September 11, 2003

Attack, Attack, Attack

Like General Grant said when chastising his timid officers after taking over command of the Army of the Potomac (paraphrasing), "You need to quit worrying that General Lee is going to do a backflip and end up in our rear and start worrying about what we are going to do to him." Another variant on this theme was Jack Dempsey's famous aphorism, "The best defense is a good offense." Is there anything more true in the age of asymmetrical warfare?

That's how I feel about the WoT. "America, why are you so hated?" is a pathetic example of passively worrying about what will happen to us next. The self-serving carping by the political opponents of the President concerning the conduct of the WoT are too. As others have noted, the slow suicide of the Democrat Party is not in our long term interests. Hopefully, an electoral sweep by the Republicans in 2004 will be the necessary purgative required for them to become a helathy, vigorous, intellectualy vital organization once again.

There was a bad movie called Twilight's Last Gleaming with Charles Durning as the President of the US that posited the Vietnam War as a big conspiracy just to show the Soviet Union that the US was prepared to sacrifice it's young men foolishly to defend itself if necessary. Of course, that was a merely a precursor of the loony conpiracy theories we hear today, and no doubt some of the current "quagmire" crowd eats this stuff up with both hands. Perhaps today's corollary might be that the liberation of Iraq is a big conspiracy to put everyone on notice that there really is a New World Order that begins with, "Do what America wants or we will lay waste to your country," and ends with, "Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated."

Of course, not everyone sees things as I do. Reuters (one man's "news" service is another man's urinary tract infection), likes to keep telling everyone that it is all the US' fault:

The attacks on the U.S. did indeed rouse the 'mighty giant' Mr. Bush spoke of at the time," said Hong Kong's South China Morning Post in an editorial. "But the world's only remaining superpower must realize that the 'with us, or against us' approach, and in particular the further use of aggression, will only fuel the hatred which motivated the attacks in the first place."

And might I suggest that any further attacks against the US or our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq will fuel our hatred as well. This rhetorical sword cuts both ways. Or as a six-hundred morons currently residing at Guantanamo have found out, our pen is mightier than their sword.

But there are some people that agree with me, Australian Prime Minister John Howard, for instance. But I wonder if the pure anti-establishmentariainism of Big Media forces them to respond to wisdom like this:

Australian Prime Minister John Howard told television: "This war against terrorism is likely to go on for years and nobody can regard themselves as beyond the reach of terrorism."

With the predictable automatic gainsaying of said wisdom like this:

Howard's views were questioned by newspapers across Asia.

In Malaysia, a mostly Muslim nation that quickly allied with Washington in the war on terror, more recent attitudes were reflected in an opinion column in the New Straits Times.

"No bells toll for the victims of unbelievable Israeli savagery," wrote Shad S. Faruqi.

Yogo Nomoto, a 37-year-old local government worker in Tokyo, summed up the feelings of many as he stood at the U.S. embassy.

"When the terrorism occurred, I think people all over the world sympathized with the United States. But I think the United States has lost its power with its acts over the following two years," he said.

Funny, it seemed to me that the "Why are you so hated" meme materialized before we did much of anything in response to 9/11, so those that hate us now hated us long before any acts we took over the last two years. Of course our enemies prefer that we cower and beg for forgiveness for whatever sin they imagine us guilty of. Whatever might have brought them to think this way?

Editorials were more outspoken about the fallout from the response by the United States that has drawn its army into quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan and yet has failed to net bin Laden, the suspected September 11 mastermind.

Jeez, Reuters doesn't even give us the courtesy of enclosing quagmires in quotation marks.

"Two years after September 11...America instead goes toward a path of self-isolation and being unilateral in action," said an editorial in Vietnam's People's Army newspaper.

I suppose if you're going to declare Afghanistan and Iraq quagmires, you might as well go straight to the source. And what a source the Vietnam People's Army newspaper must be!

Australia's Sydney Morning Herald was more outspoken. "The goodwill of America's allies has been squandered," it wrote. "The threat represented by the terrible attacks of two years ago remains."

