Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"Patriot" games

Wow. No sooner had I penned and set to editor my column, last week, than the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times released their exposés of our nation’s defense system against terrorists. Interestingly, one supposed defense of this action is “First Amendment” freedom of the press. They can tell any secrets they want -- no matter how sensitive, no matter that people’s lives depend upon this secrecy -- whenever they want, but back when there was a possibility that somebody in the government (one who probably had authorization to release classified information), actually might have casually mentioned (not by name, mind you) Joe Wilson’s wife -- gasp! somebody was “leaking” classified information about a non-spy in a non-secret job doing non-dangerous things that would get nobody killed! String the leaker and all his cohorts up!

And on this more recent divulgence, the editor of the NY Times came out and informed the public that we were too stupid to understand that our own interests did not include national defense. Our interests are whatever Bill Keller and the New York Times reportorial and editorial staff tell us they are. To hell with elections, we have a king William, once more!

Alongside Keller’s hubris, we suddenly have the stereotypical rantings of a leftist loon (or is it all that suddenly?) coming from the mouth of John Murtha, as he intones, “The American presence in Iraq is a greater threat to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran.” This is the same “hawk” whose demand that we withdraw from Somalia emboldened al Qaeda in the first place, under the Clinton administration. Recently Murtha has declared marines guilty of “cold-blooded murder” in Haditha, has declared there is “absolutely a cover-up”, even before an investigation was half-finished (which, I may add, more recently seems to indicate the innocence of said marines). So much for his “supporting the troops”. The first time anybody says “boo”, he wants them to come home, and if somebody blames them for something, even before the evidence is in, he has them convicted and is ready to hang them himself. He has such pride in his nation, he thinks the Constitution doesn’t apply to our volunteer citizen soldiers. He has such pride in his nation he thinks we’re the worst menace on the planet, bar none. This is the man who fancies himself the next leader of the party. And the funny thing is, many members of the left and the press seem to think his ascension would be a good thing.

So, we have a man who would be king running the presses, a nutcase of the first order in Congress, and then we MoveOn to those who actually call themselves entertainers. Let’s try the Dixie Chicks (oh, no, not them again!). Yeah, you remember them. They’re the Texas Bluegrass girls who, while having some musical talent, decided in the shadows of 9/11 to insult Toby Keith for having written and performed a pro-American number dedicated to his dearly departed army dad. The Chicks said he and anybody who bought into that “patriotic stuff” had to be idiots. This led to bigger things, which led to Natalie Maines standing on foreign soil and insulting our president and a large swath of our population, then slurring their own bluegrass fan base, which led to folks driving over the Chicks’ disks. So, some years later, cooler heads might have had a chance to prevail, but apparently nobody told the Chicks. They came out once again insulting their original fan base, as well as alienating anybody else who had even a lick of pride in country, with Maines saying, in foreign press, again, (Britain’s Guardian) “The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism. Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country... I don't see why people care about patriotism.”

Some senator the left side of the aisle brought up the question about four and a half years ago: “How dare you question our patriotism?”

I think the evidence speaks for itself. And just in time for Independence Day, too.

For the rest of you genuine patriots out there, please celebrate with caution, and have a great 4th of July!

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