'National Review' is Our Mortal Enemy!

All right, perhaps the title is a bit melodramatic.

But it doesn't approach the melodrama embodied by the post-9/11 cover of National Review: In gigantic bold caps: "AT WAR: THE FIRST GREAT WAR OF THE 21ST CENTURY BEGAN SEPTEMBER 11" then continues, "seemingly out of the blue. The United States is a target because we are powerful, rich, and good. We are resented for our power, envied for our wealth, and hated for our liberty … continued on page 6." [Cue John Williams theme music.]

I couldn't help but think of the opening of Star Wars, the gigantic words scrolling away into space, portending a magnificent universal battle of good and evil.

Some of the roles are easy to identify – Jonah Goldberg as young Luke Skywalker, William F. Buckley, surely, as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Needless to say, the role of Darth Vader (for this issue) is played by Osama bin Laden. Perhaps the only honorable character in the cast is Florence King, playing the troll-ish Yoda. (I think the whole misanthropy thing is a gimmick.)

From here it gets difficult – I just can't think of anyone manly enough to fulfill the role of Han Solo; and judging from the surplus of hysterical columns I've seen in NR in the last few weeks, the competition for Princess Leia would be pretty fierce. Actually, the saucy Ann Coulter might fit the bill – as I recall, Princess Leia was pretty ballsy. It's just too bad she's on the dark side.

[Update!: When I wrote the above words, Ms. Coulter had not yet been canned by NR. Her characterization of the tender stems at NR as "girlie-boys" was too perfect. The irony of it all is that what she wrote is no more wacky than anything else written by the editors or other columnists on the NR payroll. In fact, if one considers the large doses of obvious hyperbole normally injected by Coulter, what she wrote was probably not even as bad. What really makes the label "girlie-boys" stick is that NR freely posted her column, the contents of which is their editorial responsibility, then dumped her when the kitchen got a little hot. That she was let go because of substance or style strains credulity. Now that's editorial integrity!]

Inside, front-and-center, is a piece by David Pryce-Jones, where he tells us "Why They Hate Us": "They are possessed by hate, a simple thing that reduces everything and everybody to a simple perspective."

This is the kind of objective analysis we have come to expect from NR.

NR Online certainly isn't any better.

Just days after the attack, Rich Lowry did a hit piece on Powell, called "Empty Powell," which attempts to make the case that Powell has no ideas. Right, Mr. Lowry, spoken like a true social worker. The NR boys must be apoplectic that, for now, Powell appears to have won the argument.

In another recent column, Jonah Goldberg tells us that he's "beginning to believe that the central source of animus from the Arab world is, quite simply, envy." Wow, except for every single soul I've seen on the boob tube (which is developing a whole new meaning), I've never heard that before!

While the regular contributors at NRO have been developing the script for The Empire Strikes Back, a parade of guest columnists have been given the go-ahead.

The term "war fever" seems somewhat understated when I read what flows from the pens of normally rational people and fine writers. David Gelernter, in his 14 September column, wrote, "Their goals are to create suffering and death. Suffering and death for their own sakes are what they believe in."

Instead of the slanty-eyed, demon-faced Japs depicted in WW II propaganda posters, we're to see nefarious turban-headed darkies with deep-set eyes. He continues,

Our ultimatum should read: You have so many hours to turn him over, or prove to our satisfaction that he’s not in Afghanistan. If you don’t, we’ll declare war and systematically destroy everything you own, every building and field, every shop and sheep in Afghanistan, one by one, until you hand the man over or there’s nothing left.

I was truly quite surprised at this. I was under the impression that sheep were highly valued at NR; not only for companionship, but in the event that the senior editors are called to don their priestly robes, they have a ready sacrifice for the re-dedication of the Lincoln Memorial.

No, "war fever" doesn't do the term justice. But NR has been toiling in the fever swamps of The American Hegemon for so long, what else can one expect but an epidemic of the most virulent agents?

Proof of the defenestration of all editorial judgment at NR is abundant, but the coup de grâce has to be from NRO guest columnist Newt Gingrich.

Don't get me wrong, I cancelled my subscription to NR years ago, and haven't broken a binding since. I don't visit NRO, either, unless I'm referred to it for morbid curiosity.

My friend came by my desk when I got in, "You need to read this Gingrich piece on NRO."

Concealing a heavy sigh, I said to myself, "Do I have to?"

