Daily Letters

A selection of letters received.

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January 19, 2005

Our national strength

Dear George:

You and your wife Laura have been an inspiration to observe over the past four years. I had the unnerving feeling for a long while that the Presidency had been irredeemably tarnished by the previous administration. It has been a relief to know that the White House lamps are safe from tantrums, and that just as the Oval Office has been reconverted into a stately place for state business, your administration has held to the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.

What matters the most to the American people is security from those people, foreign or domestic, who would do us harm through terrorism. Terrorism is unique because one strike can damage far more than buildings; one strike can kill untold numbers of people, unsettle our economy with disastrous consequences, and embolden others to strike. Unlike the previous administration, who did worse than nothing in the face of terrorism, by actually slashing budgets for our intelligence services and our military, your administration has taken the fight to the enemy in an awesome display of humanitarian conflict. Your administration takes arrows from the hegemonic liberal media for rushing to war, etc. but the facts are clear to many Americans, Mr. President: By previous administrations doing too little to counter terrorism for a generation, and especially by reducing America's capacities for human intelligence gathering over the eight years of the Clinton administration, the terrorists had been emboldened into expanding their training camps and their international target list, until they struck the American homeland. Our country had to rush to meet the challenges of a newly materialised threat, and under your leadership we are well on the way.

Mr. President, thanks for standing behind Mr. Rumsfeld as our Secretary of Defence. He has brought much-needed clarity to the DOD, especially regarding the integration of the branches of our armed services, killing wasteful projects like the Army artillery tank which needed 20-30 support vehicles, and buoying not only the morale of our troops but also the living conditions of their families. His vision for the military of the future is essential to implement, and his leadership has proved vital.

Mr. President, thanks for nominating Dr. Rice to be Secretary of State. Unlike Madeleine Albright, Dr. Rice actually understands the importance of being on the right side of history. I'm sure we will not see her cavorting with Kim Jong Il, watching the pageantry and pomp of a Third-World dictatorship while the peasants of the country are made to sift through dirt to find insects to eat so they won't starve to death. Ms. Albright's "Chicks in Charge" disgraced our country and dishonored our country's values through weak negotiations, quick compromise, and turning a blind eye. And they simply called it "engagement." Sir, your State Department has done much the opposite by insisting on multi-lateral talks with North Korea, and by halting the light-water reactor project. Thank you.

America needs your help. Our heartland is turning rapidly into just farmland for MNC's, and with that change our values are changing in this country. We need people who look to tradition for strength and to community for prosperity, not those who seek to displace communities for profit. The single biggest obstacle to success in small-town America is competition from large-scale businesses, agricultural or otherwise, who have access to special tax incentives and farm subsidies that smaller operations just don't benefit from. Your large farm subsidies package was too much to too few.

Your education package spends too much for too little. Until the teacher's unions are no longer in charge of our curricula, the children of this country will not be engaged in a meaningful way to learn according to their abilities. Not all children learn in the same way, but we teach them all in the same way, and now we're spending more to employ the same old failing methods.

We give the United Nations too much latitude, Mr. President. We should insist on clearly defined goals for addressing not only the narrow needs of member countries, but more importantly the needs of those who do not have a voice. Those pathetic souls in Darfur, for example who must endure not only hunger, disease, and filth but also rape of the women and girls. From the starving peoples of Ethiopia, to children dying needlessly of Malaria throughout much of Africa, to African adults dying of AIDS, somehow the world allows needless suffering and corruption to continue and proliferate, especially in Africa. The UN itself, by the way, needs to come under much more scrutiny for the oil-for-food scandal, and we need to press for a new secretary general, inasmuch as Kofi Annan has proven to be ineffective as a leader, even as the UN bureaucrat who was directly responsible for doing nothing about the crisis in Rwanda.

Mr. President, thank you for your leadership in times of such acrimony and cynicism. You are holding back the tide of illogic and ignorance that surges toward America from abroad every day. Our national strength comes from our heritage and our system of government. Thank you for understanding that freedom can change entire regions in crisis, but please remember to mention that freedom requires responsibility. A people that shirks its responsibilities or forgets its heritage will not survive as a free nation.

Dan
Age 34
hometown: Port Orchard, WA

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