Global community. You hear those two words lumped together every so often. Global. Community.

What does a global community bring to mind? I can tell you what it brings to my mind, and I can tell you what I have heard about it, but what I have heard about it, and what I see in reality are two different things. What I see is massive wishful thinking, followed up by the almost complete hypocrisy of nearly everyone who utters the words "global community" together.

Take the situation in Iraq, for instance. We have started a war there; no one denies that at this point. I myself have been involved in some discussions about the topic. But for me, it's so much more than just a topic.

In my last post, I denounced politicians as being users of buzzwords for political gain. The people I have spoken with regarding the war in Iraq bring up the topic of the war for the same reasons I do; because they actually care about something that is going on, and they want to change it.

We may not all agree on what the best way to change it is, but so long as we agree that something needs to be done, then we have a start that our politicians simply cannot grasp. You see, they talk about change for political gain and use the buzzwords as political capital. It's obvious. since the two largest political parties in our nation are complete polar opposites of each other, and not because of ideology, but because of politics.

There are many I have discussed topics with in bloggyland who are almost complete polar opposites of me; yet when we discuss things we know we hold differences in, we do not discuss them to score points or for political capital. We discuss them because we truly care, and I think we discuss them because we want to learn more, and share what we know.

But this topic of global community has me flustered. I hear of it most often by the two groups of people I feel the most disdain for; politicians and news people. I hear from others, as well, but I wonder if their ideas about a global community must be different from mine, because the words they use to explain the best plans of action for the world do not describe a global community to me at all. In almost one sentence, I hear a phrase such as, "We are all one big global community...like a big family", mixed with a phrase such as, "We need to get out of Iraq and let them kill each other if they want to." A slight but equally as disturbing variation on that is "Americans are dying in Iraq, it's time to bring the soldiers...all of them...home."

I'm all for bringing the soldiers home, if Iraq is settled down. I am not for leaving that nation hanging like we did in the early nineties. I'm not for leaving them to blow in the wind the way we left the Afghanistan rebels against the Taliban blowing in the wind right up until September eleven, 2001. I am against leaving anyone in the global community under the thumb of the same despots we have left them with since World War Two, because we were tired of our soldiers dying, and we were tired of fighting the good fight; tired of fighting evil.

Here is my view on what a global community is. All the people in this world are my brothers and sisters; every last one of them. The name of the nation they live in is immaterial in the face of even one of those brothers or sisters suffering at the hands of evil. In a global community, the needs of the people outweigh the needs or wants of sovereign nations. In fact, no nation, regardless of its age or rank in the world scheme has the right to hold the people within its borders to any system of organized oppression in this global community.

If we are truly a global community, the global community steps up to make sure it never happens. And we do not leave a nation of people to suffer; never; we end the bickering, we find a way to finish the job, and then we carry it out. We assess blame later, if at all.

In the business world, especially in the construction industry, you have the majority charging in to assess blame before the problems are solved. Whenever this happens (and it happens a lot), two other things occur; the first is that the mission (or project) is compromised, delayed, and sometimes even abandoned. The second is that it costs more money to assess blame first and then try to pick up the pieces and fix the problem. My goodness, by the time we are done playing the blame game, we have lost sight of the original problem. That's not good for business, and it's certainly not good in a global community.

My vision of a global community is of people actually caring about others well-being, be that in a local neighborhood, or across the globe. It's a vision of people seeing equality in all others. I trust you can see that this is not so in reality. Despite the good will towards the victims of the Tsunami almost two years ago now, I actually witnessed discussions on the internet about how the Western people and their way of life is far superior to Eastern ways. Global community? I think not.

You see, so much of our opinions about what is right and what is not, about whether a slower way of life is worse than the breakneck pace of the West is really only about taste.

Your taste differs from mine. I actually prefer a slower life, less gaudy architecture, real wood as opposed to plastic and glass, and stained woodwork rather than black laquer. It's a matter of taste.

But in the things that matter most, such as an individual's right to self-determination (within the scale of the global community and all of its circumstances), no sovereign nation has the right to subject a law abiding citizen to oppression.

If we are truly a global community, then the old boundaries of nations needs to disappear. Our brothers are across the ocean, and that is a long way away. But in a global community, they are our brothers.

The situation in Iraq has been mishandled. We are still trying to win the hearts and minds of the people there with guns. It's not going to happen. Guns alone will not finish this job. So what will?

I am again reminded of the good will shown to the victims of the horrendous Tsunami two years ago. I think that kind of individual good will, from individual American citizens, individual global citizens, will win the hearts and minds of Iraqi citizens. We will kill the terrorists with kindness to the very people they hope to oppress. What, then, will be their war cry? "Death to global citizens who try to bring good will to Muslims!"? Yeah, somehow, I think the terrorist movement will lose a little bit of steam if it comes to that.

There is just something about kindness that cannot be oppressed. There is something to kindness that evil has never understood; that you can't fight kindness with evil, and win. Kindness will kill terrorism. Guns can only go so far. The rest of this battle, if we are truly the global community that I hear so many lightly speak of, is going to be up to individual global citizens who want to show the people of Iraq and Afghanistan that there is a whole world out here who is willing to help them help themselves. And once the citizens of those two nations realize that, the terrorists will lose their recruiting base.

Global community. It can be a reality, but it won't be if we expect our government to lead us there. We have to lead our governement instead. If it is a global community we talk about, and a global community we want, then Iraq and Afghanistan is as much our responsibility as it is our government's. The global community does not belong to sovereign governments. It belongs to each and every individual global citizen; it trancends borders and politics. Iraq and Afghanistan belong to us, not to our president and congress. The people of those nations are our brothers and sisters, and look how we have left them. Pointing fingers isn't going to solve the problem.

What is your view of the global community? I'd be happy to hear about it. I'd be happy to hear also any ideas you might have to help the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Thank you.



I don't know if you have noticed my growing frustration with politics and the demagogues who hold the power in our nation. I certainly have noticed it.

I'm frustrated by ALL of our congressmen, senators, and yes, even our president.

Somehow, I do not think that the framers of our constitution had this in mind. I do not believe they desired hundreds, even thousands of politicians to be career politicians; nor do I believe they envisioned a time when "issues" meant nothing more than buzzwords to grab more attention.

Something is very rotten in the states of America, and the press, the politicians, and the president are at the top of the dung pile. In case you haven't noticed, your senators and congressmen aren't really all that concerned about the war in Iraq, or about the thousands of people dying there every month, both Iraqi and American. What they are more interested in is what's at stake politically. Since the war is on the mind of the press, and the press has direct access to citizens the way every politician could only dream of, the politicians are following the press like a well-trained lap-dog.

But to the press, the war on terror is merely a story, one that makes money for them hand over fist. A common mistake of Americans is to believe that the press exists to tell the truth. I want to dispell that gross rumor here and now. The press only exists to sell itself, to make money, and as such, are controlled by every whisper and rumor that might draw attention to their spin on issues.

Politicians, on the other hand, no longer really care about the issues we care about. As a group, either republicans or democrats, the war in Iraq is interesting only because it can serve as a launching point for four more years of elected "service".

Democrats say they'll pull our soldiers out of Iraq. Republicans say no.

The truth is, no one is going to pull those soldiers out of Iraq, and those who say they will are lying. Are you going to vote for them?

How do we change this? Voting doesn't work. The fact is, we can vote every existing politico out of office, and next year, they will have been replaced by carbon copies, leaving us wondering if we really can change things in this nation. A major shakeup must take place. At the very least, our nation should be pulling together; realizing that while the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is not going the way we expected it to, pulling out is not an option, at least not yet. And if it is an option, then we need to figure out, TOGETHER, how to do that, and how to still help the millions of Iraqi citizens reclaim their nation, and thus, their safety.

The enemies of this country predicted this split in our nation. They claimed that Americans had soft underbellies, and that despite all of the furor over 9/11, we would lose interest and tire over the war on terrorism. Sort of like over fifty percent of all marriages in this country, huh? I guess if we can't stay in marriages, we sure as hell don't have the balls or the constitution to stay in a fight against terrorists when the going gets bad.

But, before you believe that, please understand that the press and some (maybe most) politicians want you to belive that the war on terror is tearing us apart. They want you to believe that it is the war in Iraq, and most recently Afghanistan, which has set a rift deeply into this nation.

There is most certainly a general division within our nation. The word for that division is called politics, and there are two sides; Democrat and Republican.

