Now that it is a new year, there are a number of people and events in 2005 worthy of mention and remembrance — some good, some not so good.
It is also that time of year when we make our resolutions for the coming year. And since I’m in the business of giving unsolicited advice, herewith are a few suggestions to those who may or may not need them.
First, congratulations must be offered to the Iraqi people and a respectful suggestion that they resolve to stay strong and continue the astounding progress they are making in transforming their country from a brutal dictatorship to a working democracy. In 12 months in 2005, Iraqis braved terrorist threats and persistent media pessimism to go to the polls and show that democratic government is a viable alternative to the violence we have witnessed for too long in that part of the world.
All year, the Iraqis’ determination and our troops’ brilliance were denounced by the likes of Howard Dean — leader of the Democratic Party — who should resolve to become more optimistic about America and our troops. Just a week before the Iraqis held their most recent, historic, peaceful elections, Mr. Dean spoke to WOIA Radio in San Antonio, Texas, and predicted America would lose the war in Iraq. “The idea that we’re going to win the war in Iraq,” Mr. Dean explained, “is an idea which is just plain wrong.”
And speaking of being “just plain wrong,” there are two prominent liberals who, in 2006, should resolve to take refresher courses in American history so they don’t continue to impugn the character of our service members and our country. After correspondent Andrea Mitchell reported Iran’s new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have been one of the terrorists who held Americans hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979, NBC News anchor Brian Williams responded: “Andrea, what would it all matter if proven true? Someone brought up today the first several U.S. presidents were certainly revolutionaries and might have been called terrorists at the time by the British Crown, after all.”
As bad as that remark was, it was topped by Sen. Dick Durbin, Illinois Democrat, who accused U.S. troops serving at Guantanamo Bay of war crimes, saying their treatment of terrorist prisoners resembled that “done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime — Pol Pot, or others.”
In addition to the remedial history lessons, Mr. Durbin should resolve to make the sincere apology he never made.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is another liberal Democrat who should resolve to think before he speaks. Within hours of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation, while hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens in New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast were mourning dead family members, Mr. Kennedy blamed it all on Haley Barbour. “Now we are all learning what it’s like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence, which Barbour and his cronies have encouraged,” Mr. Kennedy suggested.
Of course, liberals can’t accept that the Big Government bureaucracy they worship let them down during Hurricane Katrina. That brings us to rapper Kanye West, who should resolve to stick to the script. He failed to do so during a televised charity fund-raiser for Katrina victims and instead accused the president of racism, saying President Bush “doesn’t care about black people.”
Of course the president grieved the lives lost in Katrina. And 2005 also saw its share of celebrity deaths — including TV host Johnny Carson, lawyer Johnnie Cochran, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist and former Sen. Eugene McCarthy. But no passing was mourned more than that of Poland’s Karol Wojtyla, better known as Pope John Paul II. He was laid to rest April 8 in a crypt below Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City. The funeral was watched by more than 1 billion Catholics around the world and attended by kings, presidents, prime ministers, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Protestants.
Corporate executives and craven politicians should resolve to ignore anti-Christian activists who want to expunge religion from the public square and American culture.
Along those lines, Hollywood producers should resolve to make more movies like Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” and “Chronicles of Narnia” — which appeal to Middle America — and fewer films about twinkle-toed cowboys with lavender lassos.
Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore should resolve to make a documentary on liberal hypocrisy — and he can start with himself. After Mr. Moore made his name by bashing corporate America, it was revealed in Peter Schweizer’s new book “Do As I Say, (Not as I Do),” that Mr. Moore owns thousands of shares of stock in Halliburton, the company liberals love to hate — especially Mr. Moore, who lambasted the company in his movie “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should resolve to do what he always has done — ignore his critics. Every few months, the “enlightened” Washington press corps writes Mr. Rumsfeld’s political obituary only to have to update it months later with the accomplishments he achieved in the interim.
President Bush should resolve to fight in 2006 like he fought the last month of 2005 — with courage and conviction. After months of letting his critics get the better of him, he decided to engage them and, in some cases, go over their heads to the people. Surprise, surprise — his poll numbers improved.
U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines of the should resolve to keep doing exactly what they are doing — defending American citizens with pride and honor. And the public should resolve to do even more to support those who sacrifice so much for our country.
As for me, I resolve to be less opinionated in the New Year — a resolution I vow to keep at least until my next column. Happy New Year.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist and the founder and honorary chairman of Freedom Alliance.