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LarryNaselli.com
Friday, June 18, 2004
Dem talking points are a poor substitute for facts

The Media echo-chamber resounds with reports that the 9/11 Commission has refuted Bush Administration claims of an Iraq - 9/11 link; this despite the fact that the Public Record objectively shows that neither President Bush, nor any member of his administration, has ever made such a claim. One is therefore left to wonder whether the American News Media is disingenuous, or merely incompetent.

George W. Bush, like his predecessor Bill Clinton, has rightly linked Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda and to other terrorists, such as Abu Nidal, al-Zarqawi and Hezbollah; but over the past two years President Bush has repeatedly said that the U.S. has no intelligence tying Iraq to the 9/11 attacks. Among all the news reporting about the 9/11 Commission's report there is not a single quote from the President or any Executive Branch official claiming Iraqi involvement in 9/11, because no such quote exists.

Iraqi involvement in 9/11 was never part of the Bush Administration's case for regime change in Iraq (remember how Liberals wrung their hands about our "unprecedented" pre-emptive war?) President Bush was very clear that the war was necessary to prevent Saddam from providing WMD's to terrorists.

The idea of an Iraq - 9/11 connection - like the "imminent threat" mantra -- began as and remains a red herring, fabricated by Bush's domestic political opponents. I suppose we might expect as much from a Party embittered by the rejection of the electorate; but professional journalists ought to report facts, not the fevered talking points of political partisans.

Posted by larry_naselli at 11:09 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, June 21, 2004 5:29 PM CDT
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Of Stem Cells and Prisoners

It is strikingly incongruous that Liberals demand the destruction of embryonic human children, in hopes of extracting a cure for Alzheimer's Disease, yet they can't stomach the thought of a few Jihadists being roughed up, in hopes of extracting vital military intelligence in the War on Terrorism.



Posted by larry_naselli at 11:07 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, June 21, 2004 5:24 PM CDT
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Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Troy could spark outbreak of "Tony Manero Syndrome"

If the Motion Picture Academy has an award for Best Missed Opportunity, Troy is surely the frontrunner to win it. As an entertainment experience Troy was worth the $15.00 I paid for my wife and I to see it; but, given such an epic subject, the producers fell woefully short of the potential to make a great film.

Visually and technically this is a fairly engaging film, but it suffers from terminal bad-casting in the lead role. I'm told by my more pop-culturally informed co-workers that Brad Pitt, who plays Achilles, is a big time box office draw for females, but I don't think I've seen a more annoying actor on screen since - well, since Pee-Wee Herman. Perhaps this was the Director's intent, but as the movie proceeded, I sensed a growing anticipation of the happy moment at which Achilles would finally be put out of my misery. It's a bad sign for any serious movie if members of the audience are rooting for the hero's death.

While I can't imagine that any tears were shed in theaters over the death of Brad Pitt's Achilles, it is entirely likely that this movie will produce another outbreak of "Tony Manero Syndrome." In the late 1970's when the movie Saturday Night Fever became a cultural phenomenon, millions of young males tried to emulate John Travolta's disco-dancing character, Tony Manero. Why was that a problem? Because the character, Tony Manero, was - by the movie's own terms - a total jerk. If Brad Pitt is indeed the "chick magnet" that my co-workers assure me he is, we may be facing a deluge of young males embracing the pouting, whining, self-centeredness, lawlessness and capricious violence of Troy's Achilles -- as if we were suffering from a shortage of total jerks - and we may even see young men shaving all their bodily hair from the shoulders downward. Yes, Troy has the potential to strike a worse blow to responsible masculinity than Saturday Night Fever ever did - and that's saying something.

My best hope for Troy is that it will earn enough money at the box office to finance a high-quality production of Homer's Odessey, starring Sean Bean, who is thoroughly likeable as the persuasive and almost-earnest intermediary between King Agememnon and Achilles. He may be getting a little old for the kind of acrobatic battle sequences that Brad Pitt's Achilles performs, but at least Bean would have a positive influence on the manliness of the young males in the audience, and I wouldn't find myself missing John Wayne as desperately as I did while watching Brad Pitt's juvenile strutting in Troy.


