I know this is way long --as my posts tend to be --but I have a lot to say on this one.
I have always wondered about the meaning of Neo-conservative --what and who they were. Do they label themselves? Do they know they are followers of the ideas of Strauss and Berns or is this a liberal's characterization?
You know, I never heard of these two profs nor read their books, but I'll bet I might agree with them --if YOU folks think they're awful. But I bet most of the nation's youth didn't need any "neo-cons" working on their motivations at all, in order to get them to sign up.
That patriotism and religious awakening with people flocking to church after 9/11 didn't emerge because of any professor or Bush speech --we all felt attacked --and we were pulling together for our national survival. Patriotism is part of that. The search to be close to God is part of that.
I just heard our Afghan military commander at the Pentagon today. He says we've helped the country get 500 new schools for over 5 million students (nearly half girls), and 500 health clinics. He talked about infrastructure improvements like a road going clear around the country to connect all the regions. He spoke of a prison being readied for the GITMO detainees -perhaps open now --I didn't hear all he said due to distractions --but he told how they are getting glasses, dental and health care for the first time (the detainees) and how they are disappointed and surprised that the glasses don't enable them to read --(since they've never learned that skill.)
The prisoners are being counseled on how to support and appreciate a peaceful Afghanistan, which has made great strides in 5 years with our help. I think he said they were doing some kind of paid work or getting some kind of training for work for when they are free.
He told how the Afghani people are gaining in confidence in their police and military and gov't --how much better the trained police and military are doing --how the locals encourage the Americans to stay in their villages --how they are still fighting a diminishing Taliban --whose "insurgent fighters" are FORCED to help the Taliban radicals when they do.
That route to progress in afghanistan is the same pattern we should stick to in Iraq.
I always said they should show the prisoners wholesome western entertainment while in prison and try to open their minds a bit to our loftiest ideals, like the value of all humans and the necessity for religious tolerance in order to live in peace, and the value of safety and peace for EVERYONE's children. and teach English. I recommended translated wholesome Am. movies --never heard back from my letter of advice on Gitmo.
You say shame on Prof. Berns for apparentlly strategizing to get our pampered youth from the cult of self-esteem to go to war for a cause of any sort. Not that he had anything to do with it. It's awful, though, isn't it, to think professors in higher education would be such change agents --for conservatism instead of progressive liberalism! For shame! Liberals only have 97 per cent of the faculty positions in academic areas that are crucial to the liberalization of our kids. You must rally to get that other 3 per cent!
For sure, the draft was universally dreaded. I thought we'd never get a generation to volunteer for war as they have since 9/11-- because of the war movies; this generation, like the 60's young people, knows from the movie screen that war IS blood and guts --horrible --dreadful --and that they MIGHT die. However, they've probably been more impressed by Star Wars and Tolkein.
Previous generations, a century and more ago, seemed to flock to war as young as they could, to go be heroes and help the country.
I've been surprised myself at how bravely the young people are going today--I'm afraid it might have more to do with girls in the military than with books on patriotism. The Army ain't what it used to be --and their separation from home is perhaps not quite as traumatic, with their greater access to communication. But we hear the military divorce rate is very high.
The world has shrunk --which is another reason why the so-called neo-cons are probably concerned that we raise generations who care about the nation, liberty, and the conditions in the rest of the world.
We can no longer let groups abroad fester in poverty, oppression, injustice --with jealousy and hatred toward the west without trying to do SOMETHING ABOUT IT! The stakes are too high. If there is not a world policeman, then the No. Korea's and Irans and China's will send their bombs our way someday because they haven't enough peace. prosperity and charity to stay home raising their children in peace.
Peace Corps and the student exchange program have not done enough to affect the tyrants and murderous thugs who rape and plunder their own, and now us, in order to get power.
Our military is better taken care of than ever before, I imagine --though they still endure great hardships with Iraq temperatures and great danger daily on the streets. The commander today told about our soldiers fighting in 2 feet of snow right now as they defeat the Taliban in a northern rural region. And we've heard of vulnerabilities in their vehicles and protective gear. WE are very high tech, I imagine, well-trained, and more capable than armies have ever been.
I am very impressed with much that I hear about the character of our troops and all the humanitarian work they are accomplishing. But of course, it shouldn't surprise us that there could be a my lai massacre in Viet Nam --or the scandal of Abu Graihb (?) prison. In every public school, there are the miscreants. And some of them join the military --and many of them mature. I believe they have great leadership on the field.
My nephew, a smart college grad, joined and said it is the best job in the world. He's a writer in military intelligence and he feels good about what his unit has done in ferreting out insurgent leaders. He, too, talked of schools and hospitals freely operating.
We know that there really IS a radical Islamic ideology behind the events of 9/11 --and I am very interested in how you think America should stop the terrorists who hold this ideology.
Democrats especially don't like the security measures imposed on everyone, nor profiling, nor the inter-continental invasions of internet and cellphone privacy, nor the surveillance of people who fit the terrorist profile in the U.S.
Consider, e.g., if you REALLY suspected me of plotting to kill liberals, you SHOULD get the FBI to eavesdrop on me --and since I'm not planning anything and would not, I have nothing to fear from their surveillance. The people who have something to fear from the invasion of their privacy, who are most likely to be monitored in a just society because they fit a profile, are the guilty ones who fear they'll be found out. Some of the innocent may get monitored but they'll have nothing to fear.
If we don't allow our intelligence organizations to do surveillance on suspected terrorists, we are really really stupid. Which is what it is when liberals holler about Bush taking away all our privacy rights.