MEMORIAL DAY ANGST
May 27, 2007
“Wherever I go, everyone is a little bit safer because I am there. Wherever I am, anyone in need has a friend. Whenever I return home, everyone is happy I am there.” --Dr. Robert Humphrey & Jack Hoban
Presidential politics is a blood sport. However, when the partisan rabble engages in their blood sport, they don’t put their own blood at jeopardy but the blood of our armed forces.
A chronic pet peeve of mine has always been the perpetual spitting match between partisan foes intent on destroying political opponents. This fault transcends party to a basic ‘us’ against ‘them’ battle. However, when our national security is compromised by the sophomoric feud, ‘someone’ needs to tell the players to ‘knock it off’.
As a young second lieutenant at Fort Benning in the early '70s, I remember driving on post in the early evening. A cannon would announce the striking of the colors and everyone on post would stop. Cars would stop and drivers would get out, face toward Infantry Hall and (if in uniform) salute until the music faded. Kids would stop playing baseball and stand quietly with their hands on their hearts until the flag was lowered, and then life would resume.
Those brief daily moments of respect, courtesy and honor were routine but very special. I often wonder if those same simple but important things happen today. I hope so.
One of my favorite songs, ‘In America’ by Charlie Daniels, has a line in which he sings, “And we’ll all stick together…and you can take that to the bank…yeah the cowboys, and the hippies, and the rebels and the yanks.”
It is rare that we ever actually see that phenomenon. We lived it (for a short period) in the wake of 9/11. The cowboys, and the hippies, and the rebels and the yanks…and even liberals and conservatives, democrats and republicans…DID come together…and that was a good thing. Sadly, it didn’t last.
The vitriolic partisan rancor we now endure is a bad thing…and potentially critical.
When you get beyond all the spin b.s., (the ‘us’ good/’them’ bad stuff) there remains facts that should override what passes for political discourse today.
The war on terror (that the libs want to deny) is being called the "Third Great Jihad" by the Islamist Jihadists. War critics and our mainstream media are complicit in accommodating the bad guys, and it is WAY counterintuitive.
If you have a rabid animal in your back yard you do not send your children out to play with it. You do not feed it treats. And you don’t try to ‘make nice.’ The rabid animal is a real and imminent threat to you and your family. The only two options you have are to run away and hide…or KILL IT!
The enemy understands (better than this political crop of candidates) that IF they can manipulate the media to bludgeon the American homeland, there is a distinct possibility the American people will compel the administration to leave. Hey, it worked in Vietnam and it worked in Somalia.
Asymmetric warfare is really quite common. Sometimes it works…and sometimes it doesn’t. James Dunnigan noted “asymmetric warfare is all about taking advantage of the status quo…” and basically hoping the other guys (us) don’t get hip in time.
It is right and just for parties to challenge each other on contradictory principles, direction, and policy. It is flat WRONG to exploit partisan advantage when it threatens national security and endangers our military.
I have written about Memorial Day several times:
The Code of Conduct states: "I am an American fighting man. I serve in the forces that guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in its defense." The troops deserve better than they get.
The sacrifice of our uniformed service is not form over substance but rather substance to support form. Duty, Honor and Country are not just words to those who have served.
Please take a moment to at least acknowledge and remember that better men and women than us have bought us the luxury of freedom and liberty with their blood and sacrificed their futures for future generations. It is right and just that we acknowledge that.
Tell any veteran you might encounter, "Thanks for your service." If you should have the opportunity to engage a campaigning pol, tell them. “Get your head in the game.”
© 2007 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved
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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's
A chronic pet peeve of mine has always been the perpetual spitting match between partisan foes intent on destroying political opponents.