Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Long War by William Kristol

DEMAGOGUES TO THE RIGHT OF THEM, appeasers to the left of them, media in front of them, volleying and thundering. Can the Bush administration continue to charge ahead? Does it have the will--and the competence--to lead the nation for the next three years toward victory in the long war against radical Islamism?
From Copenhagen to Samara, the radical Islamists are on the offensive. From Tehran to Damascus, the dictators are trying to regain the upper hand in the Middle East. From Moscow to Beijing, the enemies of liberal democracy are working to weaken the United States. Across the world, the forces of terror and tyranny are fighting back. Are we up to the challenge?
It's not clear that we are. Many liberals, here and in Europe, long ago lost the nerve to wage war--or even to defend themselves--against illiberalism. Parts of the conservative movement now seem to be losing their nerve as well. In response to an apparent clash of civilizations, they would retrench, hunker down, and let large parts of the world go to hell in a hand basket, hoping that the hand basket won't blow up in our faces.
Remember: The United States of America and its allies--regimes that seek to embody, or at least to move towards, the principles of decent, civilized, liberal democracy--did not seek this war. But we are at war, and we could lose it. Victory is not inevitable......

As Marshall Wittmann of the Democratic Leadership Council observed last week, "We are in the midst of a jihadist offensive. The bombing of [Iraq's] Askariya Shiite Shrine is another indication of the world-wide jihadist offensive against the West. From the cartoon jihad to the Hamas victory to the Iranian effort to obtain nuclear weapons to the attempt by al Qaeda to foment an Iraqi civil war--our enemy is taking the initiative. And the West is on its heels."

Wittmann continued, "Many mistakes have been made since 9/11. But at the end of the day, we should recognize that we are all Americans and part of the West that is under assault by a truly evil foe. Our bravest are on the front lines in this war. The least we can do at home is to demonstrate some moral seriousness that the moment demands."
Moral seriousness in this case means political seriousness. Insist on going ahead with the ports deal so that Arab governments who have stood with us in the war on terror are not told to get lost when one of their companies acquires port management contracts in the United States. Make a real effort to destabilize Ahmadinejad in Iran. Do what it takes to defeat Zarqawi and secure Iraq. Stand with Denmark, and moderate Muslims, against the radical mob. This is no time for dishonorable retreat. It is time for resolve--and competence. After all, it would be most unfortunate if the administration summoned its nerve and charged ahead--only to meet the fate of Tennyson's Light Brigade!

--William Kristol

William Kristol is a FOX NEWS "allstar" and is editor of the Weekly Standard. To read his entire column click on the title above for a link.

P.S. One of my favorite poems is the Charge of the Light Brigade by Tennyson. Many years ago I had just returned to the University of Oregon from the Army and was starting Law School. I was sitting in the Student Union ( "The Fish Bowl") on morning before class having my coffee and donuts and reading the Oregonian. A "peace loving" hippy approached my table and asked me what was my favorite poem and I said "Charge of the Light Brigade" and he started yelling at me calling me a "War Monger" and raised such a ruckus the management of the Union made him leave. He certainly was no longer "peace loving"!!!! That hippy and his ilk helped us to lose the war in Vietnam on the homefront and not on the battlefield. NEVER AGAIN!

Friday, February 24, 2006

A True Story

This is a true story that will bring a smile to every University of Oregon Duck Fan. Last night the Ducks played the U$C Trojans in basketball in Los Angeles.

The best part of the game, aside from the Duck's victory was that at halftime. The Trojans run a contest where they chose a USC student (he was wearing a yellow USC t-shirt like the rest of the students) to try and make a lay-up, 3-point shot and a half -court shot before the play clock expires. Well this kid happened to hit all 3 shots for a $10,000 scholarship to USC, but the kicker is after he hit the half-court shot the crowd went wild and this kid was jumping around and proceeded to take his yellow USC t- shirt off and underneath his shirt was a green University of Oregon basketball jersey. Classic. Regardless the crowd went from cheering to booing very quickly. Apparently this kid is from Oregon going to U$C. He then ran over to Jerry Allen, who was broadcasting the game on radio for the Ducks and shook his hand and told Allen he listens to all of Oregon's radio broadcasts of Duck games. Go Ducks!

