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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Yesterday's big winners in the eyes of future world historians

My prediction:

Twenty-five years from now, yesterday's election victory will be regarded as a key step in the continuing spread of democratic freedom.  Although the indirect benefits from that spread of democracy will certainly be seen to have benefited Americans' domestic safety and security, the long-term big winners — in comparison to what was at risk, and what they will have gained — will be widely recognized to have been people in places like Iran and other repressed Middle Eastern nations, North Korea, and Cuba.

Posted by Beldar at 08:33 AM in Global War on Terror, Politics (2006 & earlier) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Yesterday's big winners in the eyes of future world historians and sent a trackback ping are listed here:

» Best post-election prediction from This isn’t writing, it’s typing.

Tracked on Nov 3, 2004 12:10:13 PM


(1) Addison made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 10:38:50 AM | Permalink

I don't know if you're right here. Please take this with the utmost in respect - but Kerry's supporters were hardly honest (with themselves) as to the lack of support he would have to expand democracy.

I suspect in 25 years, it will seem much like the late 80s are being re-written in... these things were inevitable, and Bush was "just lucky" enought o have been in the Presidency during those times. Look at the revisionism about the Berlin wall, USSR, etc. Now, of course, Kerry (and others who opposed opposing Communism) takes credit for the failure, and their heroic stances... without noting that they would. not. have. occurred. under Carter, for instance.

So, I think you, and I, and many of those who we respect will remember this, but I don't have your faith that the 'conventional wisdom' will have changed - I still think the MSM will be too much in control/have too much say in how things are reported.

(2) Bruce Kesler made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 10:39:15 AM | Permalink

You hit the nail on the head: This was all about the American protection of and aspirations of free peoples.

(3) Porcell made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 10:42:50 AM | Permalink

I agree with you, Beldar, assuming that we and the Iraqis defeat the insurgency, which probably will happen, now that the world knows the U.S. has a strong backbone.

Bush has a good chance of being another Reagan, someone, slandered by the mainstream media and the left, who stood up to a serious enemy, and in the long run helped the moderate Arabs pull their act together.

(4) Where's The Beef? made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 11:10:40 AM | Permalink

Historical battles -- both military, political, and civil -- will be fought in Iraq and elsewhere in the region. Looking forward, let's pause and take stock.

What follows is the impromptu speech delivered in northern Kuwait by a Coaliton commander to his troops on the brink of the liberaton of Iraq, evening of 25 March 2003.


We go to liberate, not to conquer. We will not fly our flags in their country. We are entering Iraq to free a people and the only flag which will be flown in that ancient land is their own. Show respect for them.

There are some who are alive at this moment who will not be alive shortly. Those who do not wish to go on that journey, we will not send. As for the others, I expect you to rock their world. Wipe them out if that is what they choose. But if you are ferocious in battle, remember to be magnanimous in victory.

Iraq is steeped in history. It is the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood and the birthplace of Abraham. Tread lightly there. You will see things that no man could pay to see and you will have to go a long way to find a more decent, generous and upright people than the Iraqis. You will be embarrassed by their hospitality even though they have nothing. Don't treat them as refugees, for they are in their own country. Their children will be poor. In years to come they will know that the light of liberation in their lives was brought by you.

If there are casualties of war then remember that when they woke up and got dressed in the morning they did not plan to die this day. Allow them dignity in death. Bury them properly and mark their graves.

It is my foremost intention to bring every single one of you out alive, but there may be people among us who will not see the end of this campaign. We will put them in their sleeping bags and send them back. There will be no time for sorrow.

The enemy should be in no doubt that we are his nemesis and that we are bringing about his rightful destruction. There are many regional commanders who have stains on their souls and they are stoking the fires of hell for Saddam. He and his forces will be destroyed by this coalition for what they have done. As they die they will know their deeds have brought them to this place. Show them no pity.

It is a big step to take another human life. It is not to be done lightly. I know of men who have taken life needlessly in other conflicts. I can assure you they live with the mark of Cain upon them. If someone surrenders to you then remember they have that right in international law and ensure that one day they go home to their family.

The ones who wish to fight, well, we aim to please.

If you harm the regiment or its history by overenthusiasm in killing or in cowardice, know it is your family who will suffer. You will be shunned unless your conduct is of the highest for your deeds will follow you down through history. We will bring shame on neither our uniform or our nation.

As for ourselves, let's bring everyone home and leave Iraq a better place for us having been there.

Our business now is north.

Lt. Col. Tim Collins
Commander of the First Battalion,
Royal Irish Regiment


President George W. Bush has this speech hanging on the wall of the Oval Office.

(5) Carlos V made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 11:15:11 AM | Permalink

Beldar, I hope you are right, and I think history will call it like you do. Predicting history is a risky business. There is a lot of hard work ahead in the war on Islamofascism, and it will not be smooth sailing any more than it has so far, but I think the good guys will win.

The MSM (news media that is) is a big loser in the election. They are a big loser because they tossed aside their facade of impartiality, their covert motives became overt, their daily spin was exposed, and in the process, they have lost tremendous respect amongst Americans, especially the ones living in red states. Will they continue with business as usual, or will they do a little self analysis and realize they let the American people down as "reporters of the news"? My bet is it is business as usual. Watch the story about the Rathergate fiasco, and whether the CBS News' "investigation" comes clean.

(6) Kalle (kafir forever) made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 11:43:37 AM | Permalink

This election will be seen as a crucial event ONLY if we quickly move to topple the tyrants in Baathist Syria, Islamofascist Iran, and Stalinist North Korea.

The January elections in Iraq are a pivotal transition, opening the door to freedom, representative government, and prosperity in Arab and Moslem lands (note: not democracy).

Anything less than that would amount to having elected Kerry.

Bush has a mandate. Now let's deal with the rest of the Axis of Evil.

(7) Paul H. made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 1:02:46 PM | Permalink

History channel reran a superb special about Stalin last night. It reminded me of the fact that in one of his meetings with Stalin (Yalta?), Roosevelt told him that he had to worry about US catholic voters (probably in reference to postwar govt of Poland?). Stalin contemptuously (and famously) responded: "How many divisions has the Pope?"

His comment echoes as an analogy to the MSM's attitude toward the blogosphere. I'd say in this fight you were worth at least a battalion, Beldar.

Carlos is right on. I hope you'll track & post here with future developments on the CBS investigation, and any future developments on Kerry's undisclosed records (probably there will be nothing as further inquiries on the subject will be met with contemptuous scorn by the pro-Kerry MSM).

But - am I the only one who thinks Kerry will consider trying for the Dem nomination in 2008? I'm sure he still sees the Presidency as his destiny, & certainly he'll be able to finance another attempt.

(8) SemiPundit made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 1:46:31 PM | Permalink

Do you think that, twenty-five years from now, we will have military bases in Iraq?

(9) Beldar made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 1:57:18 PM | Permalink

SemiPundit, I don't know. It's 58 years after the end of World War II and we still have bases in Germany and Japan, albeit way fewer than during the immediate post-war period and the Cold War. We'll continue to need to have bases somewhere in the Middle East, and it may be that the Iraqis (who are indeed strategically located) will welcome our presence. What I definitely do not expect, though, will be that any bases we may still have in Iraq in 25 years will be part of an "occupation force" or necessary to maintain Iraq's internal security.

(10) Daver made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 2:42:36 PM | Permalink

The MSM are already spinning the election results as being due to "moral" issues. Close: they mean gay rights and abortion, but it was actually just moral clarity about the truth. Americans don't like being lied to, and Kerry lied and lied, while the MSM covered for him on every lie he told, and jumped into the moral cesspool with him by concocting their own lies.

Now all the media is blathering about why the Dems flubbed it, but the simple answer they will never stumble on is that people got sick of Michael Moore and Teresa and lawyers threatening to shut down TV stations. Oh yeah, and a lot of us vets felt like it was way past time for this traitor to get taken down.

(11) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 2:49:55 PM | Permalink

As I noted in the other thread, this was a crushing victory for the Republican party and the cultural conservative movement.

But, I wouldn't be the pesky liberal that I am without pointing out what I believe to be an indisputable fact:

The Republican party will be [i]absolutely[/i] accountable and responsible for everything that happens to this country in the next four years.

You Republicans now own this country in a way that no party has since World War II. Ownership has its benefits, but also its downside.

If the economy does well, it's due to your efforts. If the economy tanks, it's your fault.

If Iraq turns into a budding democracy, and terrorism steeply declines, you get all the credit. If Iraq turns into Afghanistan ca. 1995 and terrorism increases dramatically, you will be completely to blame.

As an American, I and liberals like me hope that we were wrong and you were right. But that does not mean we won't hold you accountable if the opposite is true.

The ball's in your court, guys.

(12) Boger made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 3:05:22 PM | Permalink

Where's the Beef,

Can't imagine a more spot on commander's speech. The more amazing if it was indeed impromtu? Underscores that sine qua non thing called Leadership. Exact definition hard to agree on, but you know it when you see it. And when you want to follow. Which might explain today.

(13) b C made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 3:14:55 PM | Permalink

Powell vs. Billary in 2008?

(14) Boger made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 3:20:47 PM | Permalink

Geek, Esq,

Admire your testicular fortitude in showing up for an undoubted dose of medicine. In honor and emulation of our president, this bloger will remain civil and not close with the obvious retort. Cannot disagree with your position. We, the country, has a lot of work to do.

PS. Don't you have to tip your hat to the guy, though?

(15) jackscrow made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 3:21:08 PM | Permalink

i have virtually no confidence, given the state of the world and my personal beliefs, that things are gonna get better in the long run.

however, i am glad that the soros/lewis presidential ticket was, at least momentarily, defeated.

(16) Kent made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 3:32:07 PM | Permalink


You assume that control of the government amounts to control of events. History proves otherwise.

It is liberals, not conservatives, who believe that it is the government from whom all blessings flow. Sowing good seed in a fertile field is necessary but not sufficient; the sun and the rain are beyond even Al Gore's control.

I believe that a conservative government policy towards the economy is the most likely to be fruitful, and I am hoping that Bush and the Congress will adopt such a policy during his second term, going beyond mere tax cuts. But there are no guarantees in life.

In regards to the war on terror, remember that there is another side trying very hard to seize control of events. The Left seem inclined to discount the threat of Islamofascism, assuming that it can triumph only if we make egregious mistakes. But can Churchill fairly be blamed for the early successes of Hitler?

Above all, I hope you will not spend the next four years doing everything in you power to obstruct every Republican effort, and then turn around and hold us "completely to blame" for any setbacks. Politics remain the art of the possible, and the Republican majorities in Congress, gratifying as they are, are not so great that the Democrats cannot affect policy.

(17) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 4:14:34 PM | Permalink


It's really not a good idea for me to state what I think of W. He's my president, and I wish him 100% success in destroying the seething Islamists bent on destroying us.

Of course there are externalities. But, the only thing that counts is results. Jimmy Carter had a lot of bad stuff go on that was out of his control. Didn't matter--his record was one of failure.

(18) criven made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 4:18:25 PM | Permalink

I disagree with your opinion completely.

I fail to see how the war in Iraq can be considered a process of liberation. They were bombed based on FAULTY evidence. The new government is being defined and organized according to the interests of the United States, not the Iraqi people. Innocent Iraqis have been imprisoned, tortured, and abused by American soldiers. The U.S. government faces tremendous opposition to the war yet remains in Iraq anyway. The government is clearly acting in its own selfish interests, not those of the Iraqis and the world.

I also believe that there will be no more domestic security than there has been. Due to the strong global opposition and hatred that Mr. Bush has managed to create for himself, I personally feel that the United States is a bigger target than ever.

(19) Rod Stanton made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 4:52:27 PM | Permalink

A great election for the free world. JFK's coattails carried all the way to S.D. Could not have happened to any nicer people.OBL is digging deeper as I punch. Go W! What does that W stand for, JFK? IT stands for Winner, Wonderful and Worthwile.
Rod Stanton

(20) Quadraginta made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 5:33:34 PM | Permalink

I think there's no doubt W is going to be remembered as the greatest foreign-policy President since Reagan, yes. Perhaps greater, even: Reagan inherited a powerful conviction in the country that we were in a war with an implacable enemy, whereas W had to win that psychological battle before he could begin to attend to the military battle.

But as someone involved in education, I want to point out his potential domestic legacy. He really does believe all that stuff about being an education president, and it shows. That much-maligned NCLB act is beginning to make remarkable changes in the way our children are educated. State after state is sitting down and setting serious educational standards, measuring (not guessing) outcomes, using hard factual data to sort out what works and what doesn't. Graduation requirements are being enforced. Social promotion is dying. Bad administrators are losing their jobs, and good administrators are getting raises. The incompetent multiculti feel-good teachers are running scared, trying to bone up on their own math, science and history. The good teachers are feeling empowered and earning better money. Kids in California schools are learning to read earlier. Algebra is being taught more widely and at lower grades. Science standards are coming down the pike, and there will be a lot fewer flat-Earthers in twenty years.

