national opinion

Monday Column
Carol Platt Liebau

[go to Liebau index]

Latest Column:
Stopping the Meltdown
What Beltway Republicans Need To Do

Subscribe to CRO Alerts
Sign up for a weekly notice of CRO content updates.

Jon Fleischman’s
The premier source for
California political news

Michael Ramirez

editorial cartoon

Do your part to do right by our troops.
They did the right thing for you.
Donate Today

CRO Talk Radio
Contributor Sites
Laura Ingraham

Hugh Hewitt
Eric Hogue
Sharon Hughes
Frank Pastore
[Radio Home]

















John Mark Reynolds- Contributor

John Mark Reynolds is the founder and director of the Torrey Honors Institute, and Associate Professor of Philosophy, at Biola University.

Finding the Good Men
The Courage of Our Regular Troops and the Challenge to the Rest of Us
[John Mark Reynolds] 9/26/03

During the Clinton administration, it was sensible to wonder whether the United States could win a war like the Second World War anymore. Where would we get the heroes of Bataan or Normandy? My own generation seemed consumed with the quest for personal peace and affluence. As my grandfathers passed away, there seemed to be no one to replace them.

It's a truism that some good always comes from even the greatest evil. The horror of 9/11 taught us that heroic men still exist. The firemen and policemen of New York who ran the wrong way up the stairs of the Twin Towers reminded us that the carefully coiffed talking heads on the television are not the entire nation. The Catholic schools and public schools of Staten Island may not have passed muster amongst the chattering classes, but they still produce men with the old values of duty, patriotism, and service. Rural West Virginia can still produce a Jessica Lynch. The foot soldiers still exist in the forgotten corners of the culture where the infection of the effete elites have not yet penetrated.

Of course, most who serve never have a chance to become heroes. Heroes are rare. The combination of personality and circumstance that produces them is unusual. At least in modern times, it is not the hero who wins the wars. It is the regular soldier, airman, sailor, or marine who makes victory possible. Many of them will never kill or fire a gun in anger. Often they are found serving in roles that do not seem very glamorous, like food services or truck driving, when telling grandchildren what "papaw" did during the War. It is these men and women of common valor who provide the substance for the great armies that defeat dictators.

I am lucky to know one of these uncommon common men. He is not yet twenty-five, but Jon Dyk is home from the War against Terror. A marine who was classically educated in the Torrey Honors Institute and who spent a successful semester at Oxford, he went to Iraq to free a people and defend the nation. He did not have to go, but his family had taught him the importance of duty in the life of a patriot. His service in the Marines was a natural result of such teaching. Jon Dyk was a regular Marine. No one will write his story in books, but his boots, multiplied by the thousands, won the Battle of Baghdad.

He placed himself in harm's way and saw first-hand the importance of what the United States is doing. He saw the lies of much of the major media who try to turn a great success into failure. He saw the gratitude of the regular people of Iraq, and their thirst for liberation. Jon Dyk served like thousands of other Americans. As they have always done, the regular American soldiers will accomplish what we ask them to do.

So we know where we will find the regular G.I. Joes who will fight and die for the nation. They are being trained in traditional families all over the nation. The problem is in the future leadership corps if the War is as long as the Cold War.

Where will the future officers and analysts come from in this long War? Harvard and Yale could be counted on to produce the officers and brain trust of the first world wars. They can be counted on NOT to do so in this present war. Of course, some will serve from these old elites, the current educational equivalent of France and Germany, but just as many will actively undercut the war effort. On the home front, the word processors of their professors will mostly be silent in the War on Terror, if not usefully idiotic for the other side.

So this war will find few graduates of our elite universities on the front lines. Fortunately, their day is passing. Free market alternatives are popping up all over the world. Knowledge is no longer locked in libraries, but can be googled in a moment. Schools like Thomas Aquinas College and Biola University here in California represent some traditional alternatives to the leftist dominated old elites.

Patriots should begin to withdraw financial support from schools with a majority of professors who give aid and comfort to the enemy. Parents would not have allowed their children to sit under professors who had a good word to say for Hitler should not waste their children’s time with professors who cannot grasp the evils of Sadaam Hussein. A professor may have the right to be wicked, but one need not pay for it, especially with the minds of our sons and daughters. Ask questions. Find out what your tuition money is supporting. Vote with your wallet and support the professors and schools who understand the value of freedom.

We will likely find the officers and troops for the front lines. The cities and countryside of California still have traditional patriots who believe in God and country. The situation is less clear on the home front. There are probably enough warriors for the army, but is there still enough courage back home? What of the home front?

