Tuesday, May 02, 2006

White Guilt and the Western Past

An absolutely brilliant and thought provoking essay in The Opinion Journal today.

There is something rather odd in the way America has come to fight its wars since World War II.

For one thing, it is now unimaginable that we would use anything approaching the full measure of our military power (the nuclear option aside) in the wars we fight. And this seems only reasonable given the relative weakness of our Third World enemies in Vietnam and in the Middle East. But the fact is that we lost in Vietnam, and today, despite our vast power, we are only slogging along--if admirably--in Iraq against a hit-and-run insurgency that cannot stop us even as we seem unable to stop it. Yet no one--including, very likely, the insurgents themselves--believes that America lacks the raw power to defeat this insurgency if it wants to. So clearly it is America that determines the scale of this war. It is America, in fact, that fights so as to make a little room for an insurgency.

Certainly since Vietnam, America has increasingly practiced a policy of minimalism and restraint in war. And now this unacknowledged policy, which always makes a space for the enemy, has us in another long and rather passionless war against a weak enemy.

Read the whole thing and absorb it before reaching a conclusion. It is a viewpoint that needed to be articulated and could not have been done better.

Monday, May 01, 2006

There are, IMO, several different classifications of "Immigrants"

1. What I consider true immigrants are those who come to this country and resolve to be a part of this country, become citizens, and are willing and anxious to assimilate into our country and society. They strive to learn the language and will be proud to be called Americans. These include the people who jumped through all the hoops legally and also include many who came here illegally. These people are the type that made America what it became after 1776.

2. My second category is the ones who come here illegally, have no thought of trying to assimilate or contributing to the betterment of the country and have no intention of becoming citizens. They are here to take as much as they can, get all the benefits tax free, strain our health care and school systems to the breaking point and yet have no love for this country. They remain faithful to their own heritage (which I have no problem with) and to the flag and country from where they came from, even though it was unable to provide anything for them. They come as "guest workers" whether wanted, needed, legal or not.

3. The third type I identify are the Colonists. This group, both legal and illegal, and even some citizens who believe in Aztlan and the Reconquista. Their motto is "It was ours once and it will be again, Gringo's out" This idea is resonating with many of the young second and third generations of Latino immigrants, both legal and illegal. It could be seen in the big demonstrations a couple of weeks ago with the signs and the flags. Since then they have become a little more media savvy. The Europeans initially came here as colonists too and overwhelmed the culture and the people who were here. That does not mean that we should lay down and let others do it to us. We built this dream that they want, from a wilderness into what is the best nation in the world. What have they done with their countries that makes their citizens want to come here?

What should we do about the illegal immigrant problem? For a start, and it should be the first thing, is to secure our borders as a top priority. Whether it is with a physical barrier or fence, a combination of a fence and a virtual fence made up of detection devices. Regardless for the fence question, what is needed on our border is more boots on the ground.

Another part of this first step should be holding the Government of Mexico's feet to the fire and demanding that they help curtail the emigration from their country instead of supporting it. This will not happen with President Bush or any other polititan who will replace him that I can see, and the feckless Legislature of both sides of the aisle. All we can expect is more lip service and rhetoric. It will need to be a grassroots up movement to hold our own Government responsible. When and only when we secure our borders will it be possible to address the millions who are here. The flood has already increased on our southern border with all the talk of amnesty. If we continue to put the amnesty cart ahead of the border horse, it can only get worse.