PORT HUENEME, CALIF. -- This sprawling U.S. Navy Construction Center, 60 miles north of Los Angeles, is "home port" for thousands of "Sea-Bees" who are deployed in the global war on terror. These "warriors who build" with a legendary "can-do" spirit are busy repairing schools and hospitals in Iraq, constructing roads and runways in Afghanistan and helping to forge a safer future in places most Americans can't even pronounce.
Though most of the men and women in the Naval Mobile Construction Battalions are reservists with good private sector jobs, all I have spoken with -- here in the U.S. or overseas -- support the mission we have undertaken in Iraq. Many express the hope that their commander in chief "bats one out of the park" next Tuesday when he addresses the Congress and the nation on the State of the Union. Those sentiments are fairly standard among the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines that I cover for FOX News. Anyone who has doubts need only watch the troops interviewed for our War Stories Special Report, "Inside Iraq: Eyewitness to History." [FOX News Channel, Sunday at 8:00 p.m. EST/PST.]
Unfortunately, the courage and steadfast resolve of those who are serving is unmatched by those they serve. Whether it's polls, pundits or politicians, it's pretty clear that President Bush has his work cut out for him in convincing the American people that we are in a fight that we dare not lose -- and that we really are winning.
The anti-Bush partisan politicians who began howling even before his first inaugural in 2001 have now become a full-blown anti-military movement -- complete with a senior member of Congress advocating that young Americans spurn service in the Armed Forces and urging those in uniform to disobey orders. The potentates of the press have upped the ante as well. For more than two years, the left has made the claim, "We support the troops -- but not their fight." Now there is growing evidence that they support neither.
In Tuesday's Los Angeles Times, liberal columnist Joel Stein confessed, "I don't support the troops … I'm not for the war. And being against the war and saying you support the troops is one of the wussiest (sic) positions the pacifists have ever taken." He continued, "I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea."
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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