Here's an excerpt (but read the whole thing):
But there's a difference between a humble nation confessing its sins and a country of flagellants whipping themselves for every impure thought. Since the '60s, we have had, it seems, an endless string of war movies, from "Dr. Strangelove" to "Syriana," in which the United States is depicted as wildly aggressive and endlessly corrupt — which, in fact, it's not; which, in fact, it never has been.I guarantee that the Times will run a "counterpoint" op-ed in the next few days, most likely written by a famous, semi-famous or "I know that name from somewhere" Hollywood artiste. I further guarantee that the phrase "truth to power" will appear somewhere in this piece.
In taking our self-examining ethos to these extremes, we have lost a kind of wisdom, wisdom that acknowledges the complexity of human life but can move through it to find the simple truth again. While assessing the intricate failings of our moral history, many of us have lost sight of the simple truth that the system that shapes us is, in fact, a great one, that it has moved us inexorably to do better and that it's well worth defending against every aggressor and certainly against as shabby and vicious an aggressor as we face today.
Not only have we lost this kind of wisdom, but I think that a handful of elites — really only a handful of academics, journalists and artists — has raised up a golden counterfeit in its stead. With this counterfeit wisdom, they imagine themselves above the need for patriotism; they fantasize they grasp a truth beyond good and evil, and they preen themselves on a higher calling than the protection of our way of life. And all the while they forget that they imagine and fantasize and preen only by the grace of those who fight and die and stand guard to secure those freedoms that our system alone guarantees.
When war comes, as it always will, and when it is justified, as it is now, some nuances and shades of gray have to be set aside. It is time, instead, for faith and for ferocity. Our enemies have these weapons, after all. Our movies should inspire us to have them too.