- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Gipper’s ghost

Washington political consultant Ron Pearson of Pearson & Pipkin Inc. is busy as vice president of the board of the Young America’s Foundation, which supports conservative leaders on college campuses throughout the country.

During lunch the other day, he brought us up to date on a project the foundation started more than seven years ago — the acquisition and preservation of Ronald Reagan’s prized Rancho del Cielo near Santa Barbara, Calif., the “Western White House” during the Gipper’s eight years as president.

“It is the centerpiece of a program to reach future generations with the message and philosophy of Ronald Reagan,” explains Mr. Pearson, adding that a building acquired in Santa Barbara is being converted into a visitors center for the ranch.

Hillary’s underworld

We pledged to alert readers if and when a Hillary Rodham Clinton thong cropped up — an almost certain signal that the Democratic senator from New York is running for president.

Yes, Virginia, there now is such a monster, in red, white and blue: the “Hillary Clinton for President 2008” classic thong, for only $9.

Men will similarly delight in the “Hillary is My Home Girl” boxer shorts.

Judging Washington

Likening some American journalists and politicians to Tokyo Rose, freshman Rep. Ted Poe, a former Texas judge famous for his “Poetic Justice” in sentencing criminals, is warning against playing into the enemy’s hands at a time of war.

The felony court judge of 22 years, who ordered thieves to carry signs in front of stores from which they stole and commanded sex offenders to place warning signs on their homes after serving prison time, says U.S. troops are being demoralized by opponents of the war on terrorism.

During World War II, the Republican recalls, Japanese psychological warfare specialists sought to demoralize American forces via broadcasts of Tokyo Rose, who drove home three points: “One, your president is lying to you. Two, the war is illegal. Three, you cannot win this war,” says Mr. Poe.

“Does that sound familiar? Maybe that’s because some in the media and [politics] have picked up the same message and are broadcasting it to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and to our enemies,” he says. “The only difference is these people claim to support our troops before they demoralize them.”

Why fight?

Pentagon brass forever in the position of explaining to a wavering public why we as a nation are at war are now pointing to an essay written by U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Joseph R. Tomczak, titled “Winter Break.”

The cadet recently wrote about why he returned to the rigors of the academy after his winter break — exchanging “T-shirts and swim suits for flight suits and camouflage” after “listening to our friends who are home from state or Ivy League schools chock full of wisdom about how our war in Iraq is unjust and unworldly.”

“Why would we return?” he asks. “And after watching the news and reading the papers, which only seem to condemn the military’s every mistake and shadow every victory, why would we continue to think it is worth the sacrifice?”

He offers numerous reasons, simply put:

• “I come back to the academy because during my freshman year of high school I sat in a geometry class and watched 19 terrorists change the course of history live on television.”

• “I come back … because I don’t want the woman I love to be the one who dials her frantic cell phone call while huddled in the back of an airliner with 100 other people seconds away from slamming into the Capitol building.”

• “I come back … because, if called upon, I want to be the pilot who flies halfway around the world with three mid-air refuelings to send a bomb from 30,000 feet into a basement housing the enemy — through a ventilation shaft two-feet wide.”

• “I come back to the academy because I want to be the commander who saves lives by negotiating with Arab leaders — in their own language.”

• “For becoming an officer in today’s modem Air Force is so much more than just command; it is being a diplomat, a strategist, a communicator, a moral compass, but always a warrior first.”

Anonymous city

It’s difficult to complain about secrecy demanded by the Bush White House when the Center for Strategic and International Studies and International Center for Journalists panel discussion today, “Capturing Iraq: Conveying Complexities to Foreign Audiences,” featuring reporters for The Washington Post, Al Iraqiya and British Broadcasting Corp., stipulates: “Discussion at this event will be off the record.”

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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