Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Starting a useful conversation

By Aussiegirl

Well, it looks like my post entitled Whistling past the graveyard of history has engendered a lot of animated discussion, including two opposing responses from the writers at the estimable American Thinker.

First Greg Richards, in a piece entitled Slow down, Aussiegirl, counseled optimism and reassured us that we are winning on all fronts.

In today's edition, Dennis Sevakis has a different position regarding President Bush's capitulation on the matter of applying the Geneva Accords to all detainees, and references my article as one he reluctantly agrees with.

Let me also thank everyone who commented on the piece and contributed their thoughts and opinions, both pro and con. So far I can say that the response I have received, both in online comments and in my emails, has been overwhelmingly in support of my position. Many people wrote to express their relief that someone had finally given voice to their own feelings and opinions of what they see happening with our great country. Everyone I heard from was a patriotic American, who desperately wants to see our country succeed and emerge victorious in the coming times, when dangers seem to be gathering on many fronts at once. No one wants to see our president fail. But many are discomfited by the signs of appeasement or loss of resolve they are beginning to detect in many administration policies. Be sure to read the Ralph Peters column from the New York Post. He can hardly be accused of being a chicken-little, carping critic of the administration.

I'll make just a few comments regarding some of Mr. Richards very civil, yet in my opinion, flawed reasoning.

Mr. Richards reassures us that Iran is still years away from getting a nuke. Considering the faulty nature of our intelligence in the past concerning matters of this kind, especially in a society as closed to human-intelligence as Iran, one cannot blithely rely too heavily on such comforting news. And even if it were true -- are we to wait for them to develop a fully-operational nuclear delivery capacity before we act? Surely the time to act is now, and not later when the stakes will be much higher. We must remember that Libya recently gave up its nuclear program and WMD, which was good, but what wasn't good is that the very fact that Qadafi even had a nuclear program was a complete surprise to our intelligence services.

On the subject of Russia and China he says that we have the ultimate deterrent, a full-scale conventional strike capability should they actually appear to be putting a nuke on a missile. While in theory this is true, our deterrent is only as credible as our enemy's willingness to believe that we would actually use it. Remember it was China that called the U.S. a paper tiger. By demonstrating that the United States will stand by and offer more talks even while North Korea shoots long-range missiles aimed at Hawaii, Kim Jong-il feels that he has neutralized that threat. The same holds true for Iran. And the Islamists of this world are very keen to smell the slightest hint of weakness and to pounce when they see the opportunity. This is what happened during the Clinton years in incident after incident, culminating in the humiliating defeat in Somalia, when Bin Laden realized that America was soft and could be defeated.

As for an internal regime change in Iran, this is the policy that I and many others have been advocating for years now -- yet by all accounts there is precious little movement on the part of the administration to address this viable solution with any kind of meaningful action. This is borne out by my own contacts with expatriate Iranian democracy advocates. The lack of such a policy is inexplicable. We hope that something is going on that is so covert that no one knows what is happening.

To understand how powerful such support can be, we only have to look to how Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul brought down the evil edifice of Soviet communism. As Herb Meyer has put it -- they attacked the situation from several fronts. Reagan engaged the Soviets in an arms race they could never win, while at the same time providing support to the Solidarity movement in Poland. The Pope added his considerable authority by calling on the deep Catholic and religious roots of Poles. Suddenly Solidarity found itself with plenty of paper and printing presses and other necessities to keep their nascent movement alive. And we all know how that chapter in history ended. But it would not have ended that way if Reagan and Thatcher had decided that they needn't worry about the Soviets and could continue the policy of containment and coexistence, which was the prevailing credo of the State Department at that time.

