To make his point, he tells a story: "An army once marched on the great city of Rome. The emperor, fearing for the future of the Roman Empire, sent the Empire's greatest warrior to the camp of the general to negotiate the cessation of hostilities. After several hours with the general, he asked the warrior just how much he loved Rome. Without thinking, the warrior rose and walked to a fire and stuck his right hand in the flames until it was completely burned away. This,' the warrior said is how much all Romans love Rome.' The general, struck with fear, said that if all Romans should have the same spirit as this warrior, he could not afford war with Rome, and so retreated back to his homeland.
"I fear that when questioned of their love for country, many Americans would shy from the flames. It breaks our hearts to see our nation, which was more of a Union on Sept. 12, (2001) fall to such petty bickering. No longer are we (one) out of many, but have fallen from one into many. We on the front lines long to see the white-fisted, purple-faced, raging hatred for our enemies that we saw on the morning of the 12th. We long to see America seeking victory as much as we do"
Sgt. Dobson has another wish beyond the desire to come home and a successful ending to the conflict:
"We need to drop the politics and get back to what really matters: Our nation and its future. The question, therefore, lies in what will leave scars on our national spirit; a war in Iraq, or a war between Americans..."
To the recurring question about patriotism and policy, Sgt. Dobson replies: "I would never presume to call anyone's love for country into question I ask the same of you. Truly our nation's honor is at stake, and we have been given the opportunity to put our hand to the flame. Should we now, in our moment of testing, shy from it? When asked how much we love our country, should we call retreat? No, we stand at a moment of great truth, let us now show our enemies just how much we love America and our way of life. Let us show them our love of country is as great as it ever was."
Pro, or anti-war, you've got to admire Sgt. Dobson and the other virtuous and committed young men and women our military attracts.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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