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Wars and Battles

How many wars are we fighting at once? Let's see... There's the war on terror, which includes the fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan. This war is specifically meant to find and destroy terrorists. There's the war to win hearts and minds. This is also being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. It entails building schools, hospitals and other public facilities, helping the people of these nations overcome their past and instilling some kind of democracy in their governments. There's the war against Zionism. This is being fought against us by radical Muslims who believe that America is run by Jews and therefore must be crushed. There's the war against freedom. This, too, is being fought against us by radical Muslims who think any country that has a freedom of religion clause in its basic contracts must be filled with infidels and therefore must be crushed. There's the public relations war. Are Americans generally bad or generally good? This war is being hindered by the fact that Americans themselves are pretty much divided on this issue and are now fighting their own inside skirmishes during the war. While one side tries to sell the idea that Americans are good and only want good for the rest of the world, the other side feeds the enemy juicy bits of gossip designed to fuel their cause. A war being fought on the inside and the outside. Then we have the Civil War. Call the sides what you will. Left v. Right. Dems v. Republicans. Moonbats v. Freepers. Whatever you want to label the sides, it doesn't really matter because the fire caused by this war has spread so far and so wide, the whole country is aflame whether they want to be or not. There used to be lines in the middle designating a sort of home base, like in the childhood game of tag. Moderates and mainstreamers gathered at this home base often, watching both sides of this war with car wreck fascination. Oops. Home base has been destroyed! Pick a side, quick! The war against people who should have been our allies: A constant battle with France and Germany wages as we try to figure out why they took the side they did in the first place. And with France jumping into the War on Zionism fray, it won't be long until these separate wars become part of the same big battle. In this Civil War, we have separate battles, such as the Battle of the Ballot. Having a presidential election involving a sitting president during a time of war makes for some intense firefight. Expect this battle to rage on until November when a winner is declared. It becomes an all out war of its own after that. Also, this battle is just in the warming up stages. Look for things to get uglier before they finally implode at the end. Let's not forget the War on Peace. This is being fought all around the globe, in Georgia, North Korea, Iran, in Gaza, in Ethopia, in Nigeria, in Portland, Oregon, in New York, in Madrid, in Pakistan, in Egypt....need I go on? We're expected to somehow take part in all battles of this war. How can we with so many wars going on at once, including nasty blowups on our own homefront? Our loyalties are being stretched thin. I mean, at some point you have to line up all your ducks and decide which ones to shoot and which ones to keep. It's a column A, column B thing. Alright, I'll take the side of umm...Democrats, Palestinians and al Jazeera. Right, I'll go line up for my flak jacket and haircut now. Abu Ghraib is but one battle within a battle within a battle. Instead of dragging this fight on so it starts eating up all the other fights and we forget what the battle was about to begin with, we do this: We say, yes this is incredibly disgusting and vile. Line up the people who committed these atrocities. Punish them to the full extent of the law. Do it on national television. Show the world how we handle our criminals. Then put someone in charge who will make sure this will never happen again. Yea, I don't really care if Saddam tortured his people or whatnot, we're Americans and we don't do this. We are supposed to stop this kind of behavior. So stop it. Burn Abu Ghraib to the ground. Demolish it. It would be a nice symbolic gesture and they seem to like symbolic gestures over there. So do it. And then move on with the battle, and the other battles. Take down Fallujah, just like we should have done when we first went in there. The hell with the mosques, the hell with trying to look nice. The mosques are no longer holy places, they are base camps for terrorists. Take them down. See, first we take care of our own business by stopping the torture and abuse. Then we burn down the prison where all the torture and abuse took place. Then we burn down the terrorist bases. So we show them: Yes, we can do the right thing. Sometimes the right thing is apologizing, prosecuting and moving on. And sometimes the right thing is dropping a few tons of explosives on people who want to kill us. Pick and choose your battles. We've got other wars to fight and other battles to win and none of them will be victories until we take care of Abu Grhaib in the right manner. Then we can concentrate on preventing more terrorist attacks in the U.S. and worldwide. We can concentrate on giving the good citizens of Iraq what they deserve after suffering under Saddam for so long. We can give the people of Afghanistan a new life. We can carefully explain to Arafat and Hamas that the war on terror includes them. We can win the hearts and minds of freedom-loving people. We can stamp out the fires that threaten to consume us come August. We can show the rest of the world what happens when you try to rule by terrorism. And then we can sit back and watch how the Civil War plays out and, with any luck, watch that home base form again and fill it up with moderates who want to once again distance themselves from the farther sides of the war. Then we can see which people still want us to lose. Make no mistake about it. There are people - and I mean Americans - who want nothing more than for us to lose - lose the war on terror, lose the war for hearts and minds, lose the PR war, the Zionism war, the civil war. Because nothing makes them happier than the failure of their enemy, even if that means more death, more destruction and more war. Our failure is their success and in that respect, they line up on the side of everyone we fight against. The war within the war within the war. I keep resisting the urge to put my head in the sand. I don't know how much longer I can keep looking at this without finally giving in and shutting it all out. There's something to be said for being blissfully ignorant.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Wars and Battles:

» A World at War from Citizen Smash - The Indepundit
MICHELE CATALANO asks, "How many wars are we fighting at once?"... [Read More]

» On Atrocities, Investigations, and Moving On from Cato the Youngest
Michele, at A Small Victory, has done a marvelous job of putting the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse in perspective. I've quoted a sample, you can read the rest here. [Read More]

» Jefferson and Sheridan - Another Civil War from The Politburo Diktat
Palestinians play with body parts and al Qaeda terrorists behead another American. A few days ago, Michele wrote about the wars and civil wars that are consuming America. She missed one, the civil war between Thomas Jefferson and Phil Sheridan, the gen... [Read More]


People don't want middle ground and common sense. They want absolute truth and destruction of the enemy. They don't want you to be a Bush supporter and approve of gay marriage. They don't want me to think we screwed up going to Iraq in the first place but still want our military to do the best job they can do rebuilding it and kicking terrorist ass. Fit in your box damn it!

Happy Moving Day!

I know where you're at.

It would be nice if someone would start a new political party - something like Moderate Conservatives, and base it's tenents on Cutting spending, lower taxes, strong defense, constitutional constructionalism and a strong economy, while not taking sides on moralistic, religious or family issues. I think you would be able to 'win the hearts and minds' of 70% of the electorate, from both the left and the right - creating that nice even middle ground that doesn't cater to the extreme fringes which is all we have left.

The slash and burn has turned the moderates on both the left and the right to not liking their own candidate but hating the other one and having to decided which is the lesser of two evils.

"It would be nice if someone would start a new political party - something like Moderate Conservatives, and base it's tenents on Cutting spending, lower taxes, strong defense, constitutional constructionalism and a strong economy, while not taking sides on moralistic, religious or family issues."

We had this party for eight years (except constitutional constuctionism, which is not a moderate issue), but then the leader had sex with a woman who wasn't his wife ...

Soli- and except for the strong on defense part.

Britton - wrong, we had the strong on defense part.


Do you mean the 'shock and awe' of destroying the aspirin factory or the sprint out of Mogadishu?

Or am I confused about which party you are referring to?


The comments have already degenerated into political partisanship, which perfectly illustrates the original point.

Argue about strong on defense all you want, but the fact is Rumsfeld put a great plan into effect with a military inherited from the previous administration. Both sides should get some credit.


I mean we had the strongest military in the entire world (possibly the entire world together). All the operations were fully funded, including proper weapons, armor, food, and support.

Having a strong military is something that both parties support. The fact that one party continually lies and slanders the other on this issue does not change that.

Do you think you guys could just one time stick to the topic at hand instead of having every single one of my posts turn into a Clinton/Bush festival?

Sorry Michele. It's just so very hard to say anything about moderates or middle ground without mentioning the Clenis. I'll try harder in the future ;)

By way of achieving this goal of a moderate home base, how about not using radically dualistic rhetoric?

There are a lot of liberals who completely supported military invasion and the construction of a new Middle Eastern democracy (in Afghanistan). There are moral, conservative reasons that our allies might have been opposed to a unilateral preemptive war, reasons which have nothing to do with anti-Zionism. There are a lot Jews who support the removal of all the Israeli settlements from Palestine. There are a lot of Muslims who've been living under American-supported dictators for decades who have some valid reasons for resentment (Iran-Iraq war, pick a side. Oops! We supported them both!)

