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The Good Fight

| 11 Comments | 1 TrackBack
It is intensely frustrating to me that only the Republicans have a strategy for national security that does not reek of apology for who we are and what we stand for. Who are the American nationalists in the Democratic Party?
That's a line from an excellent Tigerhawk post centered on two names sure to warm a liberal hawk's heart: Peter Beinart and Christopher Hitchens.

In this case, Beinart is the author. The book is "The Good Fight : Why Liberals -- and Only Liberals -- Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again," which suffers from the maddening modern insistence on mistaking thesis statements for book titles. The book isn't out yet, but Hitchens has a review of it in the May "Atlantic."

Here's Hitch in fine form:
The hard-liners in 1948 were principled enough to do the Democratic Party the favor of deserting it and running their own slate. They were also, one might concede, at least intelligible in their naiveté about the U.S.S.R. A thinking person could, then at least, be brought to believe that state socialism was an improvement on monopoly capitalism, and that war was to be avoided at any price. In the present case, however, not only are the hard-liners the activist and fund-raising core of the party; they also express ambivalence about a foe that does not even pretend to share the values of the Enlightenment, and that is furthermore immune to the cruder rationality of MAD. The Soviet leadership had every reason to avoid suicide, while the Islamist fanatics dream of nothing else. In this context, Beinart’s wishful and halfhearted belief that Saddam Hussein could have been contained is the one position that nobody can seriously hold. He gives himself away when he argues that a continuation of the cruel and indiscriminate sanctions could have led the Baathist regime to self-destruct. Has he even tried to imagine what Iraq would have looked like on the day that that self-destruction occurred? Let us just assume that it would not have been a Velvet Revolution. It would have more closely resembled a Rwanda or a Congo on the Gulf. Bad as things are now, they would certainly have been worse.

1 TrackBack

Tracked: August 14, 2006 2:55 AM
Excerpt: HT Instapundit This is the best case I've seen for trashing the liberal left's concept of disproportionate response when engaging an megalomanic enemy drivern by an ideology of hate and Evil. History show...

11 Comments

Whatever the faults of Beinert's new book, I would truely welcome liberls that do actually want to fight and win wars.

We need the return of Harry Truman and Henry "Scoop" Jackson now more than ever.

As it is, for all the faults of the Republicans and GWB there are no other adults around to do the job.

AMEN!

GWOT - A War of Good vs. Evil

There is no moral equivalence of Islamofascism, Communism, or Nazism. The common element is that they all do not recognize:

The free will of men and women

See this except from a post at RBT that included a previous thought re a story about a newly awared Medal of Valor from the Korean War.

RBT

*****

A True Hero from another War

[...]

The MSM as a whole is following the lede of the major American news dailies that the Iraq War is a failure and hammers the meme, "Bush Lied. People Died!" A case can be made the MSM has actually fallen into a trap in the War of Information.

A new view is now to emerging from the alternative media - citizen journalists and the Blogos that the MSM's lede/meme is an untruth.

The MSM from its biased reporting and naivete is aiding and abetting the enemy. The MSM is perversely rooting for the enemy like some underdog against an imperial invading army. This is no Sunday afternoon football game. There can be no appeasing this enemy. There is no moral equivalence to the enemy's religous cultlike ideology.

This is an enemy that seeks to subjugate us, to destroy our very way of life, and to take away our most cherished value - FREEDOM!

[...]

RBT would challenge the MSM to investigate why Iraqis continually lineup in large numbers at military and police recruiting sites when the enemy bombs them repeatedly? Partial answers can be found in Iraq Gen. Sada's new book, Saddam's Secrets and in Tibor Rubin's personal story.

RBT has written previously that it is time for our generation to suck it up, put down our caffe lattes, quit the whinning, and win this war decisively like our fathers and mothers did before us:

FREEDOM - Thx to The Greatest Generation for Preserving It

The whiners and snivelers of our generations must appear as ungracious wimps and whooshes. Yes, we are a spoiled and complacent lot and forget the precious gift you gave us. We have not experienced the pain and hardships you lived through. WWII was already past history to be read in our schoolbooks. WWII has no collective visceral memory for us. We have no first hand experience. You did not dwell on it and shielded us from its impact. You didn’t consider yourselves as heroes. You picked up and got on with life. While the Vietnam War is still fresh in our memories some thirty years later, WWII ended less than a decade before we were born and has less of an impact. Our collective memory only is of grainy film clips and those few first-hand stories you told us on rare occasion.

We demand instant gratification, super-human perfection, are quick to find fault and lay blame instead of solutions, and will equivocate on all things to achieve these ends. We too, of course, want it done by yesterday. And yes, if you please, it must be done in an antiseptic and politically correct manner, lest we offend anyone or give us queasy stomachs. Yes, we often stand for nothing and everything at once. We are unlike your generation who understood the difference between, RIGHT and WRONG, and GOOD and EVIL. You lived by these principles day by day. You are not swayed by situational ethics. You stood firm and resolute in what you held dear and believed in.

As President Bush said, we are again facing a new struggle of GOOD verses EVIL. Our very way of life and culture is threatened by the spread of radical Islamic extremism. The world’s equivocation on this new cancer has only emboldened our enemy in their religious zeal to kill or convert every one of us. Radical Islamic extremism is no enlightened religion, as we know it. Radical Islamic extremism as some call Islamofascism, is an ideology that favors, dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition, and extreme nationalism all rolled up into a theocracy. The priest, clerics, and seers of this movement have found in their own interpretations of the Koran, justification for their actions and the slaughter of innocents. Their quest is to “open up” other unbelieving lands to the enlightenment of Islam and to right the right wrongs they suffered of centuries past. In other words to conquer and impose Islamic theocracies. This extremism is a religious-like cult, a failed culture, and a false religion that is still locked in time in the 12th and 13th Centuries.

[...]

Read More

OK I'm done now

Rocketsbrain #2:

Next time, a shorter excerpt followed by a link, please.

I wish Democrats would just come and say what is really the truth: when 9-11 happened Republicans got spooked and scared and crawled to daddy and said protect us from the evil Arabs, wiretap our phones and check our library records, expand the powers of the executive office, do whatever it is you need to do daddy to protect us!

John Kerry should have just gone up and stage and said to Bush:

"Be a man! I know you got scared when 9-11 happened, but have some courage and resist the childlike impulse to panic and lash out. We're in this fight for a long time, and it will mean constant vigiliance. It will mean being patient in geopolitics, seeing openings and taking them, essentially reading the ground and using our superior wits to win this battle. Like communism, Islamic fundamentalism must be discredited before it can be ultimately be defeated, and as an ideology it cannot be confronted entirely on a battlefield. The nature of this conflict means we won't always be able to dictate events on our terms: we can't just conquer countries and hold elections and think that is all there is to it. In short, to win we will need to persevere in a time of uncertainty, and we cannot afford cowards who in their quest for comfortable world of black and white are unable to read the shades of grey that are integral to victory."

Nate: John Kerry should have just gone up and stage and said to Bush ...

Actually, anything your hypothetical Kerry said would be an improvement on "Let's give Iran nuclear materials, then hide in the bushes and see what happens."

But your Pseudo-Kerry really blows my mind with his heavy rap about "the shades of grey that are integral to victory."

I'd take that to mean we need to stop acting like a bunch of old ladies at a State Department banquet and get down to some serious Realpolitik. Espionage, covert ops, conventional and unconventional warfare. Back our friends to the utter bloody hilt and screw our enemies like they were bunny rabbits with broken legs.

That would break all of those cowardly black-and-white Marquis of Queensbury rules, all right.

#5 Glenn,

You have cheered me up.

BTW the Dems do have such a guy. Joe Lieberman. He gets economics too.

I think he is popular with about 10% of the party. In some Dem places he is hated.

