Tuesday, August 31, 2004

It's come to THIS?

A new low has been achieved.

It's one thing to attack a candidate for his actions, unfortunate but expected in the modern politcal climate.
But to lump all those who have been decorated for injury in service to their country, by parodying this medal... it's disgusting.
And the right calls people who question their actions and decisions unpatriotic?
How DARE YOU.
Then again, we're talking the same mindset which allows for the torture and humiliation of human beings to be written off as "the same as a college prank"... I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.

Oh no... we're simply mocking Kerry and his war record.

Well folks, at least he has one.

(a bit later)

Okay some clarification after speaking with a veteran of Gulf War I...

A purple heart can be given out for just about anything - like say a guy skins his fingers peeling potatoes on KP duty. Bada bing purple heart time.

The difference is - the recipient still got injured in service to their country. That guy on KP still nicked himself after answering the call to duty, and sacrificed his time and freedom for the greater good. He did that so you can sit at home and watch "Friends" without too much fear...

It ain't what they got it for, it's what they were doing that put them in the position to get that injury. In short - serving their country.

Something very few (if any) people in the current administration can claim to have done.

Cheerleaders for truth

This is getting lowdown and dirty.

First Night of the Convention

There was no hesitation in bringing 9/11 and Iraq front and center in the event. I mentioned in a comment before that I did not like the location and timing of the convention and thought it was a little too clever. But, I suppose, if you’re going to do that, you might as well go full throttle. Ron Silver’s (a democrat, I think) speech forcefully set the tone: “This was a war against us!”

And later:

“Even though I am a well-recognized liberal on many issues confronting our society today, I find it ironic that many human rights advocates and outspoken members of my own entertainment community are often on the front lines to protest repression, for which I applaud them but they are usually the first ones to oppose any use of force to take care of these horrors that they catalogue repeatedly.”

In my estimate, the words were dead on even if his delivery was a bit too fiery. The crowd liked it. I must admit that it bothers me a bit when the speaker says something about the tragedy of war or the oppressive nature of Saddam’s regime and the people applaud. But aren’t they applauding the sentiment?

The 1-2 punch of John McCain and Rudolph Giuliani was pretty potent. For eye-rolling cynics who thought the GOP was going to put their most moderate foot forward on the first night, they heard, instead, two of the most hawkish politicians out there.

McCain, who was the first to call for Saddam’s head after 9/11, strongly defended and praised the president. I’m not even sure the Daily Show will be able to mock his commitment to Bush, unless they resort to Michael Moore tactics. In describing the president’s choice in deciding to invade, McCain said, “It was between war and a greater threat. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” I agree. McCain was conciliatory and spoke as a senator who cooled his feet in both political pools. Perhaps those few weeks where Kerry flirted with McCain as his VP candidate lent McCain some gravitas when he extended his hand across parties tonight. He was hardly moderate, though, in his defense of the war.

Giuliani was brilliant. He turned the convention into a night with Rudolph. He weaved effortlessly between humor and tragedy. He laid out some vivid accounts of the 9/11 attacks and a personal story about Bush with NYC construction workers a few days later. Giuliani is the first politician that I’ve have heard to go so aggressively at Arafat:

“Terrorist acts became a ticket to the international bargaining table…How else to explain Yasser Arafat winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he was supporting a terrorist plague in the Middle East that undermined any chance of peace?”

And he continued:

“Before September 11, we were living with an unrealistic view of the world much like our observing Europe appease Hitler or trying to accommodate ourselves to peaceful coexistence with the Soviet Union through mutually assured destruction.

“President Bush decided that we could no longer be just on defense against global terrorism but we must also be on offense.

“On September 20, 2001, President Bush stood before a joint session of Congress, a still grieving and shocked nation and a confused world and he did change the direction of our ship of state.
He dedicated America under his leadership to destroying global terrorism.

The president announced the Bush Doctrine when he said: "Our war on terror begins with al-Qaida, but it does not end there.

“It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.
‘Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.’”


And then there was the comical take down of Kerry. All in all, it was an excellent speech.

Lileks, who dismissed McCain, had this to say about the former mayor: “…what Giuliani did was completely typical: aggressive graciousness. It’s why people who disagree with many of his positions admire him greatly, and why he spoke Monday night. And dang: he was good. He was hard: first time I’ve heard someone get up and slam Arafat by name in such a context. A sharp elbow at Germany. A Kerry section played mostly for laughs. An amazing last 10 minutes - dodged nothing."

We’ll see what tomorrow brings….

Monday, August 30, 2004

Rich Lowry's account of the protests yesterday.

A kid was holding a sign, "Stop the war on youth, from here to Najaf."
"So," I asked, "do you support al Sadr?"
"I do as long as he's resisting U.S. imperialism."
"OK, so you support Islamic fundamentalism?"
"No," he said, walking away.
"Well, he's an Islamic fundamentalist," I said.
He came back up to me, "Just because you support the youth doesn't mean you side with an extremist."
"Sadr is an Islamic extremist, he's very clear about it."
"It's their mosque."
"He seized the mosque by force!"
"You're wrong," he said. "He supports elections."
"No, he doesn't! He opposes elections."
"Well," he said, walking away again, "they are U.S.-supported elections. Of course he opposes U.S.-supported elections."

Another installment of good news in Iraq.

Rocking the Vote

Did anyone watch the MTV music awards? I didn’t, but heard about the Kerry daughters getting booed at. Was the crowd booing at the daughters or the get-out-the-vote pitch? Just curious.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Protests in New York: America is Better Than This

While watching the protestors file past Madison Square Garden, I couldn’t help but think how plump and healthy they all were. In contrast to women that marched to Versailles, to the people who surrounded the Winter Palace, or even to the Bonus Marchers, many of these folks looked as though they took some vacation time for a road trip to New York City to celebrate their collective distaste for Dubya. The atmosphere was party-like. There was music and there was dancing and outlandish costumes and balloon heads of the Asses of Evil. You had people of all stripes and many cut a most singular figure. Today, 7th Ave was the place where non-conformists could go to conform with other non-conformists.
Estimates of the crowd ranged from 100K to 500K. I couldn’t attest to which figure was closer, but it was a sight larger than the protests in Boston, and yet, no cages of which I’m aware.
Some of the placards were well worn:
“Stop Bush Now”,
“End the Occupation of Iraq”,
“LIAR!” (under the face of Bush),
“Bush Lies/Who Dies?”,
and a personal favorite, “Fuck Bush!”
Well! I don’t…
And others were a little newer:
“It’s the Neo-Cons Stupid! Not the CIA”,
and “Got Democracy” with a hooded Abu Ghraib prisoner backed by the stars and stripes.
I was surprised that the chant of choice was “Fox News Sucks”, even more popular than “Bush and Cheney: Asses of Evil.” Several in the crowd were alternating chants of “fuck you!” and “bullshit!” Followed by a lady holding the placard “Stop World Hate”.
I saw part of a placard that said “This is what democracy looks like,” but the picture was obstructed by another sign.
Lots of anger out there, no doubt about it. One of the signs simply read: “America Is Better Than This.” Indeed.
Did he really say this? “Well, I don't think you give timelines to dictators and tyrants."- Bush, in the NY Times interview.
Krauthammer derides interventionist foreign policy -
"highfalutin moral principles are impossible guides to foreign policy. At worst, they reflect hypocrisy; at best, extreme naiveté."
An analysis on the Bush job numbers over the last 14 months, throwing out the worst 2 months. Granted, it's by a Clinton economic adviser, but there are a lot of interesting facts, such as that before the July jobs report, "Merrill Lynch & Co. had concluded that almost 90 percent of new jobs created since last August are in job categories paying below average wages."

Friday, August 27, 2004

The did-something Senator from Massachussettes.
Pretty damning!
Krauthammer thinks that unhinged dems are a result of a "pressure cooker theory."
Thomas Sowell says: "Senator Kerry has argued for a more "nuanced" approach to foreign policy and a more "sensitive" way of fighting international terrorism. People who cannot make hard choices often talk about complexity and nuance, about gray areas and twilight issues." That's part 3 of a 3 part series. Part one and part two dwell more on the swift vet issue.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

from this sensible essay:

"The trauma of 9/11 stimulated infinite possibilities for worry--some quite plausible, but most inspired by remote what-if fantasies. A society bingeing on fear makes itself vulnerable to far more profound forms of destruction than terror attacks."

