It has been a tradition at both TOC and the blog Liberty Unyielding, for which I was editor at large from 2012 to October 2021, to post a recurring Veterans Day article. In 2020, I published the version below for the first time. It’s interesting to me to reread it now, and realize how much has changed in the last year. See if you feel the same. – JED
Since 2018, when we passed the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, it has seemed less relevant to commemorate Veterans Day with the annual post we used to use (the last iteration was here).
This post, an annual tradition for Veterans Day at The Optimistic Conservative since 2009, is now an annual tradition at Liberty Unyielding.
Ninety-seven years ago, in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the armistice was proclaimed that ended the terrible fighting in World War I. A war that had erupted in large part because Europe’s political leaders, a century on from the Napoleonic conflicts, were accustomed to war remaining limited, produced some of the bloodiest battles ever fought. The six-month battle of the Somme in 1916 took the lives of an unimaginable 1.5 million French, German, and British soldiers – without either side achieving sustainable penetration of the line of confrontation, or any operational victory. WWI was the most tactically and politically frustrating of wars, admitting little maneuver, little jockeying for advantage, and no enduring significance to victory.Continue reading “Ninety-seven years”
Regular correspondents of this space may have wondered why I haven’t been writing more recently about the events in Iraq and Syria. (Or Afghanistan, for that matter.)
The short answer is: because it’s too depressing to watch the Obama administration repeating every mistake of Kennedy and Johnson in Vietnam, but from a posture of greater weakness, greater foolishness, and – bonus! – apparent hatred for the United States.
Who wants to write about that?
We’ve reached the point at which there is nothing positive or hopeful to say. I think most readers realize that, even if they can’t fully articulate what the problems seem to be. Obama is quite literally doing nothing right, in his political-military approach to these hot spots of the Middle East. There’s nothing in his policy to work with.Continue reading “‘Boots on the ground’: Saigon on the Euphrates, on steroids”
John Paul Jones, commanding the Continental Navy, Battle of Flamborough Head
23 September, 1779
If we went by the triumphal proclamations of the mainstream media, we would think opponents of the unsigned Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – described inaccurately as a “deal” with Iran – were out of options at this point.
Operating on the process set in motion by the Corker-Cardin bill, the House has voted against approving the JCPOA. But the JCPOA’s opponents in the Senate have failed twice to move the JCPOA to a vote. A 42-vote minority has prevented a Senate vote, and Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is unwilling to use the “nuclear option” of overriding the effective filibuster by the minority, and forcing a vote on the JCPOA.