Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Delusions and War
Armed Liberal at Winds of Change links to a recent post by Greg Djerejian of Djerejian Belgravia Dispatch.
The politicians who led us into
I’d like to think that Djerejian reflects an honest disagreement, a considered opposition to the war, at least in how the war has been executed. But Djerejian appears to want to make that impossible for those of us in strong support of our effort.
In the piece that
Don’t even bother to suggest Djerejian doesn’t mean us. He means precisely us. Bloggers “in the sandbox” or recently returned, who argue that the Insurgency is fundamentally finished.” Or who believe that (most) of the mainstream media reporting from Iraq parrot Al Qaeda press releases, and consider embedding or any form of cooperation with US military as violating their sacred duty to be objective.
Djerejian uses the occasion of Memorial Day to note (but not link) the excellent piece by Owen West, but only as a means of expressing faint praise for “the sacrifice of our troops over the decades.” (As if his insults weren’t enough.)
But, if you are like me, and you believe Baghdad is the strategic epicenter of Iraq, and that a Baghdad descending into Beirut like civil war means that the country will likely mostly disintegrate, then I'm afraid I am less optimistic than West. And so, again, on this Memorial Day, when we thank and remember the sacrifice of our troops over the decades, we must also ask, painful as it is, what precisely they are accomplishing at the present hour in
But that's not a fair answer, is it? Because it's not really an answer at all. Finally, all I can say is that I am deeply torn. If we withdraw hastily we will leave behind a dismembered, increasingly anarchic
It’s too bad Djerejian can’t see the forest for the trees on this one. He clearly hates Rumsfeld. I’m no great fan, not from pre-war days, but I don’t think our military strategy in light of limited Intelligence pre-war was all that “flawed.” Compared to the idiocy and rampant hypocrisy emanating from the Opposition and their supporters in the media, I’d say the US Military and their civilian and military leaders did pretty darned well.
Djerejian exhibits precisely the “crisis of expectations” that West in his Times Op Ed warned against.
By his calculus, any armed rebel group or insurrection wins by default merely by continuing acts of violence to no effect. Unless one imposes an autocracy or police state, it is hard for me to imagine how it could ever be possible for anyone to ever win as long as fanatics with bombs remain wiling to blow themselves and a few others up.
But let me bring
The image of the
There are lots of reasons, beginning with the fact that any elephant this big bestriding the world's stage is going to irk people, especially when George W. Bush is riding it. But I suspect a basic cause is that in the 65-year period of 1941-2006, the
There was World War II and then, after a two-year break, the Cold War, which ran until 1989, and then, after an interlude of a dozen years, the war on terror. These were different sorts of wars, of course, and among them were
They got tired of America's insatiable need for an enemy; suspicious of the talk of freedom and democracy and morality in which every struggle was cast; forgetful of the liberty preserved by such might; alarmed at the American fear that appeared to fire American aggression; and disdainful of the distance between declarations and deeds.
In short they stopped buying the American narrative.
I for one know what the American narrative is, and Cohen’s missed the mark. (The number of myths, inaccuracies, DNC and anti-war talking points and prejudices embedded in Cohen’s description are boggling.)
But I’ll let
What's missing from this, of course, is any sense of context at all for that narrative, any sense that - for example - there was an expansionist and brutal Soviet Union who would have gladly conquered all of
So in that view, why is there war? Because
Damn their willingness to stand up to oppression, indeed. He didn’t even mention Hitler, Nazism, or attempts at Hegemony in Europe or
The truly American narrative is a reflection of our ideals, the principles of liberty and freedom, that under-gird every demonstration of national resolve. We restrain ourselves greatly, we rise above both our enemies and the amorality of our times. We strive to leave the world a better place, in spite of and not because of the hollow accusations of our critics.
We are not yet at the brink of the life or death struggle for civilization that our enemies so fervently wish upon the West. Our enemies and our own internal Opposition share the view, that the terrorism and barbarism that initiated our military responses since 9/11, are themselves directly prompted as a first effect from our Omnipotent transgressions (whatever they were or are is immaterial to their arguments.) We are indeed the elephant “bestriding the world's stage,” in Cohen’s words. LA associates this to a “delusion of invulnerability,” that both supporters and adversaries of US Foreign Policy seem to maintain:
And I do think it's the strongest influence on our behavior and attitude toward this war. And, I believe that once it is gone - once the delusion of invulnerability slips away - we will be more brutal and bestial than the worst opponents of the wars today imagine us to be in their fevered dreams.
I often remark that the World will shudder to see
As always at Winds of Change, as remarkable the commentary in posts, the contributions of WoC readers in comments greatly enhance the resulting dialog.
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