Monday, January 29, 2007

The Sense of Good: American confidence necessary to succeed in a war for freedom.

by Bruce Thornton, Private Papers
January 6, 2007
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... No one has "failed" yet, and it is a sign of our collective failure of nerve that we want to quit in the middle of the game. But it is not we who are "failing." Hussein and his WMD capacity are gone, and a lethal threat has been removed. If worst comes to worst and Iraq doesn’t stabilize, a fractured Iraq that looks like Lebanon will still be preferable to a regime controlled by a psychotic Saddam Hussein flush with oil money and ultimately freed, as he likely would have been, from U.N. sanctions and weapons inspectors.
The fact is, it is the Iraqi people who are failing, the Arabs who are failing, and Muslims who are failing. The same cultural pathologies that keep Palestinian Arabs sullen welfare clients, that keep Lebanon a political basket-case, that keep millions of Middle-Eastern Muslims mired in poverty and oppression and ignorance and gender apartheid, are the same forces that are keeping Iraqis in some Road Warrior dystopia - not our blunders, cultural insensitivity, arrogance, or whatever other excuse concocted by self-loathing Americans.
No, Iraq is failing because too many Muslims love sectarian hatred, love resentment and envy of a successful infidel West, and love their belief in their own God-sanctioned superiority and righteousness more than they love freedom, prosperity and human rights. We have spent American lives and money to give Muslim Arabs a chance to create a better life, and they are blowing it, all the while neighboring Muslim nations either sit on their hands or actively support the forces destroying that opportunity.
But a willingness to acknowledge and assert our superiority, despite our flaws, to a culture and religion that validate blowing up and torturing one’s fellows, is sorely lacking even among those who should know better. And that is what emboldens the enemy. He sees our impossible expectations and our utopian standards of action, but to him these are not the signs of the sophisticated, sensitive, “nuanced” sensibility that we fancy we are displaying. Rather, they are the symptoms of cultural weakness and spiritual corruption. So he fights on, confident that more explosions, more grisly footage, more exploitation of false guilt and moral exhaustion will help him prevail.
And if we don’t recover that ardent belief in the superiority of freedom and individual rights — the same faith that conquered fascist and communist tyranny — he just may be right.
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