Wednesday, July 26, 2006

With All Due Respect

So Newt is saying it’s WW III. Actually it’s WW IV, as I’ve noted before. What, the Cold War wasn’t war? It didn’t involve the world? It wasn’t a conflict between super alliances for survival? True, it lasted two generations, but I don’t see how that disqualifies it from being a world war. And true, it was hardly ever fought directly between the two major forces, US and USSR. But do you suppose Korea, and Vietnam, weren't its battlefields? Lives lost and dollars spent pretty much make it a world war -- as do countless graves on alien soil.

On the other hand -- the correct hand -- it is not a World War at all. Certainly not. Clearly. Because World Wars, whatever powers they might involve, require a war footing. They require conscription. They require a sooper-dooper concentration of economic resources. In World Wars, nuances fade, birds cease their song, and the world goes black and white.

It doesn’t have to do with the threat. I’m not even sure about World War I. What exactly was the threat to us there? For World Wars must of course involve the United States. WW I was the Franco-Prussian war, writ large. Big deal. Yet it was the First World War. They were too naïve, then, to know to number it -- it was only the Great War to the flappers, supposed to end all wars. A stupid war, like so many. Unnecessary. Like a modern divorce. Only the children really suffer.

So it doesn’t have to do with the threat. It has to do with the response to the threat. A major precipitating event of WW I, for the US, was the bombing of the Lusitania. Intolerable outrage. Took a while for the pressure to build, but build it did. And off we went. Rented-a-tent. Nobody gets away with sinking … well, not our ships, but unrestricted bombings. And millions for defense, but not one penny for tribute. And that Wilson was such a cowboy.

Alas, four score and six years later we lost some constructions rather larger than a ship, to an analogous process. We suffered a sneak attack on a par with Pearl Harbor. And our response was not conscription, not rationing, not a war footing. Our response was not to turn every hole the enemy was hiding in into a grave, but … regime change. Not a bad thing, as a tactic. But hardly a World War. Coalitions of the Willing do not a World War make.

Al-Queda issues a Zimmerman telegram every few weeks, and what is our response? Not so black and white. Israel finally takes a somewhat more proactive position, and the Old Gray Lady and her MSM pimps and bastards climax multiplely to images of ahem civilian casualties. Talk about necrophilia. The death cult of Islamism has found its prophet in the West. And as long as we suffer not merely fools but traitors at home, how serious can we truly be about killing the enemy abroad?

That of course is the key concept. Seriousness. Unseriousness. Not of our soldiers -- they are deadly serious. And not of our enemies. They get it. Us. Us. We're not serious. Our attention has wandered. Gas prices are high. What an outrage! I won't multiply climaxes. The point is obvious. At least to us. You and me, and the enemy. We get it. As for the peaceniks, well, they hold so few allegiances that their conversion to the religion of peace wouldn't even have to be coerced. That's the side they're on, anyway. Because, as they know, war is not the answer. By which they mean self-defense.

This is a World War? I wish.


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