The last of a dying breed unless Obama keeps moving to the right on war and economics.

#5 Glenn

I'm with you. No more Mr. Metrosexual/Muticultural nice guy stuff.

See my post at RBT:

www.rocketsbrain.com

WWJBD - What Would Jack Bauer Do?

#6 M. Simon

Joe Lieberman is a standup kind of guy. He's also very aware of bio-chem weapons and is a founding members of the Committee on Present Danger.

RBT

In this case, Beinart is the author. The book is "The Good Fight: Why Liberals -- and Only Liberals -- Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again," which suffers from the maddening modern insistence on mistaking thesis statements for book titles.

Beinart’s other mistake in the title is that he tipped his hand that this is merely another partisan political book masquerading as a book on policy and therefore most certainly crap. Don’t think so? Imagine the reaction if the book were written by someone from the Weekly Standard of National Review and entitled “The Good Fight: Why Conservatives - - and Only Conservatives Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again."

Not being the sort to spend good money on partisan books (although I’m sure this one will soon be available at the discount bin at my local Barnes & Nobel), if his other “pro-war” tomes “Tough Liberalism” and “A Fighting Faith” are any indication, I’m guessing that this follows the standard Beinart-line of (a) bashing Republicans on domestic issues with the same talking points, (b) claiming that they haven’t done X on the GWOT when they probably have, and © redefining “conservatives” as “people who didn’t really want to fight totalitarianism” at X point in history and “liberals” as “the small minority of Democrats who did” while we calling the others “leftists.”

While I can appreciate his desire to try to inspired like-minded people (both of them) within his party, white-washing history and redefining modern political terms in the hopes of leading his readers to think up is down and left is right probably isn’t an effective tactic and only serves to undermine his credibility with the majority of people who support the GWOT who – whether he and the few hawkish leftists chose to accept this reality or not – are in fact Republicans/conservatives and are now put on notice to be skeptical of accepting him as an ally in this cause.

Glen:

All I'm really saying is that a baseball bat isn't the most effective weapon to take out a beehive. But rocketsbrain in comment #6 proves with his metrosexual comment, for some reason the right insists on of viewing this global conflict through the prism of cowboy masculinity, and brands any strategy that doesn't involve a blatant use of military forces as insufficiently virile.

Truth is, if you read any mliitary strategist worth his salt, a global approach that relies on fewer troops would actually require MORE COURAGE, since rather than hiding out in big Club Med Green Zone bases it would mean living down range on the Arab Street.

I'm totally with you on the covert ops and unconventional warfare. Show me a Green Beret on a camel and it warms the cockles of my heart. But this commment goes to far:

"Back our friends to the utter bloody hilt and screw our enemies like they were bunny rabbits with broken legs."

Realpolitik means the the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and he may be a son of a bitch but he's out son of a bitch. The last thing Realpolitick calls for is dividing the world into good guys and bad guys. The moral clarity you may prize in Bush is completely on the rocks right now, because it is inherently contradictory when applied to the Middle East-do we want corrupt leaders to democratize or clamp down on extremist groups? Pick one, because you can't do both, and that's what Bush is trying to do, and that's why he is failing.

Based on title alone I'd skip this book primarily because the target audience is just as the title suggests. Usually the first rule you learn in speech class is "know your audience" well it must apply to writing as well, because Beinart is pandering to a segment that will buy this book based on title alone and then probably put it down when it starts to hurt their heads or maybe doesn't conform to the Bush = Hitler Ruthuglicans mantra.

I often hear the lament of the loss of the Dems in the mold of Truman, Jackson, etc, but I can't help but point out that the Democratic party bred these types of men out of their establishement. It used to be men and women of character taught at higher education instutitions, now we get the likes of Ward Churchill.

hey friends,

I believe that the neoconservative movement, with which I was associated, has become indelibly associated with a failed policy, and that unilateralism and coercive regime change cannot be the basis for an effective American foreign policy. I changed my mind as part of a necessary adjustment to reality

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