Flag flap like 'deja Nam' all over again
© 2000

Somewhere between "too often" and "not enough" I remind my son, my dog, my wife, and my audience that "there are consequences to what we do and don't do."

Sure there are exceptions (justice delayed), and the serial abuse of power by agents of evil. However, in the cosmic circle of life and natural need for balance, ultimately, eventually, inevitably, things balance out in the end. If that karma thing is real, Clinton will no doubt be reincarnated as a pimple on the butt of a dung beetle.

Someone a lot smarter and thoughtful than I once observed that Emerson loved the good more than he abhorred evil. Carlyle abhorred evil more than he loved good. The same deep thinker and philosopher also said, "I would rather be able to appreciate things I cannot have than to have things I am not able to appreciate."

It got me. Sure I can appreciate that Rolls Royce Corniche I can never have. Even if I got lucky and caught a windfall, a Corniche isn't reality -- not with a son to put through college. I've seen magnificent art in the Louvre in Paris that is awe inspiring, but "things I cannot have."

There are gifts I do have, and do appreciate, but sadly I know there are those who have been blessed with many of the same gifts who "have things (they are) not able to appreciate." Love, liberty, and freedom are not free and, regrettably, too often accepted as "normal" and taken for granted. When Patrick Henry was speaking at Virginia's Ratification convention in 1788 he said, "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."

I continue to receive considerable e-mail on the story about the prospect of flying the U.S. flag in a subordinate position to the flag of Vietnam. I thought we had done all we could as outlined in my column of last week. However, the resultant spin control requires an additional sitrep (Situation Report):

The Navy reported they were "not aware" of any presidential trip to Vietnam. However, in yesterday's London Times, there is a story about Chelsea Clinton's new "substitute First Lady role." If you make it down to paragraph No. 10 you will read, "Chelsea is expected to represent her father at the Olympic Games in Sydney and will probably accompany him on a trip to Vietnam before the end of his presidency."

A Naval Reserve Officers Association recently sent out a newsletter noting the flag-dipping story "is 100% bull, and the reporter knows it." Well, I am the reporter, and I do not know it. In fact, in the wake of subsequent discussions with my original sources, I remain confident the concerns represented in the first story were true and valid.

In response to the Naval Reserve Officers Association propaganda spin, pubic affairs officer for the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet replied that no one from WND contacted them to ask about the situation before or after the story ran.

CORRECT. I contacted the Navy not CINCPACFLT. I was passed along four contacts until I ended with the Navy News desk. That resulted in the Alan Goldstein "official" response the day after the story broke. I intentionally did not contact CINCPACFLT.

According to the CINCPACFLT public affairs officer, no one seemed to have knowledge of any planned visit by President Clinton to Vietnam, much less on a Navy ship. But then there's the London Times: "Chelsea is expected to represent her father at the Olympic Games in Sydney and will probably accompany him on a trip to Vietnam before the end of his presidency." According to the PAO, it could be that the White House is thinking of such a visit and it leaked, or this story could be some fabrication. Also according to the PAO, "Issue of Vietnam wanting their flag flown at the highest point on the ship (above US flag) has been an issue in discussions, not acceptable to U.S. and no visits to Vietnam are planned anytime soon."

OK, a quick summary:

So, the Navy's "official" position is Metcalf is guilty of creative writing. However, it acknowledges the flag flap controversy "has been an issue in discussions," and, although it hasn't gotten the memo, I am not the Lone Ranger in reporting a potential presidential visit to Vietnam.

I have the greatest respect and affection for all the uniformed services. However, I also realize that like computers they are subject to the tragic flaw of "garbage in, garbage out." I know they have a job to do, and that for some desk jockeys their job is to propagandize, undermine and attempt to discredit what I have written. Have at it guys and gals. Some day in the not too distant future you can send an anonymous thank you for WorldNetDaily having contributed in some small way preempting a potential national disgrace, or for saving some Marine or Sailor from protesting conduct that could have overshadowed the honor, courage and patriotism of Michael New.

Several incredulous readers and listeners have asked "why" would the president even consider discussing such obviously contentious, down-right stupid things? Hey, don't ask me to attempt to justify, qualify or mitigate the thought process of this dollop of pond scum masquerading as a man.

I just received an e-mail from a combat-ready U.S. Marine, "I was being deployed to The Balkans. Before boarding the U.S.S. Monica (LHD-4) Amphibious Assault ship out of San Diego California, I had to go through tight security. After a meticulous X-ray examination of my carry-on bag, I had to remove all metal objects from my uniform and was finally able to pass through the detector without setting off the alarm. 'Just out of curiosity,' I asked the Navy Sailors operating the checkpoint, 'why did you make me go through all that?'"

"We want to be sure you aren't carrying any weapons on board, direct orders from the White House as ordered by the commander in chief, William Jefferson Clinton" he said, as he handed back the Marine's M-16 rifle and ammunition.