Posted by larry_naselli at 4:24 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2004 11:25 AM CDT
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Justice For Bonzo

"Bedtime for Bonzo" is routinely used as a byword to indicate a humiliating chapter in Ronald Reagan's cinematic career. It's an unfair rap. "Bonzo" may not be "Gone With The Wind," but it's a fun movie, well produced, and ten times better than most of the product Hollywood currently vomits on the movie-going public. My kids love "Bedtime for Bonzo," and I don't have to stand by with the Pause button ready to edit out foul language. In fact, the only thing I have to worry about is my teenaged daughters swooning over a heart-stoppingly handsome Ronald Reagan.

Posted by larry_naselli at 11:47 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 11:50 AM CDT
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Monday, June 14, 2004
Platform Changes Show Democrat Sincerity [PARODY]

On Saturday, John Kerry called for expanded acquisition of stem-cells from human embryos, as a means to advance research for a cure of Alzheimer's Disease. Some cynics have accused Kerry and the Democrats of exploiting Nancy Reagan's grief and loss to drive a wedge between the Bush Administration, which favors research only on existing stem-cell lines, and the millions of Americans mourning the death of the former President, who may sympathize with Mrs. Reagan's support for more stem-cell research. But, proving partisan critics wrong, Democrats have demonstrated the sincerity of their call to honor Nancy Reagan and the memory of President Ronald Reagan by obtaining from Mrs. Reagan a list of policy prescriptions on a broad range of issues, which Democrats plan to adopt into their 2004 Party Platform.

According to DNC Chairman, Terry MacAuliff, the Democrat Party has so far embraced deep across-the-board cuts in marginal income tax rates, eliminating the corporate income tax, a military buildup, including increased funding for missile defense, the elimination of the Departments of Education and Energy, and an aggressive foreign and military policy aimed at bringing America's mortal enemies to their knees.

There is, however, still minor disagreement among Party Leaders about the best way to explain to core Democrat constituencies the planned adoption of a Platform Plank condemning abortion as the immoral killing of unborn human beings. "Sure there are still a few wrinkles to iron out," said MacAuliff, "but the Democrat Party is committed to honoring Mrs. Reagan and the memory of former President Reagan, and we are certainly not about to restrict that honor to issues that could serve as a political wedge against our esteemed opposition."

MacAuliff went on to explain to reporters that Democrats want the American People to know that Kerry's conjuring of Mrs. Reagan on behalf of stem-cell policy was not an act of transparent political opportunism, as some critics have charged. "John Kerry is as sincere as the day is long," MacAuliff said, "when it comes to honoring the Reagans. And we're not going to stand by while the Republican Attack Machine trashes our candidate." The Republican Attack Machine could not be reached for comment.

Posted by larry_naselli at 10:10 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 10:22 AM CDT
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Reagan as victim is laughably bad casting

Seeing that everyone else was paying tribute to Ronald Reagan, John Kerry used the Democrats' weekly radio address to get in on the action. Predictably, Kerry got it exactly wrong.

Always alert for a political opportunity, Democrats have seized upon the grieving Nancy Reagan's support for stem cell research as the way to leverage President Reagan's death into a political advantage. The Media has dutifully lent a hand, by mis-reporting the Bush Administration policy as "anti-stem cell research," and by assuming a childlike credulity toward the fantastic assertion that such research is a short-cut to a cure for Alzheimer's Disease.

In his remarks, Kerry appealed (putatively on behalf of Mrs. Reagan, the memory of a beloved President, and that unassailable argument-ender "Science") for government authorized harvesting of new stem cells from human children whose life is ended during the embryonic stage, in order to perform research that will, according to Kerry, save millions of people from suffering Alzheimer's Disease, as Ronald Reagan did.

But creating a market for traffic in human parts -- no matter who may benefit thereby -- is no way to honor Ronald Reagan, whose entire moral perspective was opposed to sacrificing unborn children to our conveniences. In his book, "Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation," President Reagan inveighed against just such "a social ethic where some human lives are valued and others are not."

Moreover, it is telling that Kerry's Liberalism is so systematic that he views even Ronald Reagan as a victim. But Reagan's entire life, including his brave sunset struggle with Alzheimer's, belies the premise of victimhood. Whether rising above a childhood in the home of an alchoholic father, or bringing down the Berlin Wall, Reagan's was a life characterized by the overcoming of obstacles. When the former President learned of his affliction with Alzheimer's Disease, he bore it with consummate grace and optimism, believing that everything happens for a purpose, and that God would use this circumstance for good. Reagan took the occasion of his 1994 farewell to the Public to encourage Americans about their bright future, and express his gratitude for their having given him the opportunity to serve them. Evidently, Reagan hadn't gotten the word that he was a victim.

