"The majority of people are timid by nature, and that is why they constantly exaggerate danger. All influences on the military leader, therefore, combine to give him a false impression of his opponent's strength, and from this arises a new source of indecision."
~ Karl von Clausewitz
"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum." (Latin)
(Therefore, whoever wishes for peace, let him prepare for war.)
~ Vegetius in "De Re Militari"
There is nothing pretty about War. War is an unalterably ugly thing. It is to be avoided whenever possible. But it cannot be avoided at all cost. Some costs are far too dear to bear. Because nobody comes in second in a War. There is a winner and a loser. And the losers in War are not envied their position.
Ask the French who lost to Nazi Germany how life was under the Germans. Ask the Germans who lost to the Soviets. Ask the Greeks who were defeated by the Turks. Ask the Native Americans who lost to the United States. Ask the Carthaginians who lost to the Romans. No, wait! You can't ask the Carthaginians. The were annihilated by the Romans and sold into slavery, their cities razed, the ground sown with salt.
"It is clear that war is not a mere act of policy but a true political instrument, a continuation of political activity by other means"
~ Karl von Clausewitz
Any nation which embarks on the path to War must be prepared to win it - no matter the cost - if that nation is to survive. Britain dithered, and sought Peace by any means, to avoid going to War with Nazi Germany. Their blindness to reality in Continental Europe, their reluctance to arm in preparation for what was coming, cost them dearly, in money, lives, and Empire. They sent out their diplomats to talk Peace with a tyrant. They talked and talked until they had an agreement - a piece of paper - to show the people.
And then the Nazis struck. And Havoc enveloped the entire world.
During the Cold War, Americans were told that the Communists were just like us. They loved their children, dreamed of better lives, wanted only to live in Peace. And all the while the Soviets gobbled up defenseless nations, enslaved their people, and plotted the destruction of the Western world. And still the Pacifists in the West prattled on about how peaceful were the intentions of the Communists.
Wars were fought between the Communists and the Western Powers by proxy. Many people died. Much blood was spilled. And still the Pacifists blithered on that the West needed to understand the Soviet's view of things. And while they told us that, the Communists undermined free nations, murdered dissenters, enslaved the imprisoned populace of Eastern Europe and of Asia. And the Pacifists told us we must fear War, avoid it at all costs, and give in to the very enemies of the Freedoms they took for granted.
And the Pacifists insisted that we could not win the Cold War. So why bother fighting it? Let's try detente! Let's try Treaties! Anything but fight the Communists.
"No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his body, to risk his well being, to risk his life, in a great cause."
~ Theodore Roosevelt
Then, as the 20Th Century aged, bloody and wretched, Leaders came to power in the West, Leaders who did not accept the dicta of the Pacifists, the Socialists, the fearful. Britain elected a Conservative woman to lead them, to the horror of the Leftists. And she began the unenviable task of dismantling the Socialist stranglehold on the British economy. She refused to allow the naked aggression of a Military Thug to stand in the Falklands. She took the tiny island to War. And the Left howled its rage at her for daring to show courage in the face of unrelenting attacks on her. But she was steadfast. And Britain won the War.
The United States elected as President a man who had evolved from a Liberal to a Conservative, a man who made a living as an actor. The Left howled with rage. For this man had already stood up to the Leftist thugs in California as its elected Governor. He knew that you did not, dared not, compromise with those who would bow to those who fear a Free people.
He was told we could not win the Cold War. He asked, "Why not?" His advisers asked him, "What's your plan?" He replied, "We win. They lose." And it was almost as simple as that.
He refused to bow to the supposed greatness and inevitability of the Soviet Union, refused to appease them, despite the immense pressure of the Press to do so. He re-armed the United States against the screaming complaints of the Left. And he told the Soviets he would. The Soviets came to him, seeking a compromise. Against all advice he refused.
