What It Takes - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
What It Takes

Re: Windsor Mann’s Roving Under the Limelight:

Terrific tongue-in-cheek article. It deftly sends it message and makes it point with the dry humor that even the most dense can fathom and understand.

Bravo to the writer, Mr. Mann!
Jack M.

Re: Hal G.P. Colebatch’s American Will? The Global Gamble:

Colebatch’s analysis of America’s previous war efforts is correct in a broad sense, but misses an essential point about dictatorships. As a nation, America’s record in World War II showcased a democratic nation committed to no holds barred, total war. There wasn’t a more ruthless, unbelievably violent nation on this planet relative to casualties inflicted versus casualties absorbed than the U.S. of A. Long before Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Army Air Force implemented a bombing strategy referred to by General Hap Arnold as the “dehousing strategy.” Other, more brutally honest officers referred to it as the “baby killing campaign”.

In the “dehousing strategy,” American and British bombers destroyed entire cities without regard to civilian casualties. The idea was to render the industrial, war material producing areas uninhabitable and drive civilian workers into the hills. In the Pacific war theatre, this strategy reached its zenith with the destruction of Japanese cities using conventional bombs that killed more civilians in total than the two atomic bombs. American casualties were incredibly low while inflicting gruesome damage on Japan’s highly flammable cities. We weren’t proud of our air bombing campaigns or our submarine warfare that killed many civilians, but there was no hesitant self-examination of motives or politically motivated qualms. Only total war worked well against dictatorships.

Later “limited” wars didn’t work. American servicemen died while we held our Sunday punch for political reasons. The Japanese weren’t wrong about America when it comes to limited warfare; we are incapable of changing an entire society from an enemy to a friend with anything less than total war. Limited war just doesn’t work against dictatorships; it costs too many young Americans and instills no lasting lessons.

The Soviet Union is the obvious exception to this dictum that only total war works against dictatorships. Waging total war, a deranged Adolf Hitler couldn’t defeat the Soviet Union. But, Stalin lost over 2 million Russian soldiers killed or captured in the first 6 months after the German invasion. It’s estimated that 26 million Russians perished directly or indirectly in WWII, a number that staggers the imagination. Stalin gained a pyrrhic victory against another dictator with a desperate form of total war that took no account of casualties, either military or civilian. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein may be gone, but the war staggers on without an end in sight.

The fundamental problem with dictatorships is that in order to remake the society that supports them, you must destroy that society. North Korea may be banking on the fact that America hasn’t learned that lesson. Americans are praying that it won’t be necessary to impose such a terrible lesson once again. What Colebatch missed is that unless we are consumed with rage over the deaths of innocent Americans, we can’t muster the will for total war and nothing less will ever work.
Patrick Skurka
San Ramon, California

Re: Quin Hillyer’s Conservative Triple-Play:

I couldn’t agree more with the following quote: “The little-understood reality of this election year is that conservatives are being under-polled.” Where do these “polls” come from? It really doesn’t matter if it’s Zogby, Gallup, or the media driven “news” polls. In almost 30 years of voting and living in the same region where I was born, never have I been “polled” politically.

It seems that most media rely on the wire services or stories made up of these “polls” to fill their news content these days. The “poll” becomes the story. The punditry, ensconced in the centers of this media machine, comment based on the premise of these “polls” being accurate to keep their jobs with the same media. I believe these “pollsters” and their media allies less and less as they appear to try to depress conservatives and suppress turnout from our base.

Conservatives shouldn’t apologize for being conservative. It is the Democrats that have to explain themselves to the American people. Have they in the last 10-12 years adequately explained where they stand and what they believe? Let’s quit explaining their positions for them and demand that they articulate them to us…something they can’t do without turning voters off.
P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan

I have taken several polls and was asked if I approved of the way Bush is handling the war and I answered NO each time. I have been asked if I think Bush is doing a good job and I say NO, because I am thinking about the way he wants to give amnesty to ILLEGALS. But after saying all that the Democrats are worse on both of these issues. So if you are just following polls you are going to be surprised in Nov. I just don’t think Americans are stupid enough to vote in the party of appeasement, higher taxes, open borders, and liberal judges.
Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas

Re: Jay D. Homnick’s Can the Republican Bull Walk>?

