Max Thomas and Buddy at home
Buddy is the one on the bottom
Hallowed Military Words
President Bush on the Deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln
It was well over a hundred degrees that day in Ben Hoa. My outfit had just got off the choppers returning to base camp. I and the rest of Charlie Company 2/503rd Battalion of the 173rd Airborne Brigade stood in what was at best a semblance of a military formation. After three weeks in the jungle we were a grungy, unshaven group of paratroopers who hadnt seen a bath much less a change of clothes for a while. In short we bore no resemblance to the parade ready immaculate airborne soldier in dress greens and famous spit shined jump boots. As General Williamson approached we did dress up our formation at the directions of 1st Sgt. Jackson. Knowing that we were tired, hungry and not ready for a speech lasting more than three minutes, General Williamson elected to give a three word address to his weary warriors. As we stood at attention (sort of) one of the finest commanders to ever wear jump boots looked at a bunch of teenagers with incredible pride and said, Mission accomplished, men.
I was a long way from Texas. I was 19 years old. I had killed my first man with a bayonet. He was a boy younger than me who screamed and begged for his life as blood literally sprayed from the hole in his chest. I had seen my brothers die. My unwashed uniform stank from the blood of a brother who had died in my arms. We had fought well and the enemy had been vanquished from his strong hold. However, the reality of war is a far cry from that portrayed by a John Wayne movie. There are two kinds of people who will tell you that they were not eaten up with fear in a battle. One is a fool and the other is a liar. Neither is worth a damned as a soldier. A wise man once said that courage is not the absence of fear it is the overcoming of fear. Fear in the heat of combat is the adrenalin that fuels the engine a warriors life depends on. Professional warriors will universally acknowledge the need for fear as a tool of the trade. Most will concur that the fear that hurts a soldier is not the fear in the fight, but the fear after the battle. Indeed the fear that makes you quick and strong in the fight is not only helpful it is absolutely essential for survival. However, the fear that sets in after the battle when the mind recounts the action is the stuff that tears at the very sole of a warrior. I had gone from a teenage kid to an old war veteran in his forties in a matter of three weeks. My exterior appearance was that of a hard combat professional soldier. I was an old soldier now and would see many more battles. Physically I was unharmed and not in need of medical treatment. Inside I was hurting beyond any civilians ability to grasp. Emotionally I was seriously damaged and in dire need of help.
One needs to understand at this point the extraordinary meaning of the word mission in military lingo. I am a professional journalist and words are my business. However, I lack the ability to express the magnitude of this hallowed words military meaning. From the kid with the rifle and bayonet to the General, the word mission is written in Holy Grail. The mission is everything. It is what you are prepared to give your life and take another mans life to accomplish. Another word that the military attached an extraordinary degree of importance to is the word commander. The word commander is defined in Mr. Websters best seller as the absolute authority. The military takes that particular definition literally. To a fighting man words from his commander are absolutely indisputable. If the old man says it, it is by military definition a fact. When my commander looked at me and said those simple but sacred military words, Mission Accomplished the civilian translation would have been that it was a nice pat on the back. The military reality was that it was a healing balm to a critically damaged sole.
It is the sacred duty of any officer in a command position to take care of his men. Later I received a commission and had the honor of commanding Americas finest sons in combat. I would never forget the obligation of a commander to his warriors. General Williamson had taught me well. Never did I fail to tell my guys after every successful mission, Gentlemen, mission accomplished.
Decades after that meaningful day in the life of a young paratrooper, another commander stood on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and spoke to her gallant crew. President George W. Bush did his duty as Americas Commander in Chief and said to those deserving sailors, Mission Accomplished. A banner proudly flew at his back as he spoke directly to a gallant band of American warriors. The crew had stood in harms way to accomplish a mission. They had done their job well and were homeward bound after completing their mission. It was not only proper it was the absolute sacred responsibility for their commander to tell them they had accomplished their mission with honor. On that day in May of 2003 President Bush proved himself to be a man who clearly understood the role of Commander in Chief.
Since that day the noble words of this honorable American commander have been distorted and dishonored by many politicians and news media people. The honored words, Mission Accomplished were spoken by the President of the United States directly to the crew of the American Navy ship. They were spoken from the deck of that vessel as it returned from a specific mission. To suggest that this deserved message from the highest commander in this crews chain of command were related to anything but their specific mission is ludicrous.
Regardless of ones views of Americas war efforts or political party affiliation to distort this message to American heroes from their President is un-American by any standard. Let there be no question that the sole purpose of this theft of the earned praise of the service men of the USS Abraham Lincoln is purely political with no semblance of decently or honor. I believe myself to be a tolerant man and as such I respect those who have a different political agenda than my own. I took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States that gives all Americans the freedom of speech. I shall honor that oath to my grave. I stand ready to lay down my life to defend that right even for those who say things I find disgraceful. That said, I also maintain my freedom of speech to call those words disgraceful. Even in the unholy arena of politics there should be a line that is not crossed. I submit that distorting the honorable act of the President of the United States and tarnishing the praise of American servicemen has crossed that line.
GOPON CIVIL RIGHTS
WHICH PARTY IS TRULY THE HISTORY'SCHAMPION OF CIVIL RIGHTS?
For many years the operatives in the Democrat Party have attempted to paint the GOP as a racist party that will not defend the civil rights of Americans. The clear objective for this categorically false accusation is to gain political advantage. It matters not that America will be hurt and the people must suffer because of the Democrats orchestrated effort to racially divide country. Unfortunately there are honest folks who believe this vile slander. Many of them add to this falsehood by reiterating the repulsive rhetoric because they actually believe it. However, most Democrat operatives and politicians who are guilty of this blatant sin against America.do it intentionally to enhance their own political agenda. I take issue not only with those who would practice this blatant racism in the hallowed name of civil rights, but to a limited extent with those who believe the lie. As my grandpa used to say, Some folks believe even a dumb lie because theyre just too darn lazy to look for the truth. It never fails to amaze this old high school debater that in the world of politics intentional lies can be told and believed with no proof or even a hint of logic.
As we examine this accusation, let us heed the words of my grandfather and not be too darn lazy to look for the truth. The record clearly shows the division of America along racial lines has been a mainstay of the Democrat Party throughout American history. However, the stereo typing of Republicans as racists is a relatively new card in the Democrat Partys deck of race cards. It is frankly an extraordinary grasp of the obvious to understand that the assumptive accusation of racism based on race or party affiliation is in itself racism. Stay with me gang, this aint hard. The original history of the Democrat Partys open belief in racism as a political tool dates back to the dark days of slavery. Lest we forget the Republicans are indeed the Party of Lincoln. Pray tell what was the name of the political party that attacked old Abe? Indeed the Democrat Partys racist record is an open book. From the passionate defense of the institution of slavery by United States Senator John C. Calhoun to the post Civil War Klan and the enactment of the infamous Poll Taxes, the Democrats have been more than willing to trade American freedom for political power.
It is not necessary go far back in Americas history to identify which party has embraced civil privilege as opposed to civil rights. Nor is it difficult for any logical American to see which party has consistently stood for the enforcement of equal rights for all. The first President in modern history to actually commit federal troops to defend the rights of Americans was none other than Republican Dwight David Eisenhower. In 1957 Americas Republican President committed over a thousand U.S. paratroopers to defend the rights of nine black students in Little Rock, Arkansas. Democrat Governor Orval Faubus, publicly professed his intention to bar these youngsters from attending Central High School based on the color of their skin. Good Democrats argue that this racist position was a reflection on Faubus and not their party. They will say these prominent Southern Democrats were Dixiecrats and not Democrats. Nice try guys, but that dog wont hunt. The political success of the Southern Democrats based on oppression of black Americans served the political advantage of the Democrat Party on a national basis for decades. It doesnt matter that you gave tacit disapprove of the act of robbing the bank. If you didnt call the cops and knowingly accepted part of the stolen money youre an accomplice. The Republican Partys message to the Democrat Governors effort to deny the black youngsters their American rights was clear. A Republican President would defend the rights of American citizens of any color at all cost. Other prominent Democrats of the error were Governors Wallace of Alabama and Lester Maddox of Georgia Among many racial atrocities committed by Democrat Governor Wallace was the use of force in Selma against American Freedom Riders. This high ranking member of the Democrat Party drew American blood to defend racism. I must admit to a personal bias regarding the politically motivated actions of this particular Democrat. I carry a scar from a Klansmans brick that split my skull during a march. Freedom Riders came in all colors folks. Another sterling example of the Democrat Partys civil rights champions can be found in the life and times of Lester (Mad Man) Maddox. Old Lester was of course the Democrat Governor of Georgia from 1967 to 1971. His claim to fame prior to being elected Governor was that he ran some black kids out of his dinner brandishing an ax handle. He actually passed out miniature ax handles to his Democrat supporters during his campaign as a memento of the dastardly deed. Let there be no question that this defeated his Republican opponent based on the Democrat Partys support specifically based on threatening young people with a deadly weapon based entirely on the color of their skin.
