Consider the current bemoaning of a perceived “lack of progress” and “setbacks” in Afghanistan. A largely pre-medieval, ferociously xenophobic country that never enjoyed good government or a central power able to control all of its territory had become the hostage of a monstrous regime and a haven for terrorists. Today, Afghanistan has an elected government, feeble though it may be; for the first time in the region’s history, some of the local people welcome, and most tolerate, the presence of foreign troops; women are no longer stoned to death in sports stadiums for the edification of the masses; and the most inventive terrorists of our time have been driven into remote compounds and caves. We agonize (at least in the media) over the persistence of the Taliban, unwilling to recognize that the Taliban or a similar organization will always find a constituency in remote tribal valleys and among fanatics. If we set ourselves the goal of wiping out the Taliban, we will fail.
Yes, those brutal, xenophobic savages will always love medievalism and is lucky to have a government as awesome as the Karzai administration. Argh. But in an essay that would otherwise be standard neo-conservative boilerplate about the joys of killing more people, Peters lets this slip:
Pretending to be impartial, the self-segregating personalities drawn to media careers overwhelmingly take a side, and that side is rarely ours. Although it seems unthinkable now, future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media. Perceiving themselves as superior beings, journalists have positioned themselves as protected-species combatants. But freedom of the press stops when its abuse kills our soldiers and strengthens our enemies. Such a view arouses disdain today, but a media establishment that has forgotten any sense of sober patriotism may find that it has become tomorrow’s conventional wisdom.
The point of all this is simple: Win. In warfare, nothing else matters. If you cannot win clean, win dirty. But win. Our victories are ultimately in humanity’s interests, while our failures nourish monsters.(Emphasis mine.)
Yes, yes—victory at any cost is a virtue! Let loose the dogs of war! Murder everyone who gets in our way! Break a few eggs to make the world’s most delicious geopolitical omelette!
And this is after he brags about how the U.S. is the world’s greatest terrorist, since “at present, we are terrorizing the terrorists.” Good God. The mind boggles at who would publish this bullshit.