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Cross Purposes

Loyalty petitions at William and Mary. Also: Hating America and Europe. Screen saviors. Enemies and friends. More Snow endorsements and Civil War reenactments. Plus much else.

2.4.07

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PETITIONS VS. LOYALTY OATHS
Re: Thomas H. Lipscomb's Loyalty Oaths Are Back at William and Mary:

In a recent article in The American Spectator Thomas Lipscomb equated a petition being circulated at the College of William and Mary with a loyalty oath. Since I am one of the authors of the petition and have been involved in circulating it, I feel compelled to respond.

What is a loyalty oath? A loyalty oath is a statement that an individual has to sign in order to obtain or retain some privilege, often the privilege of employment. The incident from the 1950s at William and Mary referred to in Mr. Lipscomb's article included just such a loyalty oath. It was a statement that had to be signed by a faculty member who wanted to retain his or her job.

Is the petition currently being circulated among the William and Mary faculty anything like a loyalty oath? Here is the wording, "Whereas the College of William and Mary is a public university and its mission includes fostering and sustaining an environment that is welcoming to people of all backgrounds and religious denominations, we support President Nichol's policy for the Wren Chapel." The petition was drafted by an independent faculty group, not the College administration. It was circulated by a group of faculty who asked their colleagues to sign the petition if they agreed with the statement.

Most people I presented the petition to signed it. Many people thanked me for circulating the petition. Others read the petition and told me that they were unwilling to sign it. The crux of the matter then is: will faculty who did not sign the petition be treated differently from faculty who did sign the petition?

The answer to this question is NO. Faculty who did not sign the petition will be treated exactly the same as faculty who signed the petition. The College of William and Mary's procedures for determining tenure, promotion, and salary increases are very specific about the factors that can be considered. Agreeing or disagreeing with the administration is not among these factors. Our practices and procedures zealously protect the academic freedom of our faculty.

Mr. Lipscomb's attempt to equate the petition with a loyalty oath is an ill disguised attempt to undercut the impact of the wide support for President Nichol's policy on the Wren Chapel indicated by large number of signatures on our petition. The plain fact of the matter is that a clear majority of William and Mary faculty support the policy.

Finally, Mr. Lipscomb's article suggests that those who signed our petition might have been confused about President Nichol's policy on the Wren Chapel. This is not true. His policy is clear. The old policy was that the cross in the Chapel was displayed unless someone requested its removal. The new policy is that, with the exception of Sunday, the cross remains in the sacristy unless someone requests it be displayed. The faculty members who signed our petition agree that the new policy is appropriate for a state-supported institution. There is no confusion.
-- Robert B. Archibald
Chancellor Professor of Economics
College of William and Mary

Thomas H. Lipscomb replies:
My short answer is horsefeathers. Archibald seems to think that he can define the world his own way and deny common sense and common practice with no consequences.

I reflected his denial that there was any danger to nonsigners when I asked him the question. Archibald's flat NO is a stretch. The fact is one doesn't know whether there would be any danger or not, but all we learned from Archibald was that he hadn't even considered the issue.

To get technical about it, Archibald mischaracterized his activity as "a petition." How is it a petition? What does it petition for? Archibald admits in his letter that in effect the "petition" was a blank check affirmation of "policy" (whatever that was). Archibald claims I suggested "that those who signed our petition might have been confused about President Nichol's policy." Clearly they might have since Archibald then has to go on to define "policy," which is unfortunately not contained in his "petition," after the fact in this letter.

But petitions don't work like that. One has to petition for something specific. In this case it was not a petition. It was an affirmation of faith that whatever the President's undefined "policy," was just peachy with the undersigned.

And what is that but a loyalty oath?

What is most embarrassing is that a fine man like Archibald would be so naïve that he wouldn't recognize he had cobbled together a loyalty oath that made anyone who signed it look like a fool.

The faculty met after Archibald's "petition" was underway and voted in favor of an effective and well-worded resolution in support of President Nichol's position. As for Archibald's silly effort, as I wrote to a College administration official, "If I were you I would have Archibald formally withdraw it with the cover that the faculty now has a motion on the table that he approves of… and BURN his petition and forget who signed it FAST."

TAKING OFFENSIVE
Re: Thomas H. Lipscomb's Loyalty Oaths Are Back at William and Mary:

Most accounts of the Wren Chapel story at the College of William and Mary fail to penetrate to the heart of the problem -- the easy acceptance of President Nichol's absurdity that a Christian cross, simply by existing, can be "offensive."

No normal person takes offense at the symbols of other people's religion. In fact, if a student or visitor to William and Mary complained to President Nichol that they saw a Buddha depicted in the library, or that a Jewish student's room had a mezuzah on the door, he would at a minimum suggest a visit to a psychiatrist.

As long as people like President Nichol play along with the fiction that Christians give offense by existing, there will be no peace for the structures that they lead.
-- Jim Noble

Mr. Lipscomb does not point out in his article that the current W & M president and his wife have a trail of anti-Christian activism. They both left the Univ. of North Carolina system under a cloud for their anti-Christian activism.

Where is the outrage from the taxpayers of the Commonwealth of Virginia about this anti-Christian bias? The Board of Visitors is appointed by the political system of the state. The Board of Visitors should be called to account to respond forcefully to this provocation. Do the citizens of Virginia want to see their tax monies used to support the war against Christianity? Virginia was founded as a Christian colony and later state. Like it or not, that is a fact. The Board of Visitors, a state created and funded organization, needs to step up to the plate and invite the W & M president and his wife to seek employment elsewhere.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

REAL CONTROVERSIAL
Re: Eleanor Stables's Getting Real:

Thank you for your article on the REAL ID Act.

As a conservative, traditional Republican, I have been amazed that it was my party the put the REAL ID Act into law. My concerns are over terms like "minimum security standards," "machine-readable," and "security features."

Knowing how the politicians like to frame the debate, I hear the following:

1. "Minimum security standards" translates as "big step forward in government ability." It is a lot like "common sense" restrictions that never seem to end... If these changes did not make significant strides in the central government's ability to track free citizens, politicians would not push for the changes.

2. "Machine-readable" translates "Easily accessible to anyone in the private or public sector." I hear "identity theft made easy." I also hear, "Breakdown of states' integrity." Everyone's information is potentially accessible with the ease of an Internet connection.

3. "Security standards" means "biometrics." Republicans sit on their hands when the issue is illegal immigration, yet they want to brand me like cattle and track me with biometrics (or possibly RFID.) When I am finger-printed, DNA-sampled, or retina-scanned, I can never undo that action. Where will the digital information (computer file) containing MY BODY'S INFORMATION go? Will other nation-states have free access to it? Will credit reports be tied to it? My medical records? Where does it end?

In the early days, politicians promised that Social Security numbers were not to be used for identification purposes. But we know where that road led.

Also, the 4th Amendment is at risk. With biometrics/rfid, the government can potentially track Americans in real-time. Why bother with a warrant?

Finally, we are going from "innocent until proven guilty" to "guilty until properly identified." This is not the American so many have sacrificed for. I had thought the Republicans would be more respectful of our heritage.

When the REAL ID passed into law, my first thought was, "The Republicans are betraying us."

I still feel that way.
-- John Rush
Tennessee

The more I read about Maine, the more Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins begin to make sense. But I will never understand how these two are elected as Republicans. The state of Maine is as close to outright 1960's socialism as New York, California and soon Arizona.

As a frequent traveler for business, I have no problem with stringent screening and identification for EVERYONE. I can't wait till I can apply for the TSA-ID card. The Islamic jihadis are out there testing, testing, testing. If standardized drivers' licenses help, do it. Sign me...

Screen-Us-More!
-- Judy Beumler
Louisville, Kentucky

MIS-FIT
Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch's Mega Beasts and Brutes:

The concept of the Noble Savage is pretty much dead, save for a few eccentrics with limited political power. It has certainly been abandoned by academia. Thus, the "Among the Intellectualoids" space, typically devoted to perceived follies of the liberal intelligentsia, would have been better served by another topic.

The piece does, however, underscore the overarching human capacity to radically alter and disrupt ecosystems in a relatively short span of time. I'm impressed -- this is not something conservatives usually like to talk about!
-- Nathan Johnson
Boston, Massachusetts

NONBINDING LETTERS
Re: Enemy Central's A Show of Resolve:

What? EOW is back? No fair springing it on us! I hereby nominate repeatedly and in perpetuity, that thoughtful, tortured, prima dona NINO (Nebraskan in Name Only) Senator Chuck Hagel. May he see the handwriting on the wall and run for higher office.
-- Andrew Macfadyen, M.D.
Omaha, Nebraska

And people say conservatives have no sense of humor! This was riot. The wonderful juxtaposition of the fluffy, bumbling, incompetent Al Gore, with the dark, dangerous connotation of enemy is a masterpiece of prose.

When I think of Al (The Price of Tennessee) Gore, I see my daughter's wonderful yellow Labrador. Not a brain in his head, all feather fur, a vacuous smile, shining happy eyes, and a wonderfully endearing wagging tail, which starts moving just behind his ears. All combine to send the simple message " tell me which way to jump and I will, I will, I will do it!"

My eyes will never dry.
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina

TWO MINUTE HATE
Re: Lawrence Henry's Hating America:

I have lived in London for four years now and traveled extensively through most of Europe. Mr. Henry's observations are spot on. I find the most rabid anti-Americanism in the former colonial powers (Old Europe, including Britain). The left there has been practicing it for decades. You get an element of resentment from these has beens from the political right as well. They blame their global demise on us in one way or another. Refreshingly, Eastern Europe still likes us, but that will change as memories fade and the relentless American bashing from the media continues. I am not optimistic about Europe returning as an ally until they need us again.
-- Donald Parnell
London, United Kingdom

Could you kindly advise Mr. Henry to not hold his breath as to Europeans not hating us? I studied in Europe for three years more than 30 years ago, and they hated us Americans then. This will not change.
-- J.M. Santin

Lawrence Henry hopes in vain when he muses, "I hope Europeans come to their senses about the present crises in the world."

Europe is dead-man-walking, and the coroner's report by future historians will show it was suicide. The elites killed their own countries by a) an over dose of political correctness, b) establishing welfare states with human secularism as their religion, c) their pathological and self-destructive envy of the United States, and last but not least, d) allowing the cancer of Muslim immigration to go untreated.

Houdini himself could escape these chains, let alone the preening dwarfs of the European establishment. It's over -- and deep in their hearts, the Europeans know it, too.
-- Peter Skurkiss
Stow, Ohio

"I don't think they really hate us. What these feelings express is a kind of self-fear and self-hatred projected outward."

Quick test. Is the above quote taken from a Lawrence Henry article in TAS? Or the dinner time conversation among some Jews in Berlin after learning of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935? Read it again. Are you sure?

What exactly does someone have to do to get a Certificate of Confirmed Hatred from Lawrence Henry? Fly fully loaded 767s into Manhattan skyscrapers? Remember, even that may not be adequate, see recent article by Lawrence Henry documenting the widespread belief that someone other than nineteen Middle Eastern Muslims, fifteen of them Saudis, were responsible for doing exactly that not that long ago.

All Europeans are taught in utero onward that America is the cause of all Evil in the world. Atheistic Europe has replaced the Prince of Darkness with the President of the United States, especially when the President is a Republican. Just as surely as the children of the Third Reich were taught that those with the "wrong" kind of noses and skulls were the cause of every evil that had ever befallen the Fatherland, all the children of Europe are taught by atheistic Leftist academicians (pardon my redundancy) that if it's American, it's wrong. They can't help but think that way as adults.

