In his latest, greatest column, Mark Steyn takes note of John Podhoretz's wondering about whether Western civilization is up to the long slog ahead against jihadis who are not so taken with our modern sensibilities:
"What if liberal democracies have now evolved to a point where they can no longer wage war effectively because they have achieved a level of humanitarian concern for others that dwarfs any really cold-eyed pursuit of their own national interests?"If you haven't read Steyn's column yet, read it.
Now, with about 60 Lebanese, including three dozen children, dead in an Israeli airstrike in Quam, the question is being asked all over again.
Is Israel up to it? Are we up to it?
It's crunch time in Lebanon and beyond, and the jihadis know it.
And by the way, it appears that the Qana building at issue may have fallen many hours after the initial IAF bombing.
What were the children doing in the same vicinity as Hezbollah rocket launchers, at any rate? Is it possible that Hezbollah took the building down? And why were the children there many hours after the initial bombing? Will any one in the MSM ask? This last question is rhetorical, but I thought I'd ask any way.
Last week, signs started to appear that the Israeli government may not have the will to do what is necessary on the ground in Lebanon. Some had wondered about PM Olmert government with his lack of military experience. To me, such questions missed the mark.
I wondered about PM Olmert's liberalism. I wondered about his lack of realism about the world that we are living in. I hope I am wrong, but I am seeing signs from the Israeli government that they are not ready and willing to do what is necessary to protect their own lives and security.
The Israelis are able, but that's not the question.
We are reminded that the character and philosophy of the people that we elect is vitally important in these times. And the most important question for our leaders in these times is whether they have the will and philosophy to protect the national interest from the jihadi threat, world opinion be damned.
There are precious few leaders in the world who have the gumption to stand against the tide of world public opinion -- Bush, Blair, and Australia's PM Howard come to mind -- and do what is necessary to protect the national interest.
Is Olmert on that list? I hope so.
Let there be no mistaking that the Israelis' fight is our fight, and the jihadis know it. Their sympathizers at the U.N. know it. Their sympathizers in the MSM know it.
We have the military and technological might to win easily. But that's not where the battle is. The ultimate battle is a battle of the mind, spirit, and will.
As Steyn observes:
Our enemies understand "why we fight" and where the fight is. They know that in the greater scheme of things the mosques of Jakarta and Amsterdam and Toronto and Dearborn are more important territory than the Sunni Triangle. The U.S. military is the best-equipped and best-trained in the world. But it's not enough, it never has been and it never will be.