Monday, July 17, 2006

Tough Sell

Steve Sailer writes:

War Fever: A friend writes:

2002-2003 is happening again in the blogosphere. I can feel it. Are there enough people to say "NO!" this time?

If, after all the hard lessons we've learned over the last three years, the United States still lets itself get dragged into a war in Lebanon or with Syria or Iran, it will be the stupidest conflict since the War of Jenkin's Ear.

He's right, but they are trying. Jeb Babbin seems to call for a total war in the Islamic world:

The second school of thought I have labeled, "Endgame Conservatism." Those such as I say that history from Carthage to Vietnam teaches that if we fail to prosecute a war in a manner calculated to win it decisively, we will lose it inevitably. We believe that terrorism cannot threaten us significantly without the support of nations, and that those nations that are preeminent in their support for terrorists -- Iran and Syria -- must be forcibly disconnected from terrorism. We believe that waiting for Islam to reform itself is tantamount to accepting defeat and that radical Islam (an ideology, not a religion) must be defeated just as Soviet Communism and German Nazism were.

Babbin is calling for a war totally different than the sort of conflict Americans were sold in 2003 -- a cakewalk accompanied by tax cuts. The war that Babbin and many other want this year will be a much tougher sell.


Matt Hardwick said...

It sounds like try as the might, they're not doing all that well. Because to turn Mr. Babbin's idealistic rhetoric around, history from Herculea and Asculum to the, erm, Crusades, to various and sundry invasions of Russia to, well, Vietnam teach that even if you succeed in prosecuting a war in a manner calculated to win it decisively, you can still lose it inevitably. Especially if you spend waaaay too much time on calculations and on manners, as America did in Vietnam -- and as they seem to be doing in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In war, nothing ever goes quite as planned. The best military strategists always seem to keep this in the back of their minds, and act when this happens. As it will...

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