Marines.Together We Served

Monday, September 25, 2006

Stand Down!

Well now, isn’t this a fine kettle of fish!

What I’m referring to is the outrageous personal attacks by two heads of state against President Bush while they were addressing the United Nations General Assembly recently. This is unprecedented. Any semblance of decorum and civility by these two leaders were not only absent from their vituperative attacks, they were clearly premeditated, apparently finding a ready audience in the U.N., which comes as no surprise really.

As is President Bush’s character, he chooses not to get into the personal attack mode with the likes of Iran’s current leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez. Some are critical of President Bush for not meeting with Ahmadinejad personally. Why should he? Iran’s leader has made it clear that he is no longer in control of his faculties. Case in point: He denies the Holocaust ever occurred and continues to call for the elimination of the State of Israel and all Jews. Do you seriously think this is someone you could sit down with over a cup of coffee and have any meaningful discussion?

Make no mistake – Ahmadinejad is a central figure in the Middle East. He holds such a position primarily because he is the loudest voice in the region with no one else able to counter-balance his strident rhetoric. He is a lone voice, barking at the moon. But for all of his talk, he is a dangerous man and should not be dismissed out of hand.

Hugo Chavez, on the other hand, is also dangerous because he controls a lot of oil. And America buys a lot of oil from this South American nation. This fellow is now running around the world befriending all of those nations that are at odds with the United States, not the least of which is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Whatever backroom shenanigans these two are cooking up, we’d best be on our guard.

What I personally find unsettling in all of this is that no one, or at least no one of note, has denounced the personal attacks against our president. Party politics aside, George Bush is our president. I may have missed it because I’ve been traveling and don’t always stay as current with the news as when I am home, but no one has come to his defense! Are there no politicians willing to defend the Defender of the Free World? Are there no journalists who may yet have some patriotic blood coursing through their veins? Are there no ambassadors to the United Nations who are willing to receive the scorn of lesser men and women and denounce these two leaders from the very same floor of that General Assembly? If not, then I say the United States has, at best, “fair-weather” friends.

Allow me to put this in perspective. First, I will not even dignify the slanderous remarks made by these two leaders against our president by mentioning them in this article. If you are not aware of these remarks berating Mr. Bush, then sleep on. Second, though these world leaders say they have nothing against the American people, they are obviously not as smart as they think they are. America is a nation of laws. As such, we live under a constitutional government. That is to say, we elect our leaders from within the populace. We have free elections, from our local city council members to the President of the United States. In this regard, we are the envy of the world.

Having said this, Messieurs Chavez and Ahmadinejad would do well to remember that it was the registered voters of these United States that willingly voted for George Bush to be our president. So, when they attack our president, they are attacking us.

Let me conclude by speaking directly to these two heads of state:

Dear Sirs: As Americans we will continue to keep the Free World free. We have always been willing to do so, and our men and women in uniform in far off places such as Afghanistan and Iraq are evidence of our continued commitment to fight for, not just our freedom, but all who yearn to be free. Read the plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost (sic) to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

You are allowed to come to these shores and say what you will about our president in the safety and neutrality of the United Nations – a safety that is afforded to you by us. I do not for a minute believe such a courtesy would be offered to our president were he to be in your country. That is a clear difference between our nations. You may consider this to be a weakness, but only to your peril. Free people are not weak, and we do not appreciate threats leveled against us. So, be very careful what you say.

In the annals of world history, the best either of you can possibly hope for is to be found in some footnote, if that. But the United States of America and her presidents will be remembered for the courage and resolve to maintain freedom for Americans and all who yearn to be free. That could hardly be said of either of you. You may want to reconsider the sort of legacy you wish to leave behind. If you choose to embrace freedom and not tyranny, you are more than welcome at the table of free nations. Otherwise, you will be relegated to the ash-heap of wanna-be’s who flickered on the world stage for a moment, and then were no more.

In the military of the United States, there is a term we use when someone is getting out of line. They are ordered to “Stand Down!” I cannot order you to do anything. But I can strongly recommend that you take heed, and Stand Down! If not, and you continue to attempt to beard the lion, you will have to answer to the nation that defends the free world.

Have a nice day.

Signed, Chuck Roots, a citizen of the United States of America.

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