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TYPES OF COURAGE | 1999-11-20

November 11 is the date on which we honor the courage and sacrifice of American soldiers. It is also a time to remember that we usually win the war, but we always lost the peace. In World War II, for example, American soldiers won the war by their physical courage, but the same generation lost a third of the world to Communism by a lack of moral courage at Yalta and in the years that followed it. I have been in a lot of situations, and some of them were such that people HAD to tell each other the truth. One such case is very relevant to November 11. The man talking to me had served for two years in the Pacific in World War II. He had been pulled back from the front and had wanted to go back in with his buddies. But if he had gone back, the doctors said his feet would rot off, and they would not let him go back. There was no questioning his physical courage. He was assigned to a base in the Pacific that had more than its share of war heroes. At that base, the commander would go to the officers' club, get drunk, and beat up one of the officers under him. They didn't dare fight back, and no one dared to complain. In other words, this particular noble hero was a drunken bully. Finally, one officer got sick of it, and knocked the bully out. Said bully then court-martialed him for striking a senior officer. He was convicted. None of the noble heroes, INCLUDING MY FRIEND, had the courage to testify on his behalf. All of the dozens of officers there had PHYSICAL courage in abundance. But they had no MORAL courage at all. You see it all the time. The same man who is a real hero in combat cannot summon the different kind of courage needed to fight drugs or alcohol. In this Pacific case, you see that people who can face machine guns cannot summon the courage to risk damaging their careers in a moral cause for a buddy. In America, you have to have lots of physical courage and no moral courage to become a general. I discussed this on December 19, 1998, in "Of Course The Iraq Attack's Timing Is Political." In that article I pointed out that nobody, but nobody gets a general's star if he would ever put his duty to his country over his duty to his superiors. People who would rat on their superiors in the national interest are weeded out ruthlessly. If you get a star, you are a bureaucrat first and a patriot second. Period. Does this lack of MORAL courage mean they lack PHYSICAL courage? Not at all. It is simply that there is no proven relationship between the two. As one combat professional said to me, "I enjoy driving fast. I enjoy shooting and getting shot at." But this does not make him a paragon of morality. There is no reason why it should. When I was in Africa, I was with a lot of mercenaries. Every one of the older mercenaries had seen more actual combat than ANY person who serves in uniform for thirty years. And they were damned good at it. I can assure you they were not all moral paragons. During World War II, liberals insisted that every American be dedicated to total war against totalitarianism. After all, the totalitarians we were fighting were rightists. But the moment the enemy of freedom was Communism instead of Fascism, leftists shook off this militant stand for freedom like a dog shakes off water. By the 1960s, Jane Fonda was openly supporting those who were killing Americans. Naturally, respectable conservatives go along with these liberal dictates. John McCain openly pals around with those who were on the Communist side in the Vietnam War. Meanwhile he condemns Buchanan as a Hitler lover. McCain has physical courage, but he is a second generation military bureaucrat. He is the legitimate offspring of his Admiral father. He has physical courage but lacks the moral courage we need today. He is absolutely obedient to the liberal authorities who decide who is respectable and who is not. No one who does not understand the distinction between physical and moral courage can have the slightest inkling of what history is about. People who blindly worship uniforms, as America's political right does, are not fit to govern any nation. One of the things Buchanan is attacked for saying in his book was that Hitler was a brave man. Hitler won two iron crosses in World War I. He was a physically brave man. But Buchanan is attacked wildly for saying that. Let me explain why stating this simple fact is so devastating to leftist propaganda. As I pointed on October 23, 1999 in "McCain Waves the Bloody Shirt at Buchanan," one of the major leftist stratagems is to wave the Bloody Shirt of World War II. It goes like this: 1) anybody who is not Politically Correct is anaziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews, 2) Americans died in World War II to fight Hitler, and therefore they fought for Politically Correct ideas, the melting pot, and so forth. From a sane point of view Americans died for their country in World War II. They did not fight for the liberal cause. In other words, the blood of American soldiers does not endorse the melting pot, as liberals insist that it does. If liberals are to wave the bloody shirt, they must insist that all those Americans died for a leftist cause. They must further insist that the only men who were brave, rather than just evil, were the people on their side. As is the case with all liberal propositions, when you state this in plain English, it is just plain crazy. But it is also exactly what the left is saying with its bloody shirt strategy. If you say that Germans, including even Hitler himself, could also be brave men fighting for their own country, it undercuts the bloody shirt justification. It gets us back down to the simple truth that men who die nobly can still be dying in a bloody, messy, pointless waste brought on by insane reasoning at the top. Buchanan says that American bloodshed in the Second World War might have been prevented had Neville Chamberlain followed a more rational strategy. That is NOT the way leftists want us to view World War II. They want the war against Hitler to have been the Last Necessary War. It was fought because Americans were champing at the bit to fight Racism. Meanwhile, back in the real world, Americans declared war on Japan because Japan attacked US at Pearl Harbor. They did NOT declare war against Germany and Italy. In one of the most insane acts in history, Hitler and Mussolini declared war on US! But this real history has been totally forgotten by liberals. They dictate history as they wish it had been, and respectable conservatives go along. One who does not understand history cannot be a conservative. A proper understanding of history is what conservatism is all about. That which calls itself conservatism today has nothing to do with conserving anything. It is all about respectability. To leftists, the only useless bloodbaths were the ones fought against Communists after World War II. To leftists, World War II was The Last Good War, when everybody on the other side was evil, and we were side by side with the Progressive Peace Loving People's Republics our Great Ally Joseph Stalin. The reason leftists honestly believe that Buchanan is secretly a lover of Adolph Hitler is because they themselves have an awfully lot of sympathy with Communists. They made this very, very clear in the 1960s. And respectable conservatives accept every word of the leftist view on the Second World War. McCain pals around with those who supported the Communists openly during the Vietnam War, but he denounces Buchanan as a traitor. And every word McCain says is holy to the respectable right, because McCain wore a uniform. And so long as they blindly worship uniforms, respectable conservatives will maintain this warped view of the world (Please see October 23, 1999 article, "Worshipping the Military Machine").