Sometimes people say there’s no way America can pull out of its death spiral. No matter what polls may say about the national mood turning against those pushing us into submission and bankruptcy… no matter what brilliant ideas for national renewal might be advanced… our character has become too flawed. We’re too easily stampeded, too gullible, and too dependent. The Left tells us we’re too bigoted and simple-minded to bear the leadership of the free world any longer. We’ll end up pressed against the corpse of our insolvent government, furiously suckling our last droplets of benefit and subsidy, pausing only to snarl at any foreigner who approaches.
It’s not hard to find evidence against that dismal analysis. With the official conclusion of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the truth about America is riding home with our returning combat veterans.
Are we a nation of impatient children, without responsibility or endurance? The men and women of Iraqi Freedom make a mockery of that judgment. They held their posts for years, even as politicians like Harry Reid declared their cause lost, and begged for someone from al-Qaeda to lay out terms of surrender. They set up shop in cities where too many enemy forces were allowed to roost, after being allowed to stroll from the battlefield into insurgent cells. They made do with limited manpower and supply shortages, until the man our Left reviled as “General Betray Us” engineered the surge that brought final victory.
These iron-willed troops were not grown in clone chambers. They come from families that taught them about dedication and sacrifice. They carry on a tradition older than any of the failed ideas bleeding us dry. Don’t tell me the America that produced such people has no idea what to do with the liberty it will soon reclaim.
Are we a nation of ignorant fools who can’t be trusted to manage our own investments, purchases, and health care? The soldiers returning from Iraq are anything but close-minded simpletons. They learned, adapted, and improvised in the face of a enemy that respects no rules of engagement. Their colleagues humbled the supposedly invincible warrior tribes of Afghanistan, fighting in some of the roughest battle space on the planet. In Iraq, every vile terrorist tactic was dissected, studied, and defeated. They don’t need to come home and surrender control of their lives to a secretive cabal of politicians with unlimited power to make the tough decisions with half-written legislation.
Are we a nation of benighted bigots who hate and fear everything beyond our borders? The truth is scattered across Iraq, and countless other troubled areas around the globe, in the form of schools and hospitals built by American hands. The truth shines from the gallantry of soldiers who treated civilian populations with respect and compassion, even as they searched for the cold eyes of murderers hiding among them. They brought Iraqi children home to the United States for vital surgeries. They worked furiously to put children back together, after terrorist bombs took them apart. No small number of Iraqi soldiers and civilians are alive today because American skin stopped the bullets that would have killed them. Never has our flag been carried through fire with greater courage or nobility.
Fifty thousand of our soldiers remain in harm’s way, to support a people still blinking in confusion as the bright light of freedom warms their faces, after dark decades of sadistic tyranny. Saddam Hussein made a deadly miscalculation about American resolve, and our commitment to international order. The Democrat Party made a similar miscalculation about us being a cut-and-run nation, ready to turn in the last few exceptional pages of our history and settle for a solid B-plus from now on. Anyone who still believes that is ignoring the reality of those still fighting among the sharp rocks of Afghanistan… and those packing their gear for the return trip to a home that needs their strength and wisdom as much as Iraq ever did.
The truth about America will soon be felt in the warm embrace of families welcoming thousands of their sons and daughters home. It will shine in the eyes of children who carry the pride of their parents’ achievements for a lifetime… and pass stories of valor along to their own children, in a future that was never meant to be devoured by present-day greed. It will echo through solemn ceremonies of love and remembrance for those who never came home. It will ring in the hearts of a great people who are unwilling to settle for a life of weakness and decline, touted as the “new normal” by a dull ruling class that mistakes the poverty of their own imaginations for our inevitable destiny.
Inevitable? Like hell. The heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom heard that word a lot over the last few years, but they never paid much attention. They’re coming home to the early days of an amazing story about the resilience of liberty. I’m sure their Iraqi pen pals can’t wait to hear about it.
Cross-posted at www.doczero.org.
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