April 19, 2004

Trying to avoid the implications

Thinking about the previous post...I'm hearing various interpretations about Gorelick --but it really doesn't matter.

The commission should be derailed, because it's useless partisan bullshit (Dems will succeed in pinning 9/11 on Bush like they succeeded in pinning Enron on Bush, which is to say not-at-all.) --but it doesn't matter.

What matters is that on 9/11 Bush and his Administration realized that we were at war. Not limited war, not narrow-war, not sort-of-war, not war-unless-we-can-prevent-it. War.

And ever since then many people (notably many Democrats, but not all) have been wriggling and squirming and writhing trying to avoid the implications of that. Trying to avoid taking a position. Or avoid admitting they don't have a position, or do have a position, but one that's not exactly on our side...John Kerry is really the perfect leader of his party.

Mostly trying to avoid the implications.

Such as that squawking and flapping and finger-pointing when things get tough is wrong! Is encouraging the enemy and endangering our forces.

That it is their duty to support their country and the President. (And part of that duty includes constructive criticism.)

That concepts like duty and honor and patriotism aren't so dead as some people have hoped.

That people can no longer slide by with vague tranzi world-will-be-better-with-more-UN mushy thinking anymore.

That in a war you can't win all the battles.

And one thing that history teaches is that even those who are pro-war don't get all the implications at first. It takes time to sink in. After a while the McClellans are sidelined, and the Grants and Shermans move to the front. If you are not reading Belmont Club, you should be. Read this post, on how we are really just starting to realize we are at war. "The United States has been dragged unwillingly into war and mentally at least the process has not yet been completed, but it is proceeding apace..."

Another thing we learn from history. Who were the anti-war leaders before Pearl Harbor? The America-Firsters, the Isolationists? Do you remember any of them? And the Republican leadership, which had been pandering to the Isolationists? They are gone, they are forgotten. They were discredited by Pearl Harbor. The coming election is, in some ways, a waste of time. Baring some strange calamity, the Democrats are not going to win. With every week, with every battle, it will sink in deeper that we are at war. And every attempt of Democrats to squirm away from that fact will discredit them further.

* [NOTE: I don't mean to say that the anti-war and limited-war people are necessarily wrong in all their criticisms. Nor were the Isolationists all wrong. Much of what they said was painfully true. But both groups avoided the central fact, that we were at war. So they were/are irrelevant.]

Wretchard writes:

...The United States is finally beginning to think like a belligerent, despite it's best efforts not to. The United States Marines are seeking private donations -- not government money -- to set up a number of television stations in Iraq to broadcast our side of the story through a program called Spirit of America...
Think about it. History will criticize the Bush Administration for missing the obvious. But it will utterly condemn Hollywood and NBC and ABC and CBS and CNN. They have no excuse. No excuse for not jumping in and helping. (Nor has the NYT, which did nothing while the WSJ helped out.) Not to mention their strange symbiosis with terrorists, who provide stories in exchange for publicity. We hardly notice it now, because we are used to it. But as the reality of war sinks in...

Posted by John Weidner at April 19, 2004 9:23 AM
Weblog by John Weidner