Intermission On Warriors and Pakistan
by Larry Perrault on May 7, 2011 at 1:14 PM
I’ll take a little more time for America’s Cure Part II, but I have to say a few things about the killing of Osama bin Laden. The first thing I felt strongly about was to make a statement about our special forces specifically and our military in general. Sure I credit Barack Obama with the executive decision to go with this mission. If he has been a complete disaster in corrupting and smothering an economic rebound, and in striking an effective posture with both friendly and hostile countries, he has shown that he is not a hapless impeachable fool of a commander-in-chief. I’m not making an assertion about how serious his intentions were or weren’t. But as any responsible president, what choice did he really have?
I actually heard one pundit say that he had a very “hands-on role” in this mission, as though he designed it and specifically instructed these men. Intelligence probably told him that bin Laden had been located and suggested a couple of ways that he could be gotten. “We could just blow up the house, or we could use our best special forces in to get and identify him. We can do it Mr. President….Good choice, sir.” And I’m not asserting that it would have been his preference, but had Obama passed on this opportunity, it would eventually have come out, at great cost to his reputation or the loss of his reelection effort if it were before. That would be a bludgeon for a Democratic challenger; perhaps a sore temptation for his now Secretary of State. Anyway, it’s a waste of time to challenge Obama here. Let’s keep our eye on prosperity and The Constitution.
But what I wanted to recognize is the work of the men who carried out this mission and all of the soldiers who serve this country. These are men of a timbre and element of character that I don’t understand. I spend my life cogitating and haggling about human nature and the optimal construction of society. And to these men, I can only bow my head and thank God for them. They are not entangled with abstraction, but with reality in its harshest manifestations. Wow.
Around 2500 years ago, Plato in The Republic delivered his idea of how to structure a society. He divided men into three general and largely intuitive categories. Philosophers deliberate on social construction and conduct. Plato thought Philosopher-Kings should preside over society and adjudicate its challenges.
But of course there is no society and it has and achieves nothing without The Producers. So even if he supposes to rule, the philosopher-king is in fact a parasite.
But like in America The Second Amendment is the guarantor of all of the other constitutional rights, The Warriors are the security of both philosophers and producers. Without these unique and indispensable men, all other deliberations and toils will quickly come to naught. That is the inevitable lesson of human history. That is why their suitable maintenance is the primary essential of society and why minding the national defense is the primary duty of the American federal government accorded in The Constitution. Whatever you think, whatever you do, you’d best take a bow to these people.
Now, I want to say some things about Pakistan. Most people can’t imagine how bin Laden could have been at that large and heavily walled compound right by a military establishment without some or all of the Pakistani government knowing about it. So some American notables are saying that our $3 1/2 billion dollar aid per year to Pakistan ought to be stopped or at least reevaluated; that Pakistan is “double-dealing” on us. But, we should slow down and think about this. The first thing I thought is that we have to remember what the situation is in Pakistan. As with every other country and especially one with such a potentially intense population, a primary order of government business is to keep the public relatively pacified. And Pakistan’s people are pretty dramatically divided. I saw people interviewed about the killing of bin Laden. Some were angry that Pakistan’s borders had been violated and/or that bin Laden had been killed. They also, surely wondered what role their own government may have played. But others thought bin Laden was a dangerous killer and were glad he was gone.
Consider that in relatively materially and culturally palliated America, the “base” of a president’s own party is almost always dissatisfied with him. I have thought before and after his election, that Barack Obama would be and is the most extreme left-wing American president in history. But, I think partially out of the reality of his responsibility and particularly his foreign policy council, and partly just in the interest of not provoking a public reaction even more extreme than the Democrats’ November electoral “shellacking,” he has had to qualify his actions. And the left-wingers are none too happy about it. Pakistan has to placate a large population of its population that is favorably disposed toward Sharia and aggressive Islam. I think we can understand that they don’t want to agitate these people. And in fact, there is probably some of such an element in the government. Maybe we should talk to them sort of like a loan shark: “You’re our friend and you’re going to help us where you can, right? RIIGHT?” The loan shark says he’d hate to see some harm come to the borrower… You get the idea.
Then yesterday I heard foreign policy specialist Michael LeDeen interviewed on the radio. He made the host and I consider some other things. Most importantly, LeDeen said it was impossible that we could have carried out that mission without Pakistan’s knowledge, and that he expected that Pakistani officials had cooperated in the effort with information and/or passivity. In that case, I imagine that we can be sure that that aid will continue. And that we will do everything to keep the Pakistani people in the dark about it. One of the Americans who questioned the continuance of the aid was Sarah Palin, whom I actually like a lot. But something like this is just one of many areas of government where judgment from outside can be another matter altogether from knowledge on the inside. Saturday Night Live’s Seth Myers at the Correspondence dinner the other night, teased Obama about his difference from the 2008 Barack Obama. Myers joked, “unrealistic idealism?” The camera was trained on Obama, who nodded fairly vigorously.
Anyway, if there is inside knowledge of Pakistani cooperation, John Boehner will be informed and not even The House of Representatives will vote that aid away, or probably vote at all. But I hope the financial vitality will soon enough be restored to fully fund the most capable military in the history of the world. Those Special Forces operators are some amazing operators; not your average loan shark’s goons.