Found this from a link over at The Tank. The milblogger manifesto. It's a bit old, but The Kid had not read it before. It's important, and thus reprinted in its entirety.
Engage! You must engage! We all have to fight the War. For most of us, this does not mean we have to go to Iraq or Afghanistan (or Somalia, Indonesia or any number of other theaters you don't read about in the papers.)
Something has happened to this country that my grandfathers would scarcely recognize and certainly struggle to fathom. That this requires discussion disgusts me daily.
While it can be traced back to before the 60's (though blossoming then), what really happened was the galvanization of self-loathing using Vietnam as a social catalyst. But the face of this nation changed most significantly when the election of the greatest true conservative leader on a chilly 1980 November evening forced a barely contained media into open rooting for a specific political party. The degeneration of policy discussion and political leadership since has been palpable, fueled by the successes of anti-military media coverage developed during the Vietnam era and skillfully maintained and nearly perfected since then.
And such is the nature of the degeneration of American politics. That this repulsive decay also consumes the very defense of the world's one true beacon of freedom causes true physical discomfort. For we do not own that freedom but are tasked with her defense and care by default.
That we must defend her from ourselves is heartbreaking. That we dare not pause to rest lest we lose her from within is enraging.
And so it is with this ever-present disgust that I read Restarting the Clock of History from Wretchard at Belmont Club, as he paints the portrait of our own mindless internal struggle while the wolves circle, darting between trees and shadows, laughing as we argue amongst ourselves in self-defeat over whether the wolves' teeth or our own defense against them are the greater threat.The West was supposed to die; slowly and comfortably but ineluctably. And we were supposed to buy off the Islamists until we could finish the job ourselves. Bush declaring his intention to fight for the survival of the West was just as logical as Chomsky's pilgrimage to Hezbollah and just as infuriating to his enemies.
Until September 11 it was possible for the more "enlightened" segments of society to regard patriotism, religion and similar sentiments with the kind of amused tolerance that one might reserve for simpletons. Nothing that a little institutionalization and spare change couldn't straighten out. The problem for the Democratic Party is that the Great Polite Silence is over. People like Chomsky and President Bush have stopped being hypothetical and become all too real. Bring it on.
United we stood. At least for a few days, as the union was fleeting and superficial. The union was little more than an uncharacteristic measure of quiet among those who merely waited patiently to finally cry out "Not in our name!"
Why is the defense of this nation a political issue at all? There are those who will argue that it is the manner in which we defend ourselves that is at issue.
That, my friends, is a convoluted disingenuous sheen of reason upon the unreasonable.
A former Attorney General currently vociferously defends a mass murdering dictator deposed by our own forces. An icon of the self-loathing anti-American academic Left, Noam Chomsky, embraces Hizballah, the chief beneficiary of Iran's terror export, and condemns the War on Terror as bigotry wrapped in fiction. A former Vice President travels to the home of fifteen 9/11 hijackers and professes that Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" by America and its sitting president and held in "unforgivable" conditions.
These are not arguments of the manner in which to defend America. These are sycophantic rantings of whether to defend her. The flood of emotions in disbelieving reaction range from anger and rage to depression and grief.
We dare not rest as the most important front of the War on Terror and for the very survival of Western Civilization lies not upon the sands of distant shores, but in our own common discourse. The most important battlegrounds are around our dinner tables and in intelligent and persuasive common sense discussion among our peers, seeking the discomfort of battle and the very defense of defense rather than the comfort and unproductive endeavor of agreement among friends.
The line has been clearly drawn. Tire not. Engage.
But it does mean we all have to, at every point, challenge the narratives of the post-moderns who, surely as our pre-modern enemies, seek to destroy the West. It's not enough to roll your eyes and think to yourself, "What a moron..."
You have to engage them. You have to argue the point. You cannot let them get away with furthering their narrative. Not because you are going to change their mind, but because if their world-view goes unchallenged it will infect others. When someone spouts "Bush lied, people died!" or some other variant, and you do not publicly and vocally challenge it, you are complicit in making that concept "the conventional wisdom."
It's tiring. It's tedious. It's boring. But you must fight. You must never back down. You must never gloss over. You must engage. At every point, you must engage.