Oliver North from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 28 Oct 2016 15:43:16 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Oliver North from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/oliver-north-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north 7d03f379bc4610b429309ec0150c26fb Being Presidential for 05/03/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/05/13/being-presidential Fri, 03 May 2013 00:00:00 -0700 <p>WASHINGTON &mdash; On April 30, 1789, at Federal Hall in New York, George Washington took the oath of office as the first president of the United States. He and the members of both houses of Congress then assembled in the unfinished Senate chamber, where Washington took less than 20 minutes to deliver the first inaugural address. Precisely 225 years later &mdash; at the same time of day &mdash; the 44th president of the United States wandered into the Brady Press Briefing Room in the White House for a surreal 48-minute exchange with members of the media.</p> <p>The difference between those two presidential presentations is stark &mdash; and alarming &mdash; for what was said, what was left unsaid and the manner in which they were conveyed. Observers described Washington's delivery as &quot;humble,&quot; even &quot;anxious.&quot; Some &mdash; noting more than a dozen references to &quot;prayer,&quot; &quot;divine blessing,&quot; &quot;providence,&quot; the &quot;Almighty Being&quot; and the &quot;Great Author of every public and private good&quot; &mdash; said the new president was &quot;reverent.&quot; None of those matches the demeanor of Barack Obama during this week's seance. Instead of invoking the favor of God, our head of state sought to fix blame for his failures.</p> <p>When Washington delivered his address, the most important issue before our legislative branch was the ongoing national debate over the Bill of Rights. He devoted nearly a full page of his eight-page handwritten remarks to &quot;how far an exercise of the occasional power delegated by the Fifth article of the Constitution is rendered expedient at the present juncture.&quot; Rather than attack members of Congress who favored or opposed the first 10 amendments to our new Constitution, Washington pledged his &quot;entire confidence&quot; in their &quot;discernment and pursuit of the public good.&quot;<p>Updated: Fri Feb 06, 2015</p> fac9177cfbf99799ef140ddf9f51ecf4 Aftermath for 04/26/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/04/13/aftermath Fri, 26 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0700 <p>WASHINGTON &mdash; More than 2,500 years ago, Sun Tzu wrote &quot;The Art of War.&quot; In it, the Chinese strategist postulated: &quot;One who knows the enemy and knows himself will not be endangered in a hundred engagements. ... One who knows neither the enemy nor himself will invariably be defeated.&quot;</p> <p>Two millenniums later, Prussian military theorist Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz wrote a detailed exposition on the principles of warfare. His book &quot;On War&quot; &mdash; published after his death in 1831 &mdash; posits, inter alia, that inadequate, incomplete or incorrect intelligence will inevitably contribute to the &quot;fog of war&quot; and lead to &quot;unexpected developments&quot; that can obscure &quot;the objective&quot; in a conflict.</p> <p>Unfortunately for us, our elected and appointed leaders in Washington appear to be completely unfamiliar with those two works. In the aftermath of last week's Boston Marathon terror attack, it is clear that those running our federal government &mdash; cocooned in federal buildings protected by high-tech security, metal detectors, bag searches, mail sensors and armed guards and convoyed to and fro in motorcades of armored limousines &mdash; know neither our enemy nor what we need to do about it. It's not a new phenomenon. It's just getting worse.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 04, 2015</p> 7b9e2fd086bc62727f0b3cdf5df4d3c5 Boston Massacre for 04/19/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/04/13/boston-massacre Fri, 19 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0700 <p>WASHINGTON &mdash; We don't know why two bombs were set near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and wounding more than 170 others Monday, April 15. In an era of instant information, a 24/7 news cycle, ubiquitous social media, countless smartphones and tens of thousands of government security cameras in metropolitan areas, our FBI has called for the public to help find and catch those who carried out this terror attack. That the perpetrators were not immediately identified and taken into custody is apparently frustrating to many of our countrymen. It shouldn't be.