In the last 24 hours I have heard some of the craziest things of this entire war.
The Palestinians are complaining about the Israeli security fence on grounds that it perpetuates "racial segregation" — in a way perhaps suicide bombers do not? Or the state-run Palestinian megaphones with their usual "apes and pigs" rants?
At a meeting the other day with some political scientists, I was lectured by some that there was nothing such as jihadism in the comprehensive sense. That is, that Hamas, Hezbollah, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, etc. simply have entirely separate agendas, understandable (i.e., Israel, "occupation" of Arab lands) and particularist grievances, etc. rather than a deeply shared anger at the West that originates from a common sense of lost pride and frustration, brought on by recognition of failure when zeal and religious purity do not restore honor or influence in the age of globalization.
I thought these who advocated such nonsense might at any second suggest that because Mussolini's fascists, Hitler's Nazis, and Tojo's militarists all had quite different agendas, separate racial ideologies, and particular aims in WWII, then, they could hardly be lumped together as the Axis that threatened Western republics and needed a generic anti-fascist response. All during the Vietnam War, we were lectured daily about the intricacies of Vietnamese, Russian, and Chinese Communists — their rivalries, hatreds, and quite separate aims-as they combined to defeat the United States, and trumped their own tensions with an all-encompassing hatred of Western democratic capitalism.
There is also an Alice in Wonderland flavor to the current Democratic response to the Korean and Iranian crises. We talked to the Koreans all during the 1990s as they prepared nuclear materials.
And now are told that we have a catastrophe since we have not recently talked to them. We talked all during the 1990s with Syria — and got nothing. Bill Clinton has always praised Iranian democracy; so, we talked to Tehran too, both stealthily and overtly.
So what is this obsession with talk, talk, talk? It reminds me of all those discredited British empty-headed pacifists and aristocrats who wanted to keep talking to Hitler after the fall of Poland, even after the fall of France, right up to the Battle of Britain.
I note that in the previous thread a commenter has this to say:
I had to check in to see if Dr. Sanity has posted the new column from one of her favorites, Jonah Goldberg. I guess I shouldn't be surprised she hasn't, since what he says here requires common sense and a relationship to reality, not massive ideological wish-fulfilling distortion. In his own words: "The Iraq war was a mistake."
I would note that his particular brand of denial is extraordinary--particularly since Kohut/Kernberg suggests by his alias that he is in the mental health field, and I am always surprised when I witness colleagues displaying the same symptoms as patients (but we are, after all only too human). The following is actually what Jonah Goldberg has to say as he rationally and without the rampant psychological denial that characterizes the political left,looks at the situation in Iraq:
We are in Iraq for good reasons and for reasons that were well-intentioned but wrong. But we are there.
Those who say that it’s not the central front in the war on terror are in a worse state of denial than they think Bush is in. Of course it’s the central front in the war on terror. That it has become so is a valid criticism of Bush, but it’s also strong reason for seeing our Iraqi intervention through. If we pull out precipitously, jihadism will open a franchise in Iraq and gain steam around the world, and the U.S. will be weakened.
Bush’s critics claim that democracy promotion was an afterthought, a convenient rebranding of a war gone sour. I think that’s unfair, but even if true, it wouldn’t mean liberty isn’t at stake. It wouldn’t mean that promoting a liberal society in the heart of the Arab and Muslim world wouldn’t be in our interest and consistent with our ideals. In war, you sometimes end up having to defend ground you wouldn’t have chosen with perfect knowledge beforehand. That’s us in Iraq.
Of course, people like Kohut/Kernberg never get beyond the "mistake" part of any sentence when it comes to Iraq--or Bush for that matter. They stick their heads out of the sand just for a moment so they can say "I told you so!" and then they plant it firmly underground again. Just the other day I had this to say:
Today, there is much to be grim about if you are a person who thinks that the continued appeasement of regimes like North Korea; and the refusal to stand up against Islamic fundamentalism are strategies that are likely to get us many of us killed in the not too distant future.
George Bush started doing what needed to be done in both areas. After decades of appeasement and ostrich-like behavior, he has boldly changed America's stance in dealing with these growing threats. For that he has been excoriated, demonized and unceasingly attacked.
