Monday, December 31, 2007

A New Auld Lang Syne

In every aviation squadron in which The Flying Curmudgeon ever served, there was a daily Log Book, of which the Squadron Duty Officer was required to maintain.

In this Command Log Book, would go information pertaining to visitors, significant events, (both positive and negative), and anything else that the Commanding Officer, (in the person of his representative - the Squadron Duty Officer), deemed worthy of being recorded for posterity.

This Log Book would become a binding, legal document, and had to be maintained and preserved as such.

At the beginning of every new year, the first entry into the Log Book would be made in prose form, with the appropriate time/date stamp of 0001, January 01, (whatever the new year happened to be).

In keeping with this tradition, The Flying Curmudgeon submits the following:

0001, 01 January, 2008:

"Twenty, plus one, have gone with the wind,
Since The Flying Curmudgeon, first picked up his pen,
On a night such as this, in a place far away,
A lonely hangar, he trod, alongside the bay.

'Inspiration,' he thought, the young officer sought,
How to summon the Muse, for a poem, be wrought?
A singular vigil, did dwell, in that cavernous shell,
His footsteps and he, the only ones who could tell.

For his solitary task, TFC would endeavor,
A New Year's Eve poem, for the Log Book, so clever.
This tradition, so old, how would it unfold?
With pen in his hand, the young Bard did behold,

The old year, '86, its final moments, would wane,
12 months, gone so fast, filled with pleasure and pain.
It began, oh so tragic, gone was Challenger's magic,
With one terrible blast, our nation was heartsick.

Seven souls, all so brave, for their country, they gave,
Their lives, cut too short, but their mission would pave,
The way into Space, they would want it, you know,
From their horrible deaths, some meaning might grow.

The height of the Cold War, the Russian Bear, he did threaten,
The security of our country, and that of our brethren.
Ronaldus Maximus, RIP, stood firm in the gap,
Forced Ivan to blink, and the war was a wrap.

As quick as that blink, from our Slavic "friend,"
The next time TFC would pick up his pen,
Seven years, go and come, anon and anon,
Like sand through the fingers, life is here...then it's gone.

The Cold War was over, Ron had bid us farewell,
The Persian Gulf War, in the past was, as well.
The "Man from Hope" had achieved, some said, "Deceived,"
His way to the White House, with Hillary, cleaved?

A new war beginning, though not all would know,
How far or how long, to what lengths they would go.
From its roots in Iran, the revolution expanding,
Our efforts defending Muslims in Bosnia, notwithstanding,

Like a cancer, would spread, Islamo-fascism, Red
Flowed the blood of the innocents, their eyes filled with dread.
Instead of fighting the war, he saw as a bore,
Bill Clinton would choose to ignore... and ignore,

The growing threat of Jihad, its tentacles spreading,
Throughout the globe, as he sat, a "Lewinsky," was getting?
(Sorry about that, dear readers, sometimes he can't help it)
TFC saw the shot, there was no danger, so, took it.

With apologies to Tom Cruise, those were the days,
Before Scientology, sadly, did craze,
The young "Maverick," his fame, nearly as high,
As the victory rolls he did in the sky.

When, along with Val Kilmer, together, defeated,
Their "Communist" opponents, "Fox-2," both repeated.
As the Bard does digress, it's all quite pathetic,
How once high-flying Tom, now, peripatetic,

Danced a "jig" on the couch, Katie Holmes, for his bride,
Career on the wane, no longer a hero - Goose having just died,
Collaboration with Redford, another U.S.A. bashing,
Box-office bomb... was that the audience laughing?

Back to the poem, TFC must return,
To wrap up this lyrical ode - to adjourn.
21 years have passed, all too quickly, for sure,
Since that night long ago, when prose was the cure,

For a long, lonely watch, his duty apparent,
Another year come and gone... now, back to the present.
As we say "Good-bye" to '07, "Hello" to '08,
There are a few things, important to state,

With the promise of renewal, that comes every year,
As you sit watching football, eating chips, drinking beer,
Don't forget, loyal reader, while you enjoy your HDTV,
A young serviceman, (or woman), stands watch in a Humvee,

Or a ship, or an aircraft, on "Alert 5," in case they're needed,
In harm's way, do they serve, their country's call, it was heeded.
So let's ring out the old, and ring in the new,
God bless our military. God bless America, too."

Happy New Year.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bill Clinton MADE Rush? PUUUHHLEEEEEZ!!!!

Taking over the aircraft's controls, the instructor pilot presses the intercom button.

"I've got it, Jones. Let's see that approach one more time. Just remember not to chase the needles once you're inside the Marker."

"Roger, Lieutenant."

While the student sets up his navigation radios for another ILS Runway 18 Instrument Approach, the instructor flies the published Missed Approach Procedure - flying a predetermined course and altitude away from the airport.



"In close, small, easy corrections are all it takes. Nothing big, okay Jones?" The pilot levels the aircraft at 3,000 feet, flying the runway heading of 180 degrees magnetic.

After switching to the Approach frequency, the instructor keys the UHF mike.



The student finishes his approach setup.

"All right, Lieutenant. I'm ready for the aircraft, now."

With that, the instructor hands the controls back to the student.

"You've got the controls."

"Roger, sir, I've got the controls."


The student pushes the throttles forward, pitches the aircraft up for the climb, and starts to turn the aircraft toward the new heading. Checking his watch, the instructor punches the navigation radio select button for "ADF." Hearing the distinctive thumping of the baseline in the opening bars of Back to Ohio, he stifles a slight smile.

"Right on time."

The year is 1990 and The Flying Curmudgeon is a military instructor pilot. Like most other days, TFC is teaching a student pilot the basics of Radio Instrument Navigation, that is, how to fly his aircraft without the benefit of being able to see outside - a requirement for all military (and commercial) pilots.

Frequently, when there was a lull in a training flight between 12:00 and 3:00, TFC would tune his ADF Nav radio to the AM band, and listen to Rush Limbaugh's program.

(With the repeal of the "Fairness Doctrine" the previous year, on 1 August, 1988, Rush Limbaugh's nationally syndicated radio program premiered on over 300 radio stations. As the loyal readers of TheFlyingCurmudgeon surely are aware, the "Fairness Doctrine" held that radio stations had to provide free air time for responses to controversial opinions that they broadcast. This policy made a show like Rush's impossible prior to the doctrine's repeal.)

It was TFC's father that first introduced him to Rush and, initially, he wasn't sure he liked the show or not. What Rush was saying was so bold, so innovative, and so close to TFC's own deeply held convictions, that it was a bit shocking to hear.

No one else was saying the things Rush said.

For the most part, nowhere else in the "mainstream media," either print or broadcast, could a conservative viewpoint be found. With their traditional leftward bent and their monopoly on the dissemination of ideas, (except for the rare conservative organ like National Review), the mainstream media needed a little "Fairness Doctrine" applied to them.

Along came Rush Limbaugh. As Rush used to frequently remind his audience: "I AM equal time."

Before Rush was syndicated, there was nobody else saying the kinds of things he did. And boy, the way he said them...

"Dadalump-dadalump-dadalump-dadalump (Andy Williams begins singing)...'Born free as the wind free as the grass grows...Born free to follow your heart...Live free...(sounds of rifle fire)...and beauty surrounds you...(sounds of screaming)...The world still astounds you...(more rifle fire)...Each look at a star...(more screaming)...' That's right, folks, its time for another Animal Rights Update..."

Or it could be Paul Anka singing: "You're having my baby...what a lovely way of saying how much you love me..." in order to introduce an Abortion Rights Update. This song REALLY used to tweak our friends on the left.

How Rush loves to tweak the Left.

With this kind of humor and wit, and his unashamed support for conservative principles, it did not take long before The Flying Curmudgeon was a loyal Dittohead.

And TFC was not alone.

Rush's audience share continued to grow, geometrically, until today, he is on over 600 radio stations throughout the country, (as well as Armed Forces radio, which BTW, did not occur without a fight, TFC would add - something for another post perhaps?), and has a weekly listening audience on the order of 20 million.

No one else in radio even comes close to that number.

Thanks to Rush leading the way, however, there are now a number of conservative radio and television programs out there and this fact continues to drive the Left crazy. Their monopoly is gone forever, and they know it. Which is why there have been recent attempts to revisit the Fairness Doctrine.