"O.K.," I said. My friend returned, "You need to have a drink before you read it." "Alright." "No, really, you need to have a drink before you read it. It made me physically ill."

It was only ten o'clock, and my boss frowns on screwdrivers at the desk before eleven.

I scanned the article, and concurred with my friend's assessment.

So, I thought, it's been a long time since I visited my old haunt, Café Adobé, so I'll print it out and read it over margaritas.

I've been going to Café Adobé for twenty years, ever since it opened. (I once figured out that I've dropped about $20K there.) Through all this time, it has continued to be the best place in Houston for people-watching – and what people! Always a very eclectic crowd, of every stripe, age, and color.

It was a beautiful Fall day, so I knew I had better get there by four o'clock (when the upstairs patio, called "The Acapulco Bar," opens) to get a table. When I arrived, there was already a small group of souls at the bottom of the stairs anxiously waiting. Then, a loudspeaker announcement: "The Acapulco Bar is now open." Walking up the stairs, I said to the gentleman behind me, "What's that? – I've never heard that before!" He replied, "Yeah, it sounds like an Astroworld ride." I agreed, "Exactly – and I think that's an appropriate analogy!"

I sat at my usual table – where I could view all the scenery there was to offer.

I immediately began to read.

Principles for Victory

Defeating terrorism is an enormous task.

By Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, is CEO of The Gingrich Group.

September 28, 2001 9:15 a.m.

The attack on September 11 was a 21st century Pearl Harbor committed by a 21st century enemy, and launched a 21st century war. [Since we haven't heard from Mr. Gingrich since the 20th century, he wanted us to know that he knows what century it is. … Hmmm. East Asia then, South Asia now – yeah, I can see the similarities. Then it was to make the world safe for British and European imperialism, now to make the world safe for Halliburton. Then, as now, American citizens were pretty much kept in the dark as to what was being done in their name. I'm thinking of a line in the movie Pearl Harbor – as the Zeroes were flying at low altitude, dropping bombs, two men run for safety – one says to the other, "I didn't even know they were sore at us!" … A beautiful waitress with long blond hair comes over. "Frozen, with salt, please. Thanks." When she returns, I talk to her for a while, she remembers me from before, she's going to school, etc.]

The president was exactly correct when he said u2014 We are not about punishing those who did this one thing. We are about defeating terrorism. He said in his Texas way, We will “whip” them. “Whipping” isn’t the same as punishing. “Whipping,” in Texan means defeat. [At least he knows his audience, who fits approximately the same demographic profile as those who saw the film Dude, Where's My Car?]

Secretary of State Colin Powell at a State Department press conference also had it exactly right when he talked about the coalition forming [sic] of nations willing to work with us, but that we will act unilaterally whenever necessary. [That's always a splendid diplomatic strategy for consolidating an alliance.] Our opponents are terrorism [sic] and the states that support them. Paul Wolfowitz at the Pentagon also got it exactly right when he explained that it is not just the terrorists, nor the structures, but the states that harbor and protect the terrorists. [And now Mr. Wolfowitz was been told by his boss (Mr. Rumsfeld) to pipe down. I am gleeful. … Holy Cow – a gorgeous young thing just came in – she's passing to my right, toward the late afternoon sun – I'm having trouble seeing her for the glare (the sky contains not a hint of turbidity), and I'm trying not to be too obvious by covering my eyes. Oh who am I kidding, at my age I don't care about being obvious … oh never mind, she's joining friends at the far side of the patio.]

In August of 1990, we orchestrated [sic] 28 countries for eight months, put 500,000 American troops in the field and bombed Iraq for 42 days [I think it's more like 4200 days] over the invasion of Kuwait [and never-mind that Iraq was an ally, and that our State Department gave Saddam its passive assent to grab the Kuwaiti oilfields]. If that was the appropriate-scale campaign over the invasion of a distant country, then for the most powerful nation in the history of the world [he's so modest], the question is, what is the appropriate-scale campaign after thousands of American civilians have been killed in our own cities? It is important to understand this. This is not about a tiny thing. [O.K, O.K., we get it.] This is not about a few Tomahawk cruise missile strikes. This is not about three special-forces teams performing magical missions. [Actually, every special forces expert I've heard says that this is exactly what it is, and that anything else would be futile and disastrous. One SAS type, after providing a laundry list of dire warnings, was asked "Are you saying we can't win?" He responded, "We can win." – but his expressive eyes seemed to belie his words. … "Are you a professor?" asks a girl to my left, observing the text from which I'm reading, which is beginning to look like a palimpsest under all my mad scribblings. "No, I just play one on television." Reading at Café Adobé has begun many a conversation … The waitress comes by again – "Yes, please, another one. Right, with salt. Could you bring some queso with that? Thanks." I look around and my eyes rest on a large table of nice-looking people. An attractive young man looks in my direction, at which time I realize it's more than a friendly glance. I return a smile that communicates "hello-I'm-actually-a-heterosexual-but-I'm-not-judging-you-and-have-a-good-evening," then I return my eyes to my reading.]