As for Kim Jong-il being a joke. I must only add that the same thing was said about a certain German paper-hanger, who had spent some time in jail and wrote a cranky book describing his plans for the world. Now that is not to say that Kim Jong-il is in any way comparable to Hitler in terms of his actual ability to conquer the world. Kim's aims are less grandiose, but no less threatening to world peace and to the security of the United States. But it is instructive to be reminded that a joker with nukes, still has the nukes. And even if his missile fizzled this time, so did many of our own early efforts. Much is learned from each failure and each test. And by rattling his sabers, Kim Jong-il is achieving much of his aims. He demonstrates to his own and to the world's satisfaction that he can do outrageous things and get away with them, with just a slap on the wrist, and really not even that. He gets more carrots and stern words (and precious few even of those). It's interesting, now that they are not in a position to actually do anything, that the very Clinton officials who were instrumental in getting us to this pass by their appeasement of Kim Jong-il, are now advocating muscular military pre-emptive action. It's really rather a joke. Here -- I'll hold your coat while you go out there and punch him in the nose.

As far as Gaza is concerned, I realize that there are those who say that this is really the most clever strategy and will in the end make Israel more secure. I, and many others, including Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post, hold a more common-sense position. Ceding territory to terrorists never works, and leaving Gaza has left Israel open to more shelling from the very settlements that were abandoned. Those of us who disagree with this policy of disengagement hope we are wrong. This is not a time in history when those patriotic Americans who are concerned and worried want to be proven right, unlike those on the left who attack the Bush administration relentlessly and secretly cheer every American setback. We do not feel that way. It pains us to see our policies fail. And we pray daily that we will have the strong and wise leadership that is necessary to see us through the coming years, which any thinking person must admit are the most dangerous in decades.

In the end, I would say that what we are talking about is a crisis of leadership. If there is an end to what Time magazine calls Bush's "cowboy diplomacy", then those of us who want to see a more muscular foreign policy can only say -- give us back the cowboy! We liked him when he said: "Bring it on!" We long for the George Bush who faced down a disapproving world and announced without apology that you are either with us or against us in the war on terror. The George Bush who stood atop the rubble of the Twin Towers and proclaimed that the world would soon hear from us. America deserves nothing less than the last full measure of devotion in the cause of the protection of its precious freedoms and its form of government. We proudly stand behind those who stand up to lead unafraid and unbowed by the brickbats of opposition, insult and calumny.

The history of leadership is one of having to withstand unbelievable adversity. Of resisting pressure from the enemy without -- and from the enemies within, those carping, nagging, and even openly subversive forces that eat away at the fabric of resolve on a daily basis. It isn't an easy task. Many are called but few can answer the call of history. It is time for the boomer generation to take its place in history alongside that of the so-called "greatest generation". The generation of WWII. The generation of Churchill. And after him, the generation of Reagan.

Nothing less than the future survival of our civilization and way of life depends on it. We pray for leaders who answer this call of history, and will not respond to the siren call of appeasement and expediency.


At 8:57 AM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

You answered every point perfectly, Aussiegirl!

Great follow-up!

At 9:06 AM, Blogger Longstreet said...

Thank you, dear lady!

I could not agree with you more! I long for the leader we, suddenly, don't have.

Bring back the "cowboy"!!!

Keep up the good work!


At 8:04 PM, Blogger Marko said...

America will not do what is necessary because we do not have the moral courage to make the sacrifices necessary to eliminate the threats facing us now and in the near future.

We are a "shopping mall" regime. When attacked on 9/11, our leader told us to "go shopping". What kind of moral courage (or lack of) is that?

The real Axis of Evil includes China and Russia. We won't take action against either because it would require making drastic lifestyle changes on a national scale. It also would require admitting that the countries we thought we could trust and who we thought were our allies are not.

Not only that, it would require our leadership and the American people to believe that these countries actually wish to defeat us in a future war. We cannot bring ourselves to collectively believe that another war is not only possible, but practically inevitable. Nuclear weapons will never go away, and will someday be used. We cannot accept this, so we pretend that the spreading of freedom and democracy will make such a future "go away".

I would like to suggest reading J. R. Nyquist's book, "Origins of the Fourth World War." The book is sobering, but like your "Whistling" blog, it says things that need saying, but that will not be heard by those who matter.

War is the way of humans - it always comes. We enjoy periods of peace, but they never last.

And as a previous commenter said, it is only after a catastrophy that any real leaders appear. It will be so with us, because we have lost the "warrior" character we once had so very long ago.



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