The Norwegian Blogger posts a lecture to Americans about the real world. It's interesting, but he makes a point I don't agree with:
The reason America was not feared is that you wanted to be loved, America may claim to not care about how other nations feel about them, and in many if not most cases that is true, BUT when the occasion comes that opinion matters Americans tend to try to be loved rather than to be feared. Someone once said that America could have won in Vietnam, but the price would have been the nations soul, that's not so far fetched as it seems.
It may be true that the State Department wants America to be loved, but I don't think the rest of us care about it. Mostly we just don't think about what other nationalities think of us, and if we did, we'd probably assume that they admired and envied us.
The problem in Vietnam wasn't that we wanted to be loved, it was that our leaders thought we could fight a limited war, i.e. one that has no goal other than restoring the status quo ante. It was as if we had declared war on Hitler, but only to make him withdraw his forces from France and the other nations he had conquered. This represents a Democrat illusion that war is too hard for us to really win. After all, look at Korea. Didn't we succeed there?
Well, no. Not really. We forced the commies to stop trying to conquer the South militarily, but that left half the country living under a regime that from time to time reduces its subjects to eating grass and tree bark to stave off starvation.
Most Americans supported the Vietnam war until they found out that we weren't fighting to win and that the president and the Army had lied to them about how it was going.
Think about the speech at the beginning of the movie Patton. "Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle.. . . Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American." Patton was somewhat mistaken about America never losing a war, but he was right about the American character. We don't like losing. And the Gulf War appeared to most of us as quitting before the fight was over. It is my opinion that Clinton never would have been president if Bush41 hadn't called off the fight in Iraq.
What is the reason for Bush43's popularity? He has conducted the war in Afghanistan like a winner. No wimping out. If he fails to depose Saddam Hussein and put an end to Iraq's development of WMDs, his poll numbers will drop like a rock. I know I will have lost all respect for him. In America, a guy who talks big, but won't fight, is a coward and a blowhard. We've had too many of those running our country for the last 25 years.
All the intellects in the media, the State Department and Academia are flooding the air with excuses and arguments for more tepid timidity, but most of America understands that you can't deal with someone like Saddam by hoping that he won't continue to act like he has in the past.
There are lots of imponderables involved in the present situation. We don't know whether Saddam will try to use his biological and chemical weapons against our troops or against Israel. We don't know what will happen after he has been dealt with. But waiting around and hoping we won't have to do anything about him is too much like cowardice for real Americans, and they would rather be winners than be loved.