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Oh Dear, We’re Arguing

October 21st, 2013 - 8:25 am

And it’s a good thing.  All those who want us to shut up and get on with it are missing the gravity of the crisis–domestic and world-wide–the lack of reliable guidelines, and the prospects, both glorious and truly alarming.  Thank goodness for the dissenters, both the ones I agree with and the ones I think are nuts.

Yes, we’re confused.  It is altogether right that we should be baffled. We don’t have clear guidelines, and history–which in any case is rarely a reliable guide to the future–is no longer studied by most Americans, so even potentially useful models from the past aren’t part of our discussion.

Take national security, for example.  The whole world is in turmoil, as it has been for some time.  Nobody can remember what the Cold War was like, and if you want an historical model for the current small-wars-headed-for-bigger-wars-and-then-maybe-a-world-war, try to sort out the pre-World War I map of Europe.  Then notice how much today’s Middle East resembles the old Balkans.

The one “lesson” that should be clear is that when people declare enmity, and are actively moving against us, we should take them seriously, assume they mean it, and act accordingly.  When jihadists, whether sweet-talking Iranians or mean-talking Sunni or Shi’ite fanatics, chant “Death to America” (as the Iranian Parliament did over the weekend), and send vicious killers into Iraq (where  the slaughter is greater than in Syria), Syria, and various African countries, we must act against them.

If we don’t, things will only get worse, more Americans will be murdered, and the chances of a really big war will increase.

Inaction–masked by “negotiations” which provide cover for our enemies to get even stronger–is now our official policy.

Maybe we’ll yet get a useful debate that will lead to better policy.  There’s a lot going for us, from our enemies’ internal ruptures (intense fights inside Iran, race riots in Moscow and China, wild slaughter in Syria and Iraq) to surprising initiatives from Saudi Arabia, which threw an unprecedented hissy fit at the UN.

The world yearns for American leadership.  A genuine debate would make that obvious.

Bring it on.  We need it, big time.

Here at home, the Left has taken over, and has imposed statism pretending to rescue the poor, while cynically empowering and enriching the political ruling class.  I can’t remember anything approaching the degree of corruption in today’s Washington.  It goes hand in hand with the incompetence and narcissism of most of our “leaders.”  It’s a bit surprising that the corruption isn’t more obvious, but that is due in large part to the reluctance of the “opposition” to open a can of worms in which they spend a lot of their own time. Peter Schweizer continues his excellent work in this field , and it’s still a target-rich environment.

In my opinion, this is a large part of the explanation of the intensity of the attacks on the likes of Lee and Cruz.  Our rulers, like their counterparts in big business, like huge government programs, for two understandable reasons:  it makes it easier for them to eliminate their smaller, more creative competitors, and it generates payoffs and kickbacks for themselves and their allies.

There is one possible line of productive attack:  use the powers of the states to experiment with different kinds of solutions.  Several states have stayed out of the Obamacare fiasco.  Perhaps they will work out methods for better health care programs.  The current mess provides hope, and there are state leaders who seem to get it.

At the same time, we need an all-out war against corruption, from NSA to IRS to Homeland Security to HHS.  And corrupt leaders, whether elected or appointed, should be driven from office.

It’s a big fight, at home and abroad, and calls for civility (of the sort Jeb Bush and Karl Rove keep muttering) are entirely out of place.  We need a raucous, no-holds-barred debate to clarify the tough, painful and risky policies we must embrace–and be ready to change over and over again when we discover their shortcomings–if we’re going to win.

And we must win.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
You have this exactly upside down. The corruption at issue with Citizens United was the ruling elite's limits on political speech, which benefits the privileged and powerful. Citizens United was a blow against that corrpution of the Constitution.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I can’t remember anything approaching the degree of corruption in today’s Washington."


By far the scariest part of this is the on-going brain transplant going on in the flag-officer ranks in the military. Have they started to give personal loyalty oaths yet? It may be coming.

As for the attacks on Lee and Cruz, it was no different from the maniacal character assassination of Sarah Palin. At some level, the Left knows just how debased they truly are. Their objects of pure hatred are telling on that point.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
In the early church, Paul wrote a letter to the Corinthians scolding them for their bad behavior during the Lord's Supper. Paul acknowledged that there would be divisions in the church and even said they could be healthy:

"For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part,for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized."