Defeating terrorism is an enormous task. In [sic] may be closer to the Second World War in terms of scale and complexity to any conflict since then. [But not to worry about the scale of casualties.]

In that context, there are ten principles that will create the potential for victory. [All of a sudden I feel weary.]

Principle One: We are at war.

We have been at war at least since 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait. [Finally, something I can agree with.] Terrorists have been continually killing Americans since then. [I should have known better – I thought he was going to mention something like the sanctions and the almost daily bombings.] This time terrorists crossed the threshold of killing enough Americans in our own country that it cannot be avoided by our political system. [That is, we can no longer hide what we're doing.]

As of September 11, terrorists have come into American territory to use American aircraft to kill thousands of innocent Americans. That was an act of war more despicable and more costly in American lives than Pearl Harbor. [Well, at least this is a lot better than what I've been hearing elsewhere. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that we haven't been invaded since 1812 – I think it kind of depends on who "we" are (re: 1861).]

We are at war. We have to defeat terrorism or they will end safety, freedom, and civilization [don't forget about democracy!], as we know it. We have no alternative. We must win.

[A very pretty girl in her mid-thirties walks onto the patio, accompanied by two girls in their mid-twenties. I usually try to hold out for Helen of Troy and her handmaiden, but I usually end up feeling guilty for taking up a whole table. It was already crowded – not a table left – so I invite them to sit down. I find out that the older girl is the supervisor of the others, has been trying for months to get them together for some "bonding." A few more girls in their mid-twenties follow shortly thereafter. The waitress tells them that it's restaurant policy that customers being added to an occupied table must pay in cash. I can't blame them, it can get pretty complicated – one night I sat at no less than five different tables. I later found out that my waitress once chased down a group of customers that tried to stiff her eighty bucks, and jumped on the hood of their car – I was surprised – she doesn't look like the type.]

Principle Two: In wars your enemies are allowed to be clever, courageous, and determined. [I don't know what this tortured sentence means.]

On the Washington Post website there was a headline that read, "Taliban warns of revenge. Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban warned of revenge if the United States attacked their country in retaliation for this week’s devastating terrorist assaults."

Well, why shouldn’t they? If the Taliban, given the choice of being on the side of civilization and the side of terrorism chooses terrorism, and we are so foolish as to only bomb their country, why shouldn’t they seek revenge? [Didn't French radicals invent the word "civilization"? Do we all want to become like snotty Parisian waiters?] When you go to war, you seek victory, so that they are no longer in power, so they do not have the power to take revenge, so they cannot threaten you. Time is always on the side of the evil. [No, time is always on the side of patience. Evil only fights in desperation.] It is an important premise of history. Time is always on the side of evil because they can wait, they can plan, and they can look for vulnerabilities while the good go about their daily business. But in order to defeat terrorism, the good have to mobilize for decisive victory.

[I'm getting bored with my reading assignment. "This is a beautiful spot isn't it?", I ask my new friend. "Yes, it's been such a long time since I've been here." I continue, "I love the Spanish architecture of St. Anne's church [across the street], especially as the sun is setting." My eyes move down to the red Spanish tile roof that covers the first-floor patio below. "Last year some drunk girl threw a magazine I was reading on that roof." "What?!", she asked incredulously. "Yeah, I was sitting in this exact spot – she had a real attitude problem – and maybe a drinking problem. Apropos of nothing, she just grabbed it and threw it on the roof. I considered for quite some time walking out on the roof and getting it, but I wasn't certain of the structural integrity of the roof and tiles, and didn't want to come crashing down upon the hapless diners below – and I also figured it wasn't worth a night in jail. On subsequent visits to Café Adobé, I would look out over the roof, and see it still sitting there. Then we had some rainy weather, but it was still there – a big mushy pulp. After several months, it finally disappeared." It so happens that the magazine I was reading was Chronicles, the issue containing responses to Pat Buchanan's book, A Republic, Not an Empire (which I also read at Café Adobé). About six months after this incident, I attended the Second Annual conference, and knew I'd be meeting Thomas Fleming, the editor of Chronicles. I approached him, "Hey, I'm a subscriber to Chronicles, and I was wondering who to contact regarding a replacement issue – you see, I was at a bar and some drunk chick threw my copy on the roof." I received the expected laugh, and he quipped, "Well, at least she appreciated what you were reading." … I'm going to need another margarita to continue this. One rapidly appears before me. (I didn't even need to ask.) I ask the waitress, "Could you bring a bowl of refritos?" She smiles, "Well, we're really not supposed to [because it's not on the upstairs menu], but we can do it just this once." They've been giving me the same answer for twenty years, so I play along. "Thank-you so much, you're so sweet."]

Principle Three: In war, your vision of success is decisive for the rest of your achievement. [This is beginning to sound like a management seminar.]

It is important for this administration to codify what the president has said.

In World War II we picked a very specific goal u2014 unconditional surrender. [I'm glad he mentioned this, since the concept of "unconditional surrender" is (or at least was until recently) considered to be quintessence of barbarity. But regardless of the vanity and immorality it epitomizes, it just doesn’t work. It didn’t work in Germany, it didn’t work in Japan, it didn’t work in Iraq, it didn’t work in Serbia. It only entrenched the populace, even those that hated their own governments.] It was quite clear. We occupied Germany, Japan, and Italy. We created democracies. [There it is! Democracy! And we've kept troops there ever since to make sure those funny-lookin' people keep those democratic systems. A quick note on "democracy": the word is constructed from demos (people) and krátos (a fist) – ancient political scientists didn't think much of it. And it seems that monarchies (even absolute ones) may lean toward the benign and freedom-loving, or they may lean toward tyranny. Democracies, which are created with the promise of "risk-free" government, always devolve into tyranny, throwing away freedom for "security." The balance of our great founders were monarchists … As the ethanol is starting to take effect, thinking of the founders in the context of this article leads me to consider a permanent solution to our energy problems. We simply harness the energy of the founders who, by my best calculations, are spinning in their graves at the rate of approximately 146,400 revolutions per second.] The world has been better ever since. That was a direct goal.

In the Civil War [The incorrect use of the phrase "civil war' is instructive. A civil war is a war among factions for control of the same territory and government. The War of Southern Secession was fought over the preservation of sovereign territory (the southern states). The obvious parallel with current U.S. imperialism is that the U.S. government wants control of land that is not theirs.], Lincoln chose a specific very, very hard goal u2014 unconditional victory, and he paid with more lives to achieve that goal than in any other American war. [I like the unintended irony of the term "unconditional victory." In other words, Lincoln didn't even want "unconditional surrender," he wanted annihilation.]

In Korea, we tolerated the goal of stalemate because we thought the geopolitical consequences were too great. We have had troops in the Korean Peninsula since 1950. Korea has been a long campaign, this is the 51st year. [Here Mr. Gingrich entertains us with his mathematics skills – this is beginning to sound like a grade school primer. … It's interesting that when North and South Korea first started making overtones toward normal relations, our State Department said, "Hey! You can't do that! This is our show!" Yes, and those damned North Korean peasants are still getting to the tree bark! Save the trees! Send in the Sierra Club! Korea – what a superb example of our magnificent foreign policy successes! Just think – if we can do that well in Korea, just think how well we can do elsewhere.]

In Vietnam, we decided that defeat was preferable to the risk of victory, not that we could not win [God forbid], but the nation, the body politic [to paraphrase The Simpsons, isn't "body politic" the kind of phrase you use when you don't know what you're talking about?] after a decade of agonizing internal struggle, decided that defeat was preferable to the cost of victory. [The hallmark of foreign policy progression: escalation, destabilization, and futility.]

In Desert Storm, we arranged a coalition for or [sic] a limited goal u2014 kick Saddam out of Kuwait and weaken him. That was a very specific goal. It turned out, in my judgment, in retrospect, to have been wrong, and I think all of the architects of it would now agree. [No they don't.] They thought he would fall as a consequence, an underestimation of the survival mechanisms of dictators. [It's the survival mechanism of peoples made desperate and often radicalized by war.]

