Dec 18, 2007

To Victory 

Yeah, so I'm a slacker. 18 days deep into December and this is only my second post of the month. Between work, visiting family and friends arriving and departing (of which there are still more to come) and spending most every waking moment at home with Little D (who is quickly becoming not little) I've been swamped. Oh, and happy belated blogiversary to me. It's been four years... holy crap... really? Four? Did you count twice? Check it again. Yeah... yeah... it's still coming up 4. Well, we can't turn back NOW... Press? Okay, we'll press...

Anyway, time is still in short supply for me, but I figured I'd drop in to say hello and to pass on this. Victor Davis Hanson is nothing short of genius and this article sheds the most revealing light yet on why the current fight in Iraq is not going poorly - the American people just expect too damn much.
An affluent, leisured society has adopted a therapeutic and managerial rather than tragic view of human experience—as if war should be controllable through proper counseling or a sound business plan. We take for granted our ability to talk on cell phones to someone in Cameroon or select from 500 cable channels; so too we expect Saddam instantly gone, Jeffersonian democracy up and running reliably, and the Iraqi economy growing like Dubai's in a few seasons. If not, then someone must be blamed for ignorance, malfeasance, or inhumanity.
As a huge military history buff, I knew of almost every example metioned (and there are many), but I'm sure that most other Americans don't. This piece is a hip-pocket lesson that probably ought to be required reading in every high school and college level American history course. But in a culture ever more focused on high comfort with low effort, I don't think that's going to happen... fifteen minutes of straining your eyes to read is no longer worth the knowledge that you'll retain for an entire lifetime. And therein lies the problem.

h/t Subsunk

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