Monday, May 27, 2013

All Wars Must End. Then What?

What are we to make of the president's End of the War speech at the National Defense University last week.  It's the one in which he said:
But this war, like all wars, must end.  That’s what history advises.  That’s what our democracy demands.
He is talking about the AUMF, the Congressional Authorization to Use Military Force that is now "nearly 12 years old."  He wants a national conversation:
 I intend to engage Congress about the existing Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, to determine how we can continue to fight terrorism without keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing.
Is this a practical step, a final end to the failed Bush doctrine, or a grievous betrayal of the young men that fought and died in the war on terror, a progressive muddle that misunderstands the issue of militant Islam?

The answer, of course, is All of the Above.

On balance, I think this is a good thing.  Not because President Obama is doing the right thing, not at all.  I rate President Obama as a man that usually fails to think out of the box of his postmodern identity liberalism.  That is a failing that is costing and will cost America a bundle.  The one thing we need today in America is leadership that can think outside of the liberal conventional wisdom.

Surely, though, after twelve years since 9/11, it is time to step back and think seriously about what we are doing in the Middle East, in the war on terror, in the cultural conflicts of conservatism vs. the welfare state, secularism vs. religion, Christianity vs. Islam.

When you do that it is not that hard to decide what to do.

At the tactical level we need to make things difficult for individual terrorists and work on making them appear shameful and monstrous.  And please, there must be a way to make our airplanes safe other than the dead hand of the bureaucracy at the Transportation Security Administration.

At the strategic level we want to make life difficult for Iran and bolster the strategic situation of Israel.  It doesn't hurt that Israel now has petroleum wells out in the Mediterranean and that the fracking revolution is going to marginalize Mideast oil.

But it is at the grand strategic or cultural vision level that we have the real problem.  It is not because of Islam.  It is because of the problem of liberalism.  Instead of building a society of independent sociable individuals that freely and generously work and save and give, we have been busily building, for the last century, a balkanized culture defined by the old marks of identity -- sex, race, and tribe -- with a powerful addiction to government "free stuff."

Why is that?  It's simple.  That is the way you increase the power of the liberal ruling class.  Divide and conquer, it is called.  Liberals want to segregate the population into separate identity ghettos and rile up each identity group with hate.  That's the way that government thrives.  When everyone is a helpless victim, surrounded by malevolent forces like The Man or The Great Satan, then they need government to protect them from everything.

The great virtue of the feckless Obama years, the years the locust ate, is that at the end of it we will be forced to get serious -- about not just the problem of Islam but the greater question of the putrid problems in our own culture.  For that we can thank our First Black President.

All we know is that it ain't gonna be easy.  But then nothing worthwhile ever was easy.

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