to Captain Ed at Captain’s Quarters for his kind words in connection with my wife’s naturalization. The Captain also included a characteristically thoughtful response to my grumpy remarks about being subjected to CNN’s coverage of Abu Ghraib while waiting for the ceremony to begin. He argues that “Abu Ghraib, while humiliating at the moment, demonstrates what America is all about” because it demonstrates the accountability of our military, the power of our free press and legislature, and our unwillingness to tolerate those who dishonor us even when their misconduct is directed at our enemies.
This is an excellent point, but it may not tell the entire tale. It is a fine thing that the abuses were exposed, investigated, and (I hope) corrected. But for America to be at its best, it must not misinterpret the meaning of the abuses. If they lead to excessive self-doubt or self-condemnation, or cause us to lose focus on our mission in Iraq, then arguably we are not robust enough to meet the challenges that face us. Personally, I doubt that the abuses will have this effect, but it is disconcerting to witness our elites using all of their power to push for that result.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell