The tragic sacking of Iraqi national treasures (by its own people) notwithstanding, our military has proved itself once again to be almost unbelievably robust, efficient AND ethical in its handling of the three week war in Iraq. The question now is no longer can our military live up to our expectations, but rather, can we live up to their excellence?
Victor Davis Hanson, in a very thoughtful mood, has similar thoughts:
- Such unprecedented military power brings with it enormous moral responsibility as the world – its utopians especially – in the decades ahead will vie for a hand in the decisions on how to use it and for what purposes. There quite literally has never been a single nation that has exercised such colossal military force to change almost instantly the status quo, and used it under the auspices of a consensual government to free – Grenada, Panama, Serbia, Afghanistan, and Iraq – rather than to enslave peoples. How long it will last, we do not know, but we should at least realize that we are living in one of the most anomalous periods in recorded history.
Sophocles would warn us that hubris – not enemies in the here and now – is the only real danger to us on the horizon. But so far we have avoided the gods’ nemeses precisely because our soldiers have put their power in the service of good by toppling odious despots – Noriega, Milosevic, Mullah Omar, Saddam Hussein – and leaving the seeds of freedom in their wake. We of an often cynical and ironic society at the least owe them a commensurate idealism. [National Review]