|By Admin1 (admin) (220.127.116.11) on Monday, June 07, 2004 - 6:26 pm: Edit Post|
RPCV Chris Matthews says Ronald Reagan was a political warrior and hero
RPCV Chris Matthews says Ronald Reagan was a political warrior and hero
Ronald Reagan was a political warrior and hero
The actor who had spent decades playing heroes transcended the back lot and its illusions
By Chris Matthews
Updated: 12:09 a.m. ET June 06, 2004
I had a unique vantage point on Ronald Reagan. For six years, I was top aide to Speaker of the House Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, otherwise known as Ronald Reagan's No. 1 rival. Before that I was a presidential speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, the man he beat to win the White House.
I first met President Reagan himself in the speaker's ceremonial office. It was the president's "holding room" for the 1982 State of the Union.
"Welcome, Mr. President, to the room where we plot against you!" I said.
"Not after six," he answered without a second's hesitation. "The speaker says that here in Washington we're all friends after six!"
Yes, it really happened that way. As the speaker's aide, I was that a wise guy and Ronald Reagan was that masterful in taking command.
Reagan was a tougher, more on-guard character than the guy you'd figure from his breezy public personality- more Jimmy Cagney than Jimmy Stewart.
The Ronald Reagan I met in the speaker's room was the guy who had survived his divorce from Jane Wyman, the decline of his movie career, the cancellation of his TV show, and the cruel social downgrading that rides shotgun on such defeats.
People forget: Reagan defeated Bobby Kennedy in debate before the Oxford Union.
He was the political street fighter who got up off the dirt to win the 1976 North Carolina primary when nearly everybody counted him for dead.
He was the cold-blooded gladiator who strode to the podium of that year's Republican convention and delivered such a barn-burner it made people wonder what Gerald Ford, the party nominee, was doing on the stage.
He was the no-nonsense boss who fired thirteen thousand striking U.S. air traffic controllers.
Like millions who watched television in the 1950s, I had gotten to know and like Reagan during his eight years hosting the old "General Electric Theater." To me back then, Ronald Reagan was simply the guy I shared my Sunday evenings with.
And talk about an audience: In its third year on the air, the 1955-1956 season, "G.E. Theater" was the No. 3-rated show on television. For many years, it was the No. 1 show in its time slot.
"Thanks to television, Reagan was always one of us while his Democratic rivals were always a part of 'them.'"
This is where the professionals blew it. To Pat Brown, the California governor Reagan unseated in 1966, Ronald Reagan was just a "B-movie actor." Looking back on his defeat years later, Pat Brown, that first professional he knocked off in an election, realized that thanks to television, Reagan was always one of us while his Democratic rivals were always a part of "them."
There was another thing his critics never got about the man even they came to admit was a great communicator: from the beginning, Reagan was a man with a cause. I remember the time he opened "G.E. Theater" by saying that the story he was about to introduce mattered to him "personally." It concerned a woman who had been hoodwinked into joining a Communist front group.
Let's face it. Every cab driver knew that Reagan wanted to beat the Communists abroad and to cut government and taxes at home.
Ronald Reagan liked to call himself a "citizen-politician," but he started running for president, I figure, practically from the day he left "GE Theater" in 1962. His speech for Barry Goldwater in 1964 was really the kick-off to his own run. His campaign for California governor in 1966 was a career arrow aimed directly at the White House.
By 1980, he was ready to hit the target.
"Can anyone look at the record of this administration and say, 'Well done?'" he asked the Republican National Convention which had just nominated him for President. "Or at the state of our economy when the Carter administration took office with where we are today and say, 'Keep up the good work!'?"
"Can anyone look at our reduced standing in the world today and say, 'Let's have four more years of this'?"
As an aide to President Carter, I smelled trouble. We weren't running against a Republican: we were running against the republic!
What were the secrets to Reagan's success? I can think of three strengths he carried with him into the political arena:
(1) Ronald Reagan knew why he wanted to be president.
(2) He knew how to talk to real people.
(3) He could describe his feelings about our country invoking the spirit most Americans share but have trouble expressing.
When Reagan spoke about "the boys" who stormed Normandy, or the astronauts lost in the Challenger, he tapped into the deepest sentiments of his hero-worshipping compatriots. While he may never have fought in World War II, he evoked its aura with greater success than anyone who had ever lived on K-rations.
