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Peggy Noonan: The Other Shoe
Opinion Journal ^ | 06/07/2002 | Peggy Noonan

Posted on 06/06/2002 9:07:37 PM PDT by Pokey78

Edited on 04/23/2004 12:04:34 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

Obsessing over Sept. 11 distracts us from preventing the next attack.

We have come to quite a pass. The nation continues on high alert as our teenagers gulp antidepressants and Osama's spokesman tells us to fasten our seatbelt. The attorney general asks if his agents could please be allowed to surf the Internet; we debate that, and whether or not it would be insensitive to fingerprint young Mideastern males trying to enter America. Palestinian terrorists kill another 17 people in another suicide bombing on another Israeli road, and Israel hits back, with Yasser Arafat under siege for a few hours.


(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: peggynoonanlist
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1 posted on 06/06/2002 9:07:38 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Howlin; Miss Marple; summer; mombonn; Sabertooth; beckett; BlueAngel; JohnHuang2...
Ping for the PNPL.
2 posted on 06/06/2002 9:08:35 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
I watched--we all watched--as an elderly couple, a man and woman in their 70s or 80s, were ordered out of line to be searched. They were old, frail, embarrassed. They stood 40 feet away from us, their shaky arms held wide as they were wanded by a low-wage worker not endowed with enough human grace to show them sympathy or respect. The old man and the old woman were forced to take their shoes off when everyone knew--we could see it--that it was hard for them. It is a great regret of my life, and I am ashamed of it, that I did not attempt to intervene. I knew that if I did I, dangerous middle-aged American female terror threat that I am, would cause myself the kind of trouble that would mean missing the plane and disappointing my son, who was at home waiting.
This touched a place in me of such sadness.
3 posted on 06/06/2002 9:15:02 PM PDT by Libertina
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To: Pokey78
I live back home and it doesn't play well with me.

Ditto.

This entire essay may be Noonan's greatest contribution to date.

4 posted on 06/06/2002 9:25:54 PM PDT by TexasNative2000
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To: Pokey78
She is right! I said pretty much the same thing in a post a few nights ago, not as eloquently, & not as completely. The people who lost loved ones & friends are not ready to stop greiving but the rest of us should be.
5 posted on 06/06/2002 9:28:13 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: Libertina
This touched a place in me of such sadness.

Me too. Bless their hearts. They were probably terrified too and will never travel again.

This article pinpoints our situation. We should not tolerate the stupid discussions about profiling. We will profile and we will protect ourselves. If the left doesn't like it - they just don't like it. I don't like middle eastern men blowing up innocent people at their whim. I've never noticed the left caring whether I liked something or not.

6 posted on 06/06/2002 9:32:39 PM PDT by ClancyJ
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To: Pokey78
Maybe the most awesome of dear Peggy's many incredible bull's eyes. Sheesh, I'm stunned by how clear her vison and writing.

Thanks for the post, Pokey78.

7 posted on 06/06/2002 9:33:36 PM PDT by jwfiv
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To: Pokey78
Here is a great irony: We are distracting ourselves from our predicament by obsessing on our tragedy. We are investigating the systems failure of Sept. 11, and while we investigate it we are contributing to the next systems failure. Every minute, every bit of energy and focus we give to Sept. 11 is stolen from the amount of time we have to concentrate on how to avoid the next Sept. 11--and what to do if we fail and it happens.

Exactly what I have been saying to anyone who will listen.
A big Bravo for Peggy, she has really hit a home run with this one.

8 posted on 06/06/2002 9:34:43 PM PDT by ladyinred
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To: Pokey78
Some more reality for all the sheeple who have invaded and taken over a large part of FreeRepublic thinking our government can save them from going down to the pit.

Read Job chapter 33 (thats in the Bible) if you want the solution to getting off the wide path to destruction. Its great news, unlike all the crap the Bush administration has started tossing on us. Won't you come home Karen, and restore reality to the drunk on 75% poll numbers Bush adminstration.

9 posted on 06/06/2002 9:42:57 PM PDT by Russell Scott
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To: ladyinred
She is not only a great writer, she is a great thinker.I almost said that conservitives are luck to have her when I realised that given the way Peggy thinks, she has to be one of us.
10 posted on 06/06/2002 9:47:38 PM PDT by bybybill
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To: Pokey78
I sense in her writing such an unsettling of a peace of mind and an anger that can't be explained because somebody should be fired for 9/11. This incompetence can't keep going with business as usual. Lives are at stake.

I wish I could say that Bush's speech today gives me peace of mind, unless it's just the first of many sudden changes that will set things right again.

11 posted on 06/06/2002 9:48:36 PM PDT by swheats
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To: Pokey78
I think there's been a sea change in the last 48 hours.

I'm not talking about Bush and his announced plan to create a Department of Homeland Security.

I'm not talking about Rush Limbaugh, who is a great talker, but he's not what the change is about.

Certain visible opinion leaders are beginning to step out in front of public opinion and demand radical changes in our domestic security structure, regarding profiling, border security, and other areas politicians and people like Tom Ridge won't touch.

I count them as follows:
Lou Dobbs mentioning Islamists.
Bill O'Reilly on border security, and today, indirectly calling for pre-emptive assassinations of terrorists (in a discussion about the CIA)
An opinion leader, I forget who, who on the Wall Street Journal op-ed page said we should pre-announce that we will nuke Mecca if a major American city is nuked
Now this piece by Peggy Noonan

Hopefully this can snowball and begin to be recognized by the popular culture.

Some people call these ideas conservative, but I think this opinion stream is going under the banner of common sense. (Conservatives would just say conservatism IS common sense).

This is one of the great things about our society, that opinion can move like this. Hopefully it will be fast enough to work that we can have something in place before the next strike. If not, hopefully the next strike will be a glancing blow and the next strike can wake up any segment of the population that has any self-preservation instincts left.

Meanwhile, idiots like Noam Chomsky prattle.

Call me superstitious if you like, but because of my religious belief, and because I believe there is a prime mover of evil in the world, a personality, Satan, I believe bad things WILL continue to happen. Possibly this will lead to the end of the world, I don't know. I just believe that because Satan is Lord of the current earth, he WILL have continued successes. We should continue to pray that the Lord will give us a protective shield.

12 posted on 06/06/2002 9:51:34 PM PDT by ReveBM
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To: Pokey78
Gee. Ya think maybe W will read this? Yeah right. Carl won't let him. Oh!, that we had a president that could stand up before the American people and give this very speech with passion and honest indignation. But we don't. We have a media creation invented by a committee of handlers.
13 posted on 06/06/2002 9:52:43 PM PDT by mercy
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To: Pokey78
...humans just aren't good at facing terrible things that are future things'

Elected officials are very good at second guessing past things and saying 'this is not an effort to point fingers', all the while pointing fingers.

14 posted on 06/06/2002 9:53:03 PM PDT by Fracas
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To: Pokey78
A brilliant (and prescient) offering from Ms. Noonan.

This is what 40 years of flower-power-hippie-love-smoke-that-doobie philosophy has left us: Afraid to defend ourselves for it will make us appear hard and uncompassionate to our enemies.

And, gee, it's all our fault for oppressing the noble savages anyway, so we deserve to die. Seem like an outrageously over-the-top statement? If you polled our glorious institutions of higher education nationally, solid majorities would opine that we do deserve it. It reminds me of the famous Oxford student vote in the mid 1930's, where the flower of British youthful intelligensia declared overwhelmingly that they would not fight in a war to defend their country. Hitler took note of that fine little exercise in academic freedom. Our enemies are watching us in the same manner today

If another shoe does drop in NY or D.C., my fervent hope is that the only casualties are the staunch Mr. Bloomberg who opined recently that even if another 9/11 were to occur because of it, he would still oppose profiling because that was a greater evil than mass murder, and the ever-correct Mr. Mineta. They, at least, really would deserve it.

15 posted on 06/06/2002 9:58:10 PM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
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To: Pokey78
The New York Times puts a plain recounting of New York's vulnerabilities to nuclear attack on the cover of its Sunday magazine...

Anyone know if this article has been published yet? It's not in last Sunday's NYT Magazine, and media society inner-circle New Yorkers like Peggy get next Sunday's issue delivered to them by hand the Wednesday before.

16 posted on 06/06/2002 10:00:01 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Timesink
Nuclear Nightmares

It was in the 5/24 edition of the NYT Magazine.

17 posted on 06/06/2002 10:06:04 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Timesink
I think the NYT magazine article mentioned was from 2 weeks ago, with a yellow cover if I remember correctly. It was a think piece about five pages in length. Basically, what it left me with was that the author's idea was that "the best evidence that a nuclear attack on New York won't happen is that one hasn't happened already". There was a lot of other less-than-nuke-explosion stuff that was pretty nasty too.
18 posted on 06/06/2002 10:06:35 PM PDT by ReveBM
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To: Pokey78
Thanks Pokey!
19 posted on 06/06/2002 10:06:58 PM PDT by Timesink
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: ClancyJ
I think it's more racism by minority airport screeners directed at the hated race than the no profiling policy, so I have no plans to fly, at least with no bail money handy.

Washington is broken, there is no fixing it, especially not in time to win a war on terror or provide any kind of security from attacks. The individual states should take back the power that they ceded to D.C. and we, in our respective states should insist upon it.

Our individual states should determine their immigration policies, secure their borders in cooperation with other states, States should determine their population policies, and have their own security measures in place. It's far easier to be effective in individual States than to hope in vain for something workable out of Washington.

Right now the demoncrats want to stall security legislation in favor of bringing to the floor a Federal hate crimes bill that is so vague it can cover anything and is not constitutional to begin with. Meanwhile the door is still open to people from terrorist countries, planes still land from Saudi Arabia with no idea of who is on board, and illegal immigration is costing tax payers 24 billion a year to provide them services, not to mention the 9 billion a year they send back home that could and should be used to stimulate our own economy.

We for sure have enough third world legal immigrants to cover those "jobs Americans won't do", we can place a reasonable working vistors plan in effect without having a run away invasion that forces Americans to learn a foreign language to get and keep a job in their own darned country. I'm for putting pressure on the States to do something, D.C. is a dead end and a waste of resources and time.

21 posted on 06/06/2002 10:18:39 PM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: Pokey78
superb!
22 posted on 06/06/2002 10:29:34 PM PDT by Types_with_Fist
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To: Pokey78
Dear Ms. Noonan,

As usual, a prescient communique.

Re: bioterror - yep, it's a definate possibility. Specifically, on smallpox, vaccination may be helpful - many microbiologists feel that quarrantine along with vaccination of those in the quarranteened area will work in the face of an outbreak. That's assuming an acceptable number of fatalities and is based upon the additional assumption that the offending organism has not been modified to shorten its incubation period. Unfortunately, according to Ken Alibek (who essentially ran the former SU's bio-warfare program before defecting to the United States) the former Soviet Union was working specifically to develop a smallpox pathogen w/a shortened incubation period, therefore nullifying my faith in the tenet that an outbreak could be contained via quarrantine & vaccination. Re: your suggestion that at least all our young people be vaccinated - assuming we now have enough viable vaccine to do this, for this to be effective, we again would have to hope that the organism used in a terrorist attack has not been genetically modified in a way that would render our current vaccines ineffective. Maybe we'll get lucky and get attacked w/a garden variety strain of smallpox. Maybe not. Of course, there are numerous other pathogens no doubt available on the "Black Market" that could cause us particular harm if mass exposure/infection rates could be improved. I'll leave that to your imagination. But you are definately on the right track on this potential hazard.

RE: nuclear attack w/a dirty bomb - this is a bit out of my area, but I think it's safe to say that, depending on the size/amount and type of the nuclear material used, and the dispersal pattern/air currents, etc., someone 22 miles from a city hit with a dirty nuke is not likely to be a good candidate for cash-value life insurance. Assuming I'd be far enough away to survive the initial attack, I'd probably be more worried about the long term effects of radiation exposure on this one.

Why aren't we being told what to do if these kinds of attacks happen? Great question. Our public servants are too afraid to mention it, I suppose. You know, there goes the stock market, and only those hideous, beastly pharmaceutical companies would profit from widespread dispersal of this info due to their various anti-depressant products. I guess those would be the same hideous, beastly companies we'd be depending on for live-saving technologies and therapeutics if we were hit with bioterrorism.

I think you're right on the money with this article. I can only pray that those who are now busy with their senatorial navel-gazing and perpetual preening before the cameras, will see it.

I absolutely adore your work. Would you please consider moving here to fly-over country? True, it's not quite as cosmopolitan as New York, and true, it's not quite as scenic as New York; however, it's also not likely to be the number one or number two target on your average terrorist's hit list. There's a lot to be said for the land of corn and soybeans, from that particular perspective. We will definately leave the light on for ya.

23 posted on 06/06/2002 10:30:50 PM PDT by Endeavor
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To: ReveBM
Thanks ReveBM!
24 posted on 06/06/2002 10:38:34 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: nogbad
ping
25 posted on 06/06/2002 10:39:23 PM PDT by keri
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To: mercy
Gee. Ya think maybe W will read this? Yeah right. Carl won't let him. Oh!, that we had a president that could stand up before the American people and give this very speech with passion and honest indignation. But we don't. We have a media creation invented by a committee of handlers.

I'm sure President Bush reads every essay that Peggy Noonan writes, but I'm not so sure about Karl. I think you're forgetting, Peggy writes for a living. Her tools are the written word and she is blessed with great literary skills.

OTOH, President Bush is leading the United States of America, the greatest nation on Earth. He has more weight on his shoulders then a million men. He is a passionate, honest and a God fearing man, who doesn't take his job lightly. Bush is POTUS, Commander and Chief, political leader, leader of the free world and yes, he is part media creation too. In fact, all presidents are media creations, to an extent.

But more importantly, George W.Bush is more then the sum of his parts. He knows his limitations and is humbled by his position in life. He didn't need to be President. Bush would have been content living on his ranch in Crawford Texas and happy being a husband and a father. The nation called on George W.Bush and he responded. He did what was right and the vast majority of American's, are thankful for his decision to serve his country.

You're wasting your time attempting to ridicule and insult President Bush. Most folks look right through that BS rhetoric. Besides it makes you look like a cheap and petty.

26 posted on 06/06/2002 10:39:26 PM PDT by Reagan Man
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To: keri
I read it. It is a disturbing article.
27 posted on 06/06/2002 10:42:44 PM PDT by Nogbad
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To: Pokey78
We know who the enemy is--we know many names, and we certainly know the general profile--and we have every right, or rather duty, to give those who fit the profile extra scrutiny.

Judging from the conversations I've had over the last nine months, when the next shoe drops, if profiling isn't implemented immediately, there are a lot of people out there willing to start going vigilante, and/or marching (rioting?) on Washington to demand it.

28 posted on 06/06/2002 10:43:48 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: TexasNative2000
I'm thinking the same thing - have bookmarked it for future reference.
29 posted on 06/06/2002 10:46:29 PM PDT by 3catsanadog
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To: Timesink
Judging from the conversations I've had over the last nine months, when the next shoe drops, if profiling isn't implemented immediately, there are a lot of people out there willing to start going vigilante, and/or marching (rioting?) on Washington to demand it.

You're kidding, right? These people that are in their 30's through their 50's are comatose and no amount of megatonage will wake them up. They have been indoctrinated into not resisting ANY aggressor. If 9/11 didn't wake them up, nothing will.

30 posted on 06/06/2002 10:52:49 PM PDT by Kobyashi1942
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To: Kobyashi1942
That's not fair. I don't know exactly how old Todd Beamer was, but when the people on the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania knew what the plan was for their plane, they rose up and confronted the enemy.

I assume that what people are doing right now is giving the government a chance to prove that it can protect us, and crossing their fingers.

31 posted on 06/06/2002 10:57:13 PM PDT by ReveBM
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To: ReveBM
That's not fair. I don't know exactly how old Todd Beamer was, but when the people on the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania knew what the plan was for their plane, they rose up and confronted the enemy.

We have no proof that Mr. Beamer and his friends actually brought down that plane. On the contrary, there is evidence that I have read, and though my sources in the aviation industry that say that it was brought down by another plane. I'll let you conect the dots.

32 posted on 06/06/2002 11:09:34 PM PDT by Kobyashi1942
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To: Kobyashi1942
The point is Beamer and his comrades resisted the hijackers. Up until that point, everyone on these planes, from the passengers to the flight attendants to the pilots, had been taught "give the hijackers what they want and everything will be okay". However, once the people on the Beamer flight recognized that this was a suicide pact, they resisted vigorously.

Are you in some kind of camp that believes that all resistance on that flight, no matter how inept, is fictitious?

