Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Our freedom is not inherited

Academic Elephant quoting from Rumsfeld's VMI speech yesterday,
"Today's world is actually freer than it has ever been in history, but those freedoms are threatened as never before. We're a nation at war; but it's a war unlike any that our nation has ever had to fight. For the first time in American history, the full view of war, it's glories and it's horrors, are on display to the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Today's war fighters are conducting battles in an era of digital cameras, satellite phones, the internet, 24 hour news, blogs. And because of these new technologies the American people are seeing things that they never saw before about the realities of conflict and of post-war violence. And they will need the help of those of you who have studied military strategy to understand what it is they're seeing every day and to become more aware that war requires continuous adjustment and calibrations just as the enemy, an enemy with a brain, is continuously adjusting his tactics."

"Our freedom is not inherited. It's been earned and it has been by each new generation, as it must be."

"You may find people who will contend that patriotism is something to be a little bit embarrassed about or that honor is somewhat outdated as a notion and that concentrating on America's imperfection makes you a realist. Not so. That's the sign of a cynic. Being a cynic is easy. You can just sit back, heckle from the cheap seats, while others serve, storm beaches, build nations, meet their destinies. Idealists write history's stirring chapters; cynics read those chapters and seem not to understand. Choose to be an idealist. There have always been those who contend that what's wrong with the world is America. Don't believe it."

"It is the power of freedom that has helped each successive generation of patriots prevail over every form of tyranny, even when success seemed unlikely, and that was often. Freedom is our secret weapon, but it's not the only one. Back in the early days of World War II someone asked General Marshall if our country had a secret weapon that could win the war and his famous reply was that we did indeed have a secret weapon. We had the best darn kids in the world. And he was right."

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