It is vital that we have the right vision. It is not going after bin Laden, who is trivial in this larger context. [There are at least tens of thousands of family members of those who perished in that recent little act of barbarity who might disagree with you.] It is not going after the specific terrorist organization that launched the attack in New York. Yes, it would be useful to know who they are, yes, we should get them, but they are a symptom of the disease. [Which incubates under those turbans, right?] If we eliminate them, we will simply create martyrs. They will be the bin Laden brigade. [Madison Avenue is now scrambling their talent.] There will be a new generation of their children who decide to fight us. [So drop the bomb! Exterminate them all!]

The only legitimate vision is the defeat and the destruction of the system of terrorism [Oh, it's the system of terrorism, not terrorism itself.], and that requires that we declare terrorism to be a crime against humanity [Dang, how come no one else thought of that?], just as we did with piracy [… to the shores of Tripoli! …], and that we refuse to accept the existence of any regime which harbors, supports, or protects terrorists. [Well, that would include us, since our ridiculous immigration policy "harbors, supports, or protects terrorists." Incidentally, since there are around a million Moslems living in Chicago, maybe we should carpet-bomb Chicago? Hell, they'd understand, I'm sure the windy city wouldn't mind a little "collateral damage" in the name of freedom.] Anything short of that simply sows the seeds so that in a few years organized terrorism will come back.

["Why are you doing this?", my companion asks, looking down at my notes. "Because Newt Gingrich is an idiot." I realize by the expression on her face that she doesn't necessarily question this, but that she might have expected a less metaphysical answer. So I add, "Oh, I'm writing something that might be posted on the web." I tell her that what I'm beginning to realize, aside from the little amount of thought that was put into this piece, is how horribly written this is.]

I was on the National Security Commission, the Hart-Rudman Commission [I wouldn't brag about it], and we spent three years studying the world of 2025 [That's right, not in theory, they actually visited the year 2025 – but unfortunately they spent their whole visit stranded in Sri Lanka]. Our number one unanimous conclusion by a bipartisan panel of 14 people was that the most significant threat to the United States is a weapon of mass destruction going off in our cities, biological, chemical, or nuclear. [That's quite a conclusion – that must have been some brain trust. I'm glad our money was put to good use.]

We know today, that Saddam Hussein is willing to accept any level of sanctions to keep his program for weapons of mass destruction [You know, this one really bugs me. From what I've been able to observe, the most educated and best-informed of U.S. citizens almost invariably assume that the suffering of the Iraqi people is at the hand Saddam Hussein, and that U.S. policy is blameless; and treat with a high level of skepticism a suggestion of anything different. The following questions are usually a good start at turning that around: If the over 100,000 innocent Iraqis that have died per year for ten years have done nothing to remove Saddam Hussein from power, and have done nothing to allow inspections, why are the sanctions still in place? Why is the coalition of nations that put the sanctions in place falling apart? Why have three senior UN officials resigned rather than participate in what they refer as a genocide? If sanctions haven't affected what the Iraqis need for survival, why did a complement of the French party Front Nationale (led by Jean-Marie le Pen) travel to Iraq on a humanitarian mission, which incidentally was opposed by the U.S. government? Why does former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter claim that Iraq has no capacity to manufacture weapons of mass destruction? Why did he eventually resign in disgust and protest of these inspections? Why does former Reagan advisor Jude Wanniski believe that the sanctions wouldn't be lifted even if the inspectors were let back in? Why do the UN's own officials cite that vital drugs, painkillers, chlorine and equipment for infrastructure rehabilitation have been blocked or delayed over and over again? Why is the Pope against the sanctions? Why is Colin Powell against the sanctions? Why are the most vocal proponents for war in the Middle East for the sanctions, and those for peace against the sanctions?], that Iran has a massive program underway, that North Korea, while its population is starving despite being the largest recipient of U.S. food aid in Asia, has a massive program of weapons of mass destruction.

You read what these countries are saying [Well, no, not in the American press.] and you wonder why no one understood Hitler in the 1930’s [No one?], just as we don’t understand our generation’s Hitlers [No one?]. So we have to take their words and their programs seriously. [Hmmm. That's interesting. I see bin Laden's lips moving and I hear the translator talking and I hear words about injustice in Palestine, dying Iraqi children, and American soldiers profaning holy Saudi soil. Then I hear every last American journalist, talking head, and politician saying that "they" hate us for our freedom, democracy, and fast food. Go figure. "Yes, another one, please."]

