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What Kind of Army? What kind of War?

December 18, 2006

I know. I have no friends, fewer readers. Yet the discussion continues among the virtual friends!

Here’s a great round-up of insights on Army size and purpose at Instapundit. Check out the links to Austin Bay and Wretchard. Friends, this all makes a lot of sense to me. Am I crazy? Or has no one ever commented on, much less challenged, any of the insights I’ve highlighted over at The Belmont Club? Ace of Spades may make your adrenaline flow, but what about Wretchard, who asks "You’ve got money. But what do you want to buy? As well as this observation:

The attempt to establish a democratic Iraq,
however disappointing the
experience has been so far, is unlikely to be abandoned very easily in
the near future — and perhaps not for as long as a the ghost of a
shadow of a chance remains that it may be attained — not only because
the current administration is so invested
in it, but because the alternatives of divide and rule and naked power
politics,
which would have been adopted without a second thought by Empires in
the early
20th century, are too cold-blooded and heartless to be easily embraced
by an
American public which genuinely wishes the Iraqi people well.

I have very little words of my own these days. Others say things so much better than I could, especially in the time I have. I just like to listen in.

•••

I was also moved by this essay by novelist Pat Conroy. "An Honest Confession by an American Coward". Like most people I seem to be drawn to, he’s someone who was much more liberal in their youth, and has realized the errors of his youth.

I understand
now that I should have protested the war after my return from Vietnam,
after I had done my duty for my country. I have come to a conclusion
about my country that I knew then in my bones but lacked the courage to
act on: America is good enough to die for even when she is wrong.

Thats about as good as I could ever put it.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Rob A. permalink
    December 20, 2006 10:57 am

    Davie — I think that Eric and I have been continually prodding you on the issue of whether more war supporters would put their money where their mouths are, especially given the military’s opening up enlistment to an older age. And family is no alibi — the brave young soldiers who go off to war often have young kids. Why don’t older hawks go off to war?

    The reason many of us don’t comment on Belmont Club is because it strikes us as a thoughtfully expressed “more of the same” that just doesn’t merit more than a shrug. It just doesn’t seem to engage with the realities on the ground in a manner that I care to respond to, nor does it give me something valuable to chew on. Sorry ’bout that.

  2. December 22, 2006 11:05 am

    Hi Rob,

    Have you ever visited Fire and Ice?

    Michael Fay is a United States Marine Corps combat artist. Perhaps the perspective from the right brain of an active duty Marine will add to your understanding in a way that you don’t get from “more of the same” places.

  3. December 22, 2006 12:47 pm

    Hi Again Rob,

    I can also put you in touch with an Army Chaplain who knows a thing or two about the realities on the ground because he has served two tours of duty in Iraq.

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