Moral clarity and war
by Linn and Ari Armstrong
The following article was originally published by Grand Junction Free Press on August 22, 2005.
Here is a partial timeline of events in Britain:
* May 7-8: The House of Commons holds a major debate on the conduct of war.
* May 31: The British government institutes a series of measures to counter the threat of fifth-column attacks.
* June 11-13: The Prime Minister visits France again, but is unable to instill a fighting spirit in French leaders.
* June 27: U.S. political leaders, facing an American public unprepared to contemplate war, deny military aid to countries like Australia.
* July 10: The Battle of Britain begins.
These events occurred in 1940 (according to The World Almanac Book of World War II). This year on July 7, 65 years later, Britain was attacked again. Terrorists murdered 52 Londoners and injured hundreds more.
The parallels between the years are uncanny. Both Tony Blair and Winston Churchill faced members of their cabinets who wanted to surrender. Neither Blair nor Churchill had much success convincing the French to take the threat seriously.
Yet the threat is unavoidably real. British-born Katie Ray, a local resident, ponders, "How could third-generation Brits attack innocent people?"
The American public has been unprepared to contemplate war. The French traveler Alexis de Tocqueville said, "There are two things that a democratic people will always find very difficult, to begin a war and to end it." A virtuous people remains guarded against unjust use of military power. As one of our grandfathers who fought in WWII said, "War is barbaric."
Yet war is not avoided by ignoring real threats. A war can be ended only after it is fought. America and the civilized world face a real threat of militant, theocratic Islam. The terrorists will not go away and give up their goal of establishing Islamic dictatorship simply because we pretend they're not there.
Moral clarity and, yes, a reasonable patriotism are required to win any war. Natan Sharansky writes in The Case for Democracy, "The democracies of the world can defeat the tyranny that threatens our world today and the tyrannies that would threaten it tomorrow."
Meanwhile, taxpayer-subsidized "professor" Ward Churchill, who was never qualified for his position at the University of Colorado and who is currently under investigation for plagiarism, received a raise just weeks ago.
Ward Churchill is the character who accused the U.S. military of a "performance worthy of the Nazis" for fighting the Iraqi military. About the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, Churchill wrote, "Well, really. Let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire -- the 'mighty engine of profit' to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved -- and they did so both willingly and knowingly...
"[T]hey were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it."
Yes, you pay taxes to a guy who excused the terrorists who murdered Americans. You pay taxes to a guy who likened American businesspeople to genocidal murderers.
Ward Churchill is the end result of the leftist tendency to morally equivocate between those who fight for individual rights and those who fight for dictatorship and terror.
In 2003, you also contributed taxes to a $44,100 state-funded project for public high-school students that included antiwar classroom exercises in two Denver schools. At North High School, students wrote antiwar poetry as guided by their state-funded instructors. Most of the poems were written from the perspective of Iraqi victims of the war. Many contained overt antiwar sentiments. One student wrote that, to President Bush and U.S. soldiers, "war is just a game." Another student claimed that Americans "attack [Iraqi civilians] senselessly." Yet another claimed that "Americans laugh as [Iraqis] die." A mere handful of writings out of scores expressed anything sympathetic to America.
A teacher at Manual High School suggested in a lesson plan, "You could stage a war demonstration..." The same teacher filmed an antiwar film that featured students standing in front of screen as war imagery was projected onto them as they recited their work.
The American media obsessively report day-to-day problems in Iraq, even as they generally ignore successes. The Bush administration allows theocratic thugs to play games with the Iraqi constitution even as Iran pushes on with its nuclear program. It's past time for political leaders and the public to take seriously the threat posed by the brutal terrorists of theocratic, militant Islam.