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RAPID RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section.  It will offer fresh, quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in this rapid-fire world of ours.  Of course, as in military campaigns, a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction.  Charge that to "the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or military campaign must maintain to be effective.  But the mission will always be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick", supported by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.  That's all I promise.
GS

Click here to return to the current Rapid Response list

MONDAY, July 31, 2006

I remember Warren Christopher...the way I remember Castor Oil.

GS

Warren's Piece
 Clinton's secretary of state reminds us how lucky we are to have a Bush administration.
by William Kristol
Weekly Standard
08/07/2006, Volume 011, Issue 44

Every time neocon warmongers like me get exasperated by the Bush administration (and we've had increasingly good reasons for exasperation in the last year or so, I might add), someone like first-term Clinton secretary of state Warren Christopher pops up. Maybe "pops up" isn't quite right, conveying as it does an implication of activity and even energy. So let's just say that Warren Christopher presented his credentials to the Washington Post op-ed page Friday, criticizing the Bush administration, more in sorrow than in anger. Bush, you see, had "resisted all suggestions that the first order of business should be negotiation of an immediate cease-fire between the warring parties," i.e., between the state of Israel and the terrorist group Hezbollah.

Christopher's piece needs to be read to be believed. It needs to be read as an example of the fatuousness of liberal elite opinion about the world we live in. That opinion is dominant in the Democratic party--and, unfortunately, has penetrated the Bush State Department more than one would wish. Still, Christopher's op-ed is such a convenient reminder of how much worse things could be that one wonders whether he's on Karl Rove's payroll.

He's probably not. After all, this is the man who, as secretary of state, allowed ethnic cleansing to go on far too long in the Balkans, presided over humiliations in Somalia and Haiti, did nothing in the face of genocide in Rwanda, didn't respond to terror at Khobar Towers, and allowed Hafez al-Assad to treat him as a supplicant.

 He's back, basically articulating the line of the non-Lieberman wing--that is, 95 percent--of the Democratic party.

What's his line? That "we should focus our efforts on stopping the killing." How? Three recommendations. First, "an immediate cease-fire must take priority, with negotiations on longer-term arrangements to follow." In other words, the fact that one of the warring parties is a state that had withdrawn from occupied territory and was scrupulously complying with its obligations, and the other is a terror group that was arming itself to the teeth and killing and kidnapping citizens of a neighboring country, is irrelevant. And the notion that a terror group should be in any way disadvantaged by the "longer-term arrangements to follow," that the terrorists should pay any price for their actions, is nowhere suggested by Christopher. Indeed, he is so much the Compleat Diplomat that he never mentions the incident that caused the outbreak of hostilities: Hezbollah's attack across the Israel-Lebanon border.

Second: "If a cease-fire is the goal, the United States has an indispensable role to play." The highlighting of U.S. indispensability is a (moderately clever) way of disguising the fact that Christopher wants the United States to yield in its view of the Middle East conflict to the Europeans and the United Nations. What does U.S. indispensability mean to Warren Christopher? That only we can muscle the Israelis into an agreement, and that "the Europeans are unlikely to participate in a multinational enforcement action until the United States commits to putting its own troops on the ground." In other words, what is indispensable is not a distinctively American view of the situation or the exercise of American leadership. It is helping the international community to impose an evenhanded settlement on Israel and Hezbollah.

 Third: The United States has to engage in "direct dialogue" with Syria, since Syria has "more leverage over Hezbollah's actions than any other country save Iran." And what about Iran? Christopher leaves unsaid what would undoubtedly be his recommendation: direct engagement without conditions with that regime as well. He does write, "as the situations with North Korea and Iran confirm, refusing to speak with those we dislike is a recipe for frustration and failure." It would, I suppose, be undiplomatic to mention North Korea's missile launches and Iran's nuclear weapons program. They just happen to be nations "we dislike."

In Warren Christopher's world, we should dislike fewer regimes. Then, presumably, we'd be disliked less. Israel, however, we should dislike. After all, "every day America gives the green light to further Israeli violence, our already tattered reputation sinks even lower." This isn't even evenhandedness. Nowhere in his op-ed is Christopher as harsh about Hezbollah--or Syria or Iran--as he is about Israel. Israeli violence is the problem. Anti-Israeli policies are the solution. Warren Christopher, meet Kofi Annan.

