Thursday, May 11, 2006

Run For The Wall

It was unfortunate that in losing their prior weaknesses, they had developed the veneer of fanaticism that often shields the revolutionary from the full spectrum of human reaction and interaction, leaving him merely an automated shell with only revolutionary responses functioning. Lt. Rowe "Five Years to Freedom"

We had another severe storm the other night. More hail and a stupendous display of lightening. I ran around and disconnected everything that might have blown out. About two thirty in the morning I woke to a loud and continuous roaring sound. I thought it was a tornado but all I got was penny sized hail for a half minute and then rain and wind and the aforementioned lightening. Our Spring rains came late this year. I was beginning to think they would not come at all. It seems that they are more severe in being later than usual. The crops hereabouts have been shredded twice by hail.

Saturday the internet connection was down all day and I had to make it through the day without the internet. I think my ISP has no power surge protection because every time there is a severe thunderstorm with the attendant lightening they seem to go down. Finally about eleven P.M. the service was restored but by then I was ready to forget the whole thing.

I have been getting ready to go on a long motorcycle trip. The first stop will be El Paso, about 600 miles from here, and one night and a day later Los Angeles. There I will meet up with about 300 veterans and we will set out on a mission that will take us to the nation's capital where we will conduct a "Rolling Thunder" parade culminating in an event at the Vietnam Memorial commemorating the memory of 58,000 patriots and defenders of freedom who shed their blood and lost their lives in that war against tyranny, communism, as it was then called.

There are any number of thoughts as to what the meaning of Vietnam was for my country. To me it is very simple and has remained the same since the founding. Will you stand up for liberty and make the appropriate sacrifices to achieve victory over an implacable enemy, or will you give in to the worst instincts of humankind and abandon your soul to the evil devices of the enemy? Will you sacrifice your individual human rights and self determination to the group identity? In Vietnam as in previous conflicts this took the form of a fascist statism driven politic where the individual's rights are always sublimated to the needs of the state. In our current conflict with Islamofascism a loss would mean freedom would be crushed by a c. 500 B.C. world view of religious fanatics whose stated aim is nothing less than hegemony on a worldwide scale.

It is a strange hand that history has dealt us. We are constantly confronted with seemingly insurmountable obstacles to the realization of human potential. The choices are increasingly complicated and demand more at each turn. If we weren't so exquisitely tuned to the highly tuned diplomatic niceties of Western civilization it would be so easy to dispatch the enemy. Sometimes, somewhere, we are going to find it necessary to call up the brutish qualities sublimated in ourselves and take care of the problem in such a way that the primitives we struggle against can understand.

Many of us heap criticism on the current administration for not being aggressive enough in the prosecution of the war effort. I am one of those who firmly believes that the situation warrants a national resolve that simply does not exist at this juncture. Yet I note that the President acknowledges, in word at least, that we are in the middle of World War III. Well this is a step in the right direction, but a general call to arms needs to be trumpeted daily across the land. Our leaders have not asked us to make sacrifices in our personal lives in order to defeat this enemy. They, in fact, tell us to go on leading our lives as before. We are not reminded of the acts of war that have been perpetrated against our nation by this enemy. If you want to get an idea as to the scope of the events you have to make a personal commitment to dig out the details yourself. We are not instructed on the nature of our enemy in a historical context. The information is out there, but, again, you have to really want to find it.

Jeffrey Kuhner writing in Insight Magazine has an article that lists some of the terrorist events during the Clinton administration:

Even though Osama bin Laden had declared jihad on the United States; the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993; 19 American soldiers were murdered and dragged through the streets of Mogadishu; U.S. military personnel were killed in 1996 by terrorist attacks on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia; U.S. embassies in east Africa were savagely bombed in 1998; and the USS Cole was the victim of a suicide terrorist bombing by al Qaeda operatives that took the lives of 17 sailors. Mr. Clinton refused to treat these atrocities for what they were: acts of war.

Before that it was 1983 when, during the Reagan administration, in an Iranian sponsored attack, the Marine barracks was destroyed in a bomb attack in Beirut, Lebanon. There were 241 American servicemen lost in that attack. Before that, in the Carter administration, on November 4, 1979, Iranian "student" protestors seized the American Embassy in Tehran and held it for 444 days. Ayatollah Khomeini exhorted that the U.S. was the great Satan and urged "demonstrations" against ours and Israel's interests. When have you heard from our leadership that for almost three decades we have been under attack by the same enemy we now face in the so called global war on terrorism? A clarion call needs to issue daily from the national leadership and the touchstone should be these and similar events that clearly indicate the nature of the challenge we face.

As a nation we understood what was at stake in the struggle against Nazi tyranny. It was clear to us that the communist movement following WWII had to be defeated. Yes there were dissenters in these wars too but on the whole our people properly assessed the threats and marshaled the appropriate defenses to assure victory. Only in Vietnam do we see the erosion of America's will to win. I firmly believe that an indomitable spirit thrives in the core of our national will and that this will still burns in the hearts of our people. It begs to be roused by effective leadership. We are in a race against time. People are waking slowly, on there own, to the nature of the threat. If the enemy hits us again it might be that will suffice to rouse our people to demand victory in a loud enough voice that will be heard in Washington.

What is at stake is the destiny of mankind. If we lose in this struggle the human spirit will enter a new dark ages. What will come out of that will not be anything that you can imagine in terms of where evolution would take the world otherwise. Winston Churchill told the British people in WWII that he had nothing to offer but "blood, sweat, and tears". Under his leadership England proved again she was up to the task. Where is our Churchill?

Back to the motorcycle trip. This is not a party. In fact it promises to be a very difficult task both physically and emotionally. The reason I am participating in this is to help keep patriotism alive. The web site for the annual Run for the Wall event is . As I write this it is two days till I leave for Ontario, CA. Wednesday, May 17, at 0800 we leave Ontario for D.C.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

"Sickness unto Death"

I wrote this post in response to Vanderleun's essay at American Digest titled Clear History .

"So to be sick unto death is, not to be able to die--yet not as though there were hope of life; no, the hopelessness in this case is that even the last hope, death, is not available. When death is the greatest danger, one hopes for life; but when one becomes acquainted with an even more dreadful danger, one hopes for death. So when the danger is so great that death has become one's hope, despair is the disconsolateness of not being able to die." Kierkegaard

Vanderleun speaks of a yearning towards a utopia that never comes and the connection of this with a lack of foundation in history. I have a slightly different take (exegesis) on this that also involves history. Consider that the exodus is the mother of the myth of creation. The Jews were brought out of Egypt. The world was brought out of the void. Now, the unadulterated spirit is will and will is power. The urge to go beyond the self (yearning), the daemonic urge, or romanticism, is perversion of this power. Classicism to the extent that it elevates the intellect, or dwells on the distinction that can be made between the power of the mind, rationalism, and mere corporeality, sets up a tendency towards adulteration of the will. The next logical step from classicism is towards romanticism. The daemonic spirit appeared through the movement of Christianity. Romanticism is the daemonic spirit, the erotic in nature. Think of the sensuous genius Don Juan: "My need is too great for anyone to satisfy." His need, having been brought out of the void is based in a state of estrangement from himself which he can never overcome simply by trying through the satisfaction of the senses to turn around and fill the void.

This ubiquitous yearning speaks of the soul's failure to recognize it is essentially complete from its inception. Thus the continuous attempt of the soul to go beyond itself with the concomitant urge to see reality as greater than itself.

The prehuman force existential mass is the most concrete medium while romanticism, the post human force is given perfect expression by the most abstract medium, music, e.g., the music of Mozart.

This leaves us with a "Sickness unto Death".