Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tommy this and Tommy that...

This came from my brother overseas in response to yesterday's post.

"Thanks for your part in defending our country on active duty. Our country errs most often on the side of being away from evil in these matters. This sure seems like one of those errors and I hope for justice. I cringe for those from countries where this error is never made."

I responded...

Amen. Evidence of American Exceptionalism.

Many of our countrymen mistakenly assign moral equivalence to other cultures and (implicitly) reject the notion of American exceptionalism. "American Imperialism" is the cry -- as if on balance that's a bad thing. Looking back through the at eras of empire and eras that lacked empire I know which era(s) I would generally prefer to live and travel in.

What we see since the Vietnam era is a far tilt toward toward being too public about matters of military battlefield discipline. It is morbid introspection on a national scale. Ironically, those who oppose us intend these public displays to expose America's flawed character. However, it actually proves our core national character and goodwill. In a sense it argues for American exceptionalism.

All that's academic and arguable. What must be a given is that we are indeed at war. Men and women are in harms way - now. It was not a war of our choosing. It was declared upon we who live in Dar el Harb. In these media matters we forget we are at war; that this is an information war, a war on national morale, occasionally interrupted by firefights and explosions. It is a war of "wills." We win by breaking the enemies will to fight. They win by "not losing" and fighting on long enough to break our will to fight.

To that end, we consistently give too much "aid and comfort" to the enemy and bolster their will to fight. On our side, too public a treatment of matters like this severely diminishes morale of those "rough men" who in go in harms way on our behalf. It energizes the enemy who seek another media event and costs American lives, coalition lives and lives of innocents who are used by terrorists as shields and pawns.

"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

- Winston Churchill

First fight. Then fiddle. Ply the slipping string
With feathery sorcery; muzzle the note
With hurting love; the music that they wrote
Bewitch, bewilder. Qualify to sing
Threadwise. Devise no salt, no hempen thing
For the dear instrument to bear. Devote
The bow to silks and honey. Be remote
A while from malice and from murdering.
But first to arms, to armour. Carry hate
In front of you and harmony behind.
Be deaf to music and to beauty blind.
Win war. Rise bloody, maybe not too late
For having first to civilize a space
Wherein to play your violin with grace.

- Gwendolyn Brooks

No comments: