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While working very hard to restrain the anger at the latest news, consider the the insanity that surely inspired the latest self-restraint in pursuit of the unrestrained:

Judge Bars Warrantless Anti-Terrorism Surveillance

The ruling is "the latest example of how the Bush administration has jeopardized our efforts in the war on terror,'' Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said in a statement. "It is time for the administration to work with the Congress to develop effective tools to defeat terrorists.''

Saying nothing of the judge, the day Harry Reid develops a single 'tool to defeat terrorists,' I will be all ears. Until such time, I strongly encourage the credit-hungry and process-obsessed in the US Congress to please kindly get out of the way of those who would do the hard work of protecting this nation against terrorist attacks.

This is not about politics. I could scarcely care less what letter follows Harry Reid's name nor what color jersey he wears. Yet, it cannot be denied that the War on Terror has been warped into a political football and kicked around at the high cost of our own security.

As frustration becomes replaced by anguish at watching America tie her hands behind her back as she averts her eyes from an enemy that seeks to behead her, I refrain from writing.

Instead, I offer below in-full the text I had written on a similar day months ago and posted at MilBlogs. It became known among peers as The MilBlogger Manifesto and is sincerely meant from the very core of my being.

With apologies to both valued readers and my respected ThreatsWatch teammates, this will not be very 'Rapid' by RapidRecon standards, but it needs to be said. Now. Here.


The American Political War on Terror

Something has happened to this country that my grandfathers would scarcely recognize and certainly struggle to fathom. That this requires discussion disgusts me daily.

While it can be traced back to before the 60's (though blossoming then), what really happened was the galvanization of self-loathing using Vietnam as a social catalyst. But the face of this nation changed most significantly when the election of the greatest true conservative leader on a chilly 1980 November evening forced a barely contained media into open rooting for a specific political party. The degeneration of policy discussion and political leadership since has been palpable, fueled by the successes of anti-military media coverage developed during the Vietnam era and skillfully maintained and nearly perfected since then.

And such is the nature of the degeneration of American politics. That this repulsive decay also consumes the very defense of the world's one true beacon of freedom causes true physical discomfort. For we do not own that freedom but are tasked with her defense and care by default.

That we must defend her from ourselves is heartbreaking. That we dare not pause to rest lest we lose her from within is enraging.

And so it is with this ever-present disgust that I read Restarting the Clock of History from Wretchard at Belmont Club, as he paints the portrait of our own mindless internal struggle while the wolves circle, darting between trees and shadows, laughing as we argue amongst ourselves in self-defeat over whether the wolves' teeth or our own defense against them are the greater threat.

The West was supposed to die; slowly and comfortably but ineluctably. And we were supposed to buy off the Islamists until we could finish the job ourselves. Bush declaring his intention to fight for the survival of the West was just as logical as Chomsky's pilgrimage to Hezbollah and just as infuriating to his enemies. Until September 11 it was possible for the more "enlightened" segments of society to regard patriotism, religion and similar sentiments with the kind of amused tolerance that one might reserve for simpletons. Nothing that a little institutionalization and spare change couldn't straighten out. The problem for the Democratic Party is that the Great Polite Silence is over. People like Chomsky and President Bush have stopped being hypothetical and become all too real. Bring it on.

United we stood. At least for a few days, as the union was fleeting and superficial. The union was little more than an uncharacteristic measure of quiet among those who merely waited patiently to finally cry out "Not in our name!"

Why is the defense of this nation a political issue at all? There are those who will argue that it is the manner in which we defend ourselves that is at issue.

That, my friends, is a convoluted disingenuous sheen of reason upon the unreasonable.

A former Attorney General currently vociferously defends a mass murdering dictator deposed by our own forces. An icon of the self-loathing anti-American academic Left, Noam Chomsky, embraces Hizballah, the chief beneficiary of Iran's terror export, and condemns the War on Terror as bigotry wrapped in fiction. A former Vice President travels to the home of fifteen 9/11 hijackers and professes that Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" by America and its sitting president and held in "unforgivable" conditions.

These are not arguments of the manner in which to defend America. These are sycophantic rantings of whether to defend her. The flood of emotions in disbelieving reaction range from anger and rage to depression and grief.

We dare not rest as the most important front of the War on Terror - a war for the very survival of Western Civilization - lies not upon the sands of distant shores, but in our own common discourse. The most important battlegrounds are around our dinner tables and in intelligent and persuasive common sense discussion among our peers, seeking the discomfort of battle and the very defense of defense rather than the comfort and unproductive endeavor of agreement among friends.

The line has been clearly drawn. Tire not. Engage.