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Americans Do Not Retreat

Jay and I have been bantering the 'Joe Horn' case, discussing various aspects of it and what it means to the greater society. Along the way, Jay mentioned the concept of 'duty to retreat'. The concept is based on the idea that when faced with an aggressor, a person has a moral duty to avoid confrontation, to give up ground and back away. That when a criminal gets it in his head that he wants to take something, we should just let him do so. That if he hurts someone, we should not try to prevent it. That the most we are allowed to do, is to stay out of the way, and if we feel guilty about doing nothing we can call the police later on and they will file a report about it.

This concept frankly strikes me as obscene, but more to the point, it is un-American. Concepts like duty to retreat seem to be very much how Liberals see the world. Such a concept explains how they can see Iraq's freedom from Saddam Hussein as a bad thing - we should not have taken him down, you see, it was somehow "wrong" to free millions of innocent Iraqis from a mad dictator. Same thing in Afghanistan; the Left would argue that even an evil usurping group like the Taliban somehow constituted a 'sovereign government', which we were wrong to confront and remove, even though they protected and supported Al Qaeda and the monsters who committed 9/11's horrors (for which the Left also blames America - we should not have gone outside our borders, you see, should not have promoted business anywhere in foreign lands, even where we were invited, should not have raised living standards and therefore expectations in third world countries, etc.). We see it in Europe now, where governments facing seditious thugs trying to tear apart their societies, actually apologize to the monsters and tell the victims not to make trouble. The established traditions and cultures of more than a thousand years are being dismantled, by the very governments which should be defending them, because those governments fear confrontation. It is a worse offense than cowardice, because a coward only shames his own name; the proponents of this concept would coerce a general condition of fear and self-loathing, all in the name of appeasement.

But I said this concept is un-American. Some who hate President Bush for protecting the nation, have claimed that his decisions and directives have hurt our standing in the world. I say rather the opposite, that the iron in his spine makes us taller in the view of everyone else. More and more nations copy the American model, in government, in business, and in culture. And what's more, President Bush is well in line with American tradition on that point. It is important to note that our nation was born in blood, though not a fight we wanted to have. When the British took to not only occupying major American towns in order to enforce its tax decrees, but quartering troops in American homes, they sparked a general rebellion which grew to drive a new nation into being. When the Barbary pirates raided our vessels and demanded tribute, we did not answer long with money, but soon replied with naval gunnery. The War of 1812 may well have been foolish, but by the time it was over, Europe knew better than to dictate terms to us. When we went to war with Spain over Cuba and the Philippines, we did not settle for a diplomatic victory, but removed Spain from those countries. And to address our attitude in World War 2 towards our enemies, one need only consider any of the public statements made by General Patton or Admiral Halsey. Only when we let ourselves get talked into considering our missions to have limits, do we lose wars. When we do whatever is necessary to win, we win easily.

This does not mean that war without restraint is always the most desirable, but it does mean that when we are attacked, we are right to answer in full force. When our objective protects our homeland, we are right to put our goals ahead of other nations'. Our friends must ever be aware that we will accomplish our missions, and our enemies must be made to know that there is no greater foolishness than to provoke our wrath. Mister Obama is very much wrong on that point - there must indeed be preconditions to any meeting with an adversary, the chief being that our enemies must know that they cannot hope to defeat us, that any attack against us will be answered, fully but in such time and manner as suits our plans, no one else.

Americans do not retreat.


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Comments (47)

The "duty to retreat" was t... (Below threshold)

The "duty to retreat" was trumpted as a means to avoid confrontations that would lead to injuries. Unfortunately, it became an absolute and there is no way of knowing how many were injured, maimed or killed following that dictum. Seems common sense was thrown out the window when some twit came up with that one.