The only times he got into trouble as president were occasions when neither Communism nor big government came into play. The decision to deploy the Marines in Lebanon in 1983 and the arms-for-hostages deal of three years later were two situations when his worldview failed him.
The troubling truth- and it's true of the best politicians-is that he was just as compelling when he was fudging the facts. Reagan could recount a scene from a movie as it actually happened. He told Israeli prime-minister Yitzhak Shamir and Nazi-chaser Simon Wiesenthal that he had photographed the death camps for the Army Signal Corps when he'd merely screened and perhaps helped to edit, the film footage of the liberation.
It was a stunning experience to hear Ronald Reagan say so confidently, in his TV debate with Carter-what I knew to be untrue-that he had been advocate of Medicare in its early days. But all most people remember from that evening was Reagan's put-away line: "There you go again, Mr. President." With those six withering words, the challenger reduced the incumbent to a desperate, sweating hack clinging to a great office he was no longer strong enough to fill.
Reagan entered the pantheon of mythical American heroes with the grace and humor he exhibited after the assassination attempt on him in March of his inaugural year. "Honey, I forgot to duck," he told wife Nancy. And, "I hope you're all Republicans," he kidded the doctors as he was wheeled into the operating room. An actor who had spent decades playing heroes suddenly had transcended the back lot and its illusions.
Where presidents since Kennedy were willing to co-exist with the USSR, Reagan demanded that Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall.
I think that the man who played George Gipp in "Knute Rockne: All American" never stopped trying to reinvent the forward pass. Why couldn't the bold play that won on the cinematic football fieldwork on the U.S. economy? Instead of endless trench warfare over budget cuts, Reagan would surprise his rivals with some razzle-dazzle: a big tax cut. Instead of competing with the Soviets on how many missiles we could deploy at each other, he'd commission a missile shield that would render their missiles irrelevant.
Ronald Reagan did not "win" the Cold War but he belongs in the roster of those who did. That list began with President Harry Truman, who drew the line on Soviet expansion in Europe with the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine. It includes all the other Cold War presidents of both parties who contained Communism until it could destroy itself. What set Reagan apart in the Cold War was his insistence that there be a winner and a loser.
Chris Matthews is the host of 'Hardball,' which airs weeknights, 7 p.m. ET on MSNBC. All week, 'Hardball' will continue to interview public figures on Reagan's politics and legacy.
|By Jim Shon (dhcp037129.crdg.hawaii.edu - 18.104.22.168) on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 7:50 pm: Edit Post|
A little part of the Reagan legacy.
Embassy of the United State of America
1981: POL: WFEaton/pm
The Embassy of the United States of America presents its compliments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and has the honor to notify the Ministry that the Peace Corps has decided to cease program activities in the Republic of Korea on august 31, 1981 and to complete the phase out of its program in the Republic by September 30, 1981. the Peace Corps has made this difficult decision to move forward the completion of its activities in the Republic of Korea from July 1982 entirely in response to budgetary considerations.
The Administration of President Reagan has proposed a budget of $95 million to operate the Peace Corps in Fiscal Year 1982. This amount is $10 million below the current Peace Corps operating budget and $31 million below the amount the Peace Corps considers necessary to conduct effective programs in all countries where Peace Corps volunteers now serve. The Peace Corps has concluded that even after instituting such measures as drastically reducing international travel, lowering staff ceilings, cutting back trainee input and reducing the number of volunteers, some country programs must be eliminated in order to make the large scale budgetary cuts required for Fiscal year 1982. In view of the fact that the Peace Corps program in the Republic of Korea was scheduled to end in July 1982, it was decided to advance this date of completion of the program in the Republic to September 30, 1981.
The Peace Corps has requested the Embassy to convey to the government of the Republic of Korea its deep appreciation for the excellent support and cooperation which have been extended to the Peace Corps Staff and Volunteers during the past 15 years.
