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Conservative Political Commentary

Quote of the Day

Lady Liberty

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Great Job!
posted by Bathus

A commenter to an earlier post writes that my congratulations to the voters of Iraq were "misplaced," and that it is the American people who deserve congratulations because they "stayed the course":
[T]he outpouring of support for Iraq and the swelling of the American breast are both warranted and inspiring. However, I believe that it is misplaced to commend the Iraqis for merely voting. (I do realize that there were SEVERE inducements not to vote.)The U.S. has been in Iraq for over two years. We have stayed the course and proven that we will not leave the Iraqi people helpless in the hands of a new tyrant. At some point, the child must grow up, regardless the pain.

I am cheered that they voted in such numbers and believe that we, the U.S. and Iraq, have taken a momentous step toward stability in the Middle East. MY breast swells with pride when I realize that it is the American people that have made this remarkable event possible.
As to my commenter's suggestion that the Iraqis were "merely voting," I couldn't disagree more strongly. Before the election, terrorists specifically targeted voters, trying to intimidate them with brutal threats, "Min Al-Sanduq il Al-sanduq!" ("From the ballot box into the coffin!") As the number of Iraqis who have died at the hands of terrorists attests, that was no idle threat. Thank God (and some others mentioned here later), the terrorist could not make good on their threat, though we can be sure it wasn't for lack of trying.

And so that purple finger is an indelible mark of eight million individual acts of courage and an enduring symbol of the courage of an entire people. The mere thought of it humbles me, and I say that as one very, very proud American.

One could wonder how many of us Americans would have summoned the courage to vote under similar circumstances. But on such a joyous occasion, it would be ungracious to skimp on congratulations. So, yes, the American people (minus about 59,000,000 who voted the wrong way in our last election) do deserve to give themselves a pat on the back.

And while we are busy passing out kudos, let's not forget to thank God for the ones who really "made this remarkable event possible." Speaking of whom, here's a report that was forwarded to me today. It was penned by one of those who most deserve the thanks and congratulations of both the Iraqi people and the American people . . . and every other free people on God's green earth:
The following is a note from a Louisiana National Guard member [256th Infanty Brigade] who provided security on election day. A friend here in Baton Rouge forwarded it to me. (The writer is a Baton Rouge native, and a business professional in his day job.) His comments about the Iraqi police and their national guard--and the Iraqi public's perception of them--is encouraging.


P.S. I cracked up when I read his Geraldo comment.

I was exhausted when the elections finally happened. We worked really hard to put all the pieces together to ensure security of the polling places. We were securing the police stations while the Iraqi Police and the Iraqi National Guard were providing direct polling center security. We also secured the elections operations centers in each district and provided Quick Reaction Force for the police (which was not needed). The turnout was huge. We had a couple of rockets hit our base on election day, but for the most part it has been peaceful. The rockets did not hit anything or hurt anyone. Mid-morning there were 8 rockets launched at the green zone but to no effect. Some suicide bombers but the Iraqi Police stopped them before they could kill voters (one of the biggest successes). Some Iraqi police died. The greatest thing that happened is the confidence gained by the Iraqi Police and National Guard. It also boosted confidence that the people have in the Iraqi Police and National Guard. Other notable notes: No VBIEDs (car bombs) and no suicide bombers outside of Baghdad. It was really a historic moment.

Geraldo Rivera was imbedded with us for the election. I kept my distance. The Election Rules of Engagement (ROE) were intensely negotiated with the interim government. The JAGs gave input but for the most part the emergency measures and the ROE were dictated by the government. Everything came together at the last minute, then we had to get the troops trained on the emergency measures and the ROE. Well worth it. I'll have to tell everyone about it one day. The 256th did a great job.

Great job, John!

Great job, 256th!

Great job, all you guys and gals serving in Iraq!

¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

The 256th has a long and glorious history.

In the month before the elections in Iraq, eight of its members gave their lives for freedom in Iraq:

Spc. Warren A. Murphy, 29, of Marrero, LA; 256th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), Army National Guard, Lafayette, LA.

Spc. Armand L. Frickey, 20, of Houma, LA; 256th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), Army National Guard, Lafayette, LA.

Spc. Huey P. L. Fassbender, 24, of LaPlace, LA; 256th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), Army National Guard, Lafayette, LA.

Spc. Bradley J. Bergeron, 25, of Houma, LA; 256th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), Army National Guard, Lafayette, LA.

Sgt. Christopher J. Babin, 27, of Houma, LA; 256th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), Army National Guard, Lafayette, LA.

Sgt. 1st Class Kurt J. Comeaux, 34, of Raceland, LA; 256th Infantry Brigade (Mechanized), Army National Guard, Lafayette, LA.

