Monday, July 12, 2004

Battle Fatigue

Austin Bay, writing from Iraq, sent an e-mail to Instapundit in response to a number of writers who say that voting for Kerry would be like a necessary "breather" or "time-out" from the war. Read the whole thing, but here is what I see as the key graf:

"Time out" is a mirage of the chattering class. Credit Peggy's and Andrew's antennae for culling out the driving emotional angst behind the chatter. Hate to say it, but the call for "time out" Noonan fears may be another case of Baby Boomers who can't separate Hollywood war from the real thing. Hollywood wars end in a couple of hours. Real earthly hells have no intermission. In current GI lingo, "the enemy has a vote" (the enemy can exercise his will, and act). Take a break and the enemy votes. On 9/11 our enemy went to the polls. We were either going to work, eating breakfast, or lollygagging in bed.

I have written before that while the United States is the greatest power in the world, it is not the only power. The rest of the world does not exist merely as an echo chamber to reflect our actions back upon us. There are people who wish to influence, curb, and eventually destroy our power, and they have the free will to choose to take action. If we make a choice in this election because we are weary of the battle that we face, then we send the message that we are weary and that the best time to hit us will be while we try to rest.

There are some who say that we are in this war because of classic American Arrogance. I may grant that is so, but it would be far more arrogant to believe that we have the power to say "time out" and expect our enemies to just sit back on their haunches while we catch our breath.

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