Wednesday, April 02, 2003

About the War and How We Can Win It

Many Objectivists, (the Center's staff included) have been critical of the Bush administration's failure to publicly identify militant Islam itself as a threat to America's security. We have on more than one occasion said, "It's militant Islam, stupid." Our argument says that not to explicitly name the philosophic virtues of America and vices of militant Islam is moral appeasement of America's gravest enemies. Yet that said, I'm starting to see see numerous cracks in the pavement.

Consider, just as one example, this excerpt of a message to families of deployed Marines from Lt.Col. Chartier, Commanding Officer, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division. "If we go into combat it is with a clear mission - we do not want Islamic militants or any government that supports them threatening our cities or hometowns. Nobody wants to relive September 11th, ever."

It seems the men and women of 1st Tanks know what this war is about.

And consider how many times President Bush's line about Islam being a "religion of peace" is used against such a proposition. President Bush's sentiments toward Islam are more often treated as an object of ridicule then as a credible statement of the facts.

So why then, do we have an administration that does not call a spade a spade? It's less about the failure to understand the threat of militant Islam and more about the failure to understand the genius of America.

America is free, secular, and self-interested. But as long as reason and egoism are not firmly entrenched in our culture, and people genuflect toward faith and sacrifice, even as they implicitly practice the opposite in their lives, we will go into battle at least partially disarmed.

Arming America is going to take effort. If I may be so bold, here's a good place to start.


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