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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, May 29, 2006

A Quote on This Memorial Day

"Always think of it: never speak of it." That was the stoic French injunction during the time when the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine had been lost. This resolution might serve us well at the present time, when we are in mid-conflict with a hideous foe, and when it is too soon to be thinking of memorials to a war not yet won. This Memorial Day, one might think particularly of those of our fallen who also guarded polling-places, opened schools and clinics, and excavated mass graves. They represent the highest form of the citizen, and every man and woman among them was a volunteer. This plain statement requires no further rhetoric.

Christopher Hitchens, "Memorial Day," The Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2006 (link)

Keeping Faith

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

A Quote on This Memorial Day II

To the loved ones of the fallen in Iraq, Ben Stein writes (in The American Spectator):
The media try to rob your husbands' and wives' and kids' lives of meaning saying this war is not about anything.

They're wrong and they say what they say because they don't see the truth. They print a story on the front page about Marines killing civilians in a town in Iraq and if they did, it was wrong. But the big media never report a MARINE throwing himself on a bomb to protect an Iraqi child, or a Marine giving his life to rid a town of murderers or a Marine or an Army man or woman or a Navy Seal or a Coast Guardsman offering up his life so that Iraqi human beings can have the same freedoms and rights we take for granted here in America.

The media are like grave robbers, robbing you of the certain knowledge that your spouses gave their lives for something deeply worthwhile: human dignity. (
link)

Human dignity. A concept they'll never be able to grasp.

The Last Best Hope Of Earth

Abraham Lincoln says it best on Memorial Day:
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. (link)
" ... the unfinished work so nobly advanced."

Appropriate to the Union in 1863. Appropriate for us today as we strive - once again - to change the course of history.

True To Form

The New York Times suddenly finds its compassion for the Iraqi people - after all this time. It has a front page article this morning detailing one of the many instances of slaughter that have taken place in that troubled land.

Oh wait. Unlike the thousands of instances where hundreds of thousands of people have been executed - with little real interest on the part of the Times - this report details the facts behind the alleged killing of Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines several months ago:

Iraqis' Accounts Link Marines to the Mass Killing of Civilians
By Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Mona Mahmoud


BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 28 — Hiba Abdullah survived the killings by American troops in Haditha last Nov. 19, but said seven others at her father-in-law's home did not. She said American troops shot and killed her husband, Rashid Abdul Hamid. They killed her father-in-law, Abdul Hamid Hassan Ali, a 77-year-old in a wheelchair, shooting him in the chest and abdomen, she said. (
link)
Should this have been reported? Yes. And I expect there'll be many, many reports to come relating to this same incident. Over and over again.

I just wish the people at the New York Times were consistent in their shock, outrage, and outpouring of sympathy toward the innocent people of Iraq. Sadly, it's only when Americans are implicated that they seem to care.

This attitude, expressed today by Times columnist Bob Herbert, is more the norm:
Consider the Living
By Bob Herbert

Before you head out to the barbecue this afternoon, look in a mirror and ask yourself if Iraq is something you would be willing to die for.
On Memorial Day.

When Good Guys Go Bad

Now I know why Democratic Congressman John Murtha ran to the TV cameras a few weeks ago to gleefully announce the fact that some Marines had been implicated in the deaths of a few dozen innocent Iraqis:
Murtha: Iraq Killings May Hurt War Effort
By Douglass K. Daniel, Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The deaths of as many as two dozen Iraqi civilians and an ensuing cover-up threaten to do more harm to U.S. efforts in Iraq than even the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, a prominent congressman and war critic says.

"This is the kind of war you have to win the hearts and minds of the people," Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said Sunday. "And we're set back every time something like this happens. This is worse than Abu Ghraib." (
link)
John Murtha wishing it were so.