Ends and means
Polistra likes to learn from dogs, our perpetual teachers of civilization. Dogs get straight to the end. When the goal is truly important, a dog will take a straight line to reach it, regardless of obstacles. When there's a horse that needs herding, a border collie will leap through barbed wire to reach it. When there's a snake menacing a family member, a chihuahua will jump in front of it and take the bite.
Conservatives like to criticize leftists by saying "Marxists believe the end justifies the means." This statement is factually true but woefully incomplete. "End justifies means" is not a characteristic of Marxism;
it's a trademark of Marxists
because MARXISTS ARE SERIOUS ABOUT THEIR ENDS AND NON-MARXISTS ARE NOT SERIOUS ABOUT OUR ENDS. That's the difference.
Worst of all, non-Marxists generally get so tangled up in discussing and implementing the methods [e.g. insuring that judges have the last word even when we know the judges are enemy agents; following the Geneva Convention even though it was specifically meant to discourage terrorism, not to assist terrorists] that they forget about the ends entirely. Leftists are only too happy to assist our entrance into this briar patch, as when they get Nixon, Bush or Gonzalez immersed in discussions of that grand old question "What did you know and when did you know it?" This generates all sorts of defenses and research, and accomplishes precisely nothing except to move the enemy closer to his
goal. The only appropriate answer to such questions is as follows, verbatim: "FUCK OFF, YOU GODDAMN COMMIE." Perhaps accompanied by an appropriate action, such as "Edward Kennedy, I hereby arrest you for treason. Marshals, shackle him. I will try and execute him immediately, here and now."
When I see THAT happen, I will know that we are finally serious about defending civilization. When I see THAT happen, we will finally have a chance of winning this war.
The Iraq section of this war has become pure process with no end at all. Its original plan, as formulated by those dreaded Neocons, did include a proper and meaningful goal: to show Arab tyrants that sponsoring terrorism was a futile course. As soon as we captured Saddam, we should have killed him on the spot and begun withdrawing, leaving Arab-on-Arab chaos behind. That would have accomplished the purpose of transferring futility to the enemy while leaving us free to fight in other ways and places. Instead, we're locked in an inescapable process with the nominal but worse-than-delusional goal of imposing Free And Fair Elections on Arabs. Worse-than-delusional because we've already seen that such "elections" lead directly to rule by the enemy. So we own all the futility.
As said before, the experiments of history have already been performed. We have the data. We know how to convince a fierce and determined enemy to stop. Oddly enough, the proper method is democratic in a way, though it has nothing at all to do with elections. Fact is, any successful tyrant rules with the enthusiastic
consent of a majority of his people. When that consent disappears, his regime collapses, though not always immediately. We accomplished this collapse in 1945, after three years of killing soldiers and generals had failed to remove the people's consent. What finally did the trick? Killing huge numbers of civilians,
with no regard for the traditions and laws of fighting. Churchill and Roosevelt violated all the rules of civilization for several months, used totally evil methods and means for a short time, because they were certain of their own good ends.
They knew that Britain and its allies were the permanent carriers of humane civilization, they had tried all lesser methods without success, and they also knew that decency and goodness would leave this earth for a very long time if the Krauts and Nips continued their enthusiastic consent for imperial fascism.
We will have to do the same thing sooner or later in the current war, because we are the people who learn from dogs, and Mohammedans are the people who refuse to learn from dogs. If we continue to agonize about the Christian purity of our methods, we will simply die and there will be nobody left in the world to carry and defend Christianity.