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A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Tony Blankley: Don't you know there's a war on?: "A French writer living in America has written that 'this war is not a war in the ordinary sense of the word. ...There are two series of conflicts going on at the same time: conflicts (involving military action) and conflicts which are ideological, political, social and economic. The latter transcends boundaries ... The very confusion of the situation has often served as an excuse for recommending a policy of aloofness.' The writer was Raoul de Roussy de Salles. The date of publication was 1942. And the war was World War II. "

The great courage of wartime leaders in 1939-1942 was the understanding that the war against Hitler HAD to be fought. J. E. Hoover, high ranking members of Congress, and others opposed the war. They were good men, able and patriotic, but they did not understand the dire results of allowing Hitler to succeed. Famous men like the Ambassador to England, Joseph Kennedy and heroes like Charles Lindbergh had sympathies for the Nazis and opposed the war. The OSS was founded in 1942 partly because there was a need to have an intelligence agency that would be able to operate apart from the leaking sieve of the FBI and Congress. The CIA replaced the OSS in 1947.

Because America is an open and free country, where people can discuss things freely and elect their officers freely--something the Islamists hate us for, by the way. When America is at war, there are always two wars to fight. The first war is always with ourselves--one we lost in Vietnam, resulting in the slaughter of our friends in the Far East--the other with our armed enemies.

It is a serious thing for America to go to war, because of the political situations in America. Every such decision is fraught with peril for the politician who makes it, and that is the way it ought to be. Another 9/11 type attack on America will surely cost a great many politicians their jobs, but it might also serve to unite the country in the war effort, just as Pearl Harbor did in 1941.

But even another 9/11 attack will not convince the crazies, just as Pearl Harbor did not quiet the nuts, who continued to see conspiracies and traitorous conduct by FDR and Donovon over at the OSS. They could just not believe that the Nazis were evil and that in itself was sufficient reason for the war. They had to assign all sorts of other reasons.

The same thing happened in the cold war. Communism whose base was the old Soviet Union was just as dedicated to the destruction of the United States as Islamists are today. They used many of the same tactics. The war against the evil of communism was also fought on two levels. There were great patriots who saw the evil clearly and fought against it. They had to be destroyed. We now know from the Russian archives that Soviet intelligence planted stories about J. Edgar Hoover, who was as right about the Soviet Union as he had been wrong about Germany. The stories still circulate that he was a cross-dresser with weird sexual tastes, propaganda tales planted by the Soviets. But freedom wins over totalitarianism and despite some spectacular successes--notably the fall of Chiang Kai Chek in China and the Fall of South Vietnam--the US won the war against the Soviets, just as we will win the one against Islamists. The external war against Al Quida and other terrorist organizations will be long and bloody. George Bush may be a political casualty in the war, other political careers will be made and broken on all sides of the internal war, and the American way of life may be severely damaged for years to come, but the alternative to winning the war is unthinkable, just as losing to the Nazis and the thugs in Italy and Japan was unthinkable to both right thinking Republicans and Democrats in 1939.

The only real debate is the same one that took place concerning the Nazis. Everyone knew that Hitler must be stopped; the question was could and should it be done by alliances and diplomacy or was it necessary to take up arms. The answer to that question was clear after Pearl Harbor. 9/11 was not the Islamist Pearl Harbor. That may very well lie sometime in the future, but it will come. There will probably be crazies around who will blame who ever is in office at the time, just as some nuts blame Dubya for 9/11 as their fathers blamed FDR for Pearl Harbor and the John Birch Society blamed Eisenhower for Soviet advances after WWII. Conspiracy theories will always abound just as maggots occupy a dead carcass. It took great Democrats like Harry Truman and John Kennedy and great Republicans like Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan to win these wars and the powerful consensus came together in America as the issue became clear. America is slow and reluctant to commit to all out war, but she is a deadly foe when she finally understand that it must be. Islamists cannot win by terrorist acts in America; those will just serve to bring our people together.

None of the candidates for public office in America desire an Islamist America. They may be selfish and ambitious and unscrupulous, and do put their selfish political interests above the good of the nation, but that is the genius of the American system. One man's ambition trumps the ambition of another and selfishness and arrogance is neutralized as factions compete for public opinion, but most will put their aside their differences when the peril becomes immanent, just as Americans did after 9/11 and Congress voted plenary powers to the President to wage war against Al Quida.

Part of Bush's problem now is that the War on Terror has gone so very well. There have been no more incidents of major import in America since 9/11/2001. The threat does not appear immanent, and we enjoy the luxury of playing the "what if" game, and "I think" game, and "If Bush had done" game.

There is a great difference between this war and the Viet Nam War. There is no political and media establishment in America that supports Al Quida in the way that communism was supported by the educational, media, and political establishments during the Cold War. The narrow fundamentalist convictions of Islamists are offensive to the New Age relativism of modern America and their disregard of human and women's rights are offensive to most Americans. Even many Muslims in America have come to escape the repression in their own countries and will support the War on Terror just as many American Germans fought the Nazis even while they supported some of the ideas of Hitler. They also distrusted the Jews, but they would not have supported gassing them. A nation of immigrants like the United States will always have those whose loyalties are both with the U.S. and with the people in their homelands, but when push come to shove, they will rally behind the US, just as the American-Chinese and American-Japanese did in WWII, Russian and Eastern Europeans against the Soviet Union, and American Germans against Hitler. It is my conviction that most Muslims in America will side with freedom.

America will always be a nation of mixed loyalties, because we are a nation of immigrants. People will sing the songs of their homelands, they will listen to the tales grandma and grandpa tell of the old country. They will bring their prejudices and philosophies and form political and religious blocs. They will distrust their government, especially if the party in power is not to their liking. But they will not want the totalitarianism of the old world established in America, be it religious totalitarianism, economic totalitarianism, or cultural totalitarianism. We love our freedom and people come from all over the world to be here. They come legally and illegally. But they come and freedom is the lodestone that attracts them. They will fight with each other and accuse each other. Old animosities that have existed from time immemorial in the old country will survive, but little by little the edges will be taken off those animosities, to be replaced by new ones. These divisions will be very deep and bitter at times.

But attack this liberty and put it in peril and the American giant will arise. She may be sleepy and sluggish, but she will arise to defend her heritage. It may be a strangely Amercanized heritage with roots in the old country, but freedom will be the leaven that permeates all.

The right to speak freely; the right to worship freely; the right to assemble and engage in peaceful political activity; the right to vote in secret; the right to bring up children according to the old ways; the right to be secure and own and dispose of property; to have my daughters and wife treated with respect and dignity; to be safe in the streets and in my home; to work according to my gifts and abilities in the profession that I choose--these are liberties that every man and woman aspires to, but are out of reach in so much of the world. But this is the light that draws people to America, and if Americans perceive that there is a real threat to those liberties they will rise like a bear robbed of her whelps and tear and destroy.

Americans are a patient and long-suffering people. We will suffer our beard to be tweaked, for we value the lives of our soldiers and will not commit them lightly to war and danger. "Is this war really necessary?" we ask, and we ought to ask it. Those who lead us into war must make their case, for we never win the external war if we do not win the interior one. It is usually our enemies who make the case for us, as the Japanese did at Pearl Harbor, and Al Quida did on 9/11. Howard Dean has misjudged the temper of the American people and it looks as if he has paid a price for it. Senator Kerry needs to pay attention, if he would be President. America is more concerned about her safety from terrorism that she is about dreams of United Nations pseudo-legalities. While the UN coddled dictators in the name of non-judgmental tolerance, they were teaching their people "Death to America" and "Death to Israel." What did the UN do beside pass resolutions that the old world corrupt governments did not find in their interests to enforce.

"Do we just talk and talk forever?" That question must be answered. Bush answered the question one way. If Kerry would be president he must show that his answer is the better one. He has not done that yet. But he should remember that we are the nation of Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, John Elway, the atomic bomb and Clint Eastwood. We don't like to talk on and on. We take the home run, the slam dunk, the Hail Mary, and the big boom any day of the year. We do not issue the challenges, but we look on threats as an opportunity for us to have a good day. I am not sure that a liberal from Massachusetts understands that.
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