Back in September, 2003, Dr. Herbert London of the Hudson Institute wrote a column on the connection between “internal moral strength and military muscle.” He wrote, “From Sun Tzu to Clauswitz, theorists of war have recognized that the destruction of an enemy from within is as noteworthy as invasion from without. Moreover, the spirit, what might be described as the essential moral core of the state, must remain resolute to defend national interests against those who would destroy or conquer.”
We wrote about that column in an AIM Report. At the time, the biggest military scandal was a sidelight to the Jessica Lynch story. Former POW Lynch, who was put forward as a heroine in the Iraq war, suffered an embarrassment when pornographer Larry Flynt announced that he had purchased semi-nude photos of her at an Army base. Now we know that, during this time frame, a few soldiers in Iraq were putting together their own pornography, associated with the effort to abuse Iraqi prisoners.
It is not our intent to exploit this scandal; we have had enough of that from the major media. A small number of soldiers has been involved, and this should not detract from the effort being made by the rest of our troops. But the Herbert London column sheds even more light now on what has happened to the war effort and what must be done to restore the moral strength of our nation.
London wrote, “Mobilizing the nation to fight is always difficult after an event that outrages the public?such as the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon?fades from memory. It is even more complicated when bread and circuses in the form of risqu? T.V. programs are a national distraction, when the radical sensibility gains acceptance through homosexual unions or the now common belief that whatever you do in the privacy of your home is acceptable. One might well ask: ‘What are we fighting for? The right to watch Sex and The City and to legitimate gay weddings?'”
Anticipating criticism, London said, “My detractors might say, so far so good. We have titillating TV and a military capable of fighting brilliantly. We have lost the culture war, but we are winning the war on terror. Perhaps.” The word “perhaps” is the key. Today, the successful liberation of Iraq is in jeopardy. If the effort fails, it may be seen as the result of a sensationalistic media that continues to exploit the dirty deeds of a few soldiers corrupted by American culture.
Herbert London warned against “making concessions to cultural revolutionaries.” He said conservatives who did so “seem to have overlooked the nexus between internal moral strength and military muscle.” Most people sense that something is wrong. A new Gallup poll finds that roughly four in five Republicans and Democrats alike rate moral values in the United States as “only fair” or “poor.” Just one in five in either group thinks morals are “excellent” or “good.” If we had a media that was doing their job, they would combat?rather than contribute to?the declining morality of society. A decadent society cannot defend itself.