When the spate of school shooting occurred, I told my kids that their life was precious and that I expected them to fight for it. The last thing I wanted them to do is be passive and just let it happen. Kick, bite, throw whatever is at hand, beat 'em to death with a ruler, but don't give up and submit. There was a sentence that caught my eye after the Virginia Tech shootings. One of the victims was pointing out where he'd been wounded. He said "That's the desk I chose to die under". Whether he intended or not, the wording indicated (to me) it was not the location (place) he chose, it was the fact he chose to die.

Crooks have grown up on the idea that citizens will retreat passively, they've staked their "careers" on it. When the good finally realize they outnumber the misfits and don't have to take their shit things will change.

I think the duty to retreat... (Below threshold)

I think the duty to retreat doctrine began its not fast enough decline to death on Flight 93. The first 2 planes followed duty to retreat, and we lost the WTC, Flight 93 acted, and (very sadly) died preventing some other target from being hit.

Are you by any chance a lib... (Below threshold)

Are you by any chance a liberal? Your rant is based on feelings an an ingnorance of underlying facts.

Before an individual uses DEADLY FORCE against a criminal, he has a duty to retreat under certain circumstances. If the crook 1) isn't inside your house, 2) isn't threatening you or someone else, or is not advancing toward you, you have a "duty to retreat" before blowing him away. You also can't use deadly force against 1) a fleeing crook, or 2) one that has stolen property from you and is outside absconding.

Make whatever points you want, but your anaolgy to "duty to retreat" is misplaced.

Concepts like duty... (Below threshold)
Concepts like duty to retreat seem to be very much how Liberals see the world. Such a concept explains how they can see Iraq's freedom from Saddam Hussein as a bad thing - we should not have taken him down, you see, it was somehow "wrong" to free millions of innocent Iraqis from a mad dictator. Same thing in Afghanistan; the Left would argue that even an evil usurping group like the Taliban somehow constituted a 'sovereign government',

You are proceeding from the false assumption the Left doesn't privately envy Tyrannical rule despite how much they love to decry it in their political opponents.

So they see tyrannical regimes as quite legitimate. Perhaps even more legitimate than their own.

aircav, your pretend law is... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

aircav, your pretend law is very amusing, but here in the real world I catch such vapid attempts pretty quick.

No, I am not a Liberal. But you appear to me to be a liar.

Aircav;Just to muddy... (Below threshold)

Just to muddy the waters, any citizen has the right to make an arrest when a crime is committed in their presence. Along with that right is the authority to use 'reasonable force' to affect that arrest. Then it comes down to the facts in each individual case. You probably won't get away with shooting someone fleeing a property crime. Change that crime to rape or serious assault and you have a completely different case.

#3--I believe you are confu... (Below threshold)

#3--I believe you are confusing the terms "duty to retreat" and "use of deadly force" and using them interchangeably. They are not the same. Duty to retreat is the notion that you should not defend your property, family, rights or life in the presence of a threat. Use of deadly force is using force to permanently incapacitate a person.

There is no situation in which you should be under a duty to retreat--you may choose to retreat if your determine that is your best option but are not and should never be under any obligation to retreat.

You have an arguable point that there may be situations that deadly force is not necessary, but that is best left to those in the dangerous situations, not armchair quarterbacks like you or me or, worse, lawyers. What if an unarmed man who just burgled your home is running away, outside your house, but going to his car to get a gun? And how can you know if he has a gun in his car? His waistband? What if you surprised him and he wants you to think he's unarmed so you'll drop your guard and give him an opportunity to take you out with a hidden weapon?

The use of deadly force is serious--those that use it can reasonably expect to have their decision looked at by a grand jury. However, extreme situations do not easily lend themselves to hard-and-fast rules, which is why I think juries tend to give the benefit of the doubt to those who exercise their right to defend themselves under duress.

I disagree completely. Prog... (Below threshold)

I disagree completely. Progressives are not committed to retreating, or not fighting for what they believe in.

An example would be the palestinians. Never a peep of protest when a splodeydope self ignites and kills a bunch of innocent israeli children.

The truth is they dont believe in america, you can ask them sometime what they think America stands for.

Who would fight for a country that represents racism, jingoism, and war?

And as Obama's buddies have demonstrated, they will fight, bomb, and kill americans, Just ask Ayers.

to quote someone wiser than i: "They arent anti-war, they are actually on the other side"


President Iron Spine spent ... (Below threshold)

President Iron Spine spent the afternoon watching tee ball. Fun!

"the Left would argue that ... (Below threshold)

"the Left would argue that even an evil usurping group like the Taliban somehow constituted a 'sovereign government', which we were wrong to confront and remove, even though they protected and supported Al Qaeda and the monsters who committed 9/11's horrors."

Geez, DJ, I was starting to worry there for a while. You were starting to sound lucid and somewhat reasonable. Good to see you are back to you extreme ignorance and buffoonery. Show me a quote from a prominent liberal stating that we should not go into Afghanistan. Not some extreme fringe blogger, but a prominent Democrat. You certainly have the credibility to talk about ultra-right-wing viewpoints, but when you spout off about what liberals think you demonstrate your extreme ignorance.

Coming from you max, your i... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Coming from you max, your insults just show I was on target. Thanks!

MAX,Certainly not ... (Below threshold)


Certainly not surprising that the left has trouble with those "ultra right-wing viewpoints", like: believing it legitimate to defend one's life and property with the use of deadly force; knowing it to be just and heroic to free 40 million people in two nations from the grip of tyranical lunacy; refusing to take it seriously when third rate nations like France denegrate and presume to dictate policy to the United States.

I would shoot a fleeing bur... (Below threshold)

I would shoot a fleeing burglar in the back. You absolutely should, and would be a fool not to.

You leave him alive, he'll come back another time and this time you might not get to your gun before he gets to you. This concept is explored endlessly and with relish in B-horror movies where the heroine shoots the villain and then runs away before making sure he is really, truly dead.

Empty the clip. Then cut his head off if the clip failed to do so.

Some who hate President ... (Below threshold)

Some who hate President Bush for protecting the nation, have claimed that his decisions and directives have hurt our standing in the world.

We hate Bush for making the world less secure, not protecting the nation.

Are such a dolt as to beleive that liberals are going saying we hate Bush for protecting us?

Dave, a simple refresher in... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Dave, a simple refresher in basic Engish grammar would do your posts a world of good.

As for your lying about Bush, well, for that you will need the services of a competent psychologist ...

This does not mean that ... (Below threshold)

This does not mean that war without restraint is always the most desirable, but it does mean that when we are attacked, we are right to answer in full force.


DJ,How did I lie a... (Below threshold)


How did I lie about Bush?

DJ,If anyone shoul... (Below threshold)


If anyone should be accused of dis-honesty its you for perpetuating the myth that Iraq was involved in 9-11.

"This does not mean that war without restraint is always the most desirable, but it does mean that when we are attacked, we are right to answer in full force."

Clever evasion DJ, but I'm ... (Below threshold)

Clever evasion DJ, but I'm not going to let you off quite that easily. I know you don't have anything to back up your claims, but I'll ask again. Do you have even one quote from a prominent American liberal stating that we should not invade Afghanistan?

And speaking of Afghanistan and the perpetrators of 911, how's your buddy Bush doing at bringing them to justice? Seems to me he ran away to Iraq before taking care of business in Afghanistan. Oh, and guess what? The Taliban is back. Heckuva job, Bushie.

Also, before you bust someone else's chops over grammar, maybe you should try using spellcheck.

Dave and Max are in full sq... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Dave and Max are in full squeal mode, I see.

Almost as good as fireworks!

DJ,Scowcroft, a fo... (Below threshold)


Scowcroft, a former Air Force general and national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush disagrees with you.

