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Thursday, July 22, 2004

TOUR DE FREEDOM; HERE'S A TOWEL, NOW WIPE

I know that this is going to get Tony Alva's dander up, and I'm sure that the phrase "apologist crap" will arise, but this issue hits me on a personal level. Lance Armstrong gets spit upon and taunted by German cycle fans, not because he's winning, but because he's an American. Granted these guys are dickheads of the highest order, but it points to the fact that world opinion of Americans is at an all time low. How can the entire planet be misguided? I'm a travel nut, and Europe is my destination of choice. I love history, and that's where it comes from (Eddie again). Now, along with my passport I need to bring a Edmonton Oilers jersey to wear wherever I go. I know I've already blogged about claiming Canadian, but I'm serious, this is getting out of hand. Goerge Bush claims we're safer, is Lance safer? Exactly who is safer? You, George, will be safer when you come to New York for the RNC because demonstrators have been relegated to the West Side Highway, and I suppose that's good, because some of these cats are out for blood George.

Comments:
"...and I suppose that's good, because some of these cats are out for blood George."

Especially ones that you've flipped off.

Love, Clarke
 
I will quote a famous columnist not because I always like what he writes, but because I can't say it any better, "The truth is that America is a great country striving to protect itself in an ungrateful and dangerous world. We, the people, have sacrificed blood and money so others could have a chance in life. Yet many teenagers in Canada (substitute Germany, France, etc�) are convinced we are an evil nation. The powers-that-be in Canada (same substitutions) should be ashamed that their young people are so ignorant but I know they are not. Ignorance, you see, is most often a contagious disease".

Here is the fundamental reason the world is pissed at us right now and little of it has to do with George W. Bush. WE were attacked as opposed to some other friend and/or interest that we are coming to the aid of. It has been over 50 years since WE have been directly attacked. Our rules of engagement are different when it is us being attacked vs. one of our allies being attacked. The U.S. has always been willing to be more patient with agencies like the U.N., NATO, EU, etc... when we are called to defend a friendly. We have an obligation to use U.N. et al as a forum when we are attacked as well, but we absolutely do NOT need thiers or any other countries unanimous permission to engage our enemies directly after we have suffered a direct attack. This is why the war on terror is different than the first gulf war.

There are times in history in which tough unpopular decisions must be made that will surely have huge downsides. As an example, Lincoln's decision to put down the rebellion. That was a decision that undoubtedly met with huge divisions amongst the American citizenry. It was a TOUGH decision, but he made it and many, many, people suffered. Lincoln absolutely agonized over whether to emancipate the slaves. He was a lawyer and really had a hard time rationalizing his constitutional authority to do, on top of the popular and moral imperative, but he made the decision to do it because it was right for the country and human beings as a whole. He did this knowing it would bring about polarization. I cite this not as an example of comparisons of the two conflicts, and certainly not between the two men (please no jokes or outrage) but as an example of tough, unpopular decisions that have to be made in OUR best interests that will otherwise upset the many. As the cadet prayer says, ��God grant me the strength to chose the harder right...�. This is one of my most heavily weighted dimensions when making my voting decision. I want leadership that makes the �harder right� decision when necessary even at his/her own peril. Lincoln sets the standard in which all presidents are measured in my opinion.

I believe we have chosen the harder right and are suffering from the predictable unpopularity of the decision to wage the war on terror. I am certain of this. History will decide the rest. We are still very much in the early stages of it.

I feel bad that Americans all over the world are suffering the unpopularity that Lance Armstrong did. But I will bet you that based on what I know about Mr. Armstrong�s character, he is unapologetic and is as proud to be an American as I am, warts and all. Shame on those German�s indeed. Their irreverent display is a despicable abomination.
 
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