Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Mar 28, 2006

The Return of Fangirl

Also this.

Since I self-declared myself to be Jack Wakeland's #1 Fangirl some time ago, I think it behooves me to respond to these posts over at Rule of Reason, although I'm sure Mr. Wakeland is the best person to ask if you are in doubt over your understanding of his words. As a long-time reader of TIA Daily, I think I have a fair understanding of the magazine's views and policy.

TIA has long been arguing that the real enemy at the gates is not Islam (which is composed of Attilas), but the multiculturalists within America that seek to frighten us out of asserting and defending our rights. It is these neo-intellectuals, empty of any idea other than hatred of America, that are the Witch Doctors that permit the Attilas to believe that they may have a chance of cowing the giant. Even a youngster reading comic books understands that it is not the Monster that is the most fearsome evil, it is the Mad Doctor that releases said Monster upon the innocent, even though said Mad Doctor may never raise a hand against them himself. You can kill the Monster, but you still won't have finished the job until the Mad Doctor has joined him.

The ideological battle against the multiculturists must be fought unhesitatingly, unflinchingly, and all the way to the hilt. It is in an ideological battle that any compromise or half-measure is worse than none. It is this battle that Ayn Rand spoke of unceasingly, and this is where her quotation applies.

In a physical battle against Attila, though, especially when you are America, with the military might to crush any Islamic country on the planet like, well, like a bug, a half-battle is not necessarily a disaster. It is not as good as it could be, but it's not a complete disaster. The fact that there IS a war going on at all means that the ideological battle, the truly necessary battle, is actually going fairly well. While we may not have 100% support of the idea that America has rights and should assert them, at least there's enough that the war is still going forward.

Mr. Wakeland's support of Bush's "Forward Strategy of Freedom", in my understanding, is based on the fact that it means Bush has recognized two truths: that the real battle here is an ideological one, and that we have to stick with it until we win. While Bush hasn't been fantastic about finding and applying the correct strategies to realize either of these goals, he HAS been consistent in maintaining that there is an ideological battle and that we have to stick with it. In that respect, his floundering efforts deserve our support.

I can sympathize with Objectivists who want this war carried on as stringently as it really should be, however the political reality is that there is no one in the country able to do this. Dr. Peikoff remarked on his amazement with people praising Bush for his "hard nose", you know, the one that he has not, in fact, got. Well, the reason for this is simple; he DOES have a hard nose when compared with the competition.

During the Presidential elections, Bush was not the "medium war" candidate, he was the war candidate. No one else was even willing to go that far. Electing Kerry would not have been a statement that we were tired of the half-war, it would have been a statement that we were mewling pacifists too frightened to pursue any war.

A smothering dread of self-assertion has become so entrenched in this country that it will be a long, difficult, drawn-out struggle to get out from under it. It is absurd to expect that the first steps of the recovering cripple be the arrogant stride of a healthy young man. This is what TIA (and Mr. Wakeland) accept, albeit unhappily; locking horns over the ideological issues while being cheerful supporters of those tentative first steps in the right direction.

In addition to all this, Mr. Wakeland also keeps tabs on the actual military happenings in Iraq; the battles fought, the cities taken, the police trained, etc. It has been his consistent opinion that, militarily, our troops are doing quite well. So referring to the military's efforts as a half-battle only succeeds in bolstering the liberal media's claims that we are caught in a "quagmire" that is just like Vietnam.

If we pull out before we accomplish the goal we set for ourselves (returning Iraq to self-government), all that will happen is that there will be yet another concrete instance for the multiculturalists and proponents of self-imposed dhimmitude to point at when they declare that any attempt to assert our rights will only lead to defeat of American forces. It doesn't matter, at this stage, if Iraq ends up with a very bad government. If necessary, we can invade them again. (It is not the preferred outcome by any stretch of the imagination, mind you.) What matters is that we don't self-declare a military defeat.

So, Mr. Provenzo, Wakeland didn't accuse you (or anyone else) of treasonously supporting Islamists. Instead, he quite rightly observed that by favoring a pullout because the war isn't being fought strenously enough, you're playing into the hands of those who would see a pullout, for any reason, under any circumstances, as a U.S. military defeat and be emboldened by yet another sign of the crumbling of the giant. Grim as the prospect is, we can afford to fight this war for a long time and lose a lot of money and, grievously, lives. We cannot afford to stop fighting.

But appearances don't matter, right? Attila will understand that we're not really weak, right? Bull. It is not pragmatism to recognize that bullies are not put off by a show of weakness; it is practicality. I think it's frightful and revolting to realize what a vulnerable position America is in due to her ideological collapse. I would love to say, "let's hunker down and wait until we can fight with better tools." It isn't a viable choice. You work with what you have. You have to bail out the boat before you can fix the hole in the bottom.

The solution, as I see it, is to keep fighting the ideological battle here at home by any means at your disposal. Criticize Bush for his many inadequacies. Call for more more thorough, more stringent, more comprehensive military policy. Condemn those who condemn our troops for civillian casualties. And support the military efforts that do exist. Turn this paper tiger into a real one.


Obsequiosity said...

Hear, hear!

I'm admittedly behind on my DIM Hypothesis-type research, but I find myself perplexed by the kind of O'ists that think Iranian invasions happen without prep work, without securing a staging ground, and without having any of the logistics covered.

--Obs, Lurker for the past few weeks; enjoying the tidbits of fiction.

Jack Wakeland said...

I was amused to see you're defending me. But do I need defenders?

I'm not much interested in defending myself against guys who were once good friends (Nick) and guys for whom I have the greatest respect (Yaron).

From time to time I've taken shots at black predictions of America's doom. I'll keep doing it and, I suppose, the doomsayers will keep firing back. I’ll never sell America short.

I can't shake the fact that America outlasted the Soviet Union in the Cold War and, today, the enemy we face is far weaker.

Relative to the Soviet Union, the Muslims are materially impotent and intellectually shallow. Unlike the communists, they can't count on a substantial sympathetic moral support from among our own countrymen.

I can't shake the fact that the Muslim war against us takes place against a backdrop of the globalization of the American Dream. The U.S. and the Muslims are fighting over former communist possessions in Arabia and South-Central Asia. The Islamists don't yet even control the Muslim World. Strategically, for Islam, this is a defensive war.

The truth--even if Americans can't articulate it--is on our side. Against our inarticulate defense of our way of life, Islam offers only the thin gruel of the dogmas of traditional society. They think their terrorists attack without warning. But attacks on their system can come without warning from any direction: from Indian guest workers at the palace, from fellow Muslims who want a better life in the real world more than a welcome to an imagined afterlife, from their own wives and daughters, from salsa music and what is shown on T.V.

I'm happy to have fans. If you get it wrong in arguing about what I've been writing, I'll wince, but not complain.

Jennifer Snow said...

I hope you'll also correct me, I don't want to be spreading misrepresentations.

Thank you for stopping by.