Articles, Opinions & Views: Back to the Old 9/11 World by Victor Davis Hanson

Views & Articles
No Atheists
In A Foxhole
“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't

Because those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,

Lord, It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Back to the Old 9/11 World by Victor Davis Hanson
Friday, December 05, 2008
Third, the serial excuses of Pakistan are also beginning to wear thin. Hundreds of Indians have been killed by Pakistani terrorists, who have routinely attacked both foreigners and Christians in their own country. It is now over seven years since more than 3,000 innocent Americans were murdered on orders from terrorists now all but certainly in sanctuary in Pakistan — and whom we are still told cannot be extradited.

So despite billions of dollars in American military and financial assistance given to Pakistan, nothing really changes. When pressed to explain the apparent role of the Pakistani military or intelligence services in turning a blind eye to jihadists, the government — whether a Pervez Musharraf in uniform or now civilian President Asif Ali Zardari (formerly known as “Mr. Ten Percent” for allegations of graft) — still politely offers a variety of clichés.

The Pakistani borderlands are beyond the government’s control. Pressuring the existing government for either more order or more democracy will lead only to worse alternatives — such as a takeover by fundamentalist clerics, authoritarian generals, or weak democrats whose plebiscites will ensure rule by popular fanatics. No Pakistani leader of any stripe ever quite takes responsibility of the government for the mayhem committed by its own citizens or foreigners on its soil.

Instead, there always seems an implied threat that it would be unwise to push too far a volatile Pakistan that possesses nuclear weapons, or whose fanaticism makes it immune from classical laws of nuclear deterrence, or whose poverty and mismanagement ensure that it simply cannot be expected to meet international norms of behavior.

Fourth, the problem of Pakistan and the Islamist terrorism that so frequently emanates from its soil will now be President-Elect Obama’s to deal with. He will have to decide whether George W. Bush’s anti-terrorism architecture shredded the Constitution and should be repealed, or helped to keep us safe from attack for seven years, and thus should be maintained, if not strengthened.

Obama once advocated open intrusions into Pakistan in hot pursuit of terrorists, and will have to adjudicate whether such actions will more likely enrage nuclear Pakistan or finally eliminate the followers of Osama bin Laden. At the same time, Obama also must ponder whether he should continue our subsidized “alliance” with Pakistan.

Just as I didn’t envy George W. Bush’s lose/lose dilemma in dealing with Pakistan and global Islamic terrorism, so too I can only sympathize with President-Elect Obama, who faces the same dismal choices. National Review

Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal and the 2008 Bradley Prize.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 5:34 PM  
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