Sunday, January 28, 2007

The surge

I've been thinking a lot about the surge, as everybody has been calling it. I don't think the extra troops are what can make the difference, but rather the manner in which we use them. I'll be quite frank. I've been mightily disappointed in the way Bush has fought this war because he has allowed political concerns to blunt the military's means of fighting. If the new protocol allow us to seriously take the fight to the terrorists, then I'm all for it. If it's just putting a dress on a pig, then I don't see the need to waste the men and the money.
What do I mean by taking the fight to the terrorists? It means this: killing al-Sadr, disbanding his militia (by force if necessary) and killing anybody who tries to take his place. Disrupt and destroy the channels from Iran funding the insurgency i.e. start killing ALL Iranian agents working in Iraq. No trials, no catch and release, kill on capture. Shut down the embassies and all roads leading into Iran if you have to. IED's don't manufacture themselves. They come from Iran. Foment an insurgency in Iran. We've played defense too long against Iran. It's time for them to realize that screwing with the US comes with a price. Finally, kill ALL al-Qaeda we can find in Iraq. Very few of them are Iraqis, most of them are from Saudi Arabia and Egypt and the natives are only supportive because they fear them. It's time to make the insurgency fear the US again. Extra troops help, but a new focus is more important. Respect is earned in the Middle East not through being nice, but through intimidation. This isn't the Netherlands and the sooner we appreciate this fact, the better off we'll be. I truly believe the majority of Iraqis want to simply live in peace without fear of their government or from foreign fighters. We need to give them that chance, but only through destroying those factions that create this fear do we stand a chance.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Peggy Noonan

If one ever wants to feel good about this world, well, at least slightly hopeful about the world, read Peggy Noonan. This is a great example. She touches upon something which I have long pondered, namely the value of traditions and ceremonies. This of course prompted my thinking. Can we survive as a society when we intentionally denigrate and destroy the very foundations of our society? Evelyn Waugh, a much more brilliant and talented man than I, laid the crimes of the 20th century in the lap Europe's intentional shunning of it's legacy of Christianity and Democracy. It's hard to argue when one understands the true beliefs of the Nazis and the Communists.
Now, however, the intelligensia's perpetual assault of our legacy (and if you don't think they are, you are a fool. Attend a college history, English or sociology course and report back to me), has resulted in a sort of cringing cultural apathy which has left us blase about our existence and certainly unwilling to defend it. The USA is still very strong about its own worth, but Europe has seemed to commit cultural suicide. The only strength they seem to have left is to attack the US, and my personal belief is because we are still strong about our Western heritage and we epitomize capitalism and run amok Democracy which the elites cannot stomach. The fact that we are slowly strangling our economy with socialistic nonsense and our Democracy is being subverted by crass politicians at the malarial city on the Potomac, means nothing for it is what we symbolize that Europe despises.
A nation without a past is not a nation, it is a collection of people who suffer the other citizens to live, but will do nothing to help them or sustain the system by which we all can prosper. I remember a phrase from my graduate school spoken by some arrogant, Post-modern French idiot: "a nation sure of its culture has no need of clinging to relics of its past." The writer meant both buildings and philosophy. My own pietas forces me to state "a nation which does not respect the relics of its past, has no culture, only styles."