War is too damn serious to fight in half-measures or for a president's pride. And I am sick of American troops leaving our shores filled with vigor and ambition and hope only to return disillusioned, scarred, maimed, or dead. On this, left and right are beginning to agree.
Here are just some of the wars we fought half-assed in my lifetime:
- El Salvador/Nicaragua
- Iraq I
- Iraq II
By “half-assed,” I mean sending troops into harms way with no better purpose than to stop fighting on some arbitrary date and time. A date determined by crusty old men and cracked old ladies in Washington whose net worth doubles every time the US flag drapes another coffin.
A calendar isn’t worth killing our kids for. You can buy calendars at Walmart for a $14.95, and they come with pictures of hot women or cute puppies, not dead Marines.
So if we’re going to have this debate, let’s go all the way.
I will support war with Syria if we are fighting for unconditional surrender of the enemy.
I will support a war resolution that tells the executive branch to any and all means to bring the enemy to his knees, including nuclear weapons.
I will support a war of massive proportions if we’re in it to win it and fight until the last enemy—or the last American—is dead or captured.
I will support a war in which every American suffers to some degree. No toilet paper, no Comedy Central, gasoline once a week, no new cars or computers, and no entertainment awards shows of any kind.
I will support a real war that meets the criteria I wrote about (with embarrassingly stilted language) in my 1993 book The Conservative Manifesto:
The United States seeks to be left alone. Therefore, when we are provoked to the point that force is required against a foreign country, the objective of the United States’ action will be total and unconditional surrender of the enemy. Likewise, the United States will not place its armed forces in harm’s way unless the objective of our action is total and unconditional surrender of the enemy.
My son Patrick, who just grabbed something out of the refrigerator behind me, was just a baby lying in his playpen next to my desk when I typed those words. He turned 20 this summer. When I wrote that, I was wearing my summer whites—the Navy’s summer office uniform. I was living in Navy housing in Groton, CT.
My position on war isn’t new. And it’s been consistent. Unlike Secretary of State John Kerry who opposed every action America undertook until he became Sec State and eligible to put his name on the trophy if we win.
So here’s my bill for Congress, the one I will support:
1. A state of war exists between the United States and Syria and shall remain until Syria's government surrenders to American forces without condition.
2. The Executive shall prosecute this war to its successful end as defined in paragraph 1 using all weapons available—or that become available—including nuclear weapons.
Bring up that bill, Senator McCain. Have that debate with the American people. Say it! Have the balls to tell the American people and the world we mean business. Or shut up.
If you’re not willing to fight a total war, read up on the current conditions in Libya, Egypt, and Iraq.
Stop getting people killed and leaving messes for other people to clean up—or die trying.
It’s time to choose.
War or peace.
Defeat or victory.
No more Vietnams.