Thursday, September 01, 2005

When the Lights Go Out

Toby has always had the ability to fall fast asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. I have never been so lucky. In fact, Toby says that when the lights go off, my mouth goes on. Actually, it is my brain. I begin thinking of all the things that had happened that day that I needed to tell Toby. Last night was the perfect example. When we went to bed, we talked for a few minutes about the day. I told him that I had talked to my brother on the phone. I shared with him some of the things Pete said. Then we got quiet for a minute.

For some reason I thought about the documentary on the battle of "Blackhawk Down" that I had seen earlier that day and started sharing my feelings about the show. Toby jumped and said that he had been asleep, but go ahead and share my thoughts since he was awake now. So I talked for a while. I really only caught the tail end of the show where the men from the battle where telling how they felt about being pulled out of Somalia – not being able to complete their mission – not being able to go back in and rescue their men. One guy said that because of the press coverage of a dead American soldier being drug through the streets, (which is just pretty hard to take) President Clinton pulled the whole mission. Another guy said that although we won the battle, we lost the war. One guy quoted Winston Churchill saying, " We will fight on the beaches, we will fight in the air, we will fight…" Then the soldier said that today our society would add, "But not if one man gets killed." Then it was pointed out that we might have lost the war, but that Somalia was the real loser. Because America has no relationship with Somalia now, the Somalians are far worse off today than they were even at the time of the battle, and they have no hope of making their lives better. My point to Toby was how could Americans even think about pulling out of Iraq before the mission is complete. Think about how it would go in Iraq if we were not there right now working to make peace, training Iraqi military, working to make it a better place for the people. Don’t these liberals get it yet? Toby agreed, and we got quiet for another minute.

Then I thought of something one of the soldiers said. Toby jumped – he was already asleep again! "Go ahead" He said, "I’m awake again." I told him that I just had one more point that I thought was especially important from the show. A soldier pointed out that the President who is the Commander and Chief needed to be as brave as the men he commanded are. Then I told Toby to go to sleep – that I would not wake him up again.

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