HELLBENT ON DEFEAT
By Samuel Blumenfeld
February 17, 2007
My dictionary defines hellbent as "firmly resolved or recklessly determined," which is exactly what the opponents of the Iraq war are up to in their mindless quest for defeat. It was nauseating to actually see the Democrats sit on their hands during the State of the Union address when the President mentioned the word "victory." For Democrats, and even some Republicans, victory has become a dirty word.
The Democrats want the American people to believe that defeat is good and striving for victory is bad. Indeed, the last thing the Democrats want is for Bush to achieve victory, for that would hurt their chances of regaining the White House and it would repudiate the left-wing view that victory is not possible in our global war against Islamic terrorism.
I recently picked up a copy of Time magazine of May 25, 1942, published while we were engaged in World War II. On the cover is a portrait of Yugoslavia's Draja Mihailovich, the intrepid leader of Serb resistance against Hitler's army. He was one of the true heroes of the war but was later betrayed by the Communists and executed.
But what is most interesting in that issue of Time are the many ads calling for victory against the Axis powers. The Pennsylvania Railroad ad reads, "Helping the Navy Launch Victory," explaining, "warships must go by rail before they go to sea." A Cooper-Bessemer ad proclaimed, "After victory, better Cooper-Bessemers can help produce in plenty those wonder materials…to fulfill the rich promise of this Chemical age." An American Trucking Associations ad states, "You've got a date with a U-Boat. Every truck you see on the road is helping to speed our war effort…many of them working 18 hours a day…none are joy riding."
The idea of victory was so pervasive that no American doubted the outcome of that war, regardless of our early setbacks. The reason for this positive state of mind: we wanted to win. And win we did at the cost of 292,131 military lives and 6000 civilian deaths. Senator Kennedy has recently complained that the war in Iraq has lasted longer than World War II at the cost of over 3000 lives, or about 900 lives per year. In World War II we lost over 70,000 lives per year. In his reckless pursuit of defeat the Massachusetts Senator will use any argument to arouse public indignation against the war-even though it can be won if we wanted to win.
The headline for the Bibb Manufacturing Company ad in 1942, reads, "Cotton goes to war!" It explains, "Here at The Bibb, nine thousand top-flight Victory workers and ten large mills are now geared to Democracy's production line…making vital war materials from cotton." The headline for the Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation ad reads, "Skilled Crews Set a Fighting Pace Producing War Steels."
Employers Mutual Insurance Company of Wausau, Wisconsin, proclaimed in its ad, "Victory is only a question of MAN-hours." Chesapeake and Ohio Lines asserted, "We all have a date with Victory…but first we have a stupendous job to do." Bakelite's headline is, "It's a long jump from Boudoir to Fox Hole."
In America's liberal magazines of today, we find nothing but a new kind of sick yearning for defeat. The January 15, 2007 front cover of Time has a picture of an American soldier with the headline, "The Surge: Does Sending More Soldiers to Iraq Make Any Sense?" But what it really means is, "Does Striving for Victory Make Any Sense?" As for the ads, they sell Credit Cards, Microsoft, Investments, Medications and Sleeping Aids (with pages of tiny print describing possible side effects), Quit Smoking ads, Cars, Insurance, Mouthwash, Cellular phones. Not a whisper about helping the war effort.
Magazines like Vanity Fair have hundreds of ads for luxury goods telling us that nothing is more important than pleasure and self-indulgence. GQ and other life-style magazines are crammed with ads for men who seem to think of nothing but clothes, cars, watches, and perfumes. They all reflect material affluence, cultural and moral decadence on a scale never before seen in human history.
What you won't find in any of these magazines is a true understanding of the consequences of defeat: a diminished and humiliated America, so weak and decadent, that Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah can spit in our faces, and we will call it rain. Forget about the CIA and the Pentagon, we really don't need them anymore, except for the jobs they create for the liberal elite. When America stops wanting to win, that's when we no longer can be depended on or trusted by our friends and allies. And that's when America ceases to be America.
© 2007 Samuel Blumenfeld - All Rights Reserved
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Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of eight books on education, including “Is Public Education Necessary?” and “The Whole Language/OBE Fraud,” published by The Paradigm Company, 208-322-4440. His reading instruction program, “Alpha-Phonics,” is available by writing The Tutoring Company, P.O. Box 540111, Waltham, MA 02454-0111.
What you won't find in any of these magazines is a true understanding of the consequences of defeat: a diminished and humiliated America, so weak and decadent, that Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah can spit in our faces, and we will call it rain.