Where We Stand
As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says, we've got a lot left in our missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. We cannot give up for the sake of our nation and for our newest allies. When we've got two new governments where regular, orderly change can be made via the ballot box instead of the gun or the bomb, where people can breathe free of religious oppression and worship freely without threat of government retaliation or even not have any religion in their lives, when violence is eschewed in place of argument and debate, we'll have victory. We're getting very close to that. I hope it will happen soon.
Compare this and this with this. It's the same nation of which they speak, yet neither is being officially censored or repressed. We may choose to point and laugh at one or the other, to shake our heads and say "What fools these mortals be" when taking issue with either site. Each author knows that he or will not be shut down because a government official has a personal grudge against them, their faith or lack of it. It's these simple things which we take for granted that are being fought for overseas. The concept of "America" is as important as the American soil on which we tread. Shortly after 9/11, a speaker at Columbia University hoped for "a million Mogadishus," echoing an earlier (and now quite dead) Communist icon's call to arms. Today, I'll hope for a million Springfields, a million Evanstons, a million St. Louises, a million Carbondales instead. I hope to spread the American ideal from each city, despite the local silliness unique to them. Some might think we're in horrible shape. I dissent. We haven't reached our destined glory, not yet.
Another July 4th, another Independence Day, another reminder how much is required to protect the freedoms we use daily. Happy Independence Day, my fellow Americans.