Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

I never thought I would see the day . . .

Posted by Lissa on February 24, 2009

 . . . when I disagreed with Thomas Sowell:

Although, in some sense, the United States of America is still the strongest nation on earth militarily, that means absolutely nothing if our enemies are willing to die and we are not.

It took only two nuclear bombs to get Japan to surrender — and the Japanese of that era were far tougher than most Americans today. Just one bomb — dropped on New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles — might be enough to get us to surrender.

If we are still made of sterner stuff than it looks like, then it might take two or maybe even three or four nuclear bombs, but we will surrender.

It doesn’t matter if we retaliate and kill millions of innocent Iranian civilians — at least it will not matter to the fanatics in charge of Iran or the fanatics in charge of the international terrorist organizations that Iran supplies.

Ultimately, it all comes down to who is willing to die and who is not.

In my very humble opinion, The Great Sowell is wrong on two counts:

1) There is a whole host of Americans who ARE willing to die for our beliefs.  (See, e.g., the entire U.S. Armed Forces.)  There are many more who would be willing to die to protect their family and their freedoms from an encroacher.  (See, for example, everyone who believes in Molon Labe.) 

2) The Sleeping Giant?  Still in existence, baby.  America might be sleeping more heavily nowadays — hell, close to comatose, drugged into insensibility by too much pie ‘n’ punch — but she’s still a giant, nonetheless. 

I pray that we never have to put this to the test.  I fervently hope that our friends the Israelis will clean up the Iranian situation and save our butts.  But if, God (and the Goddess and Buddha and Allah and Shiva, etc.) forbid, a nuclear bomb ever takes out one of our cities — then the gloves are coming all the way off like you’d better believe.

If we used our military assets ruthlessly — as I think would be in the case when responding to a nuclear attack — you think we couldn’t flatten any country who flipped an ICBM our way?

You think we wouldn’t?

It’s also my very humble opinion that the current leadership in Washington is more, not less, likely to respond to a nuclear provocation by completely annihilating the ten square miles surrounding the leaders’ compound.  Whereas John McCain saw first-hand, for several years, the horror of war, Barack Obama has not.  I picture him more along the lines of President Fowler in The Sum of All Fears— knowing that he has messed up, he is desperate to avenge the blow to his pride and his country.  Furthermore, while McCain responding to a nuclear attack in kind would have ignited a firestorm of controversy and McCain Derangement Syndrome, I think Obama is more likely to win support from both sides of the spectrum — those on the Right who believe in defending our country, as well as those on the Left who are suddenly proud to be an American again.

As I said, I never thought I’d disagree with Thomas Sowell, but there you go.  Your mileage may vary.  And, for the record, I REALLY hope we never have to find out which one of us is right.

5 Responses to “I never thought I would see the day . . .”

  1. Rick R said

    Lissa I think you are EXACTLY correct.

    What most people do not realize is that the big reason our military has difficulty in low intensity conflicts is that our military might is so great as to make it difficult to do small work. Picture a giant trying to thread a needle. If we were to bring our full military might to bear, no country-region-continent would survive.

    And domestically, Molon Labe

  2. secretlivesofscientists said

    ” Although, in some sense, the United States of America is still the strongest nation on earth militarily, that means absolutely nothing if our enemies are willing to die and we are not.”

    I read into this somewhat differently. True, those who fight for us are willing to die for our beliefs, but I thought about this more along the lines of why we and Russia didn’t blow eachother to smithereens during the cold war. We, as a populace, are very much opposed to dying. Contrast this to radical islamics who are very much willing to die for their beliefs. Mutually assured destruction doesn’t scare them because dying in giant fireball in the name of Allah is, gulp, a glorius death for them, and a victory. Whereas for us, mutually assured destruction is not a victory.

  3. georgeh said

    Sowell is wrong, because it has never been US nuclear policy to respond tit for tat. We would respond with hundreds of nukes, enough at any rate to virtually exterminate our attacker. I also believe our military would “misunderstand” and launch the retaliatory strike regardless of what order might come from the whitehouse.

  4. mts said

    I think it was a poor choice of words. What I believe he meant was the act of “will” being the key. The “is it worth it.” Like it was for Britain, when it had its cities ruthlessly bombed, yet still never surrendered. Or Ho Chi Minh, who sent his troops on a fool’s errand in the Tet Offensive militarily (his guys got wiped out by the droves), but won the overall goal of wearing us down and killing our will.

    I believe in General Patton’s idea that “no s.-.-. ever won a war dying for his country. You win a war making the other poor dumb s.-.-. die for his.” The problem is, he’d get sent to sensitivity training today. THAT is what will get us killed. And having a serious number feel that if we got it, we deserved it for some egregious wrong somewhere.

  5. […] My dear friend Lissa who-is-getting-married-next-week-and-I’m-so-very-excited-to-be-a-part-of-… […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: