Thank You Service Members and Veterans

Today and every day I am grateful to our service members and veterans for keeping me safe. As a woman, as a journalist and commentator, as a Jew–all categories of individual that the enemies of this country and of civilization reserve special hatred for–I don’t take for granted that good men and women whose lives are on the line stand between me and those who would try to harm and subjugate me.

Not long ago I wrote something to the effect that, privileged modern leftists, spared contact with true evil by those who actually confront it, are free to fancifully conceive of Dick Cheney as “evil.” Not to get all partisan today (and bless their hearts, there are some left-wingers in the military, too, though mostly of moderate and not hard left stripe), but with President Obama’s recent admission that there is a category of individual so dedicated to destruction of free people, of this country, of all we hold dear–that these individuals, a few of whom are presently housed in Guanatanamo–just can’t be released, isn’t it time for the hard left in the U.S. to realize that this country has real enemies, and we must support our troops in confronting them?

During his inaugural speech, President Obama quoted the Biblical verse dealing with the need to “put away childish things.” One such thing, perhaps, is the self-centeredness that some U.S. citizens exhibit when they demonize our elected leaders in a time of war, or refuse to accept nuances, moral gray areas, and necessary ugliness U.S. leaders and service members must sometimes deal with in order to keep the rest of us safe. To the hard left, for instance, anyone who sanctioned waterboarding must be prosecuted, regardless of its purpose, the circumstances, the context, the safeguards to limit its use, etc. Using it sparingly on a hardened terrorist mastermind who has dedicated his entire life to murdering civilians because of the real likelihood that in doing so, interrogators will obtain information that will save innocent lives is the same as using this technique en masse to torture and humiliate ordinary prisoners of war. In behaving this way–in demonizing our leaders, for instance, for undertaking a careful process of evaluation and making the decision to use an enhanced interrogation technique on a hardened terrorist in order to potentially save thousands of innocent lives–the hard left is, ironically, engaged in the kind of black-and-white, oversimplified thinking they ascribe to the “evil” Bush and Cheney.

There is a place for questioning the will and the choices of our leaders, and accountability is vital. But so are common sense, decency, and a modicum of basic trust in those whom we have democratically elected. The hard left’s vendetta against George Bush, which continues in its illogical refusal to accept President Obama’s maintenance of effective security policies inititiated by the previous administration, is destructive. Criticism, questioning, and attempts to influence policy are one thing; pretending that our leaders are evil and blaming the U.S. for the actions of terrorists is wrong, foolish, and dangerous.

Remember: there was no hard left rhapsodizing about the rights of terrorists on September 12 (remember, Ms. Pelosi?)

A heartfelt thank you from this journalist, woman, and Jew to our service members this Memorial Day. And special love always to Alex Lewris, who fought for our freedom in WWII.

This entry was written by and posted on May 25, 2009 at 2:26 pm and filed under Blog.