Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It's Gut-Check Time in Ameria...Again

Two themes have emerged, on this Blog, regarding the "War on Terror." One is that we are in the midst of a very-real struggle, against barbarians, over the fate of Western, Judeo-Christian civilization. The other is that the war in Iraq is doing vastly more harm than good.

I'm sure, to many people, it seems that I am contradicting myself. To these poor, childlike, gullible souls, the war in Iraq is the latest front in the struggle to save Western civilization. We've been told this repeatedly -- hypnotically -- by our Svengali-in-Chief, and a lot of us feel it is our patriotic duty to echo it.

I believe that I have said this before, but I will say it again. I will keep right on saying it until I turn blue and drop dead from weariness. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOING SOMETHING -- ANYTHING -- SIMPLY TO BE DOING SOMETHING AND DOING THE RIGHT THING.

Whenever they hear me say I am opposed to the war in Iraq, its diehard boosters tell me that "terrorism is evil" and that, therefore "we must do something about it." I would be the first to agree with them that terrorism is evil, and that we cannot afford to tolerate it. But doing the wrong thing about it -- just to be doing something -- may be as bad as, if not even worse than, doing nothing.

I believe that, in the nearly five years since 9-11, we have actually set back the cause of making the world a safer, freer place. I believe that we are actually aiding and abetting terrorism.

The Iraqi people made no significant move to defy Saddam Hussein on their own. They didn't do much to help us get rid of him. And since he has been gone, most of them have done precious little to get off their duffs and help us "rebuild" their country.

People who deserve freedom stand up and work for it themselves. People who won't do not deserve it. These people tolerated -- and, to a large degree, cheered on -- the murderous and repressive regime of Saddam Hussein for twenty-six years. Are they a reflection of him, or was he a reflection of them?

I hope they get their freedom, and I refuse to root for a collapse of their new government. But if it were a racehorse, I certainly wouldn't bet on it.

It is often argued that there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil since 9-11 because our tough, aggressive, "decider" President has taken action. Logically speaking, it is far more likely that the terrorists achieved their purpose on 9-11 so completely that they haven't felt the need to strike again.

Do you really, really think that when we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, the terrorists and the powers-that-be who back them thought "Aw, shucks...we didn't know Bush would actually attack us?" Only an idiot could believe that. No, of course they knew that the Bushies would rush to war -- hell, we now know (as surely they also did) that this administration planned on going to war even before the 9-11 attacks. Nobody with even the most tenuous grip on reality can plausibly, or even sincerely, argue that the terrorists attacked our country because they were certain we would never go to war.

The primary goal of 9-11 was to make us as terror-driven as our enemies are. Terrorists speak the language of terror because they understand no other. By having sunk, if not to their level, then closer to it than we've ever been before, we are behaving exactly as they'd hoped we would. Thanks to Bush and Company, the plans hatched by our enemies before 9-11 are coming to a near-textbook example of fulfillment.

Abu Ghraib proved it. And now, the Haditha massacre has certainly proved it as well. Robert Higgs has an excellent and very insightful piece on this at today's Lew Rockwell. com. You can access it at

Here are the two main steps toward effectively fighting terrorism: (1) Refuse to be afraid, and (2) Refuse to act like terrorists. If merely being "not as bad as" the terrorists is something we now count as success in the war against them, then we are already well on our way to losing it. And if we can't fight on in the Middle East without resorting to measures hostile not only to the human dignity of the people we're trying to save but also to our own, then "cutting and running" may indeed be preferable to staying and destroying our very souls. And if the fear of being mistaken as cowardly goads us into inhuman behavior, then not only are we cowards nonetheless, but also the damnedest of fools.

It's gut-check time for the American people. It very well may be soul-check time, too.


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