got some shocking mews for LRC readers. Perhaps it's just from
browsing too many neoconservative web sites as research for
my columns, but my view on our current crisis is starting to
change. For instance, who wouldn't be moved by Victor Davis
Hanson's recent paean to war?
(Don't let the bit about how "No American wishes to contemplate
the idea of war" throw you off: He's just kidding.) Or
see Hanson's convincing argument
that bombing the bejeezus out of some mud-hut Afghan villages
from 20,000 feet in the air is the same sort of battle as when
Theseus slew the Minotaur. Inspiring!
I thought I'd try my hand at a motivational, neocon type essay.
I offer it for comment, especially on the one issue still bothering
me, which I will mention later.
the wake of the recent attacks, I want to say that reconstruction
is possible even after a collapse like that of the World Trade
Center. Only cowards abandon their own cause, and that cowardice
will continue to take effect and spread like an insidious drop
of poison. And then the realization dawns that it is better,
if necessary, to accept a horrible but sudden end than to bear
horrors without end.
now the time has come when talk is not enough. For once, action
has to be taken. For ultimately, only action can force men under
if people say to me, "Yes, but think of the consequences!"
my reply is, "The consequences will not be worse than if
no action is taken."
the wake of the 9/11 attacks, we have but a single pain, that
not all of those who should be here with us are, that a number
of our very best, most loyal and most zealous public servants
have not lived to see the goal for which they sacrificed. However,
they too are present in spirit in our ranks, and in eternity
they will know that their sacrifice was not in vain.
blood that they shed has become the baptismal water of the new
the past decade, it is with profound distress that millions
of the best American men and women from all walks of life have
seen the unity of the nation vanishing away, dissolving in a
confusion of political and personal opinions, economic interests,
and ideological differences. America has presented a picture
of heartbreaking disunity.
that disunity has ended.
let us look back in this new America upon that which lies behind
us and do so in the most distant future, too, and let us bear
in mind one article of faith: We shall be resolved at all times
to take action! Willing at all times, if necessary, to die!
Never willing to capitulate.
us all stands the motto: "No one in the world will help
us if we do not help ourselves." This is a different program
from that of previous administrations, who continually ran round
through the world, going a-begging now at the UN, then in Saudi
Arabia, now in Moscow or at some conference or other elsewhere.
It is a prouder thing that today we Americans are determined
to solve our own problems and to help ourselves
will all have to be fighters! For there are still many, many
opponents of America. They do not want America to be strong.
They do not want our people to be united. They do not want our
people to defend its honor. They do not want our people to be
may not want it, but we want it, and our will shall defeat them!
We shall ensure that the times that now require these sacrifices
will never again, within human power, return in America!
inheritance that has fallen to us is a terrible one. The task
with which we are faced is the hardest that has fallen to American
statesmen within the memory of man. But we are all filled with
unbounded confidence for we believe in our people and their
Federal Government should regard it as its first and foremost
duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and co-operation.
It should preserve and defend those basic principles on which
our nation has been built.
about those who now cry out for peace? I proclaim that the American
is either the first soldier in the world or he is no soldier
at all. We cannot be no soldiers at all, and we do not wish
to be. Therefore we shall be only the first. As one who is a
lover of peace I say we should endeavor to create for the American
people such an army and such weapons as are calculated to convince
others, too, to seek peace.
what about those who complain that our new security measures
go too far? I am sure that the government will make use of these
powers only insofar as they are essential for carrying out vitally
necessary measures. The number of cases in which an internal
necessity exists for having recourse to such a law is in itself
a limited one.
as I mentioned, just one little thing is nagging me about my
essay: It almost entirely is composed of quotes from the speeches
of Adolf Hitler.
just added in a couple of connecting sentences, and changed
"Germany" to "America," "Versailles"
to "UN," and so on.
this bother me? I guess not. We need new role models for our
rhetorical footnote: A common trope, fundamental to the
persuasiveness of the ideal type, "fascist motivational
speech," is the portrayal of one's own nation as an exemplar
of goodness itself, while the enemy is seen as the devil's own
forces incarnate. A primary difference between Marxist and fascist
totalitarianism is that while Marxists designate an international
class (the proletariat) as the bearer of the divine stamp of
approval, the fascists highlight a particular nation (and especially
its predominant ethnic/racial group) as the divine designee.
Both are forms of idolatry.