Since returning from Iraq, I have endeavored to speak publicly about my experiences and the war on terror every time I’ve been asked.
I made a commitment to myself (and my fellow Marines) that I would make sure their stories got told, that their good work would not go unnoticed, and that I would do my part in denying a repeat of history from Vietnam. I vowed that I would do all I could to prevent the loss of another war at the hands of those who lack the resolve necessary to win anything other than a match of cruise missile bingo.
I’ve kept that promise, except on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day when the requests were too numerous and I simply couldn’t be everywhere I was asked.
Each time I’ve prepared a speech, it seemed as if the events of the preceding week and days not only helped shape the content and character of the speech, but also reaffirmed the validity of my message.
Last week was no different.
I wrote a speech on the evening of Wednesday, August 9th to give at a local Rotary Club the next day. I spoke to the fact the threat from Islamic Jihadists was not only real, but was ongoing, and would continue into the future. I spoke to the idea that Al Qaeda and other Islamic terror groups were right in their assumptions about certain segments of the U.S. population putting politics and partisanship ahead of national security. That the terrorists were right in strategizing these Americans would obstruct the war effort against them. That the Jihadists could therefore count on these Americans to foment anti-war sentiment and try to persuade others to surrender from the fight, allowing Islamofascists both short and eventually long-term victories.
I woke the next morning; the day of the speech, the 10th, to the news of the thwarted plot by Islamic terrorist’s who had intended to blow up airliners on the way to the U.S. from the U.K.
Once again, the reality of the Islamic Jihadists’ intent to harm America and her citizens was reaffirmed. Once again, the events of the day confirmed the validity of the prepared message.
And they did so, not because I have some sort of crystal ball or am tapped into the intelligence community. The events of the day reaffirmed the message of the speech because of the simple fact the threat is truly ongoing and persistent. The odds of saying that Islamic extremists are intent on hurting us and having them take action accordingly are pretty good.
But that didn’t surprise me as much as the liberal politicians and constituents validating the primary position of my speech; that of the terrorists being able to count on them to put politics and partisanship ahead of national security.
Before I gave my speech at noon, the comments were already starting about why the plot in and of itself was President Bush’s fault. How he had pushed the suspected terrorists into taking extreme action. The fringe left was already underway with their assumptions that the whole thing was concocted by Bush and Blair to give them a political boost, no threat or plot actually existed.
The rhetoric has continued, trying desperately to connect this plot to their list of reasons why we should surrender in Iraq; this being done by the same people who insist that the war in Iraq is not part of the war on terror. I find it interesting how they can connect Iraq to the war on terror when it’s time to criticize the President, but then turn around and desperately attempt to disconnect Iraq from the rest of the war on terror when it suits their political posture.
Harry Reid’s comments were particularly humorous. I understand the old joke about “How many existentialists does it take to screw in a light bulb? Answer - Blue.” But the senator’s comments trying to justify the airline terror plot as grounds for surrender in Iraq were even too much of a stretch for use as an existential joke, let alone a valid argument.
Through the course of the last week, I’ve also been amused by the lack of credit given to the use of terrorist surveillance programs, phone call monitoring, financial transaction monitoring, and all of the other tools used to catch these terrorists. The same tools which liberals have assaulted and condemned. The Attorney General said these programs and certain provisions of the Patriot Act enabled the American side of the successful investigation. I can’t help but keep rerunning Harry Reid’s boasting through my mind about killing the Patriot Act and how those words verify the message of Al Qaeda being right to count on their removing obstacles to the jihad.
If the odds are good that we can count on the Jihadists to validate the notion they mean to persevere in their war against us, the odds are even better that we can count on liberals to validate the message of their willingness to trump national security with political partisanship.