Principle Four: The stakes are enormous.

The Second World War we understood. [No we didn't.] Our way of life was threatened. [No it wasn't.] A world in which the German Nazis [as opposed to the Newark Nazis], the Imperial Japanese [Damn those Japs for being imperialists in their own backyard!], and the Italian Fascists had won would have been a stunningly different world. Today we face a similar stark choice. There are principles at stake on two grounds. [I'm waiting with enraptured anticipation for the revelation of this brilliant taxonomy.] The first is the very fabric of a free worldwide economic political structure, the ability to travel, the ability to have a decent job. Also consider the necessity in the global economy to have just-in-time delivery where Taiwan or Thailand or China or Mexico is making something that arrives at the auto factory exactly on time for production. [For those that don't understand what "just in time" means. You know, the more I think about it, "just in time" delivery truly is the archetype of human civilization – this cannot be overstated. Truly, Mr. Gingrich should consider a ghostwriter. If this is a ghostwriter, he should be fired.] Terrorists are directly threatening the entire fabric of the world we have built for the last 60 years. [The entire fabric of the world in 60 years? – so long Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Aristotle, Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, Leonardo, Columbus, Newton … At this exact moment I've realized the unintentional wisdom of the friend who suggested alcohol was a necessity when reading this nonsense. My attitude has been all wrong – this stuff is really funny!]

Second, if we do not defeat terrorism while it is still using conventional weapons, we will inevitably in our lifetime be faced with terrorism using weapons of mass destruction. This is a tragic, but providential warning [Here it is, I knew he was talking to God through his toaster!], of a much worse future.

Principle Five: Issue a series of ultimatums. [Now here's a phrase that one will find in every diplomatic briefing!]

Sudan will cease to house terrorists or we will replace the government of Sudan. The Taliban will cease to house terrorists or we will we replace the Taliban. [And we won't finish until we've replaced every government on Earth.] This does not mean you have to be stupid. [Well, some of us don't have to be stupid. Where is that ghostwriter when you need him?] It does not require us, for example, to decide that we will put seven American infantry divisions in Afghanistan. It may mean we decide to allocate $3 billion to hire every Afghan who does not like the Taliban and arm them and then help then with American firepower. And in less than a year, my guess is American air power, combined with armed Afghans, would drive the Taliban from power. [Sounds like a plan to me!]

Similarly, in Iraq, we should not do something indirectly with volunteers as guerrillas. We are the most powerful nation in the world. [That's right, just keep saying it …] If we want to eliminate the regime of Saddam Hussein, we have the capacity to eliminate it. We did not say, let’s set up a free Japanese guerrilla movement in 1942. We did not say the OSS could liberate Europe. We said the OSS is a helpful addition while we land at Normandy and bomb German cities. [Call 1-800-GHOSTWRITER. Extraordinary analysis. Yes, that's right, the OSS couldn't have possibly accomplished the terror-bombing of Dresden, etc., without the help of bombers. What was the point again? Oh yeah, we must terror-bomb our enemies.]

This is a serious nation, and if this is a serious war, then the message is simple. [The message is: we're serious!] Saddam will either close down all of his efforts toward weapon systems of mass destruction, and he will expel all of his terrorists or we will create a government in Iraq that will agree not [sic] to do this. [That's the ticket! We should be able to find a plethora of willing towelheads that will agree to our terms at the end of a gun barrel! Then we can train them and support them with money and arms, and they can fight our enemies, and then … never mind … we've already been there.] We must insist on change, because we now have vivid proof in New York and Washington of the future if we do not. [Change, yes. But don't you dare discuss foreign policy!] The next time it will not be an airplane. The next time it will be a chemical weapon or it will be a germ agent or it will be a nuclear weapon. We must take this seriously. [Remember, we're all serious now] No one should say they have not been warned by the facts of their own life during the week of September 11. [We've been warned for years and years – article after article, book after book, has been written about "blowback" – and if pinheads like you had listened there probably wouldn't be thousands of people dead right now. … O.K., it's time for another margarita. I look up, and my pretty friend is standing up, doing soulful dance moves to a soulful song. She looks over and winks, knowing that I know she's trying to be "one of the girls." It seems to be working. When she sits back down, I whisper "Good job." She whispers, "I'm trying." I notice that one of the youngstresses for whom she was performing is looking at my cell phone. It's all of five inches long, but I know what she's thinking. I guess that looks pretty big to you, huh?" "Yeah, I was noticing that." I decide to have some fun with her. "Yeah, it's three whole years old … And years and years ago, my parents even had one that was ten inches long, and weighed five pounds …" Then I lower my voice, "And long, long ago, concealed beyond the mists of antiquity, we used to have phones that had wires that went into the wall!" She has a good sense of humor – she mocks, "Reeeeeeally?" Then she adds, "You are so sweet to let us take over your table like this." I tell her that "I wouldn't have it any other way."