In the spirit of fairness it must be said that even in this dark period of American history there were champions of justice and equal rights in the ranks of both parties. Certainly notable exceptions to the normal Democrat Party line of the day were Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. John Kennedy and his Attorney General brother Bob were exceptional men who stood fast on America s principle of equal justice for all. I submit that it was LBJ who led the fight for the most meaningful civil rights legislation in American history. While the Democrats are quick to point out that the Civil Rights Act of 1965 was passed while a Democrat sat in the Oval Office, they are slow to disclose what party fought their Democrat President on this land mark Civil Rights legislation. Fighting tooth and nail for the Democrat South to continue to deny the rights of black Americans to enhance their Partys political power were Democrat Senators James Eastland, Robert Byrd, Strom Thurman and Richard Russel. Senator Byrd filibustered to block the passage of the Civil Rights bill for more than fourteen hours, before a move to end the filibuster stopped him and his gang of Democrats. Who you may well ask led the fight to stop the Democrats from blocking Civil Rights? The three men who led the fight to stop Byrds attempt to deny black Americans equal rights were Minnesotas own Democrat Hubert Humphrey and a couple of GOP boys Senators Everett Dirksen and Thomas Kuchel. The official record flies in the face of the Democrats claim to be the party of true civil rights. The voting record on the land mark civil rights legislation reflects a completely different picture than that painted today by the Donkey faithful. The actual voting by party was: House: Democrat Party: After Democrat arms had been seriously twisted by a Democrat President, a less than impressive 61% of the House and 69% of the Senate Democrats were pushed and bullied into approving of law that defended the rights of minorities. With no arm twisting involved the Republican legislators delivered an impressive 80% of the House and a very respectable 82% of the Senate vote. Those Democrats who point to this laudable civil rights legislation as proof of that their party is the champion of civil rights have a grain of truth in this deceptive claim. We should all be thankful that the big guy from the Texas Hill Country was in the Oval Office at the time. Few students of American political history will deny that Lyndon was the most powerful Senate majority Leader in the history of that illustrious body. He was known for his bare knuckles style of political infighting. Prior to his presidency Johnson ruled the Senates Democrats for years. I heard a Democrat Congressman from my home state of Texas once say, Id rather French kiss a rattlesnake than mess with Lyndon. The true credit for the Democrats role in this legislation must go to their President who forced the Democratsto do the right thing, but the tally book will show that they were indeed forced to defend the rights of minorities.
The Democrat classic response to the fact that most of the opposition to civil rights came from their own party and not the GOP is frankly embarrassing. When faced with their partys long history of racism, the Democrat response is simply, Well those Democrats werent really Democrats. This old song is entitled If He Done Wrong He Aint No Democrat can be found on page 37 of the Donkey Hymnal. The tune resembles another oldie but goodiecalled, Real Minorities Aint Republicans. Sing along folks, you all know this one. Harry Reed was singing it in Nevada just this morning. The lyrics go: If you are a Republican Hispanic youre not really Hispanic. If you are a black Republican youre not really black. If youre a Republican woman youre not really a woman. I have to admit this little ditty has always been one of my favorites for years. However, even when I truly stretch I just dont get it. I may concede the possibility that former Attorney General Gonzales was from the Irish branch of the Gonzales family. I may even buy that former Congressman J. C. Watts of Oklahoma is an Italian American with a serious sun tan. However, this old Texas country boy draws the line at Condoleezza Rice and Sarah Palan not being real women. Without question these two exceptional Americans place in history will be the result of their extraordinary service to our country and not their beauty. But come on now fellows! These young ladies are what my generation referred to as stone foxes.
