Toy Hammer

You know, I admire a lot of what Ralph Peters has done and written about. Frankly, I think the man’s brilliant–his article, “Seven Signs of Non-Competitive States” is a classic. And I like the novels he’s written–Red Army because it allowed for the possibility that the USSR could win a conventional WWIII in Europe, and The War in 2020 because it was a good yarn.

But there are times when the man can be a brilliant fool, and this is one of those times.

Look, we aren’t going to drop the hammer on Kut, or Karbala, or Najaf, or, especially, Fallujah. We aren’t. Why?

Because if we did, the resulting images would serve to rile up what little remnant of the Muslim world holds us in any kind of regard.

Now you may not care about their regard. Fair enough. But you better then be prepared to justify, and deal with, the consequences, whatever those may be, of that disregard. It may be that the Arab world respects only strength–but could it also be that the reason that is is because the only thing they’ve ever known and experienced is brutality and repression?

And if we resort to that, then what in the hell makes us different from, say, Saddam? And what would make democracy and freedom and liberty so appealing to the average Arab? Our say so?

If brutality, and repression, and “dropping the hammer” is what it’s going to take to win the war against the enemies of freedom and liberty, then I’m afraid to say that we’ve lost the war. And we might as well not bother sending any more young men and women to a pointless sacrifice.

I will not go down that way.

The ideals that we, as Americans, embody, are far, far too precious to me to surrender them on the altar of an unnecessary war. I’d rather be right than be victorious. Our ideals–our principles, of freedom, and liberty, and self-determination–are what’s going to win this war in the end, not some pointless, senseless butchery.

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2 responses to “Toy Hammer

  1. Yes, the idea that we can defend our culture using any means, no matter how contrary to our values, and not have that damage, eventually destroy, our culture is a dangerous fallacy.

  2. Do we kill the patient to save him?
    I think the basic problem here is one of reality vs theory. Rumsfeld’s and his NeoCon patrons “thought” there would be dancing in the streets and flowery paths for our victorious armies to roll over to the stentorian cheers of a grateful Iraqi populace.
    The reality is once the party is over how do you teach democratic neophytes to subvert their prejudices and selfishness for the benefit of the whole?
    And while we’re doing that, how do we keep Iran and Syria from trying to subvert our plans in Iraq without opening up two new fronts of combat?
    Granted, we could roll over both rather easily, but then what? Teach democracy to the Iranians would take less time, but for the Syrians who are in the same boat as the Iraqi’s?
    This is a quagmire that will take diplomacy, and not military might to overcome. I just don’t see the Bush administration capable of pulling this one off.