The Bush administration has wavered and floundered too much over the last year. Its State Department remains in some considerable denial about Iran, and its Defense Department about Iraq. We look forward to resuming our constructive criticisms of the administration. But we pause this week to say this: Given the spirit of today's liberal establishment and Democratic party, so perfectly personified by Warren Christopher, thank God we have a Bush and not a Kerry administration.

SUNDAY, July 30, 2006

Deja vu...but not quite.  The time, 1941.  The place, lands far, far away.  Ruthless aggressors are laying waste to other peoples, even friends and relatives of ours.  Our natural allies are taking a beating.  But, here in the good ol'  U.S. of A., we want no part of war.  We're barely getting out a searing Depression, and we prefer isolation, thank you.  There's only one problem, recognized by a few and of course ignored by most: we have a major vulnerability.  It's called Pearl Harbor.  And it's made worse by another vulnerability: dependence upon oil (Japan's dependence, not ours).  So, we fight any effort of President FDR to get involved, even fighting his lend-lease programs.  Meanwhile, the aggressors get stronger and stronger, enslaving more and more of the world.  Then comes Dec. 7, 1941.  Our military is crippled; our allies are that much weaker; our enemies are that much stronger.  And then we go into the inevitable war...on the enemies'  timetable...not on ours.  We lose millions of our best citizens - and we come close during the first two years to losing the war and even our freedoms.

That will not happen this time.  We had help in recognizing the new and different World War by the events of 9/11.  We know that this time our "Pearl Harbor" is Israel, a natural ally to whose defense we will devote both our power and our blood.  We know the sources and havens of our new enemy.  So, we wisely decide on pre-emptive self-defense.  Being a new strategy, its implementation is sloppy.  But this time we have hundreds of thousands of our military in the enemies' own homeland, trying to keep them in check...or positioned to destroy them if they so choose.  And they do have a choice, however unwilling they are to take it: accept the permanent existence of Israel; suppress the madmen in their midst; strangle any transnational efforts at terrorism coming from their midst.  A real choice - with real consequences.

Somehow, I much prefer our position on July 30, 2006 to that existing on December 7, 1941.  And we are fortunate that America has another good leader for a very difficult time.
 

SATURDAY, July 29, 2006

The distinguished columnist and author Thomas Friedman can always be counted on to provide facts, insights and direction when it comes to the Middle East.  This is why it was particularly troubling to read today's offering published in The Day entitled: "No Leaders Stepping Up in Mideast To Stop The Madness" (Commentary, pA7).   The man is clearly tired, frustrated and much in need of a vacation...far away from the Mid-east.

Mr. Friedman describes all the well-known symptoms accurately, makes a clear diagnosis ("madness"), and then misses the causation entirely by blaming the Bush administration for everything: "...no moral authority.  That's been shattered by their performance in Iraq.  The World hates George Bush more than any U.S.president in my lifetime.  He is radioactive--and so caught up in his own ideological bubble thqt he is incapable of imagining or forging alternative strategies."  He asserts that is why the U.S. can't galvanize "the forces of order -- Europe, Russia, China and India -- into a coaliltion against these trends", while these players "duck, mumble, waffle or cut their own deals."

This man needs a rest.  Meanwhile, what the madness needs is a searing dose of reality: Israel and the Israeli people are there to stay, if necessary by the power and blood of the U.S.  Their existence there is not negotiable, and is certainly not dependent upon the approval of the rest of the world.   Just about everything else is
negotiable.  Now, if by definition madmen cannot negotiate...what about the many millions of Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East who purport to be sane?  When will they finally take these madmen in tow?  For they are all certainly in the same boat and risk the same fate that befalls madmen in a sane society.  The Israeli people know all this.  There is something about living in front of a loaded cannon for decades that focuses the mind and the fortitude of a person or people.

GS

FRIDAY, July 28, 2006

Have you noticed the concerted campaign throughout the liberal media, Europe and the U.N., to blame and revile Israel for the current situation in the Middle East?  It is not at all subtle.  Its adherents are in complete denial regarding the fact that we are now in WW lll.  In Europe, this is just self-serving hypocracy and anti-semitism as usual.  In this country, it is being done for presumed political gain for the Democrats.  It won't work.  The other Americans are not that stupid.   We will see proof of that in November.

