Skip to comments.TET II -- The End
Posted on 11/12/2006 7:36:33 AM PST by FlameThrower
If its any consolation, this is not the beginning of the end of Western civilization. It is the end of the beginning of the end of Western civilization.
Three years ago, I wrote a screed called Tet II in which I predicted that American liberals would once again turn victory into defeat this time in Iraq.
But Bush did not crack, and I found myself actually daring to hope that our Captain MacWhirr would, out of sheer unimaginative stubbornness, tame the coolies in the hold and outlast the typhoon. [Read Conrads masterpiece and experience the first six years of the 21st Century in metaphor. [T]he interest of which for us was, of course, not the bad weather but the extraordinary complication brought into the ship's life at a moment of exceptional stress by the human element below her deck. Unfortunately, reality has been edited to fit our national character: the ending will be changed.]
Oddly, it was a storm that dashed my hope for Bush. Not a typhoon, but a hurricane. Katrina was a low blow, but it turned the fight. The storm, itself, destroyed one city; the aftermath will destroy all cities and civilization, itself. The delayed result of those breached levies: nuclear terror to midwife the birth of a new Dark Ages.
I am not blaming this election. It is a result more than a cause. But there are irreversible moments in history, moments after which the toothpaste cannot ever be put back into the tube. We are in such a moment. The election irrevocably selected between two futures; the one selected is not the one we would have chosen with our eyes open.
Bush seemed about to confront the coming crisis five years ago. But the war not the war in Iraq, but the war here over Iraq undermined his efforts and distracted him from the task. He must take some of the blame for that. Now, we have just elected not to tackle the job and to institute policy gridlock where we need urgent action. Looking back it was probably all inevitable. It is about who we are. About our failings as a people.
Let me assert a couple of simple facts. I will not try to prove them. They are self evident to reasonable people. Unreasonable people are not my audience, and no proof would suffice for them, anyway.
First assertion: In the modern world of porous borders, massively destructive and easily secreted weaponry, huge concentrations of exposed economic value and apocalyptic religious fundamentalism, preemption is the only viable strategy for combating an implacable terrorist enemy bent solely on destruction. The Maginot Line did not work in two dimensions; it certainly will not in four.
Second assertion, to misquote Captain Segura (Ernie Kovacs): There are two classes of people: those who can be [terrorized] and those who can't . One never [terrorizes] except by mutual agreement. If you do not consent to be terrorized, terrorism does not work. If it does not work, it will, eventually, not happen. To allow it to work is to invite it to happen. The successfully terrorized victim serves as accomplice to the terrorist.
The Left invites terrorism. Partly because they are weak in the face of lifes adversities. Partly, here and now, because it suits their tactical political agendas. The Left is only too happy to oblige the terrorist -- to be terrorized in the right cause.
During the Cold War the Left gave aid and comfort to the Communist enemy -- ranging from outright espionage to deferential respect -- because an American victory would have severed their philosophical roots and deposed the patron of their ideological comrades in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa. But the war on terror is a war between Radical Islam and Western Liberalism. The Left has no dog in this fight.
When ideologies die, their movements often stumble on from bureaucratic inertia, like zombies. They rehearse old, outdated programming and dedicate themselves to the quest for power. Marxism-Leninism died decades ago in the Soviet Union; the system ground on until 1991. Similarly, the dead husk of the American Left struggles on -- animated by habit spasms and lusting for power.
The Lefts only conscious goal now is to regain political power. To do this they must deprive Bush of his victories -- in Iraq and against terror. This means robbing America of its victories in those struggles. It could mean the death of Western Civilization. That is a price they will gladly pay. They are the coolies rioting over dollars in the hold of MacWhirrs typhoon-tossed steamer Nan-Shan.
Our enemy knew from the start about this inescapable curse of the American psyche. Tet is their source book. They knew they could simply call and raise, again and again, no matter how bad the hand they had been dealt in Iraq. Inevitably, America would flinch and fold.
This knowledge emboldened them to launch, and then to persevere in their insurgency which grew as the anti-war movement gained strength. And vice versa.
The Left, by sensitizing itself and us to the terror, became an accomplice a catalyst in the killing and maiming of thousands of American servicemen. They gave the insurgents hope. And, in turn, directly benefited as the terror campaign persisted. The more they could make it appear that our policy in Iraq was Bushs failed policy even at the cost of causing it to fail the better their political fortunes, as the election has now proved.
In the end, of course, Bush has failed. About the time I wrote Tet II in late 2003, he had lost his nerve in the face of domestic criticism, going from dynamic offense to static occupation. This made Iraq the climactic battle in the war against terrorism and it is exactly the sort of battle we, as a people, are least suited to fight.
This piece is not about incrimination although it does sound like it, I admit. It is too late for that now. And we cant, ultimately, blame the Left and its chief weapon, the Media. The failure is ours, the American peoples. With popular sovereignty comes responsibility. We have been tested; and found wanting. Now we will face the consequences. And they will bring us, all of us, more than enough penance.
Nukes are paradigm-shifting weapons that invalidate Seguras Law. You can maintain a stiff upper lip to the occasional terror bombing, but stoical detachment cannot withstand nuclear attack.
If Iraq had succeeded, it might have aborted this future. Brought Western values of a sort to the Middle East and disarmed Iran and North Korea. But now, other radical states will actively seek nuclear technology. Iran will not be dissuaded. North Korea will, eventually, dispense its weapons.
In a couple of years, we will have passed the point of no return. The toothpaste will be out of the tube. Terrorists will have nukes. And, inevitably, terrorists will use those nukes on us.
Bushs original strategy was preemption: to attack and destroy the terrorist in their homes before they could muster an attack. To eliminate the festering failed States that sustained them. It morphed under pressure to nation-building. We will soon adopt a third way: we will redeploy out of Iraq tail between our legs. And the terrorist will follow us home. The nuclear attacks will be random, unstoppable and devastating.
The only way to fight terrorism, if you cannot prevent the attacks, is to ignore their effects. To refuse to consent to being terrorized.
The British ignored the IRA bombing of the old Commercial Union Building in London a generation ago. America ultimately shrugged off the destruction of the Twin Towers five years ago. But New York, Chicago, London, Paris The loss of entire cities will cripple Western economies and traumatize all civilized peoples. We will be locked in an unavoidable and unwinnable war of asymmetrical attrition: our landmark cities for their caves and mud-huts.
Great cities, the emblems of Western Civilization, began as a walled defenses against marauding enemies. In a world turned upside-down, they are now our great vulnerability. They are suicidal concentrations of expensive economic, cultural and political assets waiting, exposed, for destruction. The only way to ignore nuclear terrorism will be to redeploy preemptively out of the crosshairs. Within years our cities will die abandoned or incinerated.
Or both. The redeployment will be delayed. Trump will continue to build; the NYSE, to trade; Congress, to convene. When the strikes come, the toll will be staggering. A thousand fold or more what we have lost in Iraq or lost on 9/11. Economies will collapse. Millions will die of disease and famine.
The great things we have, as a civilization, built on the Earth over one thousand years will evaporate in a series of blasts, set off by a rag-tag army of primitives. We will be left, some of us, to scrape out our bitter existence beyond the ruble, in what were the suburbs.
But at least the Left will have succeeded in one thing: eliminating the root cause of Islamic radicalism. The gulf that divides Christendom and the Caliphate. That energizes their hatred for us. For we and our works will have been laid low.
. Who knows? One guess: dung beetles, muttering Allah Akbar, munching on the remains of Western Civilization.
In this regard, Iraq is quite similar to Viet Nam.
"Bushs original strategy was preemption: to attack and destroy the terrorist in their homes before they could muster an attack. To eliminate the festering failed States that sustained them. It morphed under pressure to nation-building. We will soon adopt a third way: we will redeploy out of Iraq tail between our legs. And the terrorist will follow us home. The nuclear attacks will be random, unstoppable and devastating."
