As the worm turns
I share Tony Blankley's frustration with pandering politicians for whom the ballot box is paramount ("The Senate: chamber of shame," Op-Ed, Wednesday).
That politics and Bush-bashing (some on target) should trump national security is, as he indicates, both a disgrace and a menace. Politicians thirsting for the prerogatives of national office are rendered deaf to the cries of the slaughtered innocents in Iraq and blind to the dangers of precipitous defeat. But, in the interests of fairness, let's apportion the blame for our dismay where it truly belongs.
The loyal opposition — now courting certain battlefield and public relations defeat by ill-advised withdrawal, distracted by the clarion call of an executive branch victory in November 2008 — has had a relatively easy time of it.
The skids toward defeat have been greased by remarkably bad decision-making by the Bush administration following the striking military victory at the beginning of the war. The mismanagement of the effort has achieved mythic status, visiting some of the mistakes of Vietnam which were never learned on top of such novel ideas as the disbanding of local forces because, after all, we will be greeted as saviors rather than oil-obsessed conquerors.
And what could have fueled the American penchant for instant gratification more than the egregious "mission accomplished" celebration aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, a disaster that the president and his handlers will never live down.
There is only one domestic party to this evolving calamity that will emerge blameless when the dust settles — our intrepid military from which much has been asked and much received.
After reading Tony Blankley's column "The Senate: chamber of shame," I have a few comments.
In closing his column (which discusses all of the hand-wringing about Iraq currently going on in the Senate), Mr. Blankley states: "But the worm will surely turn. And senators who today proudly call for retreat will then be hiding their faces in shame. And deservedly so. And the public will remember." I would suggest that the politicians to whom he is referring will no more be hiding their faces in shame than President Clinton is about any of the garbage that went on during the eight years of his administration.
Especially and most importantly about the fact that he was the person most responsible for leading terrorists to believe that they could get away with killing Americans with impunity because the United States was too cowardly to do anything in response — other than talk and protest, of course.
In my opinion, the greatest enemy the American forces in Iraq have to face and fear is not the terrorists in Iraq, but the "national will" of Congress. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was right on target when he called the Democrats "girly men." (Too bad he lost his nerve and became one of them himself.)
I have no doubt that if Congress had adopted the positive, can-do attitude of Sen. Joe Lieberman, Iraq would be a different place than it is today, and we would be well on our way to winning the global war on terror.
Lastly, I believe that Mr. Blankley can rest assured that the worm he has spoken of will, in fact, turn. I have no doubt that the forces of the United States military will guarantee it. That is assuming, of course, that the cut-and-run crowd in Congress doesn't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (again).
COL. BLAKE J. ROBERTSON
Marine Corps (retired)
A cool response
The ho-hum "Live Earth" concerts are over and marked only by some casual interest in the self-aggrandizing and childish effort ("Concerts rock the Earth," Page 1, Sunday). A comparison with the "Children's Crusade" of similarly benighted and mislead youths of the Middle Ages reveals some interesting similarities.
A charismatic leader named Peter the Hermit convinced the major European powers that a crusade of the all and sundry, including many children, marching on the Holy Land would succeed in convincing the "evil nonbelievers" to abandon their nasty ways and leave the place to the good guys. The results were less than spectacular, pretty rough on the kids (being enslaved and all) and only slightly irritating to the heavily armed occupants of Jerusalem and its surroundings.
Today we see a similar tale, with pie-in-the-sky believers blindly following the unlikely and questionable direction of a former vice president and "carbon footprint" entrepreneur into the new Holy Land of Kyoto. There the evil rapscallions who are toasting mother earth will be driven into the wilderness of government enforced energy conservation and recycling, all amid the wailing and gnashing of corporate teeth. Give me a break.
Al Gore's global warming activities promote what many of us skeptical CO2 exhaling denizens of earth regard as a hyper-scam. He shows amazing chutzpah in usurping scientific method and replacing it with questionable factoids while assuming an uninvited and self-proclaimed mantle of authority to speak for an earth that now supposedly has all the illogical symptoms of a nervous hypochondriac with a broken thermometer.
Some years ago as a geography major in college, I was taught that we live on a planet that orbits a "variable star." That mighty thermonuclear furnace 93 million miles away and 333,000 times more massive than our world is almost entirely responsible for the rise and fall of temperatures here on earth. In light of this undeniable and so inconvenient fact, arguing that humanity is more than infinitesimally responsible for global temperature change is as ridiculous as declaring that swarms of giant mice cause earthquakes by jumping up and down.
Many of the loudest supporters of the unproven but much ballyhooed theory that humans cause global warming are the same experts who 20 years ago, with the help of fatuous and obviously still biased media reporting, decried our civilization's responsibility in creating the new ice age that was coming shortly to make freezy pops of us all. Once the bloom was off of that particular rose they handily backed oars in the fickle river of grants and subsidized studies to claim that soon we are all going to be living in an underwater sauna.
Friday the 13th
The item "Friday 13th fear rooted in religion" (Culture, Thursday) leaves the impression that the persecution of the Knights Templar by King Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V is just a belief held by some people. It is in actuality a historical fact.
The arrest, imprisonment and persecution of the Templars began on Friday, Oct. 13, 1307, and ended in 1312 with the dissolution of the Templar Order by Clement V after the torture and execution of a number of the Templars, including the last Grand Master, Jacques De Molay. The persecution was brought on by Clement V's fear of the growing financial and secular power of the Templar Order, and Philip IV's indebtedness to the order for financing a number of his military and political undertakings.
The diaspora of the Templars from France after the persecution gave rise to the institution of a number of other organizations, some still extant today, including the Poor Knights of Jesus Christ (Portugal) and the Masonic Scottish Rite.
Ashburn, VA 20147