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Paul Hayden

A History Lesson for Obama

June 2, 2008

Obama, like most Democrat candidates, knows very little. Gore thought his state elected a "President Knox," although America has never had a "President Knox." Howard Dean thought that the Soviet Union was still around - twelve years after the Soviet Union disintegrated. Kerry spoke of a nonexistent "Pope Pius XXXIII."

It is possible that Barack knows even less than these uninformed candidates. Recently he seemed to think that Afghans spoke Arabic and that the United States had 57 states. On Memorial Day, Obama spoke to an audience of fallen heroes who were very much alive, showing a shocking ignorance of the meaning of Memorial Day, and his uncle's mythical role in liberating Auschwitz.

My wife's father, Paul, could give Barack a valuable lesson in history, in patriotism and in life. Paul knew the exact location Auschwitz (the German name for Osweicim) and he could tell Barack just how many "clicks" it was from Dora or the other camps in Hell where Paul lived for six years. He recalled details perfectly and always thought before he spoke. When Paul was liberated, in Bergen-Belsen, after a cattle car journey across Germany, it was by the British, not the Germans. He never attended college or even finished high school, but he displayed a much greater knowledge about what happened in the world than Obama has shown. Paul always found the facts alone enough for him. There was no need for him to make up facts or to rely upon Leftist ideology instead of real events - what truly happened was all that was needed.

Paul would have known the difference between dead and living soldiers: He had seen, smelled, and touched death enough to know it well. Paul would have known the difference between good soldiers (British and American) and bad soldiers (German.) It was a matter of life and death to millions of people that America and Britain, instead of Germany, won the war. Paul could have told Barack that wars decide grand moral issues and that those who die for the sake of goodness are owed special thanks. Any senator, like Obama's colleague from Illinois, who compared American soldiers to Nazi soldiers, would have earned Paul's undying contempt, because he knew the difference firsthand.

When Paul's long life ended, the notice of his death was placed beside an American flag. Paul loved America. He loved it for being a power willing to deliver people from evil. He loved it for being a place in which people could live in peace and in liberty. He loved it because America, alone it seemed at times, stood beside Israel. He loved it because so many other men who loved it had found their final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery - men who had died at Bastogne, at Omaha Beach, at Anzio, in the skies over Europe, in the ships that crossed the Atlantic, all so that Hitler would lose. These brave and noble men were not, to him, faint images from an irrelevant past: They were vitally important souls whose sacrifices mattered more than any mutterings of slick, ambitious pols.

Paul became the volunteer guardian of a park in New York in the decade before he died. Why? To give something back. Give something back to bad old "God D-n America?" Yes - yes! - and Paul could have told Barack how Reverend Wright is wrong. Paul, who lost every beloved member of his family in the war, Paul, who had done nothing to deserve the nightmare which was the early years of his life, this Paul wanted to give something back to America. In his own words: "I have to pay back the United States something. Also I wish I could go to England and do something because they liberated me from the concentration camp." Direct, clear, moral, true.

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Copyright ©2008 Bruce Walker

Bruce Walker is a long-time conservative writer whose work is published regularly at popular conservative sites such as American Thinker.