from the Congress Action newsletter
by: Kim Weissman
November 4, 2001
In the final analysis, the defense of freedom comes from the barrel of a gun in the hands of a man willing to risk his life on behalf of Liberty.
How many of us have given serous thought to the implications of the war in which our nation is now engaged? We talk glibly about how our nation was changed by the events of September 11, about how our lives will never be the same. Yet too many among us pretend that they can undermine the war effort, or simply not participate, and continue to live their lives in comfort, continuing to enjoy the freedom and bounty that is America, unaffected by whatever the outcome of the war may be. They are profoundly mistaken.
During the decade in which America was Clintonized, we became acclimated to "drive-by-shooting" style warfare — launch a few cruise missiles at a few targets of opportunity, declare victory, and go home. Meanwhile, the problem of terrorism continued to fester while the Clinton administration did worse than nothing. The lack of serious response to prior attacks against us and our inaction when United Nations weapons inspectors were kicked out of Iraq emboldened our enemies into believing that we could be attacked with impunity, because we were not serious about defending freedom, U.S. citizens and interests, or preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. It was on the basis of that sorry record that Clinton recently boasted that he is better qualified than President Bush to conduct this war.
The war against global terrorism is very different from any type of conflict previously fought. Some of the elites in this country are already growing restless because we haven't won yet, even while the ruins of the World Trade Center still smolder. Some in the media are demanding that visible action be taken immediately, such as deporting every alien in sight, or putting masses of ground troops into Afghanistan and seizing some ground (any ground, and for what tactical purpose doesn't matter). These things are immediately needed, it is said by some in the media, to boost morale — their own. Some of them are already blubbering about a "Vietnam quagmire", some act as gullible mouthpieces for enemy propaganda, and one talking head, obviously not having the slightest conception of what is at stake, reacted to a military analyst's prediction that before long we'd be sending forces against Iraq, replied, "I certainly hope not."
During the Clinton presidency, U.S. military forces were severely downsized, because spending on social programs bought more votes than spending on the military. The details will not be repeated here. Fortunately, responsible adults won the last election, and those dangerous trends are being reversed. Armchair strategists — in congress who voted to decimate the military over the past decade, in the media who cheered those votes, in academia who denigrated those who serve in the military — imperiously demand the immediate deployment of the very forces that they previously undermined. Those "strategists" now presume to instruct men who have spent a lifetime studying and training how to wage war — while dodging politically correct salvos from the morally anointed who tried to turn the military into a social service agency and an avenue for gender advancement, ruining the careers of military men they deemed to be too aggressive and replacing them with men who apologize every time a civilian used by the enemy as a human shield is killed — how to properly wage a war. We reap today the idiocy and complacency we have sown over the past decade.
On the home front, to avoid the dread "crime" of racial profiling airline screeners hassle 70 year old grandmothers just as much as 30-something Middle Eastern males. Millions of immigrants, rather than following the time tested and honorable path of assimilating into our culture and adopting democratic values, have been encouraged by multiculturalists to segregate into their own enclaves and retain their own values, encouraged by bilingualists to retain their own languages, and when their children go to school they are taught by America-hating teachers to despise their new country. Children are taught that American history began when Columbus arrived on these shores to commit genocide against peaceful natives, and proceeded up through slavery, oppression, and wanton slaughter of innocents.
Despite all the blather about a new spirit of unity in the country, the usual characters still pursue their usual destructive and divisive agendas. Aircraft hijacked by terrorists with knives are cited as "proof" by leftists that this country needs more gun control laws. Environmentalists demand that we burden our ailing economy with mandates resurrected from the Kyoto global warming accords, and in the midst of a war that could disrupt oil supplies refuse to allow us to pursue our own energy independence. Patricia Ireland was quoted as lamenting that there's been too much talk from white, rich, able-bodied males. Her concern is to make sure that American service women overseas are able to get abortions.
The domestic hate-America crowd, the perennial enemies in our midst, are as vocal as ever. This week a forum was held at the National Press Club in Washington. Center stage was Malik Shabazz, National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party, sporting a dark uniform of vaguely military style, and backed by a phalanx of similarly uniformed aides. Shabazz was joined at the podium by, among others, Imam Mohammed Asi, said to be of the Islamic Center of Washington, spewing anti-American and anti-Semitic hate. The main message of the evening was: "The number one and two terrorists on the face of the earth — the United States and Israel." Shabazz and Asi insisted there was no evidence linking bin Laden to the September 11 attacks, and that "Zionists" were responsible.
