The Jade Monkey

I didn't have a superiority complex until inferior people gave me one.

Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States


Fears May Be Liars

I'm still working on my essay in reaction to the Inaugural Address, and may not finish it tonight, try as I may. But in the meantime, in reaction to those who say Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam, based not on the truth, but on the perception created by the media, as well as to those who say Bush's speech was over-reaching, that his idealism doesn't square with reality, I give you one of my favorite poems, "Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth" by Arthur Hugh Clough:

SAY not the struggle naught availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain,
The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars; 5
It may be, in yon smoke conceal'd,
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers,
And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain, 10
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light;
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly! 15
But westward, look, the land is bright!

And Powerline reminds us of the brilliant words of TR, every bit as poetic:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

President Bush is in the arena. His critics cower in fear and petty hatred. There can be no doubt this President dares greatly, and succeed or fail, it will be in the noblest of causes: that of freedom. Though the task is hard, as the President said, it would be dishonorable to avoid or abandon it. The advance of freedom may seem painfully slow, but it is by bold action that that which was once thought impossible becomes not only possible, but actual.

Update: Athena at Terrorism Unveiled adds the words of Fredrick Douglass:

The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.

Her entire post is also well worth reading.


Blogger Unserious Talker said...

Hey, Monkey, you still out there?

8:00 PM  
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