But there is really only one reason to critique Bush, in my opinion. And that is because, while he clearly sees what needs to be done, even he has not had the strength or ability to break out of the politically correct mindset that keeps this country time and again from acting decisively or making difficult choices. At every turn, Bush has pulled his punches, limited American capabiltiy and been conciliatory when strength and determination was called for. He has tried to coax the opposition in this country into taking their heads out of the sand only to be rebuffed again and again. I suspect he has given up and is now willing to let things slide until the end of his term.
And that is precisely what he must not do if he is serious about protecting this country. Yet, it is precisely what the Democrats demand that he do.
Not only has he been rebuffed by the opposition by trying to be conciliatory, his attempts to bring them onboard have only strengthened their psychological denial and made them more ferociously attack him. Democrats are convinced that Bush is the real enemy; hence their only strategy for dealing with the world's problems is to get rid of Bush and all will be well.
Another equally strong leftist meme is that, if we get out of Iraq, then all will be well! This is foolishness beyond measure. As my fellow Sanity Squad member Siggy points out:
The war in Iraq is going badly. Not because we aren’t doing the right thing- clearly, we are. The war in Iraq is going badly because we aren’t saying the right things.
Liberating a nation that was brutalized under the iron jackboot of a tyrant who also funded global terror, was a good thing to do. Attempting to instill a pluralistic democracy in Iraq was a good thing to do, is a good thing to do- for Iraq and for the region.
Having acknowledged that things are going badly, what is the next step? Kohut/Kernberg does not offer a solution because his head is too stuck in the sand. He, along with others are too intent on blaming Bush, to be capable of understanding what is at stake in Iraq. In fact, his thinking remains in the "quagmire" of Vietnam and refuses to take the next logical step: we need to do what is necessary to win.
As Hanson and Goldberg both clearly state, the all-encompassing hatred of the West that lies at the core of the Islamic totalitarian ideology is what we are fighting against; and one of the crucial fronts in this war is in Iraq.
But, Iraq is also a key front on a philosophical war with today's postmodern political left, who seem to share with the Islamists that same all-encompassing hatred of the West and its values. Indeed, they share it with anyone who hates freedom and democracy (check out their attitudes toward Hugo, Fidel or Kim for validation of this, if you like).
For both of those reasons, we must develop a strategy that will "finish the job and not leave a mess"--in other words, to defeat both the barbarians from without who violently threaten Western Civilization and seek a physical return to the Dark Ages; as well as the barbarians from within who seek to undermine and destroy Western Civilization with their smarmy politically correct ideology, whose words and dogmatically righteous platitudes effectively enable and encourage the evil that threatens us.
My position is unequivocally that both ideologies must be defeated by the forces of good in Iraq and everywhere they have taken root.
UPDATE: Let me just say that I am rather sick and tired of clueless idiots like this commenter:
So 64% of America hates freedom now? And our "values" are lying, corruption, cronyism, irresponsibility, and imperialism? Wow.
So I will be perfectly clear. The political left (of which I am certain that "Joseph" is a part) to the extent that they are immersed in the postmodern ideology that denies objective reality and truth are indeed supporting and encouraging the enemies of freedom. Some of them are too lazy to think about the underlying philosophical implications their behavior is based on; the others are deliberately malignant and overtly hate the values this country is founded on. The former are in psychological denial in my opinion; and the latter are not much different from any other totalitarian thugs.
I assume that if a poll was taken that showed a majority (or "64%" or any other number plucked out of the blue) that black was white or right was wrong, that Joseph would cheerfully rally 'round it. Good for him--he gets the "Postmodern Award for Most Relativistic Nonsense".
Here's a novel concept: Let's do what is right and accept the burden and responsibility that goes along with such behavior; and damn the polls--and anyone who needs polls to be their moral compass.
I hope I make myself perfectly clear so that "Joseph" and others don't waste anymore time annoying me with their poll-driven and completely worthless belief systems.
[You may notice from the above that I am rather irritable today as well as extremely busy, so don't mess with me :-)]