Monday, December 12, 2005

Council Convergence

Watcher's CouncilThis week’s winners, the council and the non-council posts, happen to converge. I’ve noticed the phenomenon before, but until now it didn’t seem important to order the way in which they were read. However, in this case, reversing the order of their presentation allows one post to give a broad perspective of the problem while the other winner gets up close and personal about the same issue.

They are the micro and the macro aspects of a particular point of view regarding war, peace, and the unintended consequences of appeasement. Given the way they seem to be looking through a telescopic sight from different ends, the non-council winner comes first, its broad overview placing the huge travesty of the council winner’s story about one individual into its proper and crucial perspective.

In Murderous Peaceniks, Seraphic Secret uses two books, Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August and A World at Arms by Gerhard L. Weinberg to make his point: pacifists and peace movements bring in their wake a “murderous aftermath.”

At first such a conclusion seems to go against reason. Peace movements cause war?

It would seem so. Tuchman, writing of World War I, saw plainly the effects of those who call for peace:
     Tuchman points out that the peace movements in France and England that preceded WWI practically immobilized both countries' heavy industries to such an extent that when war finally did break out, France and England were at least sixteen months behind the Germans in heavy production. You see, the peace movements advocated a policy of--surprise--appeasement. Give the Germans what they want and they won't go to war.
What is it in the human soul that uses appeasement to avoid looking at evil in the intentions of the other? Whatever it is, the culture of the West suffers a dreadful case of it.

Weinberg covers the same perspective from World War II:
     The peace movements that preceded WWII were an almost carbon copy of the nonsense spewed before WWI -- except that communications had improved greatly. Newspapers like the NY Times wielded immense power. And of course, The NY Times, then as now, astonishingly dim, saw no reason to get involved in foreign conflicts. The peace movements in America, France and England were utterly penetrated by Hitler's and Stalin's ruthless agents. And Hitler in a replay of the Kaiser's attitude, well, Hitler absolutely adored the peace movements. He kept a close eye on them, and smiled the whole time. They were, he understood, his best allies. As long as these fools kept up their blather Hitler would be able to swallow whole countries.
Once again, the pacifists and peaceniks advocated appeasement. Just give Herr Hitler what he wants and surely he won't go to war.
Weinberg points out that by the time Great Britain declared war on Germany, England (and America) were two full years behind Germany in armament production. Once again, the peace camps made sure that the great Democracies were at their weakest at a time when they were literally fighting for their very existence.
Mr. Avrech makes the case for Vietnam’s peace movement here and what it cost the Vietnamese and eventually the Cambodian people. Slaughter in the name of peace.

What’s wrong with this picture? Three generations with three wars and three “peace” movements (think bowel movements) filled with people who want to interfere with their nation’s ability to wage war in order to win security for itself and the greater world at large. Those who inhabit the pacifists' world do not learn from history, they merely repeat it tunelessly and at high volume. Peace at any price, as long as it’s not my hide.

Seraphic Secret lists the three components of all Peace Movements:

Rule # 1 They cannot imagine nor confront evil. To which I might add, this lack of imagination is actually a refusal to accept that evil is part of the human condition. These are the same folks who want Gismo closed in the name of human decency. None of them are offering to take a terrorist home; they just want to set them free.

Rule # 2 They do not care about history. Again, this is a failure of imagination. Have you ever noticed that many of the military are “amateur” historians? They recognize instinctively that in order to understand the terrain, you must understand what others, who were here before you, thought of it.

Rule # 3 They are always secretly financed and penetrated by the enemy. This is harder for pacifists to see. The enemy, of whatever stripe, is at heart a utopian. The enemy believes without reservation that their way will bring about a superior order and rule. Pacifists, being utopians themselves, hold the same illusion — though their variety of utopia may differ radically from the one held by those who infiltrate their ranks.

That brings us to the present and to the fourth generation of useful idiots pacifists. Seraphic Secrets says:
    And now the Peace Movement is on the march again.
About Iraq.
About The War on Terror.
God protect us.
Somehow, I feel an overwhelming need to pick up again The Screwtape Letters. Perhaps if more of us studied the strategies of evil, as laid down so cunningly — and so wittily — by C. S. Lewis, there would be fewer useful idiots. More than sixty years ago, Lewis described hell thusly: "[where] everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment."

God protect us.

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Meanwhile, from the other end of the telescope, Sundries Shack won the council vote for his story “…have a great time dieing in the war. From, Miguel.”

It makes sense that this incident would pull such attention in the blogosphere. If you follow the links in Sundries Shack’s post, you see how it branches out in indignation and raw anger.

This is a story the corruption of a child. As such, it brings us face-to-face with the horror of evil perpetrated on one little boy and it renders fresh all the evils —all the slings and arrows — that came our way before we were old enough to defend against them. We read Miguel’s little note to a soldier and our soul shudders. Again.

The surrounding circumstances aren’t what matter. What is important is that someone urged or helped a child write a poisonous note to a wounded soldier, wishing him not good health, but death. Here is what he wrote:
     Dear Soldier,
Have a great time in the war.
And have a great time dieing in the war.
Miguel Gallier
P.S. Die (with bullet holes drawn carefully around the word “Die”)
That may be the most succinct expression of evil I’ve ever seen and it was written by someone not old enough to bear the moral responsibility for his actions —but obviously written at the behest of someone who carries a weight of evil difficult to fathom. As Sundries’ Shack puts it:
     I’m the oldest of nine kids. I’ve been around children all my life. Let me tell you that unless an adult administers careful control, almost daily doctrination, and herding away from natural instincts, a five year-old boy is going to think a soldier is about one of the coolest things in the world. Toy stores are filled to the brim with toy M-16s, green helmets, binoculars, and bags of little green army men and their tanks and jeeps for that very reason. GI Joe has been popular for longer than I’ve been alive because of that.
Soldiers are heroes to little boys almost universally unless someone purposefully and deliberately tells them otherwise. To turn the mind of a little boy from thinking a soldier is a hero and someone to be emulated to getting him to sit down and write hate mail to a soldier takes more than just casual talks around the dinner table.
It takes intent. It takes effort. Someone deliberately coaxed that child into writing that note…
And so he did write it and thus it ended up on the hospital bed of a soldier at Walter Reid.

Think about this: little Miguel will celebrate Christmas. He will wait in great, impatient expectation for his presents. He will have no idea what has been done in his name.

God protect him.

As usual, there’s lots more to read at the Watcher’s place. Stop by and give him a holler. No beer, but he’s got protein shakes to share. ’Tis the season and all…

And by the way, welcome New Sisyphus, the latest council member. I’m looking forward to his entries. And bid fond farewell to Wallo World. I loved his posts on the disenfranchisement of former felons. Wallo has great gravitas and I will miss him on the Council. On the other hand, I understand his decision to give up blogging. For me, it fills a hole in my soul -- which is probably one reason I'm so erratic a blogger...and so greedy that I have two blogs in order to be able to ignore one and feel guilty about it.


Jason Pappas said...

The topic of appeasement is of utmost importance. It's a word we don't hear often but should. Of course, there's a subcategory that is especially relevant to today's threat: dhimmitude. And that is only heard among the knowledgeable few. But we're working to change that. When that word becomes commonly known, we'll be on our way to changing the mindset of our fellow citizens. Enjoyed you length and thought out post, today.

Jason Pappas said...

I hit publish instead of preview! I enjoyed your thorough and well thought-out article.

Dymphna said...

Thanks. As luck would have it, I wrote a second post on appeasement and dhimmitude, taking note of Jihad Watch's award to Ramsey Clark, surely a dhimmi if there ever was one.