What Americans Are Thinking About Iraq
Rarely, if ever, has this column devoted any time to gratuitous
name-calling and cavalier demonstrations against anyone or anything. But
today will be different. Today, \'\'I settle all family business,\''as
matter of factly declared by Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola\'s
1972 gangster classic, \'\'The Godfather.\''
The family I will speak of and per chance speak for in this tidy little
philippic is the typical American family of citizens--the type of people
who put their pants on one leg at a time. It is a large family, consisting
of many races and religions, both men and women.
What typifies these people is not their inability to understand
complicated issues, but the ability to boil these same issues down to
their innate substance. This is the opposite of elitism, which agonizes
over subtleties that are \'\'too complex\''for you and me to appreciate,
much less understand. But to put that to one side, we are simply tired.
Tired of what, you ask? Well, let me tell you:
* We are tired of the transgressions of a handful of soldiers in Iraq
that mistreated a few terrorist suspects being portrayed as indicative of
the entire U.S. military and culture.
* We are tired of the non-stop apologies from the President on down to
the Capitol Hill coat-room attendant.
* We are tired of the words \'\'atrocity,\''\'\'torture,\''and \'\'mutilate\'\'
being misapplied to the abuses of Arab and Iraqi terrorist and jihadist
insurgents. In most respects, college fraternity initiations strike a
* We are tired of a decadent Middle East culture whose members lend
themselves to selective outrage, all the while turning a blind eye to
their own government-sponsored torture and murder.
* We are tired of nearly every elected official, including President
Bush, reminding us that Islam is a \'\'peaceful religion\''and that \'\'the
vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving people.\''
* We are tired of Iraqis not stepping up to help remake their own
country into a democracy and showing the Middle East, and the world, that
they want it badly enough to die for.
* We are tired of the Monday morning quarterbacking that has become a
cottage industry in relation to the aftermath of winning the war and
establishing the peace. If it were that easy, France and Germany would
have signed on from the beginning.
* We are tired of WMD’s and the search for them. One way or the other,
they will turn up. Saddam had them, used them, and produced them. The
question should be \'\'Where are they?” and not \'\'Did he have them?\'\'
* We are tired of the more than five million Muslim/Americans who seem
to have lost their ability to denounce terrorism. I call these Muslim
mutes \'\'enablers,\''and quite frankly, so should anyone who has come out
* We are tired of respecting the sensibilities of other countries when
it is demonstrably obvious that they use ours against us.
* We are tired of that paragon of virtue, the United Nations. It has
become a sad and dangerous caricature of justice and democracy.
* We are tired of the liberal selections of the “Book of the Month
Club,” penned by such leading lights as Richard Clarke, John Dean, Bob
Woodward, and Ambassador-turned-politico Joseph Wilson.
* We are tired of the media \'\'gotcha\''news cycles that have only one
reason for being: Pin the blame on George W. Bush.
* We are tired of the progressive media painting the economy as
depressed and always receding. We are not a land of starving children,
double-digit unemployment, and zero opportunity due to \'\'outsourcing.\''We
are, and have been for some time now, economically revived.
* We are tired of the Ted Koppels and Katie Courics using this war as a
spring board for propelling presumptive Democratic nominee John Kerry
towards the presidency.
* We are tired of the inability of John Kerry to talk about any issue
that does not end with the words… \'\'and I served in Vietnam.\'\'
* We are tired of an overstuffed Hefty-bag-with-a-hat, namely Michael
Moore, and a whiny, hate-encrusted gremlin, surly Al Franken, receiving
any serious thought as to what they have to say.
* We are tired of repeated references by Senators Ted Kennedy, Tom
Harkin, and Frank Lautenberg to the country’s leaders as \'\'chicken
hawks,\''thereby creating the standard that if you did not see action in
the military, you are unfit to oversee it. Presidents Adams, Jefferson,
and Franklin Roosevelt have shown otherwise, as has William Jefferson
* We are tired of the \'\'bi-partisan\''9/11 commission that turned the
most important issue of the century into the partisan twaddle that it
ended up as.
* We are tired of politicians, pundits, and panels that attempt to
compare eight years of Clinton to eight months of Bush in the White House
in regard to \'\'connecting dots\''and who’s at fault for 9/11.
* We are tired of assorted media types and political hatchet men
striving to find someone to blame for 9/11. Word to the seekers: Think
Most of all, we are tired of reminding the world and a few at home that
9/11 really happened, and we are at war. We will be at war for years to
come, and we would do well to come to grips with this.
We understand that this is an election year, and the stakes are high.
But the highest stakes lie in the future of the country’s very existence,
whether we will stop the torrent of political bloodletting and outright
fabrication, or step up and deal with the reality of war and the choices
that come with it.
If your choice is to put politics ahead of country, and behave as if
what has happened at Abu Ghraib prison is the defining moment of what the
U.S. stands for, then I have no use for you, and I’m willing to say most
of the country does not either. We are, I fear, at a junction in history
that is as serious as it can get.
As far as offending anyone with the content of my tidy little philippic,
But the truth often is. I promise not to do it again… for a while, anyway.
Well, I feel better. How about you?