Old Patriot's Pen

Personal pontifications of an old geezer born 200 years too late.

NOTE The views I express on this site are mine and mine alone. Nothing I say should be construed as being "official" or the views of any group, whether I've been a member of that group or not. The advertisings on this page are from Google, and do not constitute an endorsement on my part.

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Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States

I've been everywhere That was the title of a hit country-and-western song from the late 1950's, originally sung by Hank Snow, and made famous by Johnny Cash. I resemble that! My 26-year career in the Air Force took me to more than sixty nations on five continents - sometimes only for a few minutes, other times for as long as four years at a time. In all that travel, I also managed to find the perfect partner, help rear three children, earn more than 200 hours of college credit, write more than 3000 reports, papers, documents, pamphlets, and even a handful of novels, take about 10,000 photographs, and met a huge crowd of interesting people. I use this weblog and my personal website here to document my life, and discuss my views on subjects I find interesting.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Defending the Republic

There's an excellent article in the WSJ Opinion Journal today by Brendan Miniter. I've never read anything by this person before, but he(?) seems to know how to turn a well-thought phrase. Read it all, then come back - it's worth it.

Being weak is bad: appearing to be weak is worse. People have no respect for a nation that's weak. We cannot allow the Islamofascists to believe we're weak - the next "9/11" may be nuclear or chemical. If we appear weak, we will DEFINITELY have another such incident.

The United States was weak in the 1930's. Germany and Japan took advantage of that fact, along with the apparent weakness of Britain and France, to begin building empires. It took the United States almost three years to build enough strength to begin fighting back. Two years later, both Germany and Japan were conquered.

Today, the United States has an unparalleled military force, capable of deploying anywhere in the world in short notice, to fight against any foe and win. That same military delivered unprecedented humanitarian aid following the horrendous tsunami that devastated large parts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. There is no apparent, or real, military weakness. Yet the Islamofascists take great glee in the apparent POLITICAL weakness expressed by the Democratic Party leadership. The willingness of the United States to continue the fight to the finish will be decided by whether the American people have the stomach for a long war.

The problem of Islamofascism didn't begin in a day. Its roots go back to the establishment of modern Saudi Arabia in 1928. It was nurtured and encouraged by the German NAZI movement, and by "independence movements" throughout Southwest Asia and northern Africa. It's been strengthened by the creation of the state of Israel, and by five defeats at the hands of the Israeli military in the last 60 years. It's backed by Saudi and Iranian oil money, and by the teachings of fanatic Saudi and Iranian religious "leaders".

American inaction in Southwest Asia, dating back to the 1973 Arab/Israeli war and Saudi Arabia's shutdown of oil exports have encouraged our enemies. They were further encouraged by the weak and ineffective Carter administration and the failed hostage rescue attempt at the end of Jimmy Carter's presidency. Nor is it just American weakness: the response of Europe to the 1972 Olympic Village hostage-taking, and dozens of others since then, plus an open immigration policy, have also provided encouragement to those who wish to impose their will upon all of the world.

There can be no compromise with evil. Imposing a religion AND a government upon an unwilling population are both evil, and must be opposed. Yet the United States is currently unable to conduct a worldwide war against that evil. It must pick its battlegrounds carefully, to increase its strengths and nullifying or reducing its weaknesses. Nor can it merely conquer and rule: in order to ensure the evil we face doesn't restart, we must convince the people of those nations we liberate from their religious or secular oppressors that there is a better way to live. That takes time, and energy, and resources. This is going to be a long war - possibly lasting for several generations, much as the Cold War did. The one thing that we CANNOT do is stop fighting it: our only viable option as a nation, and as a free society, is to win the whole war, not just bits and pieces.

Those who oppose the war usually have high ideals, but those ideals do not correlate to the society we're fighting. Those ideals are part of what our enemy hates. Nor is any of our current behavior (or even past behavior) the reason for that hatred. Their hatred is based upon one thing, and one thing only: we aren't like them. We don't worship as they do, we don't believe what they believe, we don't act subservient to them as they believe we should, and we don't accept whatever they do as "legitimate", especially if it's painful or deadly to our citizens.

Those who try to exact "concessions" from the Government, the military, and others to be more "humane" to our enemies are effectively undermining the power the US projected in destroying the Taliban and Saddam Hussein's army. Those who continue to object to the war because it's "unjust" have no concept of what war is about, or why it's necessary. These people refuse to learn the lessons of history. Because of that, they will be forced to repeat them. That's quite often a painful process. Unfortunately for our nation, that pain isn't felt by those most responsible for causing it.

The death and destruction caused by the refusal of the United States Congress to support our ally in Vietnam is a good example: those who opposed the war in the United States felt none of the consequences of that defeat. Only the millions that died, and the other millions who were either enslaved or were killed trying to escape suffered for the arrogance and illogical behavior of the antiwar fringe. The same would be true in Iraq or Afghanistan, which is why those governments wish to establish a long-lasting relationship with the United States, including the stationing of US military forces on their soil. This is THEIR request, not our prodding. They have learned the lessons of history our own left has refused to absorb.

Only a nation willing to defend its freedom against any attacker, who is willing to sacrifice today for peace tomorrow, can continue to live in peace. As George Washington said, "to live in peace, prepare for war". Sometimes preparation isn't enough, and you have to actually engage in war to keep your enemies at bay. Those who "ain't gonna study war no more" usually don't last beyond the next round of empire-building someone who has NOT forsaken war decides to engage in.


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