Skip to comments.(Vanity) How Many Republicans Does It Take To Screw Up A Campaign, or The War on Error
Posted on 12/10/2006 10:28:07 PM PST by grey_whiskers
I happened to see a tagline on an internet forum last week which read: The last major culture shift took about 2 years 1968-69 -- so why is this one taking so long? Being naturally curious, as well as something of a political junkie, I started pondering the question. Of course, the first thing came to mind was the summer of love and all of that; the whole counter-culture. But that led directly to another controversial happening of the erathe Vietnam War. (The slogan of the day was make love, not war after all.) But thinking of Vietnam brought to mind both the current war on terror (with John Kerry still protesting)and the current culture wars. I think there are some interesting parallels to be drawn.
The conventional wisdom on Iraq is that it is a quagmire. Americas finestthe brave members of our armed services, men and women alikeare being cut down in their prime, victims of IEDs, ambushes, and firefights. We are losing a war of attrition to a nameless, faceless enemy who strikes without warning, and then blends in with the civilians, where we are forbidden to follow. This looks remarkably like one of those dangerous foreign entanglements which we were warned about in Washingtons farewell address. (Who would have thought that Muslims would trouble us after the Barbary Pirates, anyway?)
As further evidence of the quagmire, Senator Gordon Smith from Oregon, phrased it like this in a recent speech from the floor:
But I, for one, am tired of paying the price of 10 or more of our troops dying a day. So let's cut and run, or cut and walk, or let us fight the war on terror more intelligently than we have, because we have fought this war in a very lamentable way.
So it is very interesting, that in the aftermath of the recent elections, and the release of the Iraq study group, we now have even Republicans openly using the word cut and run as an option, instead of an imprecation.
To contrast, the President told us that the struggle against terrorism would be long; and he said that back in 2001, shortly after 9/11. To quote this site:
This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.
Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success
Think about those phrases. Not one battle, but a lengthy campaign. No swift conclusion. Use of ground troops. Covert operations, secret even in success.
Now consider the quotes of this nations enemies from the same time frame. From the site In Their Own Words: "The 11 September attacks were not targeted at women and children. The real targets were America's icons of military and economic power."
Osama bin Laden, 8 Nov 01
"In a matter of time, you will see attacks on the stock market. That is what al-Qaeda is skillful with. I would not be surprised if tomorrow I hear of a big economic collapse because of somebody attacking the main technical systems in big companies. I would advise those who doubt al-Qaeda's interest in cyberweapons to take Osama bin Laden very seriously. The third letter from bin Laden was clearly addressing using technology in order to destroy the economy of the capitalist states."
Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, 25 Nov 02
"There is no doubt that the Americans' losses are very heavy because they are deployed across a wide area and among the people and because it is easy to procure weapons. All of which makes them easy and mouthwatering targets for the believers."
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
It is quite clear, therefore, both leaders of both sides in the Iraq war have been thinking in terms of a protracted conflict. Which returns us to the original quote, and the subject of the culture wars. Like the fight against terrorism, the culture wars have been long and protracted. Like the fight against terrorism, we have been facing an enemy with very clear goals, but who chooses a bewildering variety of methods and fronts. Instead of IEDs, we have gotcha news stories, from forged National Guard memos to photoshopped news articles of non-existent civilian deaths in the Middle East and above-the-fold coverage of Abu Gharib.. Instead of allies with hidden agendas and mixed motives, we have disunity in our rankswith fault lines on immigration, country-club Republicans vs. Reaganites vs. the dread religious right. Instead of world-class geniuses at TSA keeping us safe from fingernail clippers, we have world-class PR hacks who failed to answer the Mark Foley scandal leading up to the election.
So in answer to the taglines question, why is the current cultural shift taking so long? The answer, it seems, is that it current culture waron our side, at leastis being prosecuted with the same strategic genius as the larger war on terror.
Oh, and one other similarity between the war on terror and the culture wars which might be having an effect on things.
In both cases, only one side is burdened with RINOs.
Apologies for the delay.
Thanks for writing, I'll mull it over.
Nice writing Sir.
Thanks for the compliment--my idea is that the ideology of U.S. weakness in war being *good*, is championed by many of the same folk who were behind the sexual revolution, gay rights, what have you.
The 1968-69 slogan "make love, not war" failed on both fronts.
The fall of Saigon was proof that we lost the Viet Nam war.
The rise of AIDS was proof that we lost the sexual revolution.
In both cases, mankind was far worse off than when we started. Viet Nam cost us 50,000 lives and millions of Vietnamese lives both before and after the war ended. The sexual revolution has cost many (I hesitate to say millions) of lives. In both cases, our society had been forced or has chosen to modify it behavior.
Well, those who espoused this slogan eventually got their way (their *surface* goals) on both points.
As you point out in your next two sentences, the larger, longer term consequences of those folks getting their way were...disastrous.
Whether these larger effects were part of the design (Gramscian, Pandora's box, or diabolical) is another question.
Perhaps your "culture shift" is rooted in failure.
I'm not following this part, could you elaborate?
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