Spirit of America

I first read about these guys months ago in the WSJ. I was sufficiently impressed to actually open an account to donate. They were overwelmed with the response from other readers like me. Spirit of America has been very active in many aspects of reconstruction projects for Iraq and Afghanistan. They still need help and have started a donation drive via the blogs. I've signed up and started the ball rolling without restriction toward a particular Projects. You can contribute through my site here. If you are a blogger you can set up your own blogger challenge.

Best wishes for all in support of Freedom and Democracy.


Old Enemies New Friends

Looking back on the history of the US global relation for the past 250 years i am struck with the realization of how many of our enemies are now our friends. First off there was Great Britain who we defeated and remained at odds with for the first 50 years of our nation's history. Now they are one of our closest allies. Then we briefly fought Spain and briefly Spain became a strong ally. Next came the big wars, which can be seen as a same set of bookcase, WW1 and WW2. Our enemies were firstly the Japanese, secondly the German, and thirdly the Italians. Japan remains our "UK" island ally in the Far Orient. Germany a hearty ally during the cold war, and the Italians have been with us through thick and thin. Then came the cold war, and our main adversary were the Soviet Unions and their minions. Currently we maintain good relationship with Russia, many of the former Soviet states, and strong relationship with the former Warsaw states.

Our oldest ally is France and there is little new to say about France today.

Of our major adversaries: UK, Spain, Japan,Germany, Italy, Russia, and the Warsaw pact, only Germany and Spain have sought to distance themselves. And for Spain it maybe an aberration rather than a strategic realignment.
Why has our enemies have become our friends? Is it a reworking of Realpolitiks?

My take is more general and less cynical. The main reasons this seeming paradox has occurred is because Americans do not wage war personally; it is not on a racial, ethnic, or even cultural dimension for the wars but for ideology, abstract concept that is available and applicable to all individuals. Freedom and self determination has been the core of American ideology since 1776. Thus when the war is won, whether it be the war for independence or against tyranny, the American ideology is held aloft as the symbol of victory. And this spoil of victory, this american ideology, is shared and granted to the vanquished. It was never us against them; it was our ideals against yours. Nothing personal.

I do not believe this has been the historical pattern for much of the world, and undoubtedly this contributed to the suspicion and reaction against American foreign policy of late.

Thus in this latest war we fight, this war against terror, we again present our ideals of freedom and self determination to combat their ideals of intolerance and oppression. Again we seek to grant to our enemies, men much like ourselves trapped within oppression, the rights deem innate to the human character. Our enemies are not men so much as the ideals that have perverse them. Already Afghanistan has been turned and are now starting to experience growing pain. And Iraq in its last throws of convulsions as the ideals of autocratic oppression die and liberty and self determination take root.

Looking back at the history of what have become those we once waged war against as enemies, i am optimistic that both Afghanistan and Iraq will one day be strong allies and partner with us for a Middle East liberated from oppression and individually empowered for self determination.


France Dearest

France, my love, though I have missed you, I have not missed you much. Your language once lightened my spirit, but now, laden with vitriol, it is burdensome and saps my joie de vivre. Your behavior, once coquettish in its charms, now seems only venal, self-serving and, well, provincial. The occasion of a rendezvous, or as you suggested, a "high level" meeting, would have one day aroused my anticipation, but now, after so many false promises and such unfaithfulness, enlists only ennui in doing that which we have done so dispassionately so many times before. Though it is true we must remain together for the sake of those who rely upon us, I feel I must be honest and confess that you have, to me, grown old, and that I no longer find you attractive.

You can expect, of course, that I will remain discreet in my (d)alliances.

John Wight
Pleasant Grove, Utah

From Friday's Letters to the Editor regarding A letter to America.
(subscription required)



After 911 we sought out those responsible for this act. All evidence points to Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda though there was no proof of this then (OBL did not claim responsibility until last month's video translation). At the time, Al Qaeda was based out of Afghanistan which was nominally under the control of the Taleban (the Northern Alliance had been largely cornered and contained). After 911 the US approached the Taleban to hand over OBL. Omar asked for proof and we gave him insufficient evidence; Omar decides not to turn over OBL. Thus by GWB's proclamation those that harbor terrorists would be treated as if they are terrorists. Afghanistan was duly liberated. What is striking to me here is that had Omar handed over OBL, the Taleban would have likely remained in power today. What this says is that the Taleban was not themselves the problem, only by noncooperation did they become the problem and held accountable for their "house guests." Think about that for a second and how outrageous this actually is. But the war in Afghanistan was largely supported by the world, Europe, and leftists in the US.

Lets then review the situation with Iraq, which the world, Europe, and leftists in the US all opposed. Saddam was obligated by a ceasefire treaty from 1991 to prove he no longer had the wmd previously acknowledge in stockpile. Saddam was under a legal agreement that he failed to comply with; the responsibility of proof was on him. Others before him have successfully demonstrated disarmament (South Africa) and others after him have done so as well (Lybia). Was it too much to expect cooperation with treaty signed? Thus when one party (the US) to that (ceasefire) agreement no longer has faith the in the other party to honor the agreement, the treaty was nullified. The ceasefire was canceled and the shooting war was resumed.

In one instance (Iraq) the legal framework was clear and established (even if you disagree with the premature need to nullify the ceasefire for minor infraction and noncooperation; you must acknowledge that there was nominal breach of contract/ceasefire by Iraq). In the other instance the standing legal framework was disregarded (at least the US never formally recognized the Taleban as the government of Afghanistan, many nations in the world did) and a country was invaded for non cooperation. I am curious to know the pretext as to how those who were supportive of military action against the Taleban but were against the invasion of Iraq can justify their apparent hypocritical and inconsistent stance. Those that opposed both, being opposed to wars in general, were at least consistent. But if you were to support only one using the standards of the day, you should be supporting the current war in Iraq!

Personally i am for both, because both needed to be done. Afghanistan served as a blow against Al Qaeda and as a warning to other states not to harbor terrorism. Iraq serves to undermine the root of terrorism (Terrorism linked to lack of political freedom) by planting Freedom in a liberty parched land. A sound two pronged attack in the War against Terrorism.

I wish our coalition troops swift and decisive victory, minimal casualty, and maximal extermination of our foe.


the Lost

Most likely Arafat is dead just not yet acknowledged as reported in Debka. Regardless of which side you take in the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, what is undeniable is the fact that the Palestinians are not any closer to Palestine.

The Infatada has failed the Palestinians. Only now are some recognizing this. From MEMRI:
"Palestinian columnists have recently published articles assessing the four years of the Intifada, in which they admitted that the grave harm caused to the Palestinians stemmed from their choice of suicide/martyrdom operations as the primary method of struggle. In addition, the PA's status as the leader of the Palestinian people has been undermined, and signs of anarchy in Palestinian society have increased. Some of the accounts described the Palestinians as closer to defeat than to victory, and complained about the lack of political achievements, lack of goals, and lack of strategic planning. The following are excerpts from the columns: "

When you embrace a culture of violence, it will consume you and darken your path toward self destruction.

I believe the Palestinians missed a great opportunity after 911 and again afterward. Naturally this is now a retrospective analysis and i do not blame the Palestinian leadership for missing it, after all nearly all of Western Europe leadership misread it as well. However, the Europeans already have their cozy nations, the Palestinians were still in line for one.

The Palestinians are clearly mismatched on the ground, suicide bombing and all. Their only chance to win the war is to repeat the success of the North Vietnamese, who lost the ground war but won the political war. While the terrorism associated with the infatada maybe justified by some pseudo-intellectual elite apologists, especially in Europe, it never was anywhere accepted by the Americans. This is important to acknowledge because the Europeans have little to no influence over Israel like the US does; only the US can leverage the Israeli toward a Palestinian state. The scenes of Palestinians dancing in the streets on 912 have alienated their cause toward a Palestinian state with the majority of Americans. The leadership should have calculated the course of event, whether the US would withraw from the Middle East or re-engage with renewed and aggressive vigor. Bush's speech should certainly have given them a clue were they listening. The bold move would have been for the Palestinian leadership to take the opportunity to acknowledge the failures of the infitada and renounce it. Better yet, renounce terrorism and proposed to help the US against terrorists. It would have been a tremendous opportunity to save face and renounce a fruitless strategy and join the winning side. As allies, the Palestinian would have had real leverage against the Israeli and effectively countered and neutralized the Israeli. But perhaps they could not ascertain whether the US will prevail or not. That question was resoundly answered in Afghanistan. Again the Palestinians had a second opportunity to renounce terrorism and join the war against terror when the US offered the "road map." Again they stuck to their tried and true, though failing path. Now come their third swing at bat with the passing of Arafat. The conventional path would be for the Palestinian to consolidate and continue as before. The radical move would be to swing against terrorism and approach the US as allies. Some in the PLA already has the support of the Bush administration, not to mention that Bush is the only president to publically state the Palestinian should have a state. It will not be easy to neutralize Hamas and Hezbolla but the Israeli have already done much recently to weaken both. The timing is perfect, the opportunity tremendous, the null alternative is doom. Continuing on the path of cultural violence without likelihood of victory will destroy the Palestinians.
Third time at bat, i hope them well, but i expect a strike out.



Since the election of W, i have encountered several instances where "Americans" felt incline to apologize to the world for the US electing Bush. I am going to skip the part where they are sore losers, as that is obvious. What is inappropriate is the condescention and lack of respect these apologists are showing to their neighbors and countrymen, as well as the ideals upon which this nation was established. Again i must touch back to the concept of tolerance and respect; if they cannot afford this to others, then how will they ask for it for themselves? Moreso how could they possibly believe that foreigners hold the moral or intellectual highground that would require any americans to apologize to them for? And how could any american want a president that would cater to foreign powers?
We elect our leadership based on how they would make our lives better, safer; for us first, and if others too would benefit, then even better. No one will look after us if we are not willing to do it for ourselves. Any vote otherwise is treason.
I am sorely disappointed and slightly disgusted at these apologists.



Kerry is going to concede. Much points for him to do so. Besides the obvious mathematical improbability of him winning Ohio, it also prevents dangerous precedence: that of allowing lawyers to arbitrate any electoral system as well as setting a dangerous precedence for fledgling democracy not to respect the democratic process.

Things to look forward to in the next four years:
1. Consolidation of the Middle East democratic changes started with Afghanistan and Iraq.
2. Ownership society within the US.
3. How the major media (who have all leaned to far left, forsaking their primary mission of informing the public for their own political and ideological agenda) will adjust.
4. How the Democratic Party will reform itself. Clearly the policies of selecting an "anyone but" candidate, as well as the remaining platform and principles were rejected by the voters as a whole (losses of congressional seats).
5. Realignment of US alliances away from Europe and more toward Asia (Russia included)

Over all, i am particularly hopeful for the next four years.



I was first in line when my polling station opened today. What drove me to vote was the principle of brotherhood. Brotherhood to the Americans who died from terrorist attacks, whether it is the marines in Beirut or the shipmen of the Cole, the victims of Oklahoma City or 911, and the individuals killed in hijackings and kidnappings. They are all my brothers and i felt an obligation to honor them. Brothers are the soldiers now fighting for our freedom, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere and everywhere. Brothers are the allies and South Vietnamese who were betrayed when the major media, ivory tower pseudo-intellectuals, and well meaning but hood winked individuals declared that freedom of others were not worth fighting and dying for. And finally, brothers are the liberated Afghanis and Iraqi as well as those still yearning for freedom in the Middle East. We are all entwined with threads that bind us, not just as humans, but also through actions and reactions, and non-action and consequences.

I voted for George W. Bush.
Kerry just does not get it.