While listening to the Senate debate Iraq last week, I found myself wondering what would have been if these senators were as serious about success in Iraq as they are about discrediting George Bush and the current administration's handling of the war.
My wonderment came to a crescendo when the senior senator from California, Barbara Boxer, took the floor and proceeded to remind the Senate of our defeat in Vietnam and the subsequent toll it took on the soldiers who served in Southeast Asia. How the largest portions of homeless in America are Vietnam vets. Barbara â€“ get a clue. You and other libs engineered the defeat in Vietnam.
I found myself thinking about the men returning from battles past and how World War II veterans were heralded as heroes. The country embraced each one with gratefulness and a sense of indebtedness for what they accomplished in defeating the Nazis and securing surrender from the country that attacked Pearl Harbor. Soldiers observed a Congress and a country 100 percent united behind them and the commander in chief in his pursuit of victory.
This group of men came home after experiencing the horrors of war and went on to build a country with hard work, sacrifice and sweat into the greatest nation in the history of the world. They were bestowed the moniker the "greatest generation" for their achievements both at home and abroad.
Yet just 30 short years later, a group of men came home from Vietnam and, according to Boxer, have become men who, in many cases, are crushed, homeless and without direction â€“ many men who live on the streets of America eating out of garbage cans. How can two groups of men be so radically different after experiencing the horrors of war?
I am not an expert on human behavior, but I offer the following possibilities for such a visible difference between the two groups of returning soldiers. And, equally, how these same observations may just affect troops serving in Iraq today. It could be that â€¦
-World War II soldiers didn't have spoiled-brat hippies calling them baby killers and referring to the men at home who protected their communities as "pigs" (policemen).
-World War II soldiers didn't have politicians in air-conditioned offices, being treated like royalty, debating whether or not to cut off funds while fighting the enemy.
-World War II soldiers didn't have former vice presidents claiming the current president lied to get us into the war, betrayed the American people and played on our fears.
-World War II soldiers didn't have voices calling the war, "Roosevelt's war."
-World War II soldiers had people supporting the president and not exposing weaknesses such as not being able to walk. Soldiers didn't hear senators and congressmen use terms like "dumb, arrogant, stubborn and liar" when referring to their commander in chief.
-World War II soldiers didn't have fellow soldiers like Jack Murtha using the word "murderers" when talking about the troops. (I still haven't heard Murtha apologize.)
-World War II soldiers didn't hear the Senate majority leader state publicly, "We have lost the war. It is time for our troops to come home."
Shall I go on?
Liberal democrats opposed the war during Vietnam. They made sure we lost in Vietnam and hundreds of thousands died as a result. Liberals brought back a group of men who fought the enemy, did their job and then were told they were not only unappreciated for it but were hated. Vets were spit upon by hippies and liberals who claimed they brought the troops home because they "supported" them in doing so. Funny way liberals have of offering thankfulness.
Returning troops from Iraq are experiencing very different treatment than our Vietnam vets received. I was on a plane, which erupted in applause when it was announced returning soldiers from Iraq were on board. At a NBA playoff game, the crowd gave a standing ovation for the soldiers who were in the crowd. Iraqi veterans are reporting random acts of kindness from a grateful nation. Things like car repairs, a check paid anonymously at a restaurant and even a free beer or two at the local bar. However, that may soon change if the liberal Democrats who claim they support the troops don't give the troops the support they need to come home winners and not losers. Defeat should not be an option.
Is there a doubt in anyone's mind that our military can win in the field? It will only be a question if we lose this war in the velvet-lined halls of Congress. I can't imagine what our troops go through when the voices of liberals like Cindy Sheehan call the president a worse terrorist than Osama bin Laden, Harry Reid claiming we have lost the war while troops are still on the ground, Pelosi acting like a rockstar in countries that support efforts to kill our troops or Kennedy, Biden and the others who continue to elevate presidential bashing to an art form in order to regain power in D.C.
Is there any war worth fighting in the minds of Democrats? We were attacked on Sept. 11. This isn't theory anymore. We may be attacked again. Will liberals in the media and Congress then take the threat seriously enough to stop undermining everything the president and the troops do?
Make no mistake about it. If liberal Democrats are left unchecked, we will lose in Iraq and Afghanistan. Politics is spreading its virus of defeat to Republicans as well. Al-Qaida will use a U.S. retreat as another victory that "Allah" has divinely provided to faithful jihadists. It will be trumpeted that the "soldiers of Allah" first fought and beat the Russians when the mujahedeen sent them home in shame from Afghanistan, and now the Americans have been sent packing as well. At that point, there will be no stopping radical Islamic terrorists from recruiting, training and preparing the next batch of terrorists to fight another day. Except this time it may well be here in America or another western nation.
So, I just wonder what would happen in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran if tomorrow the world saw a nation, in one accord, deal with the threat of radical Islam and each member of Congress, each member of the press, each citizen of the U.S. became resolute like we were in World War II to draw a line in the sand and to say this is the time, Iraq and Afghanistan is the place and we will achieve total defeat of radical Islamic terrorism.
Look back at two previous wars, and you will find the answer. I just hope and pray the lust for power and the hatred of the left toward President Bush doesn't cost us again. I hope we ultimately do not allow Iraq vets to go through what hippies and peaceniks put Vietnam vets through. We owe each veteran of Vietnam a huge apology. They could have returned home heroes. Instead a group in America deemed it fit to see them as zeroes. We are still paying the price today.
This time, the stakes are equal to that of World War II. Japan attacked America. We fought back with our eye on winning. Today Japan is a great ally of the west. We fought Germany and brought freedom to Europe. Today Europe and the U.S. live together in peace. Radical Islam attacked us; we must fight back. Supporting freedom ultimately paves the road to peace; just ask Japan or Germany. We, as a nation, must understand the value of victory in this war against terrorism. It is more than a bumper sticker. To lose could send the Middle East into total darkness led by radicals who will rule by the edge of the sword, demanding total submission to their warped religious dogma. If we truly support our troops, we will allow them to do their job and come home victorious. We owe it to the 3,500 who gave their lives.
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