me to my second point. I am seriously considering
spending some quality time down in Crawford, to do my part
to back up what I believe in and to publicly acknowledge my
Son's contribution, and to stand up for his heroic service
to our nation, as well as honor his comrades who shed their
blood and/or died carrying out their mission for all of us.
I'm not usually a placard-carrying, protesting kind of fellow,
but sometimes you gotta do what's right, for what IS right.
My genetic destiny determined long ago that I was not cut
out to wear a military uniform, but my heart has always been
willing to do the right thing for my country. Sometimes MY
view of what's right has been promulgated by Republicans,
and sometimes (though rarely) by Democrats. The vast majority
of the time, I am very much like most Americans, neither Left
nor Right. But I feel the need to speak my mind on the war,
because I'm stuck somewhere just Left or Right of center as
one of those All American middle-of-the-roaders.