Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Update from the Forgotten War

By Cassandra D

Remember Afghanistan? Home of the Taliban, shielders of Osama bin Laden? Site of the original "War on Terror"? That war we all agreed on? How's that going?

Not well at all.

Pakistan says we should just admit that we were defeated by the Taliban. Surrender and negotiate, they advise.


Where is the outcry from our politicians and our populace? Where's all the talk about sending the right message to the terrorists? Where's the talk of securing a model democracy for the rest of the region? Do those ideals only apply to Iraq?

Why doesn't anybody seem to care that we are losing this chunk of the War on Terror, too?


At 4:26 PM, Blogger RedDirt said...


Your frustration is shared, it's just that I feel it's all a little late in the day.

I recommend reading a new piece by historian Victor Davis Hanson at...

There are straw men aplenty in Hanson's piece, and plenty to disagree with, and I'm not asking anyone to bow down in praise of his rhetoric. But his basic point -- a lack of civilizational confidence in the West -- is well-taken.

And the critique includes Bush's failure to ask more in the way of shared sacrifice from our nation, as well as the radical Left's anti-Americanism.

Here are some choice sentences:

"Ever more insulated by our material things from danger, we lack all appreciation of the eternal thin veneer of civilization."

"...we think the soldier funny in his desert camouflage and Kevlar, a loser who drew poorly in the American lottery and so ended up in Iraq--our most privileged never acknowledging that such men with guns are the only bulwark between us and the present day forces of the Dark Ages with their Kalashnikovs and suicide belts. So we are on dangerous ground. History gives evidence of no civilization that survived long as purely secular and without a god, that put its trust in reason alone, and believed human nature was subject to radical improvement given enough capital and learning invested in the endeavor."

And here's a chunk from the top of the piece:

"Our current crisis is not yet a catastrophe, but a real loss of confidence of the spirit. The hard-won effort of the Western Enlightenment of some 2,500 years that, along with Judeo-Christian benevolence, is the foundation of our material progress, common decency, and scientific excellence, is at risk in this new millennium.

But our newest foes of Reason are not the enraged Athenian democrats who tried and executed Socrates. And they are not the Christian zealots of the medieval church who persecuted philosophers of heliocentricity. Nor are they Nazis who burned books and turned Western science against its own to murder millions en masse.

No, the culprits are now more often us. In the most affluent, and leisured age in the history of Western civilization--never more powerful in its military reach, never more prosperous in our material bounty--we have become complacent, and then scared of the most recent face of barbarism from the primordial extremists of the Middle East.

Just imagine in our present year, 2006: plan an opera in today's Germany, and then shut it down. Again, this surrender was not done last month by the Nazis, the Communists, or kings, but by the producers themselves in simple fear of Islamic fanatics who objected to purported bad taste. Or write a novel deemed unflattering to the Prophet Mohammed. That is what did Salman Rushdie did, and for his daring, he faced years of solitude, ostracism, and death threats--and in the heart of Europe no less. Or compose a documentary film, as did the often obnoxious Theo Van Gogh, and you may well have your throat cut in "liberal" Holland. Or better yet, sketch a simple cartoon in postmodern Denmark of legendary easy tolerance, and then go into hiding to save yourself from the gruesome fate of a Van Gogh. Or quote an ancient treatise, as did Pope Benedict, and then learn that all of Christendom may come under assault, and even the magnificent stones of the Vatican may offer no refuge--although their costumed Swiss Guard would prove a better bulwark than the European police. Or write a book critical of Islam, and then go into hiding in fear of your life, as did French philosophy teacher Robert Redeker."


Basically Hanson has concluded what I've thought for about the past six months: We're screwed.

The Bush adminstration pipe dreams about bringing democracy to the barbaric hordes who only wish us death was a terrible and massive joke perpetrated on this nation. I wish I'd understood that before.

Musharaff is right. We'll lose in Afghanistan. We'll lose in Iraq. We'll lose to Iran, too. They WILL gain a nuclear weapon, and they'll probably use it.

Rangel can talk about a draft all he wants. It won't help. We lack the civilizational confidence to confront the deadliest threat to our way of life since the Nazis and Imperialist Japan.

This is an existential threat. We are not willing to confront it as if it were an existential threat.

So things like a draft will do nothing to change our civilization mindset. The eclipse of all values Nietzsche predicted has arrived.

Other historians have come to pretty much the same conclusion. As the Judeo-Christian energy has seeped out of Western civilization, they conclude, we're now on the downward path to decline and fall.

Like I said a few weeks ago, better start saving up for the jizya.

This really is a clash of civilizations, like it or not. Since the vast majority of our civilization does not want to recognize that, we will lose.


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