Foreign and Domestic

I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic… (From the Oath of Enlistment)

It honestly kind of slipped my mind at first, that Monday morning was the anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attack on the United States. It’s been 22 years since that horrible day. I had other stuff – purely personal concerns on my mind.

For one, every single thing that I had to say about 9-11, I said, wrote and posted ages ago … and why re-run, one more time? There’s just nothing more to say, any more than there would be anything more to say about the shock of the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 – one more tedious rerun of a recollection of where I was, what I was doing. It’s been a lifetime, in a way – and for high-school and college graduates this year, it’s been all their lifetimes.

The other thing – a more recent tragic anniversary which looms closer in time is the disastrous and humiliating withdrawal from Kabul, Afghanistan, and the Abbey Gate suicide bombing there which killed more than a hundred civilians and thirteen American service personnel. Those deaths meant so little to President Biden that he kept looking at his watch during the ceremony at Andrews AFB when their coffins were unloaded. Those thirteen were the merely last American military lives frittered away in almost two decades of seemingly endless and pointless deployments to Afghanistan, culminated in a departure so botched that I’m still shocked that only a single commissioned officer resigned in protest. Sec Def Austin and General “Thoroughly Modern” Milley apparently feel no shame over bungling their responsibility to the Nation so horribly.

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The Tottering Colossus

We beat feet from cable for our nightly television viewing about ten years ago – my, how the time flies when you are having fun. We went to various subscription services at a quarter the cost of the monthly cable bill. This came about when we realized that there were only a couple of channels or services provided by cable that we watched regularly; this last weekend, we racked our memories, trying to recall the last American broadcast TV program that we looked forward to and made a point of watching. (Castle, BTW, mostly because of Nathan Fillion … which had its last season in 2016.) We have lavished our screen-watching time ever since then on old, or foreign movies and series, of which there is a rich and entertaining selection – everything from Blackadder, to the original Upstairs, Downstairs (Great Britain), to things like A Place to Call Home, 800 Words and Brokenwood Mysteries (Australia/New Zealand). Currently, the evening watching for us is The Durrells (BBC, and only minimal traces of wokery), while Wee Jamie seems to be fascinated by Alien TV (Australian), Grimmy and the Lemings (Canadian/French) and Masha and the Bear (Russian.)

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Worse and Worse

The trickle of news regarding the Maui wildfires which incinerated an entire town and likely over a thousand of its residents just gets worse and even more distressing with every tidbit reluctantly disgorged by the local authorities. 1,100 are still listed as missing. After a week, it is most likely that they are dead. Many of the missing are presumed to be children, as local schools were closed because of high winds and power outages – and children at home alone because their parents were at work. Others might be senior citizens trapped in a local retirement home, unable to move without assistance, and visiting tourists unfamiliar with the area, whom no one has thought to report missing as yet. That so many are still unaccounted for – especially the children — that is an aspect that is difficult to contemplate. No wonder that local authorities are reluctant to admit the degree of carnage.

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Disturbing

Victor Davis Hanson remembers Leo Amery:

A lonely Winston Churchill had only a few courageous partners to oppose the appeasement and incompetence of his conservative colleague Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.  One of the most stalwart truth-tellers was a now little remembered politico and public servant Leo Amery, a polymath and conservative member of Parliament.  Yet in two iconic moments of outrage against the Chamberlain government’s temporizing, Amery galvanized Britain and helped end the government’s disastrous policies.

When Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, there was real doubt whether Chamberlain would honor its treaty and declare war on Germany. General Edward Spears, then a member of Parliament, described the scene in the House of Commons. Arthur Greenwood was a member of the Labour Party, Leo Amery was a Conservative.

Arthur Greenwood got up, tall, lanky, his dank, fair hair hanging to either side of his forehead. He swayed a little as he clutched at the box in front of him and gazed through his glasses at Chamberlain sitting opposite him, bolt-upright as usual. There was a moment’s silence, then something very astonishing happened.

Leo Amery, sitting in the corner seat of the third bench below the gangway on the government side, voiced in three words his own pent-up anguish and fury, as well as the repudiation by the whole House of a policy of surrender. Standing up he shouted across to Greenwood: “Speak for England!” It was clear that this great patriot sought at this crucial moment to proclaim that no loyalty had any meaning if it was in conflict with the country’s honour. What in effect he said was: “The Prime Minister has not spoken for Britain, then let the socialists do so. Let the lead go to anyone who will.” That shout was a cry of defiance. It meant that the house and the country would neither surrender nor accept a leader who might be prepared to trifle with the nation’s pledged word.

Greenwood then made a speech which I noted that night as certain to be the greatest of his life; a speech that would illuminate a career and justify a whole existence. It was remarkable neither for eloquence nor for dramatic effect, but the drama was there, we were all living it, we and millions more whose fate depended on the decisions taken in that small Chamber.

Hanson also cites a later speech by Amery, following the loss of the Norway campaign to Germany.  Amery responded with a blistering attack on the incompetence of the conservative Chamberlain administration by quoting Oliver Cromwell’s hallmark 1653 order to the Long Parliament:

“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.”

And go they did, very shortly thereafter, to be replaced by Churchill.

Hanson:

We need a voice like Amery’s. Like Britain from 1939 to 1940, America is in existential danger.

The Biden administration has utterly destroyed the southern border—and immigration law with it.

Biden green lighted 7 million illegal aliens swarming into the U.S. without legal sanction or rudimentary audit.

China spies inside and over the U.S. with impunity. Beijing has never admitted to its responsibility for the gain-of-function Covid virus that killed a million Americans.

President Biden printed $4 trillion at exactly the wrong time of soaring post-COVID consumer demand and supply shortages. No wonder he birthed the worst inflation in 40 years.

In response, interest rates tripled, gas prices doubled.

Our military is thousands of recruits short. It lacks sufficient munitions.

There’s much more–read the whole thing.

Most of what Hanson says is true, and needs to be communicated very clearly to the American people.  The question of how this is best done, and how many people are really persuadable, is a difficult one.  But that’s not primarily what I want to discuss in this post.

The Hanson post also appears at Zero Hedge.  Take a look at the comments–but only if you have a strong stomach–and think about what the opinions expressed there suggest about our current political situation in America.

Discuss.

To the Knife

Not exactly sure of where I read this distillation of Walter Russell Meade’s definition of the Jacksonian attitude to conflict – possibly at Ace of Spates HQ, or maybe Bayou Renaissance Man, but the phrase stuck with me as soon as I read it. Basically, the average middle-to-working class Jacksonian American who just wants seriously to be left alone has only two settings when it comes to threatened conflict: “Can’t we just work out a way to settle this?” and “War to the knife and no quarter.”

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