June 29, 2005

23.08 troops plus almost a ninth of a helicopter...

Everybody's quoting John Hawkins' interview with Mark Steyn. So I will too. Here's a couple of good things...

John Hawkins: Is it time for America to write NATO off as a lost cause or is it worth trying to save the alliance?

Mark Steyn: No, it should be written off. It’s simply not worth the amount of diplomatic effort and negotiation required to crowbar military contributions to, say, Afghanistan that are smaller than those of the New Hampshire National Guard. For example, if you look at last year’s supposed triumph of multilateral cooperation, after the Secretary-General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, put the squeeze on Nato’s 26 members, they reluctantly ponied up an extra 600 troops and three helicopters for Afghanistan. That averages out at 23.08 troops per country plus almost a ninth of a helicopter apiece. And the helicopters went back after six months. What’s the point?....

...
John Hawkins: Since we invaded Iraq, Qaddafi has given up his WMD's, Syria has left Lebanon which is having elections, the Egyptians are going to have their first multi-party elections although Mubarak is expected to win, women are being allowed to vote in Kuwait, and now Syria is even talking about implementing some democratic reforms. Are we seeing a reverse domino effect in the Middle-East caused by the invasion in Iraq?

Mark Steyn: Yes. The key moment in the Iraqi situation was a couple of hours into the Arab networks' election day coverage: they ran out of snide cracks to make about the American occupation, the stooge politicians, etc., and suddenly fell silent as images of four generations of Iraqi families walking to the polls to vote filled the screens. Those images had a profound impact throughout the region. There's no one-size-fits-all answer and I'm certainly not in favor of that trick many African dictators have learned to master, of holding an election just good enough to get the stamp of approval of Jimmy Carter and the other western patsies. There'll be a lot of two-steps-forward-one-step-back but what’s happening is real and the momentum is all going Bush's way....

I don't think Bush is anybody's patsy. I often wish we'd move faster, but Bush's relentless steady pressure is truly awesome. I can't think of any comparable leader. He makes it look easy, but he never gets bored and he never drops the ball. He has a few things he's decided to concentrate on, things he announced clearly and openly, and he sticks with them. In fact most of what he's doing started as campaign promises in 2000! Social Security, education, tax reform, tort reform....He promised to make education a priority, and maybe the press has lost interest, but I assure you, as one who keeps his eyes peeled on the subject, there's a lot cooking.

9/11 Obviously added a new "campaign promise," and one that's pursued with the same tenacity. One hardly knows whether to laugh or gag at the way Dems complained because Bush mentioned 9/11 in his speech! Get used to it, worms of appeasement. Jeb's gonna give you 8 more years of the same.....

And every single year, things get quiet in the summer, and people start to say that the Bush Presidency has run out of steam. Watch for it. And every September or October the pomposo Democrats get something big, smack! right in the kisser....Ha ha. Watch for it, watch for it...

Posted by John Weidner at June 29, 2005 9:44 PM
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