</p> <p>Just minutes after the two bombs detonated, images and video of the carnage and rescuers bravely rushing to help grievously injured victims appeared on media outlets and the Internet. Local, state and federal politicians rushed to microphones to pontificate about the event and ensuing investigation. Since then, there has been a virtual tsunami of information, imagery, speculation and opinion about the bombing.</p> <p>Within hours of the catastrophe, journalists and bloggers were claiming that additional bombs had been found and disarmed and that a Saudi national &mdash; supposedly a person of interest in the investigation &mdash; was being interviewed. By 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, amid reports that suspicious packages laced with poisonous ricin had been intercepted in Washington, a host of news agencies were claiming that a suspect in the marathon bombings had been arrested.<p>Updated: Mon Feb 02, 2015</p> 051120281a9b47e326abaa75c8b8d916 Then and Now for 04/12/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/04/13/then-and-now-20278 Fri, 12 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0700 <p>WASHINGTON &mdash; Ten years ago this weekend, our Fox News team was racing north from Baghdad to Tikrit with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. They knew what needed to be done and had a plan for doing it, and all Griff Jenkins and I had to do was cover it and stay out of the way. Given what I'm doing this weekend, covering the war was less demanding, somewhat better-organized and perhaps less dangerous. This weekend, our youngest daughter is getting married.</p> <p>A decade ago, all I had to do was be in the right place at the right time, get good footage during a gunfight, prepare a report, interview some eyewitness participants, hook up our tiny satellite transceiver, dial up Fox News in New York and file our story. Most of the time, it worked flawlessly &mdash; even when Iraqi soldiers surrendered to Griff in the midst of a live broadcast.</p> <p>My life is no longer that simple. Weddings are far more complicated and fraught with peril than going to war with Marines. Even though this is my third round of being father of the bride, I have not mastered what I need to know and repeatedly fail to carry out my basic orders: &quot;Show up. Pay up. Shut up. And smile.&quot; Worst of all, the women I love &mdash; my wife and three daughters &mdash; all agree I'm better at going to war than to a wedding.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 30, 2015</p> 0b264843fabd32cc4c4b2b5241b24e72 Korean Craziness for 04/05/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/04/13/korean-craziness Fri, 05 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0700 <p>WASHINGTON &mdash; On Sunday, June 25, 1950, the Korean People's Army attacked across the 38th parallel, captured Seoul &mdash; capital of the Republic of Korea &mdash; and began driving south. The battered South Korean army and their U.S. military advisers quickly were pushed into the &quot;Pusan Perimeter&quot; on the southern tip of the peninsula &mdash; and U.S. President Harry Truman took the case to the United Nations Security Council.</p> <p>American leadership and the absence of the Soviet ambassador resulted in swift passage of Security Council Resolution 84. The measure &mdash; perhaps the last time in history that the U.N. acted with dispatch &mdash; authorized the use of force against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. During the bloody three-year war that followed, troops from 10 European countries and from 10 others around the world fought beside U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in Korea &mdash; finally securing an armistice July 27, 1953.</p> <p>In the years since, the increasingly isolated patriarchal-Stalinist regime in Pyongyang, North Korea, has raised visceral hatred of the United States to a whole new level while systematically violating the terms of the armistice &mdash; and virtually every other agreement to which it is a party. In short, Pyongyang's past behavior is a prelude to present and future conduct.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 28, 2015</p> d3661ce093bb9d0f0287f7fd5d2a3207 Was It Worth It? (Part 2 of 2) for 03/20/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/03/13/was-it-worth-it-part-2-of-2 Wed, 20 Mar 2013 21:00:00 -0700 <p>WASHINGTON &mdash; It's the question asked by Gold Star families &mdash; the loved ones of our fallen &mdash; when I meet them at funerals or public events. It is spoken quietly by the spouses of grievously wounded soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines when I visit military and veterans hospitals. And it's in the correspondence I receive from parents and friends of those who have left something on the battlefield: &quot;Was it worth it?&quot;</p> <p>A decade ago this week, when Operation Iraqi Freedom began, this wasn't a question posed to our Fox News team. While cameras in Baghdad captured the &quot;shock and awe&quot; of precision-guided missiles and bombs hitting Saddam Hussein's capital, Griff Jenkins and I were embedded with U.S. Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 and a battalion of Royal Marine commandos en route to the Faw Peninsula on the largest night helo-borne assault in history.</p> <p>More than 50 U.S. and British helos took off from the tactical assembly area in Gibraltar and raced for the border at more than 100 knots, just 120 feet above the ground to avoid enemy radar. My night lens, pointed out over the .50-caliber machine gun, caught the blinding flash as the helicopter on our left side went down on the desert floor. There were no survivors. The seven British commandos and four U.S. Marines aboard were the first 11 of 4,804 coalition personnel &mdash; 4,486 of them Americans &mdash; killed during nine years of combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 20, 2013</p> 014e4cc0f935b06c12c94cbaeabbaae0 Operation Iraqi Freedom 10 Years On (Part 1 of 2) for 03/13/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/03/13/operation-iraqi-freedom-10-years-on-part-1-of-2 Wed, 13 Mar 2013 21:00:00 -0700 <p>WASHINGTON &mdash; Some holidays are unforgettable. If I sit down and think about it, I can recall where and with whom I celebrated nearly every Christmas of my life. That's not the case with St. Patrick's Day &mdash; an inexcusable lapse, given my maternal Irish heritage. But wait! There is one St. Paddy's Day that springs instantly to mind. It was exactly a decade ago, and I vividly remember it, for I was being chafed and chided by scores of old friends for how badly I had embarrassed myself &mdash; on live television.</p> <p>It had nothing to do with Guinness stout, green beer or Irish spirits. As our friends in the States prepared for St. Patrick's Day 2003, Griff Jenkins, my Fox News cameraman/field producer, and I were embedded with the &quot;Red Dragons&quot; of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 at Ali Al Salem Air Base in northern Kuwait. There was little of anything colored green in our part of the world. The Marine aviators and Navy corpsmen we were assigned to accompany on the attack across the border into Iraq had even exchanged their green flight suits for desert khaki.</p> <p>Now, as for &quot;the embarrassment&quot; &mdash; still, 10 years later, one of the major hits on my blooper reel.<p>Updated: Wed Mar 13, 2013</p> c4156e9e5a9861a20252e91c56ca4f44 Reassuring Words for 03/08/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/03/13/reassuring-words Fri, 08 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0800 <p>WASHINGTON &mdash; In my New York Times best-seller &quot;Heroes Proved,&quot; the president of the United States orders the execution of an American citizen in the United States by using precision munitions fired from a remotely piloted aircraft, or RPA &mdash; incorrectly referred to by our media as a drone. When the book came out last year, some critics derided the idea of a U.S. president's issuing an executive order to kill Americans in our homeland as &quot;over the top&quot; and &quot;unthinkable.&quot; One even said the idea was &quot;unfathomable.&quot; But thanks to Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., we now know the Obama administration already has contemplated such action. That ought to be troubling to every one of us.</p> <p>On March 6, Paul took to the floor of the U.S. Senate in a 13-hour effort to block the confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director until the administration handed over its &quot;legal, procedural and constitutional justification&quot; for such &quot;extrajudicial executions.&quot; The filibuster failed, and the Senate confirmed Brennan the following day. But the issues of constitutional protections for American citizens and the limits of executive power aren't going away. Nor should they.</p> <p>This isn't about whether it's proper to kill enemy combatants on the battlefield. I have a citation for leading my Marines in &quot;the execution of more than seventy day and night ambushes,&quot; during which scores of enemy soldiers were killed and sometimes captured &mdash; without warning. Using Hellfire missiles or other &quot;precision munitions&quot; fired from Predator or Reaper RPAs on the battlefield is simply a long-distance ambush &mdash; a safer means of killing our nation's enemies and a way to never have to take a prisoner.<p>Updated: Tue Jan 27, 2015</p> 2b4978a6af2b411e36c34e0135039c53 Sequestration and Stupidity for 03/01/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/02/13/sequestration-and-stupidity Fri, 01 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0800 <p>WASHINGTON &mdash; The screeching you hear in Washington is the sound of politicians slamming their mouths into reverse as they back away from their previous positions on the misnamed &quot;budget sequester.&quot; For weeks now, we have been told that an $85 billion reduction in the rate of increase in federal spending &mdash; a 2.4 percent cut &mdash; will have devastating consequences for our nation.