View Full Version : Pendulum swinging away from patriotism

12-31-05, 12:15 PM
Pendulum swinging away from patriotism
By Ed Currall / Yucca Valley Friday, December 30, 2005 10:43 PM PST

In response to the editorial writers, reporters and politician who are critical of President Bush's policies regarding Iraq - some of whom are calling for the president's impeachment - and especially Howard Dean, who is declaring the war a lost cause, I offer the following quotes by a former president who was well liked and respected by the American people and highly regarded by the media.

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

He also said, “To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is requiredŠ.”

In a later speech, this same president promised that an attack against any country in the Western Hemisphere would be deemed to be an attack against the United States and would be met with the full military force of the United States.

The above words and promises are not those of George W. Bush, or Ronald Reagan, or Dwight D. Eisenhower, or any other president who might be viewed as a “hawk.” The quotes are from the Inaugural Address of President John F. Kennedy on Jan. 20, 1961.

The promise to defend the Western Hemisphere was also made by Kennedy when Russian missiles were discovered in Cuba.

For those who are too young to remember Kennedy, he was the older brother of one of Bush's most vocal critics, Senator Ted Kennedy, and had been a senator from the same state as another harsh Bush critic, Senator John Kerry.

I wish the editorialists and critics could tell me how Kennedy would have been viewed by today's liberal media and politicians. Every four years, at the Democratic Convention, Kennedy's name is repeated often as one of this country's greatest presidents. In reading the quotes from Kennedy's Inaugural Address, I must admit that I am somewhat confused by Bush's critics, since he seems to be following the promises made by Kennedy in his Inaugural Address.

Read Kennedy's words carefully, then explain to me the criticism directed at the current president by those who, at the next Democratic Convention, will again praise Kennedy as one of the greatest presidents. It seems to me he advocated the same foreign policies now followed by Bush.

The above is an indication of how far the patriotic pendulum has swung in this country during the past 40 or 50 years. When I was growing up, Veteran's Day, then called Armistice Day, was a great national holiday, with parades and expressions of gratitude to the military troops who kept this country free. Now it is hardly recognized.

Dec. 7, the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor which started World War II, is barely mentioned in the news, but there is extensive coverage in the media on the anniversary of the first atomic attack on Hiroshima, and later, Nagasaki.

This, despite repeated warnings to the Japanese government by the United States that the attacks were coming. Instead, the United States is criticized in the media for its cruelty resulting in the deaths of so many Japanese. Mention is rarely made of the American lives that were saved by the prevention of what would have been a necessary and prolonged attack on the Japanese mainland to end the war.

The ability of the political and media critics to question and criticize the policies of Bush and his administration have been preserved by those brave members of the military who have fought in past conflicts to ensure the freedoms this country enjoys - even the freedom to criticize and satirize the government. That is a freedom not enjoyed by many countries, including some countries which people in the United States may consider to be “free.”

While I may not agree with everything that the current administration, or any administration, may do, I am grateful that I still have the freedom to follow my own political philosophies. Those who are critical of Bush and his administration should be just as grateful.

I wonder if they ever think about that.