To Die in Madrid - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
To Die in Madrid
by

ON TARGET (ALAS)
Re: Lawrence Henry’s One Step Closer to Destruction:

A near flawless assessment. I say “near” because it was the last of the Andalusian Moorish kingdoms, not the Ottoman Turk, that was brought down at the end of the Reconquista.

Our remaining allies can expect more of the same, especially as they draw closer to their respective election days. After all, this war is completely optional. Charles Martel, Ferdinand of Aragon, Don John of Austria, and John Sobieski — victors over the Muslims in 732, 1492, 1571, and 1683 respectively — are all quite dead, and theirs is not really an issue that the Europeans can bring themselves to discuss anymore, much less do anything about. Pim Fortuyn is quite dead too, and thereby that question has been settled for all time.

I predict, however, that we here in the States are safe from that for the moment. For the appeasers to win here, a sufficient number of our electorate will need to have forgotten that we are at war. Hence, no attacks on US territory unless we’re “foolish” enough to re-elect “the deserter”.

God help Christendom, in her hour of dire need.
Stephen Foulard
Houston, Texas

Sadly, Henry’s article is spot-on regarding the recent disaster at the polls in Spain. The specter of appeasement rears its ugly head once again in Europe, and the ghost of Neville Chamberlain now walks the halls of governments there.

And whispered in the wind again is the old commentary, “He who refuses to learn from history is condemned to repeat it.”

Visit Europe before it’s too late? I think not. Somehow, I believe it’s already too late.
Jim Bjaloncik
Stow, Ohio

Wonderful insight to the “European Mindset.” However, before we become too critical of the populations of our old European allies, would the United States electorate react any more rationally if — God forbid — we have a similar attack on the New York City subway system on September 11, 2004?

How probable would it be to have the American Left pin such an attack on the Bush administration’s Iraq occupation? How probable would it be that those responsible for the slaughter in Madrid are willing to go double or nothing on the BMT?
Mike Horn
Lieutenant Colonel, Military Intelligence
U.S. Army, retired
Dublin, California

SILVER LINING
Re: Brandon Crocker’s Yes, We Have No Biases:

Thanks to Brandon Crocker for putting together so eloquently what I have tried to explain to some of my liberal friends. Now, I’ll just give them a copy of this article.
Karen Kern

Brandon Crocker is guilty of the very nonsense he purports to skewer (“Yes, we have no biases”). His article concentrates solely on alleged crimes by the media in covering President Bush. He seems to perceive a vast left-wing conspiracy in this regard. He completely ignores, however, an obviously Republican mouthpiece organization such as the hilariously-named Fox “News” in his diatribe. In a recent interview, David Gergen was repeatedly baited by a Fox anchorman to criticize John Kerry. After some initial resistance, Gergen finally gave in a bit. It’s just one example of a ridiculously biased outfit with the veneer of news surrounding its relentless propaganda. Fox News is in fact headed up by a former GOP strategist, and their conservative soul is never in doubt.

If Mr. Crocker was truly outraged by the appearance of bias in the news media, he should rightfully have excoriated both sides of the equation. But given that he is a “real estate executive,” and likely the beneficiary of an unneeded Bush tax cut, that would be biting the hand that feeds him, and feeds him with a silver spoon no less.
Jeff Scheidel
Westmont, Illinois

I do recall that debate with Al Franken. I honestly thought it was a comedy segment; as a debate it was a joke. I am still astounded that CNN journalism has dropped so low that Al Franken is considered a competent commentator.
Jeff Brooks

DUMB GUY
Re: Enemy Central’s These Guys:

Your turn of the phrase “dialectically nuanced” to describe the man running to be President JFK the second got me to thinking about his true intelligence level. Here are just a few questions.

If he’s so smart, why:

• didn’t he go to Harvard Law instead of BC?

• hasn’t he published his grades and SAT scores, like our beloved, dialectically blunt leader?

• didn’t he quote from the much more nuanced “The Wasteland” instead of “Prufrock” in the Dowd article? Hell, anyone can understand “Prufrock” — even without mind-altering drugs.

• did he attempt to show off his erudition by quoting from a poem about a confused, indecisive twit whose fear prevents him from communicating? Didn’t he realize that hundreds of English majors across the country would note the irony?

Kerry’s braggadocio, especially when it comes to his cultural and intellectual abilities, is not a quality most voters will respect and I hope the non-mainstream media can expose it effectively.
Robert Martins
Alexandria, Virginia

BRIDGER COUNTRY
Re: Bill Croke’s The Forgotten Old Gabe:

Please send my thanks to Mr. Croke for his recent article recounting the life of Jim Bridger.

As a 4th grader dreaming of adventure and travel, I latched on to a biography of Jim Bridger and thought I had found my role model. Of course, life gives us its own path, and role models change, but Bridger remains, to this day, my ideal of the resolute, independent, and resourceful loner who tackles, and beats, the odds with strength, will, and wit (reading about Bridger, you get the feeling he was a little deadpan with his humor). A bit sappy, that, but when your 10, good stuff to look up to. Come to think of it, not bad stuff to look up to in one’s later years, either.

Many thanks for the article.
M.C. Tritle

Are you familiar with the old song by Johnny Horton. It is called simply “Jim Bridger” and was written by Leon Payne who penned “I Love You Because”. Unfortunately no one writes songs about history anymore. I enjoyed this article and hope you write more.
Fred Baughman
Chula Vista, California

THE GONZAGA GIRL
Re: Wlady Pleszczynski’s Shaving It Close:

Normally I pass on the sports articles, but Wlady began by mentioning The Sopranos (smart move), then surmised: “I assume most such ‘betters’ don’t know the first thing about the sport they’re betting.” You got that right! I’m known as the Gonzaga Girl because the first year I participated, I saw the name Gonzaga and honestly thought it was a joke. So I picked that team to go all the way. Of course, all the “pros” laughed heartily at my folly. Fuhgeddaboudit! But I earned points because I was the only one who didn’t dismiss the Bulldogs in the first round.

I never watch any sports on TV, and I couldn’t care less who wins this thing — not really. And yet tonight (the Ides of March, no less), Boss, Nurse G, Slappy, and I will get together at Applebee’s to fill out the March Madness sheets. Without glancing at a single stat, I will pick Gonzaga as always. Peer pressure will have nothing to do with it. Nothing poi-sonal, Wlady; it’s strictly fun. Now, if Bobby Baccalieri would just dump Janice!
Kitty Myers
Painted Post, New York

YES AND NO
Re: Jed Babbin’s Etched in Stone:

I wish not to belittle Captain Brudno’s sacrifice. But if one were to cross this country and look at the memorials erected to the fallen, it is just that. No mention of “lost to society because of mental health, shell shock, suicide.” Generations of Americans have come back from conflicts around the globe with similar tragedies to tell. Their families are affected and suffer in silence. So do we single out this one individual as a consequence and place them on the Wall? What of the millions of other veterans that are similarly affected? Are they no less qualified to make such a claim as well?

One last consideration, many Vietnam Vets were wounded in the last months of the war, interned home and subsequently died. Yet their names do not appear on the Wall either. Their wounds were not self-inflicted. I suggest that these men’s claims would be superior to Captain Brudno’s in this matter.

Simply put — no is the answer.
John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

I too am a Vietnam Vet. I fully understand the reason and the purpose of the wall. It’s purpose is as clear as crystal. THOSE WHO DIED IN COMBAT, PERIOD.

Do we Honor Captain Brudno’s service to his country? By ALL MEANS.

Adding his name to the wall changes the meaning of the Wall. This must NOT happen. What will follow will disrespect each and every name on the Wall. A separate memorial is both honorable and necessary.