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

I believe Bush made a constitutional mistake by signing McCain-Feingold. This article makes some pretty good points.
Kerry's Testimony and Other Items of Interest

So - was going to add the linkage to my previous post, but I figured it was better to make a new one. So here it is. Courtesy of the nice folks at www.truthout.org

Commentry on this to follow.

And as far as SBVFT having no ties to the Bush camp - MediaMatters would

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Waiting for Blair: I’m not “in” with the bloggers, yet. I noticed the following post off Tim Blair’s site last week. He’s been on a road trip between conventions before he heads back to his home in Australia. After writing humorously about his time in Albuquerque he announces:

“Tonight, in Oklahoma City, the recommended bar is called Edna's. I have no idea yet where Edna's is, but will try to be there by 8.30pm. Presently in Tucumcari.”

What better way to meet the man? So my brother and I were at Edna’s at 8:30. Apparently his Oklahoma following is either small or simply not mobilized since we were the only two in the bar aside from Edna and some regular. I asked Edna if she’s heard about any “visitors” due in that night. She was distrustful at first, but as we explained who Tim Blair was and that someone out west had recommended Edna’s to him, she was thrilled and began cleaning up the bar for her special visitor.

Anyway, 8:30 came and went; then 9:30 and 10:30. We soon called it a night and left.

The next day, Mr. Blair posted his experience in OKC. Evidently, my brother and I were not the right Hills. I also noticed that he ran into Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) in Knoxville. Glenn posted this picture/account of the two of them (I’m not sure who is who).

But that’s not all. His countless nights of drinking produced this amusing post by lefty blogger Ken Layne. Tim Blair posted this response to tell his side.

So all that drinking and I still didn’t have a chance to break bread with a blogger! Maybe next time.
You Show Me Yours, I'll Show You Mine
Democratic Underground has a very interesting thread (rather long though) on how the W is photographed wearing a medal he apparently did not earn.
I'm sure that our republican friends will attempt to downplay this since it's not a purple heart and they're trying to shift the argument from the Swift Boat Veterans Attacks to the fact that possibly one of Kerry's medals is undeserved. Anyway, here's the article .

Also - has anyone read the transcript of Kerry's testimony - seems to me he's saying the exact same things about the leadership then as people are saying now. (linkage to follow)
Answering My Own Question

I recently asked in a reply to a previous post why doesn't Bush stand up and discuss his war record since his party is making such a point of trying to pick apart Kerry's, seems that opposing comparison would be a good way to Distinguish himself (unless of course, there isn't any such record to speak of).
While this article doesn't address that directly, it does make a good point as to why Bush himself doesn't discuss things, and has other people do his dirty work for him.

Monday, August 23, 2004

So Bush denounced the Anti-Kerry ad. Now it's time for Kerry to call off his 527 attack dogs.
Some Iraqi scientists have been unable to talk about WMDs because of premature death.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

With all that searing, Kerry should be tougher than twice-baked biscuit.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Executive Branch Power to Postpone Elections
I realize Kerry has his magic wand and he says he will make France and Germany fall in line, but, all joking aside, why can’t he take our national security seriously? I’m thinking of his reaction to Bush’s realignment plan. Consider what Kerry said in January of this year about the need for re-posturing. He was for it then, but when Bush proposes re-posturing, Kerry is suddenly against it, as he expressed before a group of veterens:

“Finally, I want to say something about the plan that the President announced on Monday to withdraw 70,000 troops from Asia and Europe. Nobody wants to bring troops home more than those of us who have fought in foreign wars. But it needs to be done at the right time and in a sensible way. This is not that time or that way.

“Let’s be clear: the President’s vaguely stated plan does not strengthen our hand in the war against terror. And in no way relieves the strain on our overextended military personnel. And this hastily announced plan raises more doubts about our intentions and our commitments than it provides real answers.

“For example, why are we unilaterally withdrawing 12,000 troops from the Korean Peninsula at the very time we are negotiating with North Korea – a country that really has nuclear weapons? As Senator John McCain said, “I’m particularly concerned about moving troops out of South Korea when North Korea has probably never been more dangerous than any time since the end of the Korean War.” This is clearly the wrong signal to send at the wrong time.

“With al Qaeda operating in 60 countries, we need closer alliances in every part of the world to fight and win the war on terrorism. So, as president, I will be a commander in chief who renews our alliances based on shared interests and a common vision for a safer world. For more than 50 years, our allies have joined with us to say: the future doesn’t belong to fear; it belongs to freedom.”

Where to begin? How is it that the time was right in January for rearranging, but not now? Condi Rice makes a stronger case when she suggests that it makes no sense to maintain a Cold War posture while fighting a war on terror.

Also, an announcement following a three-year study on troop placement is about as “hasty” as a two year march to war is a "rush." The main reason for the plan is to enhance our ability to maintain our commitments, not compromise it.

Kerry takes particular issue with withdrawing troops from S. Korea:

“For example, why are we unilaterally withdrawing 12,000 troops from the Korean Peninsula at the very time we are negotiating with North Korea – a country that really has nuclear weapons?”

How is Kerry so sure that N. Korea has nuclear weapons? Has he forgotten his own criticisms about Iraq and our intelligence deficiencies? N. Korea says they have a bomb, but does that make it so? Kerry rakes our intelligence over the coals in Iraq, but then absolutely assumes that nukes in N. Korea are a fact. I’m all for assuming that they have bombs, but I’m hesitant about stating it as fact given what we know about Iraq. (And I’m someone who doesn’t think American intelligence has be an absolute failure) Kerry is making the same mistake that he so harshly charges Bush as making. He is reckless on both claims. If he’s elected president using his current rhetoric about the certainty of nukes in N. Korea, and it turns out that N. Korea did not yet have a device, then will he have misled us?

Second, how are 12,000 troops going to defend against a nuclear attack? I think Rumsfeld made a good case about reducing our manpower while increasing the lethality of our forces there. Capability will be what the N. Koreans pay attention to, not just the number of bodies. Rumsfeld’s logic is that a streamlined force positioned away from the DMZ line and armed with precision weaponry increases our agility and ability to respond. But Kerry is content to leave 12,000 unnecessary troops that will be of minimal usefulness according to Rumsfeld and Meyers. And, in case of a nuclear attack, this excess could potentially become 12,000 extra casualties. This must be what Kerry means when he says, “As president, I will always remember that America’s security begins and ends with the soldier, sailor, airman, Marine and Coastguardsman.”

Kerry says that he will get large numbers of troops from countries that have hitherto been against the liberation of Iraq & that he will significantly reduce US troops from Iraq & that this will reaffirm our commitment to fighting the war on terror. However, re-posturing our Cold War footing is going to bring doubts to our commitment? If I was a terrorist, I’d be licking my chops over a Kerry victory.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Why does Bush hate free speech?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

ATTENTION: if any of you have a link or links that you feel should be included on the link section of the blog, let me know and I will add them.
Forsaking the profession: Overall, I like the folks at the Daily Show, but they (specifically John Stewart) have struggled with the war and the election. Stewart’s increasingly apparent partisanship comes at the expense of his comedy. Satire should poke at the truth beneath the surface, not just at the surface itself. An example was his coverage regarding the recent stepping down of James McGreevey. Despite news of corruption and a pending harassment suit on McGreevey, Stewart chose to imply that the governor was forced to resign simply for being gay. The whole thing went over Stewart’s head.

When it comes to the evil right, Stewart and his audience are easily fooled. Friday featured Clinton who made two disingenuous charges regarding the Swiftboat Veterens for Truth. First was that it was the same group that led a smear campaign on McCain. Second, that there was some criticism of the charges on the recent commercial and that “some” had been recounted.

The “group” Clinton referred to is a Houston homebuilder that donated $100,000 to the Swiftboat Vets for Truth. The homebuilder is also generous donator to the GOP and has given money to the Bush campaign. The group did not exist in 2000. In fact, the leader, John O’neill, has been politically dormant since criticizing Kerry in the early 70’s (the Dick Cavett Show featuring a 1971 debate between O’neill and Kerry is a must see). So their funding is primarily republican. Duh. No matter how bipartisan the Swifties are, what Kerry supporters would give them money? Indeed, there seems to be quite a bit of reticence on behalf of the mainstream media in covering/scrutinizing the charges.

