Reader Mail

Bad, Bad War

Readers think foreign. East and West. Fade to Blackwell. Plus more.

12.31.08

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FAN MAIL
Re: David N. Bass's Obama's Abortion Spending Spree:

You guys are hysterical, and you are whipping yourselves up into hysteria ON PURPOSE.

That report was submitted by a large coalition of organizations including the American Association of University Women. It was NOT solicited by the Obama Transition Team, any more than any hysterical pseudo-conservative report was solicited. It's a part of transparency in government, something you guys simply cannot understand.

How did you get ADDICTED to the adrenalin associated with hatred and hysteria? How did you AVOID developing critical thinking? What on earth makes you think your opinions are worth anything at all if they are arrived at by irrationality and expressed so sneakily that you HIDE the nature of the report and the nature of its association with Obama?

God protect us from the CRAZIES at The American Spectator!
-- Hilda F. Morris
Elmwood Park, Illinois

HAWKS CIRCLE
Re: Tom Bethell's The Good War? Maybe Not:

A war more destructive to the essence of the West than was World War II is raging even now, though our putative leaders feign ignorance of its existence, for politically expedient reasons.

This war, however, is a quiet, slow-motion erosion of the core cultures of the West, by the decades-long flood of millions of unassimilable-yet-fecund immigrants.

At the same time, the economies of the West are being undermined by the mercantilist trade policies of ambitious states -- China, India, Korea, and the lot -- intent on the beggar-thy-neighbor model of international trade developed by postwar Japan. The upshot: Asia exports container ships and imports FedEx packages.

Who, then, will resist this tide of events? Certainly not the soi-dissant leaders of the West, who are more concerned about re-election than the welfare of their countries.
-- David Govett
Davis, California


Mr. Bethell, there are no "good wars," only wars. We still call the first Gulf War a "good war" yet it didn’t rise to the level of a large WWII battle and didn’t resolve the central matter, leaving the matter unfinished for another generation. I happen to think WWII did resolve a few matters at hand and was the only way possible given the general unprepared nature of the West for War. Mankind has been fighting wars since the beginning of time, and they range from bad to really bad. There is no rational substitute for war and people like Chamberlain and Buchanan keep trying to find a non-lethal way to deal with what is on the first order an irrational behavior. If we could reason our way out of wars we certainly could have put an end to simple murder in our own societies centuries ago.

Chamberlain’s mistake was not giving Poland a war guarantee. It was to give a guarantee that he had no means or preparations for. In a card game that is called a bluff, in international affairs it is called wishful thinking with millions of lives on the line. Chamberlain’s Plan A (negotiation) was all that he ever envisioned and thus when push came to shove he became desperate with someone that knew more about what Britain and France could do than their own elected officials would admit to themselves. That’s what appeasers ultimately do, they bluff until someone calls them on it. Hitler was a much better card player and he had made the preparations to back up this plans. It only takes one side to have a war but two to not have one. That salient fact gets lost in all the wishful thinking about past wars and all the what ifs that eventually surround them.

Those who believe Poland could have survived as a nation and people if they had signed a pact with the Germans are delusional at best. Name me a pact Hitler kept. Using actual results of German advances while fighting a two- and eventually three-front war it takes a bit of a stretch to see how Russia could have survived if the West had sat out the war had Hitler gone east and not West first. A whole lot of first rate German forces were tied down in the West and Mediterranean from 1940 on, that would have been quite useful on the Eastern front along with those so called anti-Communist Polish forces. Had Germany succeeded in Eastern Russian and consolidated its economic gains and grown even stronger, the combined forces of both France and Britain would have lasted about 6 days in 1942 against battle hardened forces, not six weeks in 1940. The US would be faced with invading Britain from the US not France from Britain. I can hear it now from Buchanan’s ancestors, "we aren’t bleeding for the Brits and Frogs..."

On balance Chamberlain’s idiotic mindset was probably the only thing that put the brakes on Germany’s expansion and ultimate conquest of all of Europe. The evil that undermines that I think is not subject to revisionist history. No rational person wants a war but only fools think they can reason one from starting.
-- Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia


ENLIGHTENED OPINION
Re: Christopher Orlet's Myth of the Secular West:

Oh, come now, Mr. Orlet. If you are wringing your hands worried people will think Conservatives are "anti-intellectual," save it. That train left the station long ago and launching fireballs at imaginary "Christian Jihadism" won’t change that.

Conservatism itself is a reaction to the excesses of the Enlightenment. I should think we would have a little more skepticism toward the fabled achievements of the Enlightenment touted by its modern day acolytes. In fact, the chronological era we refer to as the Enlightenment is something of a historical fiction itself and "it" was not that sharp of a break with the past as many would have it. "It" didn’t happen all over Europe at the same time from the same metaphysical assumptions resulting in the same notions.

The "ideas" of the Enlightenment, as you list them, did not spring forth whole from the head of Sweet Reason. They were developments from a long chain of concrete and particular historical experiences in the West. They were hard won, often times poorly understood, inconsistently lived-up to, and difficult to transplant into non-Western cultures (I said "difficult" -- not impossible).

Having said all this, we are all "children of the Enlightenment." It is a heritage we cannot run away from and an inheritance we would not sell for all the golden pottage the rest of the world has to offer. But it is the Conservative demure from the blind faith in and the over-application of rationation that earns us the demonization of "anti-intellectual." It is the Conservative insistence that reason is powerful but not all-powerful, that reason cannot and should not attempt to solve all the world’s ills, that brings contempt.
-- Mike Dooley

You are misinformed about the "suicidal Swedes."

