As we recently passed the 69th anniversary of the end of the Second World War (you might have heard of it; a rather significant historical event – even though it took less time for us than did building the ObamaCare website) I have been re-reading Cornelius Ryan’s excellent A Bridge Too Far, which details the “Market-Garden” campaign in Holland in late 1944. Ryan, who wrote several excellent books about major World War Two battles, has a deft way of both showing the utter horror of war as well as showing the sublime courage it took for American and allied forces to win it. One scene in the book, as American paratroopers are landing deep behind enemy lines, has a fighter plane being shot down by the Germans. The pilot crash-lands his plane close to the American paratroopers, hops out of the wreck and immediately demands a weapon, saying, “I know just where that Kraut SOB is and I’m going to get him”, and off he charges after his enemy. It seems to me that we, as a people, lack just a bit of that spirit.
Boko Haram has been around for a while, though for our liberals it seems that the group just sprang, fully armed, out of the ground last week – and likely is the result of racist, sexist Teabaggers in the United States. Without a doubt, if there is something to all this, it is Bush’s fault. As I’m sure everyone is aware, the outrage which finally made even liberals notice was the kidnapping of several hundred Nigerian school girls, with the Boko Haram thugs announcing their plans to tell the girls into slavery (apparently at a bit less than $14 a head, at current exchange rates). While the MSM is careful about concealing the fact that Boko Haram is a Muslim terrorist group closely aligned with al-Qaeda (and, of course, has been massacring Christians in Nigeria for many years), even the bare-bones facts of the case are outrageous. The reaction of our liberals, from Obama on down, has been vigorous – they immediately started a Twitter hashtag, #BringBackOurGirls. The theory is that the global shaming of Boko Haram will get them to realize the error of their ways and release the girls; but even if that doesn’t work, at least liberals who participated in the hashtag will feel that they did something to help, in much the same way that feeling sorry for a drowning man will excuse one from throwing him a rope, I guess.
Mark Steyn has nailed the whole problem we have here in his recent column, #BringBackOurBalls. Do read it; we here in the West have simply lost our spirit. Here are hundreds of sweet, innocent girls taken by beasts in human skin and our immediate reaction is not to send in military forces to kill the beasts, but to morally pose with a Twitter hashtag – and actually think we are doing something.
The West has a very large problem – we seem to lack the spirit to live. If we do die as a civilization it won’t be because someone stronger than us came along, but because we committed suicide. When faced with clear evil, we refused to fight. 69 years ago, we charged eagerly at men who were doing evil. Now we stand shivering to one side, hoping that we’ll be left in the enjoyment of our toys at least through our own lifetime.