For Iraq — Hang the history teachers

While our all-seeing neoconservatives, liberal internationalists, and realists argue about democratizing the Muslim world — their argument is not if we should, only how — the real authors of our Muslim-world disaster remain hidden. These wretches are America’s history teachers. They have failed so utterly that no leader in either party appears to understand U.S. history or the basically nontransferable nature of America’s experience. So ineffective have the teachers been that Americans — leaders and led — expect to replicate abroad the republic under which they live but about which they know almost nothing.

Continue reading “For Iraq — Hang the history teachers”

When Americans die for nothing

This month’s burial of 20 U.S. Marines from a single Ohio reserve battalion is the result of Marines doing what they have done for 200-plus years — fighting their country’s battles. Dignified as always, Marine officers and men handled the news of the deaths and subsequent dealings with the bereaved families with a sincere, dry-eyed compassion that sets them far apart — and far above — the cloying festivals of televised grief on which our society thrives. In war, peace, and mourning, Marines are the epitome of the now much-denigrated but still cardinal virtue which the 19th Century called manliness.

Continue reading “When Americans die for nothing”

Is the right of the people to alter or abolish it

“An ELECTIVE DESPOTISM was not the government we fought for,” James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper 41. As America nears the 229th anniversary of its independence, it is well to recall Madison’s words and to remember what the Founders fought for is best described in Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, which remains the single most important statement on the nature of our republic. It is true that Christian scripture informed the work of Jefferson and the Founders, but the declaration and the constitution that followed it are the only scripture to which Americans must hew. God, after all, will work His own will, to His own satisfaction, in His own time.

Continue reading “Is the right of the people to alter or abolish it”

Unraveling the saga of al-Zarqawi’s injury

The recent torrent of Internet and print media stories about the wounding and demise, and then the resurrection and return to battle, of al-Qaeda’s commander in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, kicked up a great deal of dust but little solid information. After the initial announcement of al-Zarqawi’s wounding was circulated on the Internet on May 24, 2005 (posted on among other sites), little has been clear except that he was wounded “lightly,” is still fighting, and has reported to Osama bin Laden that all is well with him and the mujahideen in Iraq. What conclusions should be draw from this episode that — as reported in the Western media — reeks of melodrama?

Continue reading “Unraveling the saga of al-Zarqawi’s injury”

Throwing America a life preserver

Professor Robert Pape’s brilliant new book Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism gives Americans an urgently needed basis for devising a strategy to defeat Osama bin Laden and other Islamist militants. In scholarly and low-key prose, Pape delivers the results of his own extensive research and that done by the University of Chicago’s Project on Suicide Terrorism. In so doing, Pape demolishes the relentlessly repeated assertion of the neoconservatives and Israeli politicians that Islamist suicide attacks against America and other counties are launched by undereducated, unemployed, alienated, apocalyptic fanatics who are eager to kill themselves because Americans vote, have civil liberties, and allow women to drive cars. This assertion always has been transparently false, and I have argued so in my own work on al-Qaeda. It has been, however, an assertion that is easy to protect because its authors simply dismiss their critics by calling them anti-Semites, thereby foreclosing debate. But Pape avoids contentious rhetoric and employs facts to kill the assertion, and he does so coolly and with the precision of a Marine sniper.

Continue reading “Throwing America a life preserver”

Deliberately destroying America’s soul

At the U.S. Army War College’s 16th Annual Strategy Conference last week, a senior Department of Defense strategist defined U.S. “Grand Strategy” as the export of freedom and democracy. He added that the U.S. military would play a huge role in implementing the strategy. In short, and to paraphrase, the official said: “Get ready, soldiers, you’re going democracy-crusading.”

Continue reading “Deliberately destroying America’s soul”

The job should have gone to the Marx Brothers

The new Robb-Silberman report on U.S. intelligence capabilities should but won’t enrage Americans. Too long at 600 pages for most to read, the report completes the destruction of the Intelligence Community — especially the CIA — begun by Congress’s Goss-Graham inquiry and the wrong-headed, dissembling Kean-Hamilton Commission and its predecessor, the Goss Graham Joint Congressional Inquiry.

Continue reading “The job should have gone to the Marx Brothers”

Sandy Berger’s scissors

Junk food and junk laws, neither are good for you. Unfortunately for Americans, an ever increasing number of junk laws are paving our way to national disaster. What are junk laws? They are laws passed by the Congress and then ignored; to wit, unenforced immigration laws, unregulated borders, and dual citizens voting in U.S. and foreign elections. Then there are those Constitutional mandates that have been transformed into junk law. For example, the Congress has unconstitutionally delegated to the president its exclusive prerogative to declare war. As a result, our children in the military are being killed and our country’s resources dissipated on the basis of one man’s decision, rather than by the informed consent — witnessed by a formal, public, and recorded vote — of the majority of the people’s representatives, as the Founders required.

Continue reading “Sandy Berger’s scissors”