As for the recounted charge: one of Kerry’s commanders, Lieutenant Commander George Elliott, expressed regret that he signed an affidavit indicating that he believed Kerry was dishonest about his war record. Why did he regret it? Because, based on the ad, it appeared that his conclusion came from firsthand knowledge. The Elliott still holds the belief that Kerry was being dishonest, but this belief is based on what he learned from others. He also felt that the Boston Globe story misrepresented him.

But Stewart and his audience swallowed Clinton’s claims hook, line and sinker. That’s nothing new, Clinton is good at getting people to swallow.

Previously, Stewart ridiculed the vets because they did not serve on the same boat as Kerry – equating that to simply being in Vietnam at the same time. That too was disingenuous. There’s so much comedy gold in Kerry’s imaginary escapades into Cambodia – Stewart needs to wake up and start being a comedian again.
The Kerry Campaign Platform. Simple, Elegant, Correct.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

25 instances of Bush flip-floppery

Friday, August 13, 2004

The Frenchurian candidate is no doubt spending this weekend searing January into his mind. Hugh Hewitt on Cambodia. Chris Matthews on John O'neill.

Hammorabi is keeping up on the fighting in Najaf.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

When you are a master of illusion, it's no good simply having a magic wand. One must also have a magic hat. All Kerry is missing is a magic cloak so he can avoid attention until election day. Hugh Hewitt has been all over the Cambodia story.
Low hanging fruit. Great Bush response to Kerry’s defense of his war vote.
The Conservative Case Against the Conservative Case Against George Bush
By someone who is not a Bryk

We live in some heady times and it is natural that after three years of war people would want a break in the action. Sadly, though, such a break would not play to our advantage. Instead, perseverance is the order of the day. What is needed is a president that is decisive and bold. Fifteen shades of nuance and self-doubt are not going to defeat the terrorists because they feed off that sort of uncertainty. That is why a conservative argument to elect John Kerry over George Bush is tantamount to suicide for the party and a detriment to the republic. On the whole it is utterly ridiculous. If Bush has been such a violation to party principles, then the time to throw him out of office would have been during the party’s nomination. Every point that Mr. Bryk uses for his argument would be made worse with a Bush defeat and the long-term goal of righting the conservative course would be hopelessly derailed.

Bryk does not bother acknowledging the natural shifts in the economy or the potentially disastrous impact of terrorism on our economy and way of life. He does not even recognize the long-term internal debates among conservatives, which are at the very core of allowing the conservative movement adapt to the times and remain a viable political force. Instead, Bryk chooses to paint the president as an incompetent cheat, harping on deficit spending and preemptive war to suggest the he has recklessly discarded conservative principles wholesale.

But first things first: nobody has announced that there should be no criticism of this president. But, in the same way that Texans in the Alamo probably didn’t spend too much time criticizing their commanders while Santa Ana’s forces stormed the walls, Bush supporters, like me, are a bit busy defending the man from the onslaught of strident condemnation to offer much in the way of criticism. Still, you don’t have to search too far to see conservative criticism of Bush. Several of the points that Bryk cites are discussed on a daily basis in the blogosphere. These are not the shrill “you stepped on my rights” outcries that you are used to hearing on the left, but real and sober discussions defining conservatism and what direction it should be going. Conservative critics of Bush, most of whom I believe will still vote for the man, have taken the president to task on his proposed amnesty for illegal immigrants, his treatment of Saudi Arabia in our war strategy, his position on gay marriage & the wisdom of a marriage amendment, etc. etc. In fact, back in 2002 and 2003 while many liberals were crying for a “real” debate over the proposed war in Iraq, a real debate was already going on, mainly in conservative circles. It was at that time that the preemption doctrine was created and the rationale for invading a country that did not pose and “imminent” threat was hammered into shape. That 18-month period was a phase for the gradual lead up to the war that most of the democratic presidential candidates chose to characterize as a “rush” to war. If Bryk thinks that the pro-Bush position is to submissively fall in line, then he simply has not been awake. And Bush has been very open to differing views. Time and again he chose to follow the advice of others in the spirit of concession: whether it was in going to congress or the U.N. for support or in supporting steel tariffs to help an ailing industry. The fact is that no democratically elected leader can survive if they are as dense and thick skulled at critics charge Bush as being.

