Pen and Quill


Dear NPRI:

More than 200 years ago a group of prominent, wealthy men signed a document that declared our freedom from England. Signing the Declaration of Independence was high treason punishable by death, but George Washington never swung from the King’s gallows because he and other brave men defended their ideas at places like Ticonderoga and Bunker Hill. The visionaries and the Minutemen gave us more than a free country. They gave us an example of how people of character, honor and principle can win when they are united in a just cause.

General Billy Mitchell envisioned a large independent air force because he saw the unnecessary deaths of thousands of American soldiers and sailors without it. However. he advocated his ideas too loudly and was court martialed in 1925. General Mitchell resigned in disgrace. But today, because of the wonderful benefit of hindsight, we recognize him as the hero he was.

In the 1980s Ronald Reagan declared the Soviet Union the evil empire it was and he forged a plan to kill it. Today his critics sneer at his achievement while he says his long goodbye. Like so many of his caliber, he’ll never know history’s final judgment of him. But Ronald Reagan never cared how history would judge him. He cared how he judged himself.

Today the intellectual elite declares that women should be in combat. They believe the modern battlefield can be a "fair" place—even though our streets are not. Like spectators holding champagne glasses with raised pinkies at the first tee, the people who gave us The Great Society and all its horrific failings cheer the outcome of what they think is a game that will be scored by handicap. Determined as usual to ignore reality, they will cast our youth down a long, bitter fairway of warfare while they cover their caviar to protect it from the spattering blood.

General Tony McPeak, retired Chief of Staff of the Air Force—thanks to Billy Mitchell—said, "I don’t like the idea of old men sending young women to war." In other words the problem with sexual integration is cultural and people aren’t malleable enough to change that much. Where are the others to stand with General McPeak?

Where are the ones who so brilliantly and bravely conquered Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard? "Women in combat makes us mad as hell," our modern military leaders say privately, "but we can’t speak out because of the ‘political correctness police’."

General Washington declared a free nation by facing the gallows. General Mitchell advocated air power by facing court martial. President Reagan squared off against the Soviet Union at the expense of his place in history. And today? Today our military leaders accept something they know to be catastrophic because they fear the "political correctness police?" It makes you wonder where the real infantrymen ... the real fighter pilots... the real ship captains... the real marines. Where did all the warriors go? It makes you weep.

The reunions of military units are very special events. People with friendships that were forged in times both terrible and wonderful come together from everywhere in the world and every place in time to say, "I remember... do you?" What will the political correctness warriors talk about at their reunions? Unless they do something, America’s memory of them will be that they cowered in the long shadow of courage and their reunions will be quiet ones.



Bob Gore
Las Vegas

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