Again just as in Viet Nam. The only difference was that Communism wasn't about destroying the Western ideology to death, which is the goal of Islam. It is mind blowing to believe the leftist's in this country, can't or won't understand and accept that fact.
I am sure that I am not the only one who knew exactly what needed to be done on 9/12/01. But I also knew we wouldn't have the fortitude to do it. There is still time. I am not quite as fatalistic as this excellent writer, but close. As, that said, the Rubicon is about to be crossed.
The damage has already been done. The important thing is to not go wobbly.
Personally, I agree with this author, but disagree about what the use of nukes in our cities would do. Face it, the nukes would kill mostly Democrats...
An, I am with you mega bump.
They'll wipe out every financial institution and many companies.
People will stampede out into the suburbs. Civil war will ensue. (Look at Houston post-Katrina. Multiply by thousands.)
Distribution of food and medicine will suffer. Barter economies do not work well over long distances.
I'm sort of glad I'm approaching 60. Wouldn't want to be around like that for long.
I don't think Bush, Cheney and Rice are going softly into that good night.
Well, with respect and not to seem overly mordant, this is not shown. If the will to reply is not there, it isn't going to happen. And what might possibly motivate leadership not to reply to a nuclear terrorist attack?
That's very simple. A leadership with motivations other and superior to the defense of its citizens, such as the promotion of world government, might find not replying in its overall interest. One faced with massive retaliation from other governments who back the terrorists for their own interests might not reply. One weakened and enervated by faction might find it convenient not to reply if its ideological foes are the only ones attacked.
It's perfectly imaginable. I think that in the current radical wing of the Democratic party we see figures who are more than capable of allowing this sort of outrage in pursuit of some "higher" goal.
Do not give up your guns, because the police who will be told to protect you might just as easily be told not to. The same goes for national defense.
Thus always to tyrants.
It is why their party is consumed with gutting the second amendment.
Just think of it, if the average citizen could not purchase a firearm, you would have to get your firearms from Chucky Schumer's body guards. Just think, no thirty day waiting period.
Iraq - Tet Connection article.
There is hope though:
When Tet happened in 1968, it is true, the media and Cronkite went anti-war.
But Nixon stayed in there with the "Vietnamization strategy" for 4 years, and effectively brought the North Vietnamese to heel. It was only the fall of Nixon and the 1974 elections that brought us to the point of abandoning South Vietnam.
In Iraq we have had the "Tet" offensive since February, when the Golden Mosque bombing dealt a blow to Sunni Shiite comity and the death squads and Mahdi army got active.
The insurgency at the time was getting squeezed and Iraqi army training was finally starting to pay off.
From February to October, the Iraqi sectarian violence has been the driver of instability. Shiite armed groups have taken things into their own hands and the Sunni response has been to retreat to sectarianism and support of further insurgent violence. The only way to keep a clamp on it was to bring in US forces heavily in areas; it pacifies the small area, but leaves our forces exposed (hence higher death tolls) and doesnt solve the wider problem. The Iraqi army can do some good, but only so much. And Iraqi police is accused of being in cahoots with the death squads.
Democracy is supposed to be about replacing bullets with ballots, but the forces in Iraq refuse to play by those rules.
The successful way out - which I hope new DoD Secty Gate will pursue - is the same one that Nixon pursued... get Iraqis to defend themselves, with focus on traning and support.
"I don't think Bush, Cheney and Rice are going softly into that good night."
If they ever dare to go soft, give em some fire and brimstone over it ... email@example.com
They are going to hit multiple cities with dirty bombs not nukes. The nukes come in a few years when Iran gets them.
They are going to hit multiple cities with dirty bombs not nukes. The nukes come in a few years when Iran gets them.
It's a couple of years I was writing about. We will not be able to stop the nukes from getting out. Too much fallout from Iraq.
It is so sad to think that a pledge from the American people is only good for 4 years at most.
Best quote I've seen yet. The next two years will be spent restocking provisions and ammo in this household.
The war isn't about Iraq any more than it's about Afganistan. Even if Iraq comes though this, we will not be able to act fast enough to save ourselves.