So what WOULD a Democratic President do to win the war? : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Washington Times January 28, 2004 Pg. 17

Don't You Know There's A War On?

Democrats must offer concrete war strategy

By Tony Blankley, The Washington Times

A French writer living in America has written that "this war is not a war in the ordinary sense of the word ... There are two series of conflicts going on at the same time: conflicts (involving military action) and conflicts that are ideological, political, social and economic. The latter transcend boundaries. Thevery confusion of the situation hasoften served as an excuse for recommending a policyof aloofness." The writer was Raoul de Roussy de Salles. The date of publication was 1942. And the war was World War II.

Now,of course, we recall WWII as a classic, all-out, necessary war. But in the spring of 1942 in America, de Salles, the patriotic citizen of a defeated France, could feel the need to explain that "it is only recently that America has lost the belief that she had a choice. Up to Pearl Harbor, the Americans were made to think not only that they could decide between peace and war, but that they could decide how much war they would accept. This capacity of choice was an illusion. Although he is fully at war now, he cannot forget overnight the point of view of the spectator that he so recently was. The American still believes that it is his peculiar privilege to discuss from a more impersonal angle the social, political and economic future which will come out of this war."

As I was reading this old volume from my father's library in Los Angeles last week, I was struck by how fresh-sounding the author's description was of an American public still tentative in its acceptance of the reality of total war. Today's soundbites from news coverage of the presidential election campaign are filled with candidates for president, and their supporters in the public, discussing exit strategies, turning the war over to the United Nations, focusing on the more pressing needs here at home for federal dollars, etc.

Listening to all the aspiring commanders in chief (except for Joe Lieberman), I don't hear any campaign promises related to winning the war on terrorism. They make a few obligatory references to getting Osama bin Laden rather than wasting our time with Saddam Hussein, and then they get on to their real campaign message, which is the conventional, peacetime Democratic argument to tax the rich and give the proceeds to their likely voters. I am tempted to respond to these candidates with the snappy WWII-era retort to complainers: "Don't you know there's a war on?"

Of course domestic life and politics goes on today as it did during 1941-1945. But it is striking that the challengers for president have virtually nothing to say about the central event of our time. If they think President Bush is fighting the war badly (and they could do a better job), they should be shouting both their criticism and their better plan from the rooftops.

In nine months, one of these men could be elected president. It doesn't particularly surprise or worry me that the candidates are just making what they judge to be useful political chatter. But I don't get the feeling that any of them (again, except for Mr. Lieberman) sit up at night worrying how they will protect America from the terrorist threat if they get elected president. It would show in at least the tone, if not the words, of their public oratory.

Rather, I get the sense that, as de Salles described too many Americans 60 years ago at the beginning of WWII, today's candidates for commander in chief still think the war is optional. They still think they can select "how much war they would accept." They let the confusion of the situation "serve as an excuse for recommending a policy of aloofness."

Whatever each of the candidates may think of the wisdom of the Iraq war and democracy project, as the next president, he will be obliged to play the hand he has been dealt. Manifestly, the United Nations and the international set has neither the military nor the will to fight on to total military and political success in Iraq. Thus, when all but Mr. Lieberman recommend turning Iraq over to the United Nations, they are in reality aloofly washing their hands of the matter and are willing to let political nature take its course. The terrorists across the Middle East and around the world would be greatly heartened by such a capitulation by the West.

In the coming weeks and months, reporters ought to feel obliged to closely question the Democratic candidates on the implications that would flow specifically from their Iraq policy. It is not enough for them to say they would have done otherwise. They must explain how what they would start doing on Jan. 20, 2005, would make the country safer, not more dangerous. It is a deadly illusion for either the reporters or the candidates to think they have a capacity for choice on whether America must succeed at the Iraq venture. We are no longer mere spectators to the human butchery that has long plagued the world.

Tony Blankley is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. His column appears on Wednesdays.

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2004



Have you ever considered the fact that some of us don’t care about fighting a War? Peace is a more important issue and that is not achieved through military strategy, presidents or governments. Peace only comes when we truly know the Prince of Peace. Apart from Him all attempts at achieving it are vain.

More importantly to me, when I vote for a president is what he will do to improve domestic affairs. Unfortunately I have used the pronoun he and not she, since history and probability dictate that whoever is elected or assumes the office of President will be White Anglo-Saxon Protestant male.

So more importantly to me than fighting a war is how he will handle Domestic Affairs. How will he improve the quality of living in American cities, villages, hamlets and homes? How will this be done irrespective of ethnic origin, color or creed—including Islamic and Arab Americans as well?

Neither do I ever again intend for my vote to be lost, so that the Congress, the Supreme Court of even the Electoral College end up making a final decision for me. I will do all within my power to send them a message that is crystal clear.

I don’t want another four years of what I have witnessed, not even another day of it. That is why my decision for November has long ago been made. My vote will definitely be cast for whomever the Democratic Delegates choose in Boston in July.

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2004

I suspect he would apologize to the French and Germans; ask the UN to please help; and then agree to downsize our military to below Clinton levels. Thank God that Ronald Reagean had enough gonads to build up the military so that 8 years of Clinton still left us the most powerful nation in the world.

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2004

Brother Matthews, whether you want it or not war is upon you. Al Qaeda will not allow us to ignore it.

Unless I want to see more buildings crash down, or worse yet see a nuclear or chemical attack, my President had better have a plan. All of the domestic programs in the world won't matter if we have anthrax on the subway, or nerve agent in Times Square.

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2004

It is amazing how soon we forget. We were at peace with Pres. Clinton and look where it got us. Do you forget 9/11? Get a grip on life. The world has always had war and will always have war until Jesus re-establishes his kingdom on earth. History is periods of war interrupted by periods of peace. It is our strong military that keeps us free. Without that war machine that is still feared world-wide, we would be attacked into oblivion. The countries of the world that hate us and wish to see us fall, never seem to say no to our aide when they need our help. They all have their hands out to receive our money. Money supplied by our freedom, won by a military that is a world power. We are parents to most of the world. Why? Because if we truly withdrew into ourselves the entire world economy would collapse. We like parents give them the necessities of life. Stop hating your country and wake up to reality. There will be no peace on this earth until Jesus returns.

-- Anonymous, January 28, 2004


You don't seem to understand. The last time I checked, Al Queda was not in charge of my world. Neither was any American President, be he Republican or Democrat. The coins in my pocket bear the inscription, "In God We Trust", in that fact I rest assured. My security does not rest in armies or presidents. I literally know what David meant when he said, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread”.

I am now in my 60th year. In that whole time I have never owned a gun accept the cap buster I had as a child when I watched Hop-A-Long Cassidy and the Lone Ranger on TV at the age or five. Apart from that I had a BB gun, which I never even used to shoot a bird. I only used it to shoot cans piled up in my back yard just to see how far away I could stand and knock them down.

When I was 18, I was required to register for the mandatory draft doing the era of the Viet Nam War. So strong were my convictions about weapons and war that I registered as a Conscientious Objector. I did so with the full knowledge of what that meant. Had I ever been drafted it meant I might have to serve in Viet Nam, yet not be allowed to carry a weapon even for my own protection and defense. Consequently, through God’s grace, each time my draft number came up the government decided that the work I was doing at home building the character of youths was just as important as what I might have done in Viet Nam. On three occasions I received a letter that my draft number had been selected but that the Draft Board had given me a deferment because of the work I was doing in a rural Georgia public school.

My own father was a Veteran of World War I. But, his greatest service was that of a “Soldier in the Army of the Lord”. Like his father before him and one of his two brothers as well, he was and Itinerant Elder in the A.M.E. Church.

As a product of a parsonage and a Believer in Christ, I have no idea what it means to live in fear of man. I have walked the streets of our major cites in the wee hours of the night, without weapon or bodyguard. Eight years ago I was in Toronto and missed my flight. The only flight remaining was to NYC. When I got to Kennedy Airport the airport was closed, requiring me to remain 8 hours in NYC. So I took a train into the city with my luggage in hand and eventually ended up in Harlem at the home of a friend. Since I had not seen NYC in about 15 years, from midnight to 6 I walked from the East River to the Hudson, taking in the sights and then back to Harlem and Washington Heights. There I picked up my bags and headed back to Kennedy Airport to get my flight home. At no time did I have a moment of worry or fear. I have also flow to Europe during the time that Americans were strongly warned that all flights abroad might be in danger of hijacking or bombs.

My cousin was working on the 95th floor of the WTC when it was destroyed. Her office was where the plane had its greatest impact. Ten minutes before it happened she was called to on the 30th floor. The plane hit when she got to the 35th. She walked the rest of the way down the stairs and out to the street. Then to the Brooklyn Bridge where she turned and saw the building collapse. Another person I know told his mother he had finished his MBA and was going to stay in NYC to celebrate. As his mother left home for work on September 11, she told a younger son to call his brother exactly at 9:00 a.m. and tell him she said come home to celebrate. When he answered the phone, the reception was poor so he walked to the window in order to hear. Upon doing so he saw a shadow of the plane but did not know what it was. However, God spoke to him and told him to run. The elevator was not working so he rolled down several flights of stairs and safely cleared the building before it collapsed. A brother at my church also related that both his mother and his brother worked at the Pentagon. On September 11, his brother simply felt he was unable to work, called in and stayed at home. His mother had a doctor’s appointment and was to report later for work. The plane struck where her office had been. However both of them are now safe and well.

Does this mean that others who died were not believers as well? I think the answer is that this is not the case. It simply means that as Jesus said He had gone to prepare a mansion for them and when it was ready He came again to receive them as He promised in His word. Does it mean no future attacks or building crashing down? Only, God knows for sure. We cannot tell.

I do not fear drug pushers, drive by shootings, muggers, identity theft, Al Queda, weapons of mass destruction or guns. Nor do I fear threats of peril or doom. I fear not man who can kill the body, but I fear God alone, who is “able to destroy both soul and body in hell”. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

I put not my trust in presidents or armies, “in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help”. My hope, my faith and my trust is in God and in God alone. All other ground is sinking sand. Of this one thing I rest assured.

“Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s”. In this fact I rest safely and confident. As my people sang of old, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”, not merely the nation we call the USA.

-- Anonymous, January 29, 2004

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