The real truth is, the division in our nation was here long before any war on terror. In fact, it has been here for as long as democrats and republicans have been at each other's throats. The dividing sword is politics and power, and two guiltiest parties in our nation are not everyday citizens like you and me; raher the two guiltiest parties are the two political parties that have DOMINATED this nation for far too long. And on the sidelines stands CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC, and every major media outlet, loudly egging the two parties on, like some sort of witness to a cockfight who cannot get enough of the violence of division.

Hey...division sells. You can't expect a whore like the press to act any differently than their nature.

But as I see it, our nation is tottering perilously close to an edge which, if we fall over it, we will not climb back up in any recognizable condition. Do not expect politicians to sort it all out; they are paid to muddy waters, not filter them. Normal working everyday citizens like you and me will have to be the ones to make the changes necessary. Lest you think this will be easy, we will have the Old Guard (Repubs and Democrats) fighting us tooth and nail, telling us we wouldn't know what we were doing, along with the press, telling the "truth", just as it "always" does.

The status quo must go.

Learn that phrase. Memorize it. It's kind of catchy, isn't it? I wonder if I should make a bumper sticker of it, and sell it. I wonder if the politicians would see a million of those bumper stickers, and figure out that they are the status quo which must go.

Anyone out there got any ideas? We need to start talking, because "our" politicians are too busy preening for photo ops and notoriety (oops, I meant publicity).

If you believe I should begin making bumper stickers of "The Status Quo Must Go", kindly leave me a comment, so I can know if there is general interest in sending such a message to our politicians. Thank you.



There's so much news on the news today, that it's hard to keep track of it all. Many Americans find themselves either willingly or unwillingly focused on news from the Middle East. Why not? War grabs headlines, and focuses our attention like almost nothing else.

For myself, I have been focusing on life, until very recently, when I began focusing on World War Two, as well as on the events occuring right now across the world. We might as well focus on World War One while we are at it, because World War Two was almost certainly a continuation of the first War to end all wars. Some people believe that the second World War was a direct result of uncompleted missions and expectations left over from World War One; in short, unfinished business resulting from going too far in some ways, and not nearly far enough in others.

I am beginning to believe that the hate, wars, and occurences in the Middle East partially stem from World War Two's unfinished business.

In the Twentieth Century, the world witnessed the German Nazis, the Russian communists, and the Japanese Shintos all with the same resultant ideologies; mainly that their way of life would bring peace to the world through world conquest and domination.

More recently, in the last part of the Twentieth Century, and this opening part of the Twenty-First, we see one ideology following its own resultant creed. Strangely enough, that creed does not differ one iota from Nazism, Communism, or Shintoism in its expected end game; world peace through conquest and domination. The ideology is Radical Islam.

There is another ideology which claims to fight for freedom, and up until this point, the aims of American Democracy have always been freedom not only for Americans, but for the world. It is true, however, that American Democracy does not have a sterling record. We cannot claim even near perfection in treating with our worldly neighbors, nor even in treating with our own; this last including but not limited to our native American Indians.

The two most talked about ideologies of our time, Radical Islam and American Democracy, have squared off, and tremors abroad and within speak of the possibilities of yet another world conflict, no matter how unlikely it may seem at any given point.

So I ask the question; What does World War Two have to do with the events of our time? I believe the Second War to End All Wars has much to do with these troubling moments in history. I believe that both Britain and America are if not wholly, then somewhat responsible for the plight of the vast majority of the Middle East, in that when World War Two was over, a large vacuum was left in place of what had once been almost solely British vassal states.

In the years following World War Two, Britain continued it's de-imperialization, and The Middle East, as much as any part of the world, felt the sting of the new policies of the Americans and British; that of supporting dictatorships in the Middle East, much as they had supported Stalin in Russia only to learn later that the mouth had bitten hard the hand that fed it.

There is so much history regarding the two world wars and the events following. Much of that history, including today's history, can be in many ways tied to the policies of post World War Two America and Britain, and to the work we left undone, and the people we left in the hands of dictators and less-than- humitarian leadership. I intend to learn as much as I can about the events of World War two and after, because I believe within those events lie many answers to the question we ask ourselves most often these days pertaining to the Middle East; Why?



There is a complex collection of reactions, emotions, circumstances, and events each of us lives within at any small moment in time. Most of the circumstances and events are out of our control, and therefore, somewhat unpredictable. The two remaining items, reactions and emotions, just about sum up the totality of our sphere of influence.

Ironically, we make attempts to completely plan events and circumstances, in order to rationally control our reactions and emotions. We call this "freedom".

But is it really freedom? For as far back as I can recollect, I was taught to make good plans, by my parents, siblings, teachers, and various elders who were either related to me, or had some impact in my early life. I was taught that I was in control of my successes or failures. Around the age of twenty-five, I began to see that this idea wasn't reality, that it was more closely associated with idealism.

As a teenager, I learned disappointment, and grew to an ability to not only walk through it, but accept it. All of my life, until near the age of thirty-two, I believed that all I had to do was try harder, and harder, and harder, and "success" would follow.

I came close a couple of times, to a success that the world would understand. I came close those times to wild financial success, or unbelievable spiritual success, only to have my legs torn out from underneath by circumstances and events clearly beyond my control. Throughout the first series of close encounters with wild success, I was told that more planning had been necessary; that I had to learn to eliminate every circumstance which could do me in, and ruin my chances for success. So, I worked harder, and harder, believing the lie, that if I only planned correctly, all of my effort would one day result in what I had hoped for.

I placed my early faith in myself and my efforts, and my faith failed, a little more each time my plans and hard work failed to achieve the results I expected. I wasn't destitute, but I was not where I thought a person such as me should be. I was uncomfortable with my results, and I had no one to blame but myself.

I lived all of those years under the illusion that I was in control of my life. I lived all of those years believeing I was so free that the right amount of planning and effort would overcome any circumstance I happened upon. I was wrong.

Oddsmakers cannot even begin to calculate the complexity that is one single human life in one moment in time. Psychologists and scientists spend lifetimes studying the human mind, brain, and emotions. But for all of their effort, they cannot touch the complexity of human life; not even for a moment.

How many people now live in this world? Is it three billion? Is it five billion? At some point, that number becomes meaningless; lost in the eternal hurricane that is humanity, and more broadly, this world.

How many circumstances and events occur to one person in a single day? A single hour? A single minute? A single moment? Can anyone count them?

How many of those events and circumstances are truthfully beyond our control? Can anyone count them? Does anyone have an answer?

How many of those circumstances and events are we able to control? Certainly someone should be able to count that?

I no longer measure success financially or with how well my family is doing, or how wonderful a Christian I am. I have failed in all of them, and have come to grips with it. I am content to live; merely to live. I enjoy the events and circumstances that make up the purview of my control now, and simply experience the ones that aren't, filing what I can away into memories that I will recall as I walk through the hurricane of life.

I will never, ever admit that I set my sights too high, and that was the reason I didn't achieve what I thought I could. I would admit that my sights were set on the wrong things, but more than that, I willingly admit that none of it mattered.

The truth is, we are not in control. I am a witness; we can fool ourselves all of our lives into believing that we are. But can you count all of the events and circumstances out of your control that occur around you in a single minute? Because until you can do even that simplest of things, you are most definitely not in control. It means that you don't even know everything you need to know to be in control. You don't even know what you don't know.

Freedom does not lie in in this trumped up idealism we call control. We have planned events and circumstances to control our reactions and emotions; literally to design the desired outcomes we dream of. At best, all we can do is react to events and circumstances, because the overwhelming majority of events and circumstances that make up our lives consists of things well beyond our control.

Freedom lies not in believing you are in control, but in knowing you aren't.

I think Jesus was trying to tell us all something two thousand years ago. I think he was telling us we weren't held responsible because we weren't ever in control to begin with. And those who know this, who embrace it, can now live a life of freedom experienced by few others before them, while those who grasp and plan and scheme a concocted and false control in their lives have condemned themselves to a jail they cannot escape from.

The truth indeed will set you free. We are, the entire world, reconciled to God. But in this life, which we all must live, we will come to many conclusions. I count the greatest conclusion of mine being the understanding that I am free from the jail of knowing the right path and the wrong path, as being free, and knowing it, from planning to be in control, when all evidences surrounding me show me that I am not.

I live in this world working hard because I can, but not because I have to. I live in this world reacting to events and circumstances around me, because that is the best that I can manage. To be certain, I make plans and set goals, even sometimes for the smallest things. But always these plans understand the greater truth; that I am not in control.

I live with far fewer disappointments in my life right now than at any other time. My expectations are not of the type you will read about in Wallstreet Journal. Rather, they are the expectations of a free man; that I will live until I die, and everything up until that point is a wonderful and sometimes frightening surprise.



I was talking with a Christian friend the other day and she asked me how I knew I was redeemed.

Knowing a little about evangelical Christian doctrine, I looked my friend squarely in the eye, and answered, "Because my Father loves me."

Now I knew even before my friend opened her mouth that there was going to be a "but" in this discussion. Still, it doesn't hurt to hear people out.

"But, that's not enough, Tom!" she cried, seemingly astonished at my answer.

To which I replied, "Wait a minute. Did you just say God's love is not enough?"

"Yes", she answered, firmly, nodding and slightly stamping her feet on the ground.

"At the risk of sounding as if I am condescending to you, could you please think about that statement for a little while? Could you please repeat out loud for me, 'God's love isn't enough?' " I asked.

She paused, looked at me as if she had been dazed for a moment, and kept silent for more than another moment. When she finally spoke, she said, "I never realized I was saying that!". She seemed distressed, even, as she understood what her retort to my belief was.

When she recovered, she asked me, "So...what's the answer?"

I looked into her eyes briefly, smiled softly, and said, "You already know the answer. Will you allow His love for you to be enough for everyone else?"

And that's it, isn't it?

When I am asked from now on how I know I am redeemed, I will simply answer, "because my Father loves me."

And if you say, "That isn't enough!", I will ask you the same question I asked my friend.

You mean God's love isn't enough?



On the heels of President Bush's speech today outlining American policy in Iraq and on the war against terrorism, I offer this post. I do not often delve into politics, and I do hope that isn't what this turns out to be. However, some things need to be said regarding our presence in Iraq, and our policies against terrorism worldwide, as well as the safety of not just Americans, but poeple of all colors and creed, all over the world.

The first part I offer is really just a reiteration of what President Bush said regarding Al Qaeda's ambitions. The following paragraphs outline Osama bin Laden's and Al Qaeda's self-proclaimed ideology.

1. The principal stated aims of al-Qaeda are to drive Americans and American influence out of all Muslim nations, especially Saudi Arabia; destroy Israel; and topple pro-Western dictatorships around the Middle East. Bin Laden has also said that he wishes to unite all Muslims and establish, by force if necessary, an Islamic nation adhering to the rule of the first Caliphs.

2. According to bin Laden's 1998 fatwa (religious decree), it is the duty of Muslims around the world to wage holy war on the U.S., American citizens, and Jews. Muslims who do not heed this call are declared apostates (people who have forsaken their faith).

3. Al-Qaeda's ideology, often referred to as "jihadism," is marked by a willingness to kill "apostate" —and Shiite—Muslims and an emphasis on jihad. Although "jihadism" is at odds with nearly all Islamic religious thought, it has its roots in the work of two modern Sunni Islamic thinkers: Mohammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Sayyid Qutb.

Al-Wahhab was an 18th-century reformer who claimed that Islam had been corrupted a generation or so after the death of Mohammed. He denounced any theology or customs developed after that as non-Islamic, including more than 1,000 years of religious scholarship. He and his supporters took over what is now Saudi Arabia, where Wahhabism remains the dominant school of religious thought.

Sayyid Qutb, a radical Egyptian scholar of the mid-20th century, declared Western civilization the enemy of Islam, denounced leaders of Muslim nations for not following Islam closely enough, and taught that jihad should be undertaken not just to defend Islam, but to purify it.

Further, the principal stated aims of Al Qaeda in Iraq are:

4. In February 2004, U.S. forces intercepted a letter believed to have been written by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian radical. The letter outlined plans to destabilize Iraq by igniting sectarian conflict between Shia and Sunni Muslims. Al-Zarqawi is thought to be the mastermind behind the roughly 1,000 foreign insurgents fighting in Iraq. For a time, al-Zarqawi appeared to position himself as a rival to bin Laden, but in Oct. 2004 he officially declared allegiance to al-Qaeda, changing the name of his organization from Unification and Jihad to al-Qaeda in Iraq. In an audiotape a few months later bin Laden declared that "the dear mujahed brother Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is the prince of al-Qaeda in Iraq," and announced that "we, in al-Qaeda organization, welcome him joining forces with us."

