Sunday, May 29, 2011

Enough Land To Bury Our Dead.

"The only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead. And that is the kind of nation we are." -General Colin Powell

Memorial Day, 2011

My Dear Fellow Patriots;

They came from the countryside, in the beginning, many of them carrying muskets they used for hunting game or chasing varmints, and shortly after the sun dawned on a bright April day one of them fired the shot that was heard 'round the world.

At that precise moment, as a puff of smoke and the smell of spent powder still wafted in the early-morning spring breeze, notice was given: Americans were free people; they would fight to defend their liberty and would sacrifice their lives to discard the yoke of tyranny.

And fight they did. A bedraggled army of citizen-soldiers, mostly poor and poorly trained, battled and died until, in the end, they chased the British to the city of Yorktown, in the colony of Virginia, and forced the surrender of the occupying army.

What was perhaps most remarkable was that they were, and we still are, a people united not around racial or tribal identities, but around an idea and a faith - a belief that our destiny, and the destiny of mankind, is to be free. We began our nation's history by defending that premise with our lives, and we do so to this day.

Memorial Day is not about ideas, though - it is about people. It is about the men and women who left their homes and loved ones but never returned; their mortal remains interred in a simple grave, their headstone a simple cross. It is about the people who gave, as Abraham Lincoln described it, their last full measure of devotion. What makes America unique - and exceptional, President Obama - is that no member of our military ever died in a war of conquest. Every American who ever fought, who ever perished on the field of battle, did so in the cause of freedom.

Greed, misguided religious fervor, lust for power - any one of these diseases can grip the minds of men and hang on tenaciously, and that is why the American military exists and that is why we fight. We are blessed to be defended by such magnificent men and women - ordinary Americans with extraordinary souls. History has never seen the likes of the American fighting man - and probably never will again.

At some time during the course of this weekend, I ask you take just a moment to say a silent prayer of thanks to those fallen Americans. They died not for kings or potentates, not for plunder or riches. They died conquering tyrants and occupiers, and when those Americans who survived completed their task they laid down their arms and helped the vanquished rebuild, because that is what Americans do.

That is the kind of nation we are.

Yours in Liberty,

Frank Santarpia

Staten Island, NY

Friday, May 6, 2011

On the death of bin Laden

My Dear Fellow Patriots;

There are times when we who live in these United States are able to feel a special thrill of nationalistic pride. If you're anything like me you felt it on Sunday, when you heard the news of the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of the American military.

He hid, because he was a coward, for ten years - until a member of the U.S. Navy SEALS put a bullet over his left eye into what passed for a brain, and put him out of his miserable existence. Are we surprised at either of these facts? Hardly. We knew he was a coward anyway, and a warrant for his death was signed in blood on a crisp September morning almost ten years ago. When the towers went down, they killed bin Laden, too. It just took longer.

I think that America, as a nation, proved something last Sunday. I think we proved that if we really want you, we will get you. It doesn't matter who you are or where you hide; it doesn't matter if you're protected by a nation-state or a savage ideology; and it doesn't matter if you are hidden behind twelve-foot-high walls in a "mansion" so decrepit that it would be condemned by any building inspector in any city, town or hamlet from New York to L.A. And Osama - we wanted you.

It speaks volumes about the character of America that even though we knew you were there and we could have killed you with a bomb or missile fired from a drone - we didn't. We wanted to offer to the families of the victims of your atrocities proof of your demise and with it, some closure. So Americans helicoptered into foreign airspace and took you out in a body bag, and now those families know that the murderer of their loved ones was shot down like the mad dog that he was.

Osama bin Laden, if you can hear me in that special hell you now call home, here's a message from America: We got you, you bastard, and we will get the rest of your deranged crew of murderous demons. With you, they have perverted a religion into a death cult, and we will not stop until every last one of them is forced to slink back into the slimy 7th century caves where they were spawned.

You killed Americans, Osama, but you could never kill the American spirit - not you and not your pathetic minions. We have fought better than you and beaten them, and we always will. We are a nation that respects courage, and that is why you and your comrades disgust us. Do you fancy it courageous to take your own life while murdering innocents in the name of jihad? You shouldn't. Real courage is the willingness to face your enemy before you meet your maker. Every homicide bomber shares one thing in common - they refuse to actually confront their foe and they are never willing to look him in the eyes. They fear that more than death.

Let me close with a special thank you to the President who made this possible, the President who had the courage to do what needed to be done, the President who made the hard decisions, the President who put the lives of Americans above fragile sensibilities of the Brie and Chardonnay crowd and the wails of indignation of the media elites - George W. Bush.

To the current occupant of the White House I ask this question: would you have had your moment on the world stage, your poll spike, if the man who preceded you shared your hatred of the military and your squeamish loathing of "enhanced interrogation techniques?" Your capacity for hypocrisy never ceases to astound me.

Feh. Enough of you. You will be gone soon.

Let me end this missive with a request. Please, each and every one of you, take a moment to close your eyes, bow your head, and offer up a prayer of thanks for the American military - the pride of the United States and the envy of the world. With their blood they have paid for and defended our freedom for more than two centuries, and they are now, and always have been, the greatest force for good in the history of mankind. May God bless them all.

Yours in Liberty,

Frank Santarpia
Staten Island, NY