Skip to comments.Are You Ready For WWIV? Author Says Fight Is Now
Posted on 10/14/2007 9:12:34 PM PDT by PRePublic
Inside Today's Bulletin Are You Ready For WWIV?
Author Says Fight Is Now By: Herb Denenberg, The Bulletin 10/11/2007
This is a look at one of the most important books of our time, which raises perhaps the most important question of our time: "The question of whether the Americans of this generation will turn out to be as willing and as able to bear the burden of World War IV as their forebears were in World War II and again in World War III."
World War IV refers to the ongoing war against Islamofascism, a war we cannot avoid by ignoring it and a war we cannot afford not to fight and win if we want to survive. World War III refers to the Cold War. The book is by Norman Podhoretz, one of the clearest and most powerful thinkers of our time. It is entitled World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism. Mr. Podhoretz puts that war into context, demonstrates why it must be fought and won and catalogs what we have to do to survive and prevail.
He notes the difference between World War IV and some of our other wars. Now we have no draft, no shortages or rationing, and even taxes have not been raised. But there is a difference on the other side of the ledger - "we have more cause to be anxious over the safety and security of our continental homeland, which none of our enemies in those earlier wars ever managed to strike, let alone with the weapons of mass destruction that the Islamofascist terrorists may well get their hands on before this war is over."
There is another striking difference between this war and the first two World Wars: This war will certainly go on for three or four decades, and is thus comparable to World War III (the Cold War) which lasted 42 years. There is another striking difference in the area of morale. Before our entry into World War II there was plenty of anti-war sentiment among pacifists and isolationists, but that sentiment virtually disappeared after Pearl Harbor. We fought the war at full bore and did not even express defeatism in the face of staggering defeats. For example, Mr. Podhoretz points out there were "incredible intelligence and command blunders leading up to the Battle of the Bulge" that in a short 44 days cost us more than 19,000 American lives, more than 47,000 wounded, another 23,000 captured or missing and an untold "number left with gangrenous feet because they had not been properly equipped for the brutal winter weather."
In sharp contrast, during World War III, we saw great rounds of defeatism from the left, thinking we were too aggressive, and from the right, thinking we were not aggressive enough. There were major disputes over how the war should be fought, questioning not only the military issues but also the political and ideological issues. Some of the same defeatism pervades World War IV, but it is more powerful than at anytime in the past. The force of this defeatism is incredible in view of our challenge and peril. Mr. Podhoretz quotes Amir Taheri, an Iranian journalist who was once editor of Iran's major daily newspaper. Mr. Taheri describes the nature of the defeatism we now face: "The United States today has become home to a veritable industry of defeat - producing books, TV documentaries, research papers, intelligence analyses and feature movies destined for a growing market. Almost every day, some article appears assuming that the United States has already been defeated in Iraq and recommending measures to deal with the consequences of defeat. And when the United States does something, it does it big. The defeat industry is assuming a bewildering scale." Podhoretz asks what would have happened in World War II if this defeatist industry were going full blast from 1941 to 1944. He uses a fascinating fictional scenario, fashioned by James Q. Wilson, a distinguished scholar and presidential advisor. Wilson asks what that defeatist industry would have done then. Here are just a few of the choice examples: A big city paper would probably have revealed the existence of the Manhattan Project to build atomic weapons. The head of the project would have been hauled before Congress to be lambasted for wasting money, imperiling the environment and the like. Although Mr. Podhoretz doesn't say so, this sounds like the New York Times (which has already revealed national security secrets on its front page) and the Democrat Congress (which thinks you can fight a war by politicizing, criticizing and crippling all efforts to win it).
When Truman authorized dropping atomic bombs on Japan, there would have been calls from Congress and from major newspapers for his impeachment. Mr. Podhoretz notes that, whether we like it or not, World War IV will have to be fought and won despite the powerful industry of retreat and defeat. The battle would be incredibly difficult under ideal conditions, but it is clearly made more difficult by the industry of defeat working so hard in our mainstream media, in our leading colleges and universities and even among our political class. In fact, I would argue that the war would have been much shorter and more successful if so many of our allies and our own people did not act as if they are unwilling to fight it and, what's worse, sometimes act as if they are on the other side.
There were doubts about whether we had the character and will to stand up to the fascists of World War II and the communists of World War III. And now, there are questions about whether "we have all grown too soft, too self-indulgent and too self-absorbed to meet an even more daunting challenge from an enemy who is so much readier to die for his beliefs than most of us are."
Podhoretz argues that President Bush has been on the right track, and that much of the criticism from the left and right is invalid. The right, for example, says he has not made the case for the war. But Podhoretz says he has not only made the case but also done so brilliantly. The Clinton people said Saddam Hussein was contained within his "box," a formula for disaster and inaction in the face of existential threats. Bush in 2002 disposed of this Bill Clinton position in a talk at West Point, in which he remarked, "Containment is not possible when unbalanced dictators with weapons of mass destruction can deliver these weapons or missiles or secretly provide them to terrorist allies." Those who can't understand that argument are hopeless.
Mr. Bush and others have made the case that our best hope is to bring democracy to the Middle East and elsewhere. That's part of the Bush Doctrine. Despite the naysayers, we have made progress in doing just that. As one of the master specialists of the Middle East, Fouad Ajami of Johns Hopkins, put it, "while the ballot is not infallible," it has "broken the pact with Arab tyranny." And Victor Davis Hanson, a distinguished scholar and journalist, made the case in this paragraph: "We long tried almost everything else. Accepting dictators on their own terms did not bring stability but constant war, oil embargoes and terrorism from the 1960s onward. Replying to two decades of terrorists' attacks, from the Iranian hostage taking in 1979 to the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, with indictments and a few cruise missiles only emboldened the jihadists. And staging coups or propping up authoritarians in Iran ... simply radicalized the Middle East. ... In truth, fostering democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq was not our first but our last choice. It was a good option, only a bad one when the other alternatives had proven far worse." Mr. Podhoretz makes the case for the Bush Doctrine in the war against terror and then wonders what might happen after the election. If Rudy Giuliani or John McCain win, they will continue with the Bush policy. But what if a Democrat wins? Mr. Podhoretz hopes the Democrat would come to his or her senses when facing the responsibility of governing: "Would he or she realize that no matter how such a shift might be dressed up and spun [to surrender in Iraq], it would - and rightly - be interpreted by our enemies as a cowardly retreat? Will he or she understand that the despotisms of the Middle East would once again feel free to offer sanctuary and launching pads to Islamofascist terrorists? Will he or she realize that these terrorists would be emboldened to attack us again - and on an infinitely greater scale than before? And on the home front, will he or she cease and desist from raising false alarms about the threat to civil liberties posed by programs essential to protecting us from just such terrorist attacks - programs like the surveillance of certain international phone calls or the tracking of bank deposits? Will he or she stop defining 'torture' down to the point where it becomes impossible to conduct any interrogation at all of captured terrorists, thereby depriving us of the intelligence that is also necessary if further attacks are to be prevented?" Podhoretz notes that during the presidential election of 1952, the Truman doctrine of containment was under furious attacks from the likes of Richard Nixon, the candidate for vice president, and John Foster Dulles, a future secretary of state. But when Eisenhower was elected he stayed with the Truman doctrine despite all the politics to the contrary. Mr. Podhoretz hopes if a Democrat is elected, that new president would follow the Bush Doctrine as the only viable and responsible alternative, despite the critics. But I'm afraid Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards do not hold the same promise of responsible action as Dwight David Eisenhower did in the 1950s.