These are the stated beliefs and ambitions of Al Qaeda.

Source for above Al Quaeda "Ideology": http://www.infoplease.com/spot/al-qaeda-terrorism.html

For over a year now, many politicians, both US senators, congresspeople, and political hopefuls, have been calling for troop reduction in Iraq. Some of those initially calling for troop reductioon are now calling for a "pullout" altogether, claiming that the war in Iraq is not the way to win the war against terrorism, and that the actual front of the war on terrorism should not be in Iraq, but somewhere else.

I ask the simple question; If not in Iraq, then where should the front be? If there is anyone out there who is in favor of a pullout, please help us answer that question, because to date, no politician seems to be able to.

Furthermore, there is the small faction of Americans (many who I believe have been misled and incited by politicians) who believe that all we are doing in Iraq is enraging the terrorists, and further inciting them to acts of war against us.

That may be true; I am not a terrorist, I wouldn't know how to answer that charge.

However, please consider this: In 1993, Al Qaeda attacked our World Trade Center for the first time, clearly trying to topple the towers and kill everyone inside. If you recall that time period as I do, then you also recall that although Americans were upset by the attack, we were not necessarily angered, nor were we incited enough to do much of anything about the attack. As a result of our response, the following occured:
  • 2/1993: Bombing of World Trade Center; 6 killed.
  • 10/1993: Killing of U.S. soldiers in Somalia.
  • 1994: Investigation of the WTC bombing reveals that it was only a small part of a massive attack plan that included hijacking a plane and crashing it into CIA headquarters.
  • 6/1996: Truck bomb explodes outside Khobar Towers military complex in Saudi Arabia; 19 American servicemen killed, hundreds of others injured.
  • 1997: Massacre of 67 Western Tourists in Egypt
  • 8/1998: Bombing of U.S. embassies in East Africa; 224 killed including 12 Americans.
  • 12/1999: Plot to bomb millennium celebrations in Seattle foiled when customs agents arrest an Algerian smuggling explosives into the U.S. Other Algerians subsequently arrested were "Afghan alumni."
  • 12/1999: Jordanian police arrested members of a cell planning attacks against Western tourists.
  • 10/2000: Bombing of the USS Cole in port in Yemen; 17 U.S. sailors killed.
Just as according to bin Laden's ideology, Al Qaeda will attack Americans where Americans are found. Right now, in Iraq, American soldiers are easily found. They are everywhere, and they are being attacked. Moving these troops out of Iraq will not divert Al Qaeda's attention away from America, as the previous chart of Al Qaedan attacks clearly shows.

For those people who want our soldiers out of Iraq, I can understand your angst. Americans are dying nearly every day, and certainly, we desperately want it to stop. Make no mistake; Americans are a target, but by far, they are not the only target. Zarqawi's letter openly stated that the goal of Al Qaeda in Iraq was not to win a war, but to stir the shit. That is their only goal. Thousands upons thousands of Iraqi citizens have been sacrificed for their freedom.

Al Qaeda does not differentiate. They do not differentiate between apostate or Muslim. They do not differentiate between American or Arab, Jew, or white, black, yellow, or red. They do not differentiate between soldier and civilian. They simply do not differentiate. Their goal is subversion, and their means are violent. Everyone is a target, regardless of age, sex, creed, or career.

Consider what will happen if we leave Iraq.

1. Al Qaeda will continue to threaten, attack, and mutilate the weak in Iraq. It is part of their creed; they will not ever deviate from that ideology. True, if Americans are there, they will attack us any chance they can get. But they are not fussed over who their target is; whoever is handy at the moment will do just fine. And recall that the ambition of Al Qaeda in Iraq, literally, was to start a civil war. That goal is close to being met; Al Qaeda will not stop stirring the shit towards that goal just because we leave.

2. Americans are targets, wherever they are. If we are not in Iraq, we will be attacked somewhere else. Most likely; in fact, almost defnitely, if we pull out of Iraq, the next attacks will be here, in the Homeland. Attacking Americans is part of the Al Qaedan ideology; they will not ever deny that part of their ideology, and thus, they will not ever stop making attempts to attack Americans...wherever we are. Right now, the American soldiers in Iraq are convenient targets. I know that sounds heartless, but I'd bet if you asked bin Laden, he'd agree. In fact, I'd bet he's said it already long before I ever did.