If Republicans lose in November many so-called conservatives who have spent the last year or more acting like whiny Democrats bear heavy responsibility for the defeat. It is one thing to disagree, but the shrill hysteria of the some on the right has resembled radical Democrats more than mature and reasoned conservatives. The victims (pray there are none) will not be “moderates,” but more likely solid conservatives like Rick Santorum, Jim Talent, Geoff Davis, Ken Blackwell and the U.S. military.

Until we adjust to the reality of politics, that it is hard to get what you want without 60 seats in the Senate and stronger majorities in the House, then we need to accept incremental victories. Sadly, too many conservatives would rather prove their “independence” to the media by dumping on President Bush (whose governed far to the right of Reagan) and the GOP Congress (that has never raised taxes, supported supply-side economics, advanced pro-life and pro-family issues, put solid conservatives on the Federal bench and resolutely defended the country) than support them. Now there is real fear among this same group that Congress may soon be in the hands of the most radical Democrat party in history. What did you think would happen when your were constantly belittling the President and Republican Congress? Words and deeds do have consequences.

As a conservative Christian I will be voting a straight Republican ticket and so will my wife. That goes for my believing father, Roman Catholic sister and brother-in-law, etc. We don’t want NAMBLA Nancy Pelosi and Dick “Turban” Durbin deciding the direction of anything, but the demise of the Democrat party. By the way we’ve been solid supporters of the President and the Republican Congress, because we have always realized how dangerous the Democrats are to the US. Unfortunately, too many so-called conservatives are apparently just waking up to that reality. Prayerfully, it is not too late.
Michael Tomlinson
Crownsville, Maryland

Re: Jay Homnick’s Republican Bulls and Foley’s “explanation” that his is a “priest molested gay drunk.” If you have among your readers a psychiatrist who can explain why an otherwise normal gay, straight or double gaited guy can use being molested as a youth as the reason for molesting when he becomes an adult, I’d like to hear it. Does it go something like this? “Gee, that was frightening,
degrading, painful, shameful and I am sure it is a sin against all humankind. When I grow up I think I will do it, too.”

I would think, having suffered this soul-searing experience, the injured party would take away from it the lesson of Mark Twain’s cat, who sat upon a hot stove — jumped off and never sat on a hot stove again. Never sat on a cold one either. But no, somehow, the child molester always falls back on the “pity me” line, “I was so scarred by the experience I took up the perverted behavior myself.” If the molested-as-a-child molester recalls it as the most horrific experience of his life, why would he visit this depraved, de-humanizing act upon another human being? Perhaps there are no “otherwise normal” gays, straights etc. child molesters. And perhaps they are liars, to boot.

If the Gay Out-to-Out-’em guy carries out his threat to identify every closet gay in Congress — staff and all — then what? Perv Alert warnings on a crawl line under elevator signs? In colors of pink, mauve and purple?

To think, we can’t regard the terrorists as a real danger. We aren’t seriously looking for terror cells, but now we are going to have Gay Raid — conducted by a Gay! Kinda bitchy, wouldn’t you say?
Diane Smith
South San Francisco, California

Re: Jeffrey Lord’s The Charlie Brown Democrats:

Your article explaining the apparent detonation of a nuclear device by N. Korea blames the event on a treaty negotiated during President Clinton’s tenure. Why am I not surprised? The Republicans have had total control of the American government for over 6 years, and still trot out “Clinton did it,” every time there is some catastrophe. Frankly, this is snake oil. Bush has been a complete failure in so many ways, and here is more evidence. When he came into office he had no interest in foreign affairs, and obviously no expertise, nor, apparently, did he want to learn anything about foreigners. His modus operandi was: Find out what Clinton was doing, and stop it. Like a kindergartener he refused even to talk with those he gratuitously designated the Axis of Evil. That may not have been all bad, considering his petulant, adolescent attitude. Unfortunately, but predictably, this attitude created an equal and opposite reaction from the Others. What has been happening with Korea since Mr. Bush took office? Basically an exchange of childish insults. Mr. Bush does not appear to be much different from N. Korea’s Dear Leader when it comes to adult interchanges. Tit for tat, just like a kindergarten slapping match. We are where we are in 2006 because of the foolish six years intervening between now and Clinton’s era, not because of what was done in the ’90s.You seem to believe the six years count for nothing. They count for everything.
Teddy Goodson
Fairfax, Virginia