He has stated that the next president should absolutely talk with leaders such as Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Snocroft is pretty smart. In 2002 he correctly predicted "Don't Attack Saddam...could turn the whole region into a cauldron and thus destroy the war on terrorism"

Do you also think Scowcroft ascribes to your ridiculus notion of "Duty to Retreat"?

DJ,Richard Armitag... (Below threshold)


Richard Armitage, Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State disagrees with you.

He said the Bush administration should conduct direct nuclear negotiations with Iran

-Financial Times APril 13, 2006

Do you also think Richard Armitage ascribes to your ridiculus notion of "Duty to Retreat"?

DJ,Richard N. Haas... (Below threshold)


Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations disagrees with you.

He says, "Given these potential high costs, Washington should be searching harder for a diplomatic alternative, one that entail direct US talks with Iran"

Do you also think Richard N. Haass ascribes to your ridiculus notion of "Duty to Retreat"?

DJ,Dennis Ross, di... (Below threshold)


Dennis Ross, director for policy planning in the State Department under President George H.W. Bush and special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton disagrees with you.

He supports talking with Iran.

Do you also think Dennis Ross ascribes to your ridiculus notion of "Duty to Retreat"?

DJ,Chuck Hagel dis... (Below threshold)


Chuck Hagel disagrees with you,

"As we consider the regional context of stability and security in Iraq, there is another issue that we must deal with--a relationship between the United States and Iran. The fact that our two governments cannot--or will not--sit down to exchange views must end. Iran is a regional power; it has major influence in Iraq and throughout the Gulf region. Its support of terrorist organizations and the threat it poses to Israel is all the more reason that the U.S. must engage Iran. Any lasting solution to Iran's nuclear weapons program will also require the United States' direct discussions with Iran. The United States is capable of engaging Iran in direct dialogue without sacrificing any of its interests or objectives. As a start, we should have direct discussions with Iran on the margins of any regional security conference on Iraq, as we did with Iran in the case of Afghanistan."

Do you also think Chuck Hagel ascribes to your ridiculus notion of "Duty to Retreat"?

DJ,You have a tend... (Below threshold)


You have a tendancy of making up bizarre explantions for the behavior of people you disagree with. Your concept of Duty of Retreat is laughable.

Dave:Hahahahahaha!... (Below threshold)


Hahahahahaha! "The United States is capable of engaging Iran in direct dialogue without sacrificing any of its interests or objectives."

Engage to what end? They've already stated their position and are suffering sanctions because of it. Has that 'moved' them?

If the Iranians "engage" for any reason it will be to stall for time.

After they acquire a nuke, what do you propose then Dave? Will we then have 'a duty to retreat'?

DJ, Your posterboy... (Below threshold)


Your posterboy, aircav, isn't in nor from
Texas. Remind him of Mr.Horn.
Happy 4th to you.

That's what I thought, DJ. ... (Below threshold)

That's what I thought, DJ. Let me know when you graduate the 8th grade.

In a world of predators, de... (Below threshold)

In a world of predators, deadly force is an absolute deterrent to recidivism. Thank you, Mr. Horn for being your brother's keeper when men came to do him evil. Burglars take from their victim all that has value, which can include the victim's life. Burglars should all fear that the neighbors may gut them with a 12 gauge, even if the cable guy gets challenged by granny with a long-gun now and again.

My gun law would be that you have to tie a white woolen flag on your place if you do not have one. We don't want the wolves to have trouble finding the wooly-headed sheep, since it saves the rest of us the trouble of feeding the wolves and of fleecing the sheep.

max, I did not answer becau... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

max, I did not answer because

a) unlike you, I had better things to do than spend all afternoon trying to impress myself, and

b) your list of left-leaning ego-feeders was laughable in any sense of credibility. I mean really, you expect a Conservative to be impressed by you dropping names like Armitage and Hagel? By the State Department, of all agencies? Please.

I wanted to see you present a cogent argument, something that really addressed the issue. I am only answering you out of sense of pity for your obvious desire for attention.

Your reference to the 8th grade, by the way, reminds me to encourage you to do your best, and one day you too can graduate from Middle School. As I work towards my MBA and CPA license, I try to recall how difficult it is for folks whose mental capacity is as obviously constrained as your own, and for that you truly have my sympathy.

I would love to he... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

I would love to hear how Bush has protected America.

Most low information sub-missives, like the Wizbangers, have an absolute infantile view of "the war on terror".

They think that Bin Laden planned the 9-11 attacks to strike a destructive blow against America. A series of murders on our soil.

This attitude reflects the bumper sticker mentality of the right and regurgitates the misinformation from such geniuses as Hannity and Limbaugh.

The 9-11 attacks were a TRIGGER to set Bin Ladens plan into motion.
Bush responded to a degree that even Bin Laden underestimated.

Each and every goal Bin Laden had wished Bush fulfilled with vigor.

Oil at 100 a barrel was the goal, protracted draining conflict, Bush responded on TWO FRONTS. Weaken the dollar, weaken the bond with our allies [where is the coalition of the willing], break the military[ 4 tours], drain the coffers, 12 billion a month...........on and on and on.

Wow Dr Lava, so in other wo... (Below threshold)

Wow Dr Lava, so in other words, BinLaden is a fucking genius. Sure he is. AQ's own people say they got their asses kicked. Recruitment is down, Afganistan is no longer a safe sancturary.

Dr Lava reminds me of Grant's admonition to his generals. Roughly, 'Don't worry about what Lee will do to us, concentrate on what we'll do to Lee'.

"I would love to hear how Bush has protected America." Uh, anymore buildings blown up by hijacked jets? Any US warships blown up? Any more US embassies blown up?

Yeah, come back now with all the death and destruction in Iraq....

Before discussing the USA's... (Below threshold)
Dodo David:

Before discussing the USA's involvement in Iraq, it would be helpful to first read the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 and the Joint Resolution to Authorize the use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq.

The first act by Congress, which was passed before 9/11, made the removal of Saddam Hussein from power the official policy the of the USA.

The second act by Congress does not say that Iraq was directly involved with 9/11; however, the act does say the following:

"Whereas members of al-Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;"

"duty to retreat" lmao ....... (Below threshold)

"duty to retreat" lmao ....equals---------

BANG BANG BANG -TWO shots to the torso, one head shot..(preferably with a .357 magnum) then.. YELL "STOP or I'LL SHOOT!"

DEAD men tell NO tales...

GarandFanI ... (Below threshold)
dr lava:


I don't think Bin Laden is that much of a genius as he is a deeply aware of history. He has a keen knowledge of our civil war and revolutionary war. Peter Bergen writes about his conversations with Bin Laden in the late 80's where he describes using the "Soviet" playbook when he declared war on America. Bleed it dry.

You don't seem to understand that Bin Laden is achieving his main goals without wasting his resources.

I have more than a little t... (Below threshold)
Rick Caird:

I have more than a little trouble following dr lava's logic. It may be true that Bin Laden is not wasting his resources, but I doubt it. His organization has lost in Iraq, antagonized a lot of Muslims, lost face thereby harming his recruiting efforts, has seen his financial network implode, is living in caves in the wilds of Pakistan, has limited to no training facilities, is under attack from Predator drones, is unable to use a cell phone, but rely on couriers, and is facing attack from Pakistan in the East.

I suppose that could be called not "wasting his resources", but seems more like watching his resources dwindle away. I guess you have to be a liberal to argue Bin Laden is the better off for Bush's response simply because he has not "wasted his resources".


Shortly after 9/11 and befo... (Below threshold)
Rick Caird:

Shortly after 9/11 and before the invasion of Afghanistan, MoveOn.org circulated this petition:


Dear Representative,

To combat terrorism, we must act in accordance with a high standard that does not disregard the lives of people in other countries. If we retaliate by bombing Kabul and kill people oppressed by the Taliban dictatorship who have no part in deciding whether terrorists are harbored, we become like the terrorists we oppose. We perpetuate the cycle of retribution and recruit more terrorists by creating martyrs.

