Category Archives: Honoring Their Service

Take A Moment to ‘Thank a Veteran’, Especially Today

eagle patriot 1There is no mystery behind the endurance and the success of American liberty. It is because in every generation, from the Revolutionary period to this very hour, brave Americans have stepped forward and served honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States. Every one of them deserves the thanks and the admiration of our entire country.

Military service demands a special kind of sacrifice. The places where you live and serve, the risk you face, the people you deal with every day — all of these are usually decided by someone else. For the time you spend in uniform, the interests of the nation must always come first. And those duties are shared by family members who make many sacrifices of their own, face separation during deployments and sometimes bear extreme and permanent loss.

Military service brings rewards as well. There is the pride of developing one’s character and becoming a leader, serving a cause far greater than any self interest and knowing that our nation’s cause is the hope of the world. Every man and woman who wears America’s uniform is part of a long, unbroken line of achievement and honor. No single military power in history has done greater good, shown greater courage, liberated more people, or upheld higher standards of decency and valor than the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

That is a legacy to be proud of, and those who contributed to it must never be taken for granted.

VP Cheney 2008

God’s Grace & Peace Be With All the Families & Troops of the Victims of the Ft Hood Massacre

OB-EV586_fortho_G_20091107173411

Photo by Getty Images

The fatal victims of the Ft. Hood shooting, as released by the Department of Defense on Saturday

Associated Press list of victims.

 

The True Keepers Of The “Flame of Liberty”

H/T Ed Morrisy via HotAir: Cheney’s speech is as good as it is long. He blasts Obama’s “dithering” on the war in Afghanistan and his abrupt betrayals of allies in eastern Europe:

As prepared for delivery
October 21, 2009

Thank you all very much. It’s a pleasure to be here, and especially to receive the Keeper of the Flame Award in the company of so many good friends.

I’m told that among those you’ve recognized before me was my friend Don Rumsfeld. I don’t mind that a bit. It fits something of a pattern. In a career that includes being chief of staff, congressman, and secretary of defense, I haven’t had much that Don didn’t get first. But truth be told, any award once conferred on Donald Rumsfeld carries extra luster, and I am very proud to see my name added to such a distinguished list.

To Frank Gaffney and all the supporters of Center for Security Policy, I thank you for this honor. And I thank you for the great energy and high intelligence you bring to as vital a cause as there is – the advance of freedom and the uncompromising defense of the United States.

Most anyone who is given responsibility in matters of national security quickly comes to appreciate the commitments and structures put in place by others who came before. You deploy a military force that was planned and funded by your predecessors. You inherit relationships with partners and obligations to allies that were first undertaken years and even generations earlier. With the authority you hold for a little while, you have great freedom of action. And whatever course you follow, the essential thing is always to keep commitments, and to leave no doubts about the credibility of your country’s word.

So among my other concerns about the drift of events under the present administration, I consider the abandonment of missile defense in Eastern Europe to be a strategic blunder and a breach of good faith.

It is certainly not a model of diplomacy when the leaders of Poland and the Czech Republic are informed of such a decision at the last minute in midnight phone calls. It took a long time and lot of political courage in those countries to arrange for our interceptor system in Poland and the radar system in the Czech Republic. Our Polish and Czech friends are entitled to wonder how strategic plans and promises years in the making could be dissolved, just like that – with apparently little, if any, consultation. Seventy years to the day after the Soviets invaded Poland, it was an odd way to mark the occasion.

You hardly have to go back to 1939 to understand why these countries desire – and thought they had – a close and trusting relationship with the United States. Only last year, the Russian Army moved into Georgia, under the orders of a man who regards the collapse of the Soviet Union as the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century. Anybody who has spent much time in that part of the world knows what Vladimir Putin is up to. And those who try placating him, by conceding ground and accommodating his wishes, will get nothing in return but more trouble.

What did the Obama Administration get from Russia for its abandonment of Poland and the Czech Republic, and for its famous “Reset” button? Another deeply flawed election and continued Russian opposition to sanctioning Iran for its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

In the short of it, President Obama’s cancellation of America’s agreements with the Polish and Czech governments was a serious blow to the hopes and aspirations of millions of Europeans. For twenty years, these peoples have done nothing but strive to move closer to us, and to gain the opportunities and security that America offered. These are faithful friends and NATO allies, and they deserve better. The impact of making two NATO allies walk the plank won’t be felt only in Europe. Our friends throughout the world are watching and wondering whether America will abandon them as well.

