Friday, June 5, 2009

Anniversaries: Tienanmen & D-Day -- "What We Fight For"


I meant to post this yesterday, but events intervened. David Warren says this better than I could.


June 4, 2009

What We Fight For

By David Warren

We have two important anniversaries this week: tomorrow is the 20th of the massacre in Tiananmen Square. Saturday will be the 65th of D-Day. Both events retain "educational value," and today I shall try to remember why.

I was not around for D-Day. Recently I buried a father who was, and at an age to make me realize that the Second World War will soon exist only as book knowledge. Include, in that book, what was incised in stone over the battlefields of France, where Western leaders will gather on the weekend for verbal tributes, and where a few surviving veterans will recall the comrades of their vanished youth.

Much is forgotten, but nothing is lost. The whole history of the world is inscribed in God's living memory. We will, according to this religious view, again glimpse that record on a Day of Judgement. I do not believe for one moment that what is forgotten therefore disappears. For that is the ostrich view of space and time, suitable only for those who are in hiding.

Everything that has happened, has happened, irreversibly, down to the little sparrow singing in the vine leaves, which we heard on waking, decades ago. And the loves and longings, the vain hopes and terrors, the poignancy in every heartbeat of lives lived under the death sentence, remain -- everything as and when it was. God knows the name of every soldier who fell for freedom, on the beaches of Normandy, and on the pavement at Beijing.

I am saying something that would have been understood, generally, in my father's generation. It would have been understood in the prison camps of Europe, where news of the D-Day landings travelled, with the exhilarating wind: "Our liberation is at hand!"

D-Day was the herald of a very great victory, over very dark forces. It was a moment when huge cosmic truths were stated in the language of historical time; and it happened among people still overwhelmingly Christian, in their understanding of things.

But the acts of the heroic are eventually forgotten, in this world. The battle against dark forces continues, and will continue indefinitely.

On battlefields and off, the front line between good and evil will continue to pass through every human heart. No final victory is ever won down here; nor any final defeat suffered. It is not in the dispensation of time, to deliver what lies outside time.

Which is why I mentioned the memory of God, in relation to acts of true heroism.
The Second World War ended in split decision. There was victory in the West, and nominal victory in the East, but as Churchill said, an Iron Curtain fell, and those to the east of it were abandoned to a Communist tyranny little different from the daily Nazi tyranny that had preceded the war; indeed, worse for being prolonged. Two generations were condemned to slavery: whole lives passed under the twitching thumbs of party apparatchiks, with only the briefest respites, in Berlin, in Warsaw, in Budapest, in Prague. And each of those respites, bloody.

It was a mixed result also within the West, for it seems today that we learned nothing, and the principles for which men and women once died have been progressively abandoned in our public life. Yes we have democracy, of a sort: mass democracy, and rule in the name of numbers. But the numbers have been used to establish Nanny States that deeply impinge our freedom, and to advance the very cause of atheist materialism that once marked Nazi, Fascist, and Communist regimes as exceptional.

The people of China are now passing out of the third generation of Communist tyranny. Outwardly, it has eased. The Red Chinese state has relaxed its controls over minor arrangements in everyday life, to the extent of permitting the kind of "capitalist" consumerism that can enhance its own power.

We have been left with less to choose than we think, between the two systems, for we now have centrally-administered materialism in both East and West.

The soldiers who fell in Normandy were not fighting for swimming pools and home entertainment centres. They had before them a view of the dignity of man: of things worth more than life itself. The students who stood in Tiananmen Square -- who raised the home-made statue of Lady Liberty -- did not die for the sake of cellphones, and skyscrapers in Shanghai. They faced the tanks and bullets of the "People's Revolutionary Army" with something more substantial in their hearts.

Yet the generation after them, there as here, has been largely bought off with the false promise of material prosperity. There, as here, we have agreed to become a kind of indentured labour, on the promise that we will be taken care of, cradle to grave.

Let us at least celebrate, for a moment in time, men and women who were better than we are.


Anonymous said...

David Warren is always worth the read. He has an amazing grasp of history and founding principles.

Wretched Dog

Anonymous said...


Gotta See The Whole Iceberg said...

"The soldiers who fell in Normandy were not fighting for swimming pools and home entertainment centres. They had before them a view of the dignity of man: of things worth more than life itself."

The common good...perhaps?

Since Papa Guv had to draft over 10 million into "service," how could they fight for our freedom when they didn't even fight for their own?

Also, why do folks feel we owe them something, when they return from doing something they didn't want to do in the first place?

Liber-Tea isn't brewed by troops overseas (even volunteer ones)...only the foundation for Tyranny here at home through gin'd up nationalism by state-run politicos & media.

Gotta Wake Up B4 U Get Up.

Anonymous said...

No argument here. Better men and woman indeed........mthead

ParaPacem said...

Never read the man before; but I will in future. this is one of the most moving, solemnly touching things that I have read in years. These words help me to lift my eyes and heart upward again.
Thank you for sharing it!

chris horton said...

Excellent post Mike.

As always,Thanks!


ParaPacem said...

Mike - just a thought here - when various types show up to comment solely for the purpose of disrespecting the war dead and dishonoring those who survived and expressing their obviously impotent disdain for those who are now serving - like the one above - have you ever thought of either just deleting them or pointing them toward blogs for Code Pink, IVAW or some other junkie outfit of anti-mil cowards?
They contribute nothing at all by being here. If they want to piss on the flag and on the graves of the dead, maybe they should start with their own blogs and see if anyone reads them.

Dutchman6 said...


You wouldn't believe the number I have to delete for reasons of bad language, insults, pimping racist sites, etc. Recall the last dustup with the anarchists?

I try to err on the side of free speech, but for every complaint like yours I get, either here or in email, I get ten from the folks who don't get their complaints posted in full.

It is a thankless task. But rule of thumb for those who don't make it past the Vanderboegh filter: It's my blog. If they piss me off by insulting me, or using foul language, they ain't getting on.

Lately I've been getting a lot of bitches from folks calling me a coward amd comparing me to Sebastian. They're welcome to their opinion. But this blog is about MY opinions.

In any case, the post you refer to is one of the tamer ones so I let it go through.


chris horton said...

Sebastian? Dam,that's about the ultimate slap,me thinks! And you are NOTHING LIKE HIM!

Whoever says that is just tugging at your line.


Luke (alias "Lines With Chrome") said...

Why have you deleted my recent comments, Mike? I don't see how I've been any less "tame" than the supposed slander against our war dead you let stand in this comment thread.

And I DO seem to recall that at least half of the US troops fighting in WWII were draftees. That's actually a higher percentage than in Vietnam. Most men do NOT want to risk dying "for their country" in some overseas abattoir they likely can't even find on a map. That is why for anything but a brushfire war you need a draft.

As Fred Reed (wounded USMC Vietnam combat veteran- who has one working eye courtesy of a commie 12.7 that shot up the truck he was driving) put it:

"The draft relies on the principle that at each step, from reporting for training to getting irrevocably on the troop ship, it is easier to cooperate than to resist. A draftee may fight bravely. Yet he wouldn't have gone unless compelled."

Make no mistake, if men are being held and forced to labor against their will and it's not as a punishment for a crime for which they were tried, convicted and sentenced in accordance with due process, it IS the textbook definition of slavery. War for freedom fought by men themselves enslaved is a contradiction in terms.

And how is it that after most of these wars allegedly fought for "freedom" the boys come home to a country that is LESS free than the one they left? GCA '68, anybody? Wage & price controls? Suspending habeas corpus and freedom of speech, throwing dissenters in jail or even deporting them (in the case of a US Congressman critical of Lincoln's war)?

As for what I'm "owed" as a veteran (let the swift-boating begin), I'm owed what I was promised in the terms of my enlistment, and nothing more. I'm proud enough of my volunteer stint in the Navy that I don't need any redeemed former leftist to pat me on the back, and in fact I am uncomfortable with accepting thanks from someone for supposedly doing something for them that I in fact didn't do for them.

And if I'm to be called a dirty, no-account un-American, unpatriotic coward, could I AT LEAST ask that it be people who actually served in the military themselves who do so? Accusations of cowardice, treason, disrespect to war dead and lack of patriotic ardor etc, coming from the 101st Couch Commandos and 82nd Fighting Keyboarders have always left me unimpressed.

Iceberg O' Truth said...

The men of D-day fought, suffered, and died for the right of "Gotta See The Whole Iceberg". He just doesn't know it.

-- The problem with Mr. Icebergs retort was its profane bluntness, bad timing, and lack of manners. However, it does reek of truth. It requires insight into the conception of US "nationalism". -- Is it something our founders wanted? And why have we, as a whole, forgotten about states rights and sovereignty? There is a reason -- Research the "Pledge of Allegiance" to answer the above questions. What you will find will shock you. -- Especially the original salute to the flag -- Also, why wasn't "under God" in the pledge for over fifty years. A better question would be - Why didn't the creators include it themselves?

-- The pledge of Allegiance was only one facet of many in the successful attempt to heavily "centralize" our government. -- I'm sure Mike could explain this better than I, given his experience in this arena.

No offense Mike, and thanks for all you do.


Toastrider said...

Maybe I'm tired. What exactly is Iceberg saying again? That fighting in ANY situation is a bad idea?

Did he get beat up a lot in high school or something?

straightarrow said...

I would remind Luke and Gotta, that our recruiting stations were filled with volunteers on Dec. 8, 1941 and Sep 12, 2001.

All our men and women in uniform must believe there is something of worth in their service,something of worth to themselves, for they are all now volunteers.

Luke (alias "Lines With Chrome") said...

As for the Tienanmen protesters, they are hardly worthy of compare to the troops who liberated France. They marched into Tienanmen Square holding up large portraits of the butcher Mao, and were angry that, by their lights, the "capitalistic" reforms of Deng were moving the country too far to the right. They demanded more money for students and higher pay for college graduates (who, owing to the rapid industrialization and burgeoning trade with the west had actually fallen behind the non-college-educated Chinese in pay). The protest leaders not only expected a bloodbath, they were looking forward to one, because they thought it would be a catalyst for "reform" to move the country back towards the "true path" of communism.

Look Below the Waterline... said...

Thanks for all the kind words about my initial comment...more of you should perhaps read two time CMH recipient, USMC Major General Smedley Butler thoughts about his military service & about the build-up to WWII, before jumping on my ice-berg...

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. ...Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

"WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."

--War Is A Racket (google it)

A few further thoughts for consideration, are we are still a "lawful" country if voluntary enlistment contracts are in four to six years terms?

Before you answer...
The lawful by-laws creating our nation require: no standing army AND no Military Appropriations for more than two years.

How does swearing an oath to protect and defend the Constitution lawfully begin by first breaking it?? Or are you contracting to serve without pay should Congress not fund your job?

The Iceberg is Melting...