Thursday, November 16, 2006

Different NOT Defective

My morning coffee is hitting the spot. I take another sip and try to relax as I'm already dressed and waiting for the events of my day to unfold. I'm sitting near the glass doors that open up to the deck and positioned in the perfect spot to watch the confusion of kids running through the living room, adults telling them to stop, and the laughter that's heard after another sarcastic comment flies through the air toward someone that wasn't expecting it. There are people scurrying all over this house and jockeying for position in front of every available mirror. When a bathroom door opens, steam escapes into the hallway with another shower completed and the next person dashes in to get their dosage of Irish Spring. Man this is fun. Rarely am I sitting on the sidelines watching the crowd go by. Usually I am the crowd and demanding that everybody watches me.

Where am I? I'm in the living room of my parent's Ozark mountain home. Since the mid 1970's we've made an annual trek to the Ozarks to vacation as a family and dream about the day my dad would build his retirement home there. At the time of this story, it's about 20 years later and we're now sitting in mom and dad's newly built home wondering why there's only enough bedrooms for them and two other guests. We're trying to figure out how to seat twenty-three people so we can eat together. Those of us not staying at hotels or nearby rented homes are taking turns using the showers. And, we're telling my dad to stop stoking his fireplace so we can all put our clothes back on. Every winter our family visit includes my dad keeping the fireplace going to the point where you'd think he was trying to sweat demons out of us. It hasn't worked. Most of us, at least the brothers and brothers-in-law, are still possessed.

It's Christmas time and all of my siblings and their children are getting ready this particular morning as we are scheduled for another one of our famous family portraits. Mom always manages to find a naive photographer that's available the day after Christmas or Thanksgiving. Not every year, but enough years to keep producing relatively current proof that we're all getting older. We dress up, load up, and the caravan of Glasses and their spouses head to the spot designated for capturing another photographic record of just what happens when people don't use birth control.

As I sit near the patio door, one of my nieces has been asked to sit on the couch across the room from me. Actually, like a puppy in training, she's been threatened to sit and stay. She's as cute as a bugs ear, which is one of my favorite sayings when describing what cute looks like. To tell you the truth, bugs and bugs ears aren't that cute but I won't tell if you don't.

There she sits all prettied up. She and I are the only two now that are ready to go while we wait for the others. Jackie's wearing a pretty dress that her mom put on her and I'm wearing the first $500 suite I've ever purchased along with an $80 silk tie. I don't know what got into me when I bought them but regardless, I was dressed to the nines and feeling pretty good about myself.

I'm still sipping my coffee, watching family members lose their minds, glancing down at a magazine, and every once and awhile launching another sarcastic remark just to make sure I'm not getting behind in the point system for the game of Glass Family Sarcasms. Suddenly, out of the chaos I hear my little niece, who's probably 3-years-old at the time, blurt out something that made me smile and nearly made me cry. After sitting and staying put for a few minutes, she throws both hands up in the air and with a big smile says,

"I can't believe it. Isn't it great! Everybody loves me."

I was one of the few to hear those words since Jackie and I were the only two stationary. Everybody else was in motion and making their own noises. This little three-year-old just spontaneously erupted with a very profound statement.

I don't remember what sparked her into action after that, but I remember the outcome. Before I knew it, the little girl who is so grateful that everybody loves her had scampered off the couch and straight for uncle JL. In those brief seconds I'm thinking, "Slow down little one, I've still got this hot cup of....yikes!" Too late. I now have a little niece on my lap, a lot of coffee on my $80 silk tie and a brown wet spot on my new dress shirt. Being that I'd been ready long before everybody else, I now thought I might be the last one to be ready and maybe only dressed to the sevens or eights.

I'm usually the uncle that loves the kids. I love to tease, entertain, tell jokes, and program them to say things their parents don't want them to repeat. However, sometimes I don't like kids. I can easily get overloaded from too much noise or chaos and I'm often found trying to flee and get away from the little one that won't stop crying, screaming or worse yet, whining. I don't know why my brother or two sisters don't beat their children more but if they were my kids....... LoL

So there we are. Smiling up at me is Jackie. In my right hand is a half emptied cup of coffee. On my tie and shirt is liquid evidence that a toddler has bypassed the words "be careful." Now I've got a decision to make. Do I get upset because this little "bugs ear" has turned me into a canvas of original artwork? Do I call her mother into the room and tell her to do a better job at raising anti-spill children? Or, do I simply understand that a 3-year-old has just done an age-appropriate thing. What do three-year-old kids do when they see someone that loves them? They see somebody that loves them and they run full speed to get a little more of it.

Now before you think there's nothing unique about Jackie's comment or her actions and before you think they're not really words or actions to smile or cry about, let me tell you the whole story.

For over 15 years my sister and her husband opened their home and marriage to parent foster kids. They were all seen as children in transition for the most part. But, the day came when someone in a Dallas, Texas apartment building heard the cry of a baby that nobody seemed to be responding to. Thanks to a snoopy neighbor, a baby girl, only a few days old, was rescued after being left by her mother, unattended. Nearly starved to death, this precious package was immediately hospitalized. Children's Services got a call and within days this little baby was in the care of two loving parents. Although it wasn't her parents, that didn't matter. It is a "nurturing love" that truly defines parenting. My sister and her husband were now the caregivers of an angel in transition, or so they thought.

Unlike many foster kids, this little one was eventually placed in the permanent custody of the state and parental rights were given up by her mother. This opened a door for my sister and her husband to consider adopting this child and to give her their name, their home, and a bright future. From the initial moment Jackie came to live with them up until a month ago when I saw her at her big brother's wedding, she has been loved by our entire family. The love has never stopped. She's growing up now and faster than we'd like.

Several friends of mine are adopted but it's not something most of us spend time discussing. It's a great thing to find a family when you would otherwise not have one. The draw back is, you may struggle with your sense of belonging and feelings of abandonment. The truth is, most mothers are not bad mothers. Most who allow their children to be adopted by another family are doing so because they are either ill equipped at parenting or they have their own demons that chase them. This particular mom had her own struggles to overcome before she could properly nurture anybody's child much less her own.

I heard from my mom the other day that Jackie at times is beginning to struggle with her sense of belonging and her identity. She's now 10-years-old and it's natural for all of us at that age to begin defining outselves but more sensitive an issue if you're adopted. You see by the picture above, Jackie is the little girl on the right. I love that picture. It was taken by my daughter a few years ago. It's two cousins putting a little love on each other. As you may have noticed, Jackie's skin doesn't exactly match the shade that most Scandinavian families have. To make matters increasingly difficult, she's at that age where children in school can be very thoughtless and cruel. Many times they're not even aware of how cruel they are. They just say what they think without much of a filter. That's why it's important that parents and grand parents concern themselves with teaching children how to be polite, how to be a friend, and how to accept everybody just as they are.

I guess I'm posting this entry in an effort to clarify something for my niece. In other words, this is personal. The rest of you get to listen in.

Dear Jackie,

This is uncle JL. I'm writing to tell you that I notice you. I always look forward to seeing you when I come to visit. There's no getting around your big smile and your vivacious personality. I also want you to know that I'm here for you when life doesn't always feel good. And, I want to address something that I've learned recently.

Jackie, I want you to know that if and when kids make fun of you or the color of your skin and wonder why your mom doesn't have skin that matches yours, you need to focus on this. You're not defective just because you're different. Yes you're different but we all are. In fact, you can thank God every day that you're different from uncle JL. Can you imagine having to live in my head 24 hours a day or having to stare at my face in the mirror? Yuk!

Different doesn't mean defective. When they show you a worksheet at school that displays three circles and one square, then they ask you to find which one doesn't belong, I'd tell them this. They all belong because "different" doesn't define whether or not something belongs. In fact Jackie, you more than belong. Sure you may at times feel like a square in a world of circles but belonging isn't measured by colors, shapes, and sizes. It's defined by love and acceptance.

You belong. You see God saw your differences before the foundation of this world was made and because he loves you, he made room for you at my sisters house. Why her house? Because she's different too. I know it ain't easy living with my sister but you can do it. She tends to try and wear the pants so you and your dad need to remind her how baggy they look on her. She tends to boss you and your dad around until you and your dad remind her that she's not the boss unless you're an employee - in which case, she needs to pay both of you for your services.

Uncle JL knows what it feels like to struggle with belonging. You don't have to have darker skin to feel uncomfortable in it. For me it's not my skin color but rather my ability to just be okay with being me. I've often found myself trying to be what people expect of me and that's called performance-based acceptance. I'm learning I don't have to perform in order to feel like I belong. You don't have to match skin color with me or your parents to define whether or not you belong.

