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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Thu. 01/20/05 05:36:11 PM

The President of the United States Laughed & Joked — All Smiles! — While US Soldiers Were Dying in Battle Overseas

But he didn't neglect to pray, of course.

Surely you know, Faithful Reader, that Mike Newdow was unsatisfied with his previous 15 minutes of fame and tried (and got) another fifteen by suing to keep the presidential inauguration today from including a prayer.

One must wonder what he, and all the legions of the chattering classes, think of this prayer, recited by the president himself on the radio:

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.
And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:
Almighty God: our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.
They will be sore tried, by night and by day without rest — until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.
For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.
Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters and brothers of brave men overseas — whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a countenance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.
Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.
And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.
And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.

Reciting a prayer — including a claim about fighting to save "our religion", and calling the forces of the enemy "unholy" — wasn't all President Franklin Delano Roosevelt did on D-Day. He also held a press conference, the beginning of which went like this (capitalization & embedded ellipses in original):

THE PRESIDENT: (as members of the White House staff filed in) My goodness! — all smiles — all smiles. Look at these two coming in! (Laughter)
MR. JONATHAN DANIELS: You don't look like you're so solemn yourself, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: No, I'm not so solemn, I suppose.... All right, bring in the "wolves." (Laughter)
MR. EARLY: One hundred and eighty-one of them waiting to come in. (The correspondents came in and sat in a circle around the President's desk)....
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think this is a very happy conference today. Looking at the rows of you coming in, you have the same expressions as the anonymous and silent people this side of the desk who came in just before you — all smiles!
I have very little more news that I can tell you than what you all got in your offices.
I think it's all right to use this, which has not been published yet. It came in a dispatch from Eisenhower on the progress of the operations, as of about 12 o'clock today. The American naval losses were two destroyers and one L.S.T. And the losses incident to the air landing were relatively light — about one percent.
Q. That's the air-borne troops, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, air losses as a whole.
And, of course, there are a great deal of reports coming in all the time, and it's being given out over there just as fast as it possibly can. I think the arrangements seem to be going all right. I think that's all that I have over here. You are getting it just as fast as we are.
Q. Mr. President, how do you feel about the progress of the invasion?
THE PRESIDENT: Up to schedule. And, as the Prime Minister said, "That's a mouthful." (Laughter)....

Just imagine, if you can, what the reaction would be today. Just imagine the howling, spitting vituperation; the screaming, self-righteous condemnation; the feigned, and I do mean feigned, moral outrage. That would be the reaction from the editorial staff at the New York Times, and CBS, and The Nation, and from all their comrades across the country, if President George Walker Bush started out a press conference laughing and joking — all smiles! — while dozens and hundreds and thousands of American soldiers were being killed and wounded in battle overseas.

Just imagine.

But, wait. The assembled reporters clearly joined with the president in laughing and joking — all smiles! — while dozens and hundreds and thousands of American soldiers were being killed and wounded in battle overseas. How could that be?

Perhaps it was because they realized — as their contemporary counterparts either do not realize or will not admit — that advances in a good & necessary cause might well require an enormous sacrifice of lives & limbs. And that, while such sacrifices and sufferings are a cause for grief, yet the advance they may bring about and signify is, indeed, a cause for rejoicing.

P.S. Here's a bit from later in the press conference:

.... And I knew last night, when I was doing that broadcast on Rome, that the troops were actually in the vessels, on the way across....

The president knew — he knew! — during a broadcast the previous night that our troops were already on the way for the invasion. He knew — and he didn't say a word about it. O, the perfidy!

P.S. Thanks to Dust in the Light, JunkYardBlog, In the Red Zone, Galley Slaves,,, Betsy's Page, and The Gantelope.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Thu. 01/20/05 05:36:11 PM
Categorized as Historical & Media & Speeches and Suchlike.


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