US Military Lt. Col. Joe Repya’s “I’m tired” message.

Lt. Col. Joe Repya’s “I’m tired” message expressing disappointment with public support for the U.S. military mission in Iraq.

“I’m Tired”

Two weeks ago, as I was starting my sixth month of duty in Iraq, I was forced to return to the USA for surgery for an injury I sustained prior to my deployment. With luck, I’ll return to Iraq to finish my tour. I left Baghdad and a war that has every indication that we are winning, to return to a demoralized country much like the one I returned to in 1971 after my tour in Vietnam. Maybe it’s because I’ll turn 60 years old in just four months, but I’m tired:

I’m tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican who lack the courage, fortitude, and character to see these difficult tasks through.

I’m tired of the hypocrisy of politicians who want to rewrite history when the going gets tough.

I’m tired of the disingenuous clamor from those that claim they ‘Support the Troops’ by wanting them to ‘Cut and Run’ before victory is achieved.

I’m tired of a mainstream media that can only focus on car bombs and casualty reports because they are too afraid to leave the safety of their hotels to report on the courage and success our brave men and women are having on the battlefield.

I’m tired that so many Americans think you can rebuild a dictatorship into a democracy over night.

I’m tired that so many ignore the bravery of the Iraqi people to go to the voting booth and freely elect a Constitution and soon a permanent Parliament.

I’m tired of the so called ‘Elite Left’ that prolongs this war by giving aid and comfort to our enemy, just as they did during the Vietnam War.

I’m tired of antiwar protesters showing up at the funerals of our fallen soldiers. A family who’s loved ones gave their life in a just and noble cause, only to be cruelly tormented on the funeral day by cowardly
protesters is beyond shameful.

I’m tired that my generation, the Baby Boom-Vietnam generation, have such a weak backbone that they can’t stomach seeing the difficult tasks through to victory.

I’m tired that some are more concerned about the treatment of captives than they are the slaughter and beheading of our citizens and allies. I’m tired that when we find mass graves it is seldom reported by the
press, but mistreat a prisoner and it is front page news.

Mostly, I’m tired that the people of this great nation didn’t learn from history that there is no substitute for Victory.

Sincerely,

Joe Repya,

Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. Army
101st Airborne Division

Repya, who now lives in Eagan, Minnesota, and has played an active role in Minnesota politics for the last decade, announced on 10 April2007 that he would challenge incumbent Ron Carey for election as chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota.

A sad day in American history, Don Imus has been fired.

Rutgers women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer said Friday the team had accepted radio host Don Imus’ apology. She said he deserves a chance to move on but hopes the furor his racist and sexist insult caused will be a catalyst for change.

“We, the Rutgers University Scarlet Knight basketball team, accept — accept — Mr. Imus’ apology, and we are in the process of forgiving,” Stringer read from a team statement a day after the women met personally with Imus and his wife.

“We still find his statements to be unacceptable, and this is an experience that we will never forget,” she said.

The team had just played for the NCAA national championship last week and lost when Imus, on his nationally syndicated radio show, called the players “nappy-headed hos.” The statement outraged listeners and set off a national debate about taste and tolerance. It also led to his firing by CBS on Thursday.

“These comments are indicative of greater ills in our culture,” Stringer said. “It is not just Mr. Imus, and we hope that this will be and serve as a catalyst for change. Let us continue to work hard together to make this world a better place.”

Imus was in the middle of a two-day radio fund raiser for children’s charities when he was dropped by CBS. On Friday, his wife took over the show and also talked about the meeting with the Rutgers players.

“They gave us the opportunity to listen to what they had to say and why they’re hurting and how awful this is,” author Deirdre Imus said.

“He feels awful,” she said of her husband. “He asked them, ‘I want to know the pain I caused, and I want to know how to fix this and change this.'”

Deirdre Imus also said that the Rutgers players have been receiving hate e-mail, and she demanded that it stop. She told listeners “if you must send e-mail, send it to my husband,” not the team.

“I have to say that these women are unbelievably courageous and beautiful women,” she said.

Stringer declined to discuss the hate mail Friday. Rutgers team spokeswoman Stacey Brann said the team had received “two or three e-mails” but had also received “over 600 wonderful e-mails.”

The team’s goal was never to get Imus fired, Stringer said. “It’s sad for anyone to lose their job,” she said.

The cantankerous Imus, once named one of the 25 Most Influential People in America by Time magazine and a member of the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame, was one of radio’s original shock jocks.

His career took flight in the 1970s and with a cocaine- and vodka-fueled outrageous humor. After sobering up, he settled into a mix of highbrow talk about politics and culture, with locker room humor sprinkled in.

Critics have said his remark about the Rutgers women was just the latest in a line of objectionable statements by the ringmaster of a show that mixed high-minded talk about politics and culture with crude, locker-room humor.

Imus apologized on the air late last week and also tried to explain himself before the Rev. Al Sharpton’s radio audience, appearing alternately contrite and combative. But many of his advertisers still bailed in disgust, particularly after the Rutgers women spoke publicly of their hurt.

On Wednesday, a week after the remark, MSNBC said it would no longer televise the show. CBS fired Imus Thursday from the radio show that he has hosted for nearly 30 years.

“He has flourished in a culture that permits a certain level of objectionable expression that hurts and demeans a wide range of people,” CBS Corp. chief executive Leslie Moonves said in a memo to his staff.

Sharpton praised Moonves’ decision Friday and said it was time to change the culture of publicly degrading other people.”I think we’ve got to really used this to really stop this across the board,” he told CBS’s “The Early Show.”

Some Imus fans, however, considered the radio host’s punishment too harsh.

Mike Francesa, whose WFAN sports show with partner Chris Russo is considered a possible successor to “Imus in the Morning,” said he was embarrassed by the company. “I’m embarrassed by their decision. It shows, really, the worst lack of taste I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Losing Imus will be a financial hit to CBS Radio, which also suffered when Howard Stern left for satellite radio. The program earns about $15 million in annual revenue for CBS, which owns Imus’ home radio station WFAN-AM and manages Westwood One, the company that syndicates the show nationally WFAN.

The show’s charity fundraiser had raised more than $1.3 million Thursday before Imus learned he had lost his job. The total had grown Friday to more than $2.3 million for Tomorrows Children’s Fund, CJ Foundation for SIDS and the Imus Ranch, Deirdre Imus said. The annual event has raised more than $40 million since 1990.

Imus’ troubles have also affected his wife, the founder of a medical center that studies links between cancers and environmental hazards whose book “Green This!” came out this week. Her promotional tour was called off “because of the enormous pressure that Deirdre and her family are under,” said Simon & Schuster publicist Victoria Meyer.

The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology in Hackensack, N.J., works to identify and control exposures to environmental hazards that may cause adult and childhood cancers. Imus Ranch in New Mexico invites children who have been ill to spend time on a working cattle ranch.