November 12, 2004

Time for a little "I told'ja so"

I've said a tedious number of times, that our tackling Iraq was a merciful act intended to promote peace through diplomacy. The notion, common on the Rive Gauche, that diplomacy can be effective without being backed-up by the credible threat of force, is ASININE. Only after picking up one of the wacko terror-supporting countries, and throwing it against the wall, were the others going to pay attention. Only then would diplomacy work.

The process has been slow up to now, because all the world's brutal dictators and genocidal tyrants have been hoping and praying for a Kerry victory, to get them off the hook, and let business go on as usual. Now hope is gone....

Sudan Belatedly Tries to Sharpen its Act By Alice Thomson

..."After Afghanistan and Iraq, Bush could go for us next," said his friend, Imad Musa. "It's either us, Iran or Syria. He can do what he wants now he has won such a big victory."

In northern Sudan, this is their fear - that they will become the next Iraq, just as their lot seems to be improving....

...In many ways, Sudan is in dire straits, particularly in southern Darfur, where villages continue to be torched by the Janjaweed. But the situation in the rest of the country is improving. In the north, the imams are relaxing their grip. Women walk with their heads uncovered. At an orphanage I visited two years ago, babies found on the streets by the police were often left to die; single mothers were stoned. Now the same police beam as they rush the babies to the doctors.

It is no longer illegal to talk negatively about the regime. As a result, many I met were openly outraged by corruption. Even the ministers are trying belatedly to sharpen up their act. "Iraq has been a lesson to us all," said one Sudanese minister, who didn't want to be named...

It's the obvious ploy here for Bush to play "bad cop," and Tony Blair to play "good cop."

...Mr Blair has promised that Africa is his top priority. He has been saying that since his party conference speech three years ago. Now he seems to mean it. When Britain takes over the presidency of both the G8 and the European Union next year, Africa will be the main topic.

Sudan is an obvious starting point. So what do the Sudanese think Mr Bush and Mr Blair should do? The answer on the streets is that they should put more pressure on those involved in the peace agreements. Then ensure that Khartoum sticks to its promise of independent elections...(Thanks to Orrin Judd)

Within the Administration, Colin Powell gets to play good cop all around the globe, with Rumsfeld pretending to be the loose cannon who would rather flatten a city than waste time in negotiations. Powell can say, "You gotta give a little here, give me some help, or those maniacs at the Pentagon...I just don't know what they might do."

You watch, this is just starting to bring results. I'll be saying "I told you so" frequently. The one hindrance to the game is that a lot of our voters don't understand that talking tough doesn't actually mean you are a bad guy, and talking nicey-nicey doesn't make you a good guy. They don't understand that tough-love is a form of love. They are STUPID. (To use more technical terminology, they are "Democrats," or "Independents.")

The greatest moral and peaceful act of our times was Ronald Reagan's defense build-up. He played the part of the steely-eyed Cold Warrior, until the Soviets cracked, and made the fatal first step of instituting "reforms." The result was the liberation of hundreds of millions of people from tyranny, and the end of 40 years of cruel and often bloody struggle. (Reagan was actually a very soft-hearted man, which is one of the reasons we withdrew from Lebanon. A "peaceful" deed that has led to the deaths of many thousands, and is part of why we are at war now.) There are scads of people who still think that Reagan was a war-mongering brute. Fortunately he didn't care what people thought, as long as he got results. Bush is like that too.

To do the most good in the world, the President should actually act a lot badder than he does. But his options are somewhat limited, because people just don't understand. Not just our people (a lot of us are thrilled when he gets tough...Zapatero has been holding the phone for a week now, while the recorded "hold" music plays. I hope it's Country) but the citizens of Britain and Australia and other allies.

Posted by John Weidner at November 12, 2004 6:03 PM
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