Bush marks Veterans Day
In the good old days, Veterans Day would be an occasion for expressing national unity, but that ideal is elusive given the current state of affairs. Battered and bruised by a barrage of slings and arrows over the past three months, President Bush came out swinging as he spoke to a group of veterans in a town near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, marking Veterans' Day. He got to the heart of the matter in exceptionally eloquent and determined fashion:
While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs.
The stakes in the global war on terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges. These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will. As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them. Our troops deserve to know that this support will remain firm when the going gets tough. And our troops deserve to know that whatever our differences in Washington, our will is strong, our nation is united, and we will settle for nothing less than victory.
SOURCE: whitehouse.gov (Applauses deleted.)
Well put, Mr. President! (It's about time.)
Shields on antiwar rhetoric
Sometimes I wonder if the harshest critics of Bush and the war effort realize the damage their words do. On the PBS News Hour this evening, Mark Shields casually brushed aside the question of how American troops in Iraq feel about those who say the war is based on lies, saying that troop morale is all about buddies and unit cohesion, not lofty issues of justification. It was a stunning remark, and may provide insight as to how war critics can look themselves in the mirror after spouting such bitter anti-American venom: They apparently refuse to even consider that their words may have repercussions. One might also interpret what Shields said as an indirect put-down of American servicemen and women, implying that they don't know or care much about what we are fighting for.
Jordanians despise Al Qaeda
Whatever message the mass murderers of Al Qaeda were trying to send in the recent vicious suicide bombings in Jordan, deliberately killing the guests at a wedding party and other innocent Jordanian Arabs, it seems to have backfired. In massive protests in Amman, one Jordanian yelled, "Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!" See CNN.com. In the all-important public opinion front in the war on terror, the tide may be turning...
Operation Steel Curtain
Donald Sensing has been following very closely the latest U.S.-Iraqi offensive against terrorists around the town of Husaybah, near the Syrian border. The Iraqi soldiers seem to be performing better all the time. The Rev. Sensing's son is currently stationed in Iraq, and may be involved in these operations.
No words can possibly express the gratitude that we all owe our soldiers who put their lives on the line in the fight against the fascist movement that uses religion as a cynical masquerade for its global ambitions. Let us all resolve to remember the sacrifices of current and past American soldiers throughout the year.