Bryk defines the conservative doctrine to suggest that it is some sort of unchangeable law. The idea that conservative values cannot or do not change over time is a fallacy. As a writer with a history background, Bryk should be aware that the Republican party of TR’s time, whom he quotes, has shed a few skins between then and now. TR’s predecessor, McKinley, sponsored an unprecedented large tariff and led a party that supported world intervention. Indeed, TR was a major interventionist himself. That was before the party shifted to isolationism. That interventionist tendency has returned. The conservative isolationists are an increasingly shrinking group forced to rally around the likes of Pat Buchanan and the American Conservative. But to listen to Bryk, one would assume that the neo/paleo con rift is something that Bush initiated in an unprincipled fashion. Bryk blurs the distinction between libertarianism and conservatism. When he does make the distinction, he fails to credit Bush for upholding the conservative values. For example, he says conservatives believe “that political and economic liberty were indivisible” but fails to mention that this very notion drives the Bush doctrine in foreign policy. He says, “that government's purpose was protecting those liberties” but does not acknowledge that the Bush administration believes that by fighting the war on terror they are protecting those liberties. On this point, it should be noted that many conservatives (and some 9/11 democrats) have criticized the president for not allowing racial profiling in airport security so that the government might fight the war more effectively and be less intrusive on the rest of us. Bush is also heavily criticized for not funding state police or beefing up border patrols – things some of us conservatives equate with a “police state”

And then there is this: “Thus American conservative politics championed private property, an institution sacred in itself and vital to the well-being of society.” This idea of a private property is the core of Bush’s 2004 platform about an ownership society. The recognition of private property is nothing new to the way Bush thinks or acts. His view of taxes is that money belongs to the people who earned it and not as government property to be doled out like an entitlement. With limited success, Bush pushed for the elimination of the dividend tax, which is very much in line with the way conservatives view tax dollars.

Bryk’s arguments are most effective on the domestic front. Conservatives have a reason to be on edge about record deficits and increased government spending. Bryk’s argument about agricultural subsidies will stick to conservatives most of all. But woe to the president that gets between congress and its pork-barrel spending, especially if that president didn’t win in a landslide and there can’t bludgeon the congress with the people’s mandate. No doubt, if Bush had decided to use his veto powers even once during his first term, legislators would label him as a divider and not a uniter. Fiscal conservatives have been complaining to Bush about his spending and he has indicated that fiscal prudence will play a larger role in his policies. Since he’s already passed the tax cuts, the drug benefit and No Child Left Behind, it is likely that a second term will see more cuts and less entitlement expansions. Even with all that, non-homeland security and defense spending increase 1% under Bush, compared to 15% under Clinton. That stat is nothing to base a platform on, but it does suggest some fiscal frugality somewhere in the mix. In contrast, his opponent, in the spirit of trying to have it both ways, criticizes Bush for recklessly spending too much and yet dreadfully under-funding every program. He is likely to increase spending and increase taxes more than Bush.

Bush’s energy bill is a different matter. Congress hasn’t passed an energy bill since Bush is in office and considering the energy crisis we are going through now, it is high time they did. Bush would be well served to make his energy plan a focal point for his campaign.

The deficit argument will not resonate during a time of war. It is curious that Bryk would cite the growth of our debt from now to 2040 when the previously cited 10-year estimate missed the mark. Conclusion: such projections are not accurate. But, since Bryk likes to use him, why not use Bush’s projection that he will cut the deficit in half within five years?

Of course, what condemnation of Bush is complete without howling about the PATRIOT Act? It is easy to say that it grants law enforcement unprecedented powers because it largely deals with newer technologies. Any law about that would be unprecedented. Should not law enforcement keep up with technology? Would it be better for cops to fight crime with loincloths and clubs? By reading Bryk’s interpretation of the PATRIOT Act, one would think that the idea of warrants was chucked out the window. In fact, the PATRIOT Act sets up a speedier way for law enforcement to obtain warrants. And how many times has Ashcroft obtained library records? If you listened to the screaming, you would think it was done on a regular basis. In reality, the answer is zero. How is it that critics insinuate that Ashcroft abused his powers. So a few drug dealers were nabbed through laws designed for terrorist. Big deal. We are a long way off from the gulags and concentration camps, let along the Japanese internment camps. This president has been careful with our rights and he should be commended. Is the PATRIOT Act perfect? No? Is it necessary? Yes, according to many experts that testified to the 9/11 commission, including Clinton officials.

