Wednesday, May 30, 2007
On Memorial Day. Please read
As a veteran, currently serving in Iraq on a military project, I think it appropriate for us to pause and keep track of exactly how our freedoms are ours to enjoy and cherish. I have a unique perspective, I have lived in a communist dictatorship, and in an Islamic kingdom. Communists take power, and kill or imprison anyone who gets in their way. Kings were born into the job, and rule their "subjects" by "divine right". Personally, I hate Kings and Queens as bad I hate the communists. The French had the right idea, chop all their heads off. The Russians had a better idea, shoot the Tsar and the Tsarina, and the whole royal family, then soak the bodies in acid, and throw the bones down a mine shaft, good riddance to bad rubbish. When we say "Remember Pearl Harbor", we should also remember that WW2 was started by an emperor. WW1 was also started by an emperor. To hell with all of them.We are now engaged in a bitter and long-term conflict, to end Islamic terrorism, and bring peace and freedom to the people of Iraq. Our mission here is difficult, America's finest are watering the desert with their own blood. Last week, on my base here in Iraq, two of America's sons paid the ultimate price, and last week a brave and lonely soldier blew his brains out with his own rifle. As far as I am concerned, his life was sacrificed every bit as much as if he had been killed in combat. Combat killed him, even if indirectly. We Americans take our freedoms for granted, often paying little heed to the billions around the world, who have no say at all in the government that rules every aspect of their lives. In North Korea, you can be jailed, just for taking a different route to your work. In Saudi Arabia, you will arrested, taken to the public whipping post, and whipped with a bullwhip, then jailed for 6 months, if you take a drink of water in public, during the month of Ramadan. In Venezuela, two days ago, the dictator shut down a television station, just for saying things against the government. Remember:It is the soldier, not the poet that gives you freedom of speech.It is the Airman, not the reporter, that gives you freedom of the press.It is the Marine, not the Worshipful Master of your lodge, that gives you freedom of assembly.It is the sailor, not the local gun shop, that gives you the right to bear arms.It is the radio operator, working 12 hour night shifts, not the minister, that gives you freedom of religion.It is the tank mechanic, working under 12 tons of steel armor, on his back, with his arms up in grease, and not the politician, that gives you the right to vote.It is the computer jockey, working for less than he could earn at McDonalds, and not the lawyer, that gives you the right to counsel.We often speak, of our "God-given rights", and it is indeed a power greater than ourselves, which has endowed us with our freedoms. But every free breath we breathe, has been earned- by the blood of our young men and women, who are entombed on countless shores and jungles and deserts, all over this globe.