GS

WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY, July 26 and 27, 2006

Food for thought.  This is no joke.

GS

The Passing of an Old Friend, Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who
has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was
since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as
knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the
worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault. Common Sense
lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you
earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children are in
charge).

 His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but
overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old
 boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens
suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher
fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the
job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly
children. It declined even further when schools were required to get
parental consent to administer Aspirin, sun lotion or a sticky plaster
to a student; but could not inform the parents when a student became
pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became
contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better
treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you
couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the
burglar can sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to
realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in
her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was
preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife,
Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.

He is survived by three stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame,
and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
If you still remember him pass this on.
If not,  join the majority and do nothing.

-Author Unknown

TUESDAY, July 25, 2006

Now for a few quick comments.

GS

SUNDAY and MONDAY, July 23 and 24, 2006

Caution: The following is more of the "No Spin Zone", as Bill O'Reilly would say.

ITEM 10: Michael Fumento: The War Tapes: The Real Iraq Finally Comes to the Screen

[Michael Fumento, a senior fellow at Hudson Institute and a former paratrooper, has been embedded twice in the Sunni Triangle.  KMJ]

The War Tapes
 The real Iraq finally comes to the screen.
by Michael Fumento
Daily Standard
07/21/2006 12:00:00 AM

IN ANNOUNCING The War Tapes winner of the "best documentary feature" at the Tribeca film festival in New York in May, judge and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns labeled the film a "remarkably clear-eyed view of what's going on there." I've been over there doing my own war taping and he's right. The movie is a desperately-needed antidote to the mainstream media-produced baloney broadcast daily into our homes that rarely includes anything but (1) bombs exploding in Baghdad; (2) bombs exploding in Baghdad; and above all (3) bombs exploding in Baghdad.

Critics have described the film as "disturbing," "humbling," and "truly a grunt's eye view of the war." Believe it or not, that last one was criticism. It came from leftist screenwriter-director Nora Ephron. The views of grunts and embedded reporters are worthless, Ephron says, because they're "too close" to the war. Better, apparently, to do all the reporting out of Baghdad's Al-Rashid Hotel or--better still--from ivory towers. (Stunningly, Ephron also thinks embedding was an evil idea dreamed up for this war. Ever hear of Ernie Pyle, Nora?)

But The War Tapes simply shows the war as it is, for better or worse, primarily through the eyes of three apparently quite average National Guard soldiers. (Two are actually pudgy, unlike the lean, mean fighting machines I was surrounded with on my two deployments.) Producer Deborah Scranton gave them, and other soldiers from the New Hampshire National Guard's 172nd Infantry Regiment deploying for a year to Camp Anaconda in the Sunni Triangle, mini-DV camcorders. With these they show the boredom, the horror--and yes, the humor--of men given the nasty job of accompanying primarily food convoys past IEDS, RPGs, machine-gun ambushes, and worst of all, suicide car bombers.

The jobs of the three--Zack Bazzi, Steve Pink, and Mike Moriarty--are not the most dangerous in the Army, certainly. They spend most of their time as little more than sitting ducks. Only once, during the Battle of Fallujah, do they have a chance to go on the offensive--they thoroughly relish the opportunity.

The soldiers become increasingly resentful of Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR, and no doubt were delighted with the news last week that their current contract is being canceled. Charges of profiteering aside though, it seems their biggest gripe might come down to it being Halliburton that necessitated most of their harrowing convoys. But you needn't be familiar with the observation attributed to Napoleon that "an army marches on its stomach" to know that somebody is going to be sending out those trucks. Some of the animosity is also aimed at the pay of Halliburton's drivers--civilian contractors in Iraq routinely earn more than the troops they serve. Finally, while the 172nd suffered no deaths or maimings during the deployment, we watch as numerous contractors have their vehicles blown up beneath them, with several fatalities.

