"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Friday, April 14, 2006

Bombs over Baghdad . . . oops, I mean bombs over Tehran . . . who are we fighting again?

Some would say that George W. Bush is a warmonger and loves to pick a fight, that he wants cheap oil to make his buddies in Texas rich, that he and the Republican Party want to spread American imperialism around the world. Well, when you've got folks like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad around, some of these fights pick themselves.

Mr. Ahmadinejad's probably mightily pissed off right now; I mean, can he get any more blatant in his intentions towards Israel, his desire to attain nuclear material, and his disdain for international relations in general? He's told a member of the United Nations that he wants it wiped off the face of the earth (today adding the comment that Israel is a "dying tree, and soon its branches will be
broken down), and has essentially told the international community to go F-word itself when it comes to limiting nuclear proliferation. All this, and no one takes him seriously. It's hard to make the world tremble at the sound of one's rockets when it believes deep down that you'll never use them. Hitler's Mein Kampf made it very clear what he wanted to do to Jews and his non-Aryan neighbors; but Hitler didn't have cable news at his disposal, and so too few people heard his warnings before the bombs fell. Now another Hitler is screaming from the rooftops, and his words are brought to us by the Internet, CNN, talk radio, and countless other media. And nobody's scared.

Or perhaps they're not scared enough. Or perhaps they're SO scared that they want to dig their heads in the sand and pretend that nothing's going to happen, that 9/11 was an isolated incident and that if they just try to prove they feel the pain of Muslim radicals by chanting in the streets that they hate their own country more than the terrorists who want to destroy it, this will all go away. Boy, "wishful thinking" doesn't even begin to describe a fantasyland like that. And of all the countries or groups who've threatened to destroy America, Iran the one we should take at face value. Why? Because they've been at it for years. I could try to paint a broader historical picture, but fortunately someone's already done that for me (and far more eloquently at that).
Mark Steyn's latest column achieves a brilliance rarely seen in op-ed pages. This is the best description and analysis I've read yet on the threat that Iran posed in the past and continues to pose in the future. Still think Iran's not a bomb waiting to explode after reading it? Then go ahead and put your head back in the sand; hopefully Mr. Ahmadinejad won't turn that sand into glass around you.

In other uplifting news, several retired generals have been highly critical of Donald Rumsfeld of late. I am not going to comment on their opinions or offer my own, as I'm still active service and Mr. Rumsfeld is part of my chain of command. However, I'd warn those who are ready to surrender America to the first insurgent who pops up, that this criticism does NOT suggest that these generals believe the entire war was a mistake, that we shouldn't have gone in there, or that we're doomed to failure. My worst fear is that Cindy Sheehan and MoveOn.org types are going to latch on to these former commanders the way they've latched on to John Murtha and others, using them to suggest that there's some deeper discontent within the military about Bush, Rumsfeld, Iraq, and the concept of war in general. Talk to the
troops. The freak-shows who claim to speak for them couldn't be more out of touch with those they claim to represent. Wanna know what those who've been to Iraq grumble most about? It's not Rumsfeld, Bush, the Republican Party, the invasion as a whole, the invasion in parts, the bombs, the IEDs, or the straw man of "quagmire". It's the fact that the hard work they do, and the progress they've made, has been completely overlooked (or deliberately ignored; I leave the spin to you) by the media and angry radicals whose cry of "no blood for oil" grows more ludicrous by the day as gas prices rise. Put a Howard Dean and a George W in a room together, and give a random group of soldiers the chance to spit on one or the other, and I guarantee you the Dean-type will have a lot of crap to wash off when he goes home.

Lastly: in a couple of weeks a movie entitled United 93 will hit theaters. It chronicles the last moments of that hijacked flight, where the passengers, knowing the fate of the other three flights and the death and destruction already caused, chose to die fighting rather than sit passively and let death take them. Some moviegoers were upset after watching the trailer, claiming that it's "too soon"; but I think it's already been far too long. This country has a short attention span. We must be reminded of the violence done to us that day, because
others lurk in the shadows, willing to repeat it. But we must also be reminded that Americans aren't the type to sit back and let others hurt them, that radical ideologies always lose in the face of American determination. All early accounts say that United 93 is moving and brilliant, that no detail has been overlooked. It'd be wrong to say, "I can't WAIT to see this one!", but I need the reminder. We all do.

1 comment:

Ammianus Marcellinus said...

I'd post some sort of rebuttal on the fact that, rather then deal with the valid criticisms of Rummy proffered by, what is it now, six? former high-ranking officers, you choose to indict the rightfully loony left for being crazy and ignore the generals comments entirely, but I don't think we're on the same page, or even close, at this point.