When an Edward Gibbon arises in some future day to probe the decline and fall of the American Republic (God forbid), I predict that he will find that a small and spoiled elite convinced us that we could not and should not use military force to defend our civilization.
The Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Heninger has a chilling piece on how this is working today. It is about how the media functioned to create an Iraq Sundrome:
“The Vietnam Syndrome, a loss of confidence in the efficacy of American military engagement, was mainly a failure of U.S. elites. But it’s different this time. This presidency has been steadfast in war. No matter. In a piece this week on the White House’s efforts to rally the nation to the idea of defeating terrorism abroad to thwart another attack on the U.S., the AP’s Nedra Pickler wrote: ‘But that hasn’t kept the violence and unrest out of the headlines every day.’ This time the despondency looks to be penetrating the general population. And the issue isn’t just body counts; it’s more than that.
“The missions in Iraq and Afghanistan grew from the moral outrage of September 11. U.S. troops, the best this country has yet produced, went overseas to defend us against repeating that day. Now it isn’t just that the war on terror has proven hard; the men and women fighting for us, the magnificent 99%, are being soiled in a repetitive, public way that is unbearable.
“The greatest danger at this moment is that the American public will decide it wants to pull back because it has concluded that when the U.S. goes in, it always gets hung out to dry.”