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War in Iraq

A better question would be: When did we stop being better off?

I can point to a personal timeline when things started going South into the “not better off” category. In 2000, there was a lot of griping over the presidential election but that’s not when things started going bad. Although there was the contested election and all the bad press and everything, less than a year later, almost everybody in the country was glad there was a Republican in the White House to answer the assault to our nation and our sovereignty. Even with the economic situation on the stock market things weren’t all that terrible and once we geared up for an aggressive answer to our attackers things started getting better there, too. In spite of the ups and downs on the stock market, we weren’t any worse off than we were before 9/11 and in many ways were better off than when Clinton was in office. Lower taxes for one thing. Instead of paying out several thousand at tax time (on top of what was already paid in) we paid less than two thousand.

Eveyrthing was pretty even keeled until the 2004 elections although people were getting tired of the long war. Bush didn’t lie about that. He said it would be a long war. Unfortunately, the American people think long is like: next week instead of now.  

In October of 2004, just a month before the elections, here came the meme, “Bush Lied, People Died.” If he did, so did Clinton and every member of Congress who stood for the war in Iraq but we’re not supposed to remember that. Kerry was getting stomped during the campaigning in spite of women drooling over him. They had to do something and this something was the precursor to the nation not being better off.

With yet another contested election to face, the Democrats also said they don’t recognize Bush as president. They continued the mantra of “Bush Lied, People Died” yet in spite of all the calls to impeach both Bush and Cheney, that’s all the Democrats had because they were the minority in Congress. In 2005, they ramped up the rhetoric against Bush and threw Cheney in as well and along came Katrina which created the perfect storm against Bush and Cheney.  I have a personal story here so I’m going to sidetrack for a paragraph or so.

My mother-in-law was affected by Katrina. Her roof was badly damaged. She was at the time walking with the aid of a walker. She spents hours every day for many days trying to get aid to fix her house because she is on a very low fixed income. In fact, my husband and I, every Christmas, instead of getting her a present we paid her property taxes as our gift to her and her husband. After many days of this being told she wasn’t needy enough (not being from New Orleans) she gave up. I wrote the governor of her state and got no response. I wrote both the Senators in the state and got no response. (All of the previous were Democrats.) I wrote Vice President Cheney and within a week she had the help she desperately needed… in her hands. But the lie was” “Republicans don’t care” and the Democrats got a lot of mileage out of it straight into 2006. My father-in-law’s house in MS still isn’t fixed except what he has done out of his own pocket, but New Orleans is still the problem child isn’t it? It’s been a disaster waiting to happen since 1929 when the Mississippi was rerouted so people could build homes on a riverbed but, of course, it’s Bush’s fault, isn’t it?

We all took an economic hit from Katrina. Gas prices soared because of the damage to wells in the Gulf, which had the domino effect of prices for everything going up. Money was tighter and we were still in the long war so the “Bush Lied, People Died” mantra worked in this gloomy scenario aided by the disaster that was Katrina. This couldn’t be helped and by the time prices were at pre-Katrina levels, it was too late.

Another by-product of Katrina was a greater amount of illegal immigration as they saw an opportunity to make loads of money and came in droves to fill up labor and construction jobs on the Gulf. Illegal immigration has always been something of a problem, even more so after 9/11, but Katrina was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. We couldn’t absorb them into other jobs and the economic hit from having to deal with them on top of everything else just added to the Democrats’ gleeful meme of doom and gloom, although at the time the illegal aliens weren’t identified publicly as a big problem.  I know this because my husband, being in construction was discussing with his boss whether they would be sending anyone to the Gulf to help with clean up when suddenly they were all told, they weren’t needed because crews were coming from Mexico. They came to make some quick money, but then, they stayed.

