Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Archive for February 2nd, 2006

A Reply to the Left: Different Worlds

Posted by Mark on February 2, 2006

Gayle, I’m not trying to pick on you with this post. I don’t know you, but do very much appreciate your dropping by Liberty Just in Case. Your comment was well-written, respectful, and presented your thoughts very well. I’m using your comment as an example of the kinds of comments we’ve recieved frequently over the past weeks. Any generalizations that don’t fit you are sincerely unintended.

Gayle’s comment to my post yesterday was well written, sincere, and an excellent example of the thinking of those from the Left side of the aisle. All through her comment, she makes the usual accusations: Bush lied, there isn’t much progress in Iraq, the U.S. military is engaging in systematic torture, and she even managed to throw Haliburton in there, though not by name. She even starts by agreeing that we must have victory, yet accuses the military of “attrocities.”
If this comment had been written 2 years ago, or even 6 months ago, I would have gone through a lengthy defense, answering each charge separately, citing source after source to back up my arguments. But there is simply so much information countering each and every accusation that its not worth the effort. It’s highly unlikely that Gayle will read any of it. If she does, it will be through her ready made filters of “Bush lied, people died.” I’m simply tired of refighting the same battles again and again. There comes a point when we must move on to the future, instead of fighting hopeless rearguard actions against folks who will never be persuaded they are wrong.

It seems we live in different worlds, with closed information loops. The fact that Gayle, and those like her, visit a site like Liberty Just in Case is encouraging. It shows they are willing to get out of their own loops, and at least engage with folks like me and Matt, who support both the Iraqi front, and the wider war on Islamo Fascism. But to go back and refight why we got in to Iraq again and again doesn’t help win the war. I simply won’t do it anymore.

Closed Information Loops produce different worldviews. Lest I be accused of hypocrisy, let me make it clear that I’ve read widely from those who disagree with me. I can give a list of those books as well, if needed. From Richard Clarke and Bob Graham, right up to the current book by James Risen, I’ve read them all. Most recycle through pages and pages the arguments and accusations Gayle put in a few paragraphs. Each has been answered, or, in the case of the Risen book, is in the process of being answered. My experience is that those on the Left seldom read those answers. They prefer to stay trapped in their worldview.

If you are interested, two of the best books that do answer the comments from the Left are listed under Liberty Recommends to the right. Disinformation, by Richard Miniter, takes the accusations that Gayle made in her comment and analyzes each one, from the claims of 100,000 civilian deaths in Iraq, to Haliburton. I would strongly recommend it, before making the kinds of unfounded accusations that filled Gayle’s comment. I would also recommend Imperial Grunts, by Robert Kaplan. The first in a series of books on the U.S. military in this war, he focuses on Special Forces and the Marine Corps. He does NOT focus on Iraq, but on the wider war in which we are engaged.

Also on the reading list would be The Connection, by Stephen Hayes. He details the links between Saddam and terrorism, up to and including links to Mohammed Atta. His frequent columns in The Weekly Standard continue the work begun with the release of The Connection. Here is one of those, on Saddam’s terrorist training camps.

There are many others that answer the questions posed by the Left far better than I can. But like the old saying goes, You can lead a horse to water…

Consider yourself led. The drinking is up to you.

Posted in War and Terror | Leave a Comment »

Goodbye, Margene…For Now

Posted by Mark on February 2, 2006

I don’t often post personal items here. Liberty Just in Case is a political blog, after all. But the world lost a great woman yesterday, and that loss deserves mention.

I first met Margene in graduate school at Wheaton College. We were both pursuing our Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. She and her husband Tom had come home from missionary work in Greece due to Margene’s ongoing illness. That was 1992. Even then, Margene knew she was dying, knew it in that deep place of certainty.

In that first year of Grad school, we were in group therapy together, and her illness was a frequent topic. I could not understand why she wasn’t angry, why she never showed anything but a deep, abiding peace in the midst of her great suffering. The more at peace she was, the more angry I became. It was not until years later that I came to understand her deep, living faith in Jesus Christ. Even now, fifteen years later, I don’t fully understand how she could have had such peace. But she did. One thing that you cannot do in group therapy is hide your true feelings. Margene never tried to hide her suffering, but she never once used it as an excuse to whine either.

Over the years, Margene became a stabilizing force for my wife and I. She made a recieving blanket for our daughter when she was born in 1993, and another one for our son in 1995. Both still view those blankets as prized possessions, and sleep with them every night. Margene’s daughter would often babysit for us. We hope and pray our daughter can grow up to be the shining light that Margene’s daughter was and is.

Margene and Tom moved to Colorado a few years ago. By that time, Margene had a transplant of multiple organs, all at once. Despite complications, these transplants gave her a few more years of service. Service was Margene’s life. She served others as naturally as breathing, as openly and without regard to self as walking. Toward the end, breathing and walking did not come naturally to Margene. But service did, right up to the end.

I’ve known many Christians over the years. But I’ve never met a person who so embodied the spirit of Servanthood as Margene. I will miss her. But there is no doubt in my mind or heart that I will see her again, fully restored to health. In the words of Paul from 1 Thessalonians Ch. 4:

13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.

Margene was a constant encouragement to all who knew her. She remains so, even though she has “fallen asleep.” When that trumpet sounds, one of the first people I’ll be looking for is my friend Margene.

Posted in War and Terror | Leave a Comment »

A Reply to the Left: Different Worlds

Posted by Mark on February 2, 2006

Gayle, I’m not trying to pick on you with this post. I don’t know you, but do very much appreciate your dropping by Liberty Just in Case. Your comment was well-written, respectful, and presented your thoughts very well. I’m using your comment as an example of the kinds of comments we’ve recieved frequently over the past weeks. Any generalizations that don’t fit you are sincerely unintended.

Gayle’s comment to my post yesterday was well written, sincere, and an excellent example of the thinking of those from the Left side of the aisle. All through her comment, she makes the usual accusations: Bush lied, there isn’t much progress in Iraq, the U.S. military is engaging in systematic torture, and she even managed to throw Haliburton in there, though not by name. She even starts by agreeing that we must have victory, yet accuses the military of “attrocities.”
If this comment had been written 2 years ago, or even 6 months ago, I would have gone through a lengthy defense, answering each charge separately, citing source after source to back up my arguments. But there is simply so much information countering each and every accusation that its not worth the effort. It’s highly unlikely that Gayle will read any of it. If she does, it will be through her ready made filters of “Bush lied, people died.” I’m simply tired of refighting the same battles again and again. There comes a point when we must move on to the future, instead of fighting hopeless rearguard actions against folks who will never be persuaded they are wrong.

It seems we live in different worlds, with closed information loops. The fact that Gayle, and those like her, visit a site like Liberty Just in Case is encouraging. It shows they are willing to get out of their own loops, and at least engage with folks like me and Matt, who support both the Iraqi front, and the wider war on Islamo Fascism. But to go back and refight why we got in to Iraq again and again doesn’t help win the war. I simply won’t do it anymore.

Closed Information Loops produce different worldviews. Lest I be accused of hypocrisy, let me make it clear that I’ve read widely from those who disagree with me. I can give a list of those books as well, if needed. From Richard Clarke and Bob Graham, right up to the current book by James Risen, I’ve read them all. Most recycle through pages and pages the arguments and accusations Gayle put in a few paragraphs. Each has been answered, or, in the case of the Risen book, is in the process of being answered. My experience is that those on the Left seldom read those answers. They prefer to stay trapped in their worldview.

If you are interested, two of the best books that do answer the comments from the Left are listed under Liberty Recommends to the right. Disinformation, by Richard Miniter, takes the accusations that Gayle made in her comment and analyzes each one, from the claims of 100,000 civilian deaths in Iraq, to Haliburton. I would strongly recommend it, before making the kinds of unfounded accusations that filled Gayle’s comment. I would also recommend Imperial Grunts, by Robert Kaplan. The first in a series of books on the U.S. military in this war, he focuses on Special Forces and the Marine Corps. He does NOT focus on Iraq, but on the wider war in which we are engaged.

Also on the reading list would be The Connection, by Stephen Hayes. He details the links between Saddam and terrorism, up to and including links to Mohammed Atta. His frequent columns in The Weekly Standard continue the work begun with the release of The Connection. Here is one of those, on Saddam’s terrorist training camps.

There are many others that answer the questions posed by the Left far better than I can. But like the old saying goes, You can lead a horse to water…

Consider yourself led. The drinking is up to you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Goodbye, Margene…For Now

Posted by Mark on February 2, 2006

I don’t often post personal items here. Liberty Just in Case is a political blog, after all. But the world lost a great woman yesterday, and that loss deserves mention.

I first met Margene in graduate school at Wheaton College. We were both pursuing our Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. She and her husband Tom had come home from missionary work in Greece due to Margene’s ongoing illness. That was 1992. Even then, Margene knew she was dying, knew it in that deep place of certainty.

In that first year of Grad school, we were in group therapy together, and her illness was a frequent topic. I could not understand why she wasn’t angry, why she never showed anything but a deep, abiding peace in the midst of her great suffering. The more at peace she was, the more angry I became. It was not until years later that I came to understand her deep, living faith in Jesus Christ. Even now, fifteen years later, I don’t fully understand how she could have had such peace. But she did. One thing that you cannot do in group therapy is hide your true feelings. Margene never tried to hide her suffering, but she never once used it as an excuse to whine either.

Over the years, Margene became a stabilizing force for my wife and I. She made a recieving blanket for our daughter when she was born in 1993, and another one for our son in 1995. Both still view those blankets as prized possessions, and sleep with them every night. Margene’s daughter would often babysit for us. We hope and pray our daughter can grow up to be the shining light that Margene’s daughter was and is.

Margene and Tom moved to Colorado a few years ago. By that time, Margene had a transplant of multiple organs, all at once. Despite complications, these transplants gave her a few more years of service. Service was Margene’s life. She served others as naturally as breathing, as openly and without regard to self as walking. Toward the end, breathing and walking did not come naturally to Margene. But service did, right up to the end.

I’ve known many Christians over the years. But I’ve never met a person who so embodied the spirit of Servanthood as Margene. I will miss her. But there is no doubt in my mind or heart that I will see her again, fully restored to health. In the words of Paul from 1 Thessalonians Ch. 4:

13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.

Margene was a constant encouragement to all who knew her. She remains so, even though she has “fallen asleep.” When that trumpet sounds, one of the first people I’ll be looking for is my friend Margene.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »