War on Terror

John Derbyshire on NRO:

“Is the United States willing to fight this war the way it needs fighting, with grim ferocity and cold unconcern for legalistic niceties? To lay waste great territories and their peoples, innocent and guilty alike, to level cities, to burn forests and divert rivers, to smite our enemies hip and thigh, to carry out summary execution of captured leaders? Of course not — how barbaric! And yet (whispers the ancestral, tribal voice in our heads, and in British heads too) if not, then what’s the point? War is a tribal affair, one tribe exterminating another, or reducing it to utter impotence and ignominious surrender. That’s what war is, and it isn’t anything else. We know this in our bones, from a million years of tribal living and fighting. If we are not willing to fight a war like that — which apparently we are not, being much too civilized — then we should not be too surprised if our allies turn and cut deals with our enemies. At least they’ll have a quiet life, for a while.”

Very discouraging, to say the least.

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