As Congressional campaigns got rolling in 2006, while we’re still recovering from Katrina, the Democrats promised a more open Congress and taking care of the people while villifying the Republicans as the tax and spend crowd… of which the Republicans happened to be guilty and not just because of the war in Iraq. Earmarks were out of control and so was the country, although the stock market was rebounding and gaining beyond the pre-9/11 levels. We were still in pretty good shape in our personal finances, too, once everything started settling back to pre-Katrina levels, but the doom and gloom from the Democrats was starting to wear on people. On the day to day, nobody worried about gas prices, the cost of a gallon of milk, or whatever they needed from local deparmtent stores and so on, except for the very poor who have always worried about those things regardless of who is president at the time.

The Democrats win Congress with their memes and that’s the turning point towards South. In the early months we didn’t see a lot of difference except for the fight against wholesale amnesty for untold numbers of illegal aliens. But then, Al Gore won an Oscar for his Global Warming scam which has profited him and anyone in it the scam with him but no one else. States raised taxes and the only real legislation that Congress has done in the last almost two full years, now, is mandates for ethanol and a host of other environmental indignities that have done nothing but take money out of our pockets because the price of basic foods went through the roof at an enormous pace. In addition, global demand for oil has risen as China has entered the global economy as a major player. So, gas prices go up as ever slave to the law of supply and demand. While global warming mandates had already brought about a price increase in basic foodstuffs, also tied to the law of supply and demand, the increase in fuel prices made a bad situation worse. By the way, they still haven’t impeached Bush and Cheney and there’s a good reason why. It might make a good campaign slogan but there’s not much meat in it and that’s all they have. Impeachment hearings would bring out the fact that they all saw the same intelligence that Bush had and also the fact that 4 of the 5 components which Saddam was accused of possessing were found. Instead of wondering where the 5th component went to, it was more politically expedient to say Bush lied.

Oh, and gasoline isn’t the only thing that comes from a barrel of oil. Nor diesel. Something we take for granted every day comes from those barrels of oil: plastics. Everything we use on a daily basis has some plastic parts attached to it: home and cell phones, household appliances, computers, the knobs on your kitchen stove, and more. Some fabrics are made with nylon, a byproduct of oil as well. Vaseline is called petroleum jelly in its generic name… key word: petroleum. Some cosmetics are made using petroleum jelly as the base. And more. In short, there is no such creature as oil independence. There’s nothing to replace it in all its forms.

And Congress’ more open government? Well, since the Democratic majority, Congress has attempted to slip through all sorts of legislation without informing the public about what they’re doing and have subjected the other side of the aisle to indignities of all kinds, yet, complain about partisanship. Earmarks that were considered out of control before are now the norm. Between entitlements and earmarks we’re bankrupting the country and that’s a fact. And the Democrats promise more of the same. I read somewhere or heard somewhere that for every dollar put in for subsidized health care only 4 cents of it is actually spent on the health care. That’s something for you proponents of government universal healthcare to think about. It may be expensive now but the government is going to give you only 4% of what you pay in. You may well find entire paychecks swallowed into universal healthcare at which point many will wonder why they work at all.

So, our government has thrown us into the global warming scam which has trapped us financially and ramped up earmarks, besides. They have passed legislation to bail out banks and mortgage companies who made bad business decisions. Case in point, Bank of America, which decided sometime early last year they were going to extend credit to illegal aliens. Those illegal aliens don’t have the same obligations that ordinary citizens do and just walked away from those obligations and left the rest of us to foot the bill. But Congress has the answer!!! Bail them out and let one of the bailees write the legislation. Wh pays for that? We do along with every other insanity.

On top of that, my state has raised taxes. People think we pay only 8.25% sales tax and they’re wrong. That’s what we pay for food. Everything else is 9.25% and I mean everything. In addition to sales tax, we’ve had an increase in gas taxes, utility rates (including water service), and property tax went up 1% as well. Oh, I forgot, we also got hit with a wheel tax which by itself isn’t that bad but when added to the rest it becomes a financial nightmare. Part of those unemployment figures are government workers being laid off or let go because of budget crunches while the Governor spends $700,000,000 on an underground bunker/banquet hall.

Now factor in depressed wages also a byproduct of the cheap labor from illegal immigration and all the indignities the government imposes upon us, although it swears to care about us, here we are: not better off.

