Saturday, November 11, 2006

Recommended reading: Bill Whittle

I just got around to the new Bill Whittle essay, and all I can say is: read it.

Well, that's not all I can say. Whittle is one of those thinkers rather than linkers, and he publishes very seldom, so when he does it's an event. And it's looong.

So I won't add too much to it, except to say that Whittle has a way of getting to the heart of a number of matters (chickenhawks, US imperialism, "no blood for oil," Bush's intelligence or lack thereof, pacifism, and the "Bush lied" meme, to name just a few). Plus a colorful way of writing that keeps it all interesting.

In case you're not up to The Whole Thing--and I sincerely hope you are--here are a couple of excerpts that don't even begin to do justice to Whittle's opus:

Doves think the choice is between fighting or not fighting. Hawks think the choice is between fighting now or fighting later.

If you understand this, you understand everything that follows. You don’t need to think the other side is insane, or evil. Both hawks and doves are convinced they are doing the right thing. But it seems to me there is a choice between peace at any price and a peace worth having.

We cannot undo the invasion and compare that timeline to the one we have. The only data we can use to compare these philosophies is embedded in the pages of history. What does history show?

I cannot think of a single example where appeasement – giving in to an aggressive adversary in the hope that it will convince them to become peaceful themselves – has provided any lasting peace or security. I can say in complete honesty that I look forward to hearing of any historical example that shows it does....

So, contrary to doomsayers throughout history, the destruction of the Barbary Pirates did not result in the recruitment of more Pirates. The destruction of the Barbary Pirates resulted in the destruction of the Barbary Pirates.

And it is just so with terrorism. When the results of terrorism do the terrorist more harm than good, terrorism will go away.

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