As Anna Nicole is buried today, and Leno makes jokes about JetBlue or rats at KFC… it is important to remember what is really important in our world today: Our way of life is threatened by a worldwide Islamic extremist movement.
Too many of us these days are too willing to wish that 9/11 never happened…. or to invent the reasons and facts about why and how it happened. We want the world to be the way it was on September 10, 2001. But that world was a false one since the War on America had already been declared by Islamic radicals over two decades earlier. Our people and our government just didn’t face the facts until the Towers fell.
So in our understandable effort to go back to the days we perceived as “simpler” or “safer”… I’d like to remind all of us that “The Price of Freedom is High.”
Last week, as Congress postured over President Bush’s plan to increase troop strength in Iraq, I asked an Army sergeant who I ran into about his views on the issue. His answer was simple and straight to the point: The price of freedom is high.
The sergeant, home from his second tour in Iraq, said, “There is a price to freedom, sir, and I have seen it paid. Americans have forgotten what brought us to this place.”
What “brought us to this place” was not a rush to judgment nor a president who lied. It was, plain and simple, terror brought to our doorstep. It was the intelligence estimates of Russia, France, Great Britain, Israel, Germany and the Clinton administration that decided Saddam Hussein was a growing threat.
To be sure, the situation in Iraq is difficult and, without a doubt, mistakes have been made in the strategy and execution of this war. But mistakes in war planning should not make Americans lose sight of the overall strategic goal in the global war on terror; just ask that Army sergeant.
While congressional leaders push each other out of the way to get to cameras, that action has an unintended effect: Their constituents are swayed by this lack of support. Worse, insurgents in Iraq and terrorists in Afghanistan hang on every word. Every comment about withdrawal emboldens our enemy, especially when it comes from those in high places. Every congressional call for withdrawal is gleefully greeted by the bomb-makers fueling the insurgency. Al-Qaeda is emboldened by the words of those wanting to turn this struggle of our generation into a squabble for political advantage.
As our leaders bicker, Rome burns. America cannot take its eye off our most important goal: killing those radicals who want to kill us. The world is a dangerous place, and unless our enemies are destroyed, the world reserved for our children and grand- children may become annihilated. The stakes are that high. Americans must redouble their efforts in Iraq, no matter the adversity.
The Army sergeant, those who volunteered to wear the uniform with him, our children and our future as the land of the free depend on our ability to rise to a challenge as our fathers did before us and confront the evil of our time.
So as you watch an untalented, drugged up plastic person being buried on live TV today…. I thought it was important to remember what the real stakes in our REAL WORLD are all about.