Vietnam, Iraq, Israel: Moral Bearings

By Bruce Kesler

Some of my conservative or pro-Israeli friends get uncomfortable by myinsistence on not abandoning the Vietnamese who are suffering under the regime that American war-weariness allowed to power in 1975. One can expect such from staunch leftists or confused liberals, but it is as unacceptable from the right or Israel’s defenders.

My mailbag this morning brings me an email from a former fighter pilot in the South Vietnamese Air Force, now 71 and living in southern California:

I am retired and am administering an independent, not for profitwebsite in an attempt to rectify, undo the biased, unjust slandering of the South Vietnamese and the American Veterans of the Vietnam War by mainstream media. As an American, I am also promoting support for our troops who are currently fighting the war on terror to defend our nation and our freedom.

Another email is from the son of some old comrades:

I got your email from theweb page at Democracy-Project where the text states: “In 1967, I worked with Charlie Wiley in his organization of the longest parade in New York City since World War II, the Support Our Men in Vietnam Parade held May 13.” My late parents were involved in that too and while going through their stuff I found some artwork they had kept. One of the items is a commendation for Charles Wiley [whose incredible energy directed the effort] for that project and has many signatures at the bottom in the original ink, one of which appears to be “Bruce Kessler”. [sic; it’s Kesler!] Is Charles Wiley still alive and if so do you have any contact information for him? My mother had asked that he be notified when she died and I also wanted to ask him if he might like to have this piece of artwork.

Wiley is indeed still alive, and working as hard as ever for American resolve.

Then there’s this email from theDonna Irey campaign to retire John Murtha:

“Today Jack Murtha put out a press release touting Thomas Ricks’ new book, ‘Fiasco,’ about the conduct of the war in Iraq. Here’s the opening line of Jack Murtha’s press release:

“I want to bring to your attention a book review that appeared in The New York Times on July 25 that described the book, Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, by Thomas E. Ricks. The article affirms what I have been saying about Iraq.”

“I saw Mr. Ricks on Sunday morning’s ‘Meet the Press,’ being interviewed by Tim Russert. Perhaps Jack Murtha missed that show — because if he had, I’m not sure he’d be touting Mr. Ricks today.

“Asked by Mr. Russert at the end of the interview, ‘But you do not think American troops should withdraw immediately,’ Mr. Ricks replied:

“I think it would be irresponsible, to go in there and to do what we’ve done and walk away from it. There’s a lot of Iraqis out there who have committed their lives to helping the Americans do something there, and to abandon those people would be absolutely shameful … “

Charles Krauthammer gets the point:

Hearing the world pass judgment on the Israel-Hezbollah war as it unfolds is to live in an Orwellian moral universe. With a few significant exceptions (the leadership of the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and a very few others), the world — governments, the media, U.N. bureaucrats — has completely lost its moral bearings.

To grant Vietnam entry into the World Trade Organization without the U.S. using its major leverage to insist Vietnam verifiably complies with its hollow promises on human rights cannot be tolerated by those who support the Iraqis’ freedom from either Saddam’s or Shia or Sunni thugs, or the Israelis’ from the unremitting Arab and Iranian attacks. That’s “moral bearings.”

Reprinted with permission of Bruce N. Kesler, ChFC REBC RHU CLU

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