Defense & National Security

It’s the Culture War, Not the Iraq War

Though only a handful of individuals among the 135,000 American soldiers stationed in Iraq participated in the Abu Ghraib incident, the accusatory howls from domestic “humanitarian† groups indicted our entire army and Defense Department establishment.

Any objective observer would concede that when measured against normative civilian misbehavior the misconduct of ten out of 135,000 is not bad at all, statistically imperceptible. But, then, the domestic “humanitarian activists† are not objective — they have an agenda.

In truth, Abu Ghraib was for critics on the Left not a reaction caused by a happenstance but an already pre-planned indictment waiting simply for an incident. For one surefire way to destroy the war effort is, the Left hopes, by discrediting our soldiers and military establishment. De-legitimize the war by de-legitimizing the soldiers. Set the conduct-bar so high and the requirements for success so absolute that perforce across-the-board success is beyond reach and shortfall built-in.

There long has been a sentiment among elitists and cosmopolitans that our volunteer army is comprised of “rednecks.† Who but rednecks would, in the liberal worldview, choose the military over careers in lawyering, medicine, publishing, teaching, or investment, or over university attendance and “social activism†? After all, none of the elitists or their children opt for the mess hall over the cafà © and bistro.

If not Abu Ghraib, another inevitable incident would have materialized or been blown out of proportion to provide liberals the fuel to proclaim: “See, we told you so. It’s a Redneck War . . . not worthy of Our support.†

Far more important than its association with the Iraq war, Abu Ghraib has been exploited by the Left in service to its longer term goals in the Culture War. A major component of the liberal assault against historic American values is to minimize within our society the heroic role of the brawny soldier and cast him as an inferior societal player, the anti-hero.

Prior to 9/11, liberals had almost reached their goal of morphing the American male ideal into that of Woody Allen Man, Alan Alda Man. John Wayne was out, Ambivalent Man was in. Worthwhile men were, we were told, playwrights, lawyers, the university-degreed, and “human rights activists.† Strength was replaced by vulnerability, male-instinctive protectiveness and guardianship by mushy sensitivity and supine relativism. In other words, themselves: males who reflect de-masculated, politically-correct liberal characteristics.

Suddenly on 9/11, the policeman, fireman, and soldier were resurrected as heroic — more so, vital. And so, too, were the traditionally masculine virtues of duty, gallantry, valor, brawn and courage under fire. Liberal social-activists cannot stomach the label hero and worthwhile being applied to those engaged in these historically masculine/physical roles. In fact, for the last forty years, policemen and soldiers (and in certain parts, even firemen) were perceived as an “enemy.† Many can not abide the type of male they can never be!

The Left dispensed with objectivity and fairness regarding Abu Ghraib for it relished the opportunity to cast American soldiers as uncivilized and the brutes “we always knew them to be.† How glorious once again to announce: “We told you so! Soldiers are not heroes. We, the ‘compassionate and sensitive’ un-soldier, remain the better male role-model.†

Those today most critical of our soldiers, our army and our wars are most often pampered yuppies who never served nor have any brothers or close friends who currently serve. Many have never even known a soldier. Their war effort is not in serving but protesting — and, to add injury to insult, finding “injustices† in those who do serve. Their efforts are invested not in country but in counter-country.

Demoralizing and denigrating our soldiers pains those who serve and those who come from families and communities where military service is common. For them the hurt is personal. It is, however, not personal and hence painless to those whose little world and social circle are eons removed culturally from the military. Thus their smug ease and ever-willingness to set the conduct bar so high and wide so as to ensure criticism of our self-sacrificing soldiers. It is callous. Our young people in harm’s way deserve better from their countrymen.

The “understanding† so-called American social/humanitarian activists demand we offer our enemies is never, by them, granted our soldiers. Proof positive, therefore, that they are motivated not by standards but politics — leftwing politics. Leftwing goals are always more important to them than the welfare of our country and its people.

Hardcore liberals realize that the most powerful army is powerless when its soldiers lack the will the fight: demoralize our soldiers and thereby weaken their resolve and our chance for victory.

Funny how Hollywood people, their lawyers and publicists, who profit from productions glorifying violence, sex, mud-wrestling and Ft. Lauderdale spring break wet T-shirt contests sit in condescending judgment over young pent-up soldiers letting off steam at an impromptu mud-wrestling exercise. Sainthood is demanded not from their college children on soft campuses, but, ironically, from battlefield soldiers nerve-wracked by possible imminent death. After all, it’s not their children, nor their friends’ children, serving over there in Iraq.

This ubiquitous and salivating readiness to condemn the soldier and the army poses dangers beyond the Iraq war. Its ultimate purpose is to tarnish those who fight so that soldiering is viewed disdainfully. Its effects are cultural, threatening our survival.

Those who shout the loudest are most often those who never lift a finger to protect this country, though growing rich and worry-free here. They constitute the most selfish, pompous, and insensitive group America has ever known. They’ve earned our disrespect and should be scorned.


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