Sgt. Robert W. Sweeney III, 22, of Pineville, LA; 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, 256th Infantry Brigade, Army National Guard, Lake Charles, LA.

Staff Sgt. William F. Manuel, 34, of Kinder, LA; 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, 256th Infantry Brigade, Army National Guard, Lake Charles, LA.

posted by Bathus | 2/02/2005 07:38:00 PM
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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A Last Word or Two for John Kerry
posted by Bathus

Okay, so maybe this is beating a dead horse.

Maybe this is beating the putrid carcass of a very, very dead horse. Heaven knows I'm not the first blogger to beat this particular piece of this particular dead horse.

The putrid dead horse carcass I am referring to is, as you might have guessed, Senator John F. Kerry. And the particular piece of the dead horse I'm going to flail away at right now is, of course, the senator's recent appearance on Meet the Press with Tim Russert:
MR. RUSSERT: Election day, Iraq. Condoleezza Rice, the new secretary of State, has just told the United States and the world, "It has gone better than expected." What is your sense?

SEN. KERRY: I think it's gone as expected. . . .

Secondly, it is significant that there is a vote in Iraq. But no one in the United States or in the world-- and I'm confident of what the world response will be. No one in the United States should try to overhype this election. . . .

MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe this election will be seen by the world community as legitimate?

SEN. KERRY: A kind of legitimacy--I mean, it's hard to say that something is legitimate when a whole portion of the country can't vote and doesn't vote. I think this election was important. I was for the election taking place.
Vintage Kerry.

Still trying to have to have it both ways.

Kerry now tells us the Iraqi election went "as expected." Ho, hum. Nothing to get excited about. Right? But just a few months ago Kerry sure sounded like he expected something entirely different:
the people who are supposed to run that election believe that they need a longer period of time and greater security before they can even begin to do it, and they just can't do it at this point in time. So I'm not sure the president is being honest with the American people about that situation either at this point.
And now Kerry tells us that he really was "for the election taking place," and the "election was important," and it was "significant." But for an infinitely nuanced man like John Kerry, still "it's hard to say" whether the Iraqi election was legitimate.

So, you might ask, "Which is it, Senator Kerry? Are you suggesting the Iraqi election was illegitimate?"

What a stupid question! Only a Red State Moron could fail to appreciate the supple nuance of Kerry's qualifier: "kind of."

"Kind of legitimate" also means "kind of illegitimate." Kinda, but not really. Just sorta. It's hard to say. Sorta, kinda. And, oh by the way, did I mention the U.N. and world opinion?

Thank you, Senator Kerry, for that piercing analysis.

¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

Yet even beyond the stale stench of the double-talk still emanating from the dried-up carcass of John Kerry's failed presidential aspirations (a commentary that has lately become blackly comic, like an overlong death rattle), there's something yet more odious in the Senator's most recent words, something yet more repulsive and ignoble:

On January 30, 2005, some eight million Iraqi voters risked their very lives to participate in that country's first free national election in forty years. No matter what one might think about other events in the recent history of Iraq, the heart of every human being of good will could but swell with admiration to witness such courage in a people that has endured so much for so long.

Yet in that moment of life-affirming hope, ever-ironic history decreed that, to produce an enlightening contrast, a listless senator from Massachusetts should wander onto the set of a Sunday television news show to pronounce these thudingly dull words, "I think it's gone as expected. . . . No one in the United States or in the world . . . should try to overhype this election."

Eight million Iraqis risk their lives to vote, and the freshly air-brushed senator acknowledges their courage by telling them that their election was only "kind of" legitimate.

Eight million Iraqis risk their lives to vote, and a pampered wind-surfing senator worries that their bravery might be "overhyped."

Eight million Iraqis risk their lives to vote, and in the moment of their triumph a senator from Massachusetts, who prides himself on his diplomatic subtlety, cannot offer to them, from his vast and nuanced vocabulary, one single solitary word of congratulations.

Well, if you can pardon the lack of nuance, though you couldn't spare an encouraging good word for the struggling Iraqi people, I can spare a last word or two for you, John Kerry. It is a truly craven man who can't step aside to let someone else enjoy a moment in the sun, a man who can never take real pleasure in someone else's hard won triumph. So then what does it say about you, John Kerry, that you can't stand aside to let eight million Iraqi voters revel in their moment of triumph untainted by your hope-destroying monotone?

So to hell with you, John Kerry, you selfish, spirit-sapping, self-serving, mean-spirited, small-minded man.

History has just passed you by. And you won't be missed.

posted by Bathus | 2/01/2005 01:48:00 AM
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