“The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.”
~Motto: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Americans are frequently accused of being arrogant. What our critics fail to appreciate is that the American attitude is a cultural trait born of confidence. When attitude is blended with wherewithal, we can accomplish the seemingly impossible. In contrast, mere bluster is a cheap imitation of confidence betraying weakness and doubt. It’s a common characteristic of bullies and thugs. Come the moment of truth bluster ends in disgrace as the facade falls away revealing only cowardice. When Saddam Hussein was pulled from his spider hole, he declared, “I am the president of Iraq!” A marine armed with both attitude and wherewithal responded, “George Bush sends his regards.” The contrast could not have been more perfect. Game over. The only thing that remained for Saddam was the final humiliation of the hangman’s noose.
In 1775, a rag-tag group of American militiamen faced a line of British regulars on Lexington Common. A British officer ordered the rabble to disperse. I imagine that someone in the American line yelled back, “get the hell off our land.” History records that someone on the American side pulled the trigger. Attitude and wherewithal make for a powerful combination especially when free people are forced to defend liberty. Lethal force is the final arbiter between right and wrong. Always has been. Some will ask, “can’t we all just get along?” No, actually, not as long as predators are born into our society. Some critters just need kill’n. You can’t reform them; they need to be eliminated.
This week the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the Heller decision that Americans have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. How good of them. I guess no one informed the court that attitude and wherewithal defend our liberties. Had the decision fallen the other way, it wouldn’t have made a jot of difference. Our attitude toward liberty enjoys a very old pedigree. Persia: “Spartans, lay down your weapons.” Sparta: “Persians, come and get them.” That’s what I call attitude in spades. It’s a beautiful thing.
I read today that Ahmadinejad is making threatening noises again against the west. His gnome-like stature only serves to emphasize the impotent nature of his threats. He’s got plenty of bluster, but very little in the way of wherewithal. At least not yet. Someone needs to bitch-slap the little bugger. In public. He’s attempting to bluff a full house superpower with a broken straight, eight high. Someone needs to call his hand. America is the same nation that outfought German Nazism and faced down Soviet communism. Those powers had genuine wherewithal. The little toad from Tehran has nothing. He’ll be lucky to escape the lynch mob when the time comes. Ditto the theocrats he works for. These guys are going to get hanged from lampposts with their own turbans.
I confess that I have a bad attitude toward our enemies. I consider it a virtue. Life is short and the older I get the less time I have for bullshit. Can’t we make some sort of deal with Iran? No! Liberty is non-negotiable. It’s a precondition. We have a presidential candidate who says he will negotiate without preconditions. He’s a fool. We do not, ever, as Americans place liberty on the negotiating table. We will not be threatened. The situation calls for defiance and a clear statement about consequences. Why is that so difficult? America has the wherewithal, it’s time someone displayed a little attitude. The cards are on the table. Our ace in the hole goes boom. It’s time the other side understood this. Today. Beyond ambiguity. Now.