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Commentary 04-02-03

NCAA/Academy/War

There is argument in the U-S today about whether the NCAA basketball championships and the Academy Awards should be postponed in light of impending war with Iraq , perhaps beginning in just two hours (or perhaps already underway, we don’t know). The basketball playoffs begin tomorrow; the Oscars are this Sunday. Intending no disrespect for the lives of young Americans that might be lost in the conflict, however short it turns out to be, I believe the answer is “no.”

While basketball certainly does not require a player to put his life on the line; nevertheless, these young men have worked hard for this chance, and they deserve to have it, with no apology necessary. The Olympics were not held during World Wars I and II, but they were held during the Korean “Police Action” and throughout the long Vietnam Conflict. Despite the thousands of American lives sacrificed, these actions were never officially called “Wars.” Perhaps that’s why.

The Oscars began in 1928, and have never been cancelled or postponed through whatever fighting we did, regardless of what it was called. Some have said it isn’t proper for Hollywood to put on the Ritz during a time of war, so they’ve toned things down a bit. Besides, historically our men and women in uniform have wanted news of things like the movies and the Big Dance—it reminds them of what they’re fighting to protect and preserve. I have said before, several times, that if we let terrorists, or the sponsors of terrorism— Iraq fits the official definition of a sponsor—control our lives, or even change our lives, they have won.

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