The Calculus of Confrontation
Peace is very nice, but it doesn’t exist until everyone subscribes. Where ever in the world there are tyrants who rose to power using violence, or something close to violence, there are people who know the effectiveness of violence, and will resort to it with increasing frequency as it becomes increasingly effective.
Our enemies recognize that, for the most part, we do not come from the same school as they do. We can be intimidated by accusations that we bully others, usually by bullies themselves, and we can be intimidated by threats of violence. Americans see the rest of the world as a hornets’ nest. I mean, sure, we’re more powerful and everything, and sure, we could just destroy them completely, but my gosh, why should we go meddling? What’s to gain? Live and let live. People are different. Respect their differences. Culture is relative, and everyone thinks their culture is the best. Isn’t that right?
Well of course it’s right. But seriously, these annoying other places are annoying because they don’t share any of those dicta of tolerance. They would like to grab that ring in our collective nose and lead us around like a prize bull. If you think they would have any qualms about embarrassing us, or hurting us, you’re crazy. The use of power by power-loving people becomes when unmet, effective and exponentially cumulative. Prussia nearly conquered the world. Do yourself a favor and look at the historical maps of the Roman Empire.
We, and the rest of the free world, represent something new. We are a people who truly believes that we can coexist and actually wants to coexist with the rest of the world. Before the US came into being, nations addressed each other with avarice, animosity or indifference. We are different. You don’t have to be part of the US to be our natural allies. You can be as different as you want, and everything is cool. We love everybody, but we must not allow ourselves to forget that some nations, the lands of the powerful men, return the favor by viewing us with avarice, animosity or indifference – and they make their plans.
Ralph Peters discusses some of these axioms in an article in Front Page Magazine. He notes that our enemies, unchecked, unconfronted, have meddled, and will not hesitate to meddle more in whatever efforts we take in the world. As long as the parental eye of the voting American public doesn’t see the devious action under the table, there is no price to be paid by the troublemakers.
Within two weeks, four choppers go down in Iraq. Shot down. By enemies who previously couldn't hit the Goodyear Blimp.
Attack helicopters and transport birds, military and contractor aircraft went down. Crews KIA (in one case, executed). Did the bad guys just get lucky?
No. They have new weapons. And new training. And a new strategy.
Unless these shoot-downs were a weird blip, foreign powers are involved, providing the missiles and training - probably outside of Iraq. Our intel services either already know who's lurking behind our enemies' new capabilities or will confirm it soon enough.
And who might those third parties be?
[T]he foes of freedom beyond Iraq's borders raised the stakes significantly by providing deadly new weapons and training to the insurgents and terrorists. They're confident that they hold the winning cards. It's time we taught them how to play for keeps
To your Average Anti-War Thinker, this sounds like new excuses to pursue a tired strategy. But why do we do it? What profit is gained for the Administration by hysterically barking at every rabbit in the woods?
The fact is that there are reasons rooted in the real world, reasons that cannot be believably explained to a cynical public in the midst of a propaganda war. So the President does not try. The AAWT, on the other hand, fleshes out that unexplainable something with the magic sinews of imputed motive. I’m sure you’ve heard some of these accusations. They are ludicrous, but they are believed. The over-the-top conspiracy theorizing on the Left tells you that they are outraged at the uncivilized behavior of the White House. And it should also tell you that they just cannot compute what the real reasons might be.
2/11/2007 2:46 AM