Because of the somewhat unnoticed passion of this President for educating children -- perhaps related to his passion for his librarian and schoolteacher wife -- tomorrow's generation is getting a better education out of our public school system than it's gotten in the past forty years.

That kind of legacy lasts forever.

(21) Mimi made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 6:01:06 PM | Permalink


When everything goes well, you'll be there to pass out the awards, right?

(22) Kalle (kafir forever) made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 6:07:13 PM | Permalink

criven, your claims are completely idiotic, save for one point: The USA has liberated Iraq for _self-interested_ reasons indeed -- and THAT is EXCELLENT. If the Iraqi people profit, that is a side-effect of American rational self-interest. Freedom in Iraq is good for us.

Foreign policy has been defined for too long as sacrificial in principle -- i.e. the US should only do things if OTHERS found it in THEIR self-interest. But no more.

Now it's different, and that is exactly what you and your ilk are angry about. The Bush doctrine is one of self-interest, of acting forcefully in self-defense. This is why Bush won with such a clear majority (in spite of the countless lies and distortions coming out the Old Media).

(23) Neo made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 6:08:45 PM | Permalink

The Iraqis are now seeing the beginning of the fulfillment of UN resolution 688, bring respect for human rights. No thanks to many of the "bribed" members of the Security Council who thought nothing but lining their own pockets.
Iraq's neighbors, the peoples of Syria and Iran, wish that the U.S. could find a reason, any reason, good or bad, faulty or reliable to invade so they may begin the journey to freedom themselves.

(24) MD made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 7:13:09 PM | Permalink

Beldar, I think you are correct, but 25 years is too short of a timeline. More like 50 years. With respect to Reagan, his accomplishments, though noted, are still tainted with partisan bias, condescension, and resentment. The same will be true of Bush in 25 years.

Truman wasn't appreciated for a long, long time. During his time, he was viewed much as Bush is -- a small-time dim bulb in over his head, good with one-liners but short on "nuance, complexity, and credentialed friends." He only completely reorganized the government to implement the new policy of containment and the promotion of democracy (a policy by the way which has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams). He also took the initiative on two items that had broad resistance among government types: the Berlin airlift and the recognition of the State of Israel, both of which are now hailed as notable acts of courage.

Truman was a radical in his own way, just as Bush is. I don't know how things will turn out with Bush. I think he will succeed with N Korea, because of China; China's relationship with the US is more important than China's relationship with N Korea, while N Korea is essentially dependent on China. That shoe may drop relatively soon. I'm sure feverish meetings are being held in the PDRK as we speak; their future is sealed.

With Iran, I think the State Dept is holding Bush back. I think he should just come out and call upon the Iranian people to revolt and throw off the yoke; negotiation with the theocrats only grants them legitimacy. Threats from the West gives them credibility with their own population; the theocrats view nuclear weapons as a certain means to generate threats, thereby generating their own indispensablity. The two go together.

But, I don't know how this will all turn out. The future is entirely unpredictable. In any case, Bush has already changed the world: Arafat has been neutralized, the word "reform" is actually used with respect to the PLO, Israel has effectively defeated the Infitada and is ready to pull out of Gaza, Libya has been de-fanged, the Khan network has been exposed, Pakistan has been brought into the community of nations, Afghanistan has undergone a sea change, Syria is constricted and defensive, AQ no longer controls a sovereign state, and Saddam Hussein is history.

All in about 3 years.

Amazing what can be accomplished when you stop writing memos about what to do, and actually do something.

(25) Where's The Beef? made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 7:33:25 PM | Permalink


Remarkably, Lt. Col. Tim Collins did indeed speak off-the-cuff. His address was taken down by an reporter who was embedded with his unit. Subsequent to its publication in the papers at the time, the UK embassy in Washington made it available. The embassy may have tidied up some of the punctuation and removed some uhms and ahs, but eye witnesses attest that it was essentially spoken as transcribed.

Men and women of action seem to be direct and economical in speech. Some more plainly than others.

This is noticable not just among statesmen, and leaders on the ground, but also in door-to-door discussions that have taken place among the electorate this year. It is also painfully noticable in the various debates that have occured on the internet.

Beldar's challenges to the Kerry defenders provided a forum to see this in frozen type on our computer monitors.

"The ones who wish to fight, well, we aim to please." - Lt. Col. Tim Collins.

(26) Old Red made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 7:35:37 PM | Permalink

Good points, Beldar. All those hours at the soda counter in Collins' drugstore were apparently well spent. I have been struck today by the extent to which the liberals, exemplified on your page by criven, still don't get it. The election was about values, but not the Moral Majority "values" they are thinking about. The real values in question are the values of those who understand that American (and, yes, British and Canadian and Australian, let's face it, we're talking about the English-speaking peoples here) democratic values have been by far the greatest force for good the world has seen since the coming of Christianity, certainly at least over the last two centuries. The real failure of the Democrats is their reflexive rejection of American principles, and the projection of those principles by military means if necessary, based on their fundamental misunderstanding of Vietnam and other aspects of post-WWII history. When you get right down to it, most of them don't understand the magnitude of our accomplishments in WWII, either. Anyone who reflexively compares our use of nukes in 1945 with the nutcase mullahs of Iran wanting nukes now is either a complete fool or someone who just hates America.

What a great day for us all, even those who don't know it yet.

(27) perfectsense made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 8:22:38 PM | Permalink

By Criven's standards, WWII was a complete failure.

And Geek, for the past 50 years Dems have blamed the GOP for everything, regardless whether the GOP was control of government or not. You should have heard Kerry screaming about Reagan for things Reagan did, but Kerry now embraces.

(28) Cap'n DOC made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 9:28:51 PM | Permalink

"...and any future developments on Kerry's undisclosed records (probably there will be nothing as further inquiries on the subject will be met with contemptuous scorn by the pro-Kerry MSM)".

My take? MSM decides to eat their young. What was yesterday's Darling becomes today's Dumpster.

The italicized portion Posted by: Paul H. on November 3, 2004 01:02 PM

(29) Cap'n DOC made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 9:33:25 PM | Permalink

Yup. That speech was made by one of those 'Bribed' Coalition members. The man is a Leader of men. Not an ounce of nuance in the whole thing.

(30) Thomas J. Jackson made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 9:59:40 PM | Permalink


I can only hope that both parties can work together to develop solutions rather than work for partisan interests. I do dispair that both parties have ideals which will not permit this. Having lived in Iraq I can only rejoice in Saddam's overthrow. I would hope that in the future the US government will deal with regimes that seek to spread choas and initiate the rule of the gun in a non-nuanced manner.

I am watching the behavior of the Democrat party when President Bush nominates the next supreme court justice. Somehow I doubt they will seek to reach out or judge this individual on his merits but will rather reflexively Bork whoever it might be. Should this occur one can only assume that the Michael Moore wing of the party is in full control and the Democrat are a lost cause. Its a shame because without a viable opposition party there will not be a real contest of ideas which America can only benefit from.

(31) Boger made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 10:02:00 PM | Permalink

Where's the Beef,

"The ones who wish to fight, well, we aim to please." - Lt. Col. Tim Collins.

That would be my philosophy. And perhaps the unchecked emotion behind the much maligned, "Bring them on."

(32) David Blue made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 10:24:53 PM | Permalink

"Twenty-five years from now, yesterday's election victory will be regarded as a key step in the continuing spread of democratic freedom."

I agree: the obvious big winners live in places like Iraq, and future historians will say this.

But there are other winners that those less interested in dramatic (and consequential) events and more focused on dull topics like demography and social policy will also note.

I've seen people try to work out how many of the unborn would have been killed if John F. Kerry had been elected president, compared to those who will be saved because George W. Bush is president, and you can't do it. All you can say is that the numbers will be huge. They will draw breath, have names, love, have lives and children of their own - because of George W. Bush.

I said before the election: pro-lifers now have to get out the vote for George, because he is the best pro-life president ever. If people hadn't gotten out the vote for him after all he's done and after the good that he's deserved, nobody would ever have listened to social conservatives again. The life vote would have been a joke, like "new voters" and the mythical "rock the vote" youth vote.

Now it's all right. Thank God.

Nobody is going to be stupid enough to say: the Republicans are supposed to be the party of conservatives, and they have the Presidency and both legislative houses and have appointed most Supreme Court judges, so we want the world right now. It doesn't work like that. In fact it works nothing like that, and everybody understands it.

But John F. Kerry, with a litmus test and the harshest position on every life issue would have left pro-lifers nothing but eyes to weep with. We've been saved from a terrible alternative future. And multitudes who would have died, will live. It's enough.

I'm not interested to debate pro-life, pro-choice and whatever. Those debates all prove useless and bitter. I'm just giving public thanks to American voters who voted pro-life and on other moral issues, and made George W. Bush, this great man, president again.

(33) David Blue made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 10:40:49 PM | Permalink

MD: I agree with all your remarks above. In foreign policy I think of George W. Bush as "Harry Truman, 21st Century Edition." And that's about as good as it gets in my book.

(34) Terry Gain made the following comment | Nov 3, 2004 10:48:11 PM | Permalink

Criven ,

I disagree with you on all points raised by you.

1. You "fail to see how the war in Iraq can be considered a process of liberation as they were bombed based on FAULTY evidence."

Your argument is not logical. Whether the Iraqis were liberated because the U.S. (reasonably) believed Saddam had WMD or whether they were liberated because it was understood that establishing a democracy in Iraq is the best way of guaranteeing our safety -and it was both- the fact of the matter is that Iraqis have been liberated (though their safety has not yet been assured. )

2. You say "the new government is being defined and organized according to the interests of the United States, not the Iraqi people."

Nonsense, the Iraqis are forming their government according to their own wants and needs. The suggestion that the Americans can dictate the form and composition of their goverenment shows a lack of understanding of the independent nature of the Iraqi people.

3.You say "innocent Iraqis have been imprisoned, tortured, and abused by American soldiers."

The abuses at Abu Ghraib are regrettable but do not compare with the murder of at least 600,0000 people as well as untold atrocities. It is dingenuous or clueless to suggest we shouldn't distinguish between abuse and murder and torture.

4. You say "the U.S. government faces tremendous opposition to the war yet remains in Iraq anyway. The government is clearly acting in its own selfish interests, not those of the Iraqis and the world."

The latter statement contradicts the former.

5. You say you: "I also believe that there will be no more domestic security than there has been.Due to the strong global opposition and hatred that Mr. Bush has managed to create for himself, I personally feel that the United States is a bigger target than ever."

If you are referring to the Europeans they have neither the ability nor the inclination to strike the U. S. They are angry because their irrelevancy, moral bankruptcy and inadequacy have been exposed. Maybe in time they will choose some real women to lead them

With respect to the Arabs, notwithstanding the best attempts of the left, in the fullness of time it will be understood that America's intentions with regard to Iraq are honorable and respect and support for the U. S. will increase.

As to the Islamofascists the only language they understand is killing. Once we have killed enough of them they will give up and this threat will go the way of fascism and communism. The more hesitant we are about killing them the stronger they will feel and the more of us they will try to kill.

The one area where president Bush most needs to change his approach is to improve his communications and propaganda strategy so that even the most dense among us will understand America's goals in and for Iraq.

I agree with Beldar on how history will view President Bush, but I don't think it will take 25 years. We live in an age of rapid change. Look at the changes in Afghanistan in three short years.

(35) SemiPundit made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 12:34:43 AM | Permalink

Mr.(Ms.?) Gain:

I cannot share your optimism. I find it difficult to understand how people who fly into buildings and blow themselves up on buses are intimidated by the prospect of being hunted down and killed. An ideal answer to how many would be enough would, of course, be "all of them".

Do you agree that we may have to invade numerous countries around the world, especially in the Middle East and Asia in order to get at the terrorists, unless we could work with those countries and engage them in some sort of cooperative policing-type of approach?

(36) Quadraginta made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 1:37:57 AM | Permalink

Semipundit sez: "I find it difficult to understand how people who fly into buildings and blow themselves up on buses are intimidated by the prospect of being hunted down and killed."

We're not trying to intimidate them, Sem, we're trying to kill them.

No one's trying to reach them, reason with them, deter them, rehabilitate them, or bring them into the community. We don't care about any of that. They're nuts. Inhuman. As meaningless as robot zombies programmed to kill. It's hopeless to try any kind of talk. So the plan is, we just go find them and kill them as fast as we can. We don't care what they think about us (or anything).

Sem follows up with: "Do you agree that we may have to invade numerous countries around the world, especially in the Middle East and Asia in order to get at the terrorists, unless we could work with those countries and engage them in some sort of cooperative policing-type of approach?"

Nope. Nations, unlike terrorist cells, are composed of reasonable people. That's how they survive long term. Reasonable people will read the handwriting on the wall after an example or two. Just ask folks who lived in (distant) Hiroshima suburbs in 1945.

(37) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 2:20:12 AM | Permalink


It's up to Bush to reach across the partisan divide. Unless everyone else on the planet is mistaken, he will not do so, but rather will try to cram as much of his extremely conservative agenda down the Democrats' throats.

They have a duty to their constituents to resist, and in some cases, obstruct such measures. You can expect any judicial nominees to get grilled not only about Roe, but also about Griswold.

(38) Where's The Beef? made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 5:17:41 AM | Permalink

Sure, "National Politics 101".

How will the Dems do their part in "reaching across the partisan divide"? What might that look like -- respecting the national mandate that was won on November 2nd 2004?

(39) SemiPundit made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 8:53:07 AM | Permalink



(40) Loren made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 10:18:17 AM | Permalink


You are deluding yourself if you think that Bush is an extreme conservative, or pushes a far-right agenda. Saying it just does not make it so. It just shows that you have consumed too much of the Kool-Aid, and perhaps are thinking anything to the right of your own position is extreme.

Bush has pushed many items that are not favored by the extreme conservative. Prescription Drugs, Immigration, Federal involvement with education, are just some examples.

(41) TheSophist made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 10:49:04 AM | Permalink


If Democrats wish to challenge Bush on domestic matters, that's fine by me. I disagree that they are standing up for their constituents when they obstruct and resist (unless by constituents you mean the party loyalists) judicial appointments, medicare reform bills, and the like -- but either way, I think it would be good for Democrats and Liberals to provide opposition to the dominant Republican/Conservative world view.

We do need a counter-balance to the Republican/Conservative party line after all, in order to reach the reasonable center.

HOWEVER, if Democrats do the same thing in our war effort against tyranny and Islamofascists, then they are not the loyal opposition we Americans deserve but a budding Fifth Column that deserves total and utter destruction as a political movement.

As a 9/11 Bush supporter, who changed on that fateful morning, my *profound* disillusionment with the Democrats in these last three years is the fact that they really have not learned that politics stop at the water's edge. Familiy arguments can get vicious and heated -- but against an outsider, a family needs to be a united front.

Domestic policies are, to me and a large number of 9/11 converts, like family arguments. Important, significant, and often heated. One side could be right one day, and be wrong the next. But in this time of war, Democrats really need to understand where to draw the line. Someone trying to kill my brother, no matter how much I might argue with him on family issues, is my enemy, period.

We have seen too many examples of some leading figures in the Liberal/Democratic movement who have engaged in behavior that is way over the line. Michael Moore, MoveOn.org, and some members of the MSM are as responsible as Karl Rove is (if not more) for Kerry's defeat. I suggest that if voters had been polled, you would have found that in the end, a large swath of centrist voters were finally swayed to Bush's camp by the disgusting, beyond-the-pale, lying vitriol put out by the likes of Moore, Al Gore, Jesse Jackson, Daily Kos, and the like.

As a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, anti-union, anti-affirmative action, pro-gun, upper middle class yuppie 9/11 Republican, let me say that I desperately wish for a return of sanity to the Democratic party. We Americans need an alternative vision for domestic prosperity; advocate it strongly, fiercely. But recognize that if Democrats do not see that we are all in this together, and against a common enemy we must be a common front, then they deserve nothing but scorn and defeat at the polls time and time and time again.


(42) Terry Gain made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 12:26:51 PM | Permalink

I agree entirely with The Sophist's "water's edge" comments. bin Laden spouting Moore rants makes it clear that the Democratic right of dissent in this case is aiding the enemy. I suspect Moore's video is being used as a terrorist recruitment tool, not that that would bother him as he is on record as saying he hopes the terrorists win. It was digraceful that the Democrats were prepared to use Moore for whatever advantage they might get from people who don't understand, or care, that dissent in America does have an impact on the war in Iraq.

Consider how the liberation of