With a war going on in Iraq and with Iran next door moving steadily toward a nuclear bomb that could change the course of world history in the hands of international terrorists, the question for this year's elections is not whether you or your candidate is a Democrat or a Republican but whether you are serious or frivolous.Since my father was wounded on one of those islands in the Pacific during WWII--one where over 5000 U.S. troops were killed in the space of a few weeks--I happen to believe that Sowell is absolutely on the mark. Pop never once doubted that what he fought for was worth preserving. Nor did he ever want to fob his own responsibility off on future generations.
That question also needs to be asked about the media. In these grim and foreboding times, our media have this year spent incredible amounts of time on a hunting accident involving Vice President Cheney, a bogus claim that the administration revealed Valerie Plame's identity as a C.I.A. "agent" -- actually a desk job in Virginia -- and is now going ballistic over a Congressman who sent raunchy e-mails to Congressional pages.
This is the frivolous media -- and the biased media. Republican Congressman Foley was wrong and is out on his ear. But Democrats in both Congress and the White House have gone far beyond words with a page and an intern. Yet the Democrats did not resign and Bill Clinton's perjury, obstruction of justice, and suborning of perjury by others were treated as if these were irrelevant private matters.
Even when serious issues are addressed, they can be addressed either seriously or frivolously. If you are content to see life and death issues of war and peace addressed with catch phrases like "chicken hawk" or to see a coalition of nations around the world fighting terrorism referred to as "unilateral" U.S. action because France does not go along, then you are content with frivolity.
You may deserve whatever you get if you vote frivolously in this year's election. But surely the next generation, which has no vote, deserves better.
More than twice as many Marines were killed taking one island in the Pacific during World War II than all the Americans killed in the four years of the Iraq war. More Americans were killed in one day during the Civil War.
If we are going to discuss war, the least we can do is be serious.
The reason we can't get serious about this war is because this country now seems to prefer "freedom lite"; meaning that there are many in the MSM and in certain political parties, who have forgotten --if they ever knew--what it means to be free. They want all the perks; they want to get elected; but they don't want the responsibility of making hard decisions and difficult choices.
Our enemies are willing to violently die in the name of their fanatical death cult; --are we, the American people willing to make any sacrifices anymore to preserve our way of life and promote freedom for our children and their children? Or, are we willing to let the 21st century's reincarnation of human evil take root and destroy Western Civilization while we sit around and argue about the number of pages on the head of a pin?
A war cannot be won without cost.
I wrote in an earlier post this counter to all the moral posturing of the left and the Democrats who seem to think that nothing is worth fighting or dying for:
... in order to combat and defeat this new barbarism, we must confront it and be willing to do whatever it takes to defeat it.
If we appease or ignore it, it will continue to menace everything we hold dear; and sooner or later, it will sink us--no matter how moral we are or how much restraint we demonstrate to their provocations. Morality and restraint will not win this conflict. We must be sure in our own hearts and minds of the endurance of our own values in order to do what is necessary.
Our uncertainty is sinking us already. Value by value. Look how willing much of the West was to compromise our freedom of speech in the Danish cartoons (no matter how "offensive" they might be taken) in order to accommodate the enemy's threats. Soon, we will have compromised away all that matters to us; and our civilization will drown, little by little as it is taken over by the barbarians.
If we continue to appease them, we will drown in their ruthlessness and love of death.
The cost of this war will be more than all the lives lost; it will also be for the humanity and civilization we must temporarily abandon to win. I love to read fantasies as much as anyone, but in the real world, the good and virtuous whose cause is just do not always win.
When we are finally cornered and must allow our own barbarism to surface to combat theirs head to head, then we must be prepared to live with the consequences, including the agonizing guilt that will ensue--or everything we hold dear, everything we aspire to become, will forever perish from this earth.
With North Korea's madman thumping his chest and likely supplying our enemies with the weapons they so desire to kill us; with Iran's thugocracy threatening to wipe Israel off the map; with the chaos and death al-Qaeda are joyfully ushering in both in Iraq and Afghanistan--can we please get serious in this country?
Or, we could embrace the frivolity--and suicidal stupidity--of the political left.