Monday, May 15, 2006


Both ShrinkWrapped and neo-neocon today have written on the subject of blogger burnout.

From ShrinkWrapped, who discusses "Conservative Fatigue Syndrome" we have this disturbing analysis:
The elephant in the room, which too much of our political and media culture seem to have conspired to overlook, is that the war is still in its early stages and we are finishing the easy parts, al Qaeda and Iraq. If we have had so much trouble mobilizing the support for the easy work, how can anyone be confident that we can address the more difficult problems that are facing us? Unless our enemies make the foolish mistake of attacking us again before they are ready to destroy our ability to carry on the fight, I think there is almost no chance that we can preemptively and adequately wage the next phase of this war.

The idea that we will have to struggle to protect ourselves and maintain support for the Military and the Intelligence services to do their job, and ultimately will almost certainly be attacked again, is enough to make anyone disconsolate.
And neo-neocon, with almost exactly the same take, says:
I think Iran is indeed one of the biggest causes of blogger fatigue, combined with our lack of agreement on the seriousness of the problem--if we can't agree on the vicious intent and dangerousness of the Iranian leadership, what can we agree on?

Iran is a topic I've tried to wrap my mind around many times, and still it looms, unresolved and seemingly--perhaps--unresolvable. All approaches seem potentially either catastrophic or ineffectual, or both. So fatigue is an understandable reaction; the mind tends to shut down.

For me, personally, I think I faced something of this way back on 9/11, strangely enough. Not the details, of course; I couldn't possibly have foreseen them. But it came to me that day that we were in something that would be very long and extraordinarily difficult.
When two superb mental health professionals come to identical conclusions (and agree with my own take, for that matter!), you better believe that they are on to something; and it is this:

We have engaged the enemy in Afghanistan and Iraq and despite the continued carping and unrealisitc expectations of perfection on the part of the left, we have decisively won on the battlefield. Al Qaeda is on the run and now their intent has been made clear to the rest of the world. But instead of reacting appropriately and supporting the U.S., the rest of the world remains ambivalent about the danger and seems more likely to try to appease it, instead of deal with it.

On the homefront, the initial will that emerged after 9/11 to deal with this growing threat, has been consistently and relentlessly eroded by a media and a political party that insists on believing that the enemy is the Bush Administration.

Having been successful in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have nonetheless been subjected to continued controversy, recycled over and over again that continually undermines our every action. This has pretty much resulted in limiting the options this administration has for dealing decisively with Iran (and they were pretty limited to begin with).

The conservative blogsphere arose, it seems to me, primarily to counter the recycled controversies and neverending lies and distortions that abound about the war on terror and the Bush Administration in general. It is discouraging that no matter how rational or logical are the spirited defenses that we employ, they seem to have no effect on the sinister side of the blogsphere.

Sadly, those of us who live in the real world can see clearly what the future is going to bring if the current appeasment of islamic fundamentalism continues, encouraged by the left who desires nothing more than to destroy the will of America in waging the war on terror. Like Cassandra, we conservative bloggers have our warnings routinely labelled as "lies" and discounted, minimized and ignored by the very people we are trying to convince. Postmodern rhetoric simply ignores reason and logic and thus cannot be easily deflected by those methods. Much as we would like to ignore it, it's quasi-intellectual persuasiveness represents the easy way to avoid thinking entirely, and provides a justification for emotional recklessness.

Neo-neocon mentions Winston Churchill and I also would like to bring him into this discussion. If we are to avoid this "Cassandra Syndrome" that leads to burnout and fatigue in this war, we must look to someone like Churchill to inspire us at our low points:
I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.

You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs - Victory in spite of all terrors - Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.

Let that be realized. No survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge, the impulse of the ages, that mankind shall move forward toward his goal.

I take up my task in buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. I feel entitled at this juncture, at this time, to claim the aid of all and to say, "Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength."

So, we bloggers must also wage war by doing what we do best--blogging; and fighting this battle the best we can; taking R&R whenever it is needed to keep our spirits high.

Victory at all costs - Victory in spite of all terrors - Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.

UPDATE: Sigmund, Carl and Alfred also have some thoughts on this issue. Note the new digs for SC&A, who have escaped the blogger nightmare and immigrated to WordPress.

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