I’m looking through you, but I’ve been looking through you for 4 1/2 years, and I’m so tired of this
Michael Yon has written a book called Moment of Truth in Iraq: How a New ‘Greatest Generation’ of American Soldiers is Turning Defeat and Disaster into Victory and Hope. It is being promoted at Powerline with a quote from Yon’s publisher explaining how working on the book changed him from Iraq war opponent to supporter. But if you know the Iraq issue, you can see through his false reasoning in a second. The publisher was coming from a Vietnam mindset in which he couldn’t imagine the U.S. military doing anything right. So, when he learned from Yon’s book how much good our men are doing in Iraq, this converted him.
This is a well-meaning but unforgivably thoughtless and transparently fallacious argument that we’ve been hearing for five years. Bush supporters keep saying: “The critics are just looking at the bad side, they’re not considering all the GOOD our forces are accomplishing!” True, our forces are great and they do many great things. Only the anti-American left denies it. But it is IRRELEVANT. The larger point the war supporters miss is that the good our forces have been accomplishing has not changed the essential nature of the problem which is that we have no strategy to win in Iraq and must stay there forever, and all for the purpose of stabilizing a sharia regime that will never be our friend, even as we let the power of Islam keep growing in our own society.
This truly is a nightmare in which year after year, the same off-the-planet statements are advanced as though they clinched the discussion. It’s frighteningly mindless. It is as though the only two options were the left, anti-American position, “I’m against the U.S. military, everything it does is either evil or benighted, and therefore I oppose the war in Iraq” and the “right,” patriotic position, “The U.S. military is great and does great things, THEREFORE we are winning in Iraq and must stay there until we win.” Huh????
This manic paralysis in our national intellect can only end if McCain and his insane neocon cohorts are defeated. That will not make the anti-American left go away, but by removing the neocons from power and discrediting them to some degree, it will introduce the possibility of the anti-American left being opposed by rational conservatives instead of by the Norman Podhoretz sock puppets who are in charge now.
However, as I said to George L. in another discussion this evening, the defeat of McCain is not in our power, and, given the weaknesses of Obama, McCain may well be elected. In which case the madness will go on, the insane sacrifice of young men, hot metal tearing through their bodies killing and maiming them, and all for the “noble” purpose of sustaining a “democratic government” that is part of the enemy we are supposedly fighting. But there will be nothing we can do about it, so we might as well remove our attention from it and focus on more productive pursuits. Of course, there will be other, more threatening issues that we cannot turn away from, such as an accelerated push toward a North American Union, and McCain’s numero uno dream, legalization of all illegals and the opening of the U.S. Mexican border. So there will be no rest from travails under McCain. At the same time, he will not be as outrageously alien and hostile to America as Obama. The election of that radical leftist to the presidency would instantly spark a four-year-long revolutionary crisis, or at least a crisis of legitimacy, in our national life, consuming all political energies. By contrast, a McCain presidency, as odious and depressing as it would be, would allow us more mental space to turn our attention away from the mainstream politics of the moment to creating a new conservatism that will ultimately replace the existing one.
Steven Warshawsky writes:
Perfectly stated, as always. One point I wanted to add is that the very title of Michael Yon’s book should alert readers to the suicidal insanity underlying our policy in Iraq. Notice the prominent use of the word “Hope” in the title of the book. I thought Michael Yon was a hard-bitten war reporter, not a New Age liberal. What does “hope” have to do with fighting wars and defending ourselves against militant Islam? Any strategy based on “hope”—whether for a democratic flowering in the Middle East, for a religious and political reformation of Islam, or for some post-modern utopia in which “there’s nothing to kill or die for” and “the world will live as one”—is a strategy that, if pursued to the end, will result in the self-destruction of the West.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 15, 2008 01:31 AM | Send