I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that speaks volumes in just three lines. The problem is that one word turns the whole bumper sticker into a pile of peacenik propaganda and not something I could support. Here’s a quick HTML rendition of the bumper sticker:

HONOR THE DEAD
HEAL THE WOUNDED
END THE WAR

I certainly believe in honoring our dead, particularly our military dead. As our national anthem says, they stood “Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.” And we are forever in their debt for their ultimate sacrifice. I certainly cannot argue with the call to honor our dead.

And I certainly believe in healing our wounded. Since our military men and women have placed themselves in harm’s way for us, we as a nation have the responsibility to heal them when they are wounded. Shoddy care for our wounded is a stain on our nation’s honor, and it is a stain on our government’s honor, both on the elected representatives and the faceless bureaucrats who manage our military’s care centers. And it is not acceptable. If I were President, I would submit a budget to Congress that placed a higher priority on taking care of the health of our military.

But it is the last sentence that twists the previous valid statements into craptastic peacenik propaganda. Notice that it says “END the war,” not “WIN the war.” It’s a trivial task to end any war if you’re willing to run away from the fight. If we were to run away from Iraq, *poof* the war would be over, and these useful idiots could link their arms and sing “Kumbaya” in onanistic joy.

Morons.

Contrary to what the bumpersticker crowd would have you believe, merely ending the war will not result in lasting peace. Only winning a war results in peace. I explained how this works a year ago:

Peace comes through winning the war and making the loser beg to sit at the negotiation table. Peace does not come from going to the negotiation table and signing some documents, unless the war has already been fought and won. Don’t believe me? In an attempt to appease the Germans, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain sat down at the negotiation table with Hitler, but there was no peace. Germany annexed the Sudetenland that same year, invaded Poland the next, and invaded the rest of Europe by 1940. That was no peace. But after Japan signed the terms of surrender on the USS Missouri, there was peace between the U.S. and Japan for more than 60 years.

I’ll take real and lasting peace through victory any time.

I want peace. Peace is preferable to war, but as long as there are zealous Islamic nutjobs willing to kill men, women, and children to further their goals of a world-wide Islamic state, we will not have peace. We may have brief lulls between fighting, but we will not have peace.

While I don’t put bumper stickers on my car, and I doubt I ever will, the following is a bumper sticker that I could agree with 100%:

HONOR THE DEAD
HEAL THE WOUNDED
WIN THE WAR

Did you hear the big news about peace in the Middle East? I’m not all that surprised if you didn’t, but it is news, nonetheless. In a meeting in Saudi Arabia, Arab leaders talked about how they were so ready to have peace with Israel. Yay! Peace in our time! They said that the Arab nations would establish normal diplomatic ties with Israel just as soon as Israel stopped being such a bully to its neighbors. Speaking of neighbors, let’s look at the map to the right showing the Arab nations in green and that tiny sliver of Israeli blue. With that map in mind, here is what Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said at the recent meeting about the necessary steps to peace with Israel:

“Once Israel returns occupied land and comes to an agreement with the Palestinians, returns occupied land to Syria and comes to an agreement with them, and it resolves its land issues with Lebanon, Arab states will immediately establish relations.”

Faisal is saying that the Israelis need to give up the lands they paid for in blood when their oh-so-peaceful Arab neighbors attacked them, not once, but four times. And notice that it is Israel’s responsibility to kiss and make up with the Palestinians, Syria, and Lebanon before the Arab states in green will even recognize that there is a nation-state called Israel. Until then, we will see more maps with no Israel. Captain Ed of Captain’s Quarters has a reminder of what this land-for-peace idea has produced in the not-so-distant past:

The Saudis want Israel to commit to the concept of land for peace. Yet when Israel withdrew from Gaza, pulling out their settlements along with the IDF, did peace erupt all over? Most decidedly, no. The Palestinians used Gaza as a launch pad for their rockets, dropping them indiscriminately into Israeli towns, with only Palestinian incompetence keeping more civilians from dying. When that stopped amusing them, Hamas crossed into Israel to abduct Gilad Shalit, whom they still hold for ransom. Under those circumstances, why would Israel accept land for peace when they know they will not get it?

But even if Israel were to pretend that giving up its land would yield positive results this time around, the “peace offer” outlined by Faisal would still require Israel to apologize for its existence to people who indiscriminately launch rockets into its civilian population. And these people have made it clear that they don’t want to make nice with Israel; they just want Israel to vanish away. It reminds me of the famous scene in Goldfinger, with James Bond strapped to a table and a deadly laser moving closer to him. Bond asks the villain, “Do you expect me to talk?” The response is, “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!” That, in essence, is what the Arab world has been saying to Israel for sixty years now.

Land for peace is the talk of the Arab conference, as stated by an anonymous former Saudi official: “What we’re saying is, accept the principle of land for peace, that it’s the basis for future negotiations, then we can work out the details.” But the cesspool Gaza has become demonstrates clearly that swapping land for peace should be as anathema to Israel as swapping freedom for security is to Americans. But based on what Faisal said at the Arab conference, land for peace seems to be the Arabs’ one-trick pony. “We cannot change the plan because it offers peace, and changing it would mean we’re no longer offering peace.” Yeah, it’s great discussing issues with someone who is so willing to compromise.

But why should the Arab nations want to compromise when Prime Minister Olmert is willing to compromise for them? Cox and Forkum did a good job of showing Prime Minister Olmert’s attitude toward any peaceful gesture by Israel’s Arab neighbors.

Whisper Peace

I just think it’s hard to discuss peace with any group whose flag shows exactly how they plan to achieve peace.

While some people recognize that we are at war with radical Islam, too many liberals would rather attack President Bush and his supporters than seriously acknowledge that we are at war. And as wars go, this has been a remarkably bloodless one.

“How can you say that, Captain?” Easy. Consider that, since we were hit in 2001, we have lost very few civilians and military personnel. Yes, every loss is a tragedy, but when you consider that the U.S. suffered 6,821 fatalities while fighting to capture the eight square miles of Iwo Jima alone, the losses we have suffered from 9/11 and liberating Afghanistan and Iraq hardly measure up to that level of bloodshed.

This is almost like the Phony War period between Germany’s invasion of Poland in September 1939 and its subsequent invasion of the Benelux countries in May 1940. War had been declared in 1939, but Great Britain didn’t enter into the fight until the summer of 1940 when the Battle of Britain was fought.

I believe we are currently in a lull of the battle against radical Islam, much as Britain found itself during the Phony War. We have been largely successful in keeping the fighting out of our nation since 2001, but at some point the murderous nutjobs will succeed in bringing the fight back to our shores. When–not if–this happens, I see the nation going in one of three directions:

– We give up. While I personally have no intention of bowing to Mecca, it is possible that a sufficiently vicious attack could break the will of the nation at large, and collectively we might give up and give in. People who call for “peace at any cost” are particularly susceptible to this possible outcome.

– The nation continues with a ho-hum reaction. People who refuse to accept the reality that we are at war are solidly in this camp. And unless the attack hits close to home, they may remain in this state of complacency. Is “Lost” on yet?

– The nation really goes to war. The scenes of death and destruction on our soil stiffen the collective spine and resolve of the nation, and we determine to fight. Not in the wimpy, half-hearted manner we are doing it now–the whole-hog, can-do resolve of our citizens seen during World War II could once again ripple through the people when we realize we must and will crush this viper’s head of hate.

When that attack comes, I sincerely hope the nation chooses to stand up and fight. Because when we achieve complete victory over those who hate us and want us destroyed, only then will there be peace.

My mom once illustrated the futility of relying on mere words to raise kids. A woman once visited the house with her little kid in tow. Being a 2- or 3-year-old tyke, he was all over the place and into everything. The mother, when she responded to his actions, would tell the little hellion to stop what he was doing with a very gentle “No, no, no.” The tiny terror had long since developed mommy deafness and kept on doing whatever he wanted. Since what he wanted was to tear the leaves off my mom’s plant, the mere use of words to stop him would have resulted in naked stems. Mom finally intervened by physically removing the tot from the wounded plant.

Words were obviously of no use when dealing with a kid with such an advanced case of mommy deafness. Only through physical intervention was disaster averted. He was a spoiled brat, and it was way past time that he be spanked. Nations can act like spoiled brats, too. Iraq was gassing its people and neighbors, sponsoring terrorism, and invading other nations. The “adults” of the world in the U. N. Security Council spent years saying “No, no, no” to Iraq, but the words of their resolutions had no more effect on that brat of a nation than did the milksop mutterings of that mild mother. It took physical intervention to stop the Iraqi brat.

Do you think the need for action and not talk would have taught the nations of the U. N. Security Council a lesson? Ha, fat chance! The Security Council has shown that it is just as willing to rely on meaningless and ineffectual mutterings of “No, no, no” to the brats who are hell-bent to rip the leaves off plants as it ever has been. Iran is rushing towards developing nuclear weapons, and the U. N. talks and threatens to talk some more.

And talk is all we will get out of the U. N. Security Council as long as Russia and China are more willing to take Iranian money than they are willing to create peace. With their veto on any meaningful action, the U. N. is limited to the political equivalent of shaking a finger and saying, “Now, Junior, we don’t want to mess up the nice lady’s plant, do we? You’d better stop now. Don’t make me say ‘No, no, no” at you again.”

Dean Barnett of SoxBlog recently posted on Hugh Hewitt’s site about the disease of radical Islam and its effect on the world:

If you have a serious disease, you eventually wind up going one of two routes: One is that you confront your problems, deal with them in a hard-headed way and make peace with the hand you’ve been dealt. I call this dealing with your New Normal; the old normal was better, but the New Normal becomes your reality. It may be less than optimal, it may be downright dreadful, but it’s your new reality and you find a way to deal with it.

The other choice is to deny the situation. There are tons of ways to rationalize such a decision without using the pejorative term “denial.” You can defiantly say that you won’t let your condition rule your life. If you do, people will applaud your toughness. These are often the same people who always tell you how healthy you look, even when you look and feel like death warmed over.

So you live your life without accepting or dealing with your New Normal. And you reap terrible consequences.

For discussion’s sake, let’s say you have diabetes. You can either accept that you have the disease, change your eating habits and lifestyle, and live, or you can do nothing other than denying you have it. The result of the latter decision is to watch diabetes slowly shut down your body.

If you have a life-threatening disease, you can either accept that you have it and deal with it, or you can stick your fingers in your ears, sing a rousing chorus of “La-la-la, I’m not listening,” and let the disease take its course.

And now Dean Barnett makes the leap from the personal to the political:

AS FREE SOCIETIES, the Western democracies have a choice of whether or not face up to the existential challenge they face from Radical Islam. The lure of seeking an easy way out is almost irresistible. The siren song of sitting down and reasoning with the Hezbollahs and Ahmadenijads of the world is powerful. If we could just do something to convince ourselves that all is well and that there’s nothing to fear, life sure would be easier.

Just as is the case with an illness, there are a lot of people willing to tell us that our fears are overblown. If you want to believe that George W. Bush and the Patriot Act are the greatest threats to our way of life, you won’t have much trouble finding a professor on a nearby college campus to buttress your theory. If you want to think that there was nothing really going on in London to warrant any concern and all the news this morning is just Karl Rove’s response to Joe Lieberman’s defeat, you’ll easily locate a prominent blogger to offer his concurrence.

But it’s past time we face the facts and realize that this is our New Normal. It’s worse than the old normal, the one that we had before 9/11 when we felt completely safe even though we weren’t.

