Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Thank You Ronald Reagan

You've got to love this article about the U.S. Military Band playing Stars and Stripes in Red Square over the weekend. From the article:

"I've met every president. I've met hundreds of kings and queens. But marching through Moscow behind three of my soldiers carrying the American flag is pretty much the highlight of my career," said Lt. Col. Thomas H. Palmatier, commander of the Army band, which came here along with President Bush and other U.S. officials to help mark the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. "We played inside the Kremlin walls! We played 'The Stars and Stripes Forever' on the streets of Moscow! It was a pretty emotional experience," Palmatier said.

So many fought and lost their lives to see such a day happen, and it is a tribute to how far we've come from the days when we grew up practicing "duck and cover" in school emergency drills. Thank God that when the time came for the final push to win the war, President Reagan didn't listen to those who wanted to continue to appease evil, but instead chose to confront it and name it for what it was.

President Bush should also be commended for his remarks over the weekend. Many on the left, forgetting that they were on the losing side of history, criticized Bush when he said:

The end of World War II raised unavoidable questions for my country: Had we fought and sacrificed only to achieve the permanent division of Europe into armed camps? Or did the cause of freedom and the rights of nations require more of us? Eventually, America and our strong allies made a decision: We would not be content with the liberation of half of Europe -- and we would not forget our friends behind an Iron Curtain. We defended the freedom of Greece and Turkey, and airlifted supplies to Berlin, and broadcast the message of liberty by radio. We spoke up for dissenters, and challenged an empire to tear down a hated wall. Eventually, communism began to collapse under external pressure, and under the weight of its own contradictions. And we set the vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace -- so dictators could no longer rise up and feed ancient grievances, and conflict would not be repeated again and again.

While our good friend Mr. Putin may not have been happy with the depiction of Russia as occupier, the facts are the facts. Our obligation to those that died in the fight is to see that these facts are not forgotten, and that we continue to pursue freedom for all. It is ironic, that only a year ago when the Gipper passed, it was hard to find anyone that would admit to being on the other side of his policies that led to the end of the cold war. Yet with the passing of a couple of months, those that missed the call in the 80's were once again resisting the obligation to support freedom.

The same obligation exists today as we fight to extend freedom to the middle east. The question is who will answer the call of history and who will elect to fight it. I ran across a quote from another actor who left the Democratic party, Ron Silver. The parallels with the Reagan experience in the cold war are telling and obvious:

The party that I felt comfortable with was no longer the party that I had supported over the years because I felt that there was an indefensible moral collapse that I could not justify. They failed to come to grips with the central problem of our time post-9/11, and I found that very, very disappointing, and the company they kept: the Michael Moores and the MoveOn.orgs and the Eli Parisers made me feel very, very uncomfortable.

Here is hoping that there are enough Ron Silvers in the world that are willing to stand up, fight, and move freedom forward.
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