The Embassy of the United States of America avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Republic of Korea the assurances of its highest consideration.
|By RPCV and Reagan voter (22.214.171.124.subscriber.vzavenue.net - 126.96.36.199) on Monday, June 14, 2004 - 10:36 pm: Edit Post|
You're leaving out quite a bit of the history. Reagan's appointed PC director who was charged with downsizing and considering elimination of the program came to understand its importance during the first year of her appointment. She persuaded the Reagan administration to this end and won Reagan's support to maintain the program.
|By Orianne Reich (rdbck-708.palmer.mtaonline.net - 188.8.131.52) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 4:09 am: Edit Post|
As a citizen I was touched with the testimonies of Regan's greatness. AS a person who served in Guatemala, CA. I would like to enlarge the picture not by necessarily implicating Mr. Regan as part of the cause to exterminate communism and Indians in Central America. I am just trying to put it all together. The dual picture of his legacy is sombering.(Maybe someone can put this all together in a picture that shows both sides of this particular greatness.)
|By Thomas Rice (184.108.40.206) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 12:01 pm: Edit Post|
I agree with the need to expand the discussion about the legacy of Mr Reagan to include his less than savory accomplishments.
In addition to supporting the murder of Indians in Guatemala, we can add supporting numerous brutal dictatorships, illegal arms sales to Iran--and lying about it, and terminating the mental health care of thousands of mentally ill veterans--leaving them homeless.
I'm all for sentimentality, but I do believe the American public is capable of a slightly more nuanced discussion.
|By Norah (216-237-52-114.orange.nextweb.net - 220.127.116.11) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 4:03 pm: Edit Post|
As a RPCV who served in Guatemala, I have seen the remnants of the atrocities that Regan funded in Central America. I can't help but feel outraged when I hear about what a caring, sensitive "nice guy" he was. Maybe he was to his wife and friends, but I met women who had been raped while pregnant, witnessed the decapitation of their husbands, had their unborn babies ripped from their wombs, and the murder of their friends, family, and neighbors because someone said they were communists. They were simple people, minding their own business, and were brutally murdered by the thousands, by weapons supplied by the US government under the terrorist, Ronald Regan.
Even though he was a weak old man when he died, I feel better that there is one less terrorist in the world.
|By daniel (user-uinj0r8.dialup.mindspring.com - 18.104.22.168) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 1:43 pm: Edit Post|
It figures the first poster was a Reagan voter. That does not surprise me. During Reagan and Bush, Peace Corps became a meaner and harshly political.
Alot of people died in Latin America due to his fear mongering as a leader.
Those were bad years.
We are now going away from Reagan, Bush, Clinton DLC people. New democrats are coming who have been held out for over twnety plus years.
Jimmy Carter was a decent man.
|By Colin Gallagher (adsl-64-173-176-97.dsl.mtry01.pacbell.net - 22.214.171.124) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 1:22 pm: Edit Post|
JULY 4, 2004.
COMMENTARY ON AMERICAN SOCIETY IN POST-REAGAN ERA
Well, here are my thoughts and reflections, this fourth of July, year of our Lord 2004, on the state of American society today, in a post-Reagan era. I would particularly like to comment on the recent national response to our departed President, as I have been reflecting much upon it.
It is nice to see Americans paying their respects to a President. However, we are not ruled by men and kings, but by the Constitution and rule of law. We exist in a democratic republic, the United States of America, the principles of which stand alone irrespective of which personality the people of the United States choose as a political icon.
Ronald Reagan's wisdom was in his flexibility with respect to foreign policy. Were it not for his decision to leave Lebanon, we would unquestionably now be in a draft ~ the likes of which we are already seeing, in the Pentagon's recent decision to call upon the entire Individual Ready Reserve, for service in Iraq in Afghanistan. (If you have relatives who have served in the military within the last eight years, they can now be called up against their will; however, there is assistance available, have them call the GI Hotline at 1-800-394-9544, or link to http://girights.objector.org/)
Yet his stubborness also cost many lives and prolonged problematic relationships ~ he is credited with putting an end to the Cold War, when his policies with Russia, prior to the destruction of the Berlin Wall, actually prolonged the Cold War and heightened ideological and religious conflict in Afghanistan.
The increase in powers of the executive made by great leaps of the imagination of the Administrations (Democratic and Republican) of that period not only led to numerous violations of the Constitution, but also led to a loss of checks and balances intended by our Founding Fathers. This loss has now been utilized by the executive to distract from threats to America, and to promote war in countries (such as Iraq) which pose no threat, imminent or otherwise, to the United States, while allowing actual enemies of the United States (such as cells of al Qaeda in Afghanistan) to escape and grow.
