April 30, 2007

CONSERVE

Here's an excellent Cold Fury post about "putting the ‘conserve’ back into conservative." It is the most sensible argument for going a little green I've ever read. My husband and I love to play the Stick It To Chavez Game. Every time we buy a new lightbulb or purchase a car, we try to imagine which choice would hurt Chavez the most. And if we save the environment a little along the way, all the better.

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April 10, 2007

IF ONLY IT WERE SO

I finished Victor Davis Hanson's awesome The Soul of Battle last night. This is how the book ends, in the epilogue called "The End of the Democratic Marches?" published in 1999:

Had Epaminondas led the Allies in Desert Storm, he would have set up new defensible societies for the Kurds and Shiites, and held of the Iraqi Army until both cultures were safe from retribution. Sherman would have preferred to cut a swath through Iraq, leveling every one of Saddam's "palaces," torching his munitions factories and the entire industrial infrastructure of his war-mkaing, and destroying for good measure the homes of the Baath party elite, who should learn the wages of supporting a murderer. Patton, of course, would have headed straight for the Iraqi capital and not left until the Republican Guard was annihilated and Saddam Hussein was dead or in chains.
[...]
The great danger of the present age is that democracy may never again marshal the will to march against and ultimately destroy evil. In the era of television, the image of war's brutality in our living rooms may stop the attack; the education system of the present, with its interest in self-esteem, sensitivity, and the therapeutic, may not turn out sufficiently idiosyncratic audacious -- and well-read -- leaders; and instant communications may serve to bridle a mobile column at its moment of victory. But even a greater peril still in present-day democratic society is that we may simply have forgotten that there finally must be a choice between good and evil, that the real immorality is not the use of great force to inflict punishment, but, as the Greeks remind us, the failure to exercise moral authority at all. When men like Epaminondas, Sherman, and Patton go to war to stop evil and to save lives, there is a soul to their battle that lives on well after they are gone.

As Clinton said, Think about that the next time you're high.

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April 08, 2007

THANK YOU

I got an off-the-record email from a reader whose job involves working on some next-generation equipment for the military, and I realized that we military families don't do enough to thank these people for all their hard work. My husband gets all the glory for his service to our great country, but these men and women working in research and design do the very unsexy job of testing equipment that will save my husband's life. And we never thank them, never make Budweiser commercials clapping for them in the airport, never give it a moment's notice that these people work long hours to figure out how to shave just one more pound off of the IBA without sacrificing quality.

We owe them our thanks.

If you're out there, if you read my blog and you work in the industry that makes this war machine possible, I thank you. From the depths of my heart. Your work makes my husband's work possible. You keep him safe. You keep our country safe. We need to remember you more often.

Here's a booming HOOAH! from this Army wife to those who make it possible.

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April 04, 2007

THE SOUL OF BATTLE

Here's what I want to know: Why do I live on an Army post named after a Confederate douche instead of the real hero of the Civil War?

You'll perhaps remember that my husband took on the task of speaking for Sherman at our last duty station. He has read much about this great man, including Victor Davis Hanson's The Soul of Battle. I sat down with this book a couple of weeks ago, forcing myself to slog through Hanson's offhanded knowledge of ancient Greece in order to learn about Epaminondas. (If Hanson says he's worth knowing about, then it's worth muddling my brain with B.C. timelines and maps of Peloponnese.) But what I really wanted was to get to page 123 and start The March to the Sea. I haven't been disappointed.

It has given me great pleasure not only to learn about Sherman but to see the passages my husband highlighted in the book, to see Sherman through his eyes and know what impresses him as a soldier. And to read about Sherman and smile, seeing at times a reflection of my husband.

What a good book. And I haven't even gotten to Patton yet.

(There's a blogger out there who speaks far more eloquently about Sherman than I ever could...)

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NEWSPEAK

Hey, did you hear? The Global War on Terrorism is over. Done. Finished.
[smacks dust of her hands]
Now what?
Oh, that's right...keep fighting a, um, global war on, um, terrorism.

I don't even know why they'll bother teaching my husband Farsi; they may as well just teach everyone Newspeak.

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