W. Thomas Smith, Jr

I’m often asked whether-or-not America is still producing future generations of the right sort of men. Not just good men – a man is either good or bad – but tough, clear-headed, un-emasculated, young male leaders capable of standing up to future threats against this nation. After all, as Dr. Walid Phares concludes in his book, Future Jihad, what most Americans “may not want to accept is that the pre-9/11 peace is not coming back soon, and may not come back at all.”

Worse: the future foot-soldiers in the enemy camp are physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared albeit misguided young men (and a handful of women) who have no qualms about sacrificing themselves for the cause of our destruction. And despite awkward attempts at gender-norming in our own camp, young American males will no doubt be the members of our own society looked-to to stem the tide. The nation will continue to look to men – not women – because most Americans still believe most men are better equipped physically, physiologically, and psychologically for the kind of work required to thwart terrorism (U.S. Army studies over the past 15 years reveal the vast majority of women – civilian and military – have no desire to fight anyway.). Some argue it’s a difference in how we are wired. Others say it’s how we are socially groomed. Arguments aside: when the wolf is at the door, we still want the strongest, most aggressive person with the biggest stick.

Moreover, women are currently barred from serving in infantry and special operations units, and for good reason beyond the aforementioned obvious. “Good men protect and defend women in the face of a physical threat,” writes National Review’s Washington editor Kate O’Bierne in Women Who Make the World Worse. “If men in uniform are going to be sex blind when it comes to protecting their comrades, American mothers will have to get to work instructing their sons that it’s okay to hit girls.”

That ain’t going to happen.

So let’s face it, it’s still up to young men to protect us, as well as other young men who will lead them. So what about those young men? Are we – in the land of excess and deliberately dumbed-down masculinity – still turning good boys into great men who can counter the incalculable numbers of boys in other parts of the world who are simultaneously being transformed into terrorists?

You bet.

The proof, I’ve discovered, can be found in almost any middle or high school gym or stadium on weeknights during wrestling or football season.

There you will find boys like my 14-year-old nephew, William Maxwell Fowler, who are not succumbing to American excess, instant gratification, materialism, and politically correct gender-norming.

W. Thomas Smith, Jr

W. Thomas Smith Jr. is a former U.S. Marine rifle-squad leader and counterterrorism instructor. He is the author of six books, and he has covered war and conflict in the Balkans, on the West Bank, in Iraq, and Lebanon. Visit him online at http://www.uswriter.com.
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