On the social front, conservatives should be well pleased with Bush. He’s passed a ban on late term abortions, made faith based organizations eligible for federal money and has come out against the use of quotas for affirmative action. His anti-AIDS programs reject passing out condoms and promote abstanance.

Ultimately, most disgruntled conservatives will think it better to swallow their fiscal qualms and wait four more years when there will be an open nomination and then they can try to nominate a deficit hawk, instead of voting for a democrat that will raise their taxes and increase spending.

Bryk’s foreign policy arguments are much weaker because they are based on false footing.

It is funny how Bryk doesn’t mention al Qaeda, terrorism, terrorists, or the War on Terror one single time. He mentions 9/11 once, only to indicate that there is not conclusive evidence linking Iraq to 9/11. Go figure. In criticizing the president, he chose to leave out the main focus of the administration. He chose to leave out the reason why WMDs in Iraq became important all of a sudden. He chose to ignore the whole reason why Bush’s supporters “joyously anticipate a succession of wars without visible end.” For shame, Bryk, for shame!

His second point is some sort of half-hearted accusation that Bush has usurped the power of war making from congress. In the same breathe, Bryk admits that this was a power that congress ceded way back during the Korean War. Still, in the same vein that he believes the PATRIOT Act is the doomsday of our civil liberties, Bryk pretends that Bush somehow defied the intent of our Four Fathers and stripped congress of it’s war making powers, never-mind that it was a bipartisan trend over the past 50 years. That accounts for little in Bryk’s book. My question: why blame a president for using every tool in his arsenal? I suspect Joe Conservative will say that Bryk’s fish is three days old and he ain’t buying it.

Third is an inane fixation on behalf of the anti-war crowd that the administration was promising a cakewalk where we would be greeted with flowers and our men could set down their M-16s and everyone would sing about peace, love and understand. Granted, Wolfowitz said we would be greeted with flowers, and, as it turned out, many Iraqis were too busy trying to hit a portrait of Saddam with their shoes to throw flowers on our troops. Personally, I remember the celebrations when the Saddam statue fell. Even Chris Matthews stopped saying that Bush was liar for a moment. Was that celebration supposed to last forever? It’s time to grow up and moveon.org. Bush always said it would be tough. Somewhere along the way his confidence in victory was wrongly taken to be cockiness and arrogance. Perhaps he has a swagger. Perhaps he’s a cowboy. But all that merely compliments his humility (something lacking in his campaign opponent). And because the pro Bush neo-cons share his confidence does not mean that the horrors of war are lost on them or that they do not appreciate the sacrifice paid by the coalition troops, regardless what Bush-haters think. Who in their right mind would gleefully anticipate perpetual war? Certainly not the president, who quietly visits the wounded on a periodic basis and has the weight of the 1,000+ coalition casualties and unknown Iraqi dead on his shoulders.

Bryk’s fourth point is that there is nothing conservative about war and thus quoting Madison:

"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. [There is an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and…degeneracy of manners and of morals…No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

True, true: but this line of thinking as a criticism of the war neglects the change that happened on September 11th. It neglects the map of the Middle East and the grave and gathering threat that it produces. It ignores that al Qaeda has been at war with the U.S. for years and in 2001 we just realized it. It ignores the fact that inaction would produce a state of perpetual violence on our shores. It neglects that the way to peace and stability – sweet peace and stability – is through the sword.

Which brings us to the fifth point: that Bush rejected Wilsonian diplomacy in 2000 and then reversed course after September 2001. That is a flip-flop that anyone should be able to understand. Still, it’s noteworthy to point out that Bush still rejected Clintonian policy: that is, he still refrained from involving us in some place that didn’t serve our national security interests.

Some would argue that by invading the Middle East we’ve encouraged the terrorists and inspired their ranks. Well, the same thing happens to bees when you destroy their hive. But, when their hives are gone, eventually they follow. Bush is right. The time has come that we drag the Middle East, kicking and screaming, into the modern age. Otherwise, al Qaeda and affiliated terrorists add to the American dead accumulated over a decade of terror attack and we will have the perpetual conflict of which Madison speaks.