If divisions and factions can sometimes make a church stronger by weeding out the poseurs, it's not a stretch to say the same thing can happen in a political party.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (60)
All Comments   (60)
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my friend's mother makes $79 an hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for five months but last month her check was $15468 just working on the internet for a few hours. over here....www.Bay95.ℂom
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
my friend's mother makes $86/hr on the internet. She has been without a job for five months but last month her income was $20934 just working on the internet for a few hours. my review here....www.Bay95.com
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
We are now living with Obama’s NEW WORLD that supports your enemies of Islamic organizations and regimes, and bring a communist systems into the country.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is a Civil War, or rather a War Between the States without the succession threat. One sentence is all we need to understand this administration. Chicago came to Washington.

As for the future - we cannot reform the Democratic Party - ironically only Democrats can do that. Where they will or can get the incentive to do so eludes me.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I do not think it's a civil war! if you live in Europe and see the horrific and disgusting anti-Jewish which is widespread AMONG THE POPULACE, i believe that you will adore both American parties "Democratic and Republican." I'm talking about my experience HERE in "Poland", which is perhaps the country's most anti-Semitism and Jewish in Europe. Yes, there were a strong correlation and terrible between anti-Semitism and Holocaust.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
my neighbor's aunt makes $70 every hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for six months but last month her paycheck was $19081 just working on the computer for a few hours. explanation-----www.Rush64.com
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I no longer understand many of the columns or columnists here. I understand that you are a bright and learned man, like VDH, but I no longer follow the message. In your case, Michael, you have narrowed the war with Islam (or 'Jihad') to Iran vs the West, and basically excused or excluded the Sunni and Salafist Jihadis as irrelevant. VDH writes piece after piece on the inevitable collapse of California, a state I know nearly as well as he, and then has a glass of wine and announced that America's future is very bright.

No, the United States' future is not bright at all, though as VDH says, many countries deal with worse parameters and have darker futures. Yet, the Left has indeed taken over, or the Statists, and 'imported' the demographics to ensure their ongoing control. No Tea Party-style politician has a real chance to become President. Bush, Rove and the rest will squeeze out the Cruzes like toothpaste from a tube. Goldman will write his passionate appeals for Superpower America, and the trend towards stupidity and isolationism will continue.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
....."When jihadists, whether sweet-talking Iranians or mean-talking Sunni or Shi’ite fanatics, chant “Death to America” (as the Iranian Parliament did over the weekend), and send vicious killers into Iraq (where the slaughter is greater than in Syria), Syria, and various African countries, we must act against them."
What "act" would you proscribe? We have acted to Iraq, we have acted in Libya, Somalia, Sudan, we are acting in Syria, in Lebanon, Egypt.
We act but we have no will to win.
You state that Americans will die and you are correct, and we will die in great numbers because we have no will to win.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Or America ought to redraw what its interests are in the Mid East. You are right that we have acted in all the places you list - things are only worse. America should turn towards isolationism which in today's world is merely comparative or relative isolationism.

The United States, the West and the Mid East existed for almost half a century in an achieved balance. Christians. Muslims and Jews lived in Lebanon without interference from Syria, Jordan was stable and a country that used power in a reserved manner. Saudi Arabia likewise was not spreading Wannabe preachers into our jails, Kuwait and the United Emirates were likewise quiet.

Egypt then, as now, was a powder-keg. And to this point the fever of revolution, not Israel, was the destructive force. Now Iran has risen, Syria has stopped in protectorate of Lebanon, we lost Lebanon, Hezbollah and Hamas are agents of Iranian and America is stoking the flames of the revolutionary fever.

That is since the aftermath of world war 2 and before has seen the enormous divisive and destructive power of the Left.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
The attacks, as always, are the result of deathly fear.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dr Ledeen, Your concluding paragraphs were absolutely on the mark and inspiring. Great piece sir.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Principled people getting pilloried is nothing new.

But we should be better than that, and what is even worse is when those principled people get attacked by their own party.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Best piece of yours I've ever read, bar none!
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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