Friday, November 11, 2005

The face of Terror 

One of the most moving articles I have read in sometime appeared today in the National Review, and while I doubt many people read this blog before the read NRO, I hope you will all take the time to read it anyway. Rabbi Carlos Huerta tells of his first hand encounter with the hideous face of terror, and the life of a young muslim boy he tried to save. In the process, he reminds the reader of the nature of our cause:
There are many Americans who ask why we’re here. Why are we sacrificing so many American lives and placing so many in harm’s way? What is the purpose of it all? Well, I don’t really know the big picture. But from my small sector of the battlefield, the reason I am here is to give “the least of these,” my children over here, a shot at “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” — just like my other children living in America.

The President gave a speech today that forcefully defended the Iraq war, and our justification for being there, but somehow I think he fell short. Even though his defense of the WMD and terror threats is valid, and indeed a strong on for those willing to look at the evidence, I think he missed a chance to really effect the hearts and minds of the American people. A chance to remind them of the miracle of freedom and liberty we are bringing to the people of a world that once knew only oppression and fear. And, as Carlos Huerta reminds us so eloquently, of the cost of failure:
I held his hand and cried — cried for a boy whose name I didn’t know, for an innocent Muslim child who gave his life for his G-d, Allah, for his country. He was the true face of Muslim martyrdom. With tears streaming down my face, I looked down and noticed blood on my uniform. His blood, my blood, our blood had dripped from his open head wound onto my uniform...I thought to myself, isn’t this the kind of world we are fighting for — a world where an Imam teaches a Rabbi words from the Holy Koran to comfort a young Muslim boy, and that rabbi himself is comforted by a Christian, a Catholic priest.

Someone needs to write a solid argument, with the philosphy and all, of why we're in the war, and why we must win. It would clearly need to reference Socrates, Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Smith, Mill, Nietsche, Strauss at the very least, without even referencing historians (classics like Gibbon and even Mommsen wouldn't hurt). My recent readings have ranged over these authors, and I clearly see the underpinning for the war clearly defended.

All of the 'objections' are easily delt with, but no one as stepped up to destroy them yet (like, for example, Gibbon destroyed the arguments of the clergy that criticized him, and Locke destroyed Filmer and his arguments for royal authority with one of the greatest academic hack jobs ever.

It could be done, if someone would take the time. It could be a route. The framework is there. Someone just needs to flesh it out and put it out there for people to read. If such an effort doesn't happen soon, I may have to turn the notes I've been formulating on this into something more substantive.
Here's Mr. Reynolds' post yesterday about Bush's offensive against historical revisionism. I'm posting it so I can find it, but if you haven't read what he links to, you should.
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