Re: William Tucker’s Bulletin — Man Invented Humanity:

Normally I blow by stuff like this, but the comment that “if women ran the world it would be a more peaceful place, but we would all be living in grass huts” requires comment from a woman who has seen the way homes look that are tenanted only by university-age boys. I was once hired to clear the beer cans out of the small fenced back yard of one of these houses and made $18.00 from the recycling machine in the nearby grocery store parking lot as a really good tip. The apartment itself had to be fumigated, sterilized and virtually rebuilt before it could be shown to anyone else. If men lived alone in the world, they would live in grass huts because when they dirtied them up they could just burn them down and move on.

I was also reminded of an old joke that suggests that if the Holy Family had been visited by the Three Wise Women, their gifts would have been baby clothes, diapers, casseroles and blankets — and they would have gone right to the Inn and demanded that space be made for Mary and Her Baby even if they had to send half a dozen men to sleep in the stable instead.
Kate Shaw
Toronto, Canada

Re: Andrew J. Coulson’s Strange New Love for “The Blob”:

Andrew Coulson’s column of 10/11 was right on the money. I have supported Bush in most areas, but I fear he has allowed the educrats to take over the Department of Education and to replicate on a national scale the failed policies which have already been initiated in states. The results even in this administration are bad enough: the deification of mediocrity at the expense of excellence and the stifling of educational creativity. As Coulson points out, one shudders to think what could happen should (say) Kerry or neo-Clinton administration got its hands on a French-style centralized teaching apparat. It is bad enough that Kim Jong Il has the bomb!
Michael Hofstetter

My oldest son was having problems in English, so I went to see the teacher to find out what I could do to help him. HA, I don’t know what language she was speaking, but I could only understand half of what she was saying and they had this woman teaching ENGLISH.
Elaine Kyle

Re: Doug Bandow’s Reproductive Killing Rights:

Although I agree with Doug Bandow in his piece “Reproductive Killing Rights” (9/26/06) that the Center for American Progress confuses abortion with birth control, his opening paragraph does serious injustice to a valuable writer’s legacy.

Bandow writes: “Orwell is alive and well. Abortion is a matter of ‘reproductive health.'”

This is the kind of confusion that is common on the Left with those who confuse “Orwell” with “Orwellian.” What Bandow seems to mean is that the kind of Newspeak that Orwell is decrying in Nineteen Eighty-Four is alive and well in the obfuscations of leftist jargon about abortion, which equate it with “reproductive health.”

True enough. But instead of saying that straight out in the clear and lucid manner of Orwell himself, Bandow inadvertently engages in obfuscatory language of his own by conflating George Orwell with the Orwellian abuse of language.

Orwell’s legacy deserves better. The values of intellectual integrity, objective truth, and linguistic accuracy that Orwell championed in his best work, such as his famous essay “Politics and the English Language,” are exactly the opposite of the Newspeak that he satirized so effectively in his great dysutopia, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Let all of us who insist on exposing euphemistic language equating abortion with “reproductive health” remember the difference.
John Rodden
Author of George Orwell: The Politics of Literary Reputation and Scenes from an Afterlife: The Legacy of George Orwell

Re: Lisa Fabrizio’s Bye, Bye Bombers:

As I told my brother-in-law, a huge Yankees fan, last Tuesday, the ghost of Frank Lary would rise up and assist the Tigers. It happened and brought us three memorable pitching outings, without which no team should be able to win in the playoffs.

Go Tigers.
James M. Regan, CPA
Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan

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