Friday, August 04, 2006

The Friday Furo Questus

Questus Furore - The War of Words
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

W.B. Yeats

It seems as though we are in the midst of The Great Unnerving.

Perhaps no better an example of this can be found in the state of Connecticut, where Senator Joeseph Lieberman is engaged in an intense primary race against his virulently anti-war challenger, Ned Lamont. While each candidate is trying to out-liberal the other, bashing on Wal-Mart and arguing over how high to raise the minimum wage, the race really boils down to one issue: Lieberman's support of the decision to invade Iraq in 2003. The movers and shakers of the Democratic Party are about to start a purge; if Lieberman loses, every Democrat who supported the Iraq war is in trouble, from his own side.

Another reflection can be found in the reportage of the Israeli-Hizbollah-Lebanon conflict. Continued demands for negotiated solutions and immediate Israeli cease-fires are given lots of airplay, despite the fact that over fifteen years of diplomacy and concession brought us to thius juncture. While diplomats jawed, Hizbollah built bunkers and bought rockets. And Iran was more than happy to supply the rockets, the training, and even the operators.

Yet another could be found in Congress yesterday, where Democratic senators (led by Sen. Clinton) assailed the Secretary of Defense on Iraq. Missing, of course, were suggestions as to what to do now, as the only proposal the Democrats have been able to come up with since the invasion of Iraq is what they termed a limited pullback - to Okinawa, Japan.

As Rumsfeld reminded the Senate yesterday, the enemy is in this to win. And the enemy is not made up of fools. They are clever, they are cunning, and they are one thing we are not - completely, utterly ruthless.

I'm no strategist, and I am not a visionary. But this is how I see it: We are at a decision point. Now is a time where we can make a decisive inroads against radical Islam at a comparatively low cost, or we can falter and have to face it again in another five years - which will prove much more costly.

And the really scary thing? Our leaders really have nothing to do with it at this point. This decision lies with the American people, not with their leaders. Either we commit to carrying on the war now, or we run home and hide.

Which will be followed by a bloody crashing of the gate no more than five years later. Isolationism was proven to be a fatally flawed foreign policy by 1942; a return to it in 2006 will only bring more war to our shores.

Recommended Reading
Victor Davis Hanson, "The Brink of Madness."
When I used to read about the 1930s — the Italian invasion of Abyssinia, the rise of fascism in Italy, Spain, and Germany, the appeasement in France and Britain, the murderous duplicity of the Soviet Union, and the racist Japanese murdering in China — I never could quite figure out why, during those bleak years, Western Europeans and those in the United States did not speak out and condemn the growing madness, if only to defend the millennia-long promise of Western liberalism.

Michael Ledeen, "The Thirties All Over Again?"
Certainly there is lots of bad news, most of which confirms what we already knew: The Western world hates Israel; the taboo on anti-Semitism is off; the Western world has been P.C.’ed to the edge of death; there is no stomach for fighting the war against Islamic fascism.

Sounds like the Thirties to me.

Jonah Goldberg, "Lose-Lose."
The point here, alas, is that Westerners are suckers. Or, put another way, terrorists aren’t stupid. They understand that images are more important than armies. Heck, that’s why they’re terrorists in the first place...

...Terrorize your enemy and make them feel like villains in the process — that’s a powerful strategy. This strategy depends on the willing support of what Lenin called “useful idiots.” These are the accommodating Westerners — many of them intellectuals — all too willing to take the word of totalitarians and even more eager to believe that the champions of democracy are in the wrong. Some social scientists call these people “French,” but that is too limiting. For there are plenty of them in America, too.

Barbara Lerner, "We're Losing."

Rich Lowry, "Romancing the Totalitarian Temptation."

Thought of the Week
"The first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything."
G. K. Chesterton

Churchill Quote of the Week
"One day President Roosevelt told me that he was asking publicly for suggestions about what the war should be called. I said at once 'The Unnecessary War'."
Sir Winston Churchill


At 11:29 AM, Blogger Reach Upward said...

Sobering, yet accurate.

At 12:38 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

I also think the world has reached a critical decision point...but it's not about radical Islam. This is critical for Israel. If Western support fails, then the Arab world will inevitably move in to destroy them. There is very little remaining to hold back the Anti-semitic storm that is gathering.

I just hope that we hold strong in our support of Israel. Maybe we should even send a message to the rest of the world and send some of our troops to assist.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger The Deseret Spectacle said...

If only through our material support, they could demolish surrounding nations if they wished. Outside of conventional warfare, it still has the deterrent of nuclear weaponry.


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