Where is Old Fiddler Jones
Who played with life all his ninety years,
Braving the sleet with bared breast,
Drinking, rioting, thinking neither of wife nor kin,
Nor gold, nor love, nor heaven?
Lo! he babbles of the fish-frys of long ago,
Of the horse-races of long ago at Clary's Grove,
Of what Abe Lincoln said
One time at Springfield.
-- Edgar Lee Masters, :The Hill", Spoon River Anthology
Abraham Lincoln, before rising to the Presidency, spoke on the dangers confronting the Republic 150 years ago: "A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF CANNOT STAND" Springfield, Missouri, June 16, 1858. **
"IF we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it. We are now far into the seventh year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to Islamic terrorism. Under the operation of that policy, that Terrorism not only has not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, Islamic Terrorism will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed.
"A house divided against itself can not stand."
I believe this government can not endure permanently half faint-hearted and half resolved. I do not expect America to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect that it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.
Either the opponents of Islamic Terrorism will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall dominate all the nations of the world , old as well as new, West as well as East.
Does the world not tend to the latter condition? Let any one who doubts carefully contemplate that now almost complete legal combination-piece of machinery, so to speak --compounded of the United Nations' doctrine and the policies of the Obama administration and their fellow travelers in Congress.
"There are those who denounce our war openly to their own friends and to their nations, and yet whisper to us softly that President Obama is the aptest instrument there is with which to effect that object.
They wish us to infer all, from the fact that he now has no quarrel with the present United Nations and Islamic Heads of State; and that he has never voted wisely for the security of the United States, if indeed he votes at all. They remind us that he is a great man and that the largest of us are very small ones. Let this be granted.
"But a living dog is better than a dead lion."
Obama, if not a dead lion, for this work, is at least a caged and toothless one.
How can he oppose the advance of Islamic Terrorism? He does not care anything about it. His avowed mission is impressing the "public heart" to care nothing about it.
Our blind and complacent Obama-boosting media thinks Obama's superior talent shining forth from the Oval Office can alone revive other nations' love and respect for America.
Does Obama actually believe a revival of this love and respect is actually approaching? He has said so but, as with other things he has said, with no firm conviction but with doe-eyed sincerity. Does he really think so?
For years he has labored to prove it a sacred obligation of America to place its safety and security under the smothering hands of idle talk and the United Nations. Can he possibly show that it is less a sacred duty for his own nation to defend itself at anytime and by any means if it perceives a threat to its very existence and to millions of American lives?
President Obama holds, as he has repeatedly told us and demonstrated, that a man may rightfully be wiser to-day than he was yesterday -- that he may rightfully change when he finds himself wrong.
But can we, for that reason run ahead, and infer that he will make any particular and specific change, of which he himself has given no intimation or example?
Can we safely base the safety of our cities, our people and the future of our Republic upon any such vague utterances as he may from time to time emit?
Now, as ever, I wish not to misrepresent Obama's positions if I could but know them, question his motives if I could descry them, or do aught that can be personally offensive to him when so much is offensive to him. Whenever, if ever, he and we can come together on principle, so that our cause may have assistance from his great speaking ability and the experience of a few brief years in the Senate I hope to have interposed no adventitious obstacle.
But, clearly, Obama is not now with us -- he does not pretend to be, he does not promise ever to be.
The survival of our nation and our ultimate, if distant, victory in the Terrorist War, then, must be entrusted to, and conducted by, its own undoubted friends -- those whose hands are free, whose hearts are in the work -- who do care for the result.
Beginning in September of 2001, and not of our choosing, all true Americans mustered to this cause and swore to continue until Victory no matter how long that Victory might be delayed.
We did this under the single impulse of resistance to a common danger from an evil and remorseless enemy.
In those dark and grief-filled moments with our thousands of dead yet unburied, with the fires still blazing, with our economy crippled, with every external circumstance against us, of strange, discordant, and even hostile elements, Americans of all varieties gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through, under the constant hot fire of a disciplined, intransigent, and fanatic enemy.
Did we brave all then, to falter now? -- now, when that same enemy is wavering, dissevered, and belligerent!
The result is not doubtful. We shall not fail -- if we stand firm, we shall not fail.
Wise counsels may accelerate, or mistakes, blind ambition, and political cowardice delay it; but, sooner or later, our victory is sure to come.
I confess that I have, with some reservations, altered this document for reasons that I trust have become clear
I have done so because, as in 1858, so 150 years later in 2008 this country faces another harsh test whose shape is still unclear but whose dangers to our nation will come to us over the next decade, as it came to the United States of 1858.
With minor modifications, the parallels that can be drawn are chilling. Hence I am rewriting this speech in the firm belief that Lincoln, if he would not approve, would not, at least, condemn. The evil that Lincoln speaks of is slavery. The evil of our time is Islamic terrorism. They really aren't that different, are they?Posted by Vanderleun at February 12, 2009 3:48 PM