Mr. Podhoretz ends his book with the question of whether America is "ready to measure up to its own best traditions and prove itself worthy of preservation as a great nation." There he quotes George E. Kennan, father of the U.S. policy of containment used to defeat the Soviet Union, from his essay written at the start of World War III, asking what it would take for America to win the Cold War. Now the same question is on the table for World War IV. Mr. Podhoretz asks, "Do we, the American people of this generation, have it in us to beat back the implacable challenge of Islamofascism as the 'greatest generation' of World War II did in taking on the Nazis and their fascist allies, and as its children and grandchildren ultimately managed to do in confronting the Soviet Union and its Communist empire in World War III? In spite of how bleak the prospects look, as of Sept. 11, 2006 [when Mr. Podhoretz finished the book] I persist in thinking that we do and that we will, but the jury is still out, and it will not return a final verdict for some time to come." I would add one postscript to Mr. Podhoretz's hope for the right verdict and the victory of America. We not only have to fight the war against terror but we also have to fight those who undermine our efforts at home - the mainstream media (by fighting the anti-American mainstream media by boycotting their publications), the academic elite (by cutting off their public and private support) and by segments of the Democrat Party and the left (by supporting opposition candidates and assuring the defeat of the Democrat nominee for president). If we don't pick up our battle against these anti-American forces, there is no guarantee America will be able to beat back the uncivilized forces of Islamofascism. The picture Mr. Podhoretz paints is so heavily laden with pessimism that it affords no room for much optimism. We are fighting a battle in which powerful forces at home are more interested in protecting the legal rights of our enemies than in protecting the security of our own citizens. They are more interested in throwing up roadblocks to the successful prosecution of the war against terror than in winning the war. They are more interested in bootlicking their campaign contributors than in honoring the sacrifice and service of America's heroes (witness the "General Betray Us" incident). They attack conservative talk radio king Rush Limbaugh with more vigor than they want to attack our terrorist enemies. Unless we do more to counteract the anti-Americanism and defeatism of the mainstream media, the academic elites and the leftists that now control the Democrat Party, the outlook is grimmer than anyone wants to admit.
They usually are "nice people" until they blow up, or kill someone when they begin their own personal Jihad.
They all follow the same koran, and ways of the prophet Mohammad. There is no "peaceful" koran in existance, and there is only one record of Mohammad's sayings, which are considered just as "Holy" because they were inspired by Allah, as the koran (even though both came out of Mohammad's mouth).
There is no repudiation of radical Islam in the Muslim world at large, so there most certainly will be a WW4 between Islam and the whole non-Islamic world.
There is next to no chance that Muslims will reform Islam in a civilized direction, so IMO “It’s On!”
My sentiments, exactly.
whoa whatever happened to WW 3? I think I must’ve slept during that time...
“It’s on”, and may the best God win. Seriously. Some of them will defect to our side. Others will heed the call of jihad. We need to tell them that there will be no virgins, just death. Invite them to salvation. Not only salvation in the Biblical sense, but also in the personal sense. If they choose Islam, then so be it.
That link answers some of the problems mentioned in this editorial.
It's a long essay, but worth the read. This thread shows the virtue of posting complete essays, not excerpts. Commentary wants folks to pay for it now.
bookmark for later
I’m with you!
Don't forget LEFTOFASCISM. Ask Rush, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly or anyone else in the media who doesn't march in synchronous goosestep with the radical left in this nation.
What about World War 3?
The Cold War was not World War 3.
World War 1 and 2 cost the lives of tens of millions, each, and the theaters covered large portions of two continents (Africa and Eurasia). They are not very comparable to the Cold War, which, while long-lasting, did not take nearly as many lives due to war, nor devastated cities and countries close to the extent that the two World Wars did.
The war against islamofascism could become World War 3, but if it already is, then it is at the Japan just starting to invade Manchuria stage.
China is the real enemy. Islam is only the first wave.
We are refusing to stand up to either. My guess is that we will be utterly destroyed.
Hell, we can’t hold our own in the war with miserable Mexico.
The two questions were rhetorical.
And that is something that has stuck in my craw for 28 years.....if storming another country's embassy and taking hostages isn't an act of war, I don't know what is.....
But one of the features of the Cold War was what was called “the proxy wars”. Also there was the buildup of the nukes between the USA and what was the old Soviet Union.