Sunday, August 21, 2005

San Francisco vs. The Military

The USS Iowa, which has been an action since World War II, and is one of America's oldest and most celebrated warships, was going to be retired in the San Fran area, so residents could pay homage to the soldiers who fought aboard that ship, and lear some history. The thing is though, San Fran says no. Apparently, because of the War in Iraq, and the military's position on gays, they've shunned the ship:

Courtesy of the Associated Press:

SAN FRANCISCO - The USS Iowa joined in battles from World War II to Korea to the Persian Gulf. It carried President Franklin Roosevelt home from the Teheran conference of allied leaders, and four decades later, suffered one of the nation's most deadly military accidents.

Veterans groups and history buffs had hoped that tourists in San Francisco could walk the same teak decks where sailors dodged Japanese machine-gun fire and fired 16-inch guns that helped win battles across the South Pacific.

Instead, it appears that the retired battleship is headed about 80 miles inland, to Stockton, a gritty agricultural port town on the San Joaquin River and home of California's annual asparagus festival.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a former San Francisco mayor, helped secure $3 million to tow the Iowa from Rhode Island to the Bay Area in 2001 in hopes of making touristy Fisherman's Wharf its new home.

But city supervisors voted 8-3 last month to oppose taking in the ship, citing local opposition to the Iraq war and the military's stance on gays, among other things.

"If I was going to commit any kind of money in recognition of war, then it should be toward peace, given what our war is in Iraq right now," Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said.

Feinstein called it a "very petty decision."

"This isn't the San Francisco that I've known and loved and grew up in and was born in," Feinstein said.

San Francisco's maritime museum already has one military vessel - the USS Pampanito, an attack submarine that sank six Japanese ships during World War II and has about 110,000 visitors a year.

Officials in Stockton couldn't be happier. They've offered a dock on the river, a 90,000-square-foot waterfront building and a parking area, and hope to attract at least 125,000 annual visitors.

After the Korean war, the Iowa was decommissioned and placed in reserve in a Philadelphia shipyard for three decades. In 1984, it was recalled to duty and, four years later, escorted oil supply ships in the Persian Gulf. In 1989, 47 sailors were killed in an explosion that tore through a gun turret during a training exercise.

The warship, decommissioned by the Navy in 1990, is currently anchored with a mothballed fleet in Suisun Bay, near the mouth of the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta.

San Francisco's rejection of such a storied battleship is a slap in the nation's face, said Douglass Wilhoit, head of Stockton's Chamber of Commerce.

"We're lucky our men and women have sacrificed their lives ... to protect our freedom," Wilhoit said. "Wherever you stand on the war in Iraq ... you shouldn't make a decision based on philosophy."

I really can't add any more to that. Sadly, it seems that San Francisco isn't just anti-war, they're anti-military. I hope Sen. Feinstein can fix this, but the fact that this even happened at all is telling.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A Simple Word for James Wolcott

I had planned on writing this snippy post in which I would tell James Wolcott how proud I am to be a Liberal Hawk. You see, he hates liberal hawks. We're traitors, as far as he's concerned. I was going to respond in kind, but I think I'll take the high road...

F__k that.

James Wolcott, you jackanape. You cretin. You're not worth the blog space.

A Few Thoughts on Cindy Sheehan

I just wanted to post a few thoughts that I've had regarding Ms. Sheehan. She lost her son in Iraq. We all must acknowledge that. I feel for her, and understand that she's suffering. I think she's looking for answers, and in her grief has turned to some unsavory characters for support. I don't mean the people who support on principle, I'm talking about the coalition of fringe anti-war groups that have aligned with her. We all know Michael Moore's an opportunist, but as with Lila Lipscomb, we must acknowledge the very real emotions involved.

Honestly, I don't see the harm in Bush meeting with her again. Having her arrested certainly doesn't help amyone involved. I have no ill will towards Cindy Sheehan, but I think her views on the war are wrong. Maybe all she's looking for is a little more than a "I sympathize with your loss" from President Bush. Maybe she's just trying to cope. I don't think allying herself with far-Left anti-war groups helps either, but maybe she reached for moral support, and these groups were the only ones that stepped up. Of course thsee groups have their own agendas, but I fear she may not know who she's hanging with. Or maybve the fact that these are fringe groups doesn't matter to her. They agree with her on Iraq. The rest is irrelevant to her.

I don't like assuming people's intentions, and I always like to give the benefit of the doubt. Cindy Sheehan lost her son. She's hurting. Many groups sympathize with her, and in their own antiwar sentiment blame Bush and his policies, as she does (I think she's dead wrong, but I understand the emotion). Of course some of thsee groups simply oppose America, and for them, Cindy Sheehan is a political tool.

I'll look past them, though. Despite the fact that I support our efforts in Iraq and she doesn't, my heart still goes out to her and her family. Some people may choose to slander this woman. I will have no part in that. Her son is a hero, and I'm sure all sensible people can agree on that.