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REQUIEM

Below are the two final essays to be posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. The first one is written by a friend -- screen name 'Euro-American Scum' -- who, over the past four years, has been the most faithful essayist here. He has written about everything from his pilgrimage to Normandy in 2004 to take part in the 60th–year commemoration of the invasion, to his memories of his tour in Vietnam. His dedication to America’s founding principles ... and those who have sacrificed to preserve them over the past 200+ years ... is unequaled. Thank you, E-A-S. It has been a privilege to include your writing here, and it is a privilege to call you my friend.

The second essay is my own farewell. And with it I thank all of the many regular visitors, and those who may have only dropped in occasionally, for coming here. I hope you learned something. I hope a seed or two was planted. But, even if not, I thank you for stopping by ... 25 March, 2010

7/19/2006

A Time for Preemption

There are those on the left who have criticized President Bush for, among other things, what they characterize as an overly aggressive anti-terror policy that has helped recruit more terrorists. The renewed attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah over the past several weeks, following enormous concessions and withdrawal by Israel, and the behind-the-scenes maneuvering of Iran and Syria, make it plain that our response to fundamentalist Islamic terror, far from being too aggressive, has been much too restrained. I do not defend the decision to elevate Iraq above other threats in 2003, nor have I ever agreed with Secretary Rumsfeld's decision to override those generals who told him to invade Iraq with 350,000 troops, instead of 150,000. But from where we stand today, the only path to a stable, peaceful world is the application of overwhelming force to the entire sweep of the Jihad.

The Western liberal democracies' half-century embrace of multiculturalism, sensitivity, and moral relativism has blinded us all to the parallel between where we stand now and where we stood in 1935. Now as then, the enemy is obvious, his unimaginably horrific plans are articulated so all can understand them, but our natural aversion to the horrors of war holds us back. But the painful, awful choice is the same. We can rely, as Neville Chamberlain strove so mightily to do, on diplomacy to gain us an illusory "peace in our time"; or we can use every bit of our military might to crush the enemy, accepting, as we ultimately did from Dresden to Frankfurt to Tokyo to Hiroshima to Nagasaki, the horrible necessity of wholesale incineration of vast numbers of innocent, noncombatant, "enemy" civilians.

I would submit that those civilians' doom has already been sealed by the unspeakably vicious monsters living among them. The only remaining question is whether we prolong that doom sufficiently that huge numbers of us have to die with them, or nip this fulminating horror in the bud by crushing it without mercy -- or, if nothing else will work, vaporizing it.

In the aftermath of 9/11, the President's and Congress' admirable resolve in the face of inhuman savagery was inspirational. Five years later, that resolve is sorely missed. Muslim lunatics from Peshawar to Teheran to Damascus have come to believe, again, that they can attack the civilized world with impunity, because we lack the will to do what is needed to stop them. The Democrats' defeatism, weakness, and refusal to acknowledge the magnitude and seriousness of the threat have infected the mainstream press, Congressional Republicans, the Supreme Court, and the Bush White House. For the past three years, our irresolute behavior has reinforced the maniacs' belief in our essential weakness. Only little Israel demonstrates the guts to do what must be done, perhaps because they, alone, have no choice.

The bitter truth is that we are dealing with people who will never voluntarily stop murdering infidels. The core belief on which their entire lives are based is that God wants them to convert the world to Islam, and kill those who resist. Negotiating with them will never produce a compromise under which we and they can live with in peace. Any promise they make to abide by international agreements, or respect the rights, institutions, and lives of non-Muslims will be a lie, designed only to buy them more time to make more murderous plans and acquire better weapons to use against us. The civilians among whom they hide support them, nurture them, and make it impossible to target them without "collateral damage." But we must target them, regardless. Our lives and our civilization depend on it.

The mad mullahs, and Baathists, and Islamofascists must be made to understand that they must stop ALL terrorist acts against ALL other nations, and anything that even smells like development of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons RIGHT NOW, or they and their populations will face annihilation. No more talk, no more lies, no more dissembling, no more diplomacy. They stop, and they stay stopped, or they die, and their countries die with them. In Iran, in Syria, in Somalia, in Waziristan, leaders and civilians who support terrorists have forfeited their right to breathe the air of this planet. We don't have to occupy them, we don't have to rebuild them, we don't have to "bring them to justice," or grant them habeas corpus or let them have lawyers. We just have to destroy them.