Suicide rates in Sweden have never been particularly high. Sweden is far down in the European suicide table, in 15th place. According to the World Health Organization, Sweden is about average, with 20.0 cases per 100,000 population. This is about the same as in Canada (21.5) and the U.S. (19.3).

The highest rates are in Lithuania (73.7) and Russia (72.9).

The source of the rumor about suicide in Sweden was a speech given by U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1960, in which he managed to mix up the statistics.
-- B. Anderson
Stockholm, Sweden

DEPT. OF BOLD PREDICTIONS
Re: George H. Wittman's Putin's New Year Tests:

A petrostate with sickening demographics, Russia relies almost exclusively on oil and gas exports to prop up the Potemkin Village that is Putin’s Russia.

As he watches the Russian economy -- and not coincidentally, his legacy -- collapse around his fur-warmed ears, it will occur to Putin that the only way to maintain the Russian economy will be to drive up the price of oil, as high and as quickly as possible, and the only way to do that will be to reduce the supply to the industrial world.

He also will conclude that this will necessitate a war in the Middle East, one that shuts the Persian Gulf and threatens the economies of the industrialized world. To this erstwhile KGBnik, the obvious candidate is a (preferably nuclear) war between Iran and Israel, which is already in its preliminary, slow-motion phases.

This rationale appears to be ineluctable, so prepare for $10-a-gallon gas and a 19th-century lifestyle, courtesy of the Bolshethugs in the Kremlin.
-- David Govett
Davis, California


BLACKWELL'S GOP
Re: W. James Antle, III's Blackwell's Back:

Tina Benkiser has not done a good job in Texas. That is what is wrong with the GOP. I do not know about Ken Blackwell, but he needs to shed Benkiser. Call any county chair in Texas and they will tell you the same story. Anybody but Benkiser.
-- Virginia Carpenter
Brookshire, Texas


Ken Blackwell is exactly what the Republicans may need but I hold out little hope that he will get the nod. I believe we will once again get another RINO for RNC chairman and go down to defeat in the next election. If by some odd chance Republicans should win, they will once again sell out the conservatives who supported them. I for one am finished with the Republican Party and will be supporting a third party from now on. I might add that many of my relatives feel the same and that my brother and his wife have now joined a Ron Paul support group. We need a third party in this country; both of the major parties are controlled by the bankers and other special interests and are selling our country down the drain with free trade, uncontrolled third world immigration and outsourcing of our industrial base.

What possible contribution can illiterate third world migrants contribute to our country other than to expand the welfare rolls? Milton Friedman said it best, “you cannot have immigration and a welfare state,” because you will attract the wrong kind of people.
-- Paul Martell


GUILTY, THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY

If you've ever wondered why there is continued violence between the Israelis and Palestinians for the past 40 years all you need to do is look at U.S. Policy.

Let's take the current situation in Gaza. The Israelis claim that they have ended the 40 year occupation in Gaza, yet Israel's blockade has forced 1.5 million people in Gaza to go without food, medical care, heating fuel, electricity, clean water and facilities and infrastructure necessary to life or even a half-way decent standard of living. Israel controls the land, sea, and air preventing anyone from entering or leaving -- even Fulbright scholars are denied their education opportunity.

During the past 6 months there has been a cease fire between the two parties but just last month the Israelis were the first to break the cease fire by firing missiles into Gaza, killing 6 Palestinians and eventually killing 21 more Palestinians. It was Israel who was the first to break the cease fire, not Hamas. Why don't we hear about this from the State Department or from the media?

In response to these attacks and to the human rights violations Hamas fired primitive rockets into southern Israel, landing in open fields, and killing or injuring not one Israeli. This innocent retaliation played in the hands of the Israelis just as they intended in order to justify their immediate attack and, as usual, portray themselves as the victims.

In response to Hamas' rocket fire Israel launched an all out air assault on Gaza killing more than 325 Palestinians including 50 children, and seriously wounding another 1400. Instead of condemning this disproportionate response, President Bush and Secretary Rice both blamed Hamas for the violence and stated that Isarael has a right to defend themselves.

This is the kind of unbalanced Middle East Policy that has created a monster in the Middle East. There will never be any peace between the Arabs and the Israelis until someone in Washington has the nerve to make a change. Let's hope this new administration is serious about change when it comes to Middle East policy.
-- James J. David
Marietta, Georgia


DIFFERENT, BUT NO BETTER

Unlike Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty, the Obama struggle with the economy and the poverty that comes with it will be different to the core. A lack of high expectations will prevail for those at the bottom over a long time as Obama's programs and initiatives wither during a protracted recession. He'll have at least a more mature and unorganized population to deal with though (less prejudice and less war to rally around). But for the poor and lower middle class, it's not going to be how much the president may want to provide, but how much the poor can reasonably expect.
-- James Gavin
Orefield, Pennsylvania


THAT'S RICH -- GINGRICH
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Hapless White Boys Run for GOP Chairman:

BINGO! What happened to Newt's funny bone? He absolutely misses the point of the Shanklin parodies and their whole 'raison d'etre! Quite right, too, about Rush. There is not a racist bone in the man's body and Newt, Duncan and Anuzis should apologize immediately!
-- DeAne Pradzinski
Highland, California

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