Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

I wish everyone a Happy New Year. A new year is a new beginning. It represents a rebirth and new opportunities for all. It is a joyous time but also a time for reflection. We must look to the future but remain cognizant of the past.

Everyone should remember that our freedom is not free and many families are without loved ones. Many Americans are currently deployed. We all need to tip our glasses and toast those that are busy defending our rights and freedoms while we are busy bringing in the new year.

Everyone should look at themselves and choose a weakness that should be improved upon. Our New Year's resolution should be goals that are attainable and meaningful. We need to make every effort to make our resolutions lasting in order to move ourselves forward. This is a joyous time but we must improve ourselves in order to move forward.

Hear's to the New Year.

12 comments:

mary said...

I'm sorry, but I don't understand how the deployed troops are protecting our freedom. which of our freedoms was Saddam going to violate?

The Lizard said...

Mary,

I feel sorry for you and the sheltered life you lead. Naivety is no excuse please read more than just liberal talking points you may find something that teaches you what it means to be an American.

Bob Giola said...

You're right Mary...you are sorry. Please remember to use birth control.

mary said...

why are you attacking me because i asked a simple question? i really would like you to explain to me, if you can, which freedoms the troops are protecting in *this* particular war, not in ALL wars.

mary said...

By the way, as far as leading a sheltered life, I’ve lived in Africa, Europe, and both the southern and northern parts of the US, have attended one of the best universities in the world, and have traveled extensively. Just because I think the troops aren’t serving much of a purpose in Iraq doesn’t mean I’m sheltered. Do you think it’s possible to love your country and disagree with its decision to go to war?

Mr. Scott said...

Liberating millions of people suffering under a violent dictator serves no purpose? Saddam brutalized the Iraqi people for decades, he instigated an eight year war with Iran that killed hundreds of thousands of his own people. Then two years after the end of the Iran/Iraq war, time he spent rebuilding his forces, he invaded a defenseless Kuwait and enslaved the population. For twelve years after his defeat in the Gulf War he ignored numerous UN resolutions and continued to rebuild his forces using funds meant for his people under the oil for food program.
I thought Colin Powell was very convincing when he persuaded congress and the UN that Iraq was attempting to produce weapons of mass destruction. The fact that none were found in Iraq after the invasion and Saddam's subsequent downfall didn't mean that the US could just turn around and leave. Iraq has finally begun to stabilize and many,many Muslims now realize that groups such as Al Quaeda are merely bloodthirsty killers, not jihad warriors trying to free the Iraqi people from the US presence. That has weakened Al Quaeda on a worldwide scale. An impotent Al Queada makes the world safer for everyone, even you.
Next time you feel the urge to travel, hop on down to Kuwait City and talk to some survivors of the Iraqi occupation. There are hundreds of Kuwaiti men, women, and children still missing from that time, taken out and murdered in the desert. You may get a different perspective of what our troops have accomplished. For now, I have to agree with The Lizard...you sound pretty sheltered.

Mary said...

Right, I'm "sheltered," even though I've lived and traveled all over the world (to places you can't pronounce), speak 3 languages...just because I disagree with you.

I don't think the war was justified, and I don't think it's keeping us safe. At all. I also think that, whatever the troops are doing over there, that they are actually protecting any of *my* freedoms.

I'm not saying that because I'm selfish and I don't care about anyone else; I'm saying that because whenever I hear that I should be thank the troops for preserving freedom *in conjunction with this war* I scoff a little, because the connections are tenuous.

Mary said...

Mr. Scott, when was the last time you "hopped on down" to Kuwait?

It's funny, because I've actually been there, visiting a relative working at a school. I very much doubt you have.

Let's not forget that the U.S. sold weapons to both Iraq and Iran during the war you mention, ensuring as many people as possible could be murdered.

It's impossible for Colin Powell to have been convincing because he was flat out wrong. The intelligence was bad, and there were no WMDs, so all the flowery speeches only convinced those people who wanted to believe it.

And let's not forget the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians we've killed in addition to "liberated"

Mr. Scott said...

Mary,

November 17th, 2006...the last time I flew out of KCI, on the way back to my home in Europe. Your arrogance is amusing. You obviously view Kuwait as some obscure, far-off Arab nation when in fact it is a thriving center for international commerce in the Gulf region. Thousands of westerners pass through KCI every month, but you should know that since you are obviously an expert on this issue.
Like many Americans I have met, you seem to feel that since you have "visited" a few countries, you are somehow elite, and an expert on all things international. You tout your travel and education yet betray your parochial mind set by failing to recognize that the world wide web is just that, world wide. I find your disdain and boorish attitude tiresome, and will end my correspondence with you.

The Lizard said...

Mary,

You have been very good with your elitist views. But your assumptions are wrong. You are not alone in traveling around.

I have also traveled around the world. My diversity speaks for itself. I lived on a farm in rural America, I lived in the suburbs just outside NYC, I've live in Washington DC, I've lived in Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey and others. I've traveled east, west, north, and south in this great country. But more than that I've lived in Asia, I've lived in Europe, and have done my time in Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The difference is I have not traveled and visited these countries and places but rather lived and breathed them. I melded into just about every culture available and have developed unique insights into the fabric of a world society. My views have been formed through my diversity not because I am an elitist. You have much to learn about being a human being. You have the elitist part down now why not try and live the life of a common human. You may be provided with greater insight and then not have to rely on pushing credentials, education, and elitist viewpoints. By the way read the post on patriotism and you will see the difference between love and devotion of ones country and hatred and divisiveness caused by the elitists like yourself.

LT. Dan said...

Mary,
I understand and respect your skepticism, and fully agree that if someone questions the government it does not make them a bad American. In fact I think it is our duty to question the government, it is the only way checks and balances can work.
I returned from my second tour in Iraq in October. I was assigned to a Civil Affairs unit in Baghdad and interfaced with Iraqi citizens almost daily. You ask an interesting question: what freedoms are the troops in Iraq protecting? I won't attempt to itemize, I'll just state that I believe we are protecting freedom itself. Too many Americans assume that freedom is just something we are born into and will always enjoy. Too many Americans, and I am not implying that you are one, forget that the path to freedom was bloody and required huge sacrifice, and constant vigilance. Threats to our way of life must be dealt with swiftly and oftentimes violently. Sometimes these threats can be difficult to recognize. I think it is simplistic and naive to assume that only a nation with a huge standing army and long range missile capability can pose a real threat to the US. The world has changed drastically since WWII or the Cold War, where we had an easily identifiable enemy. One thing I have learned from almost 30 months serving in Iraq, is that we face a dangerous and determined enemy. They know no boundaries or constraints, and their fight is not just against Americans, we are just the most obvious targets. These people, who I must make clear, are not for the most part Iraqi, simply hate those who do not share their radical beliefs. Forgive my use of a somewhat trite analogy, but if France and Great Britain would have stood up militarily to Hitler's Germany in the late '30s instead of choosing a path of appeasement, the war in Europe as we know it may never have happened. The Germans and Japanese were far away and posed no immediate threat to the US. Sound familiar? No offense Mary, but it sounds like you're just skimming the surface on this issue. If you haven't already, I suggest you find some Iraq war vets and speak to them about their experiences and perceptions, I have no doubt that some will agree with you. However, I know that many will echo my sentiments. I will close with this statement, told to me by a great man, who said, "if you live in this country, and take advantage of all it has to offer, when your country calls, you go". I went.

Mary said...

"Like many Americans I have met, you seem to feel that since you have "visited" a few countries..."

I have not visited a few countries. I was born in one country (in Africa), raised in another (in Europe), and naturalized in the U.S. a few years ago, while living in various parts of the States. I speak french, arabic, and english fluently.

Don't be stupid--just read what I'm staying. Even if you don't agree with me, making up this lie that I'm sheltered is just idiotic.