LeRoy Collins Commentary 265

Commentary #265
11 January 2009


Attached is George W. Bush's swansong to the U.S. Military during his last 10 days as President of the United States. While the economic problems we find in the whole world are becoming so intense that many think President Bush will be remembered as the "Herbert Hoover of the 21st Century", because of his proximity to the current Recession. I have a different view....

Partway through my campaign for the Republican Nomination to the U.S. Senate from Florida in 2006, a radio talk show host in the Tampa Bay market asked me the profoundest question of the campaign, i.e.

"....Mr. Collins, what do you think is the principal function of the U.S. Government?"

The clarity of the question deserved a straightforward answer without equivocation or delay....if I had any thoughtful answer. I did,....and it came from the Preamble of the Constitution I was required to memorize in the 11th Grade American History class of Miss Kathryn Williamson in Leon High School, Tallahassee, the Fall of 1950, i.e.

We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, PROVIDE FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE, promote the general welfare, .........etc.

So my spontaneous response was .....the principal purpose of the U.S. Government is to protect America from foreign intervention/domination. Since on 9/11/01 our country was attacked by Islamic terrorists with the apparent purpose of murdering Americans on a widescale basis, it became apparent this carefully coordinated violation of our country was intended to maximize fear and mayhem among us. President Bush could have made a token response like President Clinton did when he launched a few cruise missiles at a warehouse in Yemen following an attack on U.S.S. Cole during a port visit to Aden. The attack on U.S.S. Cole was just one of several terrorist attacks on U.S. citizens/property which started in 1979 with the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Iran when Jimmy Carter was the U.S. President. Then and all the other attacks until 9/11/01 were lamented officially, but not much more. Certainly the U.S. responses in the interim did not deter any of those which followed.....until 9/11/01.

President George W. Bush had been in office less than one year when he had to deal with the 9/11 attack. He decided to strike back, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan......and no terrorist attack or attempt has been conducted since 9/11. There have been attempts in the interim, but all have been de-fused before any Americans were killed. THAT IS SUCCESS......in your principal responsibility as "protector of the realm".

So while it would appear the President has been ill-served by some of the Regulators he appointed to drive the domestic economy, I predict history will judge him successful in his primary job as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States.

/s/ LeRoy Collins, Jr.

Blue band divider with stars


THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This week, I gave my official farewell speech to the men and women of America's Armed Forces in a ceremony at Fort Myer, Virginia. For the past eight years, I have had no higher honor than serving as the Commander-in-Chief of these brave patriots. And when Laura and I depart for Texas later this month, we will take with us many inspiring memories of the valor that we have seen these brave Americans display time and again.

We saw their valor on September the 11th, 2001, in service members rushing into smoke-filled corridors to save their colleagues at the Pentagon, and in planes patrolling the skies above New York City and Washington D.C.

We saw their valor in the days after that attack, when Americans crowded into recruiting centers across our country, raised their hands to serve, and pledged to defend our people and our freedom.

We saw their valor in the forces who deployed to Afghanistan within weeks of 9/11, closed down the terrorist training camps, and drove the Taliban from power.

We saw their valor in the fearless troops who stormed across the Iraqi desert - and destroyed a regime that threatened America.

We saw their valor in battle-tested warriors who signed up for a second, or third, or fourth tour - and made the troop surge in Iraq that I announced two years ago today one of the great successes in American military history.

America's Armed Forces have liberated more than 50 million people around the world - and made our Nation safer. They have taken the fight to the terrorists abroad so that we have not had to face them here at home. And the world has seen something that almost no one thought possible: More than seven years after September the 11th, there has not been another terrorist attack on American soil.

This is no coincidence. In addition to our military, many other Americans have worked tirelessly to ensure our safety in the years since 9/11. Law enforcement officials have worked to secure our country and remained watchful against future attacks. Intelligence analysts have tracked information that allowed us to disrupt terrorist plots before they reached our shores. And homeland security agents have worked to secure our ports, our borders, and our skies.

We owe a debt of gratitude to all of these patriots. Because of their devotion to service, many Americans live their lives without the fear and uncertainty that they felt in the days just after 9/11. This continued safety has been a blessing - but we must never allow it to foster complacency. America still faces sworn enemies intent on striking our Nation and our people. And we must remain vigilant for as long as that threat remains.

I know that our men and women in uniform have remained vigilant. These Americans answer the call to defend freedom when it is under attack. They put their lives on the line to defend democracy and keep our country safe. And they inspire a Nation with their selflessness and their courage. I am proud to have served as their Commander-in-Chief.

Thank you for listening.

Blue band divider with stars

/s/ LeRoy Collins, Jr.


Back to TOP