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First they came for the communists,
but I was not a communist, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the socialists
and the trade unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they
came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did not speak out. And when they
came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.
– Pastor Martin Niemoeller.
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|John Kerry, Who's the Ignorant Loser Now? - Thursday, November 02, 2006
John Kerry, Who’s the Ignorant Loser Now?
Kerry’s speech to Democratic college students reveals the thinking of the man who almost became commander-in-chief of our armed forces in 2004. Would you want to be commanded by a man who considers you an ignorant loser? How many would have enlisted or re-enlisted, and how many officers and senior noncommissioned officers would have retired, had Kerry become president?
This is the same John Kerry who accused our troops of committing atrocities in Vietnam that were "reminiscent of Genghis Kahn." He spent the 1970s slandering his former comrades and worsening the already terrible conditions of those who remained as prisoners of war. But he never reported any actual atrocities. He parroted the statements of others, some of whom had never been in Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Kerry ignored the atrocities committed by our enemies. After the communist victory, a million boat people fled Vietnam at the risk of their lives, but he also ignored that. Kerry hasn’t changed. He’s still slandering our troops while minimizing enemy atrocities. He claimed our troops in Iraq terrorize children "in the dead of night." And if we cut and run, and a million Iraqis are massacred for having helped us, he’ll ignore that, too.
Kerry doesn’t hesitate to express his beliefs in public. As a leader of the Democratic Party, he is accustomed to talking with the liberal "elite." For example, we have Rep. John "killed innocent civilians in cold blood" Murtha, and Sen. Dick "Nazis" Durbin. Then there is the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which refused the donation of a museum for the World War II battleship USS Iowa. The liberal "elite" share his belief that our military are ignorant losers.
But the belief is wrong, in both senses of the word. It is incorrect, and it is immoral. It demonstrates disgusting ingratitude toward those who volunteer to risk life and limb to defend us.
In fact, virtually all military officers hold bachelors’ degrees, and many hold higher degrees. Enlisted personnel have a higher level of high-school diplomas than do civilians. But the anti-military bias of the liberal "elite" is so strong that they are immune to facts. They are also unaware of the effect their nasty words have on our troops. So who really are ignorant losers, our military personnel, or those who hold them in contempt?
Let me tell you a story. Some time ago, I found a box of old coins, but among the coins was my father’s World War I dog tag. It carries only his name and serial number, 4898229, and the letters "U.S.A." It’s aluminum to resist corrosion. If the wearer were killed and buried temporarily, the body could be identified for later reburial.
As a young man, my father worked nights as a cashier while attending classes during the day. He hoped to attend medical school, a goal he later achieved. But his education was interrupted by war. He served as a private in the infantry in France.
He got near enough the front lines to hear artillery, but fortunately the war ended before he went into combat. As Dad put it, "When the Kaiser heard I was over there, he gave up." My memento of his service is his dog tag. But I have many other reminders of what I owe him – and millions of others, living and dead, who served our country, and those who are serving today.
First of all, there’s freedom. I can express myself freely, either for or against the administration. Unless I advocate violence, nobody will knock on my door. I can buy property or sell it. I can move or stay put. I can take a job or quit.
I can worship, or not, or change my religion, and no one will bother me. I take for granted what my father left Europe as a teenager to achieve – freedom of conscience.
And my wife can also do these things. No one forces her to cover her face, or prevents her from getting an education or practicing a profession.
Do we appreciate how unusual these gifts are, both now in the world, and in history? Do we know how lucky we are?
My father’s older brother remained in Europe. He too got a serial number. But his number wasn’t stamped on a metal disc with the letters "U.S.A." His number was tattooed on his arm.
My father died a respected physician. There were many mourners at his funeral. His brother died in the Holocaust. He had no funeral, but it didn’t matter. Almost all of his family and friends were dead, too, so no one would have attended.
The divergent paths taken by my father and his brother exemplify the divergent paths taken by America and Europe. My father struck out on his own, rejecting the past and with faith in the future. His brother stayed behind, looking back toward the past and doubtful of the future.
My father risked his life to preserve freedom, and he was proud to pass on his legacy to his son. His number remains as testimony to his resolve, stamped in metal.
His brother lost both his freedom and his life, and even his number vanished in a crematorium. Only his memory remains as evidence of what happens when an all-powerful state loses its moral compass. Those "liberals" who want a strong central government to make decisions for us, and who at the same time try to smash our moral compass, should consider this. But they won’t.
Liberals believe that good motives give them the right to remake society to suit their "progressive" ideas. They’re positive that Judeo-Christian values are obsolete. They’re confident that only the state – not the family, or religion or the Boy Scouts – should educate young people and teach them values.
Liberals are determined to imitate Europe – the Europe that gave us Nazism, fascism and communism; the Europe that gave us the bloodiest war in history; and the Europe that is now failing to reproduce itself and being submerged in an Islamic tide. What do you call people who want to adopt the same policies that are failing elsewhere?
Who are the real ignorant losers?
Note the people who condemn our war in Iraq and ridicule the idea of planting the seeds of democracy in the Middle East, because "Iraqis aren’t ready for freedom." Maybe not, but we’ll never know unless we try. Besides, is it up to the "elite" to decide who is ready for freedom?
If I post an article supporting President Bush and our struggle to produce a free Iraq, or I condemn terrorists who blow to bits Iraqis, Britons, Spaniards, Australians and Israelis in trains, buses and discos, I get nasty e-mails. They usually come from leftists, who claim to be liberals and to love humanity, but who devote their energy to hating America and what it stands for.
They despise Judeo-Christian values. They believe they are the "elite," entitled to tell us ignorant losers how to think. They blame America and sympathize with our enemies. They "see the viewpoint" of the 9/11 terrorists and Iraqi insurgents. How else can you explain their contempt for our military, who are risking everything to keep us safe and free?
But I can take out my father’s dog tag and feel its cool strength. I can look at his serial number and be reminded that it is the price of not being branded with another type of number. I can recognize the arrogant stupidity of those who look down on our military. And I can say, "Thanks, Dad."
Thanks, Number 4898229 from Number O-5703196. I’m not in your league, but at least I know how precious freedom is, and who paid the price for it. Thanks for teaching me to honor and support the troops who are now paying that price. I pray that they come home safe, and have children who will treasure their dog tags, the way I treasure my father’s. And I pray that someday, the ingrates who benefit from their sacrifice will come to appreciate and honor them.
Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. He may be contacted at email@example.com.