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The Test That Failed

Reader comment on item: The End of Treason

Submitted by David Aronin (United States), Aug 17, 2005 at 03:31

Dr. Pipes,
What we have seen in this war so far is an experiment, one that tests the limits to which a society can function to protect itself without general adherence to a sense of national mission – and as enforced as needed by those regulations traditionally imposed on a nation at war. And, though good progress has been made – both through the unparalleled skill and dedication of our – and our allied - military personnel and the civilians who work with and in support of them, as well as the stubborn determination and fortitude of the President, his administration, and legislative supporters of both parties – it is an open question as to whether we can continue to do so in the inevitable long term of this current struggle – without resort to the traditional measures taken by a nation truly and fully at war – including recognition of the fact that the day has not yet arrived, nor may it ever, when a nation which is responding militarily to an attack upon itself or its allies can allow active and public internal opposition to its efforts to defend itself and still survive. And, though the verdict on this may very well not be in as yet, the very volatility of American
Public support and expectations for the current policy in Iraq suggests that it is not.

On the other hand, as you pointed out, one of the terrible lessons of the First World War was that some form of venue for the expression, reception, and response to an ongoing loyal, non-partisan, and constructive critique of the methods being employed, may be vital if a war is to be fought and won at a cost that is not itself prohibitive of future strength, prosperity and security. And while I do not feel that a substantial proportion of the criticism currently being made in regards to the present conflict falls into the category alluded to above – I do believe that it is vital for our success in this conflict that some reconciliation be undertaken between the evident need to reassert traditional war-time attitudes, regulations and standards of conduct, and that of maintaining a constructive dialogue on the progress of the war. I think that now is past time to start consideration of what a process like that might look like, and I thank you once more for helping to bring that need to light.

Thank you once more for your good work,
David Aronin

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