(Your personal note)

Please do everything you can to counsel patience as we search for those responsible. Please ensure that our actions reflect the sanctity of human life everywhere. Thank you.


That surely sounds like opposing the invasion of Afghanistan to me. But, maybe the liberals have a different definition of "opposition".


Maybe lava's point was that... (Below threshold)

Maybe lava's point was that a lunatic from a fairly wealthy family with CIA training waged successful psychological warfare against the United States. Whether he is ever personally responsible for the death of another innocent person, he has already succeeded in polarizing the world in a way that suits his perverse political/religious aims. People here really don't seem to be that upset at the fact that a man who orchestrated the murder of so many, and is probably hooked up to a dialysis machine in a cave, has not yet been killed or captured.

There is no worse punishmen... (Below threshold)

There is no worse punishment for a "powerful" man then to make him impotent. Osama is impotent. He is suffering more then if he was dead, which is fine with me. Only the left would feel less secure because they usually are the ones who run from a fight. Or they call names and shout statements, but when it is the others turn they say "I don't want to talk about this anymore." If it was not for strength and force and strong tough leaders, we would be speaking the queens english today. Thanks God there are brave, couragious leaders that disregard the cowardly thinking of the left. I say the militant muslims brought the fight, now we finish it. To the end. ww

Yeah, Osama bin Laden broug... (Below threshold)

Yeah, Osama bin Laden brought the fight, and he's still alive and JihadTubing about the imminent destruction of The Great Satan or whatever his M.O. is these days. I'm not afraid of the guy, Willie. I'm just saying that someone who murders >3,000 innocent American citizens, and advocates the murder of American soldiers and contractors in Iraq and elsewhere, ought to be the sort of person who pro-war Americans concern themselves with. So it's not about feeling insecure that he isn't in jail; it's about seeing justice done.

As for the bit about the Queen's English, I have no idea what that has to do with whether or not you should be okay with the world's most famous terrorist leader avoiding capture following his orchestration of the destruction of the World Trade Center.

bin laden is still alive? R... (Below threshold)

bin laden is still alive? Really? Are we relying on internet videos, or audio tapes featuring the incoherent recitation of democrat talking points as proof of life? I for one am not convinced, but then, I am one of those brainwashed conservative, mind-numbed robots.

Bin Laden has been dead sin... (Below threshold)

Bin Laden has been dead since Tora Bora. Lots of interesting intel to suggest the DNA testing taken from the Bin Laden family after Tora Bora was to identify his splishy splashy remains.

It suits our government to allow him to be thought alive. We all snicker when "Castro" says something from Cuba, and most of us who pay attention snicker when the latest Bin Laden video comes out.

I hope, fondly, that his head is in a jar of urine in the bunker in the White House. Regardless, the man is dead.

"I hope, fondly, that his h... (Below threshold)

"I hope, fondly, that his head is in a jar of urine in the bunker in the White House. Regardless, the man is dead."

Please remove your tinfoil hat.

Word that, Skeeter. What po... (Below threshold)

Word that, Skeeter. What possible reason would George W. Bush or Cheney or anyone have for keeping the death of Bin Laden a secret? His death would be a victory, politically, militarily, and ideologically. You clowns are so full of shit. You were told a few times by some cretin on Fox News or in the fevered pages of the National Review that Bin Laden doesn't matter anymore, and that's good enough for you?

Why don't you ask the families of the victims of 9/11 how they feel about that sentiment?

"Please remove your tinfoil... (Below threshold)

"Please remove your tinfoil hat."

What the hell are you talking about? He is dead and has been since 2001.

hyperbolist,It was... (Below threshold)


It was Bin Laden that died, not Al Qaeda. Fox News and the National Review were not the only ones who reported it his death.






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