Last year is in the books and with it the end of the lives of two leaders whose polar opposition provides a clear definition of the term. They came to power in their nations during the seventies--one an opportunist; the other an opportunity. One would lead his nation into a nightmare; the other would lead his nation out of one. One's death was accompanied by the celebration of his enemies; the other had no enemies. One's funeral was brief and ignoble, the other's will demonstrate the greatness of a nation that honors its greatest.
Gerald Ford was the first presidential candidate for whom I ever voted. At the time, it was more of a defensive gesture than a vote of confidence in the man. I was not happy that Ford had let South Vietnam fall to the communists, but I KNEW I didn't want my country led by Jimmy Carter. I had a bad feeling about the man and unfortunately my misgivings were well-founded. Ford's failure to prevent the fall of Saigon was a national shame, but all the media concentrated on was the pardon of Nixon. Ford's reputation in my eyes grew enormously in the years after he left office. The more I learned about the man from sources other than the news media and Saturday Night Live, the more I became convinced that he was one of the greatest leaders our nation had ever produced. I especially appreciated his circumspection and his strict observance of the 11th commandment (applies only to past presidents and is broken continually by democrats): "Thou shalt keep thy mouth shut and thy face off the evening news."
Saddam Hussein's long overdue assumption of room temperature this weekend provided a glimpse into the future of Iraq. His executioners chanted the name of Muqtada al Sadr as they slipped the noose around Saddam's neck. Sadr is a Shiite cleric in the mold of the Ayatollah Khomeini, whose militia and their anti-American activities (car bombings, sniping, et al) are bankrolled by Iran. Time to leave Babylon.
Turns out Ford may have been right to let Saigon fall. The Vietnamese spent the next three decades just trying to re-emerge from the Stone Age. The Soviets were emboldened and invaded Afghanistan--the beginning of the end for the commies in the Kremlin.
Seems to me that Baghdad should be left to the Iranians to deal with. That should consume their time and treasure for long enough to allow a popular uprising to bring an end to the dictatorial clerics now in charge.
Let's bring our forces home and defend our country against the Mexican invasion.