Donnerstag, September 07, 2006

The real war...

This editorial in the WSJ from Newt Gingrich makes it clear what it will take to win this war.

According to Newt Gingrich, who wrote the article, there are three views to this war: that it is too hard; that it is wrong; and that we need to fight it right. Fighting it right, though, means making lots of pundits unhappy and encorages the anklebiters. But that's what Lincoln did, and that's what Roosevelt did. And they did it right.

Fighting it right is the only one that works: the Jacksonian thread of the US must once again come forward and settle the damn thing for once and for all.

The Hamiltonian and Wilsonian threads have had their say.

And to understand what *that* all means, read this by Walter Mead.

And this sums it up pretty well too, in the words of Mead describing what the Jacksonian tradition of US foreign policy means:

"Don't bother with people abroad, unless they bother you. But if they attack you, then do everything you can. . . . When somebody attacks the hive, you come swarming out of the hive and you sting them to death. And Jacksonians, when it comes to war, don't believe in limited wars. They don't believe, particularly, in the laws of war. War is about fighting, killing, and winning with as few casualties as possible on your side. But you don't worry about casualties on the other side. That's their problem. They shouldn't have started the war if they didn't want casualties."

To steal a phrase from Instapundit, indeed. If they start the war, it's their problem how many die.

The anti-war people are Jeffersonians and they emerge when the Hamiltonians get the US into trouble by actually getting involved with countries overseas, and the tension between the Jeffersonians and Hamiltonians leads to some awfully muddle-headed decisions that the Jacksonians resolve. The Wilsonians are those who think there really is something like international law and all we need to do to solve the world's problems is to negotiate them away. These folks really set up the long-term frameworks which function only briefly and then make things much, much worse until the Jacksonians solve them.

Sure, it's a bit simplistic, but it gives a huge amount of insight into how the US deals with foreign policy problems...

...and more importantly, it underscores that none of this is really new or unique to American history. In many ways it's the same damn thing time and time again.

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