Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Are We in the Third World War?
Last night I attended a talk given by Professor Jeffrey Norwitz, a terrorism expert and an NCIS who, among other things, teaches at the Naval War College in Newport.
Professor Norwitz raised an interesting question to a diverse audience of engineers. Are we currently living through World War III?
Without directly answering the question he raised a number of analogies to the two previous world wars:
Ideologically Driven: both WWI and WWII were fueled by ideologues who had wild eyed views of a world under the domination of their likewise wild eyed ideologies. Even the Cold War was obviously ideologically fueled.
Global: Battles are scattered all over the globe, from Bali to Baghdad, to New York and Kenya.
Unusual Alliances: Norwitz pointed to the alliance of the Soviets with the US during WWII, and the current strange alliance between Sunni Syria and Shiite Iran. You could also consider the Saudis and the US.
But, I asked, during WWI and WWII, there were propaganda campaigns that kept the nation involved with the war effort, today, apart from the daily body count, it is almost like war isn't going on. Not many are lifting a finger for the effort. All the work is being carried by the 120,000 or so troops in the Middle East.
Ah, he said, this was a major error of the Bush administration. Soon after 9/11, the president seemed to say, "leave us to take care of this war and go about your business."
Suffice it to say, Norwitz raises a good question, and if we are in a war, and don't realize it, we are subject to defeat. If we take heed, despite the cruelty of our enemy, we could prevail.
But will we take heed?
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Do We Have the Endurance and Patience of the British of 1941?
In case anyone out there does not believe we're in a world war against an islamo-fascist piracy, read this.
Last night I happened to be watching PBS, and Walter Cronkite was relating how the news correspondents during the war on England by Germany in World War II affected the views of Americans.
In early 1941, 2/3 of Americans did not want any part of the war with Germany. Just prior to Pearl Harbor, at the end of the same year, again PRIOR to the bombing by the Japanese, the opinion polls flipped, and 2/3 of Americans thought it inevitable that we would need to fight.
Well, American opinion on Iraq is similar today, and it is being driven by the news from correspondents. In one day, England would lose 3,000 people to V1 and V2 unmanned buzz bombs, and we would wonder what to do. Today, after four years in Iraq, and having lost over 3,000 of our own wonderful young men, we want out.
Understandably, we think if we were to just walk away, our young men will be spared. Or at least we wish it.
The enemy is not those who keep us in this war, it is those who have driven us to this war. The real enemy are those who perpetrated the killing of over 3,000 Americans on 9/11. They are not a contiguous nation like Germany but a spread out piracy that stretches the globe.
Winston Churchill, and later FDR, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor said that "this will be a long, drawn out war..." People forget, but George W. Bush said the same. We have no patience for war. We hate it when the innocent die, and the slog goes on, but Walter Cronkite kept referring to the "patience" and "endurance" of the British during the early years of World War II.
Do we have the same grace under fire? Can we tough it out and extinguish this pestilence?
Though the correspondents tell us of every injury and every death as if it occurred in our back yards, we nonetheless have the enemy on the run right now. Do we withdraw?
Friday, June 01, 2007
An Alternative to Comprehensive Immigration Reform
- What to do with the illegal immigrants currently in the country, and
- Should we have secure borders, or not?
What I'm hearing makes me believe other items are not as difficult to agree on. So let's just agree on them. The Democrats would love to see the evil corporations hurt; the Republicans would like to remove the incentives for illegal immigrants to come here eliminated. So let's pass a bill that would heavily fine any corporation that either knowingly or unintentionally hires an illegal immigrant. Let's include some enforcement teeth. I think this could be agreed to, so why not get it done? If need be to get this passed, make it effective at the time of passage, or a little before passage. That would delay the issue of illegals currently in the country.
Then, I think agreement could be reached to repeal the insane law that makes anyone born in the country a citizen.
With these two incentives removed, perhaps the rest of the issues will either become targets for compromise, and the overall situation can be greatly improved.
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