Thursday, January 25, 2007


Yes, Winefred is still wading around in her well, but has been swamped, I tell you, SWAMPED with things to do. Got the usual two weeks' notice that I'm teaching again, and have been madly revamping the Whirlwind History of Christian Art for Impressionable Seminarians, as well as wrestling a new lap-top into the ground. Will be away again doing family (GRANDMA!!!) stuff for the next ten days or so.

But, like I had nothing else on my plate, I spent all of yesterday composing and faxing and emailing letters to various senators (Republican) about their unspeakable wimpiness as they now desert the President even as he finally has retrieved his gonads from storage and has decided it might be time to do what the American military is perfectly capable of doing when given permission: squishing the Iraq-based terrorists like a bug. The worst part of the this face(ass)-saving move on the part of senators as eminent as John Warner (what the hell got into him?), is that they know with absolute certainty that any fight we walk away from in Iraq will simply move elsewhere and will have to be fought there.

My first
task of the day was to make the Hugh Hewitt Pledge (addressed to the election-funding National Republican Senatorial Committee) about dropping like a hot rock any Republican signer of an anti-"surge" resolution, and then forwarding my notice to the appropriate authorities, like Senator Ensign and Senator McConnell. (sign the pledge here -- over 16,000 signatures so far.)

I then faxed extended letters to John Warner as well as Senators Norm Coleman (Minnesota) and Gordon Smith (Oregon-- my homey) who are basically decent folks now wobbling towards faint-heartedness. Took me the whole damn day but it was worth it. Might do some phone-calling too if I get time.

The bottom line on this mess is that the man about to set the potential victory in motion, General David Petraeus, told the elected representatives in no uncertain terms that formal resolutions of disapproval regarding the troop increase and military offensive give encouragement to the enemy and undermine the morale of the troops. In other words, YOU CANNOT SUPPORT THESE RESOLUTIONS AND CLAIM TO SUPPORT THE TROOPS-- to do so is to LIE. And a bunch of supposedly conscientious law-makers are poised to do just that.

Get on the phone, write a letter, and STOP THEM. (Hewitt will tell you where and how.)

Here's some of mine:
No one should be blind to the dangers of this strategy—including the danger of being held responsible if it should fall short. We cannot be certain of victory, but we can be absolutely certain of the consequences of allowing Iraq to collapse into chaos, in a sectarian war which has been fuelled from the outset by foreign terrorists.

As a military mom I have EVERYTHING to lose by supporting an escalation in violence. But I have difficulty convincing myself that the loss of life and liberty and security being suffered by the Iraqi people is of lesser importance than my own. And I am also enough of a realist to know that if we throw those people to the wolves now, the wolves will eventually devour our children-- including my Marine's brand new baby son-- here at home, and it will be sooner rather than later.

here at last we find ourselves on the brink of the escalation of both troop levels and aggression which should have been in play back in early 2004. The American political situation since that time has radically altered, to be sure. But one thing that has not altered one iota is the ability of the American military to beat this enemy, soundly and for the long-term. Given the freedom and resources to do so, this military can pick up where it left off in mid-2003, roll forward, and never look back. That’s a very big ingredient in victory: the “never look back” part. As you well know, Washington D.C. has been full of people willing to waste our time, and the lives and well-being of our military and the Iraqi people, in a seemingly endless and unconscionable appetite for looking back.

But they do not look back far enough—back to the times past when American people rose to the challenge of history and were willing to sacrifice everything to hold off two disparate enemies threatening us on two fronts, only one of whom had even nibbled at the edges of our shores. My two sons and their cousin who have chosen to serve their country are preceded by my father and five uncles, regular guys with other plans, who volunteered for World War II and served in the Coast Guard, Army, Navy, and OSS. My nephew’s father served in Vietnam, and his father before him was a decorated WWII pilot who received the Croix de Guerre (himself the descendant of a veteran of the American Revolution).

This family-- my family-- are ordinary American citizens who, like most of their countrymen for over 200 years, have had the stomach for a fight, for the survival of themselves and others-- without counting the cost, and without knowing for certain (as no human being ever can) whether they would succeed in doing what they knew must be done.

The American military adventure in Iraq is, without a doubt, a wounded ship, demasted perhaps, but it is by no means sinking. We all know the metaphor about the way the rats desert such a ship. I want very much to believe that you are not one of these. It is one thing to be reluctant, skeptical, even frightened about the uncertainties of this change in strategy. But it is quite another to put your doubts in the form of a public rebuke.

There are those who would categorize Republicans who reject the surge as “disloyal” to this President, but that is a misnomer. President Bush’s failures of leadership, sadly, do not inspire the sort of loyalty he himself is said to value highly. He, and you, and all Americans have higher loyalties: to our military men and women, to the Iraqi people (who DID welcome their liberation), and to all people around the world who are the potential victims of the terrorist plague.

I could not be more proud of my family members who have voluntarily taken up the burden of protecting their fellow man, at the cost of their own safety, convenience, and possibly their lives. I have a new grandson whose father will miss his first birthday and Christmas when he is deployed... I can only pray that he will never have to experience what it is to grow up without a father at all. On the other hand, if we do not take up this fight where we find it, it will most certainly find us, and it could be the mother at the shopping mall whose life is taken away, not the father in uniform...

It is my sincere hope that you will not be joining in the chorus of those wishing to distance themselves from the worst-case scenario of this new offensive. Or, more accurately, the immediate worst-case scenario—for it is hard to imagine a worse case than the one we will all be in if we do not deal the terrorist forces, and all their supporting connections, as lethal a blow as we can in this present theater of war. I beg you, Senator [whoever] , to reconsider attaching your name to any resolution the primary effect of which will be to offer encouragement to the enemies of freedom and discouragement to those we delegate to fight them.

SO THERE. Call, write, kick butt. These people work for you.

See you next week.

Monday, January 08, 2007



where we celebrated the
Nativity of El Nino [the Wee Grandson]


which necessarily means coming to grips with this scramblized world we live in...

Think I'd rather do movie reviews.

Watch this space for an excursion into HIGH CULTURE:

Talledega Nights.

The Devil Wears Prada. Click. The Break-Up. The Illusionist. The Matador. The Lake House.

(Is there a theme developing here? Yes-- the majority of selections were found among the film fare offered on Air Canada flights this past fall.)

The Sentinel. Prairie Home Companion. Over the Hedge. Casino Royale.

And yes, at last, The Da Vinci Freakin' Code.

Reviews will be brief, blunt, and totally subjective. I'm a grandma-- it's my right.