Paradoxically, but not unexpectedly, the mixture of church and state utilized to create a new ideology in Afghanistan in the Reagan era (a practice which the Bush administration has attempted to promote in the United States and elsewhere) created precisely the climate necessary for the Bush administration to claim that greater executive power is necessary. The last time such a strong mixture of church and state was used to promote such a strong concentration of power in an executive was, to the best of my memory, in the early 1930s in Germany, and the result was National Socialism and the Church of the Third Reich.
While there are cultural differences between what occurred then in Germany and what is occurring now in the halls of government in the United States and around the world, there, are significant similarities. The National Socialist ideology contained several basic points: Anti-semitism, nationalism, militarism, and anti-communism. In principle, Reagan's legacy, particularly as manifested by today's U.S. Administration, differs from National Socialist ideology only in that it does not possess an ardent Anti-semitism. Yet it 'makes up' for the absence of such in that it does possess, to the point of severity, a Reaganesque nationalism.
And so it is that in this climate which I have described that our nationalist friends (Saudi and Afghanistani mujaheddin) become stateless enemies (internationalized al Qaeda), our enemies begat relationships of power (Saudi bin Laden, Bush, and Carlyle Group) in the context of modern investment and free trade between nations, and our enemies (Saudi Arabia, Libya, and other nations harboring al Qaeda) are now made out by the current Administration as our friends, in unique relationships which serve only one purpose: To increase the power of the executive under the rubric of a church-state ideology. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, Reagan's legacy is the Orwellian reality that war is peace, happiness is suffering, love is hate.
His approach to the American economy was just as foolhardy: You can see the results for yourself here (http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/) and ovserve that you currently owe the federal government roughly 24,624 dollars, an amount which grows daily. We are left without social programs and have inherited from Reagan's great legacy of enlightened tax policy a debt which increases at 1.68 billion per day, allowing death and destruction to mount at the hands of taxpayers and Congresspersons who do not believe in the concept of a debt ceiling. In point of fact, Congress had to recently (in May of 2003) perform the legislative and economical magic of removing the previously existing "debt ceiling," so that already illegal misappropriations of funds that you are paying into (e.g., Social Security), now being used to fund wars abroad, could continue to be supplemented by tax collection and debt spending prohibited even under the extremely permissive Reagan administration.
Someone in every generation of my family has served the United States in some capacity, in the military, and often subsequently in other pursuits as well. A family relative, James Romito (Chief, NYPA-PD) was lost in Tower 1 on 9/11. My brother, John, left the Marines with an honorable discharge, and his ex-fiance remains in Iraq. John has just graduated from Chico State with an honors in Social Work and spends his time helping homeless veterans -- veterans whose benefits have been cut again and again under the current Administration. Now, because of the legacy of Reagan, and the foolishness of the lesser Bush, I (and those homeless veterans) may lose my brother to the Pentagon's dispersal of the few thousand remaining persons in our Nation's Individual Ready Reserve. I leave it to the reader to contemplate what our government's next step is, when their legally available options for obtaining available young men run out, although you can observe it for yourself by noting the increased presence of recruiters at a high school near you.
RPCV Chris Matthews' praise for Reagan in the political realm does not consider or even care to mention the harm caused by the average Americans' lack of awareness of the ill effects of the rising tide of nationalism in U.S. society. His applause for Reagan, with each figurative clap, is as much a death knell for an individual's role in democracy as it is a praise of a President. Yet the increasing awareness of average Americans of the problems we face can give us hope, that the rising tide of nationalism will turn, and that Americans will again take up their role in beating back the endless Ceasars who aspire to cross the American rubicon.
- C. Gallagher, RPCV
El Salvador (3/02/98 - 12/04/00)
|By daniel (126.96.36.199) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 9:39 am: Edit Post|
No, Colin we wouldn't have been in Lebanon if he didn't do anything. That is an assumption and based on fear.
The fact is Bush Sr. and Casey illegally worked as diplomats while private citizens in France which embarassed Jimmy Carter. Granted Carter did not handle the situatuion that great, but to circumvent the democratic process was always the Reagan Bush way.
|By james (host-66-81-59-152.rev.o1.com - 188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 10:04 pm: Edit Post|
I remember Ronald Reagans "Legacy". He was credited for the end of the cold war, which is just another way of saying he sent the defense spending into such an excess, he basically bankrupted the Soviet Union. He never should have gotten a nobel peace prize. The US still has more nuclear and chemical weapons than any country. Add to this S&L scandals, Iran contra scandal, support of brutul dictators in Latin America, the school of Americas, the gutting of pivitol government agencies including peace corps, EPA, and the dept of education the only president worse then him I can imagine is gw bush. The outpouring of sympathy for this man is pathetic at the least. I mean Im sure Hitler was a nice guy too. rr was an actor and a spit shiny politician. both professions, when donee well can create illusion. This was, in my mind reagans only success.
