Thursday, May 25, 2006

Fighting the Good Fight

Prof. Schweikart explains that our military strength comes from our tradition of the voluntary citizen soldiers, a military policy of delegating decision-making down the ranks, an embrace of technology, cooperative inter-service camaraderie, and a determination to avoid the repeat of fatal mistakes. The last is missing in Arab culture where “it is a shame to make an error, but a double shame to admit it.”

He is right, of course. However, while we can’t lose a war over there, we can lose it at home. Prof. Rummel reminds us of the greater danger within:

“For people my age, we have the Vietnam War to which we can compare the liberal media's treatment of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of my bitter memories is of the 1968 Tet offensive by the North Vietnamese controlled Vietcong that failed. South Vietnamese and American forces not only held, but in many parts of the country they so badly mauled the Vietcong that their ability to launch another offensive was set back many years. Yet, the Media played up the Vietcong's momentary successes in Saigon and Hue, and subsequently treated the offensive as a Vietcong victory. This began to sour American public opinion on the war and especially the intellectual class, which turned against it.

The liberal media are trying to do the same thing about American efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. This can be seen in their treatment of the latest Taliban offensive, which if you read or listen to the major media, appears to be a Taliban victory. But, today, with multiple sources of information, especially over the Internet, the usual liberal sources of such propaganda cannot get traction.”

The War Within

Perhaps I’ve focused too much on the nature of the external enemy, Islam. However, when I started this blog there were too few venues explaining the Islamic threat and many people I respect didn’t understand the full danger of this supremacist religious ideology. Feedback from many readers, including many academics, showed that there was a need to focus on the Islamic threat as well as our inability to face that threat.

Now, however, many are writing on the topic and often in greater depth. For daily news and comments Jihad Watch and Islamic Evil can keep you reading for hours. Additional items appear on Little Green Football and Front Page Magazine. Group blogs like Sixth Column and Infidel Blogger’s Alliance have insightful essays and comments. Other individuals worth reading, too numerous to list, write for these websites. In the future, most of my comments on Islam will be relegated to the Infidel Blogger’s Alliance.

On Liberty and Culture, I had intended to focus on the trends in our culture that undermine our resolve to celebrate, sustain, and fight for the values that made our nation great. But in times of war, the strength or weakness of a culture becomes apparent. While the corruption and decay in our universities is growing, we still have a strong tradition that is capable of resisting this insidious influence, but not without a vigorous fight. How do we stop the decay? What are our core values and how do we fight for them effectively?

The first step is always education. The internet gives us a tool to counter the influence of the MSM and universities just as the printing press gave people the power to bypass the Church. The power of a vibrant community of writers engaged in debate should not be underestimated. As we talk with our fellow citizens across our great land, and with sympathetic individuals through out the world, we can forge a renewed awareness of the values that made America, and our sister nations of the Anglo-sphere, civilization’s bulwark against tyranny and barbarism over the last 200 years.

16 Comments:

Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Our "sister nations of the Anglo-sphere"?

What kind of fascist nonsense are you pushing?

You relly have gone over the high side a few times too often.

5/25/06, 12:34 PM  
Blogger Cubed © said...

Jason,

This particular quote in your piece is a superb illustration of an important psycological effect of modern communication; here's the quote:

"One of my bitter memories is of the 1968 Tet offensive by the North Vietnamese controlled Vietcong that failed. South Vietnamese and American forces not only held, but in many parts of the country they so badly mauled the Vietcong that their ability to launch another offensive was set back many years. Yet, the Media played up the Vietcong's momentary successes in Saigon and Hue, and subsequently treated the offensive as a Vietcong victory."

"News," of course, generally refers to something that isn't ordinary, something that is unusual, something not part of everyday life. In a sense, then, it is good that it is mostly bad stuff that is reported, and not good stuff - it would be a real problem if the good stuff were the unusual, and the bad stuff were the expected!

There is a problem, though, because of modern technology. We can now report all the bad stuff - the news - from all over the world, and show it in our living rooms.

The psychological impact, despite our best efforts, is to respond emotionally as if all those bad things were happening locally, in your own nearby community. We know it isn't true, but the emotional response tends to lean in that direction.

We know that our press corps etc. are biased, but it doesn't even take a bias to produce the kind of effect reported by Professor Rummel to achieve a similar effect; normal news reporting of the events that are not usual, mostly meaning "bad," will do pretty much the same thing.

In the fine old tradition of fighting fire with fire, I applaud your plan to address the underlying problem of education; our failure to take up the slack left by the postmodernist takeover of our educational system, all the way up to the failure of our news outlets to provide context (which would include the discussions not only of the problems reported, but proposed solutions, as well) has led to resolve that has been weakened and discouraged by being battered only by the problems, with no hope for a solution.

If we understand the principles that underlie the actions that provide solutions, our resolve will strengthen, and we will win.