The Soviet Union fell. Shortly thereafter the Iron Curtain was pulled down. Not from without, not from invasion, but from within. The people of Eastern Europe, their bonds loosened with the internal upheaval of the Communist regime in Moscow, freed themselves. The Cold War was won. Not by the forces of Tyranny but by the forces of Freedom acting with resolve. A resolve not shown by the West since the end of the Second World War.
"The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life."
~ Theodore Roosevelt
But the Left never dies, never admits defeat, never stops trying to enslave humanity. So the United States began to disarm. Seeking the money from the "Peace Dividend" so hard-won by others, the West began to nap, ignoring the growing and seething tyrannies, and religious Death Cults, around the world. When they attacked the outskirts of the Western world the West recoiled, and slumbered on. They spoke of righteous anger, and retribution to come, but did nothing. And the Death Cults grew bolder.
All the while the Leftists demanded more disarmament, more taxes to fund their schemes, more hatred to heap on those who worried about the growing Evil without our own borders. For to the Leftists, their time in Power meant the "Never-Ending Party". Any who dared to disagree were to be shouted down, castigated, ruined, if possible.
"The fool who has not sense to discriminate between what is good and what is bad is well nigh as dangerous as the man who does discriminate and yet chooses the bad."
~ Theodore Roosevelt
The people of the United States grew weary of the teenagers running the nation and elected the son of a President to the White House. The Left and the Press hated him. They made sure, as they always do, that the world knew what a buffoon he was, how stupid he was, how poorly he spoke. And when the Death Cults struck at the very heart of this nation, that man stood tall, and refused to bow to the appeasers.
He was advised to not be hasty, to understand the grievances of those who murder the defenseless and the innocent. And he bided his time. He let the diplomats ply their trade while the Death Cultists plotted more destruction, more bloodshed, more murder. He talked to supposed allies and sought help and agreement from them. They refused him almost to a man. And while he waited the Death Cultists allied themselves with bloody Tyrants in Iraq and Iran.
And finally there was simply no more time to wait. Acting on information gathered under his predecessor, the President took the nation to War. First with Afghanistan's terrorist regime, then with Iraq's bloody Tyrant. And the Leftists howled with rage. They warned that no Western Power had ever won in Afghanistan, they called the War there a quagmire within hours of its beginning. They went to the allies of the Iraqi Tyrant and told them that the US would invade Iraq. And they heaped such vitriol on the President that it beggars the imagination.
"Find the enemy and shoot him down. Anything else is nonsense"
~ Captain Manfred von Richthofen ("The Red Baron"), 1917
In their zeal to shackle the President, the Left enshrined an ideal for fighting War that was impossible and suicidal to attempt. Rules of Engagement were so onerous that the Soldiers fighting for their country were at risk of arrest and prosecution for criminal acts. The Left did anything it could to defeat the President, and by extension, the United States. From the incessant vilification of the President, and any who support him, to exposure of National Secrets to handcuff the nation, to prosecution of officials for crimes that never happened, the Left plied its trade. And the American people were caught in the middle, not knowing what was the truth and what was the lie. But many simply wanted the United States to win, and so continued to support the President, the Servicemen and women fighting the Death Cultists, and refused to be shouted down by the Left and its minions.
"War is fear cloaked in courage."
~ William Westmoreland
Now, while the nation is truly at War in Iraq, and may be in Iran in the near future, the nibbling of the Leftist Hamsters of Hatred continues. Nothing matters to them but gaining and holding Power, while destroying the hated President. They will destroy the nation's economy to continue pushing a Socialism that has never worked anywhere in the world. They will buy votes with taxes, tax those they hate into oblivion, if they can, and try, as they have seemingly forever, to legislate against the Morality of the Ages in favor of the Licentiousness of Today. And they will snipe at those who are proud of this nation, proud of our history, proud of all that we have accomplished as a people. To the Leftists, those who wave the Stars and Stripes with pride are uneducated, illiterate, religious extremists, hate-mongers, war-mongers, beneath contempt.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belong to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again. Who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause. Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
~ Theodore Roosevelt ("The Man in the Arena")
The Left will only go to War to further what they think is a Progressive agenda, but is actually a bargain with the Devil. War in defense of the Homeland is incomprehensible to them. War in defense of ourselves is, likewise, incomprehensible to them. For our lives, our way of life, our Faith, is nothing to them but uncivilized superstition, and must be wiped out. The only thing in which the Left has Faith is in themselves and their self-acclaimed greatness. Question their Patriotism? We rarely do, but are accused of it with every question we do ask. Question their morals? They have none save those which will benefit themselves to the detriment of the rest of us. We fight a War, today, not simply to free and keep free those enslaved by tyrannies, but we fight the War to preserve our own Freedoms and Liberties which are daily threatened. From within as well as without.
Yes, War is an ugly, horrible thing. And we fight when we must!
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free unless made or kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
~ John Stuart Mill
Oh how I wish this could be published in every Newspaper in the land... on the front page!
I didn't scan this most excellent article, Benning. It's far too well written for that. I read every word, every sentence, and sometimes more than once. This is exactly the truth!
Thanks, Gayle. :D
Trust me, it kinda rolled right out.
There is nothing pretty about War. War is an unalterably ugly thing. It is to be avoided whenever possible. But it cannot be avoided at all cost. Some costs are far too dear to bear. Because nobody comes in second in a War. There is a winner and a loser.
Then, along came the Left--as you've pointed out. The Right was thrust into crisis-management mode and bought into the concept of "just war." From that point, civilization has been sliding downhill.
Wow. That was a brilliant essay. Sadder because it's true. I wonder if this is how all great nations end.
Leftist hamsters of hatred...so well put my friend!..Happy Sunday to ya!..:)
A wonderful, wonderful post, benning!
What Gayle said!
ABSOLUTELY BRILliant! sorry for the enthusiastic screaming, I toned it down as I realized it.
Submit the puppy at RealClear, it needs to be read. If I had read this somewhere else I would have searched for the author for the opportunity to read more.
Most, if not all of those quotes should be a stand alone post at some point with the subject line having the name of the "liberal media love of the moment"....
I don't know what else to say Benning, I'm just "typeless."
Thanks to all of you! I submitted this to Real Clear Politics. Howsabout a vote?
Looks like you've got 10 votes at this point. Glad you submitted it. I don't think you'll get the toaster, but from what I can tell over there the more votes the longer it is viewable there. I haven't seen an archive for submitted articles, so at a certain point they just drop off the radar although you can view your own submittals down the road.
This essay is really great, I can't tell you enough how inspiring it was/is; although knowing the reality of some it's also disturbing in those images it brings up.
You probably don't want to hear this, but for this submittal and any possible future ones you may want to decrease your images and the such as (you probably know) your page loads pretty slowly. I've been cleaning mine up as much as I hate/hated to. But when I started submitting posts at RCP I realized most people would not have the patience to wait for my page load to read what I posted....so...I've removed anything that gave my site any kind of character, or visual enjoyment for myself; great huh?
Anyway, enough of my minding someone elses business.
A wonderful article and I agree with you completely. The sad truth is that those who really need to read this, won't. I agree that this should be published on the front page everywhere, but sadly it won't.
You may be preaching to the choir, but I for one feel inspired, proud even, to be included in the group that feels I have something worth fighting for. Thank you
Brilliantly said and quite powerful. Thank you.
Excellent,excellent essay. My thanks to Blandly Urbane, for touting this to the members of the Wednesday Hero blogroll.
It inspired me to go by Real Clear Politics and register,so I could vote for it.
Excellent post. Thank you!
Well said and you got my vote at RCP. I've also linked to the essay as well as I will be emailing to the folks who don't hit the blogs.
Thank you! :D
Please consider this linked, lifted, and quoted in it's entirety.
Pardon my lateness to the party; I've been busy looking for work...
Cary, you ain't late. Plenty of chips over by the settee, and the beer's in the fridge. ;)
New to your site, and late on top of that. Many thanks for the very uplifting article. Truth and clarity trumps liberal rage, everytime. Posted my vote at RCP, too. Thanks again.
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