It's comforting to proclaim the world already divided up, already freepers and moonbats, and you're just calling 'em as you see 'em. But if you can only see it that way, your head is already deep in the sand.

You forgot the War on Velour.

Good post, Michele.

Don't pick sides. Don't defend the indefensible and admit mistakes when they are made. Don't kick the other guy when they're down.

Pick your fights and fight fair.

And Soli, remind me again why SecDef Aspin resigned after the Mog?

Bravo! Excellent post Michele. I thought the exact same thing about the prison. Burn it baby. Your narrative is fabulous and nicely balanced. Thanks!

Amen, sistah!

What you refer to as the Civil War is what I call the Self Emolation of the Baby Boomers or what the French call the 68ers. It is now the reigning conflict in the US.

And to both sides it will always be 1968.

Great Post as always, Michele. Me, I'd love to see a political party, or even one politician, who can call a spade a spade. I'm so sick of the partisanship; the feel-good democrats, pushing emotional buttons and using that as a political platform, versus the Republicans, who have to buy into the same silly as hell PC bull to avoid pissing people off. As long as we let politics in this country float at that 'buzz-word' level, we'll never be able to have reasoned discussions about the real issues. I've had it with catch phrases, photo opportunities and sound bites. I vote Republican because I can take what they say, fit the pieces together, and get a coherent, contiguous whole. I can't seem to do that with the democrats; especially Kerry, who seems content with saying 'the right thing.... at the time'. It's sad, too, because I really with there were an alternative to Bush; he's pissed me off on a number of things.

90% of the party politics going on right now are merely popularity points; I don't see either candidate offering anything new and constructive. In lieue of a possible improvement, I'm going to have to vote for the mostly satisfactory status quo.

Do we need another Carter before people start taking politics seriously again? Do we?

Perhaps this will help simplify matters. There is one war. It is a war between good and evil. Many will say, "It can't be that simple." But it is that simple. Good vs. Evil. Right vs. Wrong. Freedom vs. Totalitarianism. A War of Religions in which the friend of my enemy is my enemy.

We're taught, relentlessly, that the world is a complex series of shadings, of realitive good, of equal claims. But that is an illusion albeit one that we receive many years of indoctrination in believing.

There is one war and there will be one winner. Which side will it be. That's what history will tell.

I am of the opinion that Gerard is correct. You might call it a war of the worlds, their world or our world. We have to win or our nation is gone. It is really depressing me that my ex party does not realize that and is doing everything it can to undermine the USofA victory in the war on terror. I am old enough that I may not live to see the extreme consequences but my children and grandchildren will. I think we are in a do or die situation.

I'm with Ruth H.
I have been democratic my entire voting life but now feel incredibly betrayed by a party afflicted with Soros' syndrome.

I'm a first-time visitor to your site. I read Ruth's statement:
We have to win or our nation is gone. It is really depressing me that my ex party does not realize that and is doing everything it can to undermine the USofA victory in the war on terror. I am old enough that I may not live to see the extreme consequences but my children and grandchildren will. I think we are in a do or die situation.
and assumed that she was talking about the Republicans "undermining USofA victory in the war on terror" (which is my belief), but the next commenter B. Bender assumed it was the Democrats.

That's pretty symptomatic of where the country is today, and the state of political discourse. We are a very divided nation, and the political rhetoric each side uses is interchangeable, and serves only to amplify those differences, as exemplified by my confusion about who Ruth meant.

I think that we can all agree that burning down Abu Ghraib would a great start. Unfortunately, after that we part company. Earlier, we could have had a reasoned debate on whether the steps you propose after that make more sense, or the ones I might propose, and both of us could consider the possibility that he or she was wrong, and the other right.

However, as exemplified by this comment thread, and Gerald's "One War" comment, the two parts of American can't talk to each other, even though outside of the political rhetoric, they probably agree at least 70%.

I wish I had a solution to propose. Maybe the 2004 election will be it, although I doubt it, given how close it is likely to be, and how the losers will probably feel it was stolen from them.

Maybe it will take a civil war, or a war of secession, where the Blue Coasts and the Red Midland divide up into two or more parties.

Not a nice world to leave our Republican and Democratic grandchildren.