dTwo Turning Points Says Michael Barone - Road to the Middle Class - by Christopher Chantrill
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Two Turning Points, says Michael Barone

by Christopher Chantrill
February 05, 2007 at 5:48 pm

DEMOCRATS, we know, have to play to their base.  And their base believes that violence never solves anything.  Republicans, of course, play to their base.  And that base tends to believe in the vision of the legendary Al Davis: Just Win Baby.  Thus the ongoing domestic conflict over Iraq and the war on terror.

So let us rise above all this and listen to the adult Michael Barone.  There have been, he asserts, two important turning points in the last year.

The first was the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra in February 2006. This was intended to, and evidently did, spark an upsurge of sectarian violence — Shias killing Sunnis and vice versa.

 The second was the Hezbollah war in Lebanon.

The Sunni Arab states viewed the Hezbollah attack — undertaken without even the notification of the Lebanese government, yet putting Lebanon at grave risk — as an Iranian offensive aimed at establishing something like hegemony over the greater Middle East.

So the question in the Middle East is no longer “winning” in Iraq.  It is, as it has always been since 1979, the problem of revolutionary Iran.

So now, belatedly, we are conducting a “surge” in Iraq which may have as its principal goal the reduction of Iranian influence in that war-torn country.  And there is also this.

Bush appointed an admiral to be the head of CentCom, the regional command in the area, and ordered a second aircraft carrier group sent to the Persian Gulf. This is a hugely significant move, signaling that if necessary we can bring overwhelming military force to bear against Iran, as we did in 1986-88.

Naturally the Democratic Party responded with weakness.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid responded by demanding that the administration not take action against Iran, and The New York Times condemned Bush for "bullying" poor, sweet little Iran.

Oh please.  The fact is that we have been at war with Iran for nearly 30 years, ever since the Iranians violated the US embassy in 1979.

And as for the idea that violence never solves anything, what about the two civil wars that the US conducted in its teenage years: one against the Brits and one against the South?  That certainly solved something didn’t it?

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Knowledge

Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill