Meaningful Distinction:

Patrick S. Lasswell Look outward for something to accomplish, not inward for something to despise.
pslblog at gmail dot com
Thursday, October 23, 2003
Work Worth Doing Is Worth Finishing

The press is not being provided with images of coffins being unloaded at Dover Air Force Base. I am alright with this because it images of coffins unloaded from a plane are horrifying but anonymous, a statistic not a story. If the press wants to take pictures of government issued coffins, they have to go to the funerals, not the cargo handling. If they go to the funerals, it will be hard for them to dodge reporting the story instead of the statistic.

The major media's decision to not risk confronting their own prejudice by presenting the life decisions that led to the death of our troops is contemptible cowardice. If they were to report the stories of the people who went in harms way, they would find a lot of decent people convinced they were doing the right thing by risking their lives so that others could be free.

Some people are concerned that George W. Bush is not attending individual services or even a mass memorial for those who died in Iraq. It is far too soon for a memorial service for Iraq, we are going to be there a lot longer and we will continue to lose people. For those who were raised by wolves or television, this is what is called national resolve. Properly applied, resolve can accomplish great things. As for individual services, were the President of the United States, the most powerful individual in the world to attend a service, it would do little to help those grieving their loss. I lost a Grandmother, an Aunt, and my father this year; I surely did not need every major media camped on my front lawn to help me through my grief.

I would rather have our people make a lasting accomplishment than receive empty accolades. Gordon and Shugart earned their Medals of Honor, but a more lasting tribute would have been a civilized Somalia. The greatest affront to me would be to require all the sacrifices our people have made in Iraq and Afghanistan and then walk away with the job in sight of completion but undone. Until Iraq is economically stable enough to make itself politically stable, the job is unfinished.

We are building something more important than roads and bridges in Iraq and Afghanistan; we are building the tools for widespread prosperity. The only way to prevent tyranny is to provide the people with the economic power to defeat those who would enslave them. This is what we are doing in Iraq and why the fascist Baathists and the militant Islamists are trying to kill us. We are providing the tools for choice; this is the death of totalitarianism.

I understand that many do not like Bush, but he is freeing slaves. If you are not an Afghani woman, this freedom may not mean much to you; it should. By any reasonable standard of Western liberalism, we are engaged in work worth doing. According to history, this work is worth doing well and, above all, finishing.
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