"A long, twilight struggle"

As the Cold War reached what mathematicians refer to in functional analysis as a "local maximum" during the late 1950s and early 1960s, American appeared to be on the back foot, retreating in the face of relentless Soviet pressure. The Warsaw Pact's military machine was thought to be overwhelmingly powerful; the diplomatic offensives that the Kremlin was executing in the Third World had left American and European diplomats reeling. It appeared as though the Pax Americana was doomed to a slow and painful decline, and that the only way forward was for America to compromise and negotiate from a position of parity or weakness with an ascendant enemy.

From this counsel of despair came a speech by the otherwise young and dynamic President, John F. Kennedy, which alluded to a "twilight struggle" in which America would have to mix compromise with firm stands over shared values:
In 1961 the world relations of this country have become tangled and complex. One of our former allies has become our adversary -- and he has his own adversaries who are not our allies. Heroes are removed from their tombs, history rewritten, the names of cities changed overnight.

We increase our arms at a heavy cost, primarily to make certain that we will not have to use them. We must face up to the chance of war if we are to maintain the peace. We must work with certain countries lacking in freedom in order to strengthen the cause of freedom. We find some who call themselves neutrals who are our friends and sympathetic to us, and others who call themselves neutral who are unremittingly hostile to us. And as the most powerful defender of freedom on earth, we find ourselves unable to escape the responsibilities of freedom and yet unable to exercise it without restraints imposed by the very freedoms we seek to protect. We cannot, as a free nation, compete with our adversaries in tactics of terror, assassination, false promises, counterfeit mobs, and crises.

We cannot, under the scrutiny of a free press and public, tell different stories to different audiences, foreign, domestic, friendly, and hostile.

We cannot abandon the slow processes of consulting with our allies to match the swift expediences of those who merely dictate to their satellites. We can neither abandon nor control the international organization in which we now cast less than 1 percent of the vote in the General Assembly. We possess weapons of tremendous power, but they are least effective in combating the weapons most often used by freedom's foes: subversion, infiltration, guerrilla warfare, and civil disorder. We send arms to other peoples -- just as we can send them the ideals of democracy in which we believe -- but we cannot send them the will to use those arms or to abide by those ideals.

And while we believe not only in the force of arms but in the force of right and reason, we have learned that reason does not always appeal to unreasonable men, that it is not always true that "a soft answer turneth away wrath," and that right does not always make might.

In short we must face problems which do not lend themselves to easy or quick or permanent solutions. And we must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent or omniscient, that we are only 6 percent of the world's population, that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind, that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity, and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem.

These burdens and frustrations are accepted by most Americans with maturity and understanding. They may long for the days when war meant charging up San Juan Hill, or when our isolation was guarded by two oceans, or when the atomic bomb was ours alone, or when much of the industrialized world depended upon our resources and our aid. But they now know that those days are gone and that gone with them are the old policies and the old complacencies. And they know, too, that we must make the best of our new problems and our new opportunities, whatever the risk and the cost.

But there are others who cannot bear the burden of a long twilight struggle. They lack confidence in our long-run capacity to survive and succeed. Hating communism, yet they see communism in the long run, perhaps, as the wave of the future. And they want some quick and easy and final and cheap solution -- now.

There are two groups of these frustrated citizens, far apart in their views yet very much alike in their approach. On the one hand are those who urge upon us what I regard to be the pathway of surrender -- appeasing our enemies, compromising our commitments, purchasing peace at any price, disavowing our arms, our friends, our obligations. If their view had prevailed the world of free choice would be smaller today.

On the other hand are those who urge upon us what I regard to be the pathway of war: equating negotiations with appeasement and substituting rigidity for firmness. If their view had prevailed, we would be at war today, and in more than one place.

It is a curious fact that each of these extreme opposites resembles the other. Each believes that we have only two choices: appeasement or war, suicide or surrender, humiliation or holocaust, to be either Red or dead. Each side sees only "hard" and "soft" nations, hard and soft policies, hard and soft men. Each believes that any departure from its own course inevitably leads to the other: one group believes that any peaceful solution means appeasement; the other believes that any arms buildup means war. One group regards everyone else as warmongers; the other regards everyone else as appeasers. Neither side admits its path will lead to disaster, but neither can tell us how or where to draw the line once we descend the slippery slopes of appeasement or constant intervention.
It is remarkable, is it not, to see just how similar the currents of history are between two different points in that great and endless river; not for nothing is Mark Twain often misquoted as stating that "history never repeats itself but it rhymes".

Today we see almost the exact same phenomenon in America's approach to dealing with the resurgence of the global Islamic Caliphate. Now I have written on this subject numerous times in the past, and I have provided advice rooted in the firm realities of historical events to show that Islam is at its core a political ideology that is economically, morally, and intellectually bankrupt, and cannot pose a real challenge to a dedicated and powerful Western response.

The problem is that the West today refuses to see Islam for what it is, and insists on fighting it in completely the wrong way.

Take President Jackass's recent reassurances that America would fight ISIS to a standstill, no matter where or when. I am aware that the man is literally incompetent to execute the requirements of his job, and I know that he has at best a tenuous grasp of world history. But even so, it's appalling to think that a milquetoast like him, who has almost surely never even formed a proper fist in his life, could possibly be the man to take on a global Islamic insurgency dedicated to restoring some mythical Golden Age.

The problem with his approach is exactly the same as the problems with the original "pragmatist" or "moderate" school of foreign policy that dominated through the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter Administrations. Every single one of these Presidents started out as hardliners against Communism and over time gradually retreated to more "moderate" positions, thinking that America simply needed to "compromise" or "negotiate" with its enemies in order to secure a lasting peace.

The issue with this approach is simple. The Israelis could talk about it all day long.
There can be NO negotiation with an enemy that wants to DESTROY you.
It's just that simple. Political Islam does not seek compromise with anyone or anything. It seeks domination. America's leadership is utterly deluded to think that this is a problem that can be solved with nothing more than a bunch of showy, explosion-filled air strikes and empty speeches.

If we were living in a world scripted by Michael Bay, this would work. But we don't, so it won't.

It took a man by the name of Ronald Reagan to figure out that age-old truths about confronting evil head-on still hold firm. Under his aegis, America rebuilt its armed forces, confronted the Soviet menace from a position of strength, and refused to back down in the face of outright aggression by those who sought to bluff and bully their way out of a weaker position.

That is exactly the same course of action that must be followed in dealing with ISIS, and any other Islamic threat. These rogue states are not strong- they are weak. They are economically and politically bankrupt. They are incapable of standing up to a truly strong and powerful nation.

But in order to become that strong and powerful nation once again, America's policies and ideals have to change.

First and foremost, enough of this nonsense about intervening through boots on the ground or "thunder from above". Airstrikes accomplish nothing other than generating a lot of noise and some nice explosions. And given that America explicitly refuses to use its military for actual conquest, and instead relegates its soldiers to "humanitarian" efforts, rather than the actual, y'know, purpose of the military- killing people and breaking things- boots on the ground make no sense either.

Better by far to pull all of the troops out of the Middle East, and let the Iraqis and Syrians rediscover the "joys" of living under a true Islamic Caliphate. Better by far to instantly revoke the citizenship of ANY American who is stupid enough to go over there to fight against his own people. Better by far to completely cut off all immigration, of any kind, from ANY Muslim-majority nation, and to institute trade embargoes against the same.

Trade sanctions, by the way, are an act of war under orthodox libertarian theory, and rightly so. Of course, seeing as how Islamists divide the world into dar al-harb (the House of War) and dar al-Islam (the House of Islam), there is nothing aggressive about such a posture, so there is no conflict with libertarian ideals.

And better by far to completely disown the Middle East, to concentrate on solving the massive economic and social problems right here in America, and to leave Israel alone to do what it does best- killing and breaking its enemies in rapid succession and with relatively minimal collateral damage.

Such a programme would be a foreign policy of strength and realism. It would be a policy geared toward a true American victory over a 1,400-year-old ideology bent on war and genocide and slavery.

And precisely because it makes sense, precisely because it would work, precisely because it would be the right thing to do, America will never adopt it.

So why keep harping on about it? Because once upon a time, a man named Ronald Reagan warned, for twenty years, that America's approach to the Soviet Union was dangerous, misguided, and deeply flawed. He was ignored and ridiculed and marginalised for his "extremist" views.

Yet twenty years after Barry Goldwater suffered the most crushing electoral defeat ever registered in a Presidential election up to that point, Reagan's ideas were ascendant, and he was given the chance to put them into practice.

He succeeded beyond anyone's most optimistic expectations, possibly even beyond his own wildest dreams. But he did so because he never once stopped sounding the clarion call for a strong and free and prosperous America. He believed in such things with every fibre of his being, and his convictions ultimately carried through and proved him right.

We who see the truth, and can articulate it- however poorly, for I am nowhere near as skilled a communicator as Reagan was or as many of my own contemporaries in the Manosphere are- will win out in the end. The truth always does, because by simple virtue of being true, it holds together where falsehood chips and shatters.


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