July 25, 2004

Stryker

Sgt Stryker has an interesting rant, about how he's an "independent" because both Republicans and Democrats are unserious about the War. I think he's way off base...

... Most of the blog responses to the story from the conservative wing or the "single-issue voters" was one of fear. "Could this be a dry run?", "This is why we need to profile all Arab males!", "The security doesn't work, it's up to us!" were all common responses to the story, which is odd because most of them base their support of the current Administration on the very fact that it has done a lot to protect us from future terrorist attacks. If you believe that this Administration is our last, best hope for Victory, then why do you carry-on as if nothing has changed or improved in the past three years? How do you rationalize the paradox? Most of the responses to the panicked woman story were indictments against the current Administration on the very issue that they say represents their over-riding decision to support the Administration. It doesn't add up...(Thanks to Donald Sensing)
No paradox.

First of all, it's Democrats, not Republicans/conservatives, who think big-government programs are likely to solve problems. If Republicans complain that Homeland Security is a mess, we are NOT like a church who has discovered that its Pope or Swami isn't infallible. We've been saying the same stuff from the beginning.

More importantly, I believe that a lot of Republicans are like me in thinking that defensive measures such "Homeland Security", are a sideshow. They amount to waiting around while the bad guys take the initiative and plan nasty surprises, That's the least productive way to fight terrorists. We need to do it, we wish it were done better, but it's a "Maginot Line." Bush has to work on it, but basically it's the Democrat solution to the War.

It would be better to force Islamic terrorists to react to our moves. Give them the nasty surprises. Perhaps by invading some distant country that just happens to be a vital component of their religion and culture? Then they would be forced to go there and attack us and play shoot 'em up games with the best military on earth. And for a really dirty trick we get the people of that foreign country to join our side. Seduce them to the "Dark Side," to Capitalism, Democracy, and Globalization. We could start, say, by liberating them from a brutal tyrant, and then by helping them generously and getting them started with self government. Pretty soon they will start helping us to kill or imprison the "foreign fighters" who are spoiling their new birth of freedom.

And then, if there is no major terrorist attack on US soil for several years after 9/11, many of us will suspect that there is a connection, and that Bush's policies have made us much safer. Doesn't seem like a paradox to me.

Would we like to see our country do more? Fight harder? Of course. Does Bush want to do more? I believe so. But there is one vital bit of war material that is missing, and the lack of which blocks further movement. One that armchair generals usually overlook. And that is political capital. I'm going to repost this quote from Iain Murray, because it's terribly important and apropos, and he put it so well:

...Such criticisms miss the point. It is true that there will be no major expansions of the war this year because of the US election, but the reason for that is not some dastardly example of a victory for partisan politics over the national interest, rather it is the complete opposite. For the US Election is this year's battlefield in the War on Terror. Just as in 2001 the focus was on Afghanistan, in 2002 it was the UN and last year it was Iraq.

The truth is that the Bush Administration is tired, and has achieved about all that it can in this term. That is no criticism - it is remarkable, given the circumstances of Bush's victory that so much progress has been made, but winning those battles has taken its toll. Endless bouts of diplomatic wrangling, the complete overhaul of the basis of America's foreign policy, the invasion of two countries, two massive tax-cuts and the maintenance of a national war footing, all achieved in the face of a hostile press, intransigent Generals and a diplomatic corps in open revolt have drawn on President Bush's supply of political capital to the extent that it is now depleted.

The only thing that will refill that store is victory in November. Just as the Republican victories in the 2002 mid-terms led directly to breaking the deadlock in the United Nations, so the re-election of Bush will devastate the hopes of so many of America's foes...

"For the US Election is this year's battlefield in the War on Terror." That's it in a nutshell. All the partisan posturing is actually a covert struggle to decide America's future strategy. When Republicans howl about "docs in socks," or Democrats claim the Republicans are really fascists in disguise, the real issue is the WAR. A vote for Kerry will be a vote for "Homeland Security," for reluctance to attack overseas, for more equipment for "first responders." A vote for Bush is a vote to make Carrier Strike Groups our first responders.

Stryker's posturing as an "independent" is an abdication of responsibility. He's taking an "I get to stand outside and sneer at everybody" attitude. Phooey.

Every government on earth, yea, every human institution on earth, is flawed. Deeply flawed, and prone to make endless mistakes. It's part of human nature, or so we conservatives think. (It's called Original Sin. Leftizoids still tend to believe, despite countless failures, that perfection is attainable if only the 5-Year Plan is drafted with enough care.) So for every human project you can be an "Independent." You can always stand outside and sneer. But you won't do the world much good.

Posted by John Weidner at July 25, 2004 10:27 AM
Weblog by John Weidner