Even though you've been "loved" into our family instead of "born" into it, you have my permission to still make the claim that you look more like your dad than you do your mom. Why? Because your dad is much prettier than your mom. Just because he's 6'5" tall and wears tennie-runners that you could live in, don't let that stop you from identifying with him. Wait, I was teasing about your dad being prettier. Your big brother is the prettier one.

As I wrap this up, I want you to know you've got two wonderful parents Jackie. Your siblings, Karen and David love you. All of your aunts, uncles, grand parents and cousins love you. You are wonderfully made. And, when you feel isolated or have a tendency to feel alone, it's okay. Sometimes we all have those feelings. Even the most popular kids at school sometimes feel alone. However, when you search for your identity and you want to find your sense of belonging, just keep in mind what you told me one day while you were sitting on grandma's couch many years ago.

"I can't believe it. Isn't it great! Everybody loves me."
Believe it Jackie. It is great. We do love you!

Uncle JL

Today's Thought: From your day's of infancy to your dying day, love will always motivate you to run toward its source. Two things that can screw that up are...1. If you've defined "different" as meaning "defective." People who believe they're defective struggle with accepting they are loved. Being different is good news. Be thankful. 2. Have you discovered your "sense of belonging" based on Love or on exterior markings and gifts and talents? People who only feel loved for what they look like, what they can do or what they have, haven't learned that genuine love just is. You don't have to earn it nor do you have to have the right color of skin to receive it.

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Riddle & A Reason - Part II

It's just the way it is.

I'm assuming you've already read the prior posting. If not, this is a two part series and you'll need to back up one post before reading this. I've timed this and you'll need 15-20 minutes to read. I typically don't write about politics but today I will because this has been on my mind for too long.

Did you think my story is what history will record about todays war in Iraq? Did you think it sounded like the war we presently are fighting? It did for me when the other day I began to do a little reading. The surprise is I was brushing up on the history of my country, the United States of America. You see the war I just described is the American Revolutionary War. My story was taken from the records of our history books.

The reason I was brushing up on it was motivated by an asinine comment made by Madeline Albrecht, a former Secretary of State, during a television interview I'd come across on the Comedy Channel. I should have known right there by the very nature of where she had landed on my dial, this woman is a joke. Anyway, in an effort to sell her latest book, she chided in with the "unpopular war" commentators and the "this shouldn't be our war" crowd as she made the following ignorant statement. "You can't spread democracy with the barrel of a gun." Hmmmmmm! Really? And just how, Ms. Albrecht, did you acquire the freedom to make that statement?

Similar wars with similar causes.

It all happened with relative similarities.

The Cause:

This is the story of people in pursuit of independence from a government that stifled freedom. Although Britain was not torturing or systematically killing its citizens, it was governing with a strong arm and a choking presence as they refused to allow the new American colonies to self govern. That refusal eventually took the form of military force. The Brits had also been pursuing control of other regions of the world which was indicative of a government with an appetite. Both Britain and Iraq attempted to expand their empires by use of force. American's and Iraqi citizens wanted freedom. Regardless the reason that got us there, we've ended up helping the Iraqi's strive for theirs. In the scheme of the bigger picture, I think that's good.

The Approach:

During the early 1770's, Americans withheld paying taxes to Britain's throne as they were becoming increasingly unhappy with high taxation and the loss of individual freedoms. People's homes and property could be searched without cause and without representation and we were being taxed more and more. In essence, the colonists placed economic sanctions on Britain in an effort to make a political statement. In other words, just as we did with Saddam Hussein, we tried diplomacy and sanctions first. As political efforts failed, we eventually had to decide how much we were willing to pay for freedom. Britain tried to dissolve our attempts at sovereignty and eventually took up arms to force their will. It soon became evident that the cost of the American Revolution would include bloodshed and the rest is history.

The Coalition:

During the American Revolutionary War our soldiers did not fight alone in an effort to win sovereignty and freedom for America's 13 colonies. While Britain fought to keep their kingdom in control, they found themselves up against more than just our soldiers; they also had to fight a coalition of our citizens. You see, our newly formed army fought along side a collection of American militia as well as faced enemy militia who sided with Britain. Today in Iraq you'll find their newly formed army also includes Iraqi militia as well as faces militia still loyal to Saddam's dictatorship. Although poorly trained, these militia in both cases were willing to adapt and formalize and the freedom fighters eventually played a big part in the revolution.

The coalition also included outsiders. They were the armies of France, Spain, the Dutch empires and the Netherlands. Also, included on both sides of the revolution were Canadian and American Indians along with a small number of Americans and black slaves loyal to the crown. I'm sure this made it difficult at times to recognize the enemy which is a common theme lately in our news from Iraq.

The Learning Curve:

Just as in Iraq, we made mistakes during the revolutionary war that jeopardized the safety of the American soldier. Comparable to the issue of inadequate armored vehicles, the American revolutionary soldier was also vulnerable. For example, General George Washington, in 1777, put out the word for 400 select Virginia riflemen to advance toward the Hudson River in an effort to stop the British. During the battle of Saratoga these sharpshooters were accurate at well over 200 yards but suffered losses from their long reload times and their lack of bayonets which were needed when the enemy would advance. This meant we initially lost many of these soldiers in combat. The commanders and soldiers eventually learned to mix the sharpshooters with trained men armed with muskets and bayonets to protect them. In other words, added armament was needed and adaptations were made.

The Insurgents:

In both the revolutionary war and in Iraq, American soldiers faced insurgents. During the revolution they were the Tories, Indians, and German mercenaries that came from within and from outside our country. These insurgents were financed by the opposition just as the insurgents we face today are. Although methods of warfare differ, the formula for war has been somewhat predictable when you read our history.

The Religion:

Just as today's war in Iraq has a strong religious factor to consider, so was the case at the birth of our nation. For our citizens it was primarily Christianity. For Iraq it is Islam. There were and are outspoken politicians and religious men in both conflicts. Some apposed the violence while others condoned it. I'm sure there were those during the revolution who thought the cause was hopeless due to the influence of religion and felt we had no chance of establishing a democracy but rather would see a theocracy. It probably appeared impossible to create a government that could separate religion from politics. But, the revolution was fought, the victory was won, and America was born with the spread of democracy coming through the barrel of a gun.

The Politicians:

After the defeat at Yorktown, political support plummeted back in London. Again, history recycles itself in that "unpopular wars" produce unpopular politicians. Prime Minister Lord North soon resigned in the face of political and public opposition and today, Tony Blair will soon follow in those footsteps for many of the same reasons.

The Victory:

When Baghdad was taken by American soldiers, the war was thought to be over. As we've seen, this was not the case. Similarly at the battle of Yorktown, the surrender of Cornwallis's army in October of 1781 was thought to be a decisive victory against the British. However, just as in the case with Iraq, pockets of resistance in outlying cities were still under the control of some 30,000 British soldiers. It wouldn't be until two years later that we'd find the last British soldier retreating back to Britain. In all, the revolutionary war lasted 8 years.

The Constitution:

We established our government by writing the Declaration of Independence and eventually the Constitution of the United States of America . Today, the reason America is able to help write a constitution for anybody wanting a free society is not because we want to force our values on someone else but rather because we have a history of practicing successfully, freedom and independence. Since our forefathers penned our Constitution we've become the benchmark for others. After WWII we had to actually write Japan's constitution for them as they were unable to do so themselves or even fathom the concept. We insisted they no longer would live under a dictator and today Japan is one of our greatest allies for freedom. Iraq is another step in helping brothers and sisters of the human race live as all do that now live under a democracy.

The Mistake:

If America is making any mistakes at present with the pursuit of independence and freedom for Iraqi citizens, it would be best to remember the mistake Britain made during our revolution. While Britain had enough soldiers to defeat the Americans in battle, they did not have enough manpower to maintain control of each city as they took it. This left colonials with the ability to continue their uprisings and solicitation of recruits for the Patriots. I believe our military is the best in the world and the smartest. That being said, somebody has missed studying history. What I believe needs to be done is, we need to take control of each city and province in Iraq for a period of time until the taste of democracy and true freedom can take root. American and allied forces occupied Japan for seven years after WWII. What that tells me is, there is no McDonald's drive-thru for democracy. It takes time. I believe much of Iraq has already started to get a taste of a better future but we continue to see pockets of resistance where we lack occupied control. We will continue to be frustrated with our progress until a complete presence is established in Iraq by its own army, the U.S. and the coalition forces.

I also believe there needs to be a textbook written for this and all future endeavors to spread democracy. There needs to be case studies derived from the history of at least half a dozen democracies so that people such as the Iraqis can learn how difficult yet valuable their journey will be. How do you expect them to build a democracy when generations of them have never experienced it or know anything about it?

The Truth & Conclusion:

What is the truth about any war? It is never popular and never easy. War isn't our first choice for resolution. History has recorded that in almost every case, politics and diplomacy were the first choice for change unless of course there's a bully. For ten years we tried political and economic sanctions with Saddam but to no avail. It has only been in the case where dictators, kings, or a religion has oppressed the spread of democracy that the final outcome for change came through force. An example of this is the French Revolution where citizens fought both the Catholic Church and their government in order to be free.

Is there a just cause?

Why do we get into most wars? What argument could we possibly have to justify their cause? I think the just cause is thematic throughout the history of the world. It has to do with bullies.

We're not in Iraq or for that matter in any other conflicts other than the ones that involve bullies who only understand one thing, submitting to a greater strength. You may want to call us the bigger bully but the truth is, to those who much is given much is required and we're it. We haven't sought out to harm people but rather to help them obtain their God given right to experience power to control their destiny and live freely. We've done it for decades as far back as the war that brought us our own independence.

The enemy within?

I've grown weary of ignorant politicians making stupid comments such as the one former Secretary Albrecht made the day I was channel surfing. Of course democracy shouldn't be delivered by the barrel of a gun unless the person in power doesn't respond to anything else. I'm really sick of news reporters and pundits using the term "unpopular war." I would have to assume there have been popular wars and to my knowledge, there has never been a popular war. What they don't realize is, by using that term, they're teaching the next generation of Americans that war should be defined in terms of popular or unpopular as if it's popularity that determines what's right. I'm sick of politicians, reporters, and citizens calling our President a liar when there hasn't been a war fought on this planet where "secret intelligence" was completely correct. Just ask the American soldiers who landed on Iwo Jima and found nearly every piece of preliminary intelligence to be wrong. Unfortunately, it's the nature of war. The good news for the rest of the world, we've usually stayed the course in spite of bad information or unpopularity.

Opinion Polls:

I'm glad they didn't listen to any opinion polls between 1775 and 1783 to determine if their cause should go forward based on what's popular. I'm glad they didn't pull out because our army was ill equipped to handle the conflict. I'm glad we didn't give up just because the blood of American soldiers was being spilled for an unpopular war or because thousands were dying from disease. I'm glad Saddam's statue was pulled down by some 200 American soldiers and Iraqi citizens but more so I'm thankful that over 200 years ago, on July 6th, 1776, we did the same by pulling down the statue of King George III at Bowling Green Park in New York City.

Understanding our Enemies:

Unfortunately for the world, dictators continue to oppress people. Dictators are those men who take it upon themselves to control the destiny of their citizens in an effort to benefit a favored few and usually by use of torture, prison, and threat of death. They also have historically had the desire to take over their neighbors property. For most that live under them, there is a minimal level of education, health care, and political choices offered. They are not free to travel or pursue outside cultures. They are held down by lies, fear and isolation because dictators seldom can rule with good ideas. These are true bullies in a world that is quickly becoming a small neighborhood.

Who's going to care?

Unfortunately for America we find ourselves being called upon to rescue people that may or may not like us. Fortunately for them, we're getting better at answering the call. However, for America to get involved sometimes means we must practice the old adage, those who live by the sword, eventually have to die by it. We've not been a perfect country but perfection is not achievable nor can be defined so it's ludicrous to assume it exists. We are a country that hopefully will never forget where we came from and how we got here. If we lack anything today, it seems to be empathy for others and a well rooted understanding of our own history.

Richard & Robert were right.

Richard and Robert were a songwriting team. In 1966 a song written by them was introduced to the American public. "It's a small world after all" soon became a favorite around the globe. As technology, economics, health and issues on ecology continue to increase the need for globalization of our planet, we must all realize that the world is no longer disjointed. All islands have disappeared and what happens in one country or within a culture will eventually in one way or another affect their neighbors. With the World Wide Web, the secrets of American politicians will no longer be tolerated and dictators around the world can no longer hide what they do to their citizens. With the consolidation of large corporations and the creation of mutual investment funds around the world, the business of economics no longer has clear boundaries. When one country destroys their forests, pollutes the air or water, or experiences a failing economy, we all are affected. If health issues, such as the recent bird flu, arise in one part of the world, we are all threatened. It's now to a point where you would be hard pressed to find a truly independent society.

Whose move is it anyway?

The smaller planet means we exist more as a neighborhood than we do a cluster of nations. Because of this, the game of Chess and Monopoly has become the norm. We have at times found ourselves taking sides with an evil neighbor in an effort to keep peace or force someone worse to make their move such as was the case in Afghanistan when Russia tried to protect Marxists ideology during the 80's and we became allies with the guy that was eventualy responsible for 911. We've also had to step in and force someone to either move or comply with the neighborhood consensus. We must now look at and consider who lives across the street and around the block. Who is testing dangerous weapons and are they stable and trustworthy? Who is bringing drugs into the neighborhood and selling them to our children? We can't afford to let a neighbor live outside of what's expected for common decency, safety and the freedom of others. It's not acceptable to allow bullies to rule as they keep trying to move their fence further onto their neighbor's property line. It now affects all of us.

The game has rules, some of which we don't create.

In the game of worldwide Chess and Monopoly, we've made bad moves, lost strategic plays and even jeopardized our strength. We've made moves that were popular but wrong and we've made moves that were unpopular but proved correct. If you look at the history of the world, the majority of conflicts have been in and around bullies. When it comes to bullies, it's rare that we've found one who'll submit to anything but force. Hitler was a prime example. Although facing an entire world against him, he wouldn't back down. As a child, bullies in my grade school classroom only submitted to one thing, somebody bigger and stronger. We've been put in the unenviable position of becoming the world's "strongman" in an effort to curb, if not eliminate, the evil that goes on around us. If you're not going to play by the rules, you eventually will be kicked out of the game.

Our destiny.

That being said, the day has come where we now find ourselves involved in the politics and policies of other nations much more frequently and we'd better get used to it. Further more, we may be there just because it's the right thing to do. It may not be based on what's popular or easy. It may not be due to personal attacks on our nation or a personal threat. It may be simply because America will need to be depended on to stop the bullies of this world if nobody else will.

Just as Spain, France, the Dutch and the Netherlands were willing to spill their soldier's blood for our freedom, so we must be willing to do the same for others. This matters to me because the neighborhood consists of all of us. It's time democratic societies begin to do more than just protect their own borders but rather practice a little empathy for the suffering that goes on under the rule off countries controlled by evil dictators or in some cases experiencing the genocide of neighbors killing neighbors. If we actually saw the world as a neighborhood and everybody as our neighbor, we'd quickly come to the rescue of those who suffer. We do it now when hurricanes come or earthquakes happen. Why not when bullies make threats, torture, imprison and kill their citizens and neighbors?

Not long ago, Iraq was ranked 9th largest army in the world; ranked fourth to us in manpower. I think if you're going to make a statement to all other Muslim nations who harbor radical Islamic extremist, you simply make example of one in the middle of the map and the others will have to sit up and pay attention. After decades of these miscellaneous attacks on our country, we no longer intend on turning the other cheek. No more attacks on our marine bases, embassies or on Americans around the world will be overlooked. It's not our first choice but you have to ask yourself, when will we stand up to the bullies? Because we destroyed one big bully and his dictatorship, recent polls now show that Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey and Nigeria have become worried that America could become a military threat to them. It's about time. That's a good thing when you consider that before the invasion of Iraq, they feared very little concerning us and they are predominantly Muslim nations preaching anti-American hatred. I think we're simply flushing out the idiots and eventually we'll have made our point.

If we can agree that other nations should help save the whales, save the seals, and save the forest, I'd think we'd want to also insist some of them should save their citizens and leave their neighbors alone to live in peace. If they don't, as a neighbor I'd like to go next door and do something about it. All through history war has more times than not been the method for stopping bullies so democracy and freedom could be propagated. In fact, if we'd understood bullies better, we'd forego sanctions and diplomacy much sooner as it usually will only cause more suffering for the people under the dictator.

To our American soldiers I say "Fight On!" You are in the right place at the right time and history is on your side. If you stay the course, you will prevail and liberty will be delivered to a people who will someday be able to look back and thank you. Sometimes you have to spread democracy with the barrel of a gun.

It's just the way it is Madeline Albrecht. History doesn't lie and in my opinion, you belong on the Comedy Channel.