They just don't get it
By Alan Caruba
Some of the most prolific letter writers to my local weekly newspaper are the folks for whom the Sixties and Seventies were a period of intense meaningfulness in their lives. It was all peace, love, and rock'n roll, followed by their rejection of the war in Vietnam.
The reality, of course, was that we were still hip-deep in a Cold War that started the day World War II ended. Proxy wars in places like Korea and Vietnam were fought as Soviet-style Communism tried to replace the freedom that Americans knew could only be protected with blood and money. The stakes were high.
The stakes are high again as the entire world slowly concedes that a whole new war must be fought. This time the enemy is Islamofacism and the enemy is not polite enough to put on a uniform. This time the enemy blows up people in trains, buses, and, yes, the World Trade Center.
So, while I normally just try to ignore the pathetic bleating of the anti-war protesters, telling myself they have no sense of history and often no sense of decency as regards the sacrifices of good men to defend America, my eye was caught by the typical letter crying about the horrid treatment of "several members of (the) Committee to Stop the War" who stood outside the local high school last week to hand out leaflets. These folks were approached by a police officer and asked to stand across the street because "the Principal didn't want us there."
Well, good for the Principal! One can only hope that the history courses in the local high school teach about the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam War, and, who knows, maybe even Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom gets discussed too.
"It is now well-reported how military recruiters give children false promises to recruit them. Legalities aside, it is misguided when salesmen for the military are allowed into the lunch room to try to convince students to kill and be killed in an immoral war, while those offering a different view are prevented from talking to students in front of the school."
Get out your crying towels! First of all, I haven't read anything of late about military recruiters except that, in the midst of a war in a faraway place, they still seem to be able to find enough courageous and patriotic young men and women to join up for the cause of freedom. When they talk to students, presumably those students, raised on television shows and movies about war, understand it involves combat and that combat involves killing the enemy and possibly being killed. The military does not want to recruit idiots.
Lastly, who except the letter-writer thinks it is "an immoral war"? Was it immoral to remove Saddam Hussein from power, along with his Baathist regime that had filled the sands of Iraq with mass graves, had prisons with rape rooms and torture chambers, gassed a city filled with Kurdish men, women, and children? Wasn't that immoral? Or was it moral to restore a nation to the thousands who came out to vote for the rule of law despite the threat of death?
And here at home, were the anti-war protesters clubbed, shackled, and hauled off to jail? No. They were asked to do their protesting across the street from the front of the school. Across the street!
This benign request that they do their protesting across the street was the direct result of the sacrifices of those who lie in graves in the Arlington National Cemetery, in a vast cemetery near Normandy Beach in France, and elsewhere here at home and around the world where the forces of evil wanted to deny the right to protest and blow out the flame of freedom.
Those graves are filled with men and women in the military. Some volunteered, as is the case with today's all-volunteer military, and some were called by the nation as conscripts. Either way, they summoned their courage, they examined their values, and they gave their last full measure of life to insure that those protesters could protest.
And these protesters still just don't get it. They think they can talk reason to people who kill the innocent, behead "unbelievers", blow themselves up in Jordanian wedding parties, in mosques, and in a school house in Beselan, Russia, to kill children. These protesters think they are doing something good when they tell our children there's nothing worth fighting or dying for.
Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center. © Alan Caruba, December 2005
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