Big events turn on the credibility of the United States – doing what we said we would do, and always defending our fundamental security interests. In that category belong the ongoing missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the need to counter the nuclear ambitions of the current regime in Iran. Candidate Obama declared last year that he would be willing to sit down with Iran’s leader without preconditions. As President, he has committed America to an Iran strategy that seems to treat engagement as an objective rather than a tactic. Time and time again, he has outstretched his hand to the Islamic Republic’s authoritarian leaders, and all the while Iran has continued to provide lethal support to extremists and terrorists who are killing American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Islamic Republic continues to provide support to extremists in Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories. Meanwhile, the regime continues to spin centrifuges and test missiles. And these are just the activities we know about.

I have long been skeptical of engagement with the current regime in Tehran, but even Iran experts who previously advocated for engagement have changed their tune since the rigged elections this past June and the brutal suppression of Iran’s democratic protestors. The administration clearly missed an opportunity to stand with Iran’s democrats, whose popular protests represent the greatest challenge to the Islamic Republic since its founding in 1979. Instead, the President has been largely silent about the violent crackdown on Iran’s protestors, and has moved blindly forward to engage Iran’s authoritarian regime. Unless the Islamic Republic fears real consequences from the United States and the international community, it is hard to see how diplomacy will work.

Next door in Iraq, it is vitally important that President Obama, in his rush to withdraw troops, not undermine the progress we’ve made in recent years. Prime Minister Maliki met yesterday with President Obama, who began his press availability with an extended comment about Afghanistan. When he finally got around to talking about Iraq, he told the media that he reiterated to Maliki his intention to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq. Former President Bush’s bold decision to change strategy in Iraq and surge U.S. forces there set the stage for success in that country. Iraq has the potential to be a strong, democratic ally in the war on terrorism, and an example of economic and democratic reform in the heart of the Middle East. The Obama Administration has an obligation to protect this young democracy and build on the strategic success we have achieved in Iraq.

We should all be concerned as well with the direction of policy on Afghanistan. For quite a while, the cause of our military in that country went pretty much unquestioned, even on the left. The effort was routinely praised by way of contrast to Iraq, which many wrote off as a failure until the surge proved them wrong. Now suddenly – and despite our success in Iraq – we’re hearing a drumbeat of defeatism over Afghanistan. These criticisms carry the same air of hopelessness, they offer the same short-sighted arguments for walking away, and they should be summarily rejected for the same reasons of national security.

Having announced his Afghanistan strategy last March, President Obama now seems afraid to make a decision, and unable to provide his commander on the ground with the troops he needs to complete his mission.

President Obama has said he understands the stakes for America. When he announced his new strategy he couched the need to succeed in the starkest possible terms, saying, quote, “If the Afghan government falls to the Taliban – or allows al-Qaeda to go unchallenged – that country will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can.” End quote.

Five months later, in August of this year, speaking at the VFW, the President made a promise to America’s armed forces. “I will give you a clear mission,” he said, “defined goals, and the equipment and support you need to get the job done. That’s my commitment to you.”

It’s time for President Obama to make good on his promise. The White House must stop dithering while America’s armed forces are in danger.

Make no mistake, signals of indecision out of Washington hurt our allies and embolden our adversaries. Waffling, while our troops on the ground face an emboldened enemy, endangers them and hurts our cause.

Recently, President Obama’s advisors have decided that it’s easier to blame the Bush Administration than support our troops. This weekend they leveled a charge that cannot go unanswered. The President’s chief of staff claimed that the Bush Administration hadn’t asked any tough questions about Afghanistan, and he complained that the Obama Administration had to start from scratch to put together a strategy.

In the fall of 2008, fully aware of the need to meet new challenges being posed by the Taliban, we dug into every aspect of Afghanistan policy, assembling a team that repeatedly went into the country, reviewing options and recommendations, and briefing President-elect Obama’s team. They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt. The new strategy they embraced in March, with a focus on counterinsurgency and an increase in the numbers of troops, bears a striking resemblance to the strategy we passed to them. They made a decision – a good one, I think – and sent a commander into the field to implement it.

Now they seem to be pulling back and blaming others for their failure to implement the strategy they embraced. It’s time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity.

It’s worth recalling that we were engaged in Afghanistan in the 1980’s, supporting the Mujahadeen against the Soviets. That was a successful policy, but then we pretty much put Afghanistan out of our minds. While no one was watching, what followed was a civil war, the takeover by the Taliban, and the rise of bin Laden and al-Qaeda. All of that set in motion the events of 9/11. When we deployed forces eight years ago this month, it was to make sure Afghanistan would never again be a training ground for the killing of Americans. Saving untold thousands of lives is still the business at hand in this fight. And the success of our mission in Afghanistan is not only essential, it is entirely achievable with enough troops and enough political courage.

Then there’s the matter of how to handle the terrorists we capture in this ongoing war. Some of them know things that, if shared, can save a good many innocent lives. When we faced that problem in the days and years after 9/11, we made some basic decisions. We understood that organized terrorism is not just a law-enforcement issue, but a strategic threat to the United States.

At every turn, we understood as well that the safety of the country required collecting information known only to the worst of the terrorists. We had a lot of blind spots – and that’s an awful thing, especially in wartime. With many thousands of lives potentially in the balance, we didn’t think it made sense to let the terrorists answer questions in their own good time, if they answered them at all.

The intelligence professionals who got the answers we needed from terrorists had limited time, limited options, and careful legal guidance. They got the baddest actors we picked up to reveal things they really didn’t want to share. In the case of Khalid Sheik Muhammed, by the time it was over he was not was not only talking, he was practically conducting a seminar, complete with chalkboards and charts. It turned out he had a professorial side, and our guys didn’t mind at all if classes ran long. At some point, the mastermind of 9/11 became an expansive briefer on the operations and plans of al-Qaeda. It happened in the course of enhanced interrogations. All the evidence, and common sense as well, tells us why he started to talk.

The debate over intelligence gathering in the seven years after 9/11 involves much more than historical accuracy. What we’re really debating are the means and resolve to protect this country over the next few years, and long after that. Terrorists and their state sponsors must be held accountable, and America must remain on the offensive against them. We got it right after 9/11. And our government needs to keep getting it right, year after year, president after president, until the danger is finally overcome.

Our administration always faced its share of criticism, and from some quarters it was always intense. That was especially so in the later years of our term, when the dangers were as serious as ever, but the sense of general alarm after 9/11 was a fading memory. Part of our responsibility, as we saw it, was not to forget the terrible harm that had been done to America … and not to let 9/11 become the prelude to something much bigger and far worse.

Eight years into the effort, one thing we know is that the enemy has spent most of this time on the defensive – and every attempt to strike inside the United States has failed. So you would think that our successors would be going to the intelligence community saying, “How did you did you do it? What were the keys to preventing another attack over that period of time?”

Instead, they’ve chosen a different path entirely – giving in to the angry left, slandering people who did a hard job well, and demagoguing an issue more serious than any other they’ll face in these four years. No one knows just where that path will lead, but I can promise you this: There will always be plenty of us willing to stand up for the policies and the people that have kept this country safe.

On the political left, it will still be asserted that tough interrogations did no good, because this is an article of faith for them, and actual evidence is unwelcome and disregarded. President Obama himself has ruled these methods out, and when he last addressed the subject he filled the air with vague and useless platitudes. His preferred device is to suggest that we could have gotten the same information by other means. We’re invited to think so. But this ignores the hard, inconvenient truth that we did try other means and techniques to elicit information from Khalid Sheikh Muhammed and other al-Qaeda operatives, only turning to enhanced techniques when we failed to produce the actionable intelligence we knew they were withholding. In fact, our intelligence professionals, in urgent circumstances with the highest of stakes, obtained specific information, prevented specific attacks, and saved American lives.

In short, to call enhanced interrogation a program of torture is not only to disregard the program’s legal underpinnings and safeguards. Such accusations are a libel against dedicated professionals who acted honorably and well, in our country’s name and in our country’s cause. What’s more, to completely rule out enhanced interrogation in the future, in favor of half-measures, is unwise in the extreme. In the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground, and half-measures keep you half exposed.

For all that we’ve lost in this conflict, the United States has never lost its moral bearings – and least of all can that be said of our armed forces and intelligence personnel. They have done right, they have made our country safer, and a lot of Americans are alive today because of them.

Last January 20th, our successors in office were given the highest honors that the voters of this country can give any two citizens. Along with that, George W. Bush and I handed the new president and vice president both a record of success in the war on terror, and the policies to continue that record and ultimately prevail. We had been the decision makers, but those seven years, four months, and nine days without another 9/11 or worse, were a combined achievement: a credit to all who serve in the defense of America, including some of the finest people I’ve ever met.

What the present administration does with those policies is their call to make, and will become a measure of their own record. But I will tell you straight that I am not encouraged when intelligence officers who acted in the service of this country find themselves hounded with a zeal that should be reserved for America’s enemies. And it certainly is not a good sign when the Justice Department is set on a political mission to discredit, disbar, or otherwise persecute the very people who helped protect our nation in the years after 9/11.

There are policy differences, and then there are affronts that have to be answered every time without equivocation, and this is one of them. We cannot protect this country by putting politics over security, and turning the guns on our own guys.

