Epic Nation

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Today, Iraq and America should be proud

The Iraqi people began voting a few hours ago, and the reports so far indicate a high voter turnout. There have been attacks, and I have no illusions that the day will be one of joy without tragedy; as those opposed to a Democratic Iraq will continue their murderous campaign against Iraqi civilians. The risk that Iraqis must take to cast their vote can only add to the legitimacy of the election.

As Iraqi women vote, crickets chirp at the headquarters of "feminist" group NOW

Today I am proud to be an American. This is a pride that goes beyond that swelling of the heart upon hearing the national anthem, or viewing an American olympian take a gold medal. The pride I feel is like no other. The United States of America is the only country on the planet with the capability and, more importantly, the will to give the gift of democracy to a country like Iraq. It is for this reason that I am proud today.

Democracy: brought to you courtesy of the American soldier, despite the "Democratic" Party

I look to
France, Germany, and other European nations and feel not anger, but pity. With all the objections to the war in our own country, there still exists the consensus that the ultimate objective of a democratic Iraq is a noble and just cause. Our national debate is not so much about the goal, but the means by which we achieve it. The story in Europe is very different. Europeans view the spread of democracy with cynical contempt. They oppose US action in Iraq not only because of their pacifistic tendencies, but also because they don't believe the Arab people are capable of embracing democratic values. Europe has lost faith in the principle of Liberty itself.

I'll take: "Images you'll never see featuring a French flag" for $1000 Alex

As I watch my television right now, it is clear that the people of
Iraq do not share in Europe's cynicism.

UPDATE: No surprise here; as Election Day winds down in Iraq (the polls will close in 2 hours) the American media is in a desperate search for bad news to report on what has been a stunning success. I pulled the following sentence from an AP story:

A low Sunni turnout could undermine the new government and worsen tensions among the country's ethnic, religious and cultural group.

Keep crossing your fingers AP! I find it incredibly ironic that the left/media care so much about the Sunni people turning out to vote. The best analogy I can think of to describe the Sunni's is that they are to Saddam what the Nazi party members were to Hitler. Did we give a damn if former Nazis turned out to vote after the Second World War? I think not.


  • Republicans start wars, Democrats fight in them:

    Prominent Democrats
    Representative Richard Gephardt, former House Minority Leader - Missouri Air National Guard, 1965-71. (1, 2)
    Representative David Bonior - Staff Sgt., United States Air Force 1968-72 (1, 2)
    Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle - 1st Lt., U.S. Air Force SAC 1969-72 (1, 2)
    Former Vice President Al Gore - enlisted August 1969; sent to Vietnam January 1971 as an army journalist, assigned to the 20th Engineer Brigade headquartered at Bien Hoa, an airbase twenty miles northeast of Saigon. More facts about Gore's Service
    Former Senator Bob Kerrey... Democrat... Lt. j.g., U.S. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam (1, 2)
    Senator Daniel Inouye, US Army 1943-'47; Medal of Honor, World War Two (1, 2)
    Senator John Kerry, Lt., U.S. Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, and three awards of the Purple Heart for his service in combat (1)
    Representative Charles Rangel, Staff Sgt., U.S. Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea (1, 2)
    Former Senator Max Cleland, Captain, U.S. Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star, Vietnam (1, 2)
    Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) - U.S. Army, 1951-1953. (1)
    Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) - Lt., U.S. Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74. (1, 2)
    Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) - U.S. Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91 (1)
    Senator Fritz Hollings (D-SC) - served as a U.S. Army officer in World War II, receiving the Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons. (1)

    Representative Leonard Boswell (D-IA) - Lt. Col., U.S. Army 1956-76; two tours in Vietnam, two Distinguished Flying Crosses as a helicopter pilot, two Bronze Stars, and the Soldier's Medal. (1, 2)
    Former Representative "Pete" Peterson, Air Force Captain, POW, Ambassador to Viet Nam, and recipient of the Purple Heart, the Silver Star and the Legion of Merit. (1, 2)
    Rep. Mike Thompson, D-CA: Staff sergeant/platoon leader with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, U.S. Army; was wounded and received a Purple Heart. (1, 2)
    Bill McBride, Democratic Candidate for Florida Governor - volunteered and served as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam; awarded Bronze Star with a combat "V." (1)
    Gray Davis, former California Governor, Army Captain in Vietnam; received Bronze Star. (1)
    Pete Stark, D-CA, served in the Air Force 1955-57
    Wesley Clark, Democratic Presidential Candidate - lengthy military career.

    Prominent Republicans
    Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert - avoided the draft, did not serve.
    Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey - avoided the draft, did not serve.
    House Majority Leader Tom Delay - avoided the draft, did not serve (1). "So many minority youths had volunteered ... that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself."
    House Majority Whip Roy Blunt - did not serve
    Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist - did not serve. (An impressive medical resume, but not such a friend to cats in Boston.)
    Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, R-KY - did not serve (1)
    Rick Santorum, R-PA, third ranking Republican in the Senate - did not serve. (1)
    Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott - avoided the draft, did not serve.

    Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld - served in the U.S. Navy (1954-57) as an aviator and flight instructor. (1) Served as President Reagan's Special Envoy to the Middle East and met with Saddam Hussein twice in 1983 and 1984.
    GW Bush - decided that a six-year Nat'l Guard commitment really means four years. Still says that he's "been to war." Huh?
    VP Cheney - several deferments (1, 2), the last by marriage (in his own words, "had other priorities than military service") (1)
    Att'y Gen. John Ashcroft - did not serve (1, 2); received seven deferment to teach business ed at SW Missouri State

    Jeb Bush, Florida Governor - did not serve. (1)

    Karl Rove - avoided the draft, did not serve (1), too busy being a Republican.

    Former Speaker Newt Gingrich - avoided the draft, did not serve (1, 2)
    Former President Ronald Reagan - due to poor eyesight, served in a noncombat role making movies for the Army in southern California during WWII. He later seems to have confused his role as an actor playing a tail gunner with the real thing.
    "B-1" Bob Dornan - avoided Korean War combat duty by enrolling in college acting classes (Orange County Weekly article). Enlisted only after the fighting was over in Korea.
    Phil Gramm - avoided the draft, did not serve, four (?) student deferments
    Senator John McCain - McCain's naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross. Why did the Bush campaign smear him so? At least Senators Cleland (D-GA), Kerry (D-MA), Kerrey (D-NE), Robb (D-VA) and Hagel (R-NE) defended him.
    Former Senator Bob Dole - an honorable man. http://www.bobdole.org/bio/wwII.php
    Chuck Hagel - two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, Vietnam. http://www.senate.gov/~hagel/Information/bio.htm
    Duke Cunningham - nominated for the Medal of Honor, received the Navy Cross, two Silver Stars, fifteen Air Medals, the Purple Heart, and several other decorations http://www.house.gov/cunningham/about_duke.htm#Biography
    Senator Jeff Sessions U.S. Army Reserves, 1973-1986
    Colin Powell. What are we to make of Powell? On the one hand, a long career as a military manager. On the other hand, accused of covering up the My Lai massacre. Back on that first hand, one of the seemingly sane voices in this administration when it comes to Iraq (or at least he used to be). On the other hand, a clear hypocrite ("I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and well-placed... managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units...")
    Representative Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), served in USMC in Vietnam; wounded in action.

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