When President George W. Bush landed in Iraq on Thanksgiving Day, was
he eating with the troops or with the children of Iraq?
Was his trip there just a headline journey to get more votes and
support in the United States, or was it a show of force against the
Shadow of the Beast of Terror, a symbol to the children of Iraq that
he is not afraid to stand up face-to-face with Terrorism?
Find out why President Bush is a Sentinel of Thanksgiving Vigilance
for the children of Iraq.
28, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 807
President Bush: A Sentinel of
Thanksgiving Vigilance For the Children of Iraq
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Nov. 28, 2003--
The world is full of armchair travelers. Those of us
who fit this category sit in the comfort of our homes or offices and
splatter criticism against others who trudge and toil in the muck and
slime far below.
spent Thanksgiving with American and Allied troops in Iraq
We don't get our hands dirty. We
stand afar from the bombs and bullets and offer our commentary, our
criticism, our indignations over those who risk their lives so that we
may enjoy the safety and security of free speech.
Yesterday, President George W. Bush climbed
aboard Air Force One in a shroud of secrecy and flew to Iraq to spend
Thanksgiving with American and Allied troops. Some people
in the glass lofts constructed with beams of cynicism and wallpapered
with political invectives, cried foul. They looked at the
trip as nothing more than a political trump, a way to capture
headlines and to seduce the public into thinking the President of the
United States was a brave warrior, willing to risk his life.
They claim his only motive was to garner a few more votes, ignoring
any role he might have assumed as the Commander-in-Chief, the leader
of all who risk their lives in defense of liberty and freedom under
the U.S. flag.
Then, there are those who look
at the President with a little more polish to his role as a military
leader than to his vote-grabbing mission as a politician.
These people look at him as a
Sentinel of Vigilance, a guy willing to put his life at risk, to walk
to the edge and lean over with his troops.
Nine-Eleven, Bush threw out the first pitch in Yankee Stadium in
the World Series
His secret trip to Iraq this
Thanksgiving wasn't his first brush with danger as President.
Following the World Trade Center attack, he made his way into Yankee
Stadium during the World Series and threw out a baseball.
While some might guffaw at this display at purely political, when the
smoke was still gagging residents near the holocaust, and the threat
of Terrorism bouncing off the Richter Scale, he didn't shy from
exposing himself to a mass of people in a public setting--a high risk
for any President at any time.
Then, there was the often-cited
landing on aircraft carrier as President Bush announced the end of
combat in Iraq. A reserve pilot, President Bush donned his
flight gear and put himself inside the cockpit of a jet that could
have encountered a variety of dangers en route, including engine
failure or a crash landing.
Guys who are "kings" don't have to
risk their lives. They can point their fingers at others and ask
them to die for their country and flag. His critics of the
aircraft carrier event forget that even if the pilot passed out, the
President could have negotiated the plane.
Anyone who thinks it's a simple safe
thing to do to jump aboard Air Force One and fly to a
Terrorist-infiltrated country without any risk to life and limb need
to flip back through the pages of Terror history.
How quickly we forget that a couple
of dozen Terrorists hijacked four commercial aircraft and flew them
into America's icons of security and power--the World Trade Center,
the Pentagon. Of course, the White House might have been
included in those attacks had not the passengers of the flight heading
in that direction given their lives to crash that plane.
Terrorists are able to
infiltrate just about all levels of intelligence. Saddam
Hussein and Osama bin Laden still slither about, eluding the grasp of
the most powerful military and technological resources in the world.
Bush landed on
the Aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln at the end of combat
operations in Iraq
To discount that the President
of the United States didn't have a lump in his throat as he climbed
aboard Air Force One on Thanksgiving is to ignore that Osama and
Saddam are still at large.
Courage isn't braggadocio.
Courage is about facing one's Fears and overcoming them.
Conviction is about going face-to-face with one's Intimidations and
deciding that doing what is right--regardless of the risk--is more
important than cowering. And, taking the Right
Actions that benefit future generations is the end result of
swallowing one's Fear and Intimidation. It is the antacid of
Complacency--the desire to shun danger or involvement so the fuel that
feeds the Beast of Terror--Complacency--will not fatten the Beast's
Many people think we will solve the
problem in Iraq when we chop off Saddam Hussein's head and roll it
down the streets, or jam it on the end of a pointed stake and parade
it through the heartland.