The Democrat Party was forced to change their long standing color of choice, but have not varied from using the lowest form of political hate mongering to win elections. Only after the 1965 Civil Rights Act no longer allowed the party to give civil privilege to white Americans did the party give up the use of white supremacy as an important political tool. The legislation literally forced the party to grudgingly grant black citizens equal voting rights. It was at this point that the black American after decades of racial oppression by the Democrat Party suddenly represented a political power to that party. Now out from under the bigoted boot of the Democrats, black America was a political force to be reckoned with. Faced with having to now cater to the very Americans they had long oppressed the Democrat cornpone spin machine quickly switched into high gear. The message to minorities had to be revised. The most incredible part of the new Democrat spin was that it worked. The new Donkey song had some standard lyrics but was nonetheless a revised stanza. The new Democrat message to black America was, Weve decided now that we dont have a choice to allow you to vote for us. I know yall have been the victim of our partys racist policies for years, but those guys that treated you like trash werent really Democrats. We know the Democrat Party treated the white American better than you in the past, but Happy Days are Here Again. Were still going to play favorites, but now you get to be our color of choice. Our partys Jim Crow laws are gone. So lets make a deal. If you vote for us well draft new laws to favor you instead of the other guy. Hes had the benefit of our racist agenda for long enough. Its your turn to benefit from ourracism. Honest folks, this will really work. The real beauty of the plan is that when the white American complains about discrimination like you guys did, well call him a racist. I know it sounds silly, but trust us we can pull this off. Those real white racists will have the same complaint as the whites that are not bigots. We can paint them all with the same brush. Forget what Dr. King said about equality. Nobody will know the difference.
This new and improved relationship established between the Democrat Party and their choice of specific groups of Americans gave birth to a new definition of civil rights. The replacement for the racist Jim Crow laws sponsored and enacted by the Democrat Party would be a bigger and better form of racism. The new Democrat racist laws would be enacted on a national basis with billions of tax dollars in the offering. Affirmative Action was born. The Dems new political toy would prove to be their biggest political asset since the Klan. The beauty of this brand of blatant color coding of American law was the stuff political dreams are made of. Any old time supporters of Dr. Kings message of equality could be dismissed with ease under the new political strategy. The dissenter would be branded racists if they dared challenged the new color choice of the Democrat Party. The new rule was that racism was not only politicallyacceptable; it was sanctioned and advocated in the name of civil rights, provided of course the politically correct color of choice was in play.
Todays Democrat Party kids are more zealous than ever in the use of their new found political tool of racist attacks in the name of racial justice. They have become more polished that their Klan heritage, but they are hiding their true motives under the same sheets. President Obama had a golden opportunity to fulfill Dr. Kings dream. It was a dream that we all shared. I was sitting on the grass at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial when this courageous American hero stirred the soul of our country with his I have a dream speech. To this day this old man can recite that wonderful message of equality for all that will forever live in my heart. This great patriots message was clear. America had to be totally color blind in protecting the freedom of all her people. Dr. King was truly America's Gandhi. I hold four combat decorations for valor and three Purple Hearts for wounds received in the service of my country. My courage pales when compared with the courage and conviction of this incredible American. I did not support President Obamas campaign based on our different political agendas regarding fiscal responsibility. However, I considered his election a milestone in American history. I thanked my God for allowing this old freedom rider to live to see the day that my country elected a black American President. Mr. Obama had the opportunity of prove every stereo type white bigot in the country wrong. He was given the clear mandate of being the President for all Americans. He had the mandate to show that his administration would not favor any special ethnic group. Today from the White House to Capital Hill the Democrat Party and their standard bearer have failed miserably to accomplish this sacred task.
Today a mighty nation founded on the proposition that all men were created equal has been divided by the political doctrine of our President and his party. This division of America has clearly followed racial lines condoned by the Democrat Partys long standing racist agenda. I have not seen such a polarization of America along racial lines for over half a century. It is argued by some that this is a result of the fact that we have a black President and is not the result ofhis personal actions. While I respect this excuse as having a degree of logic, I disagree with the premise. I submit that the election of a black American President could have united and not divided America. I know it was a tall task but that's we pay him the big bucks.