For an update to the above story click on the title above for a link to the U$C student newspaper's report. It only confirms what jerks some U$C fans can be, even threatening physical harm!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Three Day Weekend.

I always enjoy three day weekends. On Saturday a friend invited me to ride up to Eugene with him to attend a University of Oregon Basketball game at "The Pit" ( McArther Court). The Ducks beat Washington State in an afternoon game. It has been several years since I have been to a game there and I always enjoy returning to The Pit. As a young law student in the early 1970's I attended many games there when the "Kamikaze Kids" played for Coach Dick Harter. Those games were one of the highlights of my law schools days. Back then Oregon did not have much of a football team. I love Mac Court. The fans sit almost on top of the basketball court in 4 levels that are on top of each other. When full, the place really rocks with fanatic Duck fans. The building was built in 1927, yes 1927. In fact in 1997 when they replaced the original bleachers on the first floor, with theater-style seating, I bought a one foot section plank seat and it hangs as a plaque in my office along with a poster personally autographed by all of the Kamikaze Kids. In returning to The Pit I realized that as much as I love that place and all of it's memories it needs to be replaced with a new basketball arena. When I sat down in my seat behind the basket on the second level my knees hit the back of the seat in front of me and if any one knows me they know how short I am. The athletic Department is preparing the designs for a new arena. However it will be dependent on getting Nike head, Phil Knight, an Oregon alumni, to come up with most of the money for the new arena. The AD and the University have fumbled at least one attempt at building the new arena and I hope they can get Knight back on board.

On Sunday and Monday I updated our scrape books with 6 years of family pictures from 1999 up to 2006. Lot of things have happened to the Wickre family in the last six years with lots of life transitions. There have been graduations ( both high school and college), deaths of family members and pets, children growing up and leaving home for college and then on to new jobs, "empty nests," first cars, trips to Japan, Africa, Washington DC, New York, Florida, Disneyland, Arizona, Seattle etc. Life never stands still. Putting together photo albums illustrates how fast things change.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

It may sound corny, but what's wrong with wanting to fight for your country?

Jimmy Stewart made the above statement. Star Smith has written a book titled "Jimmy Stewart Bomber pilot" which is reviewed in today's Washington Times. The review states in part:

When World War II came to the United States, the American film industry was quick and generous in urging film actors to do their part. No one heard the call more quickly or clearly than James Stewart, who in fact had already enlisted in the Air Corps when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. At the actual time of the raid on Pearl Harbor, Jimmy Stewart was doing guard duty at Moffit Field, south of San Francisco. Jimmy Stewart was an actor who appeared in some 80 films during a great career, and went on to become a celebrated, highly-decorated pilot of American Liberator bombers before returning to the movies..... In "Jimmy Stewart: Bomber Pilot," Starr Smith charts the last half of this truly extraordinary and unforgettable man's life.....Fifty years later he was asked what he thought of his life in the military. It was one of the great experiences of his life, he said. "Greater than being in the movies?" was the next question. "Much greater," he answered. "Much greater." Stewart flew 20 missions in enemy skies and was on combat duty with the 8th Air Force, commanding bomber crews. He logged thousands of hours in the air, and never lost a plane he was flying. For his valor, he received the Distinguished Fly Cross, the Flying Cross, the Air Medal, all with clusters. He also received the Croix de Guerre from France. By the war's end, he had served four years in uniform. In 1959, President Eisenhower appointed him brigadier general. President Reagan awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985.

I remember when Ronald Reagan ran against Gerald Ford in 1976. He was beat in primary after primary and then he went to North Carolina accompanied by Jimmy Stewart and pulled out an upset which allowed Reagan to continue the campaign all the way to the Republican Convention in Kansas City where he almost took the nomination away from Gerald Ford who went on to lose to Jimmy Carter in November. He stood with Reagan when it it was not popular. Once again a patriot.

For a link to the entire book review click on the title above.

