"All the news that's fit to print about fighting Terrorism with Vigilance!"



Cliff McKenzie, Editor

GROUND ZERO PLUS 1391 DAY--New York, NY, Sunday, July 3, 2005--America has always risked its status in the world for the price of Vigilance.

In modern times, few nations have sent so many of its young, vibrant youth to die for others in foreign lands, far from what might seem any rational justification for their deaths.

When I went to Vietnam three decades ago, I stormed the shores in the first wave with all the zest and zeal of any U.S. Marine. I was sure when we were finished with our task of eliminating the "communists" that freedom would fly its flag over the millions of Vietnamese thirsty to drink from the same democratic well that our forefathers and foremothers had hundreds of years earlier.

America planted the seeds of democracy in Vietnam

I'm still waiting.

The price in Vietnam was nearly 60,000 American lives and the death of an estimated 2 million Vietnamese.

And what was the victory, if any?

Despite all the warts, sores and pus that oozes from the pages of Vietnam War history, the ultimate truth is that America planted the seeds of democracy in a land that will, eventually, live in the freedom Americans enjoy.

Europe is proof that this is possible. So is Taiwan. So is South Korea and Japan.

And, for all those who clamor for the American flag to be torn down over the compound in Baghdad, one day Iraq and all the Middle East will enjoy its own unique reflection of what our Declaration of Independence and Constitution provides.

I live in New York City, in the East Village.

The Big Apple is called the Crossroads of the World.

The Big Apple is called the Crossroads Of The World

On its streets walk people from the far corners of this globe, each carrying with him or her a set of ethics, mores, customs and habits indigenous to the spawning pool from whence they originated.

Once under the Flag of American Vigilance, whatever rights they might not have enjoyed in their original cultures are negated by an open and free society that allows anyone to stand on a corner and shout out his or her beliefs.

The poorest of poor from the most economically devastated third world country can come to America, reach into its limitless treasure chest of opportunity, and grab hold of any jewel they want. This includes becoming a Russian Mafia Chief to launching a billion-dollar software company that spits cash endlessly at all who own its stock.

For many years, my business was franchising. A franchise is a common system of doing business that allows individuals to band together under one logo and use their collective marketing power to conquer large hunks of market share.

Many of the people I sold franchises to were from third-world countries who hardly had two nickels to rub together before they came to the United States. Spotting the vast veins of economic opportunity, the wise ones took out pick axes and dug deep into the marrow of American fortune. They bought franchises, worked hard at them, and in a few years--if they ran them properly--rode in the first class section of the jet back to their homelands to show how successful they had become.

Freedom, they found, was priceless. To get it, they didn't have to pay a dime. All they had to do was enter the boundaries of the United States. Once on our soil, they could enjoy all the wealth of our nation with no questions asked.

New York City teems with foreign owners of businesses. In many cases, it's hard to find someone at a store or deli who doesn't speak broken English. It's as though the world outside America sees the cash register while the citizens within it are blind to its presence.

Economic freedom is, without question, the symbol of American Vigilance.

Economic Freedom is the symbol of American Vigilance

If a parent cannot feed his or her children, and there is little hope that if that parent's children survive into adulthood, that they will be able to feed their children, then the Beast of Terror rules. Economic oppression starves freedom.

That's why the critics of American policy in the Middle East have little understanding about why American blood flows into the soil of strange lands.

In ways that such critics cannot fathom because they are incensed with the desire to micturate on the Principles of Democracy--the duty to spread the gift we so freely enjoy--the world thrives on American blood.

Our blood is the fertilizer of freedom.

Our blood is the fertilizer of freedom

Our blood is the plasma of Vigilance.

What other country stands before the Beast of Terror and presumptuously, sometimes arrogantly, and often with devastating nuclear results to its reputation in current history, dares to take on the role of World Sentinel of Democratic Vigilance?

Name one!

In every body of humanity there is but one leader.

That leader is not an individual, but a philosophy, a dogma, a legacy that lasts long after the bones of those who took the helm of leadership have rotted in the earth's womb and become mulch for new growth.

It is the philosophy of Freedom that Americans celebrate on the 4th of July--the philosophy that what we enjoy--the right to dissent--shall not be deprived of anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Into this equation, of course, is placed priorities. Why the Middle East and not Africa? Why let North Korea amass nuclear capabilities while we entangle ourselves in the quagmire of Middle East bloodshed? Why the Falkland Islands? Why Panama? Why El Salvador?

Around the world, Americans have come and gone. Often, it seems, they only dragged their fingers through a bucket of blood, leaving nothing tangible in return. Vietnam, after all is said and done, is still ruled by communism. What the hell?

But is it?

Every Americanized Vietnamese who travels back to their country with a pocketsful of American cash symbolizes what Vietnam can become once it sheds its shackles of draconian personal and economic oppression.

Freedom will rule Vietnam one day, and little credit will be given to America for having set into motion the engines of that Freedom.

Europe is a prime example.

Despite the fact Americans died by the tens of thousands to free Europe from Nazi Germany's strangle hold, its leaders attack American Imperialism and castigate its presence in the Middle East. Like children who were given great gifts from a far-distant relative, Europe bites the hand that freed it.

This is neither right nor wrong--it just is. Few children leap with joy and thank their parents for giving them the opportunity to evolve into free beings. "I did it myself. I would have done it myself. I owe you nothing. You just stepped in where I was stepping."

America probably won't receive its due credit for paving the path to Freedom

Americans don't sell Freedom.

We give it away. While the critics of the Middle East would like to propose some great oil conspiracy that is destined to line the pockets of the President and his staff with gold, the truth is that whatever the costs in the Middle East, the odds are that when all the dust settles, the history books won't give America credit for paving the path to Freedom.

It's not in the nature of human beings to give credit. Taking it is our modus operandi.

Again, this isn't good or bad. It just is.

And, in light of this, we continue to send our troops and stand up to the Beast of Terror even when other nations call us despots and own people rally in vehement anger against our leaders, charging them as being Hitlerian and carrying posters and placards symbolizing our leaders as the Evil Ones.

This is the part I love about America.

Those who hate or love it can all live under the same flag

Those who hate it or love it can all live under the same flag. Those who hate it can burn the flag and spit and urinate and defacte on it and try and convince their neighbors what a vile and evil state we are because we don't spread the wealth evenly and give everyone the same amount of money as the communists and socialists allege they do.

Instead, we teach our children that they can be anything--rich or poor, happy or sad--depending on individual choice and the effort they take to achieve.

We translate Freedom in one simple word: Opportunity without guarantee.

Our world includes the right to go bankrupt--to fail. We don't put failures in jail. We allow them to right themselves and try again, and again, and again until they "get it right."

All our doors are open.

Sometimes we have to shove angry shoulders against closed doors--but they open. Segregation and Equal Opportunity are two of the most recent. Women's rights is another.

America is about testing and challenging and questioning and dissenting and all the things that make the Far Left and Far Right synonomously one. One is our Push and the other our Pull, they are our Yin and Yang.

And, while we fight amongst ourselves, our troops travel the world dying for the rights of others as unsung heroes.

Our flag is bigger than those who desecrate it

The blood we spill on this spinning globe is tromped upon by our internal and external critics.

But the Legacy of Freedom is bigger than its critics.

When the flag burners and flag defecators and flag urinaters all desecrate Old Glory, she doesn't blink an eye.

Our flag is bigger than those who desecrate it.

It is a symbol that stands above the physical and hovers in the spiritual ether of an invincible righteousness called freedom.

Our flag is the composite of the blood of the Sentinels of Vigilance, who die spreading the Seeds of Freedom even when the trees of Freedom may not grow for generations to come.

So, on this Fourth of July, I sit back and inhale deep gulps of Freedom.

I am proud my grandchildren live in a nation willing to send its people to their death for the slim, slight chance that perhaps some child in some far-off land might one day create a legacy as we have, and be willing to send his or her children to die for others as we have over these many past years.

It would be nice if the world was all a Sentinel of Vigilance.

Until that time, our blood will continue to flow.

Go To June 24 Story: " A Pride Of Vigilance Saves A 12-Year-Old-Girl"



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