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Can we afford more day late, dollar short politics?

August 22, 2014

Once again, the White House wants you to believe that they didn’t know or couldn’t forecast that Islamic jihadists had promoted themselves to the varsity team. I guess that means it’s time to thank your particular deity that we have cable news. If not for them, our government would apparently have no information at all.

With all due respect to the office of the presidency, that’s BS.

While it may be true that this particular office holder and his cohorts are the modern day equivalent of the flower children, peaceniks and social protesters of the 1960’s, they still have qualified military and strategic personnel on the payroll that can and probably do point out that world events are getting somewhat dicey.

If the country is lucky, these people that purport to govern us are simply incompetent, naïve hacks. If we aren’t lucky, then the strategy all along was to prevent the U.S. from being able to intervene in foreign affairs, even when that intervention is clearly in our national interest.

While the video of a black-robed, faceless man beheading an American journalist is undoubtedly a murder, the man and all of his group are not common criminals. They are part a well-equipped, well-funded and thoroughly capable army. Their ideology, while clearly psychopathic, is not different from any of the warlords that preceded them. They want to win.

It may very possibly be that Americans are not tired of war. They are tired of losing wars. It is as though if we don’t call a conflict a war, then we don’t have to try to win anything. We can pretend that the whole world is one giant playground, and as long as we can give the kids enough candy, they won’t get into squabbles. We can hand out ribbons to everyone for trying, because “winning” is somehow an evil goal.

When fire ants invade your home, you don’t go out and leave them a trail of sugar cubes or hot dogs. You kill the intruders, find the nest and get rid of all of them. That doesn’t mean there won’t be more ants moving in when they find out there is no competition. You are always going to be fighting the ants, but that particular anthill is gone.

There will always people who want to conquer other people. History tells us that’s how the world works. From Genghis Khan to Osama bin Laden and beyond, there are always going to be people that utilize real or imagined wrongs to rally people to their side. If those leaders are also violent psychopaths on the scale of a Hitler or the current jihadists then a lot of people die. Japanese and German extremists attacked other countries because they wanted to mold history to their own warped world view. In this modern case the excuse is violent “religious” extremism. In the end, it’s still all about conquest.

At present, we still have the capability to be proactive, to carry the ball to the goal line if you will. A few more years of the politics of retreat and leading from behind, and we can learn how to surrender as well.

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