Sorry Monsieur Kerry, but Ronald Reagan as Victim is laughably implausible casting. Nevertheless, John Kerry's cluelessness about the meaning of Ronald Reagan's life and Presidency should come as no surprise. Elitists who pride themselves on their nuanced views have never grasped The Gipper's simple and true understanding of right and wrong, good and evil. Living in a moral fog that never afflicted Ronald Reagan, nuanced elitists like John Kerry bask in the applause of other nuanced elitists, while simple and noble men like Ronald Reagan inspire nations, tear down walls, defeat evil empires and make the World better by what they give, not by what they strip from the corpses of the helpless.

Yes, when it comes to misunderstanding America and great Americans, John Kerry has something akin to perfect pitch: as with his attempt to cast Ronald Reagan as a victim, Kerry is almost infallible at getting it wrong.

Posted by larry_naselli at 9:12 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, June 14, 2004 3:49 PM CDT
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Friday, June 11, 2004
Shining City? You ain't seen nothin' yet

Ronald Reagan frequently spoke of America as "a shining city on a hill," but when it comes to shining cities, as great as America is, Ronald Reagan hadn't seen anything yet, now he has.

In the presence of the Lord there is fulness of joy

Posted by larry_naselli at 3:12 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, June 14, 2004 1:38 PM CDT
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Wednesday, June 9, 2004
Why I love him so much

Over the past few days I've tried to place my finger on why I love this man, Ronald Reagan, so much. My children have grown up with Ronald Reagan as a regular guest at our dinner table - not in person, of course, but in the recounting of his words and deeds. I guess that I quote Ronald Reagan second only to the Bible.

But my affection for Ronald Reagan goes beyond his historic accomplishments of reviving the American economy and vanquishing the Soviet Evil Empire. President Reagan made me feel excited about being an American, and he let me know that it was OK to express my love of Country.

I was eighteen years old when I first heard Ronald Reagan, the politician, and I was just forming firm ideas about many things in the wide World. Ronald Reagan taught me what kind of country America is: a country with a special mission from God, to bear high the torch of freedom; a country whose people would do the things others considered impossible; and a country whose best days lie ahead.

God bless America, and God bless Ronald Reagan - his best days also lie ahead.

Posted by larry_naselli at 11:13 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 9, 2004 3:46 PM CDT
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Monday, June 7, 2004
The World That Reagan Shaped

Do we live today in a World shaped by Ronald Reagan's leadership? At this hour, my eldest son is with the U.S. Army in Poland, participating in joint military exercises with the Polish and Russian Armies.

Posted by larry_naselli at 12:04 PM CDT
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Once in a Century

In the context of Ronald Reagan's passing I did think about Bill Clinton -- by way of contrast, that is. Clinton once said, with his trademark modesty, "a President like me only comes around about once a century." I'm sure I wasn't the only American who, upon learning this, sent up a prayer of gratitude for The Almighty's parsimony. And I'm sure that many more Americans, like me, thank God for His generosity in sending America a leader like Ronald Reagan in a century that most desperately needed him.

Posted by larry_naselli at 12:03 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2004 5:17 PM CDT
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God Used Him To Change My Life

I finished my dinner and climbed into my 1974 Buick LaSabre, to drive to an evening ensemble rehearsal. The DePaul University Music Campus was a five minute walk from the cafeteria, or a three minute drive for the indolent or the overburdened with books and musical instruments. I usually fell into one of the two driving categories, and that night it was fortuitous that I did. On the car radio a man was speaking, addressing what sounded to be an enthusiastic crowd. What he was saying captured my interest so much that I spent the next thirty to forty minutes parked in the Music Campus Student Lot, with the key turned to accessory, listening to the radio, and missed my class.