The pity for the Europeans is that the 1930s are happening all over, and now as then, they cannot see it. When French leader Daladier was returning to Paris from the Munich Conference with British leader Chamberlain, they both saw from the air the enormous crowd at Paris Le Bourget. Daladier wanted to instruct his pilot to fly to an alternate, absolutely convinced the crowd was there to lynch him. Chamberlain insisted otherwise, correct in his perception that the crowd was there to celebrate "peace in our time".

They were all wrong then. And just about all of them are wrong now. How great the sorrow that an al Qaeda perpetrated mushroom cloud, intended sixty years ago for Berlin by the masters of the "Jewish science" hated by Hitler, will be the only effective wake up call for Europeans looking the wrong way.
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey

This article really hit home. I am a physician who works at a teaching hospital affiliated with Stanford University. The U.S. system of medical education is the envy of the world. Foreign med students come from all over and want to gain access to our tremendous teaching programs, especially residency training. Those German medical students have quite poor clinical training and by comparison their medical education is sorely lacking; just ask them if they'd like to train at Harvard or Stanford University rather than their school in Germany.
-- Dr. Dana Frederick Hoch

I'm not surprised at the America-hating the Euros are showing in "Hating America." You have to remember that not only did a large amount of Alpha Euros flee for America in the 17th- early 20th centuries, the majority of ones that are left were slaughtered in the two world wars. What's left in Europe is the descendants of the cowards, cripples, and nebbish bureaucrats.
-- Lawrence D. Cannon

Are they simply misinformed? Misinformed by our liberal media that America is racist, sexist, oppressive, homophobic, rich and poor with no middle class? Is this not the Democratic message?
-- Paul

As per the last line of the column: I wouldn't count on it.
-- Laney Bormel
Owings Mills, Maryland

COLOR ME BLIND
Re: Jay D. Homnick's The End of the Race:

I appreciate this very well written article about the way our society sees minorities. I am growing tired of hearing stores about minorities and women running for President and heading up companies that do not bother to tell us anything about the person other than their outward appearance. I grew up in a multicultural neighborhood where no one got by on their race, you had to get by on your own character. Isn't that what equality is supposed to be about? Judging people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin? I'm not glad that two black coaches are going to the Super Bowl, I am glad that two very talented coaches have been determined enough to make it to the big game through hard work and intelligence. It's not their color I celebrate, it's their ability.

If white people were trying to hold these people down, it would be different, but this is not the Jesse Owens story. No white people are standing in their way. These two men made it on their own merit because our country allows them to do just that. Rather than get overly excited about their demographics, let's be thankful we live in a country that allows everyone to have a chance. I think that is what Civil Rights is supposed to be about.
-- Adam Jones
Arlington, Texas

SNOW PLEASE
Re: Quin Hillyer's A Meeting of Message, Messenger, and Moment:

Most half-decent conservatives would be good presidents. But they lack the courage these days to defend Republicanism and Conservatism or even Americanisms. Why? I wish I knew, but they are asking me for money when they lack the guts to articulate a worthwhile message. The same wussies are rolling over in congress to get along with their enemies.

We, the common guy liked Reagan, and Newt. But few "Republicans" do. Nor do they like Bush #43. They like being in Washington to go through the motions. Specter, Voinovich, Hagel, Snowe, or Collins love the invisibility they now have. It allows them all the perks of our dollars and they have no responsibility for any policy. They also take no stand on any issue.

Along comes a guy like Tony Snow who articulates the average Joe's position so well. And with a modicum of fortitude, it is enforceable and even enjoyable. Imagine a world where the policy was articulated and enforced…how simple it would be. Instead the Republicans have helped the Democrats turn both the House & Senate within a month, into a dysfunctional entity that rivals any United Nations committee on any given day.