If we leave Iraq, the war on terrorism will come here. Make no mistake about that. If the front is no longer Iraq, and the American people have fulfilled bin Laden's prophecy about being soft-bellied (or "Yellow bellied"), he will bring the front back to our borders and press his advantage.

I asked the question earlier; if not in Iraq, where will the front for the war on terror be? I have given you my answer to that question. Maybe I am wrong; I would be willing to listen to anyone who could provide a more likely alternative.

3. As shown in the chart of Al Qaeda's attacks against US interests since 1993, the presence or non-presence of US military personel in Iraq or Afghanistan has nothing to do with frequecy of attacks, or magnitude of violence. Our response to Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden in 1993 served to encourage the terrorists towards future attacks.

On September 11, 2001, we lost over three thousand citizens following an attack on the same World Trade Center that Al Qaeda had targeted eight years prior. Because we only lost six citizens in 1993, we didn't react. We were confused, surprised, and a bit irked. We did not enter the Sudan and go after bin Laden or his generals at that time. I think maybe we might have tried a missile lauch at an empty tent some years later. Our overall apathetic response led to thousands of deaths in 2001.

We are in Iraq right now, and we are there to stay until the evil is rooted out, or until the Iraqi government can root out that same evil itself.; and any politician that tells you he will bring the troops home before then is lying.

What we are hearing on CNN and the Network News broadcasts is nothing more than political rhetoric, and the muscle to pull the plug in Iraq is non-existent, neither in the Republican nor Democratic party.

No one wants the front for the war on terrorism to come home. We may want the soldiers to come home, but we don't want to pay the price for their homecoming, and regardless of what Russ Feingold says, he won't pay the price either, because the price is to bring the front to your backyard.

We have the world's best police forces, the best anti-terrorist agencies, and the best army. But it only takes one time out of hundreds of attempts to kill thousands of people in an attack on the Homeland. The terrorists only have to get lucky. We have to be perfect. They know this. Do you?

Al Qaeda will never change its ideology. Terrorists will never stop targeting whomever is on hand at the moment. Better to meet them where they are at, than to let them meet us where we are at.

At the moment, they are in Iraq, and other Middle Eastern places. Would you rather they came here to find us? Because it only takes once for us to fail, and we will once again re-live the nightmares, and the endless CNN and Network News broadcasts of terror in America. Who wants to go through that again?

When the towers crashed down, and the Pentagon was dented, when thousands were dead and many more injured, we cried as one nation, "Give us our cake, and let us eat it, too! We just want our way of life back!"

The price of that cake, my fellow Americans, is dead soldiers. It has always been dead soldiers, and it will always be dead soldiers. The cost of our way of life is borne upon the same shoulders that carry the guns that kill our enemies. It is not borne by the politicians who send these soldiers to war, nor by the talking heads who try to shape American consensus with their rhetoric.

We are a passionate and enterprising people. We raise, train, and employ a passionate and enterprising army, to provide, and protect our way of life. When they are not at home, it means the front of the war is not at home either. Bring them home, and the war will come home, as well.

I don't have to remid you how we all felt during the days of the terror in America. We have a thank you to give to to all of our men and women carrying the rifles that kill our enemies. They have done their job since September eleventh, 2001. The front is not here. It's somewhere else, and you are free to carry on, to have your cake and eat it, too. But never forget for a moment that someone has paid, is paying, and will pay the price for the cake you eat.

Are we a nation of ingrates, or are we a nation that is thankful that the front for the war on terror is not in sight of our front door?Are we after all, only soft, yellow bellied Americans who cannot stomach the cost?

While you are remembering who is paying the cost, please also remember that if they don't pay the price for you, then you or someone dear to you is going to pay a price, and you still won't get your cake, because you only get cake when someone else buys it for you with their blood.

A perspective of all of this needs to be drawn. Our nation has enemies who no longer abide by the conventional rules of war. They will attack Americans wherever Americans are found, and they do not differentiate. You are a target. A bullet has your name on it, most definitely. A bomb, be it nuclear, dirty, or conventional, is aimed at a location near you. The resolve to launch that bomb has already been made. The only thing that stands between you and that bomb is a soldier. We should be thankful that this soldier is thousands of miles away.

But if you want to bring him home, don't be looking to eat cake any time soon.