I had tuned in after the introduction, so I didn't know who was speaking; what I did know was that this man was talking about public policy, and making more sense than anybody I had ever heard. When he finished, a radio announcer cut into the applause of the audience, to say that the speaker was Ronald Reagan, announcing that he would seek the Republican nomination for President. The year was 1979. I was 18 years old. I was astonished. All I knew about Ronald Reagan up to that point was that I used watch him on TV hosting Death Valley Days, and that he was "a right-wing war monger." I decided that I had better learn about the real man. From that day, I began devouring any information I could find about Ronald Reagan, and the more I learned, the more I liked him. I was proud to cast my first vote in a Presidential Election for Ronald Reagan.

Reagan's faith in the goodness of America and in the power of human liberty, spawned policies that changed America and changed the World, in ways that few believed possible when he ran for President with a vision of reviving the stagnant U.S. economy by cutting taxes and reducing regulation, and rolling back the Soviet evil empire by building up our military and confronting the Soviet threat in Europe and Communist expansion around the world. Reagan's fabulous success in both of these goals has earned him a place among America's greatest Presidents, and made him one of my personal heroes (our third son, Isaac Reagan Naselli, is named in honor of President Reagan); but there is another special way in which this great man affected my life, and I'd like to tell you about it.

As I sought out information about Ronald Reagan, beginning in 1979, one thing that surprised me was his faith in God. As a thoroughly secular young man myself, I had no hostility to religion, but I didn't think it much mattered in real life either. Reagan, a man whose character and leadership I was coming to admire, confessed a constant dependence on God, and specifically a personal faith in Jesus Christ, and this made a deep impression on me. If a great leader like Ronald Reagan took God seriously, perhaps I wasn't quite as wise as I thought I was to ignore Him.

I began asking questions about God of everybody I knew, and I found that although many of my friends and acquaintances attended church, none of them had a personal relationship with God. Instead, help came to me from the most unlikely quarter, the Liberal Media. Through Reagan's first year as President I found the Network TV News broadcasts so revoltingly biased against the President that I went searching elsewhere for news and information. This was before Rush Limbaugh, before the rise of cable news networks, and before Al Gore invented the Internet. On my brother's recommendation I tuned in CBN (The Christian Broadcasting Network) News on The 700 Club, and found high quality news programming without the supercilious Liberal bias of the major Networks.

Along with CBN's News broadcasts, I soon found myself getting interested in the testimonies of people who claimed that their lives had been changed by an encounter with God. I began staying tuned after the news to hear these stories, and the message of salvation from sin through Jesus Christ. During those same years, 1981-1983, I watched President Reagan stand like a rock against the tides of political pressure that assailed him over the Air Traffic Controllers' strike, the deployment of intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Western Europe, and his income-tax rate cuts. Reagan's steadfastness against the kind of pressure calculated to make politicians fold, made me concede that there must be a special power at work in his life. Knowing that he confessed faith in Christ helped me to open my theretofore closed mind to my own need for Jesus. In September of 1983 I gave my life to Christ and received forgiveness of sins and a new life in Him. That transformation is, without rival, the best thing that ever happened to me, and has shaped the whole course of my life since then.

While Ronald Reagan was saving America from malaise and Stagflation, and saving the World from Soviet Communism, God was also using Reagan's simple testimony of faith in Christ to change the life of an obscure young man, and by extension, the lives of my wife and children, and generations to come in our family (God only knows how many others could tell a similar tale). So, my deepest appreciation goes to a great man, for his heroic leadership of a great nation, and for his unashamed testimony that turned my attention to Jesus Christ and helped change my life for eternity. I look forward to shaking Ronald Reagan's hand in heaven one day, and telling him "thanks" in person.

I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone who believes. Romans 1:16

Posted by larry_naselli at 8:23 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, July 1, 2005 12:06 PM CDT
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Friday, June 4, 2004
Campbell Hits The Bullseye

Colorado Senator, Ben Campbell's Denver Post Guest Commentary (see link below) is not a fabulous piece of writing, but it is a great distillation of the moment of truth in which America now finds itself.

John Kerry called the Iraq War a moment of truth, and he was right -- for all the wrong reasons. This moment of truth is not about whether the United States will kiss ass at the United Nations Security Council, as Kerry would have it, but about whether Americans will realize that our nation is at war, and unite accordingly. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Unfortunately, the Democrat Party Leadership has made -- what is the phrase? -- "a quality decision" to divide America over the War on Terrorism, because Democrats are out of power, and the Party Leadership will pay any price, bear any burden, to get that power back.