(Okay, Mr. The Flying Curmudgeon, what's your point?)

The point is, OF COURSE, Rush is an entertainer. If he weren't, nobody would listen to his show.

To his loyal listeners, however, and to those that tirelessly seek to undermine his influence, he is so much more. (Can you say "Dingy Harry?")

But the idea that Bill Clinton MADE Rush?


Rush was well on his way to "MegaStar" status while Bill was still "busy" back in Arkansas, entertaining young female speeders in the Governor's Mansion.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from The Flying Curmudgeon

The sickly sweet smell was everywhere. It penetrated the soldiers' nostrils and clothing. It saturated the food they ate.

There was no escaping it.

In the moon-scape which was "No-Man's Land," bodies were everywhere. As it would mean imminent death to anyone brave (or foolish) enough to stick his head above the trench-line, there the bodies lay...

...and rotted.

The young British soldier stared through the periscope. He could see the body of the German he had killed the morning before, the branches of the dead man's camouflage illuminated by the sun setting at his back. It was a close call - he had caught the German trying to sneak into their trench just before sunrise, hoping to catch them asleep.

The overcast layer that had cast a pall of darkness the night before had suddenly broken, the last of the full moon revealing him crawling across the desolation.

If the Tommie had not been alert, it could have been him lying dead, instead of the Kraut. A well-placed round from his model 1913 Enfield ended the German's life.

For a moment, he felt a twinge of regret.

Did this dead soldier have a family back home? Was there a wife or girlfriend waiting, caressing a picture of her beloved as he proudly posed in his uniform? Could his parents have imagined such a lonely death for their son?

("Frohe Weihnacten, Mein Leibling," she says with a sigh. Giving the picture a kiss, she places it back on the mantle. "Merry Christmas, My Darling.")

"Sorry, Fraulein, your Liebling won't be coming home any time soon," the British soldier said aloud. "Better find another."

It was Christmas Eve, 1914.

The fighting had raged on the Western Front for months. After the heady, initial days of the German thrusts towards Paris that autumn, the slaughter at the Marne and at Ypres had ended any notion of romance or glory both sides had foolishly entertained, in the wake of Ferdinand's assassination the prior summer.

Now it was about killing, pure and simple. Good men thrown into the meat grinder, as generals measured their "success" in yards, or at times, even inches.

(The "War to End All Wars" would rage for four more years until at the "11th hour" of the "11th day" of the "11th month," it finally would come to an end.)

After trying to grab a few hours of sleep - no one ever really slept, it was too cold and miserably wet for that down in the trenches - here he was again, back on watch.

The last of the sun's rays were disappearing behind him when he noticed some movement across the wasteland in the German lines.

"Blimey, what the devil is Jerry up to now?"

He studied the Germans through the periscope for a minute or so, unsure of what he was seeing.

Stepping away from the eye-piece, he shook his head and rubbed his eyes, making sure he wasn't seeing things. He looked through the periscope once more.

"I don't believe it. It looks like the bloody Germans are putting up bloody Christmas lights."

At that moment, he began to hear it. Softly at first, within a minute or two, the melody was unmistakable.

"Stille nacht...heilege Nacht..."

A couple of white flags, attached to broken pipes appeared above the German lines, and one by one, the Germans started to climb out of their trench. They tentatively made their way towards the British lines, the crudely assembled flags of truce leading the way.

For his part, the British soldier, joined by a few of his mates, cautiously crawled out of his trench and met the young Germans in the middle of No Man's Land.

So began the fabled Christmas Truce of 1914.

For a brief, surreal period, the slaughter came to an end, that night so long ago, and into the next day - Christmas Day. The young British and German soldiers helped bury each others' dead, exchanged gifts, and even engaged in a few improptu soccer matches. In one, the Germans beat their British rivals 3-2.

In most places along the line, the truce held throughout the day.

Captain J.C. Dunn, the Medical Officer of the Royal Welch Fusiliers related how the fighting restarted at his section of the front:

"At 0830 (the next morning, the 26th) I fired three shots in the air and put up a flag with 'Merry Christmas' on it, and I climbed on the parapet. He [the Germans] put up a sheet with 'Thank You' on it, and the German Captain appeared on the parapet. We both bowed and saluted and got down into our respective trenches, and he fired two shots in the air, and the War was on again."