It’s time we stop having a sphere of things that are “unimaginable.” Let’s imagine airliners exploding over our cities. Let’s imagine a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv. Let’s imagine a mushroom cloud over New York.

Let’s imagine how such things might happen. And then let’s resolve to stop them.

So what will our decision be as a nation? Will we recognize the life-threatening international disease of terrorism and do whatever we can to eradicate it, or are we going to serenade the world with our fingers-in-ears singing? We are at war with people who want us dead, and we have three options before us: give up, negotiate, or defeat them. I won’t give in to the radical Islamists’ totalitarian view of religion, nor will I negotiate with anyone whose stated goal is to see me dead. The remaining option is to recognize that life has changed for us here in the States, accept the New Normal, and do all that we can to eradicate the disease attacking us.

I say we defeat them. What is your choice?

There are vocal people standing up for Hezbollah and against Israel, and there are people who are calling for peace.

The simple symbols printed on their T-shirts and signs summed up the reason for their protest.

They want peace.

A group of about 40 people, wearing and holding peace symbols, gathered Thursday at the corner of Sanborn Street and Pine Grove Avenue in Port Huron.

They “demand peace” by calling for an end to the Iraq war and fighting in the Middle East.

But the reality is that they are not demanding that peace break out, they are demanding that the fighting stop immediately. Unfortunately, that is not the same as peace. Thomas Sowell explains this well in his townhall.com post today:

One of the many failings of our educational system is that it sends out into the world people who cannot tell rhetoric from reality. They have learned no systematic way to analyze ideas, derive their implications and test those implications against hard facts.

“Peace” movements are among those who take advantage of this widespread inability to see beyond rhetoric to realities. Few people even seem interested in the actual track record of so-called “peace” movements — that is, whether such movements actually produce peace or war….

Was World War II ended by cease-fires or by annihilating much of Germany and Japan? Make no mistake about it, innocent civilians died in the process. Indeed, American prisoners of war died when we bombed Germany.

There is a reason why General Sherman said “war is hell” more than a century ago. But he helped end the Civil War with his devastating march through Georgia — not by cease fires or bowing to “world opinion” and there were no corrupt busybodies like the United Nations to demand replacing military force with diplomacy.

There was a time when it would have been suicidal to threaten, much less attack, a nation with much stronger military power because one of the dangers to the attacker would be the prospect of being annihilated.

“World opinion,” the U.N. and “peace movements” have eliminated that deterrent. An aggressor today knows that if his aggression fails, he will still be protected from the full retaliatory power and fury of those he attacked because there will be hand-wringers demanding a cease fire, negotiations and concessions.

I would label the protesters in Port Huron who are demanding peace as “hand-wringers demanding a ceasefire.” They don’t like the war, so in the name of peace, they demand that we leave Iraq right away. And what would be the result if we did that? Would it be peace? The last time we pulled out of a major engagement due to public pressure, the result was millions of murdered people in Vietnam and Laos. There was a form of peace there after we left — the peace of the dead.

Peace comes through winning the war and making the loser beg to sit at the negotiation table. Peace does not come from going to the negotiation table and signing some documents, unless the war has already been fought and won. Don’t believe me? In an attempt to appease the Germans, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain sat down at the negotiation table with Hitler, but there was no peace. Germany annexed the Sudetenland that same year, invaded Poland the next, and invaded the rest of Europe by 1940. That was no peace. But after Japan signed the terms of surrender on the USS Missouri, there was peace between the U.S. and Japan for more than 60 years.

I’ll take real and lasting peace through victory any time.

In an off-the-cuff comment, I heard someone say that President Bush should be “nicer to his neighbors” this upcoming year. I guess it all depends on what you mean by “nice.” If liberating over 25 million people from the control of an evil dictator is being “nice,” then President Bush has been a resounding success. And I would be all for him being “nicer to his neighbors” in 2004. But I do not think this is what was meant by this comment.