In a way, George W. Bush probably brought this division upon us 1) by his "new tone" trust of the Democrats' brief pretensions to be with him in the WOT, and 2) by denying the Dems their signature election year bludgeons of Education, Healthcare and Social Security. After all, the only real way to get Liberal Democrats to go in for national unity is to let them win.


Read Sen. Campbell's Guest Commentary at http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E158%257E2190738,00.html

Posted by larry_naselli at 8:09 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, June 14, 2004 1:39 PM CDT
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Tuesday, June 1, 2004
The Final Mostaccioli

Like a sword of Damocles above a crimson lake,
the final mostaccioli dangles high above my plate;
though hardly superstitious, still I'm tempted to believe
that this doughy delectation has some mischief up its sleeve.

So tenuously skewered on my fork, that noodle writhes,
unwilling, like his fellows, to be swallowed up alive.
I might have seen it coming, had I been on the alert,
and parried this assault by putting on a darker shirt.

But that reluctant pasta has escaped my forked grasp;
I watch it (like slow-motion) plummet toward a saucy splash.
There isn't time to dodge it, nor to move aside the platter
as, to my horror, marinara on my shirt is splattered.

I ought to know by now to take appropriate precaution;
aware it's hopeless such a stain will come out in the washin',
O' how many speckled garments will it take to demonstrate
that the final mostaccioli's better left upon my plate?



Copyright 2004 by Larry Naselli, All rights reserved.

Posted by larry_naselli at 6:01 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, June 28, 2004 5:02 PM CDT
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Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Mr. Excitement

I was languishing in the Atlanta Airport last Friday, waiting for the storms in Chicago to abate sufficiently to permit our plane to take off, when the following remark distinguished itself to my ears, amid the continuous droning of CNN on the waiting room television: "If Kerry decides not to make his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention, it could rob what little excitement is left to political Conventions these days..." I couldn't help but laugh aloud at the idea that anybody's excitement would be diminished by John Kerry not making a speech.

Posted by larry_naselli at 11:41 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 11:50 AM CDT
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Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Why was this waste made?

Why was this waste made of costly perfume?
The smell of such squandering's filling the room.
It could have been sold to help out the poor,
but now its just making a mess on the floor.

So say the blind guides and ambitious men,
presuming to speak for the One Who has said,
"it is a good work to pour out your best,
to sit at My feet, to lie on My breast."

For those who most love me, most gladly obey,
and bear an abundance of fruit on the way.
Remember your first love -- your heart's been misplaced
if you think spending time loving Me is a waste.

Why was this waste made? To pour out a heart
too much overflowing to want to depart
from worshiping Jesus in fervent embrace,
without a concern for the time or the place.



Copyright 2004 by Larry Naselli

Posted by larry_naselli at 8:54 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 12, 2004 8:32 AM CDT
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Wednesday, May 5, 2004
Honor and Context

Last week ABC's Nightline spent an entire program showing photos of American military personnel who have died in Iraq. It was an exercise that did nothing to honor those Americans, because it lacked reference to the true context of their sacrifice.

Perhaps Nightline could devote an entire program to showing photos, and reading the names of every U.S. city in which there has not been a terrorist attack since President Bush made the decision to take the war to the terrorists turf, rather than continue the Clinton policy of making a token response, then waiting around for the next attack.

Thanks to this change of strategy, our military has been destroying the terrorist threat at its source, and many brave American warriors have given their lives in that effort. The State Departmet recently released statistics recommending the value of those sacrifices: the number of terror attacks against Americans is at a historic low; moreover, no attack by terrorist networks has reached U.S. soil, since our armed forces took the fight to the enemy following September 11, 2001.

Interestingly, it vexes Ted Koppel that Americans are not disrupted in their daily lives by the War on Terror, so Koppel has appointed himself Designated Disrupter, and displayed the faces of America's war dead, as if they were victims, rather than the heroes whose courage and devotion have allowed most Americans to continue living in peace and safety.

On the night of 9/11/01, who would have guessed that two and one-half years later life would be normal in the United States? But, unharmed American cities, and the American people going about life as usual are the images that give proper meaning to the casualties of this war. Those who have died gave the last full measure of devotion to protecting the liberty of their countrymen, and the right way to honor them is for those of us who still walk in that liberty which their blood has vouchsafed, to rededicate ourselves to finishing the noble task for which these men and women gave their all.

Posted by larry_naselli at 9:07 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, May 7, 2004 10:06 AM CDT
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Tuesday, May 4, 2004
Supporting the Troops

If you are one of those Americans who believe the war in Iraq and subsequent occupation are immoral or criminal acts, but you still claim to support our troops, I have a question for you: do you support the troops who abused Iraqi POW's? To be consistent, there is no reason you should not support those troops, unless you differentiate that the rest of our troops deserve our support because they are only following orders.

In a way, it would be refreshing to hear you say so, since you would then be admitting that the abuse of POW's is an anomoly and a violation of American policy, rather than the norm. On the other hand, that answer places you in the unenviable position of having to defend the Nazi guards at Auschwitz, on the same basis of "only following orders" - not merely defend those guards, mind you, but assent to the proposition that all German Citizens owed them their support.

For those of us who believe in the goodness of America's mission in Iraq, supporting the troops is simple. I wholeheartedly support the activities of our troops in Iraq, and by extension I support the troops themselves. I do not support the activities of those troops who participated in violations of their code of arms, therefore I do not support those troops themselves. By contrast, the anti-war crowd has staked out a tough position to defend. They claim to support our troops, while opposing the activities of our troops; therefore anti-war Americans, who claim to support our troops generally, have no grounds on which to not support those troops who abused Iraqi POW's.

The fact is that those who do not support the activities of the troops do not support the troops themselves, and indeed insult all those who serve honorably. The only reason the anti-war crowd insists that they do support our troops is that they know it is politically damaging to say otherwise. To accomodate the political needs of anti-war partisans then, the word "support" has been emptied of meaning, so that those who denigrate the mission of our troops can claim that they "support the troops." They are hoping nobody notices how ridiculous that claim is.



Posted by larry_naselli at 1:41 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, May 6, 2004 7:17 AM CDT
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Monday, May 3, 2004
New Democrat Strategy: Win One For The Griper

One year ago President Bush announced the "end of major combat operations" in Iraq, and congratulated our Military for toppling Saddam Hussein in a remarkably short time. As he spoke to the crew of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, a banner behind the President declared "Mission Accomplished." That banner, which congratulated our troops on the liberation of Iraq from the grip of an evil dictator, has now become the focal point for criticisms of President Bush's war leadership.

In their weekly radio address Saturday, the Democrats trotted out an American veteran, returned from duty in Iraq, Army National Guard 1st Lt. Paul Rieckhoff, who passionately complained about the lack of foresight by the President and his war advisers; about their putative inflexibility in the face of changing or unexpected circumstances; about the lack of international support for our efforts in Iraq, and about the disappointments of soldiers who expected to go home, then were ordered to remain in Iraq.

This speech, delivered by a military man who was there, is the most compelling attack the Democrats have brought against President Bush so far. Most of the Democrats' criticisms of Bush's war leadership are a big hit with the anti-war Left, which now defines the mainstream of a Democrat Party that is steadily losing market-share, but to the majority of Americans those attacks on the Commander in Chief and on our mission in Iraq have a repulsive anti-American ring, and convey a sickening glee over American setbacks.

Finally, some bright consultant at the DNC recognized the problem, and sagaciously determined to paint a military face on Democrat criticisms of the President's handling of the War on Terror. Leftist anti-war radicalism, after all, may win friends and influence people in the Media and Hollywood, and it may be a necessary rite of passage to the Democrat Presidential nomination, but it is a ticket to oblivion in a general election. So, the Democrats have a new message: "the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was a tolerably positive event, but Bush is handling it all wrong - and Democrats would handle it right." This approach is as clever as it is disingenuous; and yesterday's radio address was illustrative of both.

On behalf of the Democrats, Rieckhoff complained of soldiers' hardships in the War on Terror. Democrats are frustrated that the Bush policy has placed the weight of the hardships of war upon our Armed Forces, and not upon the American People generally. Why does this frustrate Democrats? The White House, Senate and House of Representatives all are controlled by Republicans. The Democrats are out of power, and need a political upheaval in order to regain power. A war that causes widespread suffering at home is the kind of war that can deliver such political upheaval, and restore Democrats to power. President Bush has declined to give Democrats such a war.