Though these accounts may seem unbelievable, they are not without historic precedent. During the American Civil War, rebel and Yankee soldiers would routinely trade tobacco for coffee, and other items they could not otherwise obtain.

There are other accounts of similar incidents during the Second World War.

The movie A Midnight Clear was based on a such an incident from France in 1944.

These accounts speak to the vagaries and ultimately, the tragedy of war.

Young men, their lives before them, have at times been compelled to kill each other, rather than live in peace and brotherhood.

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, TFC prays for the day in which our Lord finally establishes His peace among nations, and it is no longer necessary for men to kill each other.

Merry Christmas.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Age 60 Rule - RIP

The Flying Curmudgeon is a bit behind on his posting.

As they say, content is king on the internet. However, with his schedule, TFC has decided not to sacrifice quality for quantity. That being the case, The Flying Curmudgeon will not post just for the sake of posting. He hopes that those "loyal readers," (all three of them?) will appreciate his desire to only contribute quality posts to the blogosphere.

If this means, from time to time, there might be a gap between posts, so be it...

In case the loyal readers of TheFlyingCurmudgeon haven't noticed, the federal government has officially done away with the Age 60 Mandatory Retirement rule for U.S. airline pilots.

It will not be retroactive.

Congratulations to all those pilots who were sweating out their birthdays. TFC extends his condolences to all those friends who just missed the cut-off.

By the time TFC reaches 60, he hopes to be a part-time airline pilot and a full-time author/screenwriter, and adjunct junior-college professor of history/musician.

A man has to have goals, hasn't he?


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Yes, Taze Me, Bro!

These days, being an airline pilot can be a lot like working in a discount department store.

Huh? What could being an airline pilot and working in a discount department store possibly have in common?

Glad you asked that question.

K-mart. Wal-Mart. Target. Take your pick. With few differences, they provide a certain level of product and a certain level of service. They're not Macy's and they're not Neiman-Marcus.

When one goes to a discount department store, the expectations are generally where they should be - low. The beauty of discount department stores is their egalitarian nature.

Though the average K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Target shopper tends to be lower to middle-class, these stores, especially the mega-versions like Sam's Club, BJ's, and Costco, have something to offer folks across the socio-economic spectrum.

For a time when the The Flying Curmudgeon was in college, he worked as a cashier at the local K-Mart. (Sam Walton had yet to penetrate the market.) Ringing up the sales from yet another "Blue-Light Special," TFC could have been doing research for a Masters thesis in sociology. He came into contact with poor people, rich people, and everyone in between.

One day, a rather large woman, trailing her conversely diminuitive husband, approached TFC's register. With a large, sweeping motion and a loud "THUD," this woman deposited something on his counter that previously, The Flying Curmudgeon did not know even existed.

It was a brassiere.

It was a large brassiere - a HUGE brassiere. This bra was so large, two regulation NBA basketballs would have fit inside the cups, with room to spare.

To the 19-year-old future TFC, this came as quite a shock. He had no idea they made bras that large. Upon seeing this lacy, delicate contraption, of such gargantuan proportions - deposited so loudly by this rotund woman onto the checkout counter, her skinny little husband at her side - The Flying Curmudgeon was overcome with a tidal wave of laughter.

In a matter of seconds, the guffawing took on a life of its own and TFC was soon howling uncontrollably.

Mr. and Mrs. "LARGE BRASSIERE" did not share TFC's sense of the ironic, and they stood there - glaring - their faces frozen in expressionless masks of pique.

TFC's boss also didn't share his sense of humor. The Flying Curmudgeon was quickly sent home for the day, his boss apologizing profusely to the offended couple.

Okay. What does any of this have to do with being an airline pilot?

In the three decades since deregulation, much of the domestic flying in the United States has taken on the feel of shopping in a discount department store.

With ever-shrinking margins, the airlines are constantly looking at ways to cut costs and to boost revenue. Some carriers have taken to charging extra for sevices that used to be complimentary. Tried to get an exit-row seat lately? Depending on which airline you fly, it'll cost you.

If this keeps up, air travelers might want to ensure they have an adequate supply of quarters, before starting towards the aircraft's lavatory.

