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Liberals First, Americans Second: San Francisco No Longer Supports the U.S. Military

Liberals often lamented, during the election of 2004, that the presence of war gave a natural advantage to Republicans.  For some unknown reason, most Americans do not trust Liberals to run a war, or treat the military well, or even put America’s international interests above pet social causes.

The anti-war left responded to this belief with a set of standard talking points: Liberals oppose the war, but they support the troops.  They hate the President’s policies, but they respect and honor the military and their sacrifice.

Somebody, however, forgot to send the memo to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which last month stunned veterans groups, local businesses and even Diane Feinstein when it voted 8-3 to banish the USS Iowa from San Francisco Bay.

The historic World War II battleship, namesake of the Iowa class, carried President Roosevelt home from the 1943 Tehran meeting with Stalin and Churchill, fought in the Pacific (including at Truk, the Marshall Islands, and the Battle of the Philippine Sea), was Admiral Halsey’s flagship at the Japanese surrender, and later fought in the Korean War. 

It was destined to become a floating museum at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco –a memorial and tribute to the men that served, fought and died on her in World War II, Korea and afterward.  California Senator Diane Feinstein, a former mayor of San Francisco, had secured the Iowa to add to the tourism revenue of her hometown and had already spent $3,000,000 in Federal funding to have the grand old ship towed from the mothball fleet in Rhode Island, through the Panama Canal, to California.

But the anti-military Government of San Francisco will not accept the ship, because the Supervisors oppose the Iraq war, do not wish to glorify the military and its “machinery of war,” and the manic gay rights movement is mad about the Clinton “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy on homosexuals serving in the military, a policy once hailed as a major gay rights victory.  Also, San Francisco wishes to only build “Peace” monuments –you know, like Ho Chi Minh Park.  

Because of the radical anti-military politics of eight of San Francisco’s Board Members, the city will be denied an attraction, veterans will be denied their memorial, and the men and women serving our country all over the world have been told that San Francisco no longer wishes to support them or their dreaded machines at all. 

Apparently, “anti-war” now includes World War II as well. What’s next?  Does the Board plan on officially removing the sailor from the “Village People?”  Can San Franciscans still sing "In The Navy" without fear of being labeled fascists?

In case anyone might not get the message that the Board does not like America very much, Supervisor Chris Daly clarified things after the vote: “I am sad to say I am not proud of the history of the United States of America since the 1940s,” he remarked.  This statement is, of course, patently dishonest, in that it implies that Daly is proud of America’s History before the 1940’s.  And if the 1940’s are so great, why vote down what was, essentially, a monument to WWII sailors?

San Francisco has made it clear that it no longer desires an association with America’s military.  Would the Board of Supervisors now like to carry this to the next logical step and announce to terrorists and others that they no longer desire the protection of our military?  Can it, in good conscience ask Coast Guard and Navy crews to respond to any potential disaster in the city?  Would the city like to ask that the Federal Base Closure and Realignment Commission spare naval bases in places like Portsmouth, NH (where folks actually like our military and are proud of our history both before and since the 1940’s), and instead close bases in Northern California?

And if the Board’s motivation is tolerance for gays, why refuse to honor the men that defeated the Axis in World War II –and don’t play ignorant, Supervisor Duffy, because I know you’ve seen Cabaret.   Likewise, in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are fighting against men who, should they achieve their stated goal of an Islamist world state, will not simply question the right of homosexuals to celebrate their sexuality in public, or have gay unions declared as equivalent to traditional marriage by government, they will kill gays… in public, in front of children and explain to all that this is what God has in mind for homosexuals.  This is what Al-Qaeda believes.  This is what the Taliban did

One of the anti-Iowa Supervisors, Ross Mirkarimi, himself an Iranian-American, recently introduced a measure condemning the scheduled hanging in Iran of two teenage boys –to be executed by the Islamist state simply for being gay.  Well, guess who is keeping such executions from becoming the norm in Iraq and a dozen other countries right now?  Could it be the U.S. military?  Do you really wish to demoralize it or encourage the Islamists with your petty anti-military grandstanding? 

If, God forbid, San Francisco is ever attacked, the men of the military that rush in will not deny to the city the patriotic loyalty and respect that has been denied to them.  They will save liberal, moderate and conservative alike.  Unlike the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, they will be bigger than their politics.  They will be Americans first.  How little some people deserve their sacrifice.

After hearing of the vote, liberal Senator Feinstein called it a ”very petty decision.”  Adding, ‘‘this isn’t the San Francisco that I’ve known and loved and grew up in and was born in.”

For once Diane Feinstein and I agree.  But the question now is: What are you going to do about it, Sen. Feinstein?  You have immeasurable power in the Democratic Party of San Francisco and could likely unseat these people in the primaries if you tried.  But you won’t.  There is a reason why the earnestness of the left’s patriotism is openly questioned: it is because you tolerate and support blatantly anti-American nuts in your midst.

The USS Iowa will likely end up now in the Town of Stockton, California, a small agricultural port that is overjoyed to host her.  Veterans and other Americans vacationing in Northern California may wish to leave their hearts in Stockton for a while.

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Mr. Johnson, a writer and medical researcher in Cambridge, Mass., is a regular contributor to HUMAN EVENTS. His column generally appears on Tuesdays. Archives and additional material can be found at www.macjohnson.com.

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