We cannot hope to win a war by talking down our country and those who do its hardest work – the men and women of our military and intelligence services. They are, after all, the true keepers of the flame.

Thank you very much.

Narcissus-in-Chief Frozen Gazing At His Perfect Image In His Private Pool

We have thousands of battle-hardened, experienced veteran soldiers and their officers, who know far more about the Middle East…and counter-insurgency…We have a media mesmerized by Obama, that will withhold criticism of him in Afghanistan…it is hard to figure out why Obama can not make a simple decision to send troops requested by commanders on the ground.
 
Click to Continue Reading

Click to Continue Reading

“We Are Taking Our Country Back”

A 9~12 message from Glenn Beck

Patrick Henry’s Peaceful Dissent

Those who were once united by the “Spirit of ’76,” or the Revolutionary generation, were not necessarily united in supporting the Constitution in 1787-88. We need only look to the state ratification debates to see the diversity of opinions regarding the new plan of government among faithful and once-united patriots. Acceptance of the Constitution was anything but a foregone conclusion.

Virginia patriot Patrick Henry, famous for his “give me liberty or give me death” speech which prompted Virginia (and eventually her sister states) to join besieged Massachusetts in the cause of independence, was one such devout Anti-Federalists, or one who opposed the new Constitution. His voice was often heard (and feared by Federalists) during the Virginia ratification debates.

Patrick Henry’s objections were not unfounded. After fighting off a British superpower, he feared a large national government with no declaration of rights to limit its power. He warned that if Virginia ratified, “the Republic may be lost forever,” and subsequently demanded to know “what right had [the delegates at Philadelphia] to say, We, the People.”

As the Virginia convention drew near a final vote on ratification, Henry stood to deliver his most impassioned soliloquy against the Constitution. He condemned an affirmative vote by saying it would negatively impact not just the fledging United States, but countries and even generations yet unborn but nonetheless present in the convention hall with the delegates in ethereal form.

When I see beyond the horrison [sic.] that binds human eyes,” Henry began, “and look at the final consummation of all human things…I am led to believe that much of the account on one side or the other, will depend on what we now decide. Our own happiness alone is not affected by the event-All nations are interested in the determination. We have it in our power to secure the happiness of one half of the human race. Its adoption may involve the misery of the other hemispheres…”

Just as Henry finished his speech, a storm suddenly arose which combined with Henry’s rhetorical weaponry to have an eerie affect on his listeners. His final words were punctuated by thunder and lightning which “shook the whole building.”

Without calling for adjournment, the delegates—including such distinguished figures as George Washington, Governor Edmund Randolph, George Mason, James Monroe and James Madison—fled the convention hall. One listener explained why: “the spirits whom [Henry] had called, seemed to have come at his bidding.” Moreover, “[Henry] seemed to mix in the fight of his aetherial auxiliaries, and ‘rising on the wings of the tempest, to seize upon the artillery of Heaven, and direct its fiercest thunders against the heads of his adversaries.’”

Yet in spite of his vehement opposition, Patrick Henry demonstrated his commitment to the democratic process. Shortly after the Virginia Ratification Convention, he was approached by his Anti-Federalist colleagues to head a guerilla war against the ratified Constitution. Instead of continuing to oppose the Constitution outright, he declared “I will be a peaceable citizen.”

And he was. While Henry disagreed with some aspects of the new government, he also recognized that the Constitution left his head, hand, and heart free to advocate change “in a constitutional way.” He accepted the choice made by the American people and advocated for change within the system they had chosen. As a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, he ensured Virginia’s two U.S. Senators were Anti-Federalists, paving the way for the passage of the Bill of Rights.

ConSource logo

In Loving Memory of the Victims of 9-11

 Remembering Those We Lost

A horrible tragedy occured at 8:46 Tuesday Morning September 11, 2001. There were 4 planes hijacked by terrorists. A senseless act of cowardness.

American Airlines Flight 11, crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York. There were 92 people aboard, including 9 flight attendants and 2 pilots.

At 9:03 a.m., United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower, carrying 65 people, including 7 flight attendants and 2 pilots.

At 9:38 a.m., American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. There were 64 people aboard, including 4 flight attendants and 2 pilots.

At 10:10 a.m., United Airlines Flight 93 crashed Southeast of Pittsburgh carrying 45 people, including 5 flight attendants and 2 pilots. It is believed that flight 93 was headed for the White House when some of the passengers rushed the terrorists, causing them to miss their intended target and crash into a field in Pittsburgh. We thank those aboard flight 93 for such a courageous act of selflessness and bravery for saving the many lives that would have been destroyed at the White House.

May God Bless the victims, their families and the heroes who lost their lives in helping save the lives of others.

Obama to the Military: How Much is Your Life & Service to Country Really Worth?

In yet another attempt to cut spending and ration health care, Obama has resurrected the most Orwellian of all questionnaires that President Bush had abolished.

Beckwith is reporting this today:

Last year, bureaucrats at the VA’s National Center for Ethics in Health Care advocated a 52-page end-of-life planning document, “Your Life, Your Choices.”  It was first published in 1997 and later promoted as the VA’s preferred living will throughout its vast network of hospitals and nursing homes.  After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use.  Unfortunately, under Resident Obama, the VA has now resuscitated “Your Life, Your Choices.”

Who is the primary author of this workbook?  Dr. Robert Pearlman, chief of ethics evaluation for the center, a man who in 1996 advocated for physician-assisted suicide in Vacco v. Quill before the U.S. Supreme Court and is known for his support of health-care rationing.

“Your Life, Your Choices” presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions, much like a political “push poll.”  For example, a worksheet on page 21 lists various scenarios and asks users to then decide whether their own life would be “not worth living.”

The circumstances listed include ones common among the elderly and disabled: living in a nursing home, being in a wheelchair and not being able to “shake the blues.”  There is a section which provocatively asks, “Have you ever heard anyone say, ‘If I’m a vegetable, pull the plug’?”  There also are guilt-inducing scenarios such as “I can no longer contribute to my family’s well being,” “I am a severe financial burden on my family” and that the vet’s situation “causes severe emotional burden for my family.”

The document below was downloaded directly from the Veterans Administration, and the content suggests that both family finances and depression — a non-terminal illness — could constitute Lebensunwerte Leben, or “life unworthy of life.”  Smoke is generally indicative of fire and, although HR 3200 says nothing about mandatory end of life planning, euthanasia, or anything else similar to Germany’s Aktion T4 program — the euthanasia program that served as a precedent for the Holocaust — that there is indeed fire to go with the smoke.  “Your Life, Your Choices” is simply more evidence, and it even suggests that war veterans with depression consider themselves a burden on the society that sent them to war.

Here is a screenshot of Page 21 of “Your Life, Your Choices,” downloaded directly from the Veterans Administration.  As stated in the Wall Street Journal, this document was withdrawn when the Bush Administration saw content that could have come straight from Aktion T4, but Obama put it back into service.  Note that it invites our veterans to define even non-terminal conditions (such as being in a wheelchair or having depression), to which few if any living wills apply, as “Lebensunwertes Leben.”

WhatMakesLifeWorthLiving

The questionnaire goes on even further:

LebensunwertesLeben 

This is totally outrageous and must be addressed when meeting with yor elected officials, especially Herseth-Sandlin & Johnson since they tout how they are totally in support of our soldiers & veterans. I am having a hard time swallowing the possibility that they did not know about this as they both have worked closely with Obama since January.

This is disgusting and more importantly, it is Un-American and immoral! Our soldiers & veterans lives are ‘PRICELESS’. There is no amount of money that could ever re-pay them for their service to our country.

It is like they are purposely working to lower troop moral. “It’s time to stand up and shout:  ‘Stop This Madness'”

Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin        Senator  Tim Johnson        Senator John Thune

 

 

HUH, Calling an American an American Is Now Considered Un-American?

This is absolute madness and it must stop! It’s one thing to call the ‘War on Terrorism’ , ‘Overseas Contingency Operations’, BUT…

when they start banning us from using the term ‘American’ to describe American citizens in the United States of America they have crossed a line that will NOT be tolerated. This is race baiting at its absolute worst coming right out of the Obama administration.

This guy hates our great country and it is time to rise-up against this tyranny and take our country back!

Remember Darrell ‘Shifty’ Powers

Via “The Weekly Standard Blogroll“:

Darrell “Shifty” Powers, 1923-2009

 

“Rest in peace, Shifty.”

Immortalized in the pages of Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers and the subsequent mini-series, Powers jumped into Normandy with the 101st Airborne Division and fought through some of the grittiest battles of World War II. His nickname came from the basketball courts, his family says, not from running moonshine, as one of his battle buddies liked to joke.

He was buried quietly near his hometown in rural Virginia. He was 86 and had spent many of his last years visiting troops and faithfully attending reunions with his dwindling band of “Easy Company” brothers.

 

“Shifty died June 17 after fighting cancer.
There was no parade
No big event at Staples Center.
No wall-to-wall, back-to-back, 24-x-7 news coverage.
No weeping fans on television.
And that’s not right.”

Let’s give “Shifty” his own memorial service online. In our own quiet way. Please forward this e-mail to everyone you know. Especially to the veterans.