</p> <p>According to administration spokesmen and supporters, the sequestration means reduced agricultural inspections and the prospect of tainted food, cuts in childhood immunizations and more ill kids, long delays at airport security checkpoints, air traffic disruptions and dangerous vulnerabilities on our frontiers and ports of entry as U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are furloughed. And of course, fewer police, firemen and park rangers on duty means that lawbreakers are going to run rampant in our communities and that forest fires will threaten us all.</p> <p>Supposedly, we also will have to live with dirtier air and water and the prospect of an environmental catastrophe. Even our weather forecasts &mdash; and warnings about hazardous storms in the midst of an era of &quot;climate change&quot; &mdash; will be adversely affected. In short, just about everything we count on the federal government to do for us is coming to a screeching halt.<p>Updated: Tue Jan 27, 2015</p> 8f31faa5bd5c430c35bfbb10007c64da Tyrannical Twins for 02/22/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/02/13/tyrannical-twins Fri, 22 Feb 2013 00:00:00 -0800 <p>WASHINGTON &mdash; Last year, the Obama administration announced to the world that it was planning to pursue a new Asia/Pacific-oriented national security strategy. Since then, North Korea has countered with a strategy of its own. In December, Pyongyang successfully launched a multistage intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a warhead-sized payload to the U.S. mainland. On Feb. 12, the North Koreans tested an improved-design nuclear weapon.</p> <p>After the test, Pyongyang announced that despite tightened United Nations sanctions that theoretically went into force last month, its latest nuclear test bolstered its defenses against U.S. &quot;hostility.&quot; In a lengthy broadcast on the communist dictatorship's Korean Central News Agency, a government spokesman claimed that countries that abandoned nuclear weapons in response to U.S. pressure have suffered &quot;tragic consequences&quot; and that North Korea's nuclear program is &quot;farsighted.&quot;</p> <p>Libya is the only nation known to have quit an ongoing nuclear program in the past 20 years. Moammar Gadhafi dropped out of the nuclear weapons club after Saddam Hussein was dragged from a spider hole in 2003. A former intelligence official tells me that Pyongyang's reference to &quot;countries&quot; &mdash; plural &mdash; is likely &quot;hyperbolic propaganda, but there is no doubt Gadhafi is dead.&quot;<p>Updated: Tue Jan 27, 2015</p> 38452ba6479324ab80e0d51277d9721a Presidents and Promises for 02/15/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/02/13/presidents-and-promises Fri, 15 Feb 2013 00:00:00 -0800 <p>YORBA LINDA, Calif. &mdash; On Tuesday evening, Feb. 12, a capacity crowd filled a replica of the White House East Room for a presentation at the Nixon Presidential Library &amp; Museum. After that, they stood in line to buy autographed copies of my latest New York Times best-seller, &quot;Heroes Proved.&quot; All of them heard: &quot;Lyndon Johnson sent my brother and me to war in Vietnam. In his first address to our nation as president, Richard Nixon promised to bring us home. We're alive today because he kept his word.&quot;</p> <p>After the event, I listened to a rerun of our current president's addressing the nation. The contrasts between the two men's words &mdash; and their consequences &mdash; could not be more dramatic.</p> <p>Instead of ordering a precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Republic of Vietnam, Nixon initiated a new relationship with America's imperfect ally in Saigon. Despite Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress and blatant hostility in the media, he sought and received backing for a gradual drawdown of U.S. combat forces &mdash; and an accelerated program of recruiting, equipping and training for South Vietnam's military and security services.<p>Updated: Mon Jan 26, 2015</p> 6848d0bd3841247feaf412aa33d3ab43 Send in the Clowns for 02/08/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/02/13/send-in-the-clowns Fri, 08 Feb 2013 00:00:00 -0800 <p>TIBERIAS, Israel &mdash; Atop the Golan Heights, there are thousands of fruit trees, vineyards, acres of wheat, vegetables, herds of cattle and a half-million or more land mines. The livestock and produce were brought here and cultivated by Israeli citizen-soldiers &mdash; people who beat their swords into plowshares to wrest farmland from a battlefield. The land mines were planted by the Syrian army. The Golan plateau is an object lesson for American policymakers who believe that the Israelis need only trade a little more land in exchange for peace. It just isn't so.</p> <p>While we were en route to the Golan plateau, the U.S. Senate confirmed John Kerry as America's new secretary of state. Kerry says &quot;the Mideast peace process&quot; is his &quot;No. 1 priority.&quot; By the time we returned to this ancient city beside the Sea of Galilee, the Senate Armed Services Committee had commenced confirmation hearings on former Sen. Chuck Hagel's fitness to serve as secretary of defense.</p> <p>Watching &quot;news&quot; from the United States in a foreign country is often a surreal experience. My natural default mode when I'm overseas is to defend my country, but the Hagel hearings made this task challenging, to say the least. The Israelis watching the &quot;highlight reel&quot; frequently asked questions such as, &quot;Why would Obama pick a person who hates Jews to be your secretary of defense?&quot; What's the pro-American answer to that?<p>Updated: Mon Jan 26, 2015</p> 43249eae6ff7c2a689296b191569ca13 Surrounded by Enemies for 02/01/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/01/13/surrounded-by-enemies Fri, 01 Feb 2013 00:00:00 -0800 <p>JERUSALEM &mdash; Until Jan. 30, I was working on a story about reaction here in Israel to the Obama administration's decision to provide advanced F-16 aircraft to Egypt. All that changed early Wednesday, when I received a call from an Israeli friend who told me: &quot;Last night, the (Israeli air force) carried out a raid on a weapons convoy in Syria.&quot; He said the trucks were en route to Lebanon, making a &quot;delivery of arms to Hezbollah,&quot; and &quot;all aircraft returned safely.&quot; He then added, &quot;Let's see how long it takes for us to be condemned by the 'friends of terrorists' for protecting ourselves.&quot;</p> <p>Less than two hours after that call, Syria's government-controlled media announced that &quot;Israeli warplanes have violated international law and attacked a scientific research center in the Jamraya district of Damascus province.&quot; The Assad regime's state television claimed that &quot;two innocent civilians were killed, and five were injured&quot; in this &quot;breach of Syrian sovereignty.&quot; European and U.S. news agencies speculated that the target may have been chemical weapons being moved out of the grasp of rebels fighting Bashar Assad's Iranian-supported army.</p> <p>So what really happened? Was the target a research laboratory in Damascus province or a munitions convoy headed for Hezbollah, Iran's proxy in Lebanon?<p>Updated: Mon Jan 26, 2015</p> 6831eadbdf29d19b9795ff49549b6775 Changing the Guard for 01/25/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/01/13/changing-the-guard Fri, 25 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800 <p>WASHINGTON &mdash; The Obama administration is changing the guard. Minutes after the president retook the oath of office, he formally submitted nominations for his new secretary of state, secretary of defense and CIA director. Two days later, remnants of red, white and blue inaugural bunting, bleachers and security fences were still up at the U.S. Capitol and along Pennsylvania Avenue when Congress came back to &quot;work.&quot; Temporary barricades, snow fence, partially disassembled Jumbotrons and hundreds of miles of cables and wires &mdash; the detritus of &quot;the longest inaugural parade in history&quot; &mdash; didn't deter our elected representatives from &quot;investigating&quot; the Sept. 11, 2012, murders of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, and conducting &quot;hard-hitting, fact-finding&quot; confirmation hearings for the new guardians of our national security.</p> <p>Print pundits, talking heads and bloggers lined up to explain how members of relevant committees in our House of Representatives &mdash; and even the Democratic-controlled Senate &mdash; would grill Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and finally get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi. Washington-watchers and other navel gazers predicted that Sen. John Kerry would be tested about his false congressional testimony in 1971, when he accused those of us who served in Vietnam of routinely committing atrocities &mdash; murder, rape, pillage and ravaging South Vietnam &quot;in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan.&quot;</p> <p>Nothing of the sort occurred. The Clinton and Kerry hearings were little more than poorly scripted farce. They produced little in the way of new information &mdash; no plans for making us safer, no fact finding, no apologies and no indication that anyone will be held accountable for incompetence, misfeasance or malfeasance in managing our affairs of state.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 23, 2015</p> a2a9894ca446f0fe0aac693516c52c4d Guns for 01/18/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/01/13/guns Fri, 18 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800 <p>CLARK COUNTY, Nev. &mdash; Official Washington has the collective attention span of a fruit fly. This condition is exacerbated by the Obama administration's proclivity for declaring selective events and issues to be crises that require immediate action. The problem is aggravated because the loyal opposition is in nearly total disarray, and few in the so-called mainstream media have any idea what they are talking about.