The need for an example of unquestioned integrity in the leadership of our President was needed and it simply has not been forthcoming. Admittedly this was not an easy task, but it was doable. I would have at least liked to have seen the attempt. Dr. Martin Luther Kings dream, that costs this great American patriot his life, is being distorted and disrespected by our President and his party. Americans are judged clearly by the color of their skin or their political party affiliation and not the content of their character. Minority Americans are chastised by the leader of our Senate for daring to oppose his political party. Senator Harry Reed said he couldnt understand how a Hispanic could not be a Democrat. I can solve that mystery for you Mr. Majority Leader. Obviouslyyou've never had the opportunity to read these words.American minorities can be Republicans becausethey are "endowed by their Creator" with the inalienable right to do so regardless of their ethnic heritage, sir. Gone are the days of my youth when an American President would commit the awesome power of a thousand American soldiers to defend the rights of nine young Americans. Today our Justice Department fails to defend Americans who were intentionally intimidated at the polling place. A free pass has been granted this violation of civil rights based on the color of the victims and the perpetrators. Without a hint of supporting evidence our administration presumes a state law, that specifically forbids racial profiling, will lead to racial profiling. This assumption was made by the United States Attorney General and clearly stated by him to the United States public before a Congressional Committee. The assumption was made without the elementary due diligence of actually reading the law in question. This unfounded assumption is clearly racist in nature. Is there a quetion in any logical mind that the assumption of racism is racism? Insupport of this racist assumption the Attorney General has pledged to use the power of the Justice Department to monitor the enforcement of this state law. The stated purpose of the Attorney Generals monitoring of honest police officers is the assumption that they will someday be guilty of racism. Let there be no doubt that this monitoring will absolutely use racial profiling of the law officers as a major tool.
DONT THOUGH OUT THE BABY WITH THE BATH WATER, FOLKS
REMEMBER THE ALAMO!!
At the outset let me be very clear about the fact that your humble correspondent not only understands but concurs with those Americans that are part of arguably the greatest anti-incumbent fervor in American history. I do not take issue with the generally accepted fact that we now have a Congress that is virtually dysfunctional. I understand that a wholesale replacement of the folks on Capital Hill is in the offering this November. However, I respectfully ask my fellow Americans to be careful not to through out the baby with the bath water. While there is no question that the overwhelming majority of our Congressmen and Senators are not doing the job they have been elected to do there are noted exceptions. This country is at war not only on foreign soil but on the home front as well. The stakes in our domestic political war are high. At risk is our safety and the personal freedom granted to us by our Creator and defended with the blood of our forefathers and veterans. Losing this fight is not an option. The battle ground for this war can be found in our nations capital. At the risk of showing my Texas colors I liken the halls of Congress to a modern day Alamo.
Manning the tattered but noble walls of our besieged American way of life are some of the most gallant American heroes in our illustrious history. Like the gallant sons of Texas of long ago, these bloody but unbowed patriots stand and fight for freedom in the face of impossible odds. As an American fortunate enough to have been born and raised in the Lone Star state, I am proud to count among the best of these American heroes the pride ofcentral Texas Congressman John Carter. Time and time again this gallant son of Texas has stood like a rock in his tireless fight for American values and common since in our government. A former District Judge and one of the most respected jurists in the history of Texas , Congressman Carters devotion to the rights of Americans is unparalleled and unwavering. His devotion to America has seen him break bread in overseas war zones with our sons and daughters who stand in harms way to protect our country. As is the nature of a devoted student and administrator of the law he has challenged corruption on the streets or our nation as well as in the very halls of Congress. He is and has been unafraid and tireless in his fight for the citizens of America. True to his heritage and the words of a fellow Texas lawyer William B. Travis long ago this Texas boy will, Never surrender or retreat from his battle.
John Carter is an example of a fine Texas conservative group of legislators doing anextradinary job under extradinarily difficultconditions.The John Carters in our Congress must not be painted with the same wide incumbent brush as those who have failed to meet their obligation to America. In a mid-term election that will justifiably have many an incumbent reading the want ads in November, let us stand up for the John Carters who have stood up for us.
