Hollywood personalities are know for promoting all kinds of causes, especially those that are often provocative and sensational. Sometimes, however, a person from Hollywood will surprise you. Such is the case with Angelina Jolie, the famous and hugely gifted actress.
Yesterday Jolie said that the reinforcement of troops in Iraq has created an opportunity for humanitarian programs to increase assistance for Iraqi refugees. In an op-ed in the Washington Post, titled "A Reason to Stay in Iraq," Jolie detailed the plight of refugees there and says that their conditions have improved since she last visited Iraq in August of 2007. Her first visit was meant to encourage governments to provide more support for the needs of suffering people.
Jolie has served as as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations since 2001. She was back in Baghdad earlier this month to once again underscore the refugee issue.
On this recent visit Jolie had the courage to actually talk with General David Petraeus, the American military commander who is widely praised, except by some Democrats who seem to hope that we will lose in Iraq.
Jolie also visited with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, according to the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. Jolie says "Petraeus told me he would support new efforts to address the humanitarian crisis" as much as possible, "which leaves me hopeful that more progress can be made."
Jolie was then asked the $64,000 question: "Is the troop surge working?" She answered,"I can only state what I witnessed. When I asked the troops if they wanted to go home as soon as possible, they said they miss home but feel invested in Iraq." She added, "They have lost many friends and want to be part of the humanitarian progress they now feel is possible."
Things really are interesting when a Hollywood actress tells the truth about Iraq more clearly than the two candidates of the Democratic Party seeking the presidency. And now, failing to make its case about the war itself, the Democrats in Congress are telling us that the "real" issue is that this war costs too much. (As a portion of our total budget it is a bargain, at least given the options. More than 70% of our federal budget goes to entitlement programs, not to protecting people. Our military budget, so often attacked by Democrats and used by President Clinton to cut into spending hugely for his eight years in office, is actually a very small part of our total national budget.) And Obama now has the audacity, and not of hope but of temerity, to say that he would pull out the troops but then reserve the right to attack al-Qaida as select targets if they are then found inside Iraq. (He is so vague, as he often is, about how he would carry out such a mission.)
I have given Obama every benefit of the doubt on many, many issues. I have defended him for numerous character assassination attempts made on his life and personal faith. But on this point he sounds like he is from another planet frankly. Doesn’t he believe that al-Qaida is in Iraq right now, regardless of where they were when Saddam was still in power?
I speak to friends and parents of loved ones serving in Iraq several times a week. A year ago they openly feared the worst, like most Americans. The reports they got were bleak. Now they speak with hope and optimism. Will we allow an election to drive us away from stabilizing Iraq at just the time that we are succeeding in obvious and measurable ways? In the end, this is why I have no confidence in the left and its ability to understand the real world and the problem of corporate human sin.
This is also why I do not trust most liberals to deal with international issues of this sort. They always believe the best about all the wrong people and the worst about the good people who really want peace through a necessarily strong national defense.
It was not always so. I remember the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman and the presidency of John F. Kennedy personally, all leaders who knew better than most modern Democrats. They never bought into these notions promoted by the modern elites in the present-day party.
It will be more than interesting to hear Democrats trash the present efforts in Iraq over the next eight months while we begin to hear news that things are getting better and better by the day. The public will be forced to make a real choice if they listen to the news and the debates.
I am not a fatalist but I do believe our nation will get the leaders it deserves. Honor and courage have sunk so low on our list of important character traits that I wonder what we will do and who we will become. I am not pessimistic but I do wonder. And I pray.