Sunday, August 20, 2006

Don't be ashamed to show off your muscles

Mark Steyn delivers his usual dose of Sunday clarity, encouraging the US to not be afraid to throw its weight around. He points out that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 GW Bush didn't mind letting countries such as Pakistan and Russia know what needed to be done and that this country expected them to do their part:

What's the difference between September 2001 and now? It's not that anyone "liked" America or that, as the Democrats like to suggest, the country had the world's "sympathy.'' Pakistani generals and the Kremlin don't cave to your demands because they "sympathize.'' They go along because you've succeeded in impressing upon them that they've no choice. Musharraf and Co. weren't scared by America's power but by the fact that America, in the rubble of 9/11, had belatedly found the will to use that power. It is notionally at least as powerful today, but in terms of will we're back to Sept. 10: Nobody thinks America is prepared to use its power. And so Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad and wannabe "strong horses" like Baby Assad cock their snooks with impunity.

He mentions the high stakes in Iraq as well, concluding that supporters of the war should not hesitate to question the Democrat position:

That's not just good politics, but it's actually the heart of the question. Of course, if Bush sneered that John Kerry and Ted Kennedy and Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi's constant companion is the white flag, they'd huff about how dare he question their patriotism. But, if you can't question their patriotism when they want to lose a war, when can you?....Nitwit Democrats think anything that can be passed off as a failure in Iraq will somehow diminish only Bush and the neocons. In reality -- a concept with which Democrats seem only dimly acquainted -- it would diminish the nation, and all but certainly end the American moment. In late September 2001 the administration succeeded in teaching a critical lesson to tough hombres like Musharraf and Putin: In a scary world, America can be scarier. But it's all a long time ago now.

Bush needs to trust his fighting instincts.

Read it all.


Blogger Roch101 said...

Thye've just rasied the enlistment age limit to 42. Yuu signing up or is this fightin' you are so enthusiastic for only for other people?

Blogger Glenn said...

Roch, I left a reply to your comment Sunday night, but it didn't take for some reason. I didn't have time to hit the computer's on switch yesterday, thus the delay. I'll try my best to recreate.

The point of the argument is that it doesn't matter how powerful your military is if you send out vibes that you're unwilling to use it. Let's hope we solve the Mideast conflict with a minimum of armed struggle. However, if we signal we aren't willing to go further than that, we more than likely increase the probability of an even more massive future war.

Blogger Roch101 said...

What kind of "vibe" are you looking for though, Glenn? We've invadid two countries in five years. If the world is looking more dangerous than ever, maybe we should try sending out a different vibe.

Blogger Glenn said...

Like it or not, we're in a tough situation. An exterminationist wing of Islam is determined to have its way. Diplomacy has utterly failed to stem the tide.

The vibe I look for from our leaders is one that says we're not giving in even if we have to play ugly. We don't have to rely on war as the only option. Tough sanctions on Iran may be a start. They can't refine oil. A cutoff of gasoline would hit them hard and show the West is serious in preventing the nuclear arming of the ayatollahs. We have to be willing to do it though.


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