IF we are taking a vote on this issue, MY Vote is NO !!!.
Albert Werner
Former U.S.A.F. Vietnam ’66, ’67.
Assigned to the 1st.CAV, (FAC) AnKhe

We are mere mortals and I for one want not to judge Captain Edward Alan Brudno, who passed through portals that perhaps most of us never will. And, I think, we should be very grateful to God to get through this life without having to. I feel very confident that all of the stalwarts whose names are on the wall would have no objection to having his name added and perhaps others also. They will accept him. He died in the same battle, it just took him longer.
Gene Hauber
Meshoppen, Pennsylvania

JUST THE TICKET
Re: Eric Peters’ Points Spread and Mark Hessey’s letter (“Footing the Bill”) in Reader Mail’s Business as Usual:

State legislators are not required to make criminal proceedings with loss of liberty or money the only sanction for violating motor vehicle laws. Allowing people to get hurt has the effect of raising insurance costs for the rest of us. American jurors are most generous with other peoples’ money: when some idiot hurts himself, sympathetic juries will reach into the wallet of the nearest person with big bucks. The plaintiffs’ lawyers are experts are encouraging this kind of redistribution of income and wealth — they get a thirty percent commission on each redistribution.

Thus, putting drivers’ licenses at risk when people violate the law gives them an incentive to behave. Money is no problem for lots of scofflaws. The ability to drive without being tossed into the brig is most important to them.
unsigned

The argument over seatbelts is about one of the stupidest arguments out there. Freedom is freedom. I am not a slave because you feel I may break my neck doing something and “You” end up paying “my bills.” Nor am I automatically to blame because an idiot like “you” drives like a maniac since “you” have your seatbelt on and “you” hit me while I don’t. The whole issue is one of freedom, yes FREEDOM. As a free person, I make my own choices. I have insurance in case some of those choices may result in me being hurt or someone hurting me. This whole notion of denying me rights because I don’t conform to some people’s way of behaving is contrary to freedom. One can understand laws against murder, theft, etc. but when it comes down to what I will wear as I go about my legal business, then we draw a line. As with seatbelts, the same arguments are being made with guns, even as to how we rear our children. We live in a society that is so afraid of life they must try to regulate every aspect of it because there might be a cost to an action. Contrary to what the courts have ruled, we are not our brother’s keeper from a constitutional point of view. No these arguments show a deeper, more sinister intent than merely being “concerned” about my well being. Like the frog in the kettle, we don’t notice our freedoms being taken away bit by bit.
Pete Chagnon

A SKEPTIC REPLIES
Re: Steve Shaver’s and Joel Wymer’s letters (“Gospel Truths”) in Reader Mail’s Business as Usual:

I notice, I’ve risen to perhaps heretical status, when I’m only a confirmed skeptic! I also detect, that none I’ve encountered from the bible belt have read much if any of Albert J. Nock. That is your own misfortune to not tend to your own garden, and allow experience, that great teacher, to come to understand that you can only present to the world one reformed unit and that is yourself. But, back to bold statements and the Bible. Professor William James, perhaps as great a mind as all of the unnamed scholars my new Christian friends alluded to, characterized a defense of religion, thusly, “If you win, you have infinity — if atheism is right you lose nothing.” And to many dogmas, sometimes beaten into our heads, or given to fear, never questioned, here is a pot-pouri of things Jesus probably never heard of: the virgin birth, the dogma of the Trinity, original sin, the pretensions of bishops, and the worship of Mary. The first Gospel in question, concerning the “Passion,” is the Gospel of Mark, who was an amanuensis to Peter and wrote only what Peter told him!!!! If that’s not a little flawed, and who’s to say that a skeptic might not rule out that parts of the four Gospels were not tampered with. Who would really know today?
Edward Del Colle

POSITIVE FORCE
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s The Woman in Kerry’s Future:

I read your recent article, or rather lack of article, on Hillary and really believe you are either very ill informed, or just wish to spread nasty and untrue rumors. We have enough of this sort of thing in the world already. We do not need you to spend resources to misinform people. If you cannot be a positive force on this earth, please just be silent.
John Wander

A SMALL PRICE TO PAY
PLEASE — Stop with the ugly Hillary face popup add EVERY TIME I retrieve a page from your site. It is getting VERY, VERY aggravating. I’m tempted to skip your site until the popup is eliminated.
J. Adams
Milford, New Jersey

I really love reading your website and I do everyday of the week. I would love it much, much better if I did not have to look at Hillary every time I went to it. Please put anybody except any Clinton.
Rudy Mercado

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