"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, May 30, 2008

Good news over there, bad news up north

National Review has been tying itself up in knots this morning about what Scott McClellan knew, or didn't, and when he knew it, or never did. I've said my piece and I'm fairly confident this story will die ere the weekend is over.

Getting a smaller billing, but of much greater important, are some complimentary pieces of good news concerning operations against al Qaeda, both in Iraq and elsewhere. CIA chief Michael Hayden, who last year warned us about a resurrected al Qaeda, now reports that AQI faces a strategic defeat in Iraq and has been put on the defensive in Saudi Arabia and Pakistani tribal areas. Part of this defeat was self-inflicted - people can only stomach so much suicide bombing and intimidation - and part is the fact that kinetic operations have - who'd have guessed it - take the initative away from the enemy. In other words, going after terrorists and putting a bullet in their brains, while only one component of couterterrorism, is nevertheless crucial; and works. Even AQI has been forced to acknowledge it; perhaps folks removed from the front lines can do so as well.

Back in my birth-land, however, the strange inversion of common sense we've seen lately in things like the kangaroo Human Rights Commissions marches steadily forward; in this case, a university student who's been investigated for providing concrete support to a terrorist organization - in this case, the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka - has been punished by his educational institution with: an entrepeneurial award. Only in a land where a government official can post racist material on a hate website to entrap others and then charge them for it, and opinion journalism can be censored as "hate speech", could this happen.

And among the bottom stories of the day, Susan Sarandon claims she'll move to "Italy or Canada" if John McCain is elected president. I remember similar promises from other pretentious celebrities in the past two elections going unfulfilled. Maybe this time, one will make good on their solemn vow. Who knows, Susan might even enjoy chairing her very own Human Rights Commission.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Uhm, I don't think anyone will argue that kinetic operations cannot be a part of successful counter-terrorism operations. However, the specifics of when and how to deploy said operations is up for legitimate discussion.