Does anyone remember these historic words?
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."
Senator Ted Kennedy should remember them well, because they were said by his brother, John, in his inaugural speech on January 20, 1961.
But alas, the Massachusetts mountebank, the runt of the litter, was never able to live up to the ideals or the greatness of his siblings. Instead, the youngest member of the Kennedy clan has reduced himself to the level of a foul—mouthed, left—wing ideologue, bent on bringing down the Bush presidency for political objectives, regardless of the national security consequences.
Mr. Kennedy, in his latest hysterical outburst, proclaimed that Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam. The author of the claim that the Iraq invasion was cooked up in Texas lays himself open to the charge that this pithy sound bite was devised during a clandestine meeting of the liberal elites in Hyannisport.
Speaking at the Brookings Institution, whose claims of nonpartisanship look increasingly dubious, he fulminated, "This whole thing was a fraud," jabbing his finger at the air. Did he mean to say that tens of thousands of corpses unearthed by bulldozers and backhoes in the desert sand on the outskirts of Baghdad were fraud? Did he mean that the genocide of children and the brutal rape of thousands of women was a fraud? Or, perhaps he meant that the Butcher of Baghdad, known throughout the world as a vicious tyrant and hater of freedom, was actually in the running to win the Nobel Peace Prize?
This Kennedy chap must have been AWOL when his parents' backbone genes were distributed to their offspring. His brothers would never have sat back and countenanced such wanton cruelty anywhere in the world. Joseph Kennedy Jr., a Navy pilot, died bravely in World War II; JFK stood up to the Soviet Union during the Cuban missile crisis; and Robert Kennedy took a brave stand against the powerful organized crime cartel in America. What is Ted Kennedy's claim to fame? Chappaquiddick, college cheating, and extreme rhetoric.
Accusing the leader of the free world of fraud because he liberated millions of people from the merciless yoke of oppression is tantamount to supporting dictatorships around the globe. Another excerpt from his brother JFK's speech: "To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required....because it is right."
That sounds like what the US is doing today in Iraq. Polls taken in the former despot—ruled country indicate that the Iraqis overwhelmingly approve of what Bush is doing. Kennedy's caustic comments are merely another example of the mean—spirited tone of politics in 21st Century America. Moreover, it is an example of how low some people will stoop to gain a political advantage.
Does Mr. Kennedy care that his rhetoric will be used as a weapon against the troops in Iraq? Has he given a moment's thought to the possibility that a would—be Sadr follower can hear his words and believe that by shooting a sniper's rifle he will drive Bush from office, and then his successor will withdraw from Iraq. When the senator finishes his self—serving criticism of the opposition party, he can head for the dining room and share a bottle of Dom with his equally repugnant cronies; the soldier has to deal with the damaging aftershock on the battlefield 5,000 miles away. Mr. Kennedy, in the safety and serenity of his Hyannisport yacht, can hoist a few cocktails with the Boston aristocracy, unconcerned about the target he painted on the back of every soldier on active duty.
JFK: "In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility, I welcome it." How shameful it is that his younger brother can only shrink when it comes to the defense of freedom. How shameful it is to see this cowardly reprobate wipe his feet on the patriotic legacy his brothers gave to their country. If there is any fraud being perpetrated against the American people it is that Ted Kennedy occupies a seat in the Senate, granted in seeming—perpetuity because of a famous name, while he besmirches the memory of his 3 brothers, each of whom lost his life in service to his country.
Bob Weir writes the syndicated column "Weir Only Human." He's published 7 books, mostly novels, and is a retired sergeant from the NYPD, currently living, and writing, in Flower Mound, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com