Mark Steyn on wars past and present: Recalling a time when setbacks didn't deter us.
[T]hat's the difference between then and now: the loss of proportion. They had victims galore back in 1863, but they weren't a victim culture. They had a lot of crummy decisions and bureaucratic screwups worth re-examining, but they weren't a nation that prioritized retroactive pseudo-legalistic self-flagellating vaudeville over all else. They had hellish setbacks but they didn't lose sight of the forest in order to obsess week after week on one tiny twig of one weedy little tree.
There is something not just ridiculous but unbecoming about a hyperpower 300 million strong whose elites -- from the deranged former vice president down -- want the outcome of a war, and the fate of a nation, to hinge on one freaky jailhouse; elites who are willing to pay any price, bear any burden, as long as it's pain-free, squeaky clean and over in a week. The sheer silliness dishonors the memory of all those we're supposed to be remembering this Memorial Day.
This excellent op-ed from last year is worth highlighting again: Honoring Virtue by Andrew Bernstein.
The meaning of Memorial Day is particularly pressing today when the United States is engaged in a war against fanatics who represent the extreme of intellectual, religious and political suppression. Freedom is unknown and utterly alien in the countries that support terrorists. They feel threatened by our most cherished principles and institutions, and so they seek to destroy us. Our soldiers who fought so courageously and so effectively against the Taliban and Saddam Hussein helped to overthrow both of those brutal dictatorships while defending the lives and freedom of American civilians. ... What protects us is our moral courage and our military might.
NOTE: Our regular readers may remember the above cartoon from the Spirit of America auction. We again express our deep gratitude to Joey for the winning bid/donation. We also want to thank Quent Cordair and Linda Zimmerman at Quent Cordair Fine Arts (a sponsor of this site). They framed the artwork for Joey, and it is now on display in their Burlingame, California gallery.
Here is last year's cartoon for all our new readers:
Posted by Forkum at May 30, 2004 05:48 PM