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Diversity Fatigue Friday: (No Pun Intended) Country First not Political Correctness November 6, 2009


From I own the world

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the Fort Hood Massacre. We cannot begin to realize the depth of your sorrow.

The miracle in this piece is that the shooter Nidal Malik Hasan is alive and can face punishment for this heinous act. Thank you to the female soldier who brought him down.

My brother was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas for six years. I lived with him there for three of those years. I fondly remember Fort Hood as a close knit military community.

I made friends with the local teens, often babysitting for the Army wives.

The Gulf War was taking place during that August of 1990. There was that familiar and understandable presence of tension and worry throughout the community. Fathers, daughters, partners and husbands leaving but not for Reforger exercises this time. They were going to a land we were unsure of.

A lesbian couple lived next door to us in Killeen, Texas which was the town surrounding Fort Hood. Tony and Toni were their names. We called them the two Toni’s.

One Tony was in the military, the other Toni was a school teacher.Their poignant goodbye kiss was a memorable event in my life. Both women had survived their own personal wars.

Toni had a fifteen year old son from her dissolved heterosexual marriage. Like most teenagers, Toni’s son had trouble adjusting to his mother’s life without dad…and life with another woman. There was a relative decaying of the emotions between mother and son which negatively impacted the couple.

The other Tony being an officer, had worked hard to get beyond the harassment she faced in the military. The little cottage in Killeen was a new start for her. Now she had to leave for the Gulf War.  I could see the acute anxiety Tony was facing as she wanted desperately to stay home and nurture her new relationship with Toni and possibly win over the teenager. She played hoops with him several times, they worked on cars together in the garage…maybe if they had more time…

Being a just a neighbor, I only saw Tony through our “good fences” as she tossed marinated meat on the backyard smoker or mowed the St. Augustine lawn. There were several times that she spoke to me about life in the Army and discrimination against women- particularly lesbians. She just wanted to rest, to stay home. Her loyalty to her country constituted a gift for America but a curse for her personal life. One Toni demonized the name of George H.W. Bush. The other Tony did not.  She was a servicewoman, an officer in the United States Army. It was her duty to go to Kuwait.

american-female-soldierThe goodbye of the Toni’s served as tangible proof of their caring relationship. As lesbians living in a military community, the women never displayed affection for one another publicly.

On this day  of their parting, things were different.

I watched shamelessly as the cab came for Tony.

Toni was sobbing endlessly while her son stood at the driveway motionless. He watched as his mother kissed a woman, her lover and partner in life. Tony waved at the boy. He only nodded which angered me. In his lack of emotion, this child was denying his mother and Tony the possibility and comfort of his empathy. More importantly, a denial of their desire to be seen as a couple being torn apart by one’s duty to her country. They were real people, real Americans. Tony was a patriot.

I mention this story of the Fort Hood community because many of my liberal friends fail to see that soldiers are people that carry tremendous burdens and a deep sense of honor, especially towards their fellow servicemen.

This is why I find it difficult to understand the actions of Major Hasan.  The mainstream media spin is now attributing his behavior to his fear of deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. My liberal anti-war friends are blaming the incident on Bush and the consequences of America’s sins in Iraq.  For most if not all of us, expressing sympathy for the victims should come naturally. NOT THE SHOOTER. Remember who the victims are. Innocent people. Nidal Hasan is a coward.

Before Thursday’s shooting, Hasan reportedly gave away all of his furniture along with copies of the Koran to neighbors, KXXV-TV reported.

Sounds to me as if he knew he would not be coming home…Much like a suicide planning. He could have went AWOL and spared the lives of others. While it is difficult to assess Hasan’s true motives, make no mistake that this man is NOT A GOOD AMERICAN contrary to what his cousin said on Fox News last night.

Nidal’s  cousin offers the excuse that he was harassed by his Army colleagues due to his Middle Eastern ethnicity: “He was dealing with some harassment from his military colleagues.”

This is no excuse. As a psychiatrist in the Army, Hasan was well aware of the proper military channels for dealing with harassment and stress. He was a coward.

Country before political correctness. Hasan is a coward and traitor to our country.

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Obama’s Campaign Promises: The Comfort of Fools October 27, 2009

Obama promise

Promises make debt, and debt makes promises. ~Dutch Proverb

Had I known that Barack  Obama would have broken so many promises made to his voters, I would have tried much harder to convince them that there was no logical way that a man who did so little during his previous political career, could do so much as President of the United States of America.

obama_afghanistanThere is not one day that goes by without my thinking of September 11th, 2001.  I lived in New York city at the time. I was directly effected by the tragedy.  I have the panic disorder to prove it.  I watched while my fellow New Yorkers shifted uncomfortably in their subway seats whenever the train would sit on the tracks a little too long. Signs of a collective trauma unknown to most Americans born after the 1960’s until that fateful day when we saw Icarus and his 3,000 brothers and sisters fall from the sky.

Winning in Afghanistan is important to me and Barack Obama said it was important to him.

On Monday, our country suffered the loss of 14 soldiers in Afghanistan during a helicopter crash.

Why is President Obama taking so long to make his decision concerning a troop surge in Afghanistan when he promised that he would be tough on the “real culprits” behind 9/11,  unlike his predecessor George W. Bush who focused his time and energy on the “wrong war”?

From this article in the Wall Street Journal

Obama Promises Troops ‘a Clear Mission’ in Afghanistan

October 26, 2009

By Jonathan Weisman

President Barack Obama placed the mission of preventing Afghanistan from becoming an al Qaeda haven into the center of his war policy, a rhetorical hint that he isn’t siding with those in his administration that see the battleground against terrorism shifting permanently to Pakistan.

In a speech at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville, billed as a thanks to U.S. men and women in uniform, the president inserted a salute to the 14 Americans who died today in helicopter crashes in Afghanistan.

“They were willing to risk their lives, in this case, to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for al Qaeda and its extremist allies,” he said. “And today, they gave their lives to protect ours. Now it is our duty as a nation to keep their memory alive in our hearts and to carry on their work.”

Some in the White House have suggested that after fleeing to Pakistan, al Qaeda leaders are not likely to return to Afghanistan. Early this month, National Security Adviser James Jones said of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, “the maximum estimate is less than 100 operating in the country, no bases, no ability to launch attacks on either us or our allies.” With the Taliban divided over al Qaeda, some administration officials have argued the U.S. could co-opt Taliban leaders and create a political atmosphere that would keep terrorists out, even if the Taliban increased its role in the leadership of Afghanistan.

Obama also defended the length of time he is taking in deciding whether to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. His extended policy review has drawn criticism from Republicans, including former Vice President Richard Cheney, who last week accused him of “dithering.”

“This is very important as we consider our next steps in Afghanistan: I will never rush the solemn decision of sending you into harm’s way,” Obama said to loud applause. “I won’t risk your lives unless it is absolutely necessary. And if it is necessary, we will back you up. Because you deserve the strategy, the clear mission, and the defined goals as well as the equipment and support you need to get the job done.


Cartoon by Walt Handelsman, copyright 2009 Tribune Media Services

We understand that strategy takes time President Obama…but time also takes lives.

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