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Lawrence Henry does a great job collating the best recent articles on the present situation in Iraq. But I suggest the major point is missed. The fundamental mistake was the unforgivable hubris of assuming that a Middle Eastern nation should be rebuilt in the political image and likeness of the United States of America and that nothing else would do.
The United States was built by a group of White Anglo Saxon Protestant males, and please note this is a Mediterranean Catholic writing [and in grateful thanks]. The reason why it is called the “Protestant Work Ethic” and not Catholic, or Muslim, or Jewish, or Buddhist, or Communist, or Socialist, is because the Protestants of that era had the exactly right combination of respect for their Creator, and respect for their own initiative and constructive accomplishments. It is not a coincidence that the Rio Grande marks the boundary where everyone, white and brown, prefer to live. I love my God, and I love my Church, but the fact is my Church has always been more comfortable with absolutely everyone in a state of abysmal poverty than any effort extended toward the generation (not theft or confiscation!) of wealth, and the promise of nothing in this world and everything in the next world simply fails to motivate people in this world. Much the same can be said of Islam, the only religion in living memory that promises ultimate reward in the next world in recompense for mass murder in this world. That is also why, as Victor Davis Hanson and other great writers have noted, Muslim mass murders are reduced to using tools and weapons created and manufactured by “infidels” to serve the demands of their concept of Allah.
If there is one absolute and unavoidable law of history, it must be George Santayana’s “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Mark Moyar’s Triumph Forsaken: the Vietnam War, 1954-1965 serves to remind all of us how when we cannot remember the past, we will always repeat it (well, not exactly, but as another historian has noted, history doesn’t repeat itself, it rhymes with itself). Iraq is not Vietnam, at least not in the sense that the Left would like to think, but it is Vietnam in the sense that almost identical political mistakes have been made, perhaps with the same fatal consequences. Most importantly, Moyar paints a picture of Ngo Dinh Diem, a man who unfortunately for all of us has no Iraqi equivalent, who was an ardent, incorruptible, extraordinarily savvy nationalist, who was ultimately murdered, and with him the future of South Vietnam, literally by the hands of his own people, but also thanks to the duplicity and hubris of almost every American of any influence. Moyar also paints a picture of an institution dedicated to the propagation of its own ideology and never the facts in context, the New York Times. And ultimately Moyar paints a picture of an America determined to mold South Vietnam in America’s own political image and likeness, even though everyone with any knowledge in-theater, whether Vietnamese or American, knew that to be a fatal mistake.p>Read Moyar and weep. Weep for the mistakes of four decades ago. And weep for the repetition of the same mistakes in Iraq today. And shame on every American who blindly attempts to force liberal “democracy” on lands with no history of the rule of law, no history of a religious base that balances this life with the next, and no history of peaceful internal industry of its own people. br> — Frank Natoli br> Newton, New Jersey /p>
I am continually amazed at the change of perception in American minds. I read Lawrence Henry’s article this morning, after a long seven hour trip home to East Texas after caring for my mother, who broke her hip this week. It may seem rather churlish of me, and I ask forgiveness to TAS for even writing this letter, but I must ask, what do you think about sending our sons and daughters to fight for our freedoms when, we are feckless, ungrateful, most of all, easily surrender when things get tough? I knew in 2002 that when we began the war that if we didn’t get it done thoroughly and completely, using great force and rendering many lives, that the likelihood would be giving up too soon because we are an instant society. And pardon me if no one believe me, that is why we will fall in less than 18 months, if we don’t buck up and let the fighting me fight the battle and keep Washington congressmen, MSM, and other idiots babbling like mouthing monkeys, tell the military what to do.
As for this mother of a son who returns to his sp ops duties just before Christmas…. I am very angry. I am angry at an ungrateful nation. I am angry that we are foolish enough to not realize our enemies are within our borders, and angry that we are wimping out at every turn. And perhaps we deserve to fail….if we can’t muster enough resolve to say as a generation, as a country, we will not fail, we will not FALL, on our watch, then unlike the greatest generation, we will be determined to have been…..the failure generation. We thrived on loving failure, hating ourselves, our freedoms, our great country and a great GOD. We bred the generation of Vietnam veteran haters, who when given leadership later, turned our country over to the enemy who would kill and subdue us. Such has happened countless times in ancient histories, when countries became indolent, living in luxury and self absorbed and sex absorbed.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?