Mar. 23, 2003: Keeping Things in Perspective During the War

I called my daughter’s friend, Bobbie Zakary, to see how she was doing.
(An aside: Bobbie is a working mother with four kids and an 85-year-old grandmother at home. Her husband, Ray, is a captain in the U. S. Army involved in the Iraqi war. The last she heard from him, he was in Kuwait. Whether or not he is in Iraq yet, she doesn’t know. In the meantime, she works at her regular job in accounts receivable, takes care of the kids and her grandmother and prays a lot.)

She told me that, under the circumstances, she was “surprisingly calm and pretty much under control.”
(An aside: This is not the first time she has seen her husband go off to war. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, Captain Zakary was in one of the first groups dispatched to Afghanistan. He wasn’t home long before he was sent back to the Middle East in preparation for the war with Iraq.)

I asked Bobbie what she thought about the protests that she sees on television. She said they surprised and hurt her. “The protesters live in a world created for them by Americans who gave their lives so these people could be free.” She believes the protesters give aid and comfort to the enemy. I agree. The protest have to be demoralizing for our troops.
(An aside: Protesting is a made-for-media event, like pro wrestling. It is much more dramatic to cover one anti-war protester splashing make-believe blood on his or her face while chanting rhymes than to show the millions of Americans praying daily for our president and for the men and women in our armed forces. Maybe those the people support President Bush and our troops could get more coverage if they splashed their faces with ketchup on their faces and prayed to God in iambic pentameter.)

What about the entertainers and the pious ex-president from Georgia who continually criticize President Bush, I asked. “I lump them into one category, particularly the movie stars,” Bobbie Zakary said. “They are all Jane Fondas. Once the war starts, we should be Americans first.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. If we don’t like the way George W. Bush is handling things, we can vote him out of office next year. He works for us. But don’t jeopardize the lives of Captain Zakary and the several hundred thousand other members of the armed forces in Iraq by letting the Iraqis think we are on their side.
(An aside: When pseudo-sophisticated entertainers deride President Bush, remember that he has a bachelor’s degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard. Barbara Streisand, Sean Penn and Mike Farrell are high school graduates. Alex Baldwin dropped out of college. Martin Sheen couldn’t get into the University of Dayton. Also, this same crowd didn’t raise a peep when Bill Clinton bombed Kosovo while chasing his sex princess, Monica Lewinsky, around the Oval Office. Somehow, the word “hypocrite” keeps popping into my mind.)
(Another aside: When Jimmy Carter criticizes George W. Bush, you might want to recall Carter’s own handling of the Iranian hostage crisis. Operation Eagle Claw, his feeble effort to free the hostages, ended in disaster. Eight Americans were killed as two planes collided during the withdrawal of U.S. forces after the failed mission. Who is Jimmy Carter to criticize anybody?)

Did Bobbie wanted to say anything else before we hung up? “Pray for our troops and for our president,” she said quietly. Amen. Also, trust that our president has more information available to him than do you and I and Martin Sheen, and that he made a tough decision based on that information.
(An aside: Next time you are subjected to the blatherings of some empty-headed Dixie Chick or self-important movie star, think of the thousands of brave souls like Ray and Bobbie Zakary and the sacrifices they are willing to make for us. Think of the millions more who pray for them daily. It will restore your faith in all that is good about our nation.)

I’m glad I called her.