World War II and the Cold War were won because the people the warriors left behind remained stalwart in the face of difficulty. Blessedly, the wastrels of Woodstock were outnumbered by the crew cut millions who supported the cause of liberty. The question is whether our generation has produced a few brave soldiers willing to fight and if necessary die for the nation, while the rest of us are content to waste their sacrifice. The War on Terror requires few front line soldiers, but does require a determined and united home front.

If we are not careful, the very might of the nation will lull us into inaction at home. The sacrifices in the homeland have not yet had to be so very great. However, just now the president is calling for more of our treasure and there are inconveniences. Since war must be prosecuted by the blunt instrument of government, inefficiency and waste will be the natural result. Can we tolerate even this small sacrifice? The opinion polls do not look promising at the moment. Jon Dyk and his fellow marines faced months with no showers and meals ready to eat for my liberty. I suppose I can endure long lines at the airport and a few dollars more of income tax to finish the job he started.

What else can we do? Pray first of all. God answers prayer. Pray for the President and the armed forces. We prayed for Jon Dyk everyday he was gone. Second, we must build organizations to educate the public to the importance of this long War against Terror. All Americans must be willing to face an economy strapped by the War without grumbling and complaining. If our grandparents and great-grandparents could face rationing during World War II calmly, then a mild recovery must not throw their children into a panic.

Finally, we must face up to the reality of this conflict. The battle against radical Islamic terror is the great battle of our time, as the battle against communism was chief fight of an earlier generation. Almost every conflict is unimportant compared to it. Surrender to the forces of 9/11 would be an unmitigated disaster in many ways worse than defeat to communism. Our political decisions must be dominated by this question above almost any other. As a sad result, this means that patriots may be forced to abandon the Democratic Party. It has become worse than useless in the War against Terror.

Saying this does not attack the individual patriotism of many Democrats. There are a few Democrats, like Joseph Lieberman, who could be trusted with leadership of the War. Hundreds of Democrats from the cities and rural America are defending their nation even now in the armed forces. Local Democrats in California are often patriots.

The national party, however, is in the grip of the men who would have lost the Cold War and threaten to lose the War on Terror. The elite of the California state party may be even worse. To the common people of the Democratic party, an appeal must be made, “Do you support a party that would have allowed the Butcher of Baghdad to continue in power?”

Most of the Democratic leadership in California are part of the party of Clinton. They are the face of America that comforts Bin Laden if he still draws wicked breath. Clinton’s moral depravity and weakness convinced too many people globally that our nation is decadent and will not endure a long fight. This perception of weakness leads to danger and increased terrorism.

The dead enders of Baghdad are counting on Howard Dean or some Democrat to bring the boys home. The wicked calculus is plain: “Just wait America out and the nation that lost in Somalia will quit.” The more the Party of Clinton represent us to the rest of the world, the more attractive radical Islam appears. Globally the national Democrats appear to be the party of Sadaam, Sodomy, and Surrender. The Democrats lack the global stature to lead.

In California, the governor has signed a law that he has vetoed numerous times -- that compromises our security, as even he previously recognized -- just to attract a few votes. No Democrat in the legislature effectively lobbies for an effective prosecution on the War. This leaves patriots little choice.

Any Republican who can win in California is better than Gray Davis and Cruz Bustamante who cannot be trusted in the War Against Terror. In the grip of political correctness, both have proven they will sell our nation out in order to win political power. If Churchill could send aid to Stalin to defeat Hitler, patriots can vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger to end the limp on terror Davis-Bustamante administration.

At the moment, support for the president and his party is support for the War. No plausible alternative plan for this War has been presented by his opponents. Until one is produced by the Democrats, Americans will have to put our trust in George Bush and the Republicans. Fortunately, our President seems more than up to the task.

I believe that this War will be won. Men like Jon Dyk are still abroad fighting and winning. A new leadership corps will come from the emerging conservative intellectuals. The rest of us are not so foolish to forget 9/11 so soon. The homeland will not abandon the armed forces. When the end of the War on Terror is over, in a free Middle East, liberated men and women will write that we stood firm. The world will once again owe America a debt that, once again, we shall not bother to collect – for our nation will have gone on to other battles and new frontiers.

copyright 2003 John Mark Reynolds



Blue Collar -  120x90
120x90 Jan 06 Brand
Free Trial Static 02
ActionGear 120*60
Free Trial Static 01
Applicable copyrights indicated. All other material copyright 2003-2005