Some would also argue that it was foolhardy to declare war on terrorism. How can you defeat a stateless institution? But the free world has done it before. We defeated piracy and slavery in the 19th century. Both are not completely gone, but neither threatens us like it once did. We can defeat terrorism.

Bush has done much to uphold conservative values. He has also done much to put us on the course to success on the war on terror. To vote against him is to throw all of his accomplishments in the wind. A vote for Kerry may not make the war un-winnable but it will drag it out and send the message to the terrorists that Americans don’t have the stomach for a hot war. Better for the party, the nation and the free world that Bush is reelected. American conservatives will reelect Bush because, as Bryk says, the “seek what Lord Acton called the highest political good: to secure liberty, which is the freedom to obey one's own will and conscience rather than the will and conscience of others.”

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Friday, August 06, 2004

Michelle Malkin's book defends the Japanese internment camps during WWII. It still seems like over-kill to me (I haven't read the book) but it's refreshing to finally see a slightly different take on it.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Charles Taylor had ties to al Qaeda.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

More good news in Iraq.
Thank God we have a wartime president with Texas-sized nards who'll stick to his decisions.

Monday, August 02, 2004

I don’t know about this intelligence czar stuff. To me it sounds like a bureaucratic solution to a bureaucratic problem. I’m afraid Bush is bowing to political pressure.

I agree with this:

"I don't think the person should be a member of my Cabinet," he [Bush] said. "I will hire the person and I can fire the person. ... I don't think that the office should be in the White House, however, I think it should be a stand-alone group to better coordinate."

Kerry’s “blanket endorsement to all the commission's recommendations” does not seem like leadership to me.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Kerry and his magic wand.

"I don't envision it," he said when asked if he would send more U.S. soldiers [to Iraq]. "I believe that my leadership and my plan to approach these countries -- and I'm not negotiating it publicly -- I know what I want to do. I know what I believe can be achieved."

Kerry’s position has forced Biden to soften his steady calls for more US troops in Iraq. On Meet the Press today, Biden was ambiguous on such a need and apparently thought Kerry’s diplomatic wand would work:


SEN. BIDEN: Well, let me tell you what our flag officers, generals, that I met with three or four Sundays ago in Baghdad told me. They said from their experience, they know, since there's going to be somewhere on the order of--there are going to be thousands of polling places, up to 25,000 polling places, for this election in January, that they're going to need a surge of force. Now, what they're planning on doing is they're planning on keeping people there a little longer and sending people a little sooner so you overlap with up to 20,000 to 30,000 additional forces. In addition to that, it's about time that the French and the Germans and the rest having voted for this resolution to turn this over to the Iraqis and the U.N. mandate here, that they come up with at least the 4,000 troops that are required to protect the U.N. forces. So the combination of additional forces from outside, possibility of this Muslim force, and probably the need to surge forces are all there.

The questions for Kerry are: What happens if you can’t get France and Germany on board? Part of Bush's problem was that he didn't get some international support that he hoped for - how are you certain that you will? Why can’t you tell us about what you will do to get more international support? Can you envision a scenario where your protectionist trade policies might alienate some of the foreign support you say you will bring to Iraq? Or are the two issues completely separate? Do you believe, as Biden seems to think, that France is holding out because of a personal dislike for Bush?

The Biden quote I refer to is from today’s Meet the Press: And John Kerry's going to end up as president of the United States, God willing, where he is going to have to tell the French and the Germans and the rest, "Get over it. You don't have George Bush as an excuse anymore. Move. Get moving."
This makes bad sense. The Council on Foreign Relations is urging Bush to block a possible Israeli air-strike on Iran’s nuclear sites. They think it will hurt our interests in the region because we will be blamed for it. What difference does that make? We’ve already stirred the hive. The council believes that such an Israeli strike “…would most likely generate also hostile Iranian initiatives in Iraq and Afghanistan." Are they a day late and a dollar short or what?

I thought keeping Iran from having nukes serves our interests. Especially if you believe the Council’s estimate that the current regime would survive. I guess the council thinks that the Europeans have the situation well in hand.

Your honor, I move that the Council on Foreign Relations be stricken from anything that is taken seriously.
As a follow up to the story about the pro Bush Marines who Kerry ran into while treating Edwards and wife to a Wendy’s lunch, we now know what their real lunch was.