Many think the
problem in Iraq will be over when Saddam's body or head is found
But, there is another tactic
that may be even more powerful to the Iraqi people. That may be
the one that George W. Bush employed yesterday.
Brave, bold men who are
fearless about their own lives represent a kind of leadership
different from what many Americans have been used to seeing from its
politicians over the past years.
But an Iraqi who sees the President
of the United States land his airplane in the heart of
Terrorist-riddled attacks, and courageously walks about with his
soldiers and eats with them may become more heroic to them than their
Terrorism is about inflicting Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency into people's minds and hearts, and into
the children's. In Iraq, the 24 million people who
are citizens of that land saw the most powerful man in the world set
his feet on the blood-soaked soil of their land. They saw him
take a huge risk of being shot out of the air or being assaulted by
mortars or suicide bombers.
Anyone who is familiar with Terrorism
knows that a single Terrorist can slip through the most intense
network of security forces and perform violent acts.
Americans know that assassinations of Presidents can occur when least
Even though other U.S. Presidents
have visited troops at war, few have entered "high-level" combat
zones, the kinds ruled by Terrorists.
Iraq is a special kind of war.
It is a war of shadows, a guerrilla war of a different ilk--more
political than social. It is a war of the Middle
East, of an ancient way of life versus the modern way.
Democracy has no home in the Middle East, and, if one were to look at
the enemies of Iraq, it would include all the Middle Eastern nations,
including Saudi Arabia where democracy is a far distant choice for its
The death of the President of the
United States would hasten America's departure from Iraq.
beneficiaries of the President's trip are the children of Iraq
But let's take one final look
at the true beneficiaries of the President's trip--the children of
Iraq. There can be little question that the children
of Iraq have been told many things about Americans.
Children are the future of any nation. They may consider
their former leader, Saddam, a hero for escaping the American
forces, as one might honor the person in a game of tag who cannot be
Then, the President of the
United States lands on their soil. Children know the danger of
the land. In Vietnam, when we swept through villages, we asked
the children to show us where the enemy put the booby traps.
The kids knew where all the dangers were.
The President became something
special in the eyes of the children of Iraq. He wasn't
afraid to come to visit their land, even though every child knows the
target on his chest is ten-fold the size of that on Saddam's.
He walked on their ground,
breathed their air, and shook his fist into the face of the Beast of
Terror. To a child, that's the act of a Sentinel of
Vigilance--a leader who may not be what others tell them he is.
inspires children to evolve into better human beings
In America, many parents may
scoff at the President's trip in front of their children, and try and
demean his actions as merely political. The children of
American, however, are fans of such things as Rescue Heroes and the
Justice League. They see these heroes walking into the face of
evil, not running from it. They see their heroes as "doers" not
I wonder if these
children look askance at their parents and wonder why their mother and
father aren't facing the Beast of Terror and only talking badly about
those who do?
I know one thing only.
For anyone to not give President Bush credit for facing the Beast of
Terror only subtracts from their personal duty of being a Citizen of
Vigilance in the eyes of the children of the world.
Leadership ultimately has
one final goal--to inspire the children to evolve into better human
While many may argue the
tactics of the United States in Iraq, few can wash away the strategy
of providing freedom and liberty for future generations.
Children in all oppressed lands suffer the heavy hand of tyranny.
They are deprived of the gifts of evolution and civilization and the
joys of a life that could be far greater than scrabbling in the dirt
of systems that deny them education, health and natural rights to
living a life equal to those of other more advanced civilizations
The children of South Korea versus
the children of North Korea exemplify this vast cavern of tyranny and
oppression versus freedom and liberty. While one group of
children eats boiled grass the other group plays with computers and
President George W. Bush's visit to
Iraq was a visit not just to American troops, but a visit to the Iraqi
children. They saw a man willing to face death appear on their
landscape and remind them that he is not afraid of the shadow of
No one will ever know the true impact
of President Bush's visit upon the future of the struggle currently
testing the resolve of both America and the world.
But, one thing is sure.
throw rocks should be wary
Those who throw rocks at the visit in
the presence of the children should be wary. They may find
the rocks they throw are hitting the innocent who believe that actions
speak louder than words, who believe heroes are those not afraid of
going into the dark closet of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency and
switching on the light of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions that
benefit the children.
In my book, President Bush at
Thanksgiving dinner with the children of Iraq chewed
on the bones of Terrorism.
Let's hope the critics of his trip
take a second look, and realize he was seeking the votes of the
children of a far-off land and not just looking for tomorrow's