Instead, the central feature of the Bush strategy in the War on Terror is that America has taken the fight to the enemy's turf. Therefore, American casualties and other hardships are concentrated among those who have volunteered to face danger and hardship in the defense of our Country. The Left's attempts to market the American fighting man as a victim just haven't played, even in this Oprah-fied age. America's warriors are just too tough and too noble for the victim image to take root.

Notwithstanding, amidst our proud and devoted military men, there have always been, and always will be Gripers. They are, thankfully, the exception that proves the rule, but Gripers invariably erode troop morale at the margin, so leaders with victory in mind are careful not to indulge them. The novelty of Saturday's Democrat radio address is that a major political party chose to give a microphone to a Griper, in a time of war: when morale matters most.

Even coming from an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, the complaint, that the U.S. is "going it alone," and we need a greater "international presence," sounded like the Left's favorite broken record (although this record got precious little airplay when President Clinton led NATO to war, against the will of the U.N. Security Council). The simple fact is that not every nation agrees with America's objectives, therefore some nations will disagree with our policy. It may come as a surprise to Messr. Kerry & Co., but some nations want the United States to fail; therefore, the only sure way to gain the support of those nations is to adopt policies that are bound to fail.

As to the President imperfectly foreseeing the future, neither Presidents nor anyone else has the benefit of knowing the future when it is time to make decisions. The President's critics have the luxury of hindsight, but we should recall just how poorly those same critics have done at predicting the future themselves, before we grant them credence. The anti-war Left told us that our troops would be unable to cope with the battlefield conditions in Iraq, that our troops would be bogged down in the desert with inoperative equipment, that an assault on Baghdad would entail weeks or months of house-to-house fighting, and that the fabled "Arab Street" would erupt with violence in their indignation over a U.S. invasion of Iraq. Ah, but the beauty of being a Liberal is that when you are dead wrong about something, you simply ignore what you've said and shamelessly move on to the next complaint.

That George W. Bush and his team have made mistakes or failed to adapt to this or that tactical development is a given. Even the most successful wars are full of mistakes. What matters is that Bush's strategy is right, and his determination to win is right; and what we are asked to believe, on the other hand, is that John Kerry, the Democrats, and the U.N. will not only pursue the right strategy - a proposition that defies the official policy pronouncements of all the above - but that Kerry, the Dems and the U.N. will do a better job than Bush of executing that strategy. That's a tough sell, and with good reason. The American People may not be happy with the current difficulties in Iraq, but they instinctively recognize that the above proposition is preposterous.

This November, Americans will not be electing a fortune-teller, they will be electing a leader. Not someone who knows the future, but someone who will assess the past and the present, someone who has a clear vision for America's role in the World, and someone who is not afraid to act on his conclusions - with or without the smiles of the French and the United Nations. George W. Bush is just such a leader, but the Democrats have so far failed to put forward anyone who fits that bill, which leaves them with little to offer besides nitpicking and second-guessing. The fact that the Democrats have found an Iraq war veteran to do the complaining for them may gull the credulous, but offers no practical solutions to America's security.

Posted by larry_naselli at 9:47 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, May 6, 2004 7:20 AM CDT
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Thursday, April 29, 2004
Last Gasps

If the seething hatred and crazed outbursts of hostility in Fallujah, Najif & Karbala are evidence of a last gasp by Jihadi fanatics, who see their prospects of wielding power about to be snuffed out for good, then how shall we explain the seething hatred and crazed outbursts of hostility by Kennedy, Kerry, Gore, Lautenberg, Kerrey, BenVeniste, Begala, Couric et al?

Posted by larry_naselli at 9:51 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, April 29, 2004 10:00 AM CDT
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004
UN Priorities and US Presidents

The one theme on which John Kerry is utterly consistent is in recommending that the path to a successful conclusion of the Iraq War lies in putting the United Nations in charge.

Kerry evidently forgets that it was deference to the U.N. that stopped the 1991 Persian Gulf War with Saddam Hussein still in power, and the compromise-oriented U.N. that has left us with a half century-old battle line on the Korean Peninsula.

Besides this record of ineptitude, the United Nations is simply not motivated by America's national interest. The fact that John Kerry is comfortable with making the U.N.'s priorities the guiding light of American policy makes Kerry unfit to lead America to victory in the War on Terrorism.

Posted by larry_naselli at 5:49 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 5:53 PM CDT
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