Principle Six: To achieve victory we must plan for a coercive, not a consensual campaign. [… or, "Diplomacy? What's that?"]

In a consensual campaign you say, I really wish the Sudanese would be nice, but they won’t do more than X. In a coercive campaign you say, anyone not doing X, anyone not doing the minimum we have set, we will have to replace. [Right, replace everyone. Haven't we covered this?] So we just need to know which team you are on, and there are only two teams [Rah! Rah! Rah!] on the planet for this war. There’s the team that represents civilization, and there’s the team that represents terrorism. Just tell us which team you are on because there are no neutrals. [I'm laughing so hard I'm crying – people are beginning to stare.]

The Swiss banks have to now break their secrecy law to find out everything we need to know about terrorism, period. If not, we should isolate the Swiss banks, and they will not be part of the world banking system. [Oh perfect! That's it – destroy what is arguably the only working democratic system in the world! Destroy the crown jewel of the worldwide banking industry! This is saying a lot, but this may well be the most stupid thing he's said thus far. Oh, those evil secret banks, which protected not only the assets of the Nazis, but also the Jews!] Again and again, across the planet, when the United States is serious, it is amazing how many people decided that they are on the side of civilization. [My head is in my hands, and I'm just shaking my head in astonishment. "Are you having fun?", she asks. "This is really hilarious – read this sentence." She purrs, "Wow … that's deeeeep"]

This is not asking permission, this is stating a fact. There are two scorecards, which scorecard do you want? We are going to replace the government who choose [sic] the terrorist scorecard, so if you would like to be on the replacement list, we need to know it because we have a planning process underway, and we already have two lined up, and you know if you want to be third, we need your information. ["Am I really reading this? Is it me? It seems like the more I drink, the drunker he gets! You just have to read this paragraph." She cheerfully obeys. "I really see what you mean!"]

The key word is replace, not punish. You do not punish governments that are dictatorships because they do not care if you kill their civilians. [This is of course utter silliness. The Czar of Russia, who once was an absolute dictator, settled disputes over such things as the ownership of a chicken. That doesn't make it an efficient or equitable system of government, but that doesn't make it evil. Hasn't he ever read The Bible? Or anything?] They do not care if you kill their infantry. If we have killed 100,000 Iraqis, and it has not replace [sic] Saddam’s dictator ship [sic] it should teach us something. [Memo to Goldberg, Lowry: I proofread for booze. No, really. Will send references.] Saddam could not care if every Iraqi died, as long as he was the hero of the myth. We have to talk about replacement, not about punishment. [We seem to have once again stumbled onto the thesis of this brilliant work. We shall rule the world!]

Principle Seven: The campaign has to be comprehensive. [I think we've covered this, too. We will eradicate all evil everywhere always. And to think those ignorant towelheads were offended by the clarity of such phrases as "Infinite Justice." You know, Newtie really didn't need to take his other hand out of his pocket for principles six through ten … but then again, I'm really beginning to enjoy this.]

We should reach out economically, diplomatically, and militarily to all Muslims who oppose fanatical terrorists. We should offer the future of a better way of life for every Palestinian who would like to live in peace and prosperity. [What manifest hypocrisy. Yes, "a better way of life for every Palestinian who would like to live in peace and prosperity," as long as Jewish settlers can keep bulldozing their homes and groves, and keep stealing their land.] We should be clear to every Muslim country that we are not anti-Muslim. We are anti-fanatic, and we would like to have good relations with every non-fanatic. It is as important to be prepared to be economically supportive as to be militarily effective. [That's right, bread in one hand, a gun in the other.]

One of the keys to winning the Cold War was the Marshall Plan, which was at least as important as creating NATO or the CIA or the Strategic Air Command. We should have a comprehensive understanding that in this war, we will be the proactive [I think he's been far under-using the management buzz words] ally of creating prosperity, and safety and freedom for the entire Muslim world [but what do we do after lunch?] that wishes to live in civilization [as we define it. I'm surprised that NR posted this – Mr. Gingrich obviously lacks the required imperial fervor – after all, only those that "wish" to live in civilization?]. We will only be coercive and focused on those fanatics who give us no choice, including governments that give us no choice [like Switzerland]. It cannot be only a military or an intelligence campaign. It has to be an economic, military, diplomatic, and political campaign.

Principle Eight: The coalition must be the largest willing to support our plan.

It is a very important distinction. We cannot write a plan designed to have a big coalition. We have to write a plan to win and then recruit to the plan. Countries that are not willing to participate but also not harbor any terrorists are fine. [This sentence encapsulates the sum essence, the very breadth and amplitude of magnanimity of which National Review foreign policy consists.] This is a passive support we will tolerate. But, we should not tolerate opposition. For example, Uruguay may decide they’re not in this fight. That’s fine, as long as they do not harbor terrorists. [You know, I u2018m planning a trip to Montevideo to look at bare-breasted beach bunnies – if Newt scares them off, I'm going to be pissed.] No country can harbor terrorists and claim to be out of the fight. ["Aren't you tired of lookin at that?", my friend impatiently asks. "I'm almost finished, darlin'." The waitress brings another margarita.]

Principle Nine: We have to sustain freedom every day. [I'm disappointed in his resolve – we have to sustain freedom every second!]

A worldwide economic system and a high-speed prosperous free society are inevitably vulnerable to a deeply committed state-supported terrorism. It is inevitable. [The key word is: "inevitable."] Whatever we brilliantly figure out how to stop this time [sic], they will study, and they will look for the one thing we have not figured out because they only have to hit once. [Well, with respect to say, entry/exit immigration tracking, we already figured it out, but it was nixed for the sake of multiculturalism by Sen. Spencer Abraham. The FAA (after 9/11!) has stated that they will not engage in racial profiling. As Sam Francis has observed, racial profiling is at least a hundred years old, and is called … criminology. (E.g., a serial murderer is likely male, Caucasian, in his twenties.)] They do not have to hit every day. We have to sustain freedom every day.

It is unavoidable, if you intend to remain a prosperous, free society, then [sic] our campaign must be 90-percent offense and only 10-percent defense. [Yeah, that's the problem, we've been so darned passive.] Our job is to root out the terrorists, root out the organizations, and root out those governments which support them because only by pursuing evil abroad can we stop evil from entering the United States. [… and preserve our precious bodily fluids … "Another glass of pure grain alcohol and rainwater, please!"] We cannot ever passively build a system [You can never passively build anything – that's what "passive" means.] that will stop evil from entering the United States. We can only slow it down. [That's right – whatever were doing wrong, it's irreversible – we can only leave the most horrible aspects of it to our children.]

Principle Ten: We must continuously communicate to the American people and most people around the world about what it means to be on our side. [Submit or die.]

This war will be fought in the age of 24-hour news channels. The powerful wrenching images of Americans dying on September 11 will gradually fade as new images are projected on a daily and even hourly basis. Our opponents will maneuver to maximize civilian casualties in any American action. The timid and the undecided will seek every opportunity to explain why we should accept minimal results, be patient, and avoid aggressive action.

Mistakes will happen. It is vital that the right explanations and the right language are available within the news cycle. [The media must be controlled!] It is also vital that those words and explanations fit both the American people and audiences around the world. [The people must be deceived!]

[Dis]Information campaigns are the decisive campaigns of the 21st century. They have to be organized, resourced, and led just like any other aspect of warfare. This campaign to defeat terrorism will only last as long as the popular support sustains it and that support will require a substantial continuing information campaign both at home and abroad. [Or, in other words, when the people of the United States of America find out what we're up to, we had better do some freakin' fast talkin' or our heads (or worse) will be on a stick!]

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America. Second in line for presidential succession. Hard to imagine. I don't think I want to.

Well, it's only six o'clock, and there's still plenty of night left … Wow, you should see the four beauties that just walked out here.

I sure do love this place – it has even facilitated the discovery of a much-needed solution.

I've finally learned how to read National Review: only when drunk, and only for comedy.

October 12, 2001