Remember, I did say this is my personal perception. Others may have similar thoughts on this while some will have a different take. So take it at face value that this is my experience, not yours. I’m sure I’ve left out several items that could be added to this dialogue but I thought it was getting too long. Feel free to have at it, for or against.

Update: One other thing I’d like to add that has added to economic woes. This Congress enacted a hike in minimum wage. While laudible on its face, it has caused no end of problems for job seekers as operation costs for small businesses just went up on all fronts. The only costs that are within their control are labor costs. That wouldn’t have anything to do with the unemployment rate right about now, would it?

Plenty although the MSM and some of the establishment would like to sell us on him.

I always appreciate NRO, even during the times I heartily disagree with them. And this piece is part of the reason why:

McCain Mirage

Senator John McCain’s ascendancy in the Republican presidential race has been truly remarkable. Yet, it’s no groundswell.

To this point, about two out of every three primary and caucus participants have voted against him. If the Democrats and independents some states permit to crash the Grand Old Party were factored out, his standing in the Republican base would be even less impressive. Still, you have to hand it to his admirers: They have parlayed his thin support into an aura of inevitability. The glow could intensify this week, when McCain is likely, finally, to rack up some more impressive numbers … in delegate-heavy blue states that rarely vote Republican when it counts, in November. (Full disclosure: I support Governor Mitt Romney.)

As it happens, the received wisdom about McCain’s suddenly broad support mirrors the regnant narrative about his chief qualification for the job: It’s a mirage.

Read the rest. It’s a fairly long article but well worth the read.

While I don’t support Romney(will vote for him in the general if he wins the nomination), I’d go further than this article and point out the porous southern border and how it leaves us open to threats that no one can track. It’s not just about illegal aliens coming here to “make a living”, it’s also about an entire country laid open to whomever decides to use that border for whatever purpose including the drugs and gangs that cross at will with the rest. How can any president be strong on national security while ignoring the possible threats from unknowns crossing into the U.S. at will? And when asked about that, he neatly sidesteps the issue except for saying he heard us, that we want the fence built, but then qualifies that with a statement saying he’d sign the McCain-Kennedy bill if it crossed his desk.

In short, no matter how you look at it, McCain is a mirage when viewed from all sides.

They will get worse. 

While the media is deciding who will be the next president, Russia is flexing its muscles in anticipation of a much weakened United States. China has already thrown its weight around and continues to do so. In addition, they court our enemies

In the meantime our politicians promise us the moon while they chip away the foundations of this country. The stock market is falling fast.

And the American people have been hung out to dry as the choices are no longer ours but at the discretion of the elites, which don’t include the rest of us. If matters continues the course upon which they are set even the worst I can imagine may pall in comparison to the actuality.

But cheer up. We can bury our noses in the boob tube and maybe we won’t even know what hit us until it’s far too late to worry about it. We’ll still have American Idol, Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears to talk about, right?

Oh, by the way, Heath Ledger is dead.

lobbyist, nor even an NRA official. The best speaker, hands down, was a young army NCO. Everyone I asked agreed with that assessment. I can’t express in words how amazingly his speech, his story, his utter love for this country moved me. [snip]

This young NCO, a man I won’t identify by name to a wide audience until I get his permission, [editor’s note: our hero’s name is Sgt. 1st Class Greg Stube, and you can read more about him here. Our thanks to Lucianne.com for pointing us to this article.]  told of his massive injuries while fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Trying to relay his story here seems futile. I can’t match in print the emotion of the man nor the way I felt about him even were I a better writer. I don’t think anyone could. But I will try and tell you a little about what he went through. [snip]

I doubt his message will breach the tin ears of the antiwar left. But his courage, his love of his family, country and freedom pushes me to write. I ask the antiwar left, and I urge others to ask, listen to the soldiers.
Right now, the overwhelming majority of them find value in their mission to fight terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq. I agree. If I ever get the sense from them, the genuine belief that they don’t support the mission I will be the first to stand up and say bring them home immediately. Until then can you on the left stop “supporting them” by insisting you know more than they do about the work they are doing?
If they tell us they are fighting al Qaeda can the MSM please stop writing articles about how they are not really fighting al Qaeda? Can Michael Ware please refrain from making hyperventilating statements like “the streets were rivers of blood” as he did a few days ago on CNN?  Can you at the New York Times and Time magazine just take a few moments to rethink the de-legitimization of our brave soldiers strategy your are employing when you call them uneducated, unemployable, untrained, too afraid to speak up against the president “cooking the book” stooges of George Bush?
I am not asking you to love the war. I am asking you to listen to a man who watched his guts leak from his body to protect that freedom of the press you use to attempt to dishonor him.

 

I agree with these sentiments. Follow the links inside the quote and listen, just listen to this young man. Using Media Player was a a little wacky but if you forward all the way to the end of the 6:10 clip it rebuffers and opens with the introduction for Sgt. 1st Class Stube. Read the full article from which the extensive quotes are taken. These are the people that people who support MoveOn.org love to hate.

Also read: Return on Success? Then think about this: Transcript: Ahmadinejad Interview, Part 1 then take a look here. When actions don’t match the words, it’s best to believe the actions rather than the words. Anybody can talk the talk in this day and age but can you walk it, too? Sgt. 1st Class Stube can and has, as have all our troops.

I’ve been thinking (sometimes a dangerous thing). With all the demoguogery aimed at the military and the almost sure Democratic victory in ’08, there’s a lot to ponder.

 During the Clinton years, the military was gutted, greatly defunded, and benefits taken away from retirees and some taken away from short timers, too.  Other changes that occurred over time since the end of the Cold War cannot all be attributed to Clinton’s years but a sum total of the complacency with which we viewed what we believed to be a relatively benign world. The advent of the personal computer and easy access to the internet brought cultures together from across the world. Some with whom we had formed lasting bonds became bitter enemies after 9/11/01 as former friends took sides in the coming conflict.

The biggest problem with the war on terror is there is no country to which one can point and say this is where the enemy is because the enemy is in every country, including our own. I do not say this to frighten anyone nor is it a statement of sensationalism. It is simply a fact of the state of the world.

Many of our leaders believe we should concentrate on Al Qaeda only when Al Qaeda is but one part of the terrorists’ community. There are other parts that, together make up the whole, including the now deceased former dictator of Iraq. Iraq is but one front in the war on terror, albeit a particularly onerous one.

If we do not win in Iraq, we lose the war on terror, plainly and simply. There are military reasons why Iraq is important in the war on terror. To list and explain those reasons fully are the subjects of books, not a blog post. I’m not sure I understand many of the reasons myself, but then, I’m not a military expert and don’t claim to be one.

The enemy we face today is not one that can be appeased by anything but total surrender; surrender to their authority and their religion. Nor can our enemies waiting in the wings such as N. Korea and considering currents events, Russia and China are trying to reconstitute the Cold War as  a prelude to armed conflict. Appeasement has been tried for decades with few long lasting results. Bargaining has been tried as well… with few long lasting results.

No one loves war but there are times when war is the only answer. We are in one of those times. After 9/11 it was said that the forces of radical Islam awoke the sleeping giant. We woke and saw the dangers all around us, not only from radical Islam but others who would like nothing better than to see America die to assuage their bitter envy and spite. Many of us are still asleep, sent back into a peaceful slumber by the lullaby: “If only we stop, they will stop” lulling you into ignoring the fact that we weren’t at war with Al Qaeda  when it committed it’s great attrocity on 9/11/01, while they take no responsibility and have no commitment to the oath they took upon accepting the office to which they were elected.

Of course they’ll stop but only long enough to regroup, rebuild, and plan new attrocities with which to attack us. For them, there is no end until they are completely victorious.

To hear our congressional leaders villify our military the way they have done for at least the last three years, the most recent of which are their attacks on General Petraeus,  nauseates me. I would hope it would nauseate anyone with an ounce of decency but I suppose many would say that’s too optimistic of me. To hear reports of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial defaced sickens me to my soul.

