Saturday, March 18, 2006

Should Defending Freedom be a Voluntary Burden?

Michael Friedman of Santa Ana, California is a self-labeled left-leaning-moderate, but in this letter he wrote to the editors of The Orange County Register I find myself in agreement with much of what he has to say. Our all volunteer military is the best military we have ever had. The men and women of WWII have been called the Greatest Generation and they may well have been. It's hard to say; there were so many in that generation willing to defend the nation after it was attacked and there was a draft.

Today, we have a professional military of volunteer each of whom are dedicated to their chosen task - warrior. Michael Friedman wonders if it is fair to the country that only the pro-war stance is represented. Because liberals tend not to volunteer, is it fair for liberals to criticize, claiming their sons and daughters are being sacrificed when, in fact, their sons and daughters are safe at home.

Letters to the editor for Saturday, March 18, 2006
The Orange County Register

U.S. is dodging the draft

We call them the sons and daughters of our country - the proud and brave who volunteer and enlist in our military and put their lives on the line for our freedom. And yet, I wonder how much is our society truly engaged in their plight?

I consider myself a moderate who leans a bit to the left. During the Vietnam War, it was the liberals who chanted, "End the draft!" It seemed like a great righteous cause. But let me be one of the first to admit that ending the draft was one of the greatest disservices liberal causes ever did to this country.

When the draft ended, we disengaged ourselves from our military. It's wrong to say that on the one hand we need a strong military and on the other not be willing to share in the burden. By disengaging ourselves, we've allowed our government to use our military in just about any way it pleases. Because they volunteered, they are expected to do what they are told without much social ramification. So if our military seems like a mercenary force to you, or if it appears to be fighting for big corporate profits, we liberals screwed ourselves into this mess.

Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., when asked about what he would tell a young person considering enlistment, he honestly said he wouldn't advise it. With the military having more and more difficulty getting recruits, the representative's opinion was labeled by some as unpatriotic.

I have two sons, 14 years old and 7. If either were of age right now, and were to ask me how I felt about joining the armed forces, I would advise them the same way. In fact, I would do everything I could to dissuade them from joining. On the other hand, if they were drafted, I would support them going into the military.

That may sound a bit strange. However, if we had a draft, the philosophical attitude of our society would be greatly different than it is right now. When we'd talk about "our sons and daughters," we wouldn't be kidding. The government would be a whole lot more careful in putting these precious children in harm's way unless society was largely in support of the cause.

Were we so blind to have missed out on one of the great lessons of the Vietnam War? I think we grew up. I can almost guarantee that we would not be in Iraq today if we had retained the draft. The worst nightmare for neo-conservatives who enthusiastically supported and created this conflict in Iraq would be a draft. While the polls continue to show weakening support for our presence there, society is still somewhat removed from the sacrifice.

The protection of our freedom shouldn't be a voluntary burden. How can anyone argue with that? And yet we're afraid to talk about it. It would be the kiss of death for a politician to even hint at bringing back the draft.

What is wrong with our young people serving some time for our country? It doesn't have to be all about carrying guns. It could involve social services or disaster relief, especially in a country that can't afford to turn its back on Mother Nature any longer. For a large host of reasons, our society needs the draft. And we need it now.

At present, I think a draft is neither necessary nor advisable. I do agree with Mr. Friedman that it is a subject which must be dicussed without partisan rancor and the specter of VietNam. Many countries, even those the liberals hold out as models, have compulsory military service with acceptable alternatives for consciencious objectors and those physically unfit for armed service. And we need to talk about it soon.

Defending freedom shouldn't be a choice, but the wars we fight should be. Liberty comes with many options and opting out is not one of them. There were many of the Greatest Generation who did not agree with the war effort. They took up the burden anyway for the good of the whole country. That is what made them great, not that they fought on multiple fronts and defeated multiple enemies. They were great because they sacrificed selfishness for the greater good in an emergency. They didn't run to hide in a neutral country, they stood their ground and did what was right. A draft may be the right thing for us to do again.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Iraqi Parliament: Politics Not Spoken Here

Indigo Rose (my sister) has sent another e-mail with a sharp observation:

I was reading an article about Iraq's new parliament and thought the comments below were interesting. As they do not have a speaker yet, the man named Pachachi filled in. I think the quote below is a step in the right direction, and yet a Shiite leader thinks that it is inappropriate to remark on the chances of a civil war because of their "political nature". Geez, isn't that what a parliament is all about - a place to bring ideas, arguments, new laws so that ALL the people can have a balanced say in things without political reprisals such as civil war? I think there is a huge chance of things running amok, don't you?

"We have to prove to the world that a civil war is not and will not take place among our people," Pachachi told lawmakers. "The danger is still looming and the enemies are ready for us because they do not like to see a united, strong, stable Iraq."

As Pachachi spoke, he was interrupted from the floor by senior Shiite leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, who said the remarks were inappropriate because of their political nature.

That's funny - "This is PARLIAMENT; we don't talk politics here!" Sounds like Seigfreid from "Get Smart" -- "Zis is KAOS; vee don't *shush* here!"

Yes, there is a chance of civil war in Iraq (sometimes I think there's achance of civil war in the US, too.) Iraq is an artificial country that if not for the British Empire mucking about in the world would not even exist. Maybe a civil war is the only way to settle the questions facing the region. At the moment, I think Iraq is closer to Bloody Kansas than to civil war. After the Coalition troops leave Iraq, then Iraq may have her war of decision.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Jews Do Holocaust Cartoons Better

A couple of Israeli Jews have decided to take on the Iranian Holocaust Cartoons and the Mo 'toons head to head. Eyal Zusman and Amitai Sandy have announced a new a new anti-Semitic contest"this time drawn by Jews themselves!"

"We'll show the world we can do the best, sharpest, most offensive Jew hating cartoons ever published!" Said Sandy, "No Iranian will beat us on our home turf!"

These are just so much better than the Holocaust Cartoons by Muslims. Jews have a sense of humor and Muslims have a well developed sense of victimhood and entitlement.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Iran Discovers French Fire

It started as the annual Persian Fire Festival, but it turned violent after State Security Forces agents killed a man who was in his car at a stop and search point. A de facto marshall law has been declared in the more volatile cities. Protests began after agents of the State Security Forces (SSF) shot and killed a young man in his car at a stop-and-search point. Paramilitary police, the Revolutionary Guards, and plainclothes agents of the secret police, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security moved in to quell the violence and take control of the affected cities.

Tehran, Iran, Mar. 14 - Furious people set on fire posters of hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and former Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during extensive demonstrations in the western city of Khorramabad as "fire" festivals across the country continued well into the night.

The following is a photo obtained by
Iran Focus from activists inside Khorramabad.

During the traditional Persian fire festival, known as "chaharshanbeh souri" - literally, Feast of Wednesday - people jump over bonfires to "drive away evil". Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, however, Iran's theocratic leaders have made strenuous efforts to stamp out the festivities, but to no avail. In recent years, there have been extensive clashes between festive crowds and the security forces deployed to prevent street celebrations.

Tehran, Iran, Mar. 14 - Anti-government demonstrations erupted across the Iranian capital as well as in towns and cities across the country as young people used the annual Persian "fire festival" to ignite fireworks and set cars belonging to the State Security Forces (SSF) on fire, dissidents told Iran Focus.

In the south-western city of Ahwaz protestors constructed an effigy of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and set it on fire.

Similar anti-government demonstrations by young people celebreating the fire festival have been reported in Garmsar (south-east of Tehran) and Rafsanjan (southern) Iran.

These riots and demonstrations have occured each of the past several years. The ayatollahs have tried to snuff them out, but Iranian youth want the religious fanatics out of power and they won't be denied. Eventually, freedom will out.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Holocaust Cartoons/ Muslim Revenge

Intent upon turning the tables on Western media for printing the Mohahham Cartoons, the graphics editor of Hamshari newspaper, Farid Mortazavi, announced in February 2006 would hold a contest to find and then print offensive cartoons about the Holocaust. So far, Iran has received over 700 cartoons from 200 cartoonists in 35 countries around the world. The top 12 entries will be rewarded with $12,000 1st prize. Many of the cartoons can be seen here. At the bottom of the website are printed these paranoid words:

"Attention Regarding to clarification of the issue of "Holocaust" this website possibly will be closed by United States, in this case please refer to the following addresses..."
"The Western papers printed these sacrilegious cartoons on the pretext of freedom of expression, so let's see if they mean what they say and also print these Holocaust cartoons," Mortazavi said. Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publicly declared the Holocaust a "myth" and called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." He has since dug his hole deeper by holding a Holocaust Symposium to discuss the the Holocaust lies.

Hold on to your yamulkas, folks! When the Jews see these cartoons they will be throwing Mazel Tov Cocktails in the streets! And snappy one liners, too! I tell ya, it's gonna be bad. What is this world coming to?

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Brave Canucks for Freedom

This past Saturday, March 13, more than 100 Canadians gathered in Toronto in support of free speech. They were protesting the oft times violent reactions of Muslims to the Mohammad Cartoons and Canadian foreign policy which "consistently fails to support sister democracies who share our values," such as India, Taiwan, the U.S. and Israel.

Television news anchor Peter Kent said "any democracy worth its salt should be strong enough to endure the most controversial speech." Daniel Dale, a York University student who helped organize the protest, said "we will not stand idly and meekly by while a democracy and ally is violently and senselessly attacked."

In February, Alberta-based political magazine Western Standard, broke with nearly the entire Western world and printed the Mo 'toons. Editor Ezra Levant said he published the cartoons because they are "the central fact in the largest news story of the month. I'm doing something completely normal. I'm publishing the centre of a controversy. That's what news magazines do."

Levant doesn't buy the excuse that Canadian and US media will not print the cartoons out of respect for Islam. He says the real reason is "fear." It is easier for news organs to publish stories that offend Christians because Christians only write letters to the editor. "They don't bomb embassies and behead journalists," Levant said. "Don't tell me the CBC respects religion. It's afraid of one religion."

* Update: "The Western Standard lost 36 subscribers after they published the cartoons. They gained 1,140 and did not lose any sponsors."

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.