Sweet Sarah Palin
The Pretty Face that Strikes Political Fear in Hearts of Grown Men
There is an old adage in the political science game that says, The candidate your opponent attacks the hardest is the best candidate to run. If that old political proverb is valid, and I believe it is, then there is no question that former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin is the wisest choice for the GOPs Presidential race in 2012. As an American and frankly as a Texas gentleman I take exception to the vicious personal attacks on Sarah from the left. While it may be politically incorrect today, we Texas boys subscribe to a code of chivalry that trumps political rhetoric. Down home we may disagree with a lady publicly, but under no circumstances does a true Texan question the honor of an honorable lady.
Allow me if you will to wear two hats regarding my opinion of the merit of the Democrat Partys assault on Sarah Palin. I take pride in being a man of principle and much less pride in being a political scientist. Nonetheless, I am both. Without question, these personal attacks on the lady do not score well from a decency or truthful vantage point and offend my principles. However, when I put on my political science hat the attacks not only make since, they are the absolutely correct political tact for the Dems to take. The extraordinary political power of the outside the box lady from Alaska must be attacked hard and early if the Democrats have any hopes of winning in 2012. Please understand that the term political science and the word ethics are antonyms not synonyms. Political scientists are hired guns. We are hired to win political campaigns, not, thank God, to run the country. If you use the propaganda from these professional spin artists as your yard stick for truth or morality youre in big trouble. That said, strictly speaking from a political point of view the Dems are doing what they have to do. They have to hit this thousand pound political gorilla in a pretty girl suit with every once of mud they can find. When no mud can be found they must create mud. The recipe for political mud is simple folks; one part distilled water (void of any vitamins or nutritional value) and two parts dirt. Blend the ingredients as needed for heft and texturetoform large globs and hurl vigorously at your opponent. Those of us who are offended by these cheap shots at the lady need to heed the words of my Grandma. Consider the source, son and move on. Liars aint worth your time, boy.
I believe along with the absolutely ludicrous amount of political trash talk that will be leveled at Governor Palin between now and 2012 is an issue that while deceptive has some merit on its face. The Governors resignation from her office in Alaska will undoubtedly be a mainstay of the attacks on the ladys resolve and ability to stick to her principles. The Democrat spin machine will attempt to show that she did not have the resolve to complete her term as Governor and obligation to the people of Alaska that elected her to that office. On its face this argument appears to hold a degree of merit. However, closer scrutiny of this unprecedented (and yes maam, outside the box) act from the tough kid from Wasilla clearlyleads any rational voter tothe exact opposite conclusion. The often self described outside the political box lady proved that she would stick to her consistently stated values and principles before she would stick to the traditional format of political correctness. No true politician would set themselves upas an obvious target for political attack.Well gang this lady is anything but a true politician. Sarah Palin is the most refreshing fresh air that has blown in the odorous winds of American politics in this old mans lifetime. Faced with the prospect ofsquandering the peoples money on tax money spent to defend her office against obviously frivolous and politically charged complaints she elected to step down and take a political bullet for the people. Had I been on her staff I would have screamed bloody murder at my boss for her choice of principles over political correctness. I have little doubt that my politically based objections would have been so animated that Sarah Barracuda would have fired my happy political bottom.
If honesty were part of the political science world the Democrat Party would do well to look objectively at a growing list of politicians in their own ranks. The list of Democrats currently facing charges of real violations of law and theethics rulesof their office is notable to say the least. Unlike Sarah Palin,the focus for these politicians facing actual ethics violations is clearly to avoid losing their cherished political office with no regard to any thought of their fiduciary responsibility to the people.
Outside the box? The Governor may indeed be unique in this regard. Governor Palins actions remind this old freedom rider of another great American heroin who thought outside the box. Rosa Parks once refused to go to the back of a bus in defiance of the local Jim Crow law that required the little black lady to give up her seat to a white man. Without question the conventional wisdom dictated that for her own safety she give up her principles. The courage of this little seamstress was beyond this old paratroopers comprehension. She stood alone on principle in the face of injustice and racial hatred. She stood up by sitting down. Sarah Palin stood on principle in the face of personal andpolitical damage. She refused to quit by quitting.
As a fellow who has seen his share of these political rodeos, permit me to give my poly sci colleagues currently employed by the Democrat Party a bit of down home country advice. Fellers yall might have a real second look at this particular hunk of mud before you commence to chunken it at the little country girl. It looks good boys, but this mud is attached to a boomerang and will undoubtedly come back to hit you were the sun dont shine.