Over at Pundit Review on a post about their producing the Military.com's Editor's Desk Podcast this week, there's a commenter claiming that questioning one's patriotism is just a way to silence debate.
It could easily be argued that removing the patriotism question from the table is really the way to silence debate. Six months ago, I wrote the following about military blogs and our role in this war (and, yes, I do question the patriotism of the New York Times when they MANIPULATE words to fit their own template rather than tell the truth) - read on:
...The US Military will NOT lose this war. We can lose only if the country loses it's will to fight. And the media plays a very large role in the will of our country.
I wasn't able to say everything that I wanted to say "On the Story". I think that I was asked two questions, and it went by quickly. I did say that while Iraqi school openings weren't exactly newsworthy, the heroism of our Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines IS NEWSWORTHY.
I believe that I didn't get much of a response. I had a long list that I didn't have time to present - starting with Rick Rescorla, then Jason Dunham, Zach Wobler, Kenneth Conde, Hoby Bradfield...You can read more about military people that you should know here and more about our fallen heroes here.
Until the media stops celebrating it's own celebrity and starts focusing on people that are real heroes, we stand to lose. When Sean Penn's words matter more than Corporal Jeff Starr's, we stand to lose. And when the media does pay attention to the words of a Jeff Starr, they select only the words that serve their own agenda. What other conclusion is there other than much of the media wants us to lose the will to fight the war...
Many times, I believe that the left wing elements (certain media and political orgs, etc.) of this country would have us lose. There are those within the Democratic party that do not want us to lose, and there are Democrats that I do admire. Not many, but they are there. But I believe many of the left elements would throw our soldiers under the bus in order to win elections (as evidenced by the recently pulled commercial produced by the DCCC). They are running the game with the John Kerry Winter Soldier Playbook. The big difference between now and then is that active duty and veteran military folks have the same tools as the media...and then there is all of you, too.
The left should face the facts - we are still in Kosovo, South Korea, Germany, Japan, and if they believe that we will be completely out of Iraq anytime within the next decade, they are kidding their selves. If I were a Democrat, there would be plenty of political hay to be made in supporting the troops and winning the war and caring for the troops upon their return - being pro-victory. But they don't do that.
Por ejemplo, here's how Democrats treated the Fourth of July and a War Hero in California in 2004. Unfortunately, it's a true story:
Democrats Block Independence Day Celebration
by Assemblyman John Campbell
In each of the 4 years that I have been a member of the state Assembly, we have had many "celebrations" on the Assembly floor. These "celebrations" are orchestrated by the Democrats who control the House and often involve singing and dancing. Every one of my 4 years have seen substantial celebrations of Cinco de Mayo (Commemorates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla), St. Patrick's Day (for the patron Saint of Ireland) and Chinese New Year's Day, among others. But never once have we celebrated America's Independence Day, the 4th of July.
So, this year, Republican Assemblyman Jay LaSuer of San Diego arranged for Vietnam war hero Admiral Jeremiah Denton to come to California to be a part of a 4th of July ceremony. As you may know, Admiral Denton was a Navy pilot in Vietnam who was shot down and spent 8 years in a Vietnamese prison. In 1966 while in prison, he was interviewed by North Vietnamese television in Hanoi after torture to get him to "respond properly." During this interview, he blinked his eyes in Morse code to spell out the word "torture." He was asked about his support for the war in Vietnam to which he replied "I don't know what is happening now in Vietnam, because the only news sources I have are Vietnamese. But whatever the position of my government is, I believe in it, I support it, and I will support it as long as I live." Four of his 8 years in prison were spent in solitary confinement. He later wrote the book When Hell was in Session, chronicling his experience in Vietnam.
When he stepped off the plane after being released from prison in 1973, he said "We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country in difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our Commander-in-Chief for this day. God bless America." He was later elected to the U.S. Senate from his home state of Alabama, becoming the first retired Admiral ever elected to that body. I could go on and on about his accomplishments.
Suffice it to say, Jeremiah Denton is unquestionably an American hero.
The Democratic leadership refused to allow him on the Assembly floor and there will be no 4th of July celebration. A memo from the Democratic speaker's office said "problems have arisen both with regards to the spirit, content and participation of various individuals with regard to the ceremony." Apparently, they said that he did not believe in the "separation of church and state" and they didn't like the policies he supported as a United States Senator and therefore they would not allow him to be on the Assembly floor or to speak.
Upon hearing about this, Governor Schwarzenegger offered his meeting room last Monday for a ceremony with Admiral Denton. The room was overflowing with people. Only one elected Democrat was in attendance. A number of veterans of the last 4 wars were present. Admiral Denton gave a very moving speech about the 4th of July and about the undeniable commitment of our founding fathers' to their faith in God. He talked about how the war on terrorism may be the most difficult war we have yet fought. And he went on to say that he fears that partisan attacks on our mission and our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan sound too familiar to what he experienced in Vietnam. Following his speech, The Governor came out to personally spend time with him.
Then this American hero, whose debt from us all can never be repaid, flew home to Alabama.
The Assembly did meet on that day. And we did have a ceremony that lasted nearly 20 minutes. That ceremony was to celebrate the career of a reporter from the L.A. Times on the occasion of his retirement. Democrats universally praised him as being "balanced." He was allowed to speak for about 10 minutes. Admiral Denton was no longer in the building.
Four years of Cinco De Mayo and not one recognition of the 4th of July. An L.A. Times reporter praised, and the very person whose sacrifice allows him to express his opinion is banned. It is perverse. It is wrong. And it is disrespectful to all the men and women in uniform who have stared death in the face and to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the American people.
Admiral Jeremiah Denton is a hero not because he was politician, but like all the other men and women of the Armed Forces, because he defended the ideals set forth with America's independence.
Democrats are always railing about intolerance and discrimination. But yet in practice, it is they who engage in regular state-sanctioned discrimination and who are intolerant of the presentation of other views. Maybe they are worried that people will listen.
I do not send you this to bash Democrats. I send you this to demonstrate the huge chasm that exists between registered, voting Democrats, and elected Democrat leadership. I hope those of you who are not Democrats, will send this to your friends who are. If you are a Democrat, don't be ashamed. Be angry. Change your party and your leadership, or leave it.
Fortunately, we do not need the approval of the Speaker of the Assembly to celebrate our nation's independence this Sunday. Nor do we need his permission to thank those who fought to give us and to maintain our freedoms. On this 4th of July, as the burgers cook and the fireworks fly, let us remember......and give thanks.
As a final offering, I give you a poem that Admiral Denton read to us this week, through eyes clouded with tears:
It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier,
Who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag."
Amen. God bless America.
The Bottom-Line: No one would rather see our two parties work together towards victory than me. But as long as the extreme left elements control the Democratic party and influence a lot of the media, chances of that happening are remote...to say the least.
Until they are pro-victory, it's not much of a stretch to say that they are not patriotic.