May 25, 2009
Land of the Free Because of the BraveBy Lauri B. Regan
I recently met a Jewish man who was born in New York but has been living in Israel and raising his family there for most of his adult life. He has dual citizenship, while his seven year old son is an Israeli citizen. When I noted that he had some time to hope for peace in the Mideast before his son would have to join the Israeli military, he responded to me that his son would never join the Israeli army. When I asked him why, how would Israel survive without mandatory military service, he replied, "No war is worth dying for."
I was a bit surprised as I had never spoken to an Israeli who questioned their military service. On our recent trip to Israel, we did meet young people that opted for certain community service positions, but that seemed unusual. And my assumption, that anyone who made aliyah (the Jewish immigration to the Promised Land) was a Zionist willing to fight for the survival of the State of Israel, was apparently incorrect.
This man's statement, "no war is worth dying for," has been haunting me since I spoke with him. Imagine America's founding fathers, the troops that perished in the Civil War, the U.S. soldiers that fought and died for this country, as well as the freedom of the citizens of Europe in World War I and World War II, having such an attitude. There would be no United States of America and Europe would certainly look completely different.
If the Jewish people living in British-occupied Palestine prior to the creation of the State of Israel, the members of the Haganah and soldiers of the Palmach who pre-dated the Israel Defense Force, and every citizen of Israel today felt that there is no war worth fighting for, there certainly would not be a State of Israel. There would not be a homeland for Jewish people to escape persecution, bigotry, and perhaps death.
The Israeli father that I mentioned at the outset of this article suggested that until people have lost a relative to war they could not understand. But the statement cannot be entirely true, as families across the globe have lost sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, and mothers and fathers in war. I would venture to guess that the vast majority of those families were and are proud of their loved ones and the noble heritage that they left behind.
Golda Meir once said, "We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us." I would imagine there are few truisms quite as poignant in today's day and age. Loving one's children and respecting life do not preclude the human instinct to fight for survival. When Arabs strap bombs on women and children and send them off on a suicide mission in the hopes of killing and causing terror to as many Israelis as possible, they are not fighting for survival. But when a person's country is under siege, or one's freedom is at risk, is there not a duty for every able bodied sole to join the fight for survival?
Not according to American liberal elitist politicians. Take John Kerry, who famously advised a group of students,
Kerry's statement is just part of a pattern of elitism that has the potential to not only destroy the military, but also America. President Obama has made it painfully clear what he thinks of the military as he closes Guantanamo Bay, prohibits water-boarding and other measures necessary in order to protect the well-being of American citizens, publicizes CIA memoranda resulting in terrorists the world over becoming privy to the military's interrogation techniques, and acquiesces to the possible release of offensive military abuse photos endangering every soldier in the field.
A recent video was plastered over the blogs and Internet showing the White House Press Corps rising when Obama entered the briefing room. It also included a video clip of President Bush entering the briefing room without a similar show of respect. Watching that reminded me of another video reflecting the differing treatment received by both Presidents when addressing the military. President Bush received an enthusiastic and excited greeting from the men and women in uniform. President Obama received a hesitant, subdued greeting. Which group's respect would you rather garner -- the media or the military?
HonestReporting.com provides regular reports of misinformation and falsehoods in the media reporting on Israel. According to its mission statement:
Israelis have lived on a regular basis with the press lambasting their every move to survive daily terrorist attack and threats of annihilation. It is a sad truth that such propaganda is becoming commonplace here in America.
Over the past several years the liberal media has done everything in its power to subvert America's interest in the War on Terror (I don't care what Obama wants me to call it -- it is a world war against terrorism) despite the fact that doing so risks the lives of every soldier in the field as well as citizens here at home. American Thinker published an article in February, 2008 chronicling the disgraceful bias of the media with regard to the military and its personnel.
Not surprisingly, liberal politicians have been all too quick to follow suit with Harry Reid declaring the war lost. And one of the most atrocious examples of disdain for the military occurred with Jack Murtha's accusations of murder by US Marines in Haditha pursuant to which he teamed up with the media to convict the soldiers publicly with absolutely no evidence.
The list goes on and on. Following our new Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, publishing a report warning of future domestic terrorist attack by returning veterans, the media pounced on the story of a shooting attack at a military base in Baghdad by a US soldier. A recent AT blog notes that:
This shooting attack followed on the heels of the misreporting of the US airstrike that allegedly killed 150 civilians in Afghanistan. We now know that the Taliban in fact killed the Afghans in an effort to turn public sentiment away from the US military. However, Hillary Clinton, prior to any investigation, jumped at the opportunity to continue Obama's apology tour, stating that the U.S. "deeply, deeply regretted the loss of innocent life."
The Democrats running this country, together with their enablers the mainstream media, take measure after measure to degrade the troops and unnecessarily put our soldiers in harms way. It would not be surprising if, under the Obama administration, the number of enlistees in the military decreases significantly. Where are the messages of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the teleprompter rhetoric that is eaten up by liberals across our great nation? Where is the message of live free or die? Where are the thanks to the brave men and women who risk their lives for our country's survival?
As President Bush stated in response to Kerry's disgraceful comment:
Senator Kerry later apologized.
When will the military receive an apology from the media? When will the country receive a clear message from the new Commander-in-Chief that, notwithstanding his apologies to despots the world over who aim to destroy America and the freedom that our country represents, our country is worth dying for?
Lauri B. Regan is an attorney at a global law firm in New York.