Can't Somebody Stop This?


Some of the very things that sustain us, especially those who fight for our country, are offensive to the intellectual elites. In "Spurning America," Michael Barone points out some of the traditions that maintain military esprit de corps:

"On the eve of a difficult mission, 'more than one soldier went to sleep hoping that the next days would prove him a worthy member of that lineage.' That's one reason the military maintains old units, so that soldiers will be motivated to match the deeds of those who came before and prove worthy to those who come after.

"Similarly, one of the comforting aspects of attending religious services is the knowledge that you are doing what others have done before you and others will do after. Even nonbelievers often feel a twinge of awe when they attend Christian or Jewish weddings or funerals and witness liturgies with centuries-old roots.

"And then there's the flag. Most Americans feel a shiver when they hear "The Star-Spangled Banner" played and reflect on the triumphs and tragedies that those serving under that flag have won and suffered over more than 200 years. You're part of something larger than yourself."

But, continues Barone, "not all of us cherish ties to past traditions. 'America's business, professional, intellectual and academic elites,' writes Samuel Huntington in his 2004 book, "Who Are We?" have 'attitudes and behavior (that) contrast with the overwhelming patriotism and nationalistic identification with their country of the American public. ... They abandon commitment to their nation and their fellow citizens, and argue the moral superiority of identifying with humanity at large.'"

Clearly, there is much yet to be done by the ACLU or Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

Cindy, We Hardly Knew Ye


My colleague Charlotte Allen points out that a Washington Post piece on the mothers of fallen soldiers contains the first admission from a major media outlet that Cindy Sheehan flopped.

It's Not a Debacle


Let's hope that preparations by Iraqi soldiers for that country's important referendum on the constitution will bring a degree of success, that Iraqi citizens will have the high courage required to vote Saturday--and that they will be safe.

As disappointed (indeed, angry) as I am about the appointment of Harriet Miers, who should withdraw her name, I really care most of all about the war in Iraq. Winning it is essential to the safety of the people of both Iraq and the United States. That is why National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski's "American Debacle" article in the Los Angeles Times was so appalling:

"Some 60 years ago Arnold Toynbee concluded, in his monumental 'Study of History,' that the ultimate cause of imperial collapse was 'suicidal statecraft.' Sadly for George W. Bush's place in history and - much more important - ominously for America's future, that adroit phrase increasingly seems applicable to the policies pursued by the United States since the cataclysm of 9/11.

"In a very real sense, during the last four years the Bush team has dangerously undercut America's seemingly secure perch on top of the global totem pole by transforming a manageable, though serious, challenge largely of regional origin into an international debacle."

The historian Victor Davis Hanson (whose "A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War" is receiving enthusiastic reviews) answers Brzezinski:

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