"The Great American Subconscious," the attitude that is the only remaining fragment of a time when we knew these principles at a more explicit level, is ripe for such an educational effort.

Thank you.

5/25/06, 12:59 PM  
Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

"We know that our press corps etc. are biased."

No, we don't "know" anything of the kind. Can you expand on that dogma?

I'm sure Jason would have had us stay in Vietnam longer and upped the body count but for what purpose? When you get involved in the deaths of millions of people in service of some abstract idea ... no, life and intelligence are elswhere.

5/25/06, 1:16 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Fascist, Ducky? What happened to racist? With such antiquated rhetoric, you’re showing your age! Fascism is all the rage on the left although it is called Identity Politics and Multi-Culturalism. Racism is the new label for all the ills of the world.

But true racism is fashionable on the left under the euphemism “Affirmative Action.” The word games we play to hide our true nature.

5/25/06, 1:37 PM  
Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

I repeat, "sister nations of the Anglo-sphere"? Can you explain that?

5/25/06, 1:41 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

Yes, I agree Cubed. The accumulated effect of tradition, embodied in the habits of character of most Americans, needs only explication and a strong defense. Our values lay dormant and felt more than thought. To make them manifest and defend them outright is one task.

The other task is to expose the methods of the fifth column. Americans are so naïve when it comes to evil they often let the wolf into the hen house. ... sometimes dressed in duck's clothing.

5/25/06, 1:43 PM  
Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

I wrote here explaining that America, Britain and Britain’s Commonwealth allies maintained the traditions of civilization and defended the liberal order as:

“The collectivist threat was swiftly expanding over Europe and Asia. Trapped behind the Iron Curtin, denied the liberties we’ve associated with civilization, communism sadly chained a large fraction of once proud peoples. The 20th century manifested the prevalence of evil and the precariousness of civilization. But what about the stable democracies of England and the United States? Why didn’t it happen here? While continental Europe descended into dictatorships, totalitarian horrors, and the Gulag, the Anglo-American tradition upheld the rule of law, parliamentary proceedings, and the individual liberties of speech, thought, and religion. Clearly, we realized, there is something right about the American way; something that we must hold unto and cherish.”

Of course those nations (USA, UK, Canada, NZ, Australia, etc. ) that are children of the British Enlightenment maintained the core principles explicated by John Locke and carry forward a grand tradition:

“From Aquinas through the Renaissance and up until the mid-19th century, classical Greek or Latin was a part of a well-educated person’s course of study with which he entered the rich world of classical literature, art and science. Conservatives have to do more than pay occasion lip service to this heritage if we are to fight the Islamic barbarians effectively. This is what makes us different from them. Upon this foundation, stands the Anglo-American tradition of individual rights – a tradition that rejoices in the pursuit of happiness and well being. This is not a country of suffering, denial, and renunciation. This is not a martyrdom nation bent on holy war for the glory of Allah – whatever name you may give Him. Our nation was founded by absolutists who were certain of the rights inherent in human nature and expressed themselves eloquently in conceptual terms – not mere sentiment. Moral clarity comes from conceptual clarity.”

5/25/06, 1:52 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

While you're at it Ducky, explain how it is that you came by the deluded belief that fascism isn't left-wing.

5/26/06, 2:47 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Jason,
Perhaps I’ve focused too much on the nature of the external enemy, Islam.

I respectfully disagree. You brought needed attention to the inherent dangers of Islam by exposing the underlying ideology.

But as you also mentioned, other voices have appeared. At my own blog, I've been feeling the need to diversify--a lot to be "on watch" for, both negatively and positively.

Besides, focusing so much on Islam is downright depressing.

5/26/06, 6:04 AM  
Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Ah yes, Jason. Good 'ol John Locke. Life, liberty and property.

Now why did even Jefferson realize that was a losing philosophy and change it to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It's open for discussion but I think even jefferson realizes that community life is essential for individual happiness and had to show the 18th century equivalent of Randoids the door.

5/26/06, 9:26 AM  
Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Beamish, corporate ownership of the state is not commonly accep[ted as a "leftist" political structure.

5/26/06, 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL, one can always rely on prolific comment spammer Mr. Ducky to show up here and dump his wisdom in the comment section...

5/26/06, 11:37 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

LOL at that comment from Anonymous.

Bwahahahaha!

5/26/06, 7:23 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Beamish, corporate ownership of the state is not commonly accep[ted as a "leftist" political structure.

"Corporate ownership of the state?" You're attempting to define fascism out of historical existence.

Please refresh your memory.

5/26/06, 9:08 PM  
Blogger leelion said...

Mr Beamish, thanks for that link to the leftist/fascist article.

5/27/06, 7:41 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Beamish,
I saved that link. I need a bigger file cabinet, with all the links I keep saving. LOL.

5/28/06, 9:26 AM  

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