. . . we neither have the brains, imagination nor will . . . in our leadership--Administration as well as Congress--to defeat our enemy and keep our nation safe and whole.
" . . . troops were sent (as Bush explained) to “sacrifice for the liberty of strangers,” putting the lives of Iraqis above their own. Bush sent our troops to lift Iraq out of poverty, open new schools, fix up hospitals, feed the hungry, unclog sewers—a Peace Corps, not an army corps, mission. Consistent with that immoral goal, Washington enforced self-sacrificial rules of engagement that prevent our brave and capable forces from using all necessary force to win, or even to protect themselves: they are ordered not to bomb key targets such as power plants, and to avoid firing into mosques (where insurgents hide) lest we offend Muslim sensibilities."
Forward Strategy for Failure
by Yaron Brook and Elan Journo
Here is more . . . an excerpt from Forward Strategy for Failure:
Today, the facts tell us that Islamic Totalitarianism is waging war on America. This movement commands wide support and is nourished principally by Iran and Saudi Arabia. The moral ideal of rational egoism counsels an unequivocal response: Defend the lives of Americans. That goal requires, as argued earlier, an overwhelming military campaign to destroy the enemy, leaving it permanently non-threatening. We need to wage as ruthless, unrelenting, and righteous a war as we waged sixty years ago against Germany and Japan. Only that kind of war can make us safe and enshrine our freedom. It is the only moral response, and therefore the only practical one.50
As to what America should do once it has defeated this enemy, again, the guiding moral principle should be that of our national self-interest.
It might be in our interest to install a free political system in a Middle Eastern country that we have defeated—if we have good reason to believe that we can create a permanently non-threatening regime and do so without sacrificing U.S. wealth or lives. And if we were to choose such a course, the precise character of the new regime would have to be decided by America. For instance, in contrast to Bush’s selfless approach to the constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan, in post-war Japan the United States did not give the Japanese people a free hand to draw up whatever constitution they wished, nor to bring to power whomever they liked. We set the terms and guided the creation of the new state, and in part because this is how Japan was reborn, it became an important friend to America. (Observe that the Japanese were receptive to new political ideals only after they were thoroughly defeated in war; Iraqis were never defeated and, on the contrary, were encouraged to believe that their tribalism and devotion to Islam were legitimate foundations for a new government.)
But we have no moral duty to embroil ourselves in selfless nation-building. In a war of retaliation against a present threat, we are morally entitled to crush an enemy regime because we are innocent victims defending our unconditional right to be free. Our government’s obligation is to protect the lives of Americans, not the welfare of people in the Middle East. The responsibility for the suffering or death of people in a defeated regime belongs to those who initiated force against us. If it proves to be in our national self-interest to withdraw immediately after victory, leaving the defeated inhabitants to sift through the rubble and rebuild on their own, then we should do exactly that. In doing so, we must instill in them the definite knowledge that, whatever new regime they adopt, it too will face devastation if it threatens America.
If Islamic totalitarians and their many followers know without a doubt that the consequence of threatening us is their own demise, the world will be a peaceful place for Americans. And that, ultimately, is the end for which our government and its policies are the means: to defend our freedom so that we can live and prosper.from
The “Forward Strategy” for Failure
Yaron Brook and Elan Journo
The Objective Standard Vol. 2, No. 1
Read the entire article at Forward Strategy for Failure
from Brushfires of Freedom
George Mason writes:
Recall Clinton to Finish Out Bush's Term
If I had Harry Potter's magic wand, I would banish George W. Bush so far away that he could never be found, like to Andromeda Galaxy--to its black hole. Bush is so bad that I would prefer to recall Clinton to finish out Bush's term, minus Shillery Rahman Clinton. To keep Bill out of our lives, I would convert the Oval Office to the "oval office," quite literally and make it the XXX pride of D.C. America would do better with a licentious Clinton than any more of Bush, who may turn out to be the most harmful to America president yet.
Nothing new has set me off. However, sometimes good material comes in that makes the point magnificently well. Here is an instance of marvelous material laying bare the underbelly of Mr. Unmarvelous Bush.