(The Gambia 98-00)
|By james (host-66-81-59-152.rev.o1.com - 184.108.40.206) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 10:10 pm: Edit Post|
I remember Ronald Reagans "Legacy". He was credited for the end of the cold war, which is just another way of saying he sent the defense spending into such an excess, he basically bankrupted the Soviet Union. He never should have gotten a nobel peace prize. The US still has more nuclear and chemical weapons than any country. Add to this S&L scandals, Iran contra scandal, support of brutul dictators in Latin America, the school of Americas, the gutting of pivitol government agencies including peace corps, EPA, and the dept of education the only president worse then him I can imagine is gw bush. These are people who were convinced the reds were going to come up thru mexico and take over our beloved country. The outpouring of sympathy for this man is pathetic at the least. I mean Im sure Hitler was a nice guy too. rr was an actor and a spit shiny politician. both professions, when donee well can create illusion. This was, in my mind reagans only success.
(The Gambia 98-00)
|By Dillwyn J Otis (host-64-179-12-27.syr.choiceone.net - 220.127.116.11) on Saturday, July 17, 2004 - 10:44 pm: Edit Post|
I was in Nicaragua and watched young people cry as we heard that Ronald Reagan was reelected. They said," this means the killing will go on". He will be remembered in Central America as a Us President that brought killing and hardship to the poor.
|By USAALLTHEWAY (ool-43526836.dyn.optonline.net - 18.104.22.168) on Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 5:52 pm: Edit Post|
To the person who said he saw young people cry when Reagan was reelected: Those must have been young Marxist Sandinistas who did not represent the overwhelming majority of Nicaraguans. When Nicaraguans were given the chance they voted out the Sandinistas in a landslide, and have done it three more times since 1990. (I hope you're not bothered by free and fair elections.) And to the person who lamented the U.S. trying to kick out the "democratically elected" Sandinista government I have this to say: Are you kidding me? Stop drinking the Leninist Cool Aide. The Sandinistas were NEVER elected. They went the route of Uncle Fidel and took power at gunpoint. They quickly proceeded with mass summary executions. If it weren't for Reagan all of Central America would be under the murderous boot of the Communists. Things are not perfect today in Central America, but God only knows what kind of Orwelling existence those poor people would be living under today. God bless Ronald Reagan and God bless America.
|By Colin Gallagher (adsl-64-173-178-196.dsl.mtry01.pacbell.net - 22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 10:28 am: Edit Post|
You state, "God only knows what kind of Orwellian existence those poor people would be living under today (were it not for Reagan's intervention.)" You ignore the fact that Reagan did not win the battle (nor did he win the war in Central America), and it was ultimately events such as the Acuerdo de Paz (Peace Accords) in El Salvador, at the end of its civil war, that created the peace and resulted in the redistribution of land from 14 families to the whole Salvadoran population. I know. I lived in El Salvador for 3 years and married a Salvadoran woman. I know the people who were critical to the creation of ~ and success of the peace accords, and they were not proponents of an iconic ideology. Do not try to convince me with your ideology and lack of experience.
Regarding your statement on the "young Marxist Sandinistas who did not represent the overwhelming majority of Nicaraguans," probably the best thing to happen to Nicaragua was the defeat of Reagan's so-called "freedom fighters." You do not give a country freedom by infiltrating it and bombarding it with military aid ~ especially when your own country's Congress never even heard about what you did, until later.
It is unfortunate but true that in many countries, Peace Corps programs wouldn't even have existed had there not been soldiers there to begin with to clear the way. We would like to believe that U.S. soldiers would be the best people for the job. However it is not our place to say when and where a people will govern themselves and how. That right, that responsibility, is theirs and theirs alone. If you disagree, I would have you take a careful read of the War Powers Resolution (specifically, Section 2(c) and Section 3 of such) of the United States of America, which is our Law used in the U.S. of A. to express specifically how our Constitution is implemented with respect to entry into (or avoidance of) conflict.