I daresay nearly everyone has some threshold beyond which he would agree that it is time to unleash hell on the jihadis, with deep sorrow, but no change of course, for the innocents who are consumed in the fire. The differences among us are only in where that threshold lies. The destruction of Haifa? The obliteration of Israel? How about London? Another 9/11-type attack in this country? A coordinated biological attack at O'Hare, JFK, Dulles and LAX? Dirty bombs in downtown Chicago, NYC, and Washington? A 10 kiloton bomb in a delivery van a couple of blocks from the White House? Or Times Square? Or Disney World? Or all of the above?

If we are to survive as a nation, Congress must authorize and encourage President Bush to solve this problem, once and for all, by any means necessary, before the threat grows even worse. We cannot hide behind Israel any longer. We cannot afford to have the Democratic Party putting its energies into undermining Bush rather than joining with Republicans to ensure our survival. There is no doubt we will have to fight this war. No other course of action will allow us to return to a world of peace. The war has started, at a relatively low intensity, but it is escalating. Millions of Muslims are going to die. The only remaining question is whether millions of us are, too. My guess is that we will lose at least one major US city, and maybe a couple of major European cities, before we respond in force. Since we will continue to dither until then, the cataclysm will begin at a time of al Qaeda's choosing. That is a terrible shame, because far fewer of us, and probably fewer of them, would die if we took preemptive action now, rather than waiting for the first American city to go up in flames. But it will begin, either way. As Churchill said, we must fight this enemy on the land, on the sea, and in the air, and not rest until we have rid the earth of his shadow.

I've tried long and hard to come to a different conclusion, as I'm sure most of Europe, and certainly nearly all Americans, spent the 1930s trying to convince themselves that the nightmare they saw growing in the distance wasn't -- COULDN'T POSSIBLY BE -- real. But wishing couldn't stop it then, and I cannot escape the conclusion that it can't now, either. To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher's advice to President Bush 41, this is no time to go all wobbly. It is long past time to put a stop to this insane savagery.

by Steve Leonard

(contributed to Allegiance and Duty Betrayed)

11 comments:

all_good_men said...

I daresay nearly everyone has some threshold beyond which he would agree that it is time to unleash hell on the jihadis, with deep sorrow, but no change of course, for the innocents who are consumed in the fire. The differences among us are only in where that threshold lies. The destruction of Haifa? The obliteration of Israel? How about London? Another 9/11-type attack in this country? A coordinated biological attack at O'Hare, JFK, Dulles and LAX? Dirty bombs in downtown Chicago, NYC, and Washington? A 10 kiloton bomb in a delivery van a couple of blocks from the White House? Or Times Square? Or Disney World? Or all of the above?

This is the question every American needs to be asking himself.

Let's hope that our answers mesh, especially our leaders in Washington.

We need to draw a line in the sand and not move from it.

This is a very thought provoking, well written article.

D_O'Connor said...

This is a very long column, but there's not one word I disagree with.

Bravo, Mr. Leonard!

Encore!

Jim_Bob said...

There are those on the left that thought Neville Chamberlain was a great man that prevented war. There are those on the left that though it would be "better red than dead".

Unfortunately, our society has a video game/TV mentality. If the problem cannot be solved in 30 minutes or 1 hour then we are in a quagmire. Nothing is worth the sacrifice. They cannot seem to comprehend that during World War II, more soldiers died during some one day periods than the total number killed during the Iraqi campaign. “Torture” at Abu Grab was no more than “fraternity” pranks. But we have been so sensitized that we cannot accept these interrogation techniques. We have to play “nice” while the enemy decapitates its prisoners. We do not have the stomach to outlast our enemies. We could win this war in one month but we will not because we have been sensitized to a multicultural philosophy that equates everyone and everything to all others.

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of "roadmap" we need to follow.

Now what we need is another Reagan to implement it.

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed with your site, very nice graphics!
»

John Cooper said...

Victor David Hanson is thinking along the same lines

"Finally, the world is accepting that the Middle East problem was never about so-called occupied land -- but only about the existence of Israel itself. Hezbollah and Hamas, and those in their midst who tolerate them (or vote for them), didn't so much want Israel out of Lebanon and Gaza as pushed into the Mediterranean altogether. And since there will be no second Holocaust, the Israelis may well soon transform a perennial terrorist war that they can't easily win into a conventional aerial one against a terrorist-sponsoring Syria that they can.