Op-Ed from Ayn Rand Institute by Elan Journo:
A recently disclosed Pentagon study on the impact of the Iraq war on U.S. combat troops suggests that many are stressed and hold views at odds with official ethics standards. Critics view this as evidence that more must be done to ensure troops comply with those standards. But in fact the study provides evidence for a searing indictment of Washington’s immoral battlefield policies—policies that entail the sacrifice of American troops for the sake of the enemy.
The study reports, for example, that less than half of the soldiers and Marines surveyed would report a team member for unethical behavior. It also finds that “soldiers that have high levels of anger, experienced high levels of combat or screened positive for a mental health problem were nearly twice as likely to mistreat non-combatants” as those feeling less anger and screening negative for a mental health problem.
Although many military personnel may support the Iraq war, and although war is inherently distressing, Washington’s immoral policies necessitate putting our troops in an impossible situation. The reported attitudes of combat troops in Iraq can be understood as the natural reaction of individuals thrust into that situation.
U.S. troops were sent, not to defend America against whatever threat Hussein’s hostile regime posed to us, as a first step toward defeating our enemies in the region; but instead the troops were sent (as Bush explained) to “sacrifice for the liberty of strangers,” putting the lives of Iraqis above their own. Bush sent our troops to lift Iraq out of poverty, open new schools, fix up hospitals, feed the hungry, unclog sewers—a Peace Corps, not an army corps, mission. Consistent with that immoral goal, Washington enforced self-sacrificial rules of engagement that prevent our brave and capable forces from using all necessary force to win, or even to protect themselves: they are ordered not to bomb key targets such as power plants, and to avoid firing into mosques (where insurgents hide) lest we offend Muslim sensibilities.
According to the report: "More than one-third of all Soldiers and Marines continue to report being in threatening situations where they were unable to respond due to the Rules of Engagement (ROE). In interviews, Soldiers reported that Iraqis would throw gasoline-filled bottles (i.e., Molotov cocktails) at their vehicles, yet they were prohibited from responding with force for nearly a month until the ROE were changed. Soldiers also reported they are still not allowed to respond with force when Iraqis drop large chunks of concrete blocks from second story buildings or overpasses on them when they drive by. Every group of Soldiers and Marines interviewed reported that they felt the existing ROE tied their hands, preventing them from doing what needed to be done to win the war."
When being ethical on Washington’s terms means martyring oneself and one’s comrades, it is understandable that troops are disinclined to report "unethical" behavior. When they are in effect commanded to lay down their lives for hostile Iraqis, it is understandable that troops should feel anger and anxiety. Anger is a response to perceived injustice—and it is perversely unjust for the world’s most powerful military to send its personnel into combat, prevent them from doing their job—and expect them to die for the sake of the enemy. Our troops are put in the line of fire as sacrificial offerings—and it would be natural for an individual thrust into that position to rebel with indignation at such a fate.
The study not only indicts the self-crippling rules of engagement that liberals and conservatives endorse; it brings to light the perversity of the moral code of self-sacrifice on which those rules of engagement are based.
Elan Journo is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, Calif. The Institute promotes the ideas of Ayn Rand—author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead and originator of the philosophy of Objectivism. Copyright © 2007 Ayn Rand® Institute. All rights reserved.
the original of Elan Journo's piece quoted by George Mason above can be found at
Study of Troops’ Mental Health, Ethics Indicts Bush’s Selfless War
The following excerpts are from "William Tecumseh Sherman and the Moral Impetus for Victory" by John Lewis:
" . . .As we today face attacks by a highly motivated, worldwide movement of suicidal warriors, we urgently need to reconsider our goals and our strategy for attaining them. To do this, we must reexamine the nature of the conflict, the nature of our goals, and the nature of our enemy. This process is essential to waging the right war in the right way against the right regime—and winning it. In this regard, there is no better example than that set by Sherman. . . . "
"The American military offensive trained diplomatic envoys rather than missiles at the ideological, financial, and military center of the militant totalitarian Islamists. The political centerpiece of worldwide jihad—the Islamic Republic of Iran—remains untouched and is capitalizing on the vacuum in Iraq to bolster its power. This is not a situation forced upon us—it has been chosen. If Americans have not directed their forces toward the heart of the threats facing them, it is not because they cannot do so. It is because they think they should not do so."