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Saturday, August 19, 2006

WW III: The Origins - 5

Commentary Magazine

WOW. I happened to stumble across this amazing paper that was nearly two years ago. I believe that Mr. Podhoretz accurately describes the beginnings of what he calls World War IV (as I indicated earlier, there is a widely circulated theory that the Cold War was in all actuality World War III).

The most interesting aspects of the article, in my opinion, involves his descriptions of ant-war, anti-establishment actions on college campuses. I believe that he describes the "silent majority," those who support our country, our way of life, and military actions, accurately.

In fact, in the days after 9/11, I was very much a part of that majority on the campus of Michigan State University. In fact, I almost walked out on a Latin American history course one day due to the fact that the professor had turned it into a one-sided discussion of the Iraq War (that was during the spring of 2003, when the war had just barely begun). I spoke up in support, stated that I didn't think we should be spending all of that particular class session discussing it in a Latin American history course. I was attacked from all sides - the professor and other students alike. However, leaving class (I didn't end up walking out), some students told me that they agreed with my point of view, etc. In essence, they were afraid to speak up. I wonder why!

That same semester, I got into a heated argument ("debate") with two guys as we walked across MSU's beautiful campus. Their argument was simply that I should be a Democrat, no questions asked, simply due to the fact that I'm a woman. Nevermind that I disagree with abortion (although I support a woman's right to choose), that I want to think for myself, or that I believe strongly in family (Democrats can deny it, but their party is moving decidedly in an anti-family direction). I don't think that I've ever been so insulted in my life. They truly insulted my intelligence that day. If you know me at all, you soon realize that that is something that I just don't let people get away with at all!

Well, I've gone off on a tangent.

Anyway, this article really makes you realize just how complicated the current world situation is.

Much more later.



At 7:52 PM, Blogger Patrick Armstrong said...

"It is good war is so terrible, else we become too fond of it."

-Gen. Robert E. Lee

I just find it really difficult to follow an author who argues that the Cold War was WWIII, and now we're into WWIV. That stresses to me an absolute misunderstanding of histroy on the author's part. I tried to read that, I really, really did.

The Cold War was the Cold War, just like WWI was the Great War, and wasn't WWI until WWII. The Cold War wasn't any fun, by any stretch of the imagination, but there are orders of magnitude between the absolute fire that consumed the world between 1914 and 1945 and the long, machiavellian diplomacy/spygame/proxywar dance that defined the 'conflict' between 1946 and 1989.

As a matter of fact, the best description I've heard of the War on Terror is that what we are dealing with now is the 'bastard child of the Cold War' - a worldwide insurgency rising from the questions left unresolved between us and the Soviet Union.

At 8:11 PM, Blogger Patrick Armstrong said...

As far as campus life (I didn't get that far in the article) the anti-warriors are always there. If you go to college in America, you're going to have to deal with hippies and frat boys to varying degrees.

I was anti-establishment for a long time (Rock n Roll ain't noise pollution), but anyone who watches the movie "PCU" knows that head-up-the-assism only affects those individuals who take themselves too seriously.

I'll say thanks for taking the debate into the college classroom. College kids need to be exposed to people outside their particular echo boxes.

I was lucky enough to grow up with folks who wouldn't take crap from liberal or conservative teachers and professors. Falling just to the left of center, I was called a pinko, communist, socialist, rebel, rabble-rouser, insurgent, hell-bound sinner, & Beavis by conservative teachers & professors & classmates.

(Though I do remember my most liberal professor almost caused a riot of controversey when discussing her distaste for sweet barbecue sauce - fightin' words in Georgia.)

But I've heard the most ridiculous things in college classrooms. I even saw one angry conservative break his nose and bleed everywhere when he left a classroom in a huff, and miss the door. (I'm not kidding - he came back after a cigarette to finish the argument, covered in blood). I saw a liberal almost loose his life after telling a woman who had decided to keep a pregnancy that she should terminate it. (He was informed quite loudly and publicly that the right-to-choose swings both ways, and woe be unto the man who disrespects a mother-to-be.)

So I was lucky, debate was always loud and vigorous (and entertaining) and only the most thin skinned didn't speak up. Afterwards, many participants from both sides would find a nearby watering hole, and discuss the finer points of bipartisan issues like Georgia's dominance of Big 10(11) teams in the Citrus & Outback Bowls...


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