America has not yet awakened to war.
Our enemies are waging war in the service of "a conception far more coherent than the somnolent Western nations seem to comprehend." They are waging the "thousand-year war" between Islamic civilization and the West. They understand themselves to be waging a "war of Islamic destiny...at this moment in the Philippines, Indonesia, Sinkiang, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Macedonia, Algeria, the Sudan, Sub-Saharan Africa, and throughout the world in the form of terrorism without limitation or humanitarian nuance."
But America has responded with a "kind of deliberate minimalism." We are waging a "war of sufficiency" rather than the "war of surplus" that is needed. Our enemies know well that America has so far "fought them on the cheap. They know that we did not, would not, and will not tolerate the disruption of our normal way of life. They know that they did not seize our full attention. They know that we have hardly stirred. And as long as they have these things to know, they will not stand down nor shrink back, and, for us, the sorrows that will come will be greater than the sorrows that have been."
These are some of the things Mark Helprin thinks about our country, our enemies, and our war. As usual, he thinks them in such bold strokes of language that even when you know you disagree with him, you want to read more. For more of what he thinksor if you just want to know why "the proper strategic objective for the West" in this war is "the suppression of [the] fire of 'asabiya"please consider his provocative essay in the Fall 2003 issue of the Claremont Review of Books.
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