Larry Elder

"I thought it was OK to be single."

During Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Iraq war critic Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said, "Now the issue is, who pays the price? Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old and my grandchild is too young. You're not going to pay a particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family. So, who pays the price? The American military and their families. And I just want to bring us back to that fact."

"I thought it was OK to not have children," said Rice later, "and I thought you could still make good decisions on behalf of the country if you were single and didn't have children."

Apparently the lack of a family member serving in the military disqualifies one from supporting the war. Let's see, 70 percent of the nation, at one time, supported the war. Did the 70 percent prepare to pay a "personal price" by having a family member or relative in the military? Over 90 percent of our citizens never served in the military, and of those who did, only a fraction saw combat. Does this foreclose them from supporting the war?

The new secretary of defense, Robert Gates, received overwhelming confirmation by the Senate to replace "war-monger" Rumsfeld. Gates, however, recently warned of a pending "calamity" in Iraq if our effort there fails. This only matters, according to Boxer, if you have a family member currently serving.

The CIA also reportedly predicted dire consequences of failing in Iraq. A CIA source, after the agency "war gamed" a defeat in Iraq, said, "When we did the simulation, the ramifications were enormous. . . . [Al Qaeda would say], 'God has given us a second victory over a superpower.' Imagine what defeat in Iraq will do. Al Qaeda picks new targets after it thinks it's won." Of course, this, too, becomes irrelevant unless one family member serves in the military.

President and Commander in Chief Abraham Lincoln had one child who served during the Civil War, but in a non-combat position on Gen. Grant's staff. President Harry Truman, who dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, had a daughter, but she did not serve. President Bill Clinton sent troops to Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo, but his daughter did not serve. President John Kennedy increased the number of advisers in Vietnam and supported that war, but had no children involved.

Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit