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A sad, but probably true essay on the mistake that the enemy makes, and will probably continue to make:
The day the man with the wide-brimmed hat nods over one of our cities, the day our people start to die in numbers comparable to the flu of 1918, the day a dirty bomb goes off in downtown Manhattan, is the day the world gets reminded that this fat, happy country of ours, this cheerfully hedonistic civilization, is also the most terrible engine of slaughter the world has ever seen.Posted by Rand Simberg at February 27, 2007 06:37 AM
I'll believe it when I see it. Not an instant before. If 9/11/2001 wasn't enough to wake up the pacifists, then I don't believe anything is.Posted by wolfwalker at February 27, 2007 07:43 AM
9/11 did wake up the pacifists, for awhile. There were very, very few voices counceling calm in the early days. The Congress was voting whatever Bush wanted. It was the combination of extraordinary success in Afghanistan (made things look easy and over) followed by Iraq (most people couldn't see the connection to the war on terror) that finally got the Pacifists to agitate.
Fact is the USA has roughly a 4 year tolerance for war (The people started to turn on the Vietnam conflict after four years, every other war was shorter or out of the public eye). Bush should have known that and instead of preparing us for the long war, should have figured out what could be done in four and gone ape shit on our enemies to get it done.Posted by rjschwarz at February 27, 2007 08:43 AM
I have to agree with wolfwalker here. Yes, if something that massive does happen we will respond in an initial spasm that, if sustained, would be effective. But after WWII I don't think the American people have the stomach for sustained and total war that being "the most terrible engine of slaughter" requires.
My only hope is that once everyone that lived during the 50 years after WWII is dead that the subsequent generations will fight for their way of life. Assuming our way of life exists long enough for them to fight for it.
Over the past 6 years two thoughts keep coming up: 1) maybe you have to elect Democrats to fight a war in order to defuse the anti-war left and the media and 2) even if you do, maybe a majority of Americans really aren't interested in being American anymore?
Needless to say, I'm not optimistic....Posted by Michael Mealling at February 27, 2007 08:46 AM
I don't understand what the fuss is. The peace movement was pretty strong before the Second World War too. If a nuke goes off on Manhattan Island, it won't matter if the pacifists are awake or not. I have a great concern that in such a circumstance, we'll act irrationally and counterproductively. But I don't see just an "initial spasm".I think the current generations are getting a bad rap.
And as far as the peace movement existing prior to WWII I think the difference is that the majority of the press didn't actively take their side. Ok, maybe that was a little bit of an exageration. But not much of one. I distincly remember the "we deserved 9/11!" crap happening on major news shows while the Twin Towers were still on fire. Would that have happened at all after Perl Harbor?Posted by Michael Mealling at February 27, 2007 10:42 AM
...the most terrible engine of slaughter the world has ever seen.
The world has seen that? This is very poorly worded. Mao, more than ever, ran the greatest slaughter machine.Posted by D Anghelone at February 27, 2007 11:06 AM
Fact is the USA has roughly a 4 year tolerance for war (The people started to turn on the Vietnam conflict after four years, every other war was shorter or out of the public eye). Bush should have known that and instead of preparing us for the long war, should have figured out what could be done in four and gone ape shit on our enemies to get it done.
I would change your 'has' to 'has had.'
IMO, if this war is what is supposed then Bush was correct in prepping for the long war and foolish for stumbling into a battle (Iraq) to subsume the war.Posted by D Anghelone at February 27, 2007 11:15 AM
Michael, I was thinking of the baby boomers in particular. I think their reputation is undeserved. D, the most terrible engines of slaughter haven't been used yet.
Mao, more than ever, ran the greatest slaughter machine.
I suspect he meant wholesale, rather than retail...Posted by Rand Simberg at February 27, 2007 11:17 AM
...the most terrible engines of slaughter haven't been used yet.
Then the world hasn't yet seen them, which is my point. "...the most terrible engine of slaughter the world has ever seen." implies that we've engaged the slaughter. We haven't.Posted by D Anghelone at February 27, 2007 12:00 PM
I suspect he meant wholesale, rather than retail...
It's $29.95, but for you...
Who cares what he meant? Somebody's gotta whip that boy for what he said. :-)Posted by D Anghelone at February 27, 2007 12:06 PM
Disagree. There isn't anything markedly different about a generation born then and a generation born now.
We see a huge diff because of mythology that has grown up around the Greatest Generation. How can you compare the guys you know with a bunch of heros with 10 league boots who stormed Normandy or fought in the Ardennes?
But really - they were just a bunch of ordinary guys who did what they had to do. Not so much different from the guys around you now.Posted by brian at February 27, 2007 02:35 PM
I agree with wolfwalker. I think the rot is too deep, the culture too debased, for the West to awake and defend itself. I picture Time Magazine, a photo of Manhattan in flames on its cover. Printed over the mushroom cloud: "Why Do They Hate Us? The Roots of Muslim Rage".
If I'm wrong, I'll be happy to admit it.Posted by bchan at February 27, 2007 10:08 PM
"the most terrible engines of slaughter haven't been used yet."
Try telling that to the inhabitants of Hiroshima.
I suspect that the only way to make the barbarians realise what they face is to show them. Time for the tall man of smoke who wears a wide hat to stoop over Mecca.Posted by Fletcher Christian at February 28, 2007 02:41 AM
Try telling that to the inhabitants of Hiroshima.
Try telling that to the inhabitants of China.Posted by D Anghelone at February 28, 2007 05:48 AM
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