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

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Nota Bene: "It is an excellent time for this kind of piece. While the misty details of John Kerry's military service momentarily monopolize the election
debate, Podhoretz steers us back to the opposing camps of accommodation versus containment, American the Ugly versus America the Noble, military assertiveness versus diplomatic compromise, and treaties versus compulsion. (Notice that John Kerry, despite his chest-thumping rhetoric at the Democratic convention, has done some prominent work on the wrong side of this ledger.) Much of Podhoretz's essay defies summary, but it seems worthwhile to cite and describe a couple of its best insights. Perhaps doing so will encourage a few more people to wade into its length to experience its breadth and timeliness for themselves."

"'THE FIRST RUMBLINGS of the current crisis came in the '70s, and over the next three decades the United States did much to give Osama bin Laden the impression that we were "a paper tiger." Podhoretz makes the rounds through a series of terrorist episodes that form a narrative--of murdered diplomats, kidnapped Americans, and attacked American buildings abroad--started by the PLO in the early '70s. Lowlights include the Iranian hostage crisis under Carter, while Reagan (as far as terrorism is concerned) doesn't get off any easier. 1983 was a bad year for us, and a good year for Hezbollah as they killed 63 employees at the U.S. embassy and, later in the year, 241 Marines in Beirut. Bush 41 gets low marks, too, for his reaction to the hijacking of Pan Am 103, in which 270 people died. Clinton's performance was perhaps even more miserable, as the Democratic standard-bearer who was received like a conquering hero this summer at the convention in Boston, did little in response to the '93 bombing of the World Trade Center, the attempted assassination of former president Bush, or the simultaneous bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.'"

"There is much more to the Podhoretz take, and much, much more worth savoring. Go ahead and remind yourself of how we got here."

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Time to read this article and get it out to all your friends. The alternatives are not total war or surrender. The idea is containment, not appeasement. We can win the war of attrition. We learned that during the cold war. Freedom will always outproduce and out gun slavery, whether it is religious or economic or social slavery. The building of real alliances with people who have a desire to resist Islam and who have the military wherewithal to do so [rather than the paper tigers and impotent sad sacks of France, Germany,and Russia]. Nato should go if it does not awaken to the new realities. Emergent nations like Poland and a remilitarized Japan would serve well in this new war. It must be won if we do not want our women behind the veil, our churches closed, and prayers five times a day toward Mecca.

We need to resist all unnecessary curtailment of our liberties as a free people, including whether or not this or that ad can play. Free people can sort out who the fools and liars are if they have the information.
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