The limitations on our war-making are just as often self-imposed. Yes, we defeated the Axis powers in less than four years, but it was at a ghastly cost. To defeat both Japan and Germany, we averaged over 8,000 Americans lost every month of the war - compared to around 50 per month since Sept. 11.
A stronger, far more affluent United States believes it can use less of its power against the terrorists than a much poorer America did against the formidable Japanese and Germans.
World War II, which saw more than 400,000 Americans killed, was not nearly as controversial or frustrating as one that has so far taken less than one-hundredth of that terrible toll.
And after Pearl Harbor, Americans believed they had no margin of error in an elemental war for survival. Today, we are apparently convinced that we can lose ground, whether in Afghanistan or Iraq, and still not lose either the war or our civilization.
It is hard to imagine that during the middle of WWII, when things were going rather badly for the US and its allies, that a "Pacific Study Group" or a "European Study Group" issuing public recommendations for the war in the Pacific or the European front would have been wildly applauded the way the ISG was yesterday by all sorts of folks.
T.F. Boggs, returning from his second tour of duty in Iraq had this to say (hat tip: Power Line) :
The Iraq Survey Group’s findings or rather, recommendations are a joke and could have only come from a group of old people who have been stuck in Washington for too long. The brainpower of the ISG has come up with a new direction for our country and that includes negotiating with countries whose people chant “Death to America” and whose leaders deny the Holocaust and call for Israel to be wiped from the face of the earth. Baker and Hamilton want us to get terrorists supporting countries involved in fighting terrorism!
Talking doesn’t solve anything with a crazed people, bullets do and we need to be given a chance to work our military magic. Like I told a reporter buddy of mine: War sucks but a world run by Islamofacists sucks more.
Meanwhile, those dear, misunderstood Islamofascists must be rolling on the floor of their local mosques howling with laughter (assuming such behavior is permitted), even as they soberly agree that they can be oh so helpful to the poor, bumbling and needy United States.
So, now we come to the betrayal part. The abandonment of Iraq, and the reported secret negotiations with terror groups.
Can complete capitulation in the global war on terror be far behind? About half the population of this country has already pretty much given up--and many of those were outraged at the idea that a war needed to be fought in the first place.
In the distorted reality inhabited by those whose voices unceasingly call for retreat from and surrender to enemies who want to destroy our civilization, all that matters is to make sure the rhetoric is liberally sprinkled with lovely words like "peace", "social justice". In their self-induced psychosis they really believe that all they have to do is "give peace a chance" and regimes like Iran; terrorist groups like Hamas and Al Qaeda; beacons of civilized behavior like Nasrallah and the mullahs will all bow and genuflect before the left's utopian vision.
Ah, but you see, our enemies have a competing and equally compelling (to them) utopian vision that they intend to impose on the world. In their parallel rhetoric, they speak of "Allah's will" and "bringing the peace of Islam" to the world--or else.
Actualy, the two delusions (one from the left and one from the religious right) are very similar and have many shared aspects, almost like a folie a deux. Both extremes know they are "god" because when they pray to that which they worship, they are actually talking to themselves.
As Richard Fernandez points out, the West is losing the information war because the "means of production" of "news" is overwhelmingly in the hands of people who do not see themselves as members of Western Civilization; instead the leftists and quasi-leftists populating the news media see themselves as on a mission to make this world a better place for the poor and down trodden. Unfortunately, they have shown themselves to be spectacularly incapable of separating the lofty rhetoric of their "higher truth" from actual behavior and we are all left at risk because of their "good intentions"
Yes, they mean well. I see plenty of paranoid and delusional patients who "mean well" and who believe their insane behavior will "save the world"; or, at the very least, protect them from the threat their disordered senses perceive.
The problem is that while the political left is fighting windmills and dreaming the impossible dream; and while the Islamofanatic right are tackling the alien Jews who have implanted electrodes in their brains and eat their children; the reality both aare desperately trying to avoid manifests itself nonetheless.
Like the two delusional patients in the movie The Ruling Class who each believe they are the one, true god; at some point they will duke it out to the end.
But in the meantime, the competing utopian visions are content to focus their equally malignant versions of "peace" upon those of us who live in the real world.
As Hanson suggests, it leads to all sorts of disingenuous paradoxes.
UPDATE: From Cox and Forkum: