Why We Might Lose
J. D. Pendry
Long as I remember the rain been comin’ down.
Clouds of myst’ry pourin’ confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages, tryin’ to find the sun;
And I wonder, still I wonder, who’ll stop the rain. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Who’ll Stop The Rain
I never went to Vietnam. I lived through the period though and events of the past few weeks have returned the memories of it to me. Which might explain why I’m listening to CCR while writing this. I enlisted into the Army in 1971 just a few days shy of my 19th birthday. Enlisting wasn’t popular in those days. For people my age, it was more popular to wander the streets of Chicago with a peace symbol and beads around your neck protesting the war – even if you knew nothing about it. A friend of mine was going to enlist with me. After his girlfriend called me a murderer, he decided to stay home and be a hippie. There I was, labeled a murderer even before I raised my right hand to take the oath of enlistment. Our soldiers returning home from the war heard worse. That was popular American sentiment at the time. What’s interesting, is that the flower child, pot smoker who called me a murderer then is of the age (if she isn’t dead from a drug overdose) to influence what happens in America today and subsequently what happens in the world. She’s Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, Peter Jennings and most of the rest of the American media. These people compare my morality with that of someone who shouts God is great while sawing off the head of another human. Yet, they didn’t bat an eye at a million dead in Rwanda, mass graves in Iraq, chemical attacks on Kurdish villages, Saddam’s torture and rape rooms and partial birth abortions.
In the days that produced acid rock, daily news stories told us how bad the war in Vietnam was going complete with a daily casualty report (sound familiar) and the enemy body count. The media reduced the war to that. The North Vietnamese Army was defeated following Tet of 1968. Walter Cronkite, however, reported to America that it was an American defeat. America believed Uncle Walt – “the most trusted man in America” and lost what little will it had left to continue the fight against communist oppression. The result was many thousands more dead Vietnamese and Americans. You can also count the 2 million or so Cambodians murdered in the killing fields. No, it wasn’t just a movie.
An American President committed us to Vietnam to help a people who desired the same freedoms and liberties as we enjoy. His generation and prior generations of Americans believed it was America’s task to fight for freedom and liberty wherever it is threatened. They were not too far past defeating Japanese Imperialism and Nazi Germany to know what was in store if they didn’t confront the threat. They wanted to stop the killing fields before they happened.
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. – Inaugural Address, President John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961
President Kennedy’s focus was lost to rock stars flashing peace signs while promoting their latest war protest songs – the Michael Moores of the day. It was a peace, free love, pot smoking, burn your draft card, burn your bra kind of America. We put flowers in our hair, took some Purple Haze and hung out with Jimi Hendrix in his psychedelic Shangri-la. While Americans sacrificed a world away, we were naked and stoned at Woodstock
Do you suppose that we all come equipped with a reality switch in our head? When the switch is on, we’re able to recognize a threat to civilization and can manifest the courage and desire to confront and destroy it. When the switch is off, we see ourselves as the threat to civilization and that somehow it’s us that needs to change. We have too many with their switches in the off position or rusted shut. I’ve been reading that we are in a war between ideologies. One would think that means a war between the Islamic-nazis and the rest of civilization. Actually, the ideology war exists between those who would confront evil and those who would try to accommodate it. The latter war is the most dangerous for us.
For weeks now, the daily leading news story has been the Abu Ghraib prison fiasco. Something that happened months ago, was dealt with rapidly by the military and should now be old news. Right now, it’s the story that’s being used to further political agendas and shape American opinion. If you think it doesn’t work, look at the polls. An artillery shell containing four liters (one gallon) of Sarin Nerve Agent gets a ho-hum from the press. When a pin-prick sized droplet of this chemical agent can be lethal to a human, I consider a gallon of it as quite a bit. Somehow, I find it hard to believe that only one such shell exists. The beheading of an American was also the lead story for a millisecond and then it was back to Abu Ghraib. I’m afraid that the most dangerous weapon of mass destruction facing America is the American media.
I believe that the president's leadership and the actions taken in Iraq demonstrate an incompetence in terms of knowledge, judgment and experience. – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Whenever other politicians refer to our President as an incompetent liar, it’s broadcast worldwide. Whenever a politician proclaims that Saddam’s torture chambers have reopened under American management [Ted Kennedy], the world hears it. Our enemies hear it. The weekly trickle of prisoner abuse photos is broadcast worldwide also. Who would not want to continue the fight against torturers lead by an incompetent liar? Our media has video and images of Saddam Hussein’s torture. People being tossed from buildings, being beheaded, having their hands chopped off, but it’s like the Berg and Pearl beheadings, too “gruesome” for them to broadcast. Just for comparison, Saddam was an incompetent liar leading a band of torturers.
The [Media research Center] has been following "the bias problem" among broadcasters who use the abuse story to build a case against the war in Iraq and the Bush administration. As a sample, the group tracked abuse stories from April 29 through May 11 on NBC and found that the network aired 58 stories on the abuse in that period.
The MRC also found, however, that in the past year, NBC had aired only five stories on mass graves found in Iraq from the Saddam Hussein era. – The Washington Times http://www.washtimes.com/national/20040520-115221-2362r.htm
The only way that we can overcome media bias and the politicians kept in power by it is to vote them out, overwhelmingly, on Election Day. Otherwise…
hear hurricanes a blowing.
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin. – CCR, Bad Moon Rising
On June 6, 1944, we established the Normandy beachhead, which was the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany. Iraq, except for the naïve, is our beachhead against terror. We are fortunate to have leaders now with the same focus as President Kennedy. We have to keep that focus and continue to pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.