Placing our military under a cloud of hate for political gains is a double-edged sword.  I hope the anti-military/anti-war crowd are sliced royally from the edge upon which they sit. When next we are attacked by forces whose greatest wish is to destroy us, I wonder if there will be anyone to answer the call, considering the way their service to this nation is viewed. 

</end rant>

President Bush’s speech comparing the Iraq War not only with the Vietnam War but World War II and the Korean War sent ripples through the political landscape. Those ripples prompted one newspaper to dedicate a whole web page to a comparison of the Vietnam and Iraq Wars, much to the chagrin of the Democratic Party which has long looked at Vietnam as their exclusive territory for their anti-war policies. The page is a compilation of articles written over time and well worth spending an entire day reading. However, there is part of one I’d like to highlight here (emphases mine):

Timeline of Defeat

Here’s a pop quiz about Vietnam. When the 94th United States Congress finally pulled the plug on American support, how many of our GIs were still fighting in Vietnam? The question was posed to us the other evening by Secretary of State Kissinger, full of sagacity and wisdom 30 years after the events in question. We guessed somewhere on the order of 100,000, down from the more than half a million American military personnel who had been in Vietnam at the height of the fighting. But Mr. Kissinger had us.

It turns out that when the Congress pulled the plug on Vietnam, the number of our U.S. troops in Vietnam was zero. When, in the 1974 elections, the Democrats widened their majority in the Congress and then, in the spring of 1975, finally defied President Ford and ended support for the free Vietnamese government in the South, the number of GIs was something on the order of two or three dozen, mostly embassy guards.

This is something to think about as the Democrats maneuver against a war-time president over funding for our GIs and our ally in a free Iraq. It turns out that when one looks at the time-line of the betrayal of South Vietnam, one of the lessons is that, in the end, it was not about our GIs and the loss of American lives, great though that treasure was. Our GIs had long since been drawn down, as President Nixon fulfilled his campaign promise of Vietnamization of the war.

By the time the Congress forsook free Vietnam, there was no prospect of more American combat deaths at places like Hamburger Hill and the Ashau Valley. On October 26, two weeks before the 1972 election, Mr. Kissinger, then national security adviser, appeared at a press conference and gave his famous “peace is at hand” remark. Nor was it without reason. After our bombings of North Vietnam in December 1972, a cease-fire among all the parties to the war was signed shortly thereafter, in January of 1973. The last of our combat soldiers left in March of 1973.

On June 19, the Congress passed the Case-Church Amendment that forbade what Vietnamresearch.com, which issued one of the many timelines on the Web, called “any further U.S. military involvement in Southeast Asia, effective August 15, 1973.” The law led to an end to American bombing and the de-mining of North Vietnam’s harbors. The majority was veto proof, Vietnamresearch.com reminded us. It characterized the amendment as one that paved “the way for North Vietnam to wage yet another invasion of the South, this time without fear of U.S. bombing.”

In January 1974, according to a timeline at PBS.org, the North Vietnamese were then “still too weak to launch a full-scale offensive,” but had “rebuilt their divisions in the South” and “captured key areas.” Watergate was gathering, and on August 9, 1974, President Nixon resigned. At this point, there was only a doughty little government in South Vietnam that was standing alone against the combined might of the Soviet Union and the Communist Chinese. And it was prepared to fight on for another generation.

The Congress, however, wasn’t prepared to stake them, despite the fact that South Vietnam was our ally in the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization. In October 1974, the 93rd Congress voted to end foreign aid to Vietnam. President Ford vetoed the measure. Congress, after an election that expanded the Democratic majority by 48 seats in the House and five in the Senate, overrode the veto. In the Spring, the 94th Congress blocked military appropriations for the South Vietnamese. It was not about our GIs. They had long since gone. A country of 50 million individuals who had sided with America and yearned for freedom was cast into the dark night of communist tyranny.

