The New York Times is hosting a moderated forum on the subject of a nation “at war.” The contributor who kicks off the series is not your usual talking head, better lost than found. It is the brilliant and readable Timothy Hsia, a U.S. Army active duty infantry captain. Check it out. Despite its terrible batting average when it comes to getting the important stories right in real time, the NYT is a great paper, quite possibly the greatest newspaper in the world. I don’t see how someone can claim to be on top of things intellectually without a degree of familiarity with the liberal journal of record.
I feel some kinship with Tim Hsia, since I was born not far from the base in Ft. Lewis, Washington where Tim serves, the base where my father was once an MP. The part of the United States I live in, furthermore, has a proud tradition of God and country. It follows that a relatively large number of rural Wisconsin’s sons and daughters are stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, or otherwise engaged in the craft of war.
Does anyone care? Does anyone notice? Now that the Administration that is directing military policy is, I’m told, on the side of the angels, there is little discussion of what it might mean to fight a war with realistic goals in mind, and with a minimum of respect for civilians and combatants on all sides.
“Genius at work. Do not disturb.” Color me unconvinced.
Pacifism remains the fashion among the best and brightest in the degree mills we call universities. Meanwhile, in farms and factories, disdain for talking heads continues to grow. The society we live in is full of ships passing each other in the pitch-black of night, hardly aware of each other’s existence. Why this should be considered an acceptable state of affairs is beyond comprehension.
Dan Martin picks up on this post here (and see our conversation below).