My analogy is that the American people are still at the beginning of their arousal state, and that society will react to protect itself if it feels that big daddy government can't do it.

Maybe I'm wrong.

33 posted on 06/06/2002 11:16:29 PM PDT by ReveBM
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To: ReveBM
Are you in some kind of camp that believes that all resistance on that flight, no matter how inept, is fictitious?

Obviously they resisted, I just don't think that they brought the plane down. Please remember, witnesses say the plane started breaking up BEFORE it hit the ground. Doesn't take an Einstien to figure that one out.

34 posted on 06/06/2002 11:25:03 PM PDT by Kobyashi1942
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: MaligneInterceptor
News reports from witnesses moments after the plane impacted with the ground.
37 posted on 06/06/2002 11:45:06 PM PDT by Kobyashi1942
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To: Pokey78
Norm Mineta, our transportation secretary, has a searing memory, and that memory determines U.S. airport security policy in 2002. When he was a little boy at the start of World War II, Mr. Mineta and his Japanese-American family were sent to an interment camp. It was unjust and wrong.

I sometimes wonder how many of the important decisions made by our leaders are determined by similar childhood memories rather than adult rational decision-making processes.

Thanks to Peggy, and thanks for the ping.

38 posted on 06/07/2002 2:12:23 AM PDT by FairWitness
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To: Pokey78
Peggy Noonan's right about one thing: we still argue over absurd stuff. You'd think 911 taught us to look at this bigger picture. Oh well. The more things change the more they remain the same.
39 posted on 06/07/2002 2:38:21 AM PDT by goldstategop
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To: MissAmericanPie
Would someone tell my WHY Saudi Arabia is able to defy our laws and land their planes here without giving an advance passenger list like every other airline in the world? Whot tolerates this garbage from this illiterate bunch of gasbags from the home of terrorists?
40 posted on 06/07/2002 3:01:41 AM PDT by laconic
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To: laconic
OIL. I wonder though why we don't ditch the Saudis and start exporting it from Alberta.
41 posted on 06/07/2002 3:03:29 AM PDT by goldstategop
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To: Pokey78
Delusional, malformed and mad...........says it all.
42 posted on 06/07/2002 4:58:43 AM PDT by DooDahhhh
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To: laconic
Can you elaborate a bit more on the Saudi's being allowed to land planes here w/o declaring the passenger list? How do you know this? Is anyone else aware of this? I have never heard of this and would also like to know how our government allows this.
43 posted on 06/07/2002 5:18:53 AM PDT by BlessedAmerican
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To: Reagan Man
Excellent, excellent.
44 posted on 06/07/2002 6:10:29 AM PDT by Quilla
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To: Pokey78
This is a great essay, and right on target, Peggy Noonan is a national treasure, and I wish President Bush would hire her to write speeches, or communicate with the press, ...

"Fiddling while Rome burned" comes to mind.

45 posted on 06/07/2002 6:11:07 AM PDT by RobFromGa
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To: Pokey78
We are in the middle of another systems failure.

This says it all, thanks, once again, to Peggy Noonan. Wake up, Senate! Wake up, Bush! Half-measures will not do. Profile young Arab/Islamic males. Use your common sense! Time is running out.

46 posted on 06/07/2002 6:16:42 AM PDT by Phaedrus
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To: Pokey78
The Senate this week was talking. That's what the Senate does ... Each senator must be seen on TV grilling the FBI director. This slows things, but it is assumed it will play well back home.

I live back home, and it doesn't play well with me.

Each senator cares about his or her reelection and little or nothing else. It is not about public service. What's wrong with this picture?

47 posted on 06/07/2002 6:28:30 AM PDT by Phaedrus
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To: Pokey78
Bumping a great article. This is a must read.
48 posted on 06/07/2002 6:38:27 AM PDT by kipj
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To: Scott from the Left Coast
This is what 40 years of flower-power-hippie-love-smoke-that-doobie philosophy has left us: Afraid to defend ourselves for it will make us appear hard and uncompassionate to our enemies.

And that brings to mind this great quote:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
-- John Stewart Mill

49 posted on 06/07/2002 6:55:56 AM PDT by mc5cents
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To: Pokey78
Can you put me on your ping list, please?
50 posted on 06/07/2002 6:58:26 AM PDT by Aggie Mama
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