Is it any wonder, then, that the terrorist we fight are praying for a Democratic victory in Washington? Is it any wonder they also invoke memories of Vietnam to demoralize American soldiers?

I’d like to revisit the president’s speech. Granted he gave us a great reminders of history and looking back into history to not repeat the same mistakes but he also said some things I believe is just as important for us to remember, as well as those Democrats who seek to order humanity to their liking:

The American military graveyards across Europe attest to the terrible human cost in the fight against Nazism. They also attest to the triumph of a continent that today is whole, free, and at peace. The advance of freedom in these lands should give us confidence that the hard work we are doing in the Middle East can have the same results we’ve seen in Asia and elsewhere — if we show the same perseverance and the same sense of purpose.

In a world where the terrorists are willing to act on their twisted beliefs with sickening acts of barbarism, we must put faith in the timeless truths about human nature that have made us free.

I highly recommend reading the compilation of articles at the NYSun.

I have to admit I’ve been rather furious for a few weeks now. More so than usual and it seems to be a constant state lately. Usually fury subsides after a short amount of time but before I can become unfurious, our government does something else equally stupid, equally dangerous, or equally treasonous to that which put me in that state in the first place, such as the recent vote on the SChip bill in the House of Representatives.

I often wonder how liberals would handle such fury if they should gain full control over the government and begin to institute policies according to their socialist agenda. The following article gives us a good idea of how they’d handle it.

Bush-haters endure tough week

By Larry Elder

I did it again — opened my mouth.

I drove behind a car carrying two guys. Their bumper sticker read, “War Is Not the Answer.” I knew better, but I pulled up next to them at a red light, rolled down my window, and said, “OK. If war is not the answer, what is?”

“Peace!” the driver angrily responded.

“Just curious,” I said, “do you think people in Tehran drive around with bumper stickers like that?”

“So you support the war?!” his passenger shouted.

Gee, I thought, what a sudden change of topics. All I wanted to know, if war is not the answer, then what is?

“Which war?” I said. “Iraq? Afghanistan? World War II? The Civil War? Can you be a little more specific?”

The passenger turned purple. “The war in Iraq! And where are the weapons of mass destruction?”

“Look,” I said, “I’ve got some bumper stickers in my trunk that say, ‘Beheading Is Not the Answer.’ Would you guys like a couple?”

“F—- off!” they said in unison. Their car roared off.

Ah, yet another example of the “return to civility” after the Democrats’ recapture of Congress. But my “antagonist’s” question about the weapons of mass destruction raises an interesting point. Suppose we actually located stockpiles of WMD, whether in Iraq or discovering Saddam shipped them out — possibly to Syria — before, during and after the invasion. Would the Bush anti-war critics support the Iraq war? Who knows? But a friend told me something that provides a clue.

Recall that for a brief period of time, our military did, in fact, locate WMD. The story almost immediately became discounted, as the “WMD” turned out to be old and worn, unlikely to pose any threat. My friend, an actor, told me that he and several other actors were on a set working together. One said, “F—-, they found the WMD!” Not, “Hey, I might have to reconsider my opposition to the war because our military found WMD.” Or, “I feel relieved about the war, the president was right.” Or, “The discovery of the WMD shows that we did, indeed, face the possibility of Saddam handing off the WMD to a terrorist or even using the stuff himself on America or American interests.” But, no. The near-unanimous reaction — my friend kept his mouth shut — was, “That bleeping Bush was right.”

Read the Full Article Here.

Nominally, the article is about Bush, his successes, and how the liberals responded to those successes. However, I tend to think there are huge problems on the left when they counter questions with verbal assault rather than answers. If they can’t rise to the challenge of such questions with ridiculing or otherwise verbally assaulting the questioner, what makes us think they will be able to guide this country in any fruitful way?

We have become an extremely polarized and furious nation.

Mr. Elder asked a question, “If war is not the answer, what is?”

According to those sporting the bumper sticker, the answer is, “F___ off.”

Okay, now, let’s go tell it to all those jihadists in the Middle East.

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