***

"Yet for all their threats, what the Islamists -- from Hezbollah in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley to the Iranian government in Tehran to the jihadists in Iraq's Sunni Triangle -- don't understand is that they are slowly pushing tired Westerners into a corner. If diplomacy, or aid, or support for democracy, or multiculturalism, or withdrawal from contested lands, does not satisfy radical Islamists, what would?

"Perhaps nothing.

"What then would be the new Western approach to terrorism? Hard and quick retaliation -- but without our past concern for nation-building, or offering a democratic alternative to theocracy and autocracy, or even worrying about whether other Muslims are unfairly lumped in with Islamists who operate freely in their midst."

John Cooper said...

From an Investor's Business Daily editorial today:

"The world's economic powers have the ability to cut off most of Iran's capital, oil exports and gasoline. Iran, for its part, would have only an oil card to play, and the West could counter that with stopgap supplies (such as the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve) and a shift to other sources.

"Like the old Soviet Union, Iran is an economic failure that's good at projecting power and intimidating neighbors. It took decades for Western leaders (led by Ronald Reagan) to see through the Soviet facade. Finding Iran's pressure points shouldn't take so long.

"With its nuclear ambitions and its proxy war on Israel, Tehran has given the world two excellent reasons for full-scale sanctions. What is the world waiting for?"

Yes, what...

3timesalady said...

How refreshing to read a no-holds-barred assessment of America's dwindling desire to keep its greatness and to stand for what's right.

And you didn't just describe the problems, you also described the solutions.

Thank you.

joanie said...

John Cooper quoted an excellent Investor's Business Daily editorial regarding potential sanctions against Iran.

Along a semi-similar vein, the Patriot Post wrote, on 21 July:

When international pressure limits Israel's response to aggression, the terrorists win.

When the international community leverages sufficient pressure on Israel, negotiations commence and the aggressor may get some of what he wants: Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai, the Golan Heights, or lawless southern Lebanon, or self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza. From these new strongholds, the same aggressors—in the latest case Hizballah and Hamas, supported by the rogue regimes of Iran and Syria—then mount new campaigns of aggression against Israel, hoping to get a little more out of their "partners in peace" each time.

At other times, thanks in no small part to U.S. support for Israel, the international community can't leverage sufficient pressure to curtail Israeli retaliation. Under these circumstances, particularly the present situation, transaction costs continue to rise for Hizballah, Hamas and their state sponsors. If the costs of the transaction exceed real or imagined gains, state sponsors will retract their resources, and terrorist aggressors will be forced to employ other methods for effecting the transaction.

This is why Israel's response to this crisis is anything but "disproportionate." When international pressure limits Israel's response to aggression, the terrorists win. They're encouraged to elevate the level of the trade, targeting civilians and generally operating at will in the belief that a truly proportional response—disabling the threat—will not ensue. However, when the costs of attacking Israel are raised beyond what the terrorists can tolerate, then we're really giving peace a chance.

John Cooper said...

Two outstanding pieces:

The Thirties All Over Again? by Michael Ledeen and published in the NRO on July 31.

The Great Test of This Generation - Naming and defeating the enemy, Islamic fascism., a speech by Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) delivered at the National Press Club Thursday, July 20.

John Cooper said...

Pacifists versus peace by Thomas Sowell:

"One of the many failings of our educational system is that it sends out into the world people who cannot tell rhetoric from reality. They have learned no systematic way to analyze ideas, derive their implications and test those implications against hard facts."

"Peace" movements are among those who take advantage of this widespread inability to see beyond rhetoric to realities. Few people even seem interested in the actual track record of so-called "peace" movements -- that is, whether such movements actually produce peace or war."

Sowell goes on to point out that:

"There was a time when it would have been suicidal to threaten, much less attack, a nation with much stronger military power because one of the dangers to the attacker would be the prospect of being annihilated."

"World opinion," the U.N. and "peace movements" have eliminated that deterrent. An aggressor today knows that if his aggression fails, he will still be protected from the full retaliatory power and fury of those he attacked because there will be hand-wringers demanding a cease fire, negotiations and concessions."