According to one expert, virulent hatred of America and "Zionists" is regularly heard in Mosques around the Arab world and is not uncommon among American Muslims and in American Mosques. The Middle East Media and Research Institute provides translations of Arab media, as well as a collection of the sentiments of American Muslims. From their website: An Egyptian Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque of New York City:
An Egyptian columnist wrote,
An article in a Saudi paper,
From the Syrian Arab Writers Association chairman,
Such malignant hatred recalls similar scapegoating that blossomed seven decades ago on the streets of Germany. Adolph Hitler began his career as a street rabble-rouser in his military style uniform, spewing venom and backed by his phalanxes of similarly uniformed Brown Shirts. His beliefs became the official excuse used by the Nazi government in its attempt to murder all Jews, and millions of others, on the road to world conquest.
We are at war, and President Bush has defined victory: "Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated." That will be very difficult to achieve, and there are sure to be demands to end hostilities with the capture or death of bin Laden himself. But unless we believe that the end of bin Laden will mean the end of all terrorism, the war must continue. Many will claim that by ending bin Laden's threat we have done enough, and that we can go back to life pre-September 11. If they are wrong, however, it will be useful to consider the shape of the world if we stop before real victory is achieved. The following is just an overview of possible consequences — there will no doubt be many more, equally unpleasant.
Threats of attacks on our homeland will escalate, wearing us down psychologically, and emergency personnel and military will have to be vastly expanded to respond. Terrorist attacks such as September 11 will continue to take place in our country and against our citizens overseas, civilian and military, and American deaths in the thousands will become routine. Our civil liberties will continue to shrink as we try to root out the threats from within. Civil wars will explode across the Islamic world, and moderate regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan, and the former southern Soviet republics will be overthrown and replaced by fundamentalists in the pattern of the taliban now ruling Afghanistan. A quarter of our oil supply, perhaps as much as 40% if the chaos spreads throughout Africa, will be cut off. The price of everything containing oil products could nearly double, or worse, and western economies will fall into deep and sustained depression, causing some western governments to collapse also. Radicals will gain control over Pakistan's nuclear weapons.
There has been much talk about the Crusades of the Middle Ages, 300 years of bloody war of the West against the East, but we seldom hear about the reciprocal invasions of Europe by Islamic armies, beginning with the Muslim seizure of part of Spain in the first century following the birth of Islam and lasting through the "Reconquista" nearly 800 years later. That is the dream of the radical Islam championed by bin Laden and his followers, and their goal is to overthrow what they see as corrupt modern Islam and spread their version of repressive and violent Islam to every nation on earth. We are in the opening stages of a war, a Holy War to radical Muslims, soon to be using all the modern weapons of war, fighting for the very survival of western civilization.
Despite the self-indulgent egos of the pacifists who prance about American universities, freedom is not preserved by chanting, singing, sign waving, and peace vigils. Despite the over-inflated egos of the media, the defense of freedom does not come from the barrel of a fountain pen. In the final analysis, the defense of freedom comes from the barrel of a gun in the hands of a man willing to risk his life on behalf of Liberty. Those men with guns in their hands may soon be suffering severe hardships in the mountain winter of Afghanistan, hardships that would cause media talkers and college professors, safe in their warm offices and cozy clubs, pontificating to each other in their navel-gazing forums and "teach-ins", to blanch in fear and dismay.
The paramount question facing America today is this — Do we support those men putting their lives on the line? The answer from the American public is a clear, resounding, and overwhelming "Yes!" The answer from elite opinion makers and intellectual popinjays in our society is far less clear. They wheedle and whine, and watch with disdain as other men die to defend their freedom. If their defeatism undermines our national will to triumph, then the massacres of September 11 — essentially jet-fueled napalm attacks intentionally targeted at thousands of civilians — will pale in comparison to future terrorist abominations. If we lose this war there will be no second chance, and the resulting decline of America will mark the swift ascension of tyranny worldwide, including in America.
On September 20, speaking to the world, President Bush said, "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." The time has come to lay down the same marker to America's elite opinion makers, egotistical intellectuals, and domestic America-haters; and for a nation in a war for its very survival to get serious.
4 nov 2001