Ok, so the threat remains, but we are damned well not supposed to do anything about it. Is that right? I do agree that whatever goodwill America had because of the attacks on 9/11 was squandered. But I think it was squandered by Jacque Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder, amongst others. I've heard some people express the opinion that Al Gore would have done the same things as President Bush had he been "selected" as President by the Florida State Supreme Court, though I doubt it. But if Al Gore would have eliminated the Taliban and liberated Iraq, is the Sydney Morning Herald suggesting that it's not really the actions that matter at all to America's allies, but whether a Democrat or Republican President is doing it that matters when it comes to their support?

In Indonesia, site of the world's worst post-September 11 attacks when bombs killed 202 in Bali nightclubs last October, the Jakarta Post took a similar tone. "There is also the fear that, unless it is carefully managed, the war against terrorism is likely to be perceived in the Islamic world as a crusade against them," it said.

This isn't a war against Islam. But I often wonder if the adherents of Islam aren't trying to turn it into one. While I believe that most adherents of Islam would never do anything like the attacks on 9/11 themselves, it just doesn't seem as though enough are sorry it happened either. Be careful what you wish for. You might get it.

France's Le Monde ran a headline after September 11, 2001, saying everyone felt American. Thursday, its editorial on Washington ran: "Compassion has given way to the fear that ill-considered actions are aggravating the problems and that the fight against terrorism is a pretext to extend U.S. hegemony."

Is that Thursday's Le Monde or a copy of a ChiCom press release from 1972? "Extending US hegemony?" Who still talks like that? Outside of unrepentant communists, I mean.

In conclusion, this article started with this paragraph:

On the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Australians remembered loved ones and U.S. embassies across Asia lit candles but regional media highlighted waning sympathy for the United States.

Well, I for one am not interested in the waxing or waning sympathy of any of the people who espouse the opinions endorsed by this article from Reuters. And rest assured that these same people may never count on sympathy from me in the future no matter how bad things turn out for them. But if smallpox is released upon the world again, I'm sure that the US will be shipping immense quantities of life-saving drugs around the world as quickly as we can make them to people who cheered the news of a smallpox outbreak in the US, until a week later it showed up on their shores, because that's the kind of people we are. And that's why I'm more than willing to err on the side of protecting America at all costs. The terrorists, and those that harbor them, can talk to Mr. Hand Grenade, because I'm not listening any more.

Remember 1940? France and the Low Countries (amongst others) had all been defeated and occupied by Germany. England stoood alone against the Nazi onslaught for two years with nothing but passive assistance from the United States. Sure we provided supplies, but generally speaking the US was not going to enter into yet another European war. England held on, though its prospects became progressively worse and victory was far from assured. Then, to abuse and paraphrase Martin Niemoller, they came for us on December 7, 1941 -- but fortunately we weren't so weak that we needed anyone to speak up for us. The special relationship shared by those of the Anglosphere found its roots in a shared common burden, and a sense of gratefulness on the part of the US for the price the British paid holding off the Nazis. "There will always be an England," might not have been true were it not for the US, and the British never forget that as well. Unfortunately, what could have been, and should have been, stopped a lot earlier now took another four years and tens of millions more lives before the danger was eliminated.

Remember 2001? France and the Low Countries and Germany (amongst others) now would rather pander to the Arab world than stand up for freedom, human rights, the wronged US, or even themselves. Fortunately for us, the Anglosphere and a number of other countries are willing to stand with us and take the fight to the enemy before the enemy can bring it to us again. Unfortunately for us, there are still many here and elsewhere that cannot see the danger clearly in front of them. If we do not remain resolute and continue to take the fight to them, we could easily find ourselves again wondering why it again costed tens of millions of lives, when we could have stopped the nihilist menace so very much sooner.

"Never again" sounds a little too optimistic for me right now.

Posted by Charles Austin at September 11, 2003 12:27 PM

Holy crap, that's good. Wane away, assholes. We don't need ye waning bastards.

Posted by: Scott Chaffin at 09:15 PM