As he walks through airport terminals, and greets passengers as they board, one thing is also becoming increasingly clear to The Flying Curmudgeon - decades of permissive parenting has created a couple generations of kids like the one in the video above.

More than once over the years, TFC has come close to denying boarding to a family with disruptive teens. Earlier this year, a family was asked to leave an AirTran flight because they couldn't control their daughter.

The Flying Curmudgeon is going to go out on a limb and suggest that Mr. "Don't Taze Me, Bro!" in the video above probably never had his butt worn out as a child.

A good spanking when he was nine or ten would have spared Mr. Andrew Meyer the later jolting he received at the hands of the University of Florida campus police. In the airline incident above, a couple of well-aimed swats to the butt cheeks would have spared the Kuleszas, the airline, and their fellow passengers a lot of trouble.

Their little darling would have been no worse for the wear.

How is it, after thousands of years of recorded human history, because 50 years ago one misguided doctor (Benjamin Spock) told us to, we tossed out a system that worked?

Like so many other baby boomers, the elder Mr. and Mrs. Meyer, and the Kuleszas obviously "...don't believe in spanking..."

For the Meyers, the result is the words of their son, of whom they must be so very proud, forever immortalized into a bumper sticker slogan: "Don't Taze Me, Bro!"

The Kuleszas will have the privilege of dealing with "Little Elly," when she is a teenager.

God help them.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Muslims Behaving Badly? It's Deja Vu', All Over Again

The "Peaceful Religion of Islam" shows its true colors once again.

Funny how it's okay if a suicide bomber is named "Muhammad," but not a Teddy Bear.

This sad affair is just one more in a long litany of Muslims behaving badly.

Below is a partial list from the recent past:

- 9/11. 'Nuf said.

- attack on Moscow theater in 2002.

Although the terrorists' primary aim was to drive the Russians out of Chechnya, their links to Al-Qaeda and the larger, world-wide Islamic jihad are clear.,8599,383909,00.html

- attack on school in Beslan in 2004.

Same as above. It sure is a brave man who shoots a child in the back.

- Madrid train bombings, 3/11/2004. This was discussed in an earlier post. (See "King Juan Carlos to Hugo..." back in November.)

- beheadings of Daniel Pearl, Nicholas Berg, Kenneth Bigley, and others.

- USAID executive Lawrence Foley murdered in Jordan in 2002.
(Check out the Al-Qaeda links.)

Before joining USAID, Mr. Foley had been with the Peace Corps for more than thirty years and had worked in Bolivia, Peru, India, and Zimbabwe. If any organization embodies the best of America, it is USAID.

Were there Sudanese troops in Indonesia after the Tsunami in 2004? No?

That's right, they were too busy in Dharfur exterminating Christians. Like so many other natural disasters around the world, the United States took the lead in the relief effort, and USAID continues to help the region rebuild.

- murder of American missionary Bonnie Penner Witherall, slain in Sidon, Lebanon in 2002.

The Flying Curmudgeon would have a brief connection to this last incident a few years ago, when Gary Witherall, the murdered woman's husband, came to speak at TFC's church. The striking thing about this man was the utter lack of rancor or ill will he showed towards his wife's murderers.

In spite of his horrific loss, Mr. Witherall had a peace about him that could only be described as "Christ-like." Although his wife died serving the families of the men who killed her, Gary could only pity them.


When trying to describe those that would commit such horrendous acts, the words "vicious," "bloodthirsty," "merciless," "cruel," and "inhuman" come to mind.

To those, The Flying Curmudgeon would add "rude," "ill-mannered," "boorish," and "ungrateful."

What a bunch of ungrateful bastards these Islamic fanatics are.

After all we have done for these people around the world, this is how they thank us - by sawing the heads off, shooting, and blowing up defenseless Americans, and others who have supported us.

For the better part of 3 years, from 1991-1994, TFC flew missions in support of NATO operations during the civil war in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Our sole purpose for being there was to protect Bosnian Muslims from the genocidal "ethnic cleansing" being perpetrated against them by Bosnian Serb para-military groups, and their sponsors in Belgrade.

(Ironically, you can't tell a Bosnian Muslim from a Bosnian Serb by looking at them. Many of both groups have blonde hair and blue eyes. The primary difference is in their alphabet. The Serbs use the Cyrillic alphabet, like their Slavic brothers in Russia - the Muslims use the Latin alphabet, like us. Why are there blonde-haired, blue-eyed Muslims in the former Yugoslavia? That is something for a later post.)

It is hard to fathom the depths of hatred that can motivate someone to cut the ears and nose off a 14-year-old because he refuses to rape his own mother. How does one castrate a 6-year-old?

These are the kinds of atrocities that TFC and his colleagues were attempting to prevent. Were we completely successful? No, we weren't. The name Srebrenica comes to mind.

However, this massacre occurred while United Nations forces, and NOT U.S. forces stood by and did nothing. Somehow that part seems to be forgotten.

(BTW, ever notice how many massacres occur while soldiers in those ubiquitous blue helmets stand idly by? Remember the slaughter in Rwanda? How about Somalia, Sudan, the Congo, Chad, East Timor, South Lebanon, etc? TFC could go on. Isn't it time to consign this corrupt, inept, worthless, U.S.-hating organization to the trash-heap of history?)

To be completely fair, TFC has to point out that atrocities in Bosnia were committed by all sides during this vicious conflict.

Nevertheless, once Slobodan Milosevic was no longer in power in Belgrade, the primary catalyst for much of the ethnic cleansing was gone.

It's ironic that the very people we have tried to help over the years repay us with death and destruction.

When was the last time a Serb flew an airplane full of people into the side of a building?


Friday, December 7, 2007

Why They Fight

December 7th, 1941. The date which has lived in infamy.

Fast forward 66 years, and the United States finds itself again at war.

The enemy may be different, but in their own way, no less dangerous.

As we observe the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and honor those who died there, it is important also to remember all those others who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Throughout our nation's 231 year history, young men (and women) have heeded their nation's call, donned its uniform, and risked life and limb to defend our right to live our lives in freedom and liberty.

From Lexington and Concord to Valley Forge and Yorktown. From Antietam and Gettysburg, Cold Harbor and the Wilderness, to Belleau Wood and the Western Front.

Bataan, Iwo Jima, Normandy and Bastogne. Pork Chop Hill and Khe Sanh. Fallujah and Baghdad.

At all of these places, and more, with strange names many of them barely knew, our young men and women in uniform have suffered and died, to preserve our way of life.

Two words - freedom and liberty. Simple words, yet they mean so much, and so many have given their lives to defend them. So many still risk everything to obtain them.

With all of our problems, the United States remains a beacon of freedom and liberty to the rest of the world.

And like their fathers and grandfathers before them, today's service members continue to risk their lives to defend our way of life.

Some of these military members are touring the country telling their fellow Americans why they serve and why they fight.

In contrast to the steady drumbeat of negative press these last 4 years, the positive, eyewitness accounts of these young Iraqi veterans are a refreshing change. These young men and women should make all Americans proud, and dispel the notion that our military members do not serve willingly nor know what they are fighting for.

They know, and they believe in their mission.

It's time to put aside the partisan in-fighting and give our service members the support they deserve.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Shades of Politics Past

Did anyone happen to catch this on MSNBC the other day?

The utter lack of respect that Erin Burnett displays for a man who continues to keep her safe from terrorists is mind boggling.

Think it's a coincidence we haven't been hit again? Think again.

Unlike Bill Clinton, who treated terrorism as a law enforcement problem, after 9/11 George W. Bush recognized Al-Qaeda and the islamo-fascists for the global threat they were (and are). He realized the primary focus of his Presidency would be the fight against global terrorism, and he has acted accordingly.

In the six years since the attacks of 9/11, the United States has been quietly (and not so quietly), killing and capturing a lot of people who have needed killing and capturing. Consequently, Al-Qaeda's ability to conduct operations world-wide has been severely compromised.

Nevertheless, our adversaries remain exceedingly dangerous. They have demonstrated the patience and ability to bide their time, until the opportunity to strike presents itself. While they wait, we have to be ever vigilant, and we have to "get it right" every time. The terrorists only have to "get it right" once, in order to conduct a successful attack against us.

If Hillary is elected, get ready for a return to the old approach to fighting terrorism.

In case you've forgotten, Bill Clinton was too busy with "personal" matters to be bothered with something as trivial as fighting terrorism. Don't believe it? Check out this book by someone who was there.

Americans of all political stripes need to understand something - this war is a clash of cultures and will not be over in our lifetimes. Islamic radicals want to destroy Western civilization, take us back to the 7th century, and reinstate the Islamic Caliphate. They don't care whether we are Conservatives or Liberals, Democrats or Republicans. To them, the only thing that matters is we are infidels. As such, we are only worthy of death.

One of TFC's fellow pilots was a Marine battalion commanding officer during the first few years of the war. (He has since retired.) When he returned from Iraq, he told TFC that whenever they would capture one of the terrorists, he would tell them, "You Americans don't understand, if I don't kill you, my son will kill you. If my son doesn't kill you, my grandson will kill you."

The bad guys understand the generational nature of this conflict. We need to as well. Our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren depend on this understanding.

In the video above, it's plain to see Ms. Burnett lacks this understanding. Also, like so many of her colleagues in the mainstream media, she smugly believes she is the smartest person in the room. It is this attitude which helps to explain the animus of the left towards George W. Bush. They truly believe he is an imbecile, (in spite of his Harvard MBA), and they are incapable of understanding those of us in "flyover country" who continue to support him.

Does TFC agree with everything George Bush has done during his Presidency? Of course not.

Immigration. The Prescription Drug entitlement. The failure to veto numerous spending bills. (It chagrins TFC greatly to admit this - under Bush, the federal budget has increased even more than under Bill Clinton.) The fact that two border patrol agents continue to languish in federal prison. In all of these, the Bush adminstration has been a tremendous disappointment.

These domestic issues notwithstanding, in regards to the most important issue of our day - the fight against global terrorism - President Bush has performed admirably. It really is just this simple - the War on Terror trumps every other issue. If we are all dead, nothing else matters.

In regards to the conduct of the War in Iraq, certainly mistakes have been made. One of the earliest mistakes was disbanding the Iraqi army after the fall of Baghdad. The 100,000 trained, fighting-age men who were sent home, along with former Baathists and Fedayeen Sadaam members, formed the backbone of the early insurgency.

As for the canard that Sadaam did not possess Weapons of Mass Destruction, as a former military intelligence officer and Middle East analyst, TFC is here to tell you he did have WMDs.

Don't believe it? Just ask the Kurds or the Iranians.

Where did they all go?

There is credible evidence to suggest that during the lead-up to the war, the Iraqis moved them to Syria.

Whether Sadaam did or did not have WMDs, in the decade after Gulf War I politicians on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as both sides of "the aisle," believed he did. He certainly acted like he had these weapons. If he didn't, all Sadaam had to do was let the inspectors in, and he would still be living in luxury, instead of taking the "eternal, celestial dirt nap," in his tribal cemetery in Tikrit.

Even the most ardent Bush opponents are now forced to admit, the "Surge" is working.

There is something strangely familar, (and somewhat amusing) about all this. Like those who opposed Ronald Reagan, and then sought to take credit for the end of the Cold War, the spin by some on the left evokes a certain sense of deja vu'.

As for Ms. Burnett's characterization of the President, there is some historical precedent for this sort of thing.

When Abraham Lincoln took office, there were many people that, putting it mildly, did not think him worthy of the task. Among his chief tormentors was a man who, upon meeting Lincoln for the first time, referred to him as a "long-armed ape."

Edwin M. Stanton, who would become Lincoln's mercurial Secretary of War, did not hide his initial disdain for the future president. He took great pleasure in belittling the gangly, unsophisticated country lawyer.

Lincoln, for his part, overlooked these many vicious slights and, in 1862 appointed Stanton to head his War Department. Over the next 3 years, Stanton grew to love and admire Lincoln greatly. The night that Lincoln was shot, Stanton maintained a vigil alongside his deathbed. When the President finally expired, Stanton uttered the famous phrase, "Now he belongs to the ages."

History will judge George W. Bush and his Presidency.

Like Lincoln's critics before, when the books are finally written, TFC suspects "W's" critics will be shown to have been a bunch of "monkey's uncles."