In the spring of 1971 I found myself at the Naval Training Center in San Diego. I was there for the one week of my military carrier, as the Commander of the NJROT unit from Box Elder High School. My senior year had been an exciting time for me. My dreams of military glory seemed to all be coming true – and now I had a week of training, leading, and fantasizing about a future were I would command "my" ships and save the world from Communism. It had been a year of turmoil as well. That Fall someone had thrown a gallon cider jug full of gasoline through the window of our ROTC building and burned it down. Then there was the May Lie massacre to deal with. For a supporter of the war in Viet Nam, especially one with aspirations of military glory, the humiliation Cowley and crew had brought on our nation was heart breaking. It was also dangerous. There were many in the “pro war” wing of American Politics who supported these murders – but my instructors in our NJROTC program had taught us the truth. At the end of the week in at the Training Center I found myself in an interview with the Base Commander and two other officers. I had been nominated as the outstanding cadet. The last question of the interview was, “What do you think about what happened at May Lie?” I knew the answer. “We are fighting Communism in Vietnam because Communists mass murder defenseless people to force their will upon the world; it is unjust to do the thing we have gone to stop." Achilles would agree! So did the review board. I was awarded the Top Cadet banner that week. In the months and years that followed, John Kerry and others enemies of the United States, used the atrocities at May Lie to give credibility to their fabrications against the entire US led efforts to maintain the freedom of South East Asia. In the end the credibility Cowley gave to Kerry and his ilk legitimized the disaster that was America's retreat from Vietnam.
In America’s “Global War on Terror” and particularly the battle being waged in Iraq, I see the defenders of the Right facing AT LEAST FOUR ENEMIES:
Enemy One: The Terrorists. We must never forget that we are fighting a determined enemy who is bent on our destruction and the total subjugation of humanity to its beliefs. Bin Laden and his cronies have stated their objectives, made their claims, and mapped out their plan of attack. Their “victory” leads directly over the lives and rights of the American people; their dream of power consumes the world. The naive fantasy held by the appeasers and pacifists – that, to use Gollum’s words from the Lord of the Ring, “We be nice to them if they be nice to us,” was and is a lie!
Enemy Two: Those in the American military and its “defense” infrastructure, (yes, our own soldiers and spies), who – like Lt. Cowley – commit atrocities which seem to validate the accusations of Bin Laden, Amnesty International, the ACLU, and News Week. If our own warriors commit the atrocities we are determined to prevent, the justice of our cause can be questioned by those who want that cause to fail. Those "sex perverts" that took pornography photos of defenseless, though criminal, detainees at Abu Grab are partially responsible for the death and suffering that continues in Iraq and the rest of the world. They have given a weapon into the hands of Islamic Terror as surly as those who supply the terrorists with explosives, guns, and bullets.
Enemy Three: The Pacifist and Appeasers. Those who, defended by the “Blanket of Freedom” our heroes provide, turn their hate to the propagation of lies and half truths that tear down and demoralize our efforts at self defense. The truth, including the painful revelations about “Enemy Two” above, should be presented; but to present the traitors at Abu Grab as if they were representative of America or its military is to carry water for Enemy One.
Enemy Four: The ignorant and uninformed. Those in America who are more interested in the “American Idol” TV show than in the Ideal of America. To be driven to and fro by the deceits and half truths of Enemy Three, the people of America must be so ill informed and so lacking in understanding of the nature of this conflict that they can be cowed by Enemy One, shamed by Enemy Two, and misled by Enemy Three. When the American people make the effort to know the truth, they will unite in the just defense of freedom and the rights of all men. If there is dangerous weakness in ignorance; there is power in knowledge of truth.
I have not attempted a complete catalog of examples or justifications for the claims I have made above. I invite all to discussion and discovery. History is full of examples of all the enemies above, of their defeat by great and just forces, and of their triumph over equally just causes that could not marshal the strength to defy them. May our nation be the former and not the latter.
Summer is upon us. In two weeks I will be leaving computer terminals and the internet links behind for over two months. I will also be away for newspapers, radios, and televisions. The world will go on without me, but I like to think that I will be doing my part to make it better. I am grateful that such places as the one to which I am going can still be found. I am humbled by the fact that for nine weeks I will be blessed to spend 24/7 in a place of peace and bliss; Heaven with challenges. My thoughts and prayers will always be with those who defend our precious peace and freedom. As I enjoy the privileges that my heroes purchase at such great cost, I will do my best to give to those I serve the joy that America offers to the world. See you in September!
10 months ago