March 18, 2007

A Must Read: Four Years In

There are common posts (I write a lot of those at times) and uncommon posts, posts that grab you, make you think and sometimes puts your heart where it needs to be. Such is the most recent from Vanderluen at American Digest.

Four years in. An inch of time. Four years in and the foolish and credulous among us yearn to get out. Their feelings require it. The power of their Holy Gospel of "Imagine" gospel compels them. Their overflowing pools of compassion for the enslavers of women, the killers of homosexuals, the beheaders of reporters, and the incinerators of men and women working quietly at their desks, rise and flood their minds until their eyes flow with false tears while their mouths emit slogans made of cardboard. They believe the world is run on wishes and that they will always have three more.


Four years in to the most gentle war ever fought, a war fought on the cheap at every level, a war fought to avoid civilian harm rather than maximize it. Picnic on the grass at Shiloh. Walk the Western Front. Speak to the smoke of Dresden. Kneel down and peek into the ovens of Auschwitz. Sit on the stones near ground zero at Hiroshima and converse with the shadows singed into the wall. Listen to those ghost whisperers of war.

Four years in and the people of the Perfect World ramble through the avenues of Washington, stamping their feet and holding their breath, having their tantrums, and telling all who cannot avoid listening that "War is bad for children and other living things." They have flowers painted on their cheeks. For emphasis. Just in case you thought that war was good for children and other living things.

There were children and other living things on the planes that flew into the towers. They all went into the fire and the ash just the same. But they, now, are not important. Nor is the message their deaths still send us when we listen. That message is to be silenced. The rising brand new message is "All we are say-ing is give...." And it is always off-key.


Four years in and the fools in the streets multiply. They are tired of the war, but full of themselves.

Read every word, it is important, it is accurate and it is a devastating indictment of the anti-war sufferers of BDS and other leftish maladies.

Posted by GM Roper at March 18, 2007 08:36 PM | TrackBack

Read every word, it is important, it is accurate and it is a devastating indictment of the anti-war sufferers of BDS and other leftish maladies.--GMR

If only.

It is actually, in truth, an indictment of the 'societies' that have produced them. These 'sufferers' will be 'cured' by the march of time, as will we all. Eventually they will be but 'dust in the wind'. Gone and soon forgotten. As if they had never even been.

The real problem is the institutions that created and developed them in the first place. These will still be there to agit-prop the next wave of 'sufferers' into the 'cause'. The structure has to change or nothing else ever will. What the article describes are the obvious symptoms of the problem. Symptoms can be masked or ignored. The problem itself cannot.

The 'world' is now totally dependent upon 'prosperity' continuing forever. People simply assume that it will. There has been constructed a series of 'rights' that has at its base a continuing 'material' advancement. A system of 'values' that depends fundamentally upon the ability of the 'system' to deliver MORE. Many 'issues' are not perceived as 'issues' if there are enough diversions around to cloud the picture. What happens if(when) the system begins to NOT deliver MORE ? When it CAN'T in fact deliver even the SAME ?

Nothing continues 'forever'. Nothing. History teaches us that, even if it teaches nothing else. Here today---- gone tomorrow. Societies observe the same rules as individuals. The time frame is simply different.

Does anyone really believe that the structure the article describes has prepared anyone for the eventuality of the future ? And yet, the 'system' marches on. The real question is ---- to where ?

Posted by dougf at March 19, 2007 09:06 AM

Four years in to the most gentle war ever fought,

Not so sure that I can agree with this but I will say that the sanctions championed by the Clinton administration were no less cruel than Bush's invasion.

Posted by e. nonee moose at March 19, 2007 10:41 AM

Quite an inspired article. As I commented at American Digest...

The article is fundamentally not about Iraq or Bush or even about the "enemy" - it's about us and what we value most, which is revealed in our behavior. It's the world of Fahrenheit 451 playing itself out in real-time, the false prophets vending their wares once again, crying "peace when there is no peace".

We may give allegiance to the fantasies we create about how we wish the world to be, but reality will crash in upon us, sooner or later. Are we living in the time of Louis XIV, Louis XV, or Louis XVI? - place your bet and cast the die - but remember the stakes are our lives and those of our descendants.

Posted by civil truth at March 19, 2007 12:41 PM


Thanks for alerting us to this column. Good stuff.

dougf: No one can really know where we are going and where we shall end, however, in the mean time I think it moral, prudent and common sensical to do the very best we can to make the world a better place while defending our children and grandchildren. When wolves are at the door, do we ponder the meaning of life, or kill the wolves?

Your comments re: a system that promises more is something well worth serious thinking. I believe much of what you've said is correct, however, while we ponder and maybe, just maybe arrive at some answers to that huge question, some others of us need to stay the hands of those who would destroy us all....and thus making your question: moot....and maybe mute.

Posted by Tad at March 19, 2007 04:20 PM

What, no mention of the smart and well informed among us who never bought into the hysterical fearmongering that led so many of you to back this stupid, senseless, wasteful war in the first place?

Posted by jim hitchcock at March 19, 2007 06:20 PM

I'm not reading every word because I don't have time, but I will mention that the Democrats soundly criticized President George H.W. Bush for not taking out Hussein and "finishing the job" in the 1991 Gulf War. What was their exit strategy when they were saying that? They same one as now...and, what is that?

This is typical of the Democrats and the Left from that period. Read it.

We should have toppled Saddam
Once Desert Storm had actually been launched France did not waver.
January 17, 2001

"We knew war could be necessary, but we did not like it," the French Prime Minister of the time Michel Rocard said.

Whatever his country's qualms about fighting, Rocard believes it was vital to demonstrate that the world was ready to use military force to stop belligerent aggression.

His main regret 10 years later is that the Allies did not actually topple Saddam.

"It's a pity that we did not finish the job," he said. "It would have been useful, it would have preserved the future for the Iraqi people, because who is suffering? Not Saddam Hussein... he is still well paid, well nourished. Who suffers? The Iraqi people, alas."

Today, France is still not entirely in step with other Western powers in its attitude towards Saddam's regime.

Its companies participate in Franco-Iraqi trade fairs in open defiance of the international embargo against Iraq, while it has shown itself increasingly reluctant to enforce the "no fly" zones in the north and south of the country.

At the same time, at least one former cabinet minister has said his government was surprised the U.S. unilaterally stopped the war without overthrowing Saddam, and another is of the opinion that it is not too late to think about forcing a change in the regime in Iraq.

I guess they forget their own advice. And, how does what they said then compare to what they say today?

Posted by Woody at March 19, 2007 07:44 PM

moose - "most gentle war ever fought..." means exactly what it says. Nothing in the history of warfare comes remotely close in avoiding collateral damage to civilians and infrastructure - at least from our side. That does not in and of itself justify this war or any war, but refusal to acknowledge the most obvious facts doesn't make them inoperative.

jim, a good rule of thumb in discussion: when someone makes sweeping black-and-white assessments about muddy and complicated events, it's best to not even try and discuss things further.

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at March 19, 2007 10:26 PM

moose - "most gentle war ever fought..." means exactly what it says. Nothing in the history of warfare comes remotely close in avoiding collateral damage to civilians and infrastructure - at least from our side. That does not in and of itself justify this war or any war, but refusal to acknowledge the most obvious facts doesn't make them inoperative.---AVI

Nor actually does it even justify the strategy itself as it turns out. There is an argument to be made that by doggedly tiptoeing around the issue and engaging in the "most gentle war ever fought...", all that we have done is extend its time frame,its overall cost, and brought ourselves to the very brink of DEFEAT. With no appreciable upside unless you count moral preening and pretense as absolute values.

In fact, I think in retrospect that I AM making that precise argument. If that is how we want and intend to fight WARS in the future, I think we might do better to save ourselves the time and expense. Not to mention the lives of the troops we ask to fight under such restrictive conditions. There must be a medium between what the Russians have done in Chechnya, and what the US has done in Iraq. It is critically important to find it ------ Soon.

We (IMO only) won NO HEARTS & MINDS among the Sunnis by not crushing their foolish 'insurgency' mercilessly. Nor did we really advance the cause of 'preserving' Iraq as an entity. There is a reason why Petraeus is there to throw 'Hail-Marys', and it ain't because we were too 'brutal'.

So it seems to me a very complicated and undecided issue whether waging the "most gentle war ever fought..." , was or indeed could ever be a 'good' thing. At first appearance it 'looks' at least to be 'humanitarian' if not very successful, but I have doubts even on that score. I think we forgot the omelet & eggs analogy, and now we have very little but a mess of broken eggs. That WE did not personally break them, is largely irrelevant.

Posted by dougf at March 20, 2007 09:09 AM

I read the article, and was completely disgusted by it. The writer was mouthing the words that the administration used to start the war, and words the Republican hawks used to deny the freedom of speech in rebuttal to this stupidity. Yeah, drag out the "you can't be a patriot and oppose the troops". It isn't opposition to the troops, it's opposition to the war.
The writer also dragged out the old saw of "they'll be back when the cities burn."
What rot!. This writer is ready to support a losing war for generations in order to justify the
stupidity. And finally Vanderleuen seems to think that the destiny of a soldier is to die in battle.
What world is he living in? Give me Patton's "the purpose is to make the other SOB die for his country."
I suspect strongly, that there will never be a time from now to the end of Bush's term when the populace can trust the word of this administration.

Posted by James S Melbert at March 20, 2007 12:45 PM

AVI, who has made such fantastic claims in the past such as:

60 % of Americans are conservative, but the MSM influence knocks it down to 50%;

Condaleeza Rice didn't fib to Congress about "never having imagined planes being used as weapons before 9/11", even though he knows (or should have known) that George Tenet and Richard Clarke briefed her in June of 01 on that very subject;

A military budget larger than the next of the planets industrialized countries combined is "necessary to keep us safe around the world";

...attempts to chastise me about `making black & white assessments about muddy and complicated events'.

Whoo, boy.

Posted by jim hitchcock at March 20, 2007 06:16 PM

jim. a - I stand by it. Evan Thomas of Newsweek inadvertently gave evidence for it just prior to the 2004 elections.

b. No. George Tenet and Richard Clarke briefed her on related subjects. Trying to retrospectively change the meaning of their statements is not accurate.

c. Military budget: You are claiming that the spending is more than we need because it is more than other countries spend. I'm not sure why my store security bill would be dependent on what the other stores on the street are spending. What the criminals are capable of would be the more pertinent question.

d. Even if the above were untrue, nothing you have said answers my original objection.


Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at March 20, 2007 06:45 PM

No link between Iraq and 9/11. Not too mention the fact that it was easy to predict this would go wrong. You can't just run in, get rid of the ruling party and expect things to fall in place.

Posted by Mark at March 22, 2007 10:51 AM

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