The Pinheaded “Art” of Retreat and Surrender

God Will Never Forgive Us If . . .

Sometimes a word, a phrase, or a line from a song or a movie can ring in your ears and refuse to let go. As luck would have it, I found myself awaking this morning to an old WWII film on Turner Classic Movies – “The White Cliffs of Dover”(1944).

The movie was based on a 1940 novel by Alice Duer Miller, The White Cliffs.

“The story is of an American girl who coming to London as a tourist, meets and marries a young upper-class Englishman in the period just before the First World War. The War begins and he goes to the front. He is killed just before the end of the War, leaving her with a young son. Her son is the heir to the family estate. Despite the pull of her own country and the impoverished condition of the estate, she decides to stay and live the traditional life of a member of the English upper class. The story concludes as The Second World War commences and she worries that her son, like his father, will be killed fighting for the country he loves.”

Actually, the movie concludes with a very poignant scene between the mother, Susan Ashwood (Irene Dunn) and her war-wounded and dying son John Ashwood II (Peter Lawford). As the dying John turns his head and quietly slips away, the mother (still gazing at a military parade outside the window and unaware that he has died) speaks to her son the last line in the movie.

“God will never forgive us if we break faith with our dead again.”

The above phrase is not a theological reflection, but the angst of a fictional mother who has lost husband and son to two World Wars. She sees that war will come again and again to those who fail to heed history’s lessons. It is not God who will never forgive us. It is we who will never forgive ourselves.

Unlike the propaganda films of an earlier era designed to build national unity, America chose instead to imbed reporters who often showed more sympathy for the terrorists than for our own soldiers. Instead of nation building works of fiction we served ourselves helping after helping of enemy generated fiction and disguised it at truth. Instead of holding some of our citizens accountable for acts of treason in time of war, we turned them into celebrities. Those of us who have remained silent are as guilty as the perpetrators.

The question today is, do we break faith with our dead soldiers by staying the course in Iraq, or by cutting and running? Or are there other options beyond the widely criticized Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group Report? I propose that there is only one viable option and that it to show the world that we do have a center – a moral core – National unity – and the will to win!

Those Who Will to Forget

Those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat history.

We parents pay our hard-earned money to send our kids off to college hear this kind of pinheaded clap-trap.

“As long as that insecurity holds America in its grip, we will make our foreign policy based on fictional images and the emotions they evoke. We won’t be able to think through our problems in a reasonable way and arrive at realistic constructive solutions. One way to ease the grip of insecurity is to recognize that Pearl Harbor was a unique one-time event, the product of unique historical circumstances that will never return. After 65 years, it’s time to retire the image of Pearl Harbor and bid it a not-so-fond farewell.”

(Author Ira Chernis is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder.)

Here we have an example of yet another numb-skull professor pronouncing the obvious – that Pearl Harbor was a “unique one-time event” that will never return. Well duh??? Of course Pearl Harbor was unique, and so was 9/11, and so was the war in Viet Nam, and so is the war in Iraq. As a matter of fact, every instant of every day is filled with unique one-time events that will never return. However, events with elements of great similarity do occur again and again at different times, under different historical circumstances, and in different guises, but ALWAYS presenting universal lessons. If that were not the case there would be no point in telling any stories, or of ever recording or teaching history, or of keeping statistics, or of doing studies and making reports, or in fact, there would be no point in humanity itself!

Story-telling is the very essence of what it means to be human for only humans can pass on the benefits of what they have learned to another generation. Without the ability to tell its story, no culture can long survive. Those who would will a nation to forget Pearl Harbor or 9/11 have but one objective – the destruction of National Unity!

Well so much for December 7, 1941 – a day that will not live in infamy if we continue to will ourselves to forget!

Let’s Start by Learning the Historical Lessons of Appeasement.

Neville Chamberlain “is perhaps the most ill-regarded British Prime Minister of the 20th century, largely because of his policy of appeasement towards Nazi Germany regarding the abandonment of Czechoslovakia to Hitler at Munich in 1938. Also in 1938 giving up the Irish Free State Navy Ports, in practical terms making it safe for German submarines to stay about 200 miles west of the Irish coast (and therefore out of range of the British Navy) where they could pick off the merchant marine at will. His unpopularity lead to his derogatory nickname “pinhead”.”

The Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group Report – A Pinheaded “consensus for surrender and an outline for retreat”?

· Kills America’s bargaining power by setting an arbitrary pullout deadline of early 2008
· Recommends dialog with terrorist nations
· Emboldens the enemy by projecting an image of American weakness
· Will intensify the war

The Elephant Bar says: “The Iraq Study Group Report is the consensus of a bi-partisan elite, only one of whom has been outside the Green Zone. It satisfies the left’s demand for acknowledgment of the quagmire, but it fails to deliver on hyped expectations and has been widely panned by the critics as little more than a consensus for surrender and an outline for retreat. It could also be called aid and comfort for the other side. Iran and Syria can hardly contain themselves such is their glee at having humbled the Great Satan. Israel thinks the report is an embarrassment for both major American parties. Nancy Pelosi also calls for consensus.”

Revisiting Sun Tzu’s The Art of War

Since there were no high ranking members of the military invited to participate in the Iraq Study Group, it’s a good bet that the group was not too familiar with this ancient military classic. If we were to look at the following seven military conditions, how would we rate America at war today? How would we rate the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group Report?

“Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise:–

(1) Which of the two sovereigns is imbued with the Moral law?
(2) Which of the two generals has most ability?
(3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?
(4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?
(5) Which army is stronger?
(6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained?
(7) In which army is there the greater constancy both in reward and punishment?

By means of these seven considerations I can forecast victory or defeat. . . .

Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.”

One final thought. . . Diversity without unity is nothing more than a smoldering ember before the inferno. Any nation without consensus and at war with itself, any nation that has lost belief in its moral superiority, and any nation that has lost trust in a God who will call its citizens to account, is a nation that cannot win any war, any time, any where!

This post linked to:
The Uncooperative Blogger, Woman Honor Thyself, USS Neverdock, Independent Conservative, Talk Wisdom, My Weekly Thoughts