WASHINGTON, D.C. -- This week was an object lesson on why I love my job. All I do for FOX News is hang around with heroes. I don't have to cover the shenanigans of the Michael Jacksons or Scott Petersons or Kobe Bryants who attract so much attention from my colleagues. I don't have to traipse around Washington waiting for some political potentate to utter a memorable phrase. And because my "beat" is soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, I can generally avoid getting caught in the crossfire of the curmudgeons who snipe at the commander in chief.
But every once in a while, in an effort to denigrate this administration, someone will say or write something so glaringly wrong about our troops -- and the war against terror they are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq -- that I just can't resist wading into the fray. This week there were two such events. First, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill launched a new book written by Ron Suskind, "The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, The White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill." And second, the Strategic Studies Institute published a 56-page "strategic think piece" by Dr. Jeffrey Record, a professor at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, entitled: "Bounding the Global War on Terrorism."
Mr. O'Neill, who was asked to resign in December 2002, charges, among other things, that President Bush began planning to overthrow Saddam Hussein in the opening days of his administration. Professor Record, a former Democrat staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, claims, inter alia, that the Global War on Terror is not being won and that the "unnecessary" fight in Iraq is "dissipating" U.S. military capabilities. Both men's words are sure to be seen again later this year -- in TV and radio ads run by the Democrat nominee for president. And both men could have chosen the same title for their respective works: Sour Grapes.
Set aside for a moment the extraordinary circumstances that prompt former and current civil servants to savage their commander in chief in the midst of armed conflict. Mr. O'Neill's now discredited assertion about the Bush administration's lust for war is akin to the canard that FDR knew in advance about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor -- and refused to warn the fleet. And Dr. Record's contention that we are somehow failing in the War on Terror because of a "detour" and "distraction" in Iraq simply denies the realities of what was and is happening in Mesopotamia.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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