Saturday, April 08, 2006

"Keep your eye on the ball" The fallacies and illusions in Duncan Hunters presentation.

“American liberals like everything about the struggle for freedom except the struggle.”

So said the Honorable Congressman Duncan Hunter [CA-52] as he addressed a crowd of what seemed like over 100 gracious members and guests of the Fairbanks Republican Women’s Federation (FRWF) at the beautiful Inn at Rancho Santa Fe (Not in the 52nd District!) Monday night. For those who had the misfortune of missing it, I defy anyone of any political stripe to say they were not moved by such an interesting, off the cuff speech.

Through his powerful words and gripping imagery Congressman Hunter hit exactly the right notes of respect, humility and anticipation of what's to come. He succeeded in shedding some light on our struggles for freedom throughout the years and across the globe. He stressed the need for Americans to “keep our eye on the ball” and through his mastery of holding an audience, Congressman Hunter allowed the audience to understand, without a doubt, exactly what we are fighting for in Iraq.

Congressman Hunter discussed how the President and his administration have been doing their best to renew the American spirit. He said, “The two most important things Americans have is endurance and perseverance.”

He went on to emphasize, “Because freedom never comes easy, one of the trademarks of this new century is that it’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be dangerous and none of the solutions are going to come wrapped in neat packages.” He spoke about the need to stay on course, saying, “We’re a nation that is used to a six day war or a seven day war, where American troops sail out to ticker tape parades, and they come back in a couple of days triumphant. Well some things take longer.”

He illustrated this point by reminding the audience that during the Cold War, when the Soviet Union took advantage of President Reagan’s low poll numbers by moving in SS 20 missiles and surrounded Western Europe including Germany and France, in response, Reagan starting moving out with our Ground Launch Cruise Missiles and Pershing II missiles to offset what the Soviets were trying to do; intimidate us. He talked about the massive demonstrations against the US, and against Reagan going on not only in America, but even in Europe due to our actions. He said “Every lefty that didn’t have a job was out there on the street” drawing much laughter from the packed crowd. “But he [Reagan] stood tall and said No.” He continued, “And then after a while, The Russians decided they wanted to talk, and we didn’t talk about offsetting our forces, or leaving each other alone, or, you stay out of my backyard and I’ll stay out of yours. We talked instead about the disassembling of the Soviet Empire, but that wasn’t easy, and this won’t be easy either.” He added, “The point is we persevered with the Soviet Union when it was tough, and we achieved our purpose.”

Congressman Hunter continued illustrating how we helped sprout fragile democracies in El Salvador and in Nicaragua, both places that would have communist regimes were it not for the perseverance of the United States. He said, “Those were times when Americans prevailed and Conservatives prevailed in struggles for freedom when it was tough. And this one is similarly tough.” This is when the congressman said, “American liberals like everything about the struggle for freedom except the struggle!”

But perhaps the most gripping part of the Congressman’s speech was when he spoke about what he saw being slowly discovered in Iraq. He said:

“I was sitting there in front of our television watching the discovery channel while I was trying to put a few words together and a scene came up that was much better than any words I could have put together, It was the unearthing that they’ve been doing right now, it was the case against Saddam and it’s the American team together with anthropologists who are going to these mass graves that they are discovering all over Iraq and they’re exhuming the graves, and they were in a bulldozer-cut grave in Northern Iraq, they had just come in with a black hawk helicopter and they had an American anthropologist running the whole operation and they interviewed him. He said, “It was like this, we walked down in this cut” and they show this cut with hundreds of bodies, and they’d been there for a long time and he said, “They were all mothers, with children” and he walked over and he showed the camera crew. He said “Every mother had a 45 bullet hole in the back of her head and every little baby had a 45 bullet hole in the back of his or her head.”

The crowded room was silent. “Now that is what we’re getting rid of in Iraq.” He said. “So my point is, we need to keep our eye on the ball.” He continued, “We have a chance here of having established in this country, not a perfect government, but a government with a modicum of Democracy.”

Towards the end of his inspiring and uplifting talk, the Congressman offered these words, “I want to leave you with one other thing, you know the people who haven’t been affected by the polls? The people wearing the uniform of the United States.”

“We’ve got to tell them over and over and over again that what their giving to us, is value added. And you have to do that every time you see a person in uniform, because there aren’t going to be any ticker tape parades when they come back. There’s not going to be any surrender on the Battleship Missouri. There’s going to be a long war against terrorism and we’ve got to tell those people that wear the uniform of the United States that we appreciate what they’re doing.” he urged.

The thought-stimulating speech concluded with the Congressman telling us about his optimism, and how by shielding fledgling democracies now, will further the fruits of freedom for generations to come. He was utterly riveting, to say the least.

Great speeches have a transcendent quality to them. Many days, weeks, or months later, their meaning still resonates for those with an ear to listen. His mesmerizing words and commanding use of simple, uncomplicated language will be sure to echo in the minds of attendees of this event for many nights to come. I wish he was my congressman, and an extraordinary one I see. But like many things in life, you don’t know how lucky you are till you are there in person, amongst those that believe, those that lead the way and those that know truth from fiction.

Note: This article was originally written by Sunana Batra and published by FlashReport


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