Theodore's World: Taking Sides ~ Penned by Rhod

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February 11, 2008

Taking Sides ~ Penned by Rhod

Taking Sides


"The weakest of all weak things is a virture that has not been tested in the fire"
-Mark Twain-

" The Russians feared Ike. They didn't fear me"
- Lyndon Johnson - ( 1960)

Whatever America will have accomplished by its mission in Iraq, one thing is already clear here at home. Between the Vietnam and Iraq wars, a large and simplistic body of “ pacifist” opinion had gathered in America, and the Iraq war turned it loose. You might ask where it was during the Bosnian campaign, which brought us closer to large-scale warfare than at any other time since Vietnam. Simple. That mission was prosecuted by a liberal Democrat, which means that any misadventure will be judged by liberals in The Court of No Opinion.

But more to the point, with Clinton, the Democrats had no backbone, for a battle among themselves with the radical anti-war forces flourishing within the party. They also had the purifying idealism of fighting oppression and genocide to alibi the killing in Bosnia. This same fluctuating idealism was lavished briefly on the Afghans, but almost entirely withheld from Iraqis. If it doesn’t make sense to you, you’re insane.

When Bush decided to react to the continuous, low-grade war waged upon us for thirty years by Islamists, he spend a befuddled year seeking permission to fight back. This allowed time for the Western anti-war armies to assemble and plan their opposition to it.. When our troops finally left the gate, we found that we were at war with at least two enemies – Islamists here and abroad – and the non-violent legions of The West, to whom war is unthinkable, especially if waged by Republicans on behalf of Western civilization.

Men of my age and background faced these folks in the 1960’s. I knew people then who called themselves “ pacifists”, people who were smugly non-violent because they never had to fight for anything. They didn’t know how to fight. They attributed their comfort and good luck to good character and superior ideas, and this fallacy turned upon their conceit that violence is east and non-violence is difficult. The opposite is actually true. Fighting might be sometimes exciting, but it’s never easy. Only the idealist young, the foolish or the deranged go looking for it, while the prudent and old are simply prepared.

But the people I’m talking about weren’t actually pacifists, they were passive. I’d trust a principled pacifist more then someone who is vaguely anti-war and blithely non-violent. Pacifism as a way of life is deeply complicated, and it’s a respectable approach to personal revelation and conduct. It’s not easy to be a principled pacifist. It’s dangerous too (you can be a medic or Corpsmant in the military, or you can practice warfare of the non-violent kind- Satyagraha, or firmness in the truth, generally thought of as passive resistance. This was Ghandi’s kind of warfare against British rule. It expressed another absolutely essential element of doctrinaire pacifism – a coherent philosophy of good and evil. Ghandi knew that, in all human disputes, it matters which side wins. He fought with non –violent weapons at his philosophical disposal, but he fought, nevertheless. He didn’t refuse, he didn’t equivocate, he didn’t temporize. He fought and he knew right from wrong.

In contrast, the pacifism of 1960’s liberalism, which survives today, usually includes the perfidious rule that America is a preternatural aggressor, and always includes the irrational belief that the problem of war can be resolved by high-minded declarations of righteousness. UN Resolutions. Violence never solved anything. What if they gave a war and nobody came? Stop the war. And that peal in this bed of stones, both sides are at fault.

The claim that both sides are at fault upholds the fantasy that Reason would prevent the organized violence of war; that only the mad or disordered can consider war as a solution to anything. But in the world of solid objects, there is a lot of madness, evil and brutality. It’s simply true that with most wars of the past 300 years, someone with mad, warlike intentions showed up, and the injured parties had to do something about it.

No non-violent philosophy can sustain a society for long when it refuses to acknowledge that war, if not always necessary, will always have an outcome that matters; that the victory of one or the other will make a moral difference. It is always necessary to take sides, because no opposing claims are equally just, not in any human place except in the strange land of relationship counselors.

Those who wallow in the selfish contentment of an unearned peace; who condemn the willing warrior at his task, or who have never been down in the muck or war, or risen with outrage at the wickedness of an enemy, have much to learn about war and themselves. Passivity of this kind is a virtue untested. And even worse, as LBJ learned, capriciousness and restraint in Vietnam encouraged the Russians, not because we refused to fight, but that we fought with reluctance and moral confusion. The outcome mattered, but we acted as if it didn’t. Our enemies will always notice both failings and act accordingly. They know that it matters which side wins.

Posted by Rhod at February 11, 2008 12:55 AM


Excellent writing Rhod. You are up there with Russ Vaughn.

Someone else, also very articulate and realistic, wrote a fine piece about The Sheep, The Wolves and the Sheepdogs. America is overwhelmed right now by the Sheep(pacifists, anti-war protesters). They are very vocal and active. They are supported by the MSM, the usual Liberal entities( including academia) and too many politicians. Many of them actually want us to lose this war. They think the consequences will be peace, love and brotherhood. They speak out against the luxuries, greatness and morals of America, yet they bask in the freedoms they are destined to lose if the war is lost.

These Sheep and their supporters gave our victory away in Vietnam. They are hellbent, literally, now to repeat that disasterous outcome. They exist only because a small number of men and women(The Sheepdogs) pay the price for those same freedoms and luxuries The Sheep abuse

Rhod - I hope your son got through SERE in good shape and is doing well in Special Forces training. He may have been interrogated by my best SF buddy who just retired after 36 years with SF. The last 15 years as a civilian contractor at Camp MaKall. If your son makes it all the way, he will enjoy a career with "The Quiet Professionals". Please keep me posted.

De Oppresso Liber!


Posted by: TomR at February 11, 2008 07:04 AM

Excellant, as usual Rhod.

Posted by: Mark at February 11, 2008 08:53 AM

Officially, Tom, I deny everything I know about SERE, but theoretically speaking, the interrogations are indescribable. Your friend was probably there, that is, if I know anything about SERE..which I don't. You know what I mean.

The Left has taken sides, for certain, with a view to a peace that will not last, and for which they'll take responsibility until something awful happens again. Then they'll blame someone else, because they're always elsewhere when the shooting starts. You don't make peace, you achieve it.

Augustine put it about as clearly as possible when he wrote that men don't fight wars for the sake of war, but to fashion a peace "nearer to the heart's desire". The peace the left wants is just to be relieved of the discomfort, expense and boredom of bad things happening. That's their peace, which is a menace, a fantasy, and they're waging a war against their own country to establish it.

That freaking, iniquitious bugwit Nancy Pelosi went public recently with some drool about the surge being a failure but the troops being a success. Political speech on the left has become so Kafkaesque and demented, that this passes for rational comment. Orwellian. A political class sunk so low as to tolerate this bullshit without objection needs to be replaced entirely.

You and me and Mark know that, and all the other people here who choke on what we hear, and who paid our dues in order to comment with authority on it.

Semper Fi and Airborne All The Way!...although I was Army leg.

Posted by: Rhod at February 11, 2008 12:39 PM

Absolutely excellent Rhod, it had to be said.

The nation who forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten."
-- Calvin Coolidge, speech in New York, 1920

It sure looks like we are headed for oblivion, it took 70 years for that yoke to be broken in Eastern Europe and not by the Europeans themselves, many Americans fought and died to achieve an opportunity for them and the rest of the world to be free, now we are about to be enslaved, by those we've protected and liberated.

"Mon Dieu, ils sont tous des grenouilles!"

Posted by: Jack at February 11, 2008 01:26 PM

Thank you, Jack. And you're right. The left will quickly deny this, but even some of their vanished gods...FDR, Truman and JFK took this country to the edge in defense of our way of life, and would have themselves died for it.

Globalism now brings the worst of it abroad and portrays us as degenerates and weaklings. But what they see is not you and me and the folks here, but far too others, who propser off the capital of freedom that was saved for them by others.

Not everyone is cut out for the hard struggle, and they have their role to play, too. I don't comdemn the timid, but peace is always improbable, and not the normal state for any civilization. If you can't fight, just get out of the way and let someone else protect you.

Posted by: Rhod at February 11, 2008 01:58 PM

Good points about Ghandi, he was also lucky to have a civilized "enemy" in the British.

The Germans would not, I feel, have been so lenient towards him.

Posted by: David at February 11, 2008 03:00 PM

To David, so far unapproved comment, but good.

Ghandi succeeded against the British because the Brits, at that time, were already squeamish about their involvement in India. Any action against him would have resulted in violence, and Ghandi knew it. He was clever and sometimes dishonest, and not apolitical, but he was pretty brave.

Passive resistance practiced by Ghandi can be effective against domestic regimes; not so much against any foreign aggressor, or even against any of the European fascist establishments of the last century.

Ghandi made a notorious remark about the Jews during the war, saying that they should have committed suicide rather than violently resist the Final Solution.

After the war, when asked if he regretted it, he said that, had the Jews committed mass suicide, the outcome would have been the same, but the moral conditions of their deaths would have been different, they would have died for something. A demonstration of conviction would have been made, where their death by state policy was simply tragic and pointless.

Whatever you think about Ghandi's comment, he believed that violence corrupts everyone who practices it, and he was firm in that belief. I don't think it's possible to serve God and mankind in this way, but I can't condemn Ghandi either, because he adhered to a principle....unlike secular leftist pacifism, which is always on the side of someone besides the United States.

Ghandi had no country or axe to grind, only a principle to follow.

Posted by: Rhod at February 11, 2008 04:10 PM

Rhod --Thanks for sharing your thoughts on a neglected issues topic. There are very evil people in the world who will take advantage of those who don't have real core values and principles that they are willing to fight and die for. Unfortunately, liberals think that the Constitution is a living document to be tinkered with until it is no longer recognizable. They also disdain being patriotic favoring some global world order instead.

I was disturbed by an article in the news today.

Whites To Become Minority by 2050, Study Predicts

My concern is neither racial nor ethnic. It is that the nature of immigrants has changed to the detriment of what this country is and is willing to defend.

Immigrants used to come to this country to be part of the American dream including belief in the Constitution and the core values of the country. They became part of a melting pot that strengthened our nation.

Now, we have a wave of illegal and legal hyphenated Americans forming many different diversity boiling pots not associated with the common core beliefs of our founders and citizens and immigrants of the past. So, when it comes to taking sides, just what side do the many diverse political, ethnic, racial, gender, and other groupings take in a house divided against itself?

Posted by: Les at February 11, 2008 05:33 PM

Rhod thank you so much for writing this, it is so good.

It is so upsetting that after everyone here has served our country that the fight goes on for this Nation against the same element that just will never get it. It truly is those that serve know the cost of freedom more then anyone, the taste and smell of it too.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 11, 2008 06:11 PM

Les, the idiocy of official and unofficial multiculturalism is twofold.

Those who promote it, mostly liberals, wouldn't live under the conditions of the cultures they claim to be "equal", or at least equivalent, to Western culture, so hypocrisy and illogic is at work.

And two, multiculturalism can have no other effect than to diminish beneficial nationalism. Without an accepted common culture, there is only Balkanization. This is the European disease, where immigrants won't, and can't, assimilate because the EU has done its best to suppress national identities. They have nothing to assmiliate TO, and who can blame them? Can one pledge allegiance to a welfare state, or universal health care? No. They're in strange lands and encouraged to remain strangers.

Studying the faces of the Obama supporters, I wondered myself what the objectives of these newcomers and racial identifiers would be in a national crisis. Certainly not patriotism. And that's the problem I have with one strain of conservatism, which contends that the pursuit of economic self-interest is the first principle of freedom. Markets don't create patriots, they create transactions, and if people emigrate to The West merely for a better life, then America is nothing but an employer.

Conservatives have bigger problems ahead than just the McCain issue. Conservativism is more about metaphysics and the purpose of life under liberty than it is about the pursuit of excellence. Private property and self-defense are primary issues, but they devolve from ideas about what it means to be free and human, not prosperous.

Sorry, I'm preaching. I'm just pissed off at the present.

Posted by: Rhod at February 11, 2008 06:14 PM

Rhod, don't stop telling the truth or preaching when necessary. We all have to speak up on what's happening to this country. Like you, I'm pissed off. Actually, it's worse than that. I feel that with what's happening that I'm being pissed on too.

Posted by: Les at February 11, 2008 07:05 PM

You are, Les. We've been identified as irrelevant by those in power, both parties. Even more, an inconvenient nuisance.

Posted by: Rhod at February 11, 2008 08:00 PM