</p> <p>That's the summary assessment of many attending the annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show here in Harry Reid's Nevada. Note to editors and broadcast producers: The SHOT Show isn't a gun show. Nobody here can buy or sell a single firearm. There are guns here &mdash; and tents, boats, clothing, boots, camping gear, all-terrain vehicles, SUVs, bows, arrows, fishing tackle and all manner of police and equipment &mdash; even high-tech wheelchairs for outdoor activities. The SHOT Show isn't open to the public &mdash; only to representatives of the industries above, professional outfitters, law enforcement officials and military suppliers and contractors.</p> <p>My first SHOT Show, in 1992, was as the manufacturer of specialty armor and ballistic protective equipment for law enforcement and our military. This year, I came to represent the Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee of the National Rifle Association. Freedom Alliance sent our outreach coordinator to explore additional outdoor activities to help America's military heroes recover from the wounds of war.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 23, 2015</p> ec3f761ffeb011e8ebbaea4a12b895ae Revenge of the O-Team for 01/11/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/01/13/revenge-of-the-o-team Fri, 11 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800 <p><i> A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. </i></p> <p></p> <p>WASHINGTON &mdash; Full disclosure right upfront: I'm a proud life member of the National Rifle Association. I am on the NRA's board of directors and serve as chairman of the organization's Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee. I have owned and used firearms most of my life, and I can read. Unlike some in Washington, I don't believe that the 27 words above &mdash; the Second Amendment of our Constitution &mdash; have anything to do with &quot;gun rights.&quot; Guns don't have rights. I do. So do you.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 23, 2015</p> 6b65f8db09fa77983536f8ae424893e8 Kicking the Can for 01/04/2013 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/01/13/kicking-the-can Fri, 04 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800 <p>PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. &mdash; It seemed like a good idea at the time. After Christmas, my wife, Betsy, and I planned to head south to this lovely barrier island in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Our plan included celebrating New Year's quietly with as many of our kids, their kids and our friends as possible and then returning to Virginia. It was supposed to be the antithesis of Times Square. Like so many of the best-laid plans of mice and men, it didn't turn out quite as expected.</p> <p>Only six of our grandchildren made the trek south, because so many of them had this year's version of Spanish influenza, bubonic plague or both. The kickoff for 2013 didn't turn out much better for the rest of our countrymen. The new year is now under way &mdash; and if the next 51 weeks go anything like the first episode, this 13th annum of the 21st century is going to be a doozy.</p> <p>As we kissed off 2012 with a sip of Champagne, the U.S. Congress was in the process of raising our taxes. Politicians from both parties in the House of Representatives and the Senate told us they were making &quot;Bush-era tax cuts permanent&quot; for &quot;99 percent of Americans&quot; while increasing taxes on &quot;the top 1 percent.&quot; Within hours of 2013's beginning, the potentates of pork on the Potomac were congratulating themselves on how they had &quot;taken care of our revenue problem&quot; and saved us from plunging over the &quot;fiscal cliff.&quot; At this point, you should insert the word that farmers use for what comes out of the back end of a male bovine.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 23, 2015</p> 3584fec116979f7f09dccead4a43085e Happy New Year 2013 for 12/28/2012 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/12/12/happy-new-year-2013 Fri, 28 Dec 2012 00:00:00 -0800 <p>WASHINGTON &mdash; It's &quot;Auld Lang Syne&quot; time again. Robert Burns is credited with &quot;collecting&quot; the lyrics for the old Scottish drinking and dancing ballad that's become a traditional part of New Year's festivities. The most memorable verses &mdash; &quot;should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind&quot; and the chorus, &quot;for auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we'll take a cup o' kindness yet for auld lang syne&quot; &mdash; are often described as reminders of &quot;the good old times&quot; amid new beginnings. That's a tough task this year. Saying goodbye to 2012 won't be hard. But looking forward with hope for a better year in 2013 is a real challenge.</p> <p>Peering into a chasm from the edge of the &quot;fiscal cliff&quot; isn't the way most of us wanted to end the first dozen years of the 21st century. We all know it's the nature of government to grow in size, power and expense. But how many of us really expected that the fools in Washington would drown our progeny in a sea of deficits, debt and ever-higher taxes? Nobody I know expected the Internal Revenue Service to become the dominant fixture in our lives.</p> <p>As 2012 began, did anyone anticipate it would become &quot;The Year of the Cover-up&quot;? Who believed the year would end with more emphasis on banning personally owned firearms than deterring our adversaries from acquiring nuclear weapons? Did anyone anticipate that our constitutionally protected freedoms would fall under the purview of the United Nations? A year ago, who among us expected we still would face the prospect of prolonged global recession, radical Islamic chaos in the Middle East, and endless genocide in Syria?<p>Updated: Mon Nov 23, 2015</p> 4363270ecb342664f582fff79995aaae Christmas 2012 for 12/21/2012 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/12/12/christmas-2012 Fri, 21 Dec 2012 00:00:00 -0800 <p>EPHRATA, Pa. &mdash; Five years ago, this annual Christmas column was written while our Fox News &quot;War Stories&quot; team was embedded with the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division south of Baghdad. A year earlier, the Christmas 2006 column was written in Ramadi, Iraq, while we were embedded with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines in what was then the bloodiest place on the planet. In 2005, this column originated with 3d Battalion, 7th Marines and the 2nd Brigade of the 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania National Guard, in Anbar Province. In the days before Christmas that year, we were able to document the first free elections ever held in an Arab country. </p> <p>It's been like that for most of the last 11 years &mdash; ever since the horrific terror attacks of 9/11. In the days before celebrating the birthday of the Prince of Peace, we have been able to keep company with America's heroes. But this year, after being embedded with U.S. special operators and the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines in Afghanistan, we returned home in time for Thanksgiving. Instead of composing this column in an armored vehicle on the way to a dusty outpost in the shadows of the Hindu Kush, I'm doing so aboard a comfortable Premier motor coach en route to a book signing. </p> <p>When I'm overseas with our soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines serving in harm's way, I'm inspired by their extraordinary esprit and demonstrated tenacity in very difficult conditions. Despite their circumstances, the young Americans I have been covering for the last 11 years exhibit an infectious optimism. I've concluded that the confidence of our troops in the field is the consequence of their being brighter, better educated and trained, more physically fit and far more committed to a cause they believe in than their civilian peers here at home. <p>Updated: Mon Nov 23, 2015</p> 9e1f1220e35dc933c82d58e41e84dfba Decision Deficit Disorder for 12/14/2012 https://www.creators.com/read/oliver-north/12/12/decision-deficit-disorder Fri, 14 Dec 2012 00:00:00 -0800 <p>QUANTICO, VA &mdash; Until I joined the Fourth Estate, it was my experience that most soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines usually eschewed contact with members of the media. Regard for the potentates of the press used to be about equal to that of chiggers, ticks, scorpions and fire ants. When I was on active duty, I had an aerosol can of bug spray hand-labeled: &quot;Reporter Repellant.&quot; And if a military person had to co-habit space with any of these assorted insects, the last thing anyone wanted to do was to discuss politics. Things have changed. </p> <p>Shortly before the presidential election, our Fox News team was embedded with U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Though nearly all acknowledged applying for absentee ballots, few of them were able to follow the presidential campaign or the debates, and fewer still had the time or inclination to speculate about what the outcome might be. Now that the issue is decided, they are no longer reticent about expressing their frustrations with the power brokers in Washington.</p> <p>Over the course of the past month, our &quot;Heroes Proved&quot; book tour bus has visited more than two-dozen U.S. military installations and bookstores in nearby communities. It's empirical data, but I estimate that over half of those lining up to buy this book are currently serving military personnel, veterans or their family members. They aren't happy with what's happening in our nation's capital &mdash; or the way it's being covered by the so-called mainstream media. <p>Updated: Mon Nov 23, 2015</p>