There's no longer any American principle being upheld or even articulated in Representative Washington. Tony Snow, like George W. Bush, stands alone with a worthwhile message trying to communicate with a bunch of chumps.
-- P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan

Thanks for Quin Hillyer's fine piece about Tony Snow. Our sentiments exactly!! My wife and I keep talking about how Tony Snow is the only guy we could really get excited about supporting in 2008. We watch his press conferences just for the fun of it - he's so good at what he does! Let's keep talking about Tony. I don't think it's too late to get him into this crazy race.
-- Dale Barkley
Tucson, Arizona

Quin Hillyer replies:
As an update, readers might like to know that no single column I have written in my life has ever generated anywhere near such a high volume of response, nor one so uniformly positive, as this column that suggested Tony Snow for significant elective office. Scores and scores of people are taking the time to tell me they are enthusiastic about the idea."

THE APPOMATTOX STAGE
Re: The "Civil War Reenactments" letters in Reader Mail's Happy Days, the "General Disagreement" letters in Reader Mail's Snow Day, Reader Mail's Civil Warring and H.W. Crocker III's Robert E. Lee: Icon of the South -- and American Hero:

The response to Mr. Crocker's article on Robert E. Lee has been most interesting and even amusing. Whether General Lee was a great, good or incompetent military leader is still being discussed. Whether he was a traitor to his country is a little harder to determine, for several reasons.

One thing that has to be taken into consideration is the times in which he lived. The nature of the United States of America was much different, pre-Civil War, than it is today. Many people, of the day, took the name of this country, the United States of America, literally. This was a federation of independent states that had entered into a compact (a contract, if you will) called the Constitution of the United States. They considered it be a contract. As there was no clause in the contract that forbade any state, or states, from withdrawing from the contract and as the member states had a proud history of disassociating themselves from a government with which they disagreed (remember the War of Independence?), they saw it as a viable means of addressing an impasse.

This view of the United States as a coalition of independent member states was not limited to those that became the Confederacy. The Northern states held the same view. To illustrate this, it should be noted that the Union Army was not a Federal entity, but was rather a collection of state militias and state levies which were placed under a federal central command. After the war, the military units returned to their home states. In those days, the loyalty of most people in the United States was to the state in which they lived, not to the nation as a whole.

Lee, who held a commission in the Army of the United States, resigned that commission prior to accepting the command of the Army of Northern Virginia, thereby releasing himself from his oath as an officer. When Virginia seceded, he, as a citizen of that state, was released from any obligation to the "Union". The personal struggle he underwent is well known.

Though the issue of slavery was the main catalyst that sparked the secession, it was not the reason for the Civil War. The issue was federalism vs. states rights. In fact, the slavery issue was deemed so unimportant, by then President Abraham Lincoln, that the Emancipation Proclamation was not issued until September of 1862 and not enacted until January 1, 1863; two years after the secession began. And it was not applied to the Union slaveholding states of Delaware, Maryland, Missouri and Kentucky, or to any "state in rebellion against the United States government" whose representatives returned to Congress prior to that date. This has led many to speculate that it was issued more for the purpose of harming the Confederate war effort by adversely affecting agricultural output and economy as well as satisfy anti-slavery Republicans of the time, rather than to eliminate the practice of enslavement.

The Northern federalists won the war and wrote the history. But, for a hundred years, Robert E. Lee was revered in the states of the former Confederacy. That is history. It exists, whether anyone likes it or not. Was he a traitor? It depends upon who you ask. But, then, the same applies to George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the founding fathers. Perspective changes things.
-- Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

As a Southerner who has always been interested in American History, I greatly appreciated the article on Robert E. Lee -- he was a man of honor, duty, and selflessness. Too bad most of our leaders today don't exhibit those traits. As for the anti-Lee responses, I am not surprised since most people are ignorant of the attitudes, beliefs, and philosophies of the men that shaped our nation from independent states (and how that influenced the thoughts of secession, just as when the colonies broke away from England). It was voluntary union -- one which requires force is not much of a union. The winners always write the history books, and the victors from the North have certainly sought to make slavery the single issue of the War and to vilify all who were associated with the Southern Cause.
-- J. Carlton
Tennessee

WAR TORN
Re: James M. Csank's letter (under "Civil War Reenactments") in Reader Mail's Happy Days:

Mr. Csank, I'm afraid it is you who ignore the entire history of this country and the history of warfare throughout the world in general. Under your reasoning the British had every reason to hang every "traitor" or colonists that opposed them on the battlefield and there were some that certainly paid that price. By the same reasoning, the colonists had every moral justification to do the same to the British soldiers and every colonist who fought for the British. As I remember a lot of colonists fought for the British and we didn't hang them after the war ended. War by its nature is an ugly business but even by the standards of 1775 and then again in the 1860s it was understood that the dim witted emotional response of some people must not be allowed to run amok while such ugly events play out. Wars end, Mr. Csank, and to the credit of those on both sides of that ugly mess that cost over 600,000 American lives it ended under relative honorable terms, something I suspect you will never know anything about. Your reasoning is what prolongs wars beyond any point of ending one with any hope of reconciliation and healing. John Brown thought as you do regarding moral authority and paid the ultimate price for it without accomplishing anything useful in the grand scheme of things.
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia

Your own conclusion reveals the simplicity and insularity of your argument:

"Treason, says the Constitution, is levying war upon the United States, or adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. The Constitution does NOT say that
it is giving aid and comfort to the enemies of this country while you're on the public payroll...A simple distinction, but one Mr. Bateman conveniently ignores, as did a B>whole generation of Southern "good ole boys." (Bold print and italics mine)

So, an entire generation of traitors, are they? All the Southern men who took up arms, the quarter million who died, the many thousands more wounded, and all the Southern women who supported their fighting men, these millions, all traitors, you say?

The constitution you self-servingly quote gives congress the power to establish the punishment for treason, which in 18 U.S. Code 2381 is stipulated a range of penalties from a minimum of five years imprisonment to death. Which level of the prescribed punishments would you have handed down to all these "traitors" you scornfully label "good 'ole boys?"
-- Paul DeSisto
Cedar Grove, New Jersey

"Treason, says the Constitution, is levying war upon the United States, or adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. The Constitution does NOT say that it is giving aid and comfort to the enemies of this country while you're on the public payroll."

So says Mr. James F. Csank of Ohio, who apparently is unaware that Mr. Robert E. Lee of Virginia was not a citizen of the United States once Virginia seceded from "the Union." He was then a citizen of a separate and different union: the Confederate States of America.

Contrary to the hysterical and increasingly desperate propaganda of the federal government lovers in this country, the Civil War itself was not fought over slavery. True, slavery was the backdrop for the whole affair, much as, say, abortion might conceivably form the backdrop for a modern-day war upon a federal government gone wild, but the issue in each case is the limits of the federal government's power vs. the power and authority of the individual states and the people. The Civil War was fought over the South's decision to separate themselves from the rest of the United States and go their own way, which they saw as their right to do under the Constitution. Nothing in the Constitution, after all, forbids secession. Nor does any sane person imagine that entry into a voluntary union should be construed as a perpetual vow of enslavement to that union. (Rather, everyone agrees that, barring some specific, agreed-upon provision--as in the traditional marriage vow--a party remains free to disassociate himself from a voluntary union at will.) Lastly, there is the rather telling fact that the United States itself was formed of states which had themselves seceded from the British "Union." These are some of the reasons Southerners saw themselves as upholding and defending the true, the good, and the beautiful, rather than destroying it. But there's more:

