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This Memorial Day Remember Ramadi

Debbie Lee and son Marc Alan Lee Navy SEAL KIA Ramadi

In his May 30, 1868 Memorial Day address at Arlington National Cemetery Congressman, later President, James Garfield said “I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion. If silence is ever golden, it must be here, beside the graves of fifteen thousand men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem the music of which can never be sung.”

Garfield, one of our most underestimated Presidents, knew what he was talking about because he knew war; he served as a Major General in the Union Army during the Civil War, and fought in the battles of Middle Creek, Shiloh, and Chickamauga.

Memorial Day, as originally conceived of as “Decoration Day” in Garfield’s time was much less a day when phony politicians could appear patriotic and much more a day for remembering the terrible cost of war.

And it was a day when mere politicians recognized the great sacrifice and courage of the fallen and humbled themselves in awe before it.

But this Memorial Day, if there was ever a time to respectfully breach Garfield’s admonition to stay silent beside the graves of our war dead today is that day; there are things that must be said at the graves of America’s war dead, because today’s politicians are – in all too many cases – unworthy of leading a great Nation founded and preserved upon those sacrifices.

In less time than had passed between the beginning of the American Civil War and Garfield’s speech, American politicians of today have abandoned the gains made in the war in Iraq and have handed the strategic initiative back to our enemies – the Islamists of the Islamic State and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

And there is no better example of the result of their perfidy and cowardice than the fall this past week of the Iraqi city of Ramadi to the forces of the Islamic State.

Ramadi is the capitol of Iraq’s Anbar Province – once a city of a half a million people it sits at a strategic point at the gates of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. During the war to overthrow Saddam Hussein, and to defeat the Islamists who attempted to succeed him, some 1,300 Americans lost their lives in Anbar Province and some 83 Americans were killed securing Ramadi, then a stronghold of Islamist al Qaeda in Iraq.

Yet our enemy’s flag now flies over Ramadi and the headless corpses of our allies and their families line the streets of the city.

What was the response of President Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry to this major political and military disaster?

It’s a “setback.”

But the strategic response of President Obama was an even great betrayal of the sacrifice of those Americans who died driving Islamists out of Ramadi; it was to task the forces loyal to the Islamic Republic of Iran with fighting the Islamic State in Anbar and retaking Ramadi.

This is not a strategy for winning the war against Islamists – which is what the war in Iraq was and is ultimately all about – it is merely exchanging control of Ramadi and Anbar from one savage Islamist army to another.

This is the equivalent of desecrating the graves of the Americans who fell fighting in Anbar and securing Ramadi because – despite the cowardice of the politicians who have governed America since 2000 who refuse to name it – Islamism is America’s 21st century existential national security threat.

There is no territory in Iraq or Afghanistan that is worth one American soldier’s life; but the ideas in the Declaration of Independence and of liberty under the Constitution are what Americans have willingly given their lives for since the Battles of Concord and Lexington some 240 years ago.

And make no mistake about it; Islamists understand they are not fighting for territory.

The ideas that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is what Islamists are fighting to the death to defeat.

And the war to preserve these ideas is not a new war.

It is a war that was fought at the Battle of Marathon 2,500 years ago when the Greeks defeated the Persians to preserve the idea of democratic government; it is a war that has been fought in a thousand battles since then, and it is a cause that Americans have uniquely adopted as the one reason to take a country dedicated to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” into the death and sorrow that war inevitably brings.

But for some reason today’s politicians are too cowardly to speak the truth about what is really at stake in our war in the Middle East.

In the obscurity into which President Garfield has fallen another piece of his wisdom has been largely lost to history; “Ideas are the great warriors of the world, and a war that has no idea behind it, is simply a brutality.”

Today, as we honor our fallen on Memorial Day 2015 let us especially remember those, like Navy SEAL Marc Alan Lee, who fell at Ramadi. 

Let us honor the ideas for which they fell and resolve to demand that in remembrance of their sacrifice today’s politicians have the integrity and moral clarity to openly defend those ideas by speaking the truth about who our enemies are and what our war in the Middle East is all about – it is about defeating Islamism and preserving our own liberty.

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I will take a gamble on Donald Trump !! Whats there to lose?

I agree with the premise in this article:

All too many of today’s politicians are too cowardly to speak the truth about what is really at stake in our war in the Middle East. They are unworthy of leading a great Nation founded and preserved upon the sacrifices of those we honor today. So this Memorial Day, if there was ever a time to respectfully breach President James A. Garfield’s admonition to stay silent beside the graves of our war dead, today is that day.

With that said, I would like to direct your attention to an article I recently read in Huff Post about Donald Trump's admonition regarding the terrible shape our country is in and the doomsday revelation of our future as a nation if something is not done immediately.

This is what I have been waiting for and all of this comes from an unlikely source... i.e. Donald Trump

At one time our nation did put tarrifs on imports and I believe this is why we never had a trillion dollar debt. However, it was discontinued to appease corporate America at the expense of the American taxpayers.

What I have read in this article has convinced me that I would support and vote for Donald Trump were he to run for President if he sticks to his guns as stated in this article. I hope you will also consider this????????

Sincerely, Clinton Berry

my email address: [email protected]