Friday, February 17, 2006

University of Washington Ignoramuses

This happened at the University of Washington. As an Oregon Duck, Washington is one of my least favorite Universities: but, it just as easily could have happened on many college campuses including Oregon. From the Wall Street Journal:

'Pappy' Shot Down by Campus Ignoramuses
It's well known that college students today aren't as educated in our nation's history as they should be, but it's still hard to grasp the mind-bending political correctness just displayed by the University of Washington's student senate at its campus in Seattle.
The issue before the Senate this month was a proposed memorial to World War II combat pilot Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, a 1933 engineering graduate of the university, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service commanding the famed "Black Sheep" squadron in the Pacific. The student senate rejected the memorial because "a Marine" is not "an example of the sort of person UW wants to produce."
Digging themselves in deeper, the student opponents of the memorial indicated: "We don't need to honor any more rich white males." Other opponents compared Boyington's actions during World War II with murder.
"I am absolutely bewildered that the Student Senate voted down the resolution," Brent Ludeman, the president of the UW College Republicans, told me. He noted that despite the deficiencies of the UW History Department, the complete ignorance of Boyington's history and reputation by the student body was hard to fathom. After all, "Black Sheep Squadron," a 1970s television show portraying Colonel Boyington's heroism as a pilot and Japanese prisoner of war, still airs frequently on the History Channel. Apparently, though, it's an unusual UW student who'd be willing to learn any U.S. history even if it's spoonfed to him by TV.
As for the sin of honoring a rich white male, Mr. Ludeman points out that Boyington (who died in 1988) was neither rich nor white. He happened to be a Sioux Indian, who wound up raising his three children as a single parent. "Colonel Boyington is luckily not around to see how ignorant students at his alma mater can be today," says Kirby Wilbur, a morning talk show host at Seattle's KVI Radio. Perhaps the trustees and alumni of the school will now help educate them.

Tee Shirt Saying

Saw a tee shirt today that said: "If you can read this shirt thank a teacher. If it is in English thank a Veteran"

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Saddam Hussein Tapes Show That He had Intention of Building WMD to Attack US

Brian Ross of ABC News reports they have obtained copies of audio tapes of secret conversations of Saddam Hussein in in which he discussed a terrorist attack on the United States with Weapons of Mass Destruction. The guy was a waiting Time Bomb. To quote from the report:

Charles Duelfer, who led the official U.S. search for weapons of mass destruction after the war, says the tapes show extensive deception but don't prove that weapons were still hidden in Iraq at the time of the U.S.-led war in 2003. "What they do is support the conclusion in the report, which we made in the last couple of years, that the regime had the intention of building and rebuilding weapons of mass destruction, when circumstances permitted."

Sooner or later we would have had to take the guy out and it's better sooner than later! Way to go George W Bush ! Now on to Iran!

To read the entire ABC News report click on the title above for a link.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Former Vice President Shoots Off Mouth & Hits USA

From the Investor's Business Daily:
" What possesses a former vice president of the U.S. to travel to the birthplace of Islamist terrorism and denounce his country? Only a special breed of demons, apparently, can explain Al Gore."
"The chief demon, of course, surely must be Gore's continuing quest for the presidency. Embittered he may well be by his loss of the highest office six years ago. But showing such supreme disloyalty to his country, as he did in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, cannot be condoned as an honorable means of pursuing the prize once more."

To read entire editorial click on title above for a link.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Week End after the Super Bowl or reliving my trip to Washington DC and New York City

The week end BEFORE the Super Bowl (when there were no football games) I put together a scrap book of our family trip to Southern California for the Christmas Holidays. ( See below) This weekend with no football I put together a scrap book of my trip to Washington DC and New York City the summer of 2004. The trip was originally planned as a trip to Washington DC to help my Son move there for a "Washington Semester" at American University. He is a student at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, and instead of a "Semester Abroad" it is a Semester in DC for Political Science majors. My daughter then invited me to go with her to New York City for part of the Republican Convention. So the two trips were put together.

On Friday August 20th my son and I flew to Washington DC . On Saturday August 21 my Son Daughter and I took a tour of the new WWII Memorial and to some of the other monuments in DC. Their Grandfather, who is now dead, had fought in Italy during the war. On our way to the Jefferson Memorial we were caught in a rain storm and got very wet. My Son KEPT talking about his Gore TEX shoes and I told him if he kept on talking about those d** Gore Tex shoes I was going to throw him in to the Tidal Basin and then, as the rain poured, all three of us began to laugh. On Sunday My Son and I left for a tour of Virginia in my daughter's new car. We stopped at the Civil War Battlefield of Bull Run, where Stone Wall Jackson "stood like a stone wall" against the Union attacks. We then went on to Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello, and stopped by the University of Virginia. On Monday we drove to Williamsburg and toured it and near by Yorktown where the British surrendered to Washington at the end of the Revolutionary War. We then drove to Virginia Beach and that night went on a 4 mile walk along the board walk. On Tuesday we drove to Fredericksburg and toured the Civil War battlefield. It's a shame that houses have been built on the ground where so many Union Soldiers died to preserve the Union. On Wednesday we drove back to Washington DC and moved my son into his dorm at American University for his Fall Semester.( he got an internship with Republican Pollster Frank Luntz). I stayed at my daughter's apartment on Thursday and rested up. On Friday I went on a tour of the Capital and a walking tour of Washington DC. On Saturday August 28th the two kids and I drove up to the Civil War Battlefield of Antietam in Maryland and spent a hot day touring the battlefield and then drove on to Harpers Ferry. Antietam was the bloodiest one day of the Civil War. At Antietam we took a car tour with a CD playing in the car CD player telling us what we were seeing at each stop. It made the battle come to life. We then went back to Washington DC and. I said goodbye to my Son and would not see him till Christmas. On Sunday August 29th my Daughter and I took the Amtrak train from Washington DC to New York City for the Republican Convention. I got to go by FOX NEWS. I went to a Republican Veterans program on the aircraft carrier the Intrepid that is now a museum docked in New York harbor. My Daughter was able to get us passes into Madison Square Garden before the convention started on Tuesday. We went to an area at the Garden that was set aside for Talk Radio Shows and saw Tony Snow interviewing Andy Card, White House Chief of Staff. I also saw G Gorden Liddy. We then walked down to the convention floor and had our picture taken by the "Oregon" banner. After that we went down to Ground Zero and Wall Street. That night I flew home to Medford and watched the rest of the convention on TV. In November George W Bush was elected to a second term.

I have always wanted to go to a Republican National Convention and it was special to be able to go with my daughter who watched her first convention with me, on TV , when she was a about 3 years of age.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Bowl is Over .... On to DVD Movies

The Super Bowl is over which means the football season that started six months ago in August has finally come to an end. I know the Pro bowl is still to be played but for all practical purposes the season is over. I always face the end of the football season with a touch of sadness. I LOVE FOOTBALL. Last year the gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson committed suicide shortly after the Super Bowl because he was so depressed by the end of the season. Don't worry Duck fans, I will be around for Oregon's Spring football game on April 29th. Only three months. I always stretch the Holiday Season to include the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl. But now there is no question but we are past the Holidays. Fortunately this is a good time to watch movies. For a link to my DVD collection click on the title above.

Two Americas in Brokenback Mountain

Stephen Hunter, in an essay in the Washington Post points out that the Director of the movie Brokenback Mountain is making a political point by the two America he portrays. The heterosexual American family is a" bourgeois delusion" and the homosexual America is a "Shangri-La" He writes:

"In fact, generally, the movie is cruel to family. It seems to think family is a bourgeois delusion; Ennis's poor daughter ends up in a gaudy Trans Am owned by her fiance, a harbinger of roughneck disaster to come. Jack's boy is simply forgotten about; his ultimate pain -- and it will be considerable -- is not commented upon.
The movie also misses the deepest joy of family, which is that sense of connection to the great wheel of life. Giving birth to, educating and loving a kid are among the profound joys of human existence. "Brokeback Mountain" cannot begin to imagine such a thing; that reality simply is not on its radar, and if you looked at the story from another vantage -- the children's -- it would be a different tale altogether: about greedy, selfish, undisciplined homosexuals who took out a contract in the heterosexual world, and abandoned it. They weren't true men; they failed at the man's one sacred duty on Earth, which is to provide...."

"The picture makes homosexual America a Shangri-La...."

"And what's the image of the real America through the window? Why it's flat. It's a dreary rural wheatscape, if you will, with no features to interest the eye, no textures to assuage the soul. There's nothing interesting to it. It expresses someone's idea of repressed America, where gay men are forced to bury their personalities and violent conformism is the rule of the day. To paraphrase Gertrude Stein, there's no there there.
Lee ( the director) has made his point viscerally; he's not in a pulpit, but he's no innocent either. He's speaking louder with images than most of his ideological opponents do in words"

To read the entire essay click on the title above for a link.