Saturday, April 29, 2006

Turn and fight!

David Gelernter puts it perfectly:
Not many nations get a second chance to show the world and themselves that they are serious after all, that their friends can trust them and their enemies ought to fear them. There is no way we can atone for the blood and death we inflicted (indirectly) on South Vietnam by abandoning it to Communist tyranny. That failure can never be put right. But we can make clear that "No More Vietnams" is a Republican slogan. It means that we will never again go back on our word and betray our friends, our soldiers, and ourselves.
The anti-war crowd doesn't think anything is worth dying or sacrificing for, certainly not when you could be putting the money into more social entitlements. I find that kind of thinking extremely shallow and narcissistic. Nations and cultures should be more than what Pre-Thatcher Britain had become or what Germany and France are today. America is too important an idea to be piddled away like that.

I hate how we let down the South Vietnamese, both in the way we fought without trying to win freedom for their brethren in the North, and in the way we abandoned them when the North broke the peace. We will be even more dishonorable if we do the same to Iraq, after building their hopes, or abandoning Israel because we've become too self-absorbed to remember the lessons of 1938. We have a noble and inspiring history that we seem to be allowing to slip down the memory hole. Our childish reactions to gasoline prices is typical of what shames us. We live lives so far above those of 90% of humanity and we act like we're being picked on because we have to pay half of what Europeans do for fuel.

I wish President Bush and the Republicans would cry shame on those whining about Big Oil profits and bitching about having to pay more. What a bunch of pansies! Why do Americans think we have more of a right to live like we do than Europeans or Chinese, or Indians? Why do we think we're all entitled to get straight A's without effort, or to be free without defending it?

Are you listening, Tony? Hugh? Glenn?

I'm all for porkbusters, but right now I think that's only a miniscule part of our problems. We need to wake up and look at our pampered lives and remember how we got here, not because of FDR and the New Deal, but because our parents and grandparents heard his call to shun fear and stand up against the enemies of their time.

We think we want our children to have it better than we did, but when it comes to our Social Security COLAs and Medical Insurance, how much are we leaving them for their own families? Past generations gave all they had so that their children could have better. What have we given, really?

Our troops are volunteers, but instead of honoring their courange and valiance, people who aren't sacrificing anything are acting like each loss is worthless, and tarring them all with the excesses of a few, just as we did during Vietnam.

At the opening of his show, Hugh Hewitt, plays clips of Churchill's greatest oratory, along with that of FDR, JFK, Ronald Reagan and George Bush's best speeches, and even Aragorn's heroic speech to his men before the gates of Mordor. He ought to add some clips from United 93, and Mark Whittington's review:
It was Thermopylae. It was the Alamo. It was like nothing that has happened before in human history.

Much of the power of United 93 is the knowledge that while people cannot realisticly imagine themselves with the Spartans at Thermopylae or the Texans at the Alamo, just about everyone has flown in an air liner. Everyone seeing this film can imagine themselves among those brave but doomed passengers, fighting with the courage of desperation for the right to get home alive.. . .

Every human being should see this film. It is a testiment to the human spirit, of an indomitable desire, even in the face of death, to not go quietly into that good night.
Those people knew they were doomed, but they also knew that if they didn't do something the horror of that day could be so much greater. They had a slim chance of winning back control from the terrorists, but even if they couldn't, they determined that their lives would not be lost in vain. None of us has to face that stark choice, but we're facing a challenge from Iran that will test our resolve and we still have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we have been worthy of being called the countrymen of the passengers United 93. Or are we just too upset over the price of gas?


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