“There has been no proof that Iraq was ever involved with the September 11th attacks!”
I hear this comment often, but what do people mean by “no proof”? The UK’s Telegraph published this story about how Mohammed Atta, the mastermind behind al-Qaeda’s attacks on September 11th, was trained in Iraq by Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal. I’m sure you heard all about this on the nightly news. What? You mean to say that Jennings, Brokaw and Rather did not broadcast this information? For shame! Allow me to fill you in.

A handwritten memo was discovered in Iraq showing that Mohammed Atta was deeply involved with Iraq in carrying off the September 11th attacks. In the memo, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, stated that Mohammed Atta “displayed extraordinary effort.” Any guesses as to what this effort was going towards? This Iraq visit took place in the summer of 2001, and Atta showed that he had the leadership skills needed to be “responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy.” A few weeks later, Mohammed Atta’s leadership succeeded in striking three targets that tragic autumn day. “We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam’s involvement with al-Qaeda,” Dr. Ayad Allawi, a member of Iraq’s ruling seven-man Presidential Committee, said. “But this is the most compelling piece of evidence that we have found so far. It shows that not only did Saddam have contacts with al-Qaeda, he had contact with those responsible for the September 11 attacks.”

Does this information make you any happier that President Bush invaded Iraq and shut down these training camps? The terrorist training camp of Salman Pak has been shut down, thanks to this war. It is a shame that Democrats hate the President so much that they are willing to ignore the proof of Iraqi involvement in terrorism.

“Bush said Iraq was an imminent threat.”
On September 18, 2003, liberal Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy said of Iraq, “There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership, that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud.” This is not a new position from Kennedy. Earlier in January he claimed that President Bush “did not make a persuasive case that the threat is imminent and that war is the only alternative.” There is a problem with these statements by Kennedy (and many others) about Iraq not being an imminent threat — President Bush never claimed that Iraq was an imminent threat. In January, only minutes before Kennedy’s silly statement, President Bush stated: “Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.”

Do you wait for the tiny lump in your breast to grow into an imminent threat to your life? Or do you have the doctor X-ray and remove it quickly? In this day of small but very deadly weapons, we cannot afford to wait until just before terrorists and evil dictators take the initiative to attack us. Giving terrorists this time is the same as giving that lump in your breast time to just go away on its own.

“Bush said the war in Iraq was over!”
I heard this comment from the same person who started off this article. I quickly pointed out that President Bush never said that the war in Iraq was over. His exact words were, “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” This does not translate precisely into “the war is over,” but it does not stop people from thinking and saying so. It is not uncommon to hear someone pontificate on the nightly news about how many people have died since “war ended” in Iraq. ABC News is guilty of this in a report by Dean Reynolds. Reynolds quotes the line above delivered by President Bush, and then completely misses the point by following up with, “That was May 1. But as any GI in Iraq can attest, the fighting goes on.” Earth to Reynolds! The key word in President Bush’s statement was “major.” In his article, Reynolds further illustrates that the American people think that the war in Iraq is over. Why would Americans think this, Dean? Could it be the poor reporting work by ABC News?

The echoes of “peace on earth, good will to men” still ring in my ears from the Christmas season. This is a noble goal, but we do not have peace today. The war on terrorism is far from over, and Iraq is just one stop of many on the road to lasting peace. America was content to ignore al-Qaeda and other terrorists before September 11th, regardless of how much they threatened us. But once they brought their fight to our soil, we could ignore them no longer. These terrorists will not wake up one day saying, “Gee, I guess America really isn’t that bad after all.” Since they will not stop, our war against them will continue. As we close out 2003, two years after al-Qaeda terrorists declared war on America in actions we could no longer ignore, I think we need to read again President Bush’s statement about the nature of this conflict: “We will be patient, we will be focused, and we will be steadfast in our determination. This battle will take time and resolve. But make no mistake about it: we will win.”