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I am a 1967 graduate of The Citadel (Distinguished Military Student, member of the Economic Honor Society, Dean's List), a 1975 graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div., magna cum laude, member of the Phi Alpha Chi academic honor society); I attended the Free University of Amsterdam and completed my History of Dogma there and then received a full scholarship from the Dutch government to transfer to the sister school in Kampen, Holland. In 1979 I graduated from the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Churches of Holland (Drs. with honors in Ethics). My New Testament minor was completed with Herman Ridderbos. I am also a 2001 Ph.D. graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (Systematic Theology) in Philly with a dissertation on the "unio mystica" in the theology of Dr. Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). I am a former tank commander, and instructor in the US Army Armor School at Ft. Knox, KY. I have been happily married to my childhood sweetheart and best friend, Sally, for 43 years. We have 6 children, one of whom is with the Lord, and 14 wonderful grandchildren.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Increasing Our Troop Size in Iraq and Minimum Wage


Harmonizing Disparate Elements
At first blush it does not readily appear what the relationship is between raising the minimum wage and the new “surge” of troops into Iraq announced by President Bush. But when you reflect on these two disparate elements for a while certain affinities do show up. If we’re planning to send more than 20,000 more troops to Iraq—and we are—how can that possibly be related to raising the minimum wage? I want to answer that question in this issue. In addition, I want to comment briefly on our Rules of Engagement and how this war is being politicized by our politicians (I suppose that politicizing things is what politicians do best) as well as by ultra Left-Wing organizations like Code Pink and individuals like Sean Penn, Jihad Jane Fonda (with a new war to demonize, she’s been forced to change her name from Hanoi Jane to Jihad Jane. It’s the ravages of this war where we’re so bogged down that forced her hand), Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Barbra Streisand, Alec Baldwin, etc.

Minimum Wage and the War
Armchair generals have guess-timated that the surge of troops into Iraq will not help. This is akin to the Super Bowl office pool. For the longest time I’ve been thoroughly convinced that guessing the outcome of sports events is, at best, guess work. You can look at all the stats, but at the end of the day the game has to be played and from the start of that game innumerable variables enter the equation. If you’re lucky enough to guess right you win. I remember watching and listening to the “experts”—and these were sportscasters and those who had played the game for a long time—state emphatically that the New Orleans Saints would thump the Chicago Bear—in spite of Brian Urlacher.
If the generals on the ground in Iraq believe that more troops are needed to quell the fighting, then I say we give them an opportunity to prove their theory. After all, they are there and they are the experts. Moreover, our armed forces are volunteers. They knew when they signed up that it was possible that they would have to fight. That goes with the turf of a combat arms unit. No whining! While I’m on this point, let me make something crystal clear. I have never seen an episode of the TV program The View. I have seen clips and bytes from the show, however. One of the Left-Wing info babes recently talked about sending our “children” in the military to Iraq. Excuse me! Children? Just for the record: the United States armed forces are the best trained and best equipped military in the world. Those who go and fight are not children! They are men who are trained to protect people like the foolish woman who called them children. I am sick of hearing all the pundits referring to our men and women in uniform as children. That is a horrible insult and the woman should make a public apology for denigrating our troops that way, but some liberals, as loving as they want us to think that they are, are above apologizing—ever; for anything.
But my point here is this: I have heard people in our federal government prognosticating that the “surge” cannot possibly help. How do they know? Are they convinced by Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) “fact finding” trip to Baghdad recently? One can only wonder what kinds of military facts Ms. Pelosi returned with. We don’t know what the surge will do until we try it, anymore than we know that the new hike in the minimum wage will help the economy. Actually, we have more reason to believe that the hike in the minimum wage will harm the robust economy we’re experiencing rather than help it. Historically, raising the minimum wage has caused the economy to become more sluggish, but the Democrats seem hell-bent on flying in the face sound economics. I often sit and wonder if any of them has read a book on economics—ever! But why would we be so cock-sure that raising the minimum wage is a good thing and sending more troops to Iraq unless we are just opposed to the war in the first place.

Rules of Engagement and a Politicized War
One thing is certain Iraq is not Vietnam, but there is one valid analogy between these two wars. Vietnam was possibly the most politicized war in U.S. military history. One of the greatest problems in Vietnam was that politicians would not let the soldiers, sailors, and Marines fight the war the way it needed to be fought. Our politicians were so inept that they did not even see a correlation between the bombing of Hanoi and the North Vietnamese returning to the negotiating table, but that is precisely what happened. Up until that time, the North Vietnamese had mooned us repeatedly. Nixon made the decision to bomb Hanoi and lo and behold there are warm bodies at the negotiating table again. The correlation was completely lost on a large number of our politicians.
Something similar is happening in Iraq with our namby-pamby, limp-wristed, linguine-spined rules of engagement. Knowing your enemy is important. As far as the Islamo-fascists are concerned kindness, being Mr. Nice Guy translates into “weakness.” Our soldiers have a stomach for this fight so that they can protect us and our freedoms over here. Our politicians don’t seem to have a stomach for the fight, however, and our latest, newly elected crew in Washington comprise a group that could be the poster-politicians for the “Cut-and-Run Club.”
Rather than pulling out—like the debacle in Somalia and Vietnam—we should have realistic Rules of Engagement. If hospitals and orphanages are hide-outs for the bad guys and they fire on us from there, they are now legitimate targets. The same holds true for an imam or a mosque. An imam with an AK-47 or a Rocket Propelled Grenade that takes a shot at our guys is fair game. It will be God’s place to forgive him or not; it is our place to arrange the meeting. Just kidding—sort of. Seriously, when we turned the Marines lose in Fallujah, they did what they were trained to do. In the middle of that operation, we pulled them out, let the enemy regroup and rearm, and then sent the Marines back in and it was much tougher the second go round.
While I’m on this, I’m also sick of our Left-Wing Fonda, Penns, and their ilk accusing us of killing civilians. The U.S. military bends over backwards to avoid civilian collateral damage. Not a word has come from these people about the civilian casualties brought about by IEDs and suicide bombers who on strap C-4 and detonate themselves killing as many civilians as possible. One of the reasons “smart bombs” were invented was to avoid collateral damage, but the likes of Jihad Jane hasn’t bothered to notice that. She’s been too busy criticizing the country that made her rich and famous.

Is It the Number of Dead or the Cause for which They Fight?
I keep hearing about the high number of American deaths in this war and I conclude that those who buy into this propaganda are brain dead. They have imbibed of the Kool-Aid and now constitute the “Chick Littles” of the modern era. We have been fighting this war since March 20, 2003. We were in Afghanistan earlier. In that period of time, we have lost over 3,000 of our country’s fine men and women. We mourn the death of each one of them. At the same time, there has never been a time in the annals of U.S. Military history where the losses have been so low! Last year, which was supposed to be a landmark year in terms of insurgency, the U.S. lost 821 service men and women. That figure is unheard of in a year’s military fighting.
But even though these numbers are very, very low we need to get some perspective on loss of life vis-à-vis importance of the cause being fought for. For example, this nation fought a war over the issue of slavery. It was a bloody war, but apparently some believed that the cause was noble, just, and right. Therefore, in two days at Gettysburg more than 20,000 Americans died—two days. At Cold Creek, 7,000 Americans died in less than an hour—which is still the record for most Americans dying in that time frame. In World War I more than 1,000,000 Germans died in less than a year; 6,000 died on the beaches of Normandy, 7,000 died on Iwo Jima, and the list could go on and on because it is long.
How precious and important are our freedoms here in the United States? Are we going to have to face another 9/11 before we come to our senses again? Not too long ago I re-watched footage from 9/11/01. There were looks of horror on people’s faces as they fled the carnage, ravages, and collapsing of the Twin Towers. The point then is the point now: The terrorists did not care if you were black, white, Hispanic, Asian or what. They didn’t care if you were male or female, heterosexual or homosexual, young or old, Democrat, Republican, Greenie, Libertarian, or Independent. We were attacked because we are Americans, the Great Satan.It is really time to wake up, smell the roses, coffee, or whatever you like to smell—within reason of course—, and realize that the terrorists are not going to go away. They will stay around until we kill them or they kill us.

4 Comments:

Blogger SolaMeanie said...

Ron,

Great post.

Whenever I see the handwringing over civilian casualties, I remember the fire-bombing of Dresden in World War II. Horrible, of course..and yet that's what happens in war. A war, by the way, we didn't start. While we try to avoid civilian casualties these days, sometimes that might be a mistake, especially when said civilian population aids and abets their country's war (or terrorist) efforts. For instance, if the Palestinians cheer Scud missiles raining down on Tel-Aviv, or the residents of Beirut allow Hezbollah to launch rockets from their driveways or backyards, then they become targets themselves. Sometimes it is necessary to break the will of a country in war time, and that includes breaking the will of the population to support the war effort.

Hard truth, but truth nonetheless.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Randy,
How are you? Franks in his book "American Soldier" asked for a leaner, meaner fighting machine than Schwarzkopf wanted. Okay. The generals on the ground want a non-politicized war where the Rules of Engagement allow our troops to engage the enemy and kill him/her. The vast majority of Americans read, listen to, or watch the left-wing media and thus they are opposed to the war. I wonder if an equal number would like another 9/11?
Read Sowell on Econ. or Walter Williams; two black men almost as articulate as Obama--althought they wouldn't take that as a slur.
Is the Micah 6:8 text supposed to support a minimum wage? I don't get it.
Most U.S. businesses are pretty ethical and want to do the right thing and turn a decent profit.
The Home Depot thing is an executive decision. I like it more than Hillary's statement that she wants Exxon's profits. Yeah, I'll bet she does. Just what we need: more government intervention taking profits from corporations. Seig heil!
Rattlesnake 6

6:03 PM  

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