THE NEW AMERICAN CRISIS
These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
To sustain the morale of Washington's army and their patriotic cause, revolutionary agitator Thomas Paine penned these words in the winter of 1776, when our newly born nation was facing its darkest days in the long and arduous struggle for independence.
They are just as relevant today.
The Turncoats are coming! We are steadily bombarded with defeatist messages by a hostile media, an antagonistic opposition party and a vocal minority of antiwarriors who have never met a noble cause they would not attempt to undermine.
While the nay saying pundits and partisans carp about the duration of the post-war insurgency, bear in mind that our own war for independence dragged on for more than eight years of costly attrition. This present conflict constitutes Iraq’s bitter struggle for self-determination against a backdrop of half a century of brutal oppression. We are to the Iraqi revolution what the French were to our own: facilitators of a shared objective -- the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
American history speaks of having “thrown off the shackles” of punitive taxes and a neglectful colonization. By contrast, the history of Iraq is strewn with nonmetaphorical manacles, medieval torture and mass graves for those who would dare to speak out against Saddam and his Ba'athist regime.
Terrorism is a long-practiced tactic to intimidate and enforce the meek compliance of a populace at the barrel of a gun or the threat of an explosion. It’s only demand; it’s prime concession: to encourage a society to retreat within a protective blanket of security in order to regain a measure of normalcy.
We are repeatedly reminded that Islam is Arabic for “peace.” This is wishful thinking on the part of the multiculturalist wing of the Association of Radical Muslim Appeasers. The Islamists have their own translation: submission. Submission to their rigid dogma; submission to their blind hatred of infidels; submission to their murderous worldview.
The terrorist brutality of the Islamofascists suggests a totalitarian impulse to aggression whose logical endgame necessitates the termination of our way of life.
It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop … ever … until [we] are dead.Theirs is not the cause of freedom fighters shirking off a heavy-handed foreign occupation. They fight for less freedom. Less freedom for their fellow Arabs. Less freedom for their Kurdish neighbors. Less freedom is their single biggest campaign promise--and they want your vote!
Neither is it merely the cause of disgruntled former recipients of a corrupt, Saddamized largesse, willing to engage in privatized urban combat with coalition troops because they took a ba'ath on their 401/AK’s after Baghdad fell.
It is the call to arms of contemporary Muslim crusaders, hell bent on reclaiming ideological ground lost to modernity since the founding era of constitutional democracy.
University scholars and ACLU lawyers delight in reminding us that those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither. These words are often misconstrued by those who rail against the Patriot Act or the stepped-up profiling of terror suspects, when in fact it speaks of those very people who would prefer the status quo of inaction to the hard choices necessary to safeguard our freedoms.
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice recently spoke in Egypt of an America that was "founded by individuals who knew that all human beings -- and the governments they create -- are inherently imperfect.
For 60 years [we] pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region here in the Middle East -- and we achieved neither. Now, we are taking a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspirations of all people.
These are the times that try our collective patience. Today's sunshine patriots appeal daily for us to throw in the turban when it comes to Iraq. It is hurting our image, they lament. Our military excursions are diminishing our reputation and prestige throughout the world. The Europeans, the United Nations, the Muslim press -- they all scorn us.
Editorial elitists deem this a foreign policy disaster. Thomas Paine would have thought it a hat trick. He writes:
I once felt all that kind of anger, which a man ought to feel, against the mean principles that are held by the tories: A noted one, who kept a tavern at Amboy, was standing at his door, with as pretty a child in his hand, about eight or nine years old, as most I ever saw, and after speaking his mind as freely as he thought was prudent, finished with this unfatherly expression, "Well! Give me peace in my day."
Not a man lives on the continent but fully believes that a separation must some time or other finally take place, and a generous parent should have said, "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day [so] that my child may have peace;" and this single reflection, well applied, is sufficient to awaken every man to duty ... for though the flame of liberty may sometimes cease to shine, the coal never can expire.
The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind.
Uncommon sense for a new age; a new enemy; a new crisis.
COPYRIGHT 2005 BUCK SARGENT