The Southern states had every right under the Constitution to secede and the Northern states had no right under the Constitution to wage war upon them to stop them. Lincoln's effort to manufacture such a right is based entirely upon a patently ridiculous theory championed by Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, who held in his famous "Commentaries on the Constitution" that the Union somehow preceded the States; that the States were, in effect, creations of the Union. This is the same fantastic theory championed and celebrated by Justice John Marshall in his consolidationist rulings that are so loved by big government libs to this day. However, it's not difficult to see, by anyone with a modicum of honesty and common sense, that Story's contention is nothing more than a rather lame attempt to rationalize the Hamiltonian, centralizing ambitions of the so-called Federalist faction in American politics. Much more convincing is the rebuttal to Story given by Abel Upshur in his "Brief Enquiry into the Nature and Character of our Federal Government," in which Upshur holds (rightly) that the States pre-existed the Union, and that the Union was therefore a creation of the States, which they formed by a voluntary act.

This is what the Civil War was fought over, and no effort by the victors in that conflict can change the fact. It is obvious there are still many Americans out there who believe that right always wins out, and who therefore think modern America is somehow the best of all possible worlds. But that is deluded thinking by people not brave enough to face the truth: our country, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers (i.e. a voluntary confederacy of individual, sovereign states), died many, many years ago. We modern subjects of what's left are merely treading water in a nearly empty, quickly draining pool.
-- Jim Newland

HAIL TO THE CHIEF
Re: Ben Stein's The Lynching of the President:

Thank you for your well-written article concerning the way the mainstream media treats President Bush. More people need to realize that we are in World War III, and the terrorist will not stop. They all must me eliminated!!! The morons on the left who blame America for problems of the world, live in the own little fantasy. If the U.S. is attacked again -- they will blame the president. Hey it's going to snow tomorrow again -- must be the president's fault.
-- Ken W. Heller
YNC (SW), USN, (Ret)
Glenwood Springs, Colorado

I agree with much of what Ben Stein is saying about Bush bashing. However, I think it was no mistake to get into the war in Iraq. Nor do I think it is a mistake to increase the troops (without limits) to get the country under their own democratic control. Iraq is at the geographic center of much of the Islamic radicalism. That must be stamped out completely for stability in the region and stability worldwide. Where better to stamp it out than at its center. Or would many Americans prefer to stamp it out a little at a time within the American borders? Our kill ratio is much better in Iraq than it was on 9/11, within our borders. That should be obvious to everyone that has any sense at all.

For those who wish to fight the jihad and die to join Allah, we should allow them into Iraq and then oblige them. In a few years, the jihad will fade away as their radical leaders are captured or killed. The remaining followers should soon realize that they are fighting a war of futility. Taking on the resolve of America is a fatal mistake, as many hostile nations have realized in the past. Even though our politicians seem publicly at odds about what to do with the war in Iraq, Americans should not mistake it for a weakness in our national resolve to end terrorism. Let the terrorists make that mistake. All the better to draw them into the open where they can be eliminated.

President Bush is in a very powerful position to do the right thing for America and the world. He does not have to worry at all about public opinion polls or whatever the big news networks are saying. He does not have to worry about getting reelected, his last term will be over all too soon. I trust him to continue doing the right things. My only hope is that he can bring the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism to a successful conclusion in two years. Then the next administration, whether it is Democrat or Republican, can carry on with maintaining good political relations with Middle Eastern countries.

In the mean time, the average American would be wise to continue 100 percent support of our troops and see that they get all the reinforcements they need and all the best weaponry to insure the kill ratios remain extremely high for the good guys.
-- John H.
Indianapolis, Indiana

...The President must keep an ongoing and open dialogue with the American people, to win the war at home. If we fail at home, the consequences will be disastrous. There will be a shooting war with Iran, very soon. The President has to win back the people. A true Patriot puts the country ahead of winning elections; and the Democrats better wise up fast.

I could go on, but, enough. And God Bless you and all of us.
-- Marty Sigal
Boca Raton, Florida

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