None of the Americans has the least bit of sympathy for the enemy. Far from it. Indeed, the only footage withheld by their company commander is that of bad guys literally ripped apart by American machine guns while Pink displays blood lust in his narration. But we still see them in still photos Scranton got from an anonymous guardsman, while Pink narrates "I'm glad these guys are dead" and says he envies those who killed them.

On another occasion, a soldier quips, a la Jimmy Stewart's daughter in It's A Wonderful Life, quips: "Every time you hear a boom [from an American weapon], somebody's going to heaven."

Unfortunately the vast majority of booms are from enemy bombs, which routinely go off in sequences. Trucks are blown to smithereens, sometimes with miraculous escapes by the drivers, and sometimes without. Moriarty, a turret-gunner, has his Humvee blown out from beneath him. The most horrific scene is of a woman who stepped in front of a Humvee and was hit, perhaps dead but perhaps merely unconscious. Not seeing her, 10 trucks run over her and slice here into ever-smaller pieces. The soldiers then have the heartbreaking job of picking up those pieces and putting them into a body bag.

Another startling scene is entirely peaceful, that of the equipment graveyard at Camp Anaconda. One vehicle after another is rusting in a heap after being blasted by IEDs, the terrorists' weapon of choice. Most viewers assuredly don't know that the vast majority of IEDS that explode kill or injure no one because--again contrary to what the Baghdad press corps would have you believe--our vehicles and soldiers have excellent armor. But I knew that and it was still an eerie scene. At the least, it brings to mind the irony of how an uneducated goon with perhaps $30 worth of explosives, a wire, a battery, and a blasting cap can destroy a $50,000 vehicle in the blink of an eye.

Scranton says she had no

 political agenda in producing the film: She simply wanted Americans to see the soldiers' experiences, whether good, bad, ugly, or heroic. "I believe in the power of empathy," she told a reporter. "So often, people see a soldier and they see an armed cipher."

Ultimately, how did the soldiers feel about their tours of duty? Bazzi cynically points out all the people who make money from the war, but adds that this includes himself. Moriarty asserts we're there for the oil and that's as it should be. "This better be about money and if we don't get that oil and that money then all the lives that are gone . . . they're all in vain."

But Pink declares, "You've heard people say, 'We're only in it for the oil.'" Listen, he says, "we're not there for the oil. If it were oil, would that not be enough reason to go into Iraq?" But, he adds, "Let's all stop crying about whether we had reason to go in there or not because we can fight about that forever. It's a done deal. We're in Iraq. Support what it takes to make this thing work or shut up."

Iraq, he says, "will be a better country in 20 years because we were there. I hope."

FRIDAY and SATURDAY, July 21 and 22, 2006

It takes parents to raise a child...a reality that our society was entirely structured to support.  But that is changing in very unhealthy ways.  The following report is reproduced from Zenit (www.zenit.org), an information organ of the Vatican.   Is this what the recent self-centered generations have produced?  They'll be sorry.

GS

==================================================
ZENIT News Agency, The World Seen from Rome
==================================================

Families Without Children
Report Reveals Changes in Attitudes Towards Kids

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey, JULY 22, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Life without children is a
growing social reality for an increasing number of American adults.

This is the conclusion of the 2006 edition of "The State of Our Unions" report on
marriage, released last week by the National Marriage Project. The project is based
at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Up until recently, for most people, the greater part of adult life was spent with
young children forming part of the household. A combination of marrying later, less
children and longer life expectancy means, however, that a significantly greater
part of adult life is spent without kids being in the house.

The report, titled "Life Without Children," was authored by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead
and David Popenoe. They start by noting how many recent publications complain of the
difficulties in raising children. Many surveys also show that parents report lower
levels of happiness compared to non-parents. In fact, an increasing number of
married couples now see children as an obstacle to their marital happiness.

This isn't to say that children are rejected by the majority of couples.
Nevertheless, there is a growing feeling of trepidation about taking on the
responsibilities of parenthood. Of course, bringing up kids has never been easy, but
there are good reasons why a growing number of parents are feeling increased
pressures, the report explains.

A weakening of marriage bonds contributes to the difficulties of having children.
Cohabiting women, the report explains, may postpone childbearing until they have a
better sense of the long-term future of the relationship. If they wait too long,
however, this places them at risk for never having children. Being in an unhappy
marriage is another source of uncertainty. Couples who are worried about getting
divorced are the most likely to remain childless.

Changing families

Citing Census Bureau reports, Whitehead and Popenoe lay out just how much family
structures have changed.

-- In 1970 the median age of first marriage for women was just under 21years-old.
The age of first marriage has now risen to just short of 26. Women who have a
four-year college degree marry at an even later age.

-- In 1970, 73.6% of women, ages 25-29, had already entered their child-rearing
years and were living with at least one minor child of their own.  By 2000, this
share dropped to 48.7%. For men in the same age bracket in 1970, 57.3% lived with
their own children in the household. In 2000 this had plummeted to 28.8%.

-- In 1960, 71% of married women had their first child within the first 3 years of
marriage. By 1990, this almost halved, to 37%. So after getting married, couples now
experience a greater number of child-free years.

-- In 1970, 27.4% of women and 39.5% of men, ages 50-54, had at least one minor
child of their own in the household.  By 2000, the shares had fallen to 15.4% and
24.7%, respectively.

-- In addition, a growing number of women are not having any children. In 2004,
almost one out of five women in their early forties was childless. In 1976, it was
only one out of ten.

-- The proportion of households with children has declined from half of all
households in 1960 to less than one-third today -- the lowest in America's history.

In general, then, a few decades ago life before children was brief, with little time
between the end of schooling and the beginning of marriage and family life. Life
after children was also reduced, with few years left before the end of work and the
beginning of old age.

Less fun

Contemporary culture has quickly reflected the changes in family life, the report
observes. It is increasingly common to find the years spent raising children
portrayed as being less satisfying compared to the years before and after.

Adult life without children is depicted as having positive meaning and purpose, and
as being full of fun and freedom. Life with children, by contrast, is seen as full
of pressures and responsibilities.

In general, life without children is characterized by a focus on the self. "Indeed,
the cultural injunction for the childless young and the child-free old is to 'take
care of yourself,'" the report comments.

The years spent bringing up children is just the opposite. Being a parent means
focusing on those who are dependent and subordinating adult needs to the
requirements of the children.

By way of compensation traditional culture normally celebrated the work and
sacrifice of parents, but this has now changed. Increasingly, the popular image of
parents is a negative one. The new stereotypes range from the hyper-competitive
sports parents who scream at their own kids, to those who ignore the problems their
undisciplined children cause for others in public places.

The latest variant are the so-called "helicopter parents," who get their name from
the way they supposedly hover over their children and swoop down to rescue them from
any negative consequences of their behavior.

Television programs have long made fun of fathers, notes the report. More recently
mothers are also being shown as unfit, unable to carry out their responsibilities
without the help of a nanny, or as being over-indulgent and negligent.

By contrast a number of the most popular television shows in America in recent
years, such as "Friends" and "Sex and the City," celebrated the glamorous life of
young urban singles.

Bias against children

What does this portend for the future, the report asks. For a start, less political
support for families. In the last presidential election, parents made up slightly
less than 40% of the electorate. Less votes translates into less support for funding
of schools and youth activities. Already a number of communities across the nation
are trying to hold down property taxes by restricting the construction of affordable
single family housing.

In cultural terms the bias against children is likely to grow. Entertainment and
pastimes for adults -- gambling, pornography and sex -- is one of the fastest
growing and most lucrative, and exciting, sectors of the economy.

By contrast, being a devoted parent is increasingly subject to a ruthless debunking,
the report notes. In fact, the task of being a mother is now seen by a growing
number as being unworthy of an educated women's time and talents. So the more staid
values supportive of raising children -- sacrifice, stability, dependability,
maturity -- will receive less attention.

"It is hard enough to rear children in a society that is organized to support that
essential social task," the report observes. "Consider how much more difficult it
becomes when a society is indifferent at best, and hostile, at worst, to those who
are caring for the next generation," it concludes.

The family, "founded on indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman," is where
men and women "are enabled to be born with dignity, and to grow and develop in an
integral manner," explained the Pope in his homily concluding the World Meeting of
Families in Valencia, Spain, on July 9.

"The joyful love with which our parents welcomed us and accompanied our first steps
in this world is like a sacramental sign and prolongation of the benevolent love of
God from which we have come," he noted.

This experience of being welcomed and loved by God and by our parents, explained
Benedict XVI, "is always the firm foundation for authentic human growth and
authentic development, helping us to mature on the way towards truth and love, and
to move beyond ourselves in order to enter into communion with others and with God."
A foundation that is increasingly being undermined in today's society.


TUESDAY through THURSDAY, July 18 through 20, 2006

THE STEM CELL RESEARCH ISSUE.  The "dissembling miscreants" are again out in force.  The only candid statement that I have heard from proponents of unfettered destruction of human embryos occurred on the Jim Lehrer Report last night.  The person being interviewed noted that, without desired legislation, researchers "would run out of RAW MATERIAL" for their noble work.  Shades of Nazi Germany and Dr. Mengele.

As already proposed in an earlier offering in this section, "let's make a deal".  First, have Congress pass a law declaring human life to exist and to be protected under the U.S.Constitution from the moment of conception, thereby beginning the process of testing the legality of abortion in this country, once and for all time.   At the same time, pass Federal legislation greatly standardizing and facilitating adoptions throughout the nation.  In addition, provide mechanisms for couples seeking in-vitro fertilization to partner with couples who would want to give birth to the inevitable extra embryos resulting from this process.  Only then, provide a Federally stipulated method by which any embryos remaining from this procedure might, with the permission of the parents, be sacrificed for the public good through peer reviewed medical research whose research results, whether privately or publically funded, would carry no profit motive or financial incentive.  Meanwhile, President Bush was entirely right to veto the current bill.

Now, let's hear from a few good and ethical leaders.

MONDAY, July 17, 2006

Staring into the maw of World War III, "what the world needs now" is straight talk and bright lines, not "creative ambiguity".  Whether he intended it or not, President Bush made a start at that before the now famous "open mike".

Any better ideas, except appeasment or surrender?

GS

SUNDAY, July 16, 2006

So much for a rest.  This week's busy news cycle is likely to continue for the remainder of the year.

GS

FRIDAY and SATURDAY, July 14 and 15, 2006

GS

THURSDAY, July 13, 2006

GS

TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY, July 11 and 12, 2006

GS

MONDAY through MONDAY, July 3 through 10, 2006

The following, reportedly offered by an Australian, is an appropriate action...instead of simply reacting  to the constant flow of bad news being dumped upon Americans, by our sworn enemies, by our fair weather friends, and by some of our own citizens.

GS

>
>     Written by an Australian Dentist....and too good to delete....
>
>
>     To Kill an American
>     You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was
>actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an
>offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.
>
>
>     So an Australian dentist wrote an editorial the following day to let
>everyone know what an American is . So they would know when they found one.
>(Good one, mate!!!!)
>
>
>     "An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German,
>Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian,
>Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian,
>Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.
>
>
>     An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot,
>Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native
>Americans.
>
>
>     An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or
>Muslim.
>     In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The
>only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them
>chooses.
>
>
>     An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will
>answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to
>speak for the government and for God.
>
>
>     An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the
>world.
>     The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of
>Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the
>pursuit of happiness.
>
>
>     An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every
>other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in
>return.
>
>
>     When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago,
>Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back
>their country!
>
>
>     As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any
>other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. Americans welcome the best of
>everything...the best products, the best books, the best music, the best
>food, the best services. But they also welcome the least.
>
>
>     The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty , welcomes your
>tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the
>homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.
>
>
>     Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September
>11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It's been told that the
>World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries,
>cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the
>terrorists.
>     < BR>
>     So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did
>General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants
>in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because
>Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the
>embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that
>spirit, everywhere, is an American.
>
TUESDAY, July 4, 2006

Independence Day, July 4, 2006.  America: May she be always right.  But if she is not, I will try to correct her.

GS

MONDAY, July 3, 2006

The United States and Russia: Could I be wrong, or at most half-right?  Please see the very illuminating articles (Leon Aron: The United States and Russia: Ideologies, Policies, and Relations and Stephen F. Cohen: The New American Cold War) just published, and reprinted on this web-site.

GS

SATURDAY and SUNDAY, July 1 and 2, 2006

GS


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