Jewish World Review June 23, 2006/ 27 Sivan, 5766

Greg Crosby

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‘Why do you have to be a patriot?’ | A person who expects to hear logic, moral wisdom or any depth of thought from a pop entertainer might also be a person who would expect to find nuggets of gold in cow feces. The latest brilliant statement came from Natalie Maines, vocalist of The Dixie Chicks when she told a London newspaper last week the following: "The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism." Maines continued her harangue through gritted teeth. "Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."

Just several days after Maines words of wisdom were reported, another story, unrelated to the Dixie Chicks, came out. The Associate Press first reported the horrible, sad story. The bodies of two U.S. soldiers that had been captured last week were recovered, and in the words of an Iraqi official the men were "killed in a barbaric way."

The men had been beheaded, but not just beheaded, they were first tortured — in ways so horrific it would be improper to describe it in a family newspaper. After that, their bodies were dumped and “booby-trapped” so that anyone who attempted to collect the remains would be blown to pieces.

Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility for killing the soldiers, and said the successor to slain terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had "slaughtered" them.

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The claim of responsibility was made in the name of the Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of five insurgent groups led by al-Qaida in Iraq. The group posted an Internet statement last Monday claiming it was holding the American soldiers captive.

"We give the good news ... to the Islamic nation that we have carried Allah’s verdict by slaughtering the two captured crusaders," said the claim, which appeared on an Islamic militant Web site where insurgent groups regularly post statements and videos.

"With Allah’s Almighty's blessing, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer carried out the verdict of the Islamic court" calling for the soldiers' slaying, the statement said.

The statement said the soldiers were "slaughtered," suggesting that al-Muhajer beheaded them personally. The Arabic word used in the statement, "nahr," is used for the slaughtering of sheep by cutting the throat and has been used in past statements to refer to beheadings. The U.S. military has identified al-Muhajer as an Egyptian associate of al-Zarqawi also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, and was named new leader of al-Qaida in Iraq since Al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. air strike on June 7.

The America hating left loves to point to Gitmo and Abu Ghraib as examples of how America “tortures” prisoners in the War on Terror. The plain fact is, there has been absolutely no proof shown by anyone or any group that any torture whatsoever has ever been committed on the Gitmo detainees. None. Zip. Have the prisoners themselves claimed to have been tortured? Yes. That is exactly what they were taught to do by their terrorist leaders. By and large those bums have been treated pretty well — the average prisoner has gained about 18 pounds since coming to Gitmo. They are fed meals in keeping with their Islamic dietary laws. They are given Korans and are allowed all their times for prayer. Incidentally, the American soldiers wear gloves when handing out the Korans, as a form of respect.

And as far as Abu Ghraib is concerned, the torture allegations were exaggerated from the very beginning. In the truest sense of the word, physical torture was NEVER committed by US troops to prisoners in Abu Ghraib. No one was killed, no one was mutilated, and no one was disfigured. Were some prisoners mistreated? Yes, but one instance of mistreatment by a few rouge troops acting on their own is not the same thing as systematic, sanctioned torture regularly meted out, as is done on an ongoing basis by Islamic terrorists. Unlike the monsters that we are fighting, American troops don’t behead innocent civilians and proudly display it on the internet. We do not booby-trap bodies. We do not purposely target innocent women, children, and other non-combatants.

“Why do you have to be a patriot?” If you don’t know after 9/11; after the bombings in Bali, London, and Spain; after all the beheadings of Americans; after all the suicide bombings of innocent people; after more than 10 years of increasing violence against us at home and abroad by these evil monsters; after all the threats of wiping western civilization off the map in a massive jihad; if after all that you still don’t know why you have to be a patriot, then you never will.

In the case of entertainers like The Dixie Chicks, maybe another reason why they might want to feel a little patriotic would be the fact that America is the country that gave them the opportunity to get incredibly rich and famous. I don’t think that would have happened in the Sudan, do you? Talk about ingrates.

I have to believe that anyone who was an American adult during the attacks on 9/11 and still asks “why be a patriot?” is either a complete imbecile or patently anti-American. If they are truly imbecilic, then they should be institutionalized for the protection of themselves and others around them and I feel sorry for their mental disorder; if it is the other case, however, then I have no use for them.

Since I am a proud American patriot who lives in a country where I am free to make my own choices, I will choose not to buy records, go to concerts, nor support in any other way any American entertainer or celebrity who does not love this country and is proud to say “I am a patriot.” Shame on them.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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