Respect for those greater…
My beautiful little daughters, Indiana Marin and Mattigan Twain Warrior, showing their respect and reverence for those courageous human beings who’ve put their own lives on the line to protect and secure our American freedoms.
Thoughtful and soul-full day yesterday visiting the National Cemetery here in New Mexico.
Each Memorial Day we stop by with our girls for the fly-over and to pay our respects, let our little Warrior patriots bring a smile to a few faces, some tears to more than a few eyes. Nothing melts the tough, somber and worthy soul of a veteran more than the twinkle of a little girl’s eye and a soft and tiny voiced, “Thank you, sir, for your service.”
The winds were really stout and almost all the little headstone flags were uprooted and scattered about the grounds. Indy and Mattie, bothered by the sight of it all, encouraged their parents to spend the better part of the afternoon sticking them back down in the dirt, their tiny hands on top of ours as we all pushed. Indy ask me, “Daddy, who would do such a horrible, dishonorable job at this? After all, these soldier’s burial places are sacred.” I told her the Boy Scouts (who they get to perform the task). She called them “sissies,” figuring that “any boy, Boy Scout or not, should be tough enough to stick these little flags down in the ground deep enough so they won’t fall down, no matter how hard the wind blows.” It was hard to disagree. Besides, as a father knowing my future is going to be trying enough when it comes to beating back the boys (any boys not just Scouts), I like their simple “boy=bad” logic and, for now, will just leave it as it is. The longer they think ALL boys are bad, the longer I’ll have peace of mind. Anyway, here’s a picture of them deciding on their own to say a final goodbye before we left the cemetery.
Peace of mind isn’t exactly what I got when I gazed up through the headstones of over 41,000 interments set up the steep New Mexico hillsides in perfectly aligned rows. Standing in a National Cemetery on Memorial Day while the fence-sitting chaos, ongoing turmoil and American death in Iraq continues doesn’t give me any peaceful thoughts. The unrest weighed even heavier when I thought about that earlier in the day, before we came down to the cemetery, I got to experience the excitement and pride of watching my own daughter, Indy, ride her bike for the first time without training wheels, and now, here I was staring at the fresh gravesite of a young soldier killed in Iraq who will never get to experience the same joy.
The failed leadership and moral cowardice of this country’s elected officials, including President Bush, is abominable. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t suddenly taken up with the other side — the enemies within…the modern-day, anti-war liberals. I’m still a conservative by its pure measure — just as I’ve put forth in previous my “conservative” commentaries. I’m just not a conservative by the definition today’s mainstream conservatives use, and I’m definitely not a republican in the adulterated sense today’s elected republicans practice. In fact, I’m still very much pro-war; that is, I am pro-war when we are at war, as we happen to be right now.
My problem is that those who defend involvement in the Iraq war — for all the right reasons now that we actually find ourselves in the muck of it — don’t practice “pro-war” military engagement. They preach pro-war but they actually practice anti-war. This, to me, is worse than even doctoring the intelligence — if they did — to precipitate war. Not that I’m not convinced the Bush administration did. I believe there were WMDs and they were removed before our invasion. If our intelligence was no good, is still no good, as we have ostensibly found out having gone through all the congressional madness, then how can we know with certainty that our intelligence did not, also, miss the removal of WMDs? Intelligence missed everything else — they could have missed that, too. But whether the administration did or did not doesn’t matter now. Arguable as it all is, we are, in fact, at war. And for Bush and his administration, defending what they have done and the war we now find ourselves in, to march our American military warriors on the battlefield without “pro-war” orders of engagement is, indeed, a dereliction of duty.
In fact, the simple, unexpressed problem with the military entanglement we now find ourselves in is that it is not being engaged, literally, as a war. Military engagement is not deadly enough. Our military warriors are not being allowed to kill the enemy by means or methods demanded by war. The long term strategy, decried by everyone for not existing at all, should have simply been the same as the short term strategy: Kill the enemy. At any and all other costs. Don’t stop killing until they are all dead and defeated. Once done, bring our own warriors home.
This war could have been over as quickly in time as the time it took our ground forces to enter the city limits of Iraq; and over with much less expense in treasure and toil. We were, at that time of invasion, a Nation agreed upon one single goal: Kill the enemy. We should have kept killing until ALL the enemies were dead. Instead, our military and all of us back home took a (premature) celebratory breather. When we did, political-correctness crept into the coverage and the debate. Once it did, there was no more room for the unconditional killing of enemies or unequivocal war success. And as long as our politically-correct leaders in Washington, DC don’t have the stomach for killing, body bags filled with our own countrymen will keep being sent home. Justification for entering into war, faulty intelligence or neo-con concoction, is one thing. But there is no justification for not letting your warriors war once they are on the battlefield. None.
It’s the 21st century. It should be a rare occurrence when one of our own dies on any battlefield. We have the weaponry and technology to limit it. And every American soldier has shown they have the might and mindset to get the job done. They should be allowed to. They are not. Americans who are willing to sacrifice their lives to protect our freedoms should be afforded the the best chance there possibly is by their Commander-in-Chief to one day die of old age in the country they defended, not in some other rotting, God-forsaken country filled with subhumans, while fighting a war under orders restraining their lethal fighting capabilities. War is THE rule of engagement all by itself. The nature of war, all alone, is the approval to kill. A soldier, when his own life is in danger, should not have to seek various degrees of further approval for the killing war naturally demands. The enemies in Iraq are responsible for ending the lives of American soldiers, but, make no mistake, the politically-correct leaders in this country are the ones responsible for killing them.