Skip to comments.America's Last Crusade
Posted on 09/25/2012 6:34:29 AM PDT by Kaslin
For Americans of the Greatest Generation that fought World War II and of the Silent Generation that came of age in the 1950s, the great moral and ideological cause was the Cold War.
It gave purpose and clarity to our politics and foreign policy, and our lives.
From the fall of Berlin in 1945 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, that Cold War was waged by two generations, and with its end Americans faced a fundamental question:
If the historic struggle between communism and freedom is over, if the Soviet Empire and Soviet Union no longer exist, if the Russians wish to befriend us and the Maoists have taken the capitalist road, what is our new mission in the world? What do we do now?
The debate was suspended when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. George H.W. Bush assembled a mighty coalition and won a war that required but 100 hours of ground combat.
We had found our mission.
The United States was the last superpower and a triumphant Bush declared that we would build the "New World Order." Neoconservatives rhapsodized over America's "unipolar moment" and coming "global hegemony."
But Americans were unpersuaded and uninspired. They rejected the victor of Desert Storm -- for Bill Clinton. By Y2K, the Republican Party was backing another Bush who was promising a "more humble" America.
Came then 9/11 and the midlife conversion of George W. to Wilsonian interventionism. After the rout of the Taliban in December 2001, Bush decided to remake Afghanistan in the image of Iowa and to go crusading against an axis of evil. In his second inaugural, he declared that America's mission was to "end tyranny in our world."
The world declined to oblige. By the end of 2006, the Taliban were back and America seemed in an endless war in Iraq. Republicans had lost Congress and Bush's democracy crusade was producing electoral victories for Hamas and Hezbollah.
In November 2008, the crusaders were sent packing.
Came then Barack Obama. With the "Arab Spring" beginning in 2010, with dictators being toppled in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Syria, Obama embraced the movement as his own.
But Obama received a rude awakening. As the Arab dictators began, one by one, to fall, also unleashed and now surging and spreading through the lands they had ruled were the four horsemen of the Arab apocalypse: tribalism, ethno-nationalism, Islamic fundamentalism and anti-Americanism. So we come to an elementary question:
If the Islamic world is so suffused with rage and hatred of us -- for our wars, occupations, drone attacks, support of Israel, decadent culture, and tolerance of insults to Islam and the Prophet -- why should we call for free elections, when the people will use those elections to vote into power rulers hostile to the United States?
If the probable or inevitable result of dethroning dictator-allies is to raise to power Islamist enemies, why help dethrone the dictators?
During the Cold War, the United States took its friends where it found them. If they were willing to cast their lot with us, from the Shah to Gen. Pinochet, we welcomed them. Democratic dissidents like Jawaharlal Nehru in India and Olof Palme in Sweden got the back of our hand.
During the Cold War and World War II, the critical question was not whether you came to power through free elections -- after all, Adolf Hitler did that -- but are you with us or against us?
Ideology, as Russell Kirk admonished us, is political religion, and democracy worship is a form of idolatry, the worshiping of a false god, a golden calf, an idol.
And -- while this may border on a hate crime -- some countries are unfit for democracy. As Edmund Burke remonstrated: "It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters."
With hatred of America rampant across the Arab and Islamic world, we face anew a defining moment. What now is our mission in the world? What now should be the great goal of U.S. foreign policy?
What global objective should we pursue with our trillion-dollar defense, intel and foreign aid budgets, and pervasive diplomatic and military presence on every continent and in most countries of the world? Bush I's New World Order is history, given our strategic decline and the resistance of Russia, China and the Islamic world.
Bush II's democracy crusade and Obama's embrace of the Arab Spring have unleashed and empowered forces less receptive to America's wishes and will than the despots and dictators deposed with our approval.
All three visions proved to be illusions. With America headed for bankruptcy, with new debt of $1 trillion piled up each year, perhaps John Quincy Adams' counsel may commend itself to a country weary from a century of crusades.
"America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."
Pat nails it.
Pat makes some serious sense in light of events in the last 23 years.
Is that actually true?
As I recall the story, the Nazis got roughly 33% of the Reichstag, then Paul Hindenberg appointed Hitler Chancellor, then they completed their takeover of the government through trickery and thuggery.
I wonder if we are becoming such men.
Clintons come tom mind?
Clintons come to mind?
Now that you mention it...
at least the christians in the real crusades ACTUALLY FOUGHT TO WIN....instead of this namby-pamby half-assed war effort with retrated ROE’s that handcuff our fighters....
every since we kowtowed to the US in Korea, it has been one waste of time after another...
‘DRESDEN’ THOSE PRICKS and you will notice a difference...
I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment. Spread some pain to ALL of them (including the “civilians” that dance in the streets when we’re attacked) and it’ll be a whole different ballgame. Our enemies make no effort to be kinder and softer. We’re idiots.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
But regardless of what we do, what was true in 1983, when Hezbollah bombed our Marines, remains true today: Iran [Islamic Supremacists] is[are] at war with us, whether we choose to engage or not. If we are not going to win, we are going to lose. Happy talk about democracy and springtime wont obscure the fact that there is no middle ground.
Isolationism is a losing strategy too.
The German government of the time was a parliamentary system, and the Nazis had just won the largest single block of votes. They also had allied with some other groups in the Reichstag to have gotten an effective majority coalition - the Reichstag Fire was the deciding factor that brought in support from other groups, and Hindenburg was left with little choice.
I would imagine the Nazis were pretty heavy in the trickery, thuggery and false promises mode when assembling their coalition. Certainly none of their political 'partners' mattered much once the Nazis were firmly in the driver's seat.
A good beginning might be a FR thread from the Year 2004 and the links provided therein.
Because our schools have not taught the ideas of liberty versus competing ideas of tyranny, understood at America's founding, but censored from the nation's textbooks for decades now, we are adrift and in danger of losing the battle of ideas.
America's Founders understood the competing visions and what John Quincy Adams identified as the various "laws of nations" and how the Declaration of Independence's philosophy and the American Constitution fitted into such a world.
A reading of his complete "Jubilee" Address, delivered in 1839 by invitation of the New York Historical Society, would be a beginning, as well as his writings referred to in the thread cited above. Both are linked in that thread.
How about speak softly, carry a big stick and a de facto quarantine around supremacist Islam? We don't need their stinkin' oil. We'd be energy rich if we could stifle the econazis. That should be easy with our economy on the ropes, and the EPA doing everything to thwart it.
That was generally my recollection of the story.
Not so, Pat -- liberals' was the rude awakening. For Obama, it was the flowering of his life's purpose and the fulfilment of his father's sordid, evil dream.
For us conservatives, it's been a sad denouement and one "we told you so" moment after another.
That was Mohammed all over. Beat them, follow them home, beat their ass bigtime in their own front yard, kill all the men, and build a victory rabat (monument/USO center/mosque) in the middle of their biggest town. Oh, excuse me -- I meant, "Islamic Cultural and Community Center/World Trade Center".