Wars are won by fighting
I just caught a moment of Noam Chomsky on BookTV (C-Span2) claiming with satisfaction that the war in Iraq was the first war in which massive protests took place against the war before it began. Then I found this piece via Instapundit. The title of this post is quoted, I believe, from George Orwell. Chomsky, like Kerry and too many intellectuals out of their areas of expertise, sees this war as a repeat of the last one. They think that the lesson of Vietnam was that protests can set foreign policy. It was not. Rather it was exactly what Orwell said: wars are won by fighting. War, as Sherman pointed out, is intrinsically violent and fraught with death and suffering. Sherman went on to reason that if we truly hate war, we should fight it without attempting to soften it in order to bring home to those who resort to it, that it will only lead them to disaster.
In the present case, there is an added concern. Those who offer themselves as "martyrs" do so because they see nothing in mortality to give them hope. Islamist terrorism doesn't seek power so much as the end of western civilization. Kerry has never figured that out. He pays lip service to hunting down the terrorists and destroying them, but he says it perfunctorily, like a part of a litany, en route to his real goal, more diplomacy. In spite of ever increasing evidence, he still clings naively to the post-war faith in the "community of nations." That community, if it ever really existed, is now about as unified as Kerry's Beacon Hill Mansion is with the South Bronx. Freedom has been a huge economic success, but the socialists and central planners at the heart of the European Union resent this, rather than accept it. They hate the U.S. because it has prospered as their economies have lagged, and because the main wish of people everywhere is still to come to America.
France has never really rid itself of its aristocracy, only established a new underclass composed of Muslim immigrants from Algeria and the other former colonies in the Arab world and Africa. The same class of technocrats and politicians continues to govern, and they fear and hate the idea that such people might be given real power. They would rather have madmen like Saddam running nations with resources they need because it makes it easier to defy competition from countries like the U.S., Japan and Korea. The proof has been staring us in the face for at least a decade, but no one, least of all our State Department, academia and media elite, wanted to admit it. They cling to the UN as if it were the last life preserver from the Titanic.
That's also why they hate George W. Bush. He took power after a decade of escalating terrorist attacks, and instead of the prior policy of handwringing and waiting for the U.N. to do something, when we were attacked again, he broke the glass and started to fight the fire. The left wants to put the hoses and extinguishers back, replace the glass and continue the fire drill.
There is a series of public service ads running now where a group of people see a problem, like a piece of litter or a running faucet, yet refuse to do anything but talk about it, until someone else walks by and picks up the litter or turns off the faucet. Bush has done something that is obvious, but it's too simple and direct for the nuanced crowd. They have to make it complex and subtle. That's what they know how to do: discuss, deconstruct, debate options, draft opinions, but never act.
Bush first took power from them and, by his action where they did nothing, he has made them ashamed, and therefore they hate him. That's why their arguments can't be trusted, and that's the best reason I can think of to re-elect him. We are reliving the 1930s, but those who should understand history the most are marching like zombies toward repeating the follies of Neville Chamberlain. We have men like Winston Churchill. Now we need more men like George Orwell.