Friday, February 01, 2008

"Gifts From Heaven"

I just finished reading John Lewis’ masterful article on what in his words is “America’s greatest foreign policy success” i.e. America’s victory over Japan in WWII. Like his previous articles in TOS, this one forms a chapter of his forthcoming book: Nothing Less than Victory: Military Offense and the Lessons of History from the Greco-Persian Wars to World War II. I can’t wait for the book to come out, and in the meantime I highly recommend people who haven’t yet read this article to do so now. (I believe individual editions of TOS are available to those who don’t wish to subscribe, though I’d suggest subscribing since up to now the quality of the articles has generally been outstanding.)

Dr. Lewis does an amazing job of presenting the historical facts and their meaning, and without ever deviating from his subject, he manages to impart the many similarities that exist between the enemy that faced America in the 40’s and the one we’re now faced with in the form of Totalitarian Islam. From their cultures of death, to their authoritarianism and blind obedience, to their rampant collectivism, to their incessant indoctrination -- all of these are vitally important in understanding the nature of our enemies (and thereby of defeating them and permanently removing their threat).

Of course the contrast between how America prosecuted the war against Japan and the way we’re failing to prosecute our current war is tremendous and tragic, but the article sheds much light on how simple it would be to win our current war, if only we had the right ideas and the will to win.

I must admit too that at first I was a bit disheartened to think how far America has fallen, but then I chose to look at the facts as illustrating how fast things can change, if we manage to get better ideas out. Indeed, I think it’s realistic to consider ourselves as fighting for a vastly improved society in our own lifetimes, not for some ideal society 500 years down the road, when it won’t really matter to us.

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