War on Terror: Two books, two contrasting views
Two books offering opposing views of America’s current and future strategic prospects in the War on Terror are New Glory: Expanding America’s Global Supremacy by Ralph Peters and Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror by Anonymous.
But first, a word about books written by anyone who claims to be a serving, senior U.S. intelligence officer and then writes as: “Anonymous.” Even assuming the author has something important and useful to say, hiding one’s identity suggests the author is being self-serving and unwilling to stand behind assertions that would open him or her to the kind of rigorous cross-examination his or her views might warrant. The anonymous writing of supposed non-fiction always has that faint smell of opportunism, at best, and the odor of cowardice, at worst.
Now, lest my co-author and I be accused of hypocrisy, some words about why we write our series of fictional thrillers under the name of: William Penn. As co-authors, it made sense to combine my first name and her nickname as a way of conveying how we go about our “hobby.” Moreover, we just prefer to live the kind of quiet life our protagonists, Buck and Dolly Madison, would live, if circumstances would permit them to do so.
In New Glory, Ralph Peters, Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.), takes the long, strategic view of America’s prospects in the 21st Century. “Anonymous” takes a very short view, preferring to nit-pick what has gone wrong in the War on Terror rather than give much space to our rather remarkable achievements in Afghanistan, in Iraq and in the prevention (as of this writing) of additional 9/11-type attacks on our homeland.
“Anonymous” blames a failure to bring the War on Terror to a quick end upon America. Colonel Peters places the blame on radical Islamists who want to impose a religious dictatorship on the world and upon the Old Europe and the calamities its imperialistic policies have forced the U.S. and Great Britain to sort out.
Here’s just a portion of what Colonel Peters has to say about the Old Europe: “…The old continental powers are still far from forgiving us for supplanting them in the strategic arena – or for our generosity toward them in the last century… The primary intellectual goal of Western European societies for the past half century has been to prove that the United States is as cruel and corrupt as they themselves have been. When your heritage is genocide, wars of aggression, or cowardly surrender, the record of the United States is hard to bear. The old powers cannot avoid measuring themselves against us, but the disparities they discover are so great that Europe’s moral delinquents cannot resist comforting themselves with lies about our naiveté, our purported clumsiness, our violence, and our crudity (without pausing to ask themselves how such pathetic mediocrities could have built the richest, most powerful, most desirable and exemplary society in history)”.
Colonel Peters is not impressed by the dynastic and imperialist wars that led to World Wars I and II and, ultimately, to the Cold War, the recent genocide in the Balkans, and to the post-Versailles creation of geographical, ethnic and religious monstrosities such as Iraq. By contrast, I think we can conclude that “Anonymous” thinks the Old Europeans are much smarter and more sophisticated than we are and that puts him or her in the column of the American Left that swoons at the prospect of being invited to dine on Chablis and Brie with French “intellectuals.”
Speaking of the French, following the evacuation of over 225,000 members of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and over 112,000 French soldiers from Dunkirk (27 May-4 June, 1940), the majority of the French soldiers rescued by the British decided to return to live in Nazi-occupied France rather than fight alongside the Allies who were trying to rescue their country from Hitler’s hoards. Now, the French are AWOL in the War on Terror.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2006. William Hamilton.