I have been writing about the fact that we are in a major international conflict, a world war in fact, well worthy of the name. This has prompted discussion and no small debate on the matter, with three significant themes worth examining at closer focus:
* The question about whether wars before the 18th Century could legitmately also be called “World” wars
* Mark Steyn’s dire and sadly compelling essay on the growing demographic threat to Europe from insurgent minorities
* The American will to fight, at the political and civilian level
First, the easiest one. I began my count of “World” wars with the pan-European conflict of the 18th Century, because that was the first major war to take place in both hemispheres, and to feature events of note both North and South of the Equator. Previous campaigns, even when they involved conquering the known world of the day, are hardly in the same scope and impact of the genuine article. For instance, the greatest exploits of Alexander the Great or Caesar made no ripple at all in the courts of Asian kings. The present conflict, however, holds significance not only for the nations and people directly involved, but will determine the course of events for at least a generation to come.
As to demographics, I admit it is an unwise thing to take a position opposite Mr. Steyn, but in this case I think it is necessary. Demographics can be quite useful in determining trends, but it is important to understand that there is a limit to how far any statistic may be employed in predicting the future. It’s worth noting, for example, that during the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was a real fear of overpopulation in Europe and most urban areas, based on the demographics of the past generation there. The present condition demonstrates not only that the overpopulation fear was faulty in its assumptions, but also that the present condition can only be sustained if certain key factors continue as they are. Those factors, however, depended on a Europe much different in temperment than the one which I believe may just be waking up. France, for example, is far less keen to remain open-armed to young men who are prone to violence and crime; a backlash is coming, and while the immediate future will be chaotic, lancing the boil now would prove healthy in the long run. England has been less than brilliant in its own immigration policies (there’s a true pandemic, actually), but the spirit of England has not quite died to the point of giving in to thuggery, at least from non-Brits. It will be a tough job, cleaning house in Europe, but the history of Europe shows that when it is needed, men always can be found to set things right. Especially when the alternative is to let another Hitler or Lenin come to pass in their own country.
Now as to America. We are a strange lot, we Yanks. We bicker and fight amongst ourselves on any number of things, but there is a point that a dictator would do well to know and watch; beyond that point we are relentless and unstoppable. I could, and I am tempted, to go into detail as to why it is that America cannot actually be defeated in the manner discussed here, but instead I would just remind our readers of simple history. The U.S. made the mistake of allowing Slavery to be legal in the new nation for almost a century after we freed ourselves from Britain, and the cost to change that condition was bloody indeed, and the war controversial. Yet we fought it, and prevailed, and became stronger in the end for doing so. Protests against the First and Second World Wars were real and strong at times, yet we went in and did the job. Vietnam was an abomination, for many reasons, but we cannot make the mistake of letting that one case represent the whole, or forget that the national spirit is built on better things. Yes, the liberals learned how to lie on the grand stage with the media behind them in Vietnam, but that’s why alternative media has found such strong support, as in talk radio and (of course) blogging. Remember how the Democrats made such a noise in early 2004, that the election was a referendum on the War in Iraq? Well, they were actually right about that, and the election proved that while liberals could rally some to their side, the clear majority chose to support the President. Even after the press tried its best to attck Bush, even after significant questions about Kerry’s own service were suppressed while long-disproven slander against Bush was promoted, even after Democrats denied the facts of actual historical records and tried to cast doubt on the war still being waged, the people trusted the President. Now, of course, the Democrats pretend they never said or did anything out of line - how do we question their patriotism - and hope that their next ambush will yield better results.
By no means will it be easy or short, and we all know very well that after it’s over, the guys who laughed at the men making the tough calls, and who pretended to ‘support the troops', even as they appeared on television shows declaring (where the troops and the terrorists would be sure to hear) that ‘we cannot win’, and doubting the reports of the men on the ground - they will assure us that they were hard at work doing their part for America - how dare we challenge their patriotism.
Real men are hard to find at times, oh yes. But God has always granted us enough to win. So we will. By God, oh yes we will win. Because it’s not about proving a superior culture, or winning on some kind of scoreboard, but because it’s about what kind of world our kids and grandkids will grow up in. And in a Global Society, it’s important that freedom and liberty be established, especially in places where it hasn’t had much of a chance up to now. Oh yes we will, just watch.