Finally, I note that you have concluded your diatribe by stating, "God Bless Reagan and God Bless America." What do you love more, the ideology of a politician, or the lessons of Christ and the commandments of God, who you apparently claim to worship? I must re-emphasize a point from my July 4 statement on Reagan and the executive power in general as follows:
"Paradoxically, but not unexpectedly, the mixture of church and state utilized to create a new ideology in Afghanistan in the Reagan era (a practice which the Bush administration has attempted to promote in the United States and elsewhere) created precisely the climate necessary for the Bush administration to claim that greater executive power is necessary. The last time such a strong mixture of church and state was used to promote such a strong concentration of power in an executive was, to the best of my memory, in the early 1930s in Germany, and the result was National Socialism and the Church of the Third Reich."
|By USAALLTHEWAY (126.96.36.199) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 11:54 pm: Edit Post|
Why are you so troubled by the exercize of choice by Nicaraguans (and the good people of El Salvador)? Millions of human beings are trying to get away from the types of governments run by countries like Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea and the Sandinistas when they were in power. Why are you not applauding the ability of Nicaraguans to vote? Are you angry as hell that you have spent most of your life supporting the types of governments that nobody wants. Are you pissed that China's economy improved only after they adopted capitalism? Do you miss pulling for the German Democratic Republic in the Olympics? Why is it that no former residents of East Germany long for the old system? I think you know, but you just can't change your stripes. I will bet that you wear a Che tee-shirt.
|By Colin Gallagher (188.8.131.52) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 3:50 am: Edit Post|
You know, Schwarzenegger said an interesting thing recently, in his speech at the Republican National Convention (in which he also mentioned the Peace Corps):
"(Y)ou can't reason with people blinded by hate. They hate the power of the individual. They hate the progress of women. They hate the religious freedom of others. They hate the liberating breeze of democracy. But ladies and gentlemen, their hate is no match for America's decency."
I don't like Schwarzenegger's political affiliation and I don't like his oversimplification of the issues that face the state of California (not to mention the nation). But I do like what he said about DECENCY. I don't think what he said applies simply to stateless terrorists (who after all constitute an incredibly small percentage of the world population). A lot of Americans would do well to remember that our political discourse used to be, well, DECENT. Political expression (in America and around the world) is now becoming so extreme as to commonly result in either people screaming at each other on the street, or even in some cases, injuring or killing each other.
Here's my message to you, USAALLTHEWAY: Lose your nationalism, and try being decent. There is a lot to be said for having the ability to maintain civility in discourse. I cite an article from the Yuma Sun from July 25, 2004:
"It is an unfortunate foreboding fact that the civil discourse of the Reagan-era has gone the way of longhorn cattle and organically-grown corn. It is darn hard today to find examples of respectful, rational dialogue."
Dialogue means responding to others' points in a reasoned way, not making vaguely pointed (or totally illusory) allegations and character attacks. Dialogue is communication which means it's a two-way street -- a means of exchanging information, not a means of toppling someone with what you believe is a superior ideology or thought process.
As an example, since you asked me "Why are you so troubled by the exercize of choice by Nicaraguans (and the good people of El Salvador)?" ~ It would now behoove me to address your question with an honest and reasoned answer, such as "I'm not troubled by people exercising choices ~ What troubles me is when those people are attacked using my tax dollars."
An alternate way for me to respond to your question would be by saying (without any sense of civility or respect) something like the following: "Why can't you spell the word 'exercise' properly? I'll bet you prefer that Americans should not have the freedom of choice to vote for anyone other than Bush. I wonder if you are wearing a Martin Luther King tee-shirt."
Somehow, though, I think that the latter response would not be DECENT (nor would it be civil).
Similarly, in my prior piece, I stated that: "(I)t is not our place to say when and where a people will govern themselves and how. That right, that responsibility, is theirs and theirs alone. If you disagree, I would have you take a careful read of the War Powers Resolution (specifically, Section 2(c) and Section 3 of such) of the United States of America, which is our Law used in the U.S. of A. to express specifically how our Constitution is implemented with respect to entry into (or avoidance of) conflict."
The kind of response I was hoping for from you might have started with something like "I've read Sections 2 and 3 of the War Powers Resolution and have some comments (...etc.)"
Instead, what I got was "Are you angry as hell that you have spent most of your life supporting the types of governments that nobody wants. Are you pissed that China's economy improved only after they adopted capitalism? Do you miss pulling for the German Democratic Republic in the Olympics?"