November 23, 2003

A Quiet Rage

On Slaughter, Bad Americans, and Vile Iraqis.

Before he became a simpering dottard the once lucid Norman Mailer wrote a book entitled: “Why Are We in Vietnam?” The snide defeatism of that title and the content spewed after it are, for the moment, out of fashion with the majority of Americans. But should the apologists and appeasers among us have their way, this will not always be the case. Still, that will be then and this is the now.

For now, were I to take the time to pen a short treatise in the Mailer vein, mine would be titled, “Why Are We Not Killing More of Our Enemies Wholesale?”

It is not as if we do not know who they are and where they are. Rather it is the case that we are still in the fastidious and polite phase of this war; the phase where little or nothing is asked of Americans at home while nothing short of everything is required from our American troops on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Everything that is, except the freedom to bring the war home to our enemies with every means at our command.

To watch our troops killed day by day fills me, day by day, with a growing rage both at our enemies and at our policies that offer these men and women up for slaughter without a full committment from our government and ourselves.

Listening to those spineless excuses for "Candidates" fielded by the abominable crawling thing that the once noble Democratic Party has become fills me with a quiet rage as well. In a very real sense, they are one of the homefront's reasons that our troops continue to die. Their carping and despicable pursuit of the President and their own cheap ambitions embolden our enemies and encourage the slow war of attrition.

How many times can one listen, after all, to a Kerry or a Dean or their lesser partners in vile ambition stress that they “Support the troops” and at the same time listen to their message that the war those troops fight is stupid, misguided, a lie, and a crime. Is this not like saying to each and every American soldier, “I’m behind you 100 percent and am sad that your life and your efforts are an idiotic, confused, and criminally false mission?” This is not support. This is subversion.

I’ve long accepted that as career politicians grow more desperate they grow more craven and despicable, but of late this acceptance is becoming more

difficult to simply shrug off. Instead, I am beginning to look at these suitors for the hand of the nation and see them not as noble Democrats standing in loyal opposition, but as a pack of two-bit political whores willing to assume any position, and mouth any platitude that will entice the feeble-minded and the fearful among us to fork over a vote for a quick and dirty roll in the Iowa Hay.

These copperheaded “Democrats” used to amuse me as they strutted and primped their cookie cutter “policies,” "programs" and "pronouncements" on the video stages of the country. No longer.

Now, when the news comes in from Iraq and the nature and consequences of their cowardly postures are seen in that reflected light, they create in me a disgusted and growing rage against their cowardly ambitions, the whole pack of them. And I know them for what they are: not the “patriotic opposition” as they paint themselves, but for the weak and bad Americans that this nation has always been cursed with as one of the fees it pays for freedom.

You have to be careful in your choice of things that feed your rage. The list of outrages is long and growing, but this week two of them, one large and terrible and another small and feeble, seem to exist together in some sort of sick symbiosis. The first and larger incident is yet another murder of American troops in Iraq, more vile than the usual murder. It comes to us under the by now familiar headline Two American Soldiers Killed in Mosul, but my rage arises from the details:

“Witnesses to the Mosul attack said gunmen shot two soldiers driving through the city center, sending their vehicle crashing into a wall....

About a dozen swarming teenagers pulled the soldiers out of the wreckage and beat them with concrete blocks, the witnesses said.

"They lifted a block and hit them with it on the face," said Younis Mahmoud, 19. It was unknown whether the soldiers were alive or dead when pulled from the wreckage.

Initial reports said the soldiers' throats were cut. But another witness, teenager Bahaa Jassim, said the wounds appeared to have come from bullets. "One of the soldiers was shot under the chin and the bullet came out of his head. I saw the hole in his helmet. The other was shot in the throat," Jassim said.

Television footage showed the soldiers' bodies splayed on the ground as U.S. troops secured the area. One victim's foot appeared to have been severed.

With the full realization of how uncivilized it is, my candid first thought was, to quote Kurtz, “Drop the bomb. Exterminate them all.”

My second thought was the realization that I was not alone in thinking this, but that it was, in one way or another, going to be a thought in the secret and increasingly not-so-secret minds of millions of my countrymen.

Stepping back from those dark thoughts, I understand that what we are about in Iraq and other pestilential countries of the world is a mission both for the safety of our country, and the advancement of other countries out of the darkness in which they have lingered and into a better life for their citizens. Citizens who, being too weak and oppressed and stunted to take freedom for themselves, require it as a gift.

All this I know and, for now, accept.

But still I cannot help feeling that, before this can come to pass, there are two lessons left to be learned.

The first is the lesson America must learn; a lesson we failed to learn in Vietnam. That lesson is that nothing will be achieved through war without victory and that victory cannot be achieved through half-measures but only through total war without hindrance. It would seem that, absent another terrible attack on the United States itself, we have yet to learn this lesson. If we had, the current campaign against the President by the “disloyal opposition” would be impossible.

The other lesson that is to be learned by those who would make war on us is that we are, when committed to total war, the most fearsome force in the history of the world. It is certain that our enemy has not yet learned this lesson. In order to learn it, he would be required to experience it, and that day has not yet arrived. Instead we are treated to the following views by a somewhat articulate member of the very people we have, at no little cost in treasure and lives, liberated.

Last week, a peculiar insect from Iraq that the Internet raised to some level of visibility due to his "inside Iraq blogging" before the war, delivered himself of his opinion in a letter to President Bush in London’s Guardian .

"Listen, habibi [President Bush], it is not over yet. Let me explain this in simple terms. You have spilled a glass full of tomato juice on an already dirty carpet and now you have to clean up the whole room. Not all of the mess is your fault but you volunteered to clean it up. I bet if someone had explained it to you like that you would have been less hasty going on our Rambo-in-Baghdad trip.

"To tell you the truth, I am glad that someone is doing the cleaning up, and thank you for getting rid of that scary guy with the hideous moustache that we had for president. But I have to say that the advertisements you were dropping from your B52s before the bombs fell promised a much more efficient and speedy service. We are a bit disappointed."

A snide, weak and oozing voice; a voice that presumes to speak for ‘educated Iraq.’ In all likelihood it does not speak for all, but it is certain that it speaks for more than a few. And in its tone and petulance, it does not make me think that we are just not doing enough! for the Iraqi people. It does not make me think that we really, really need to increase our sacrifice in money and lives so that, finally, they will really really love us.

No, it makes we wonder why, as I said above, we are not yet killing more of our enemies wholesale.

Most of all, it makes we wonder exactly when these people that stand around and take our money and kill and desecrate our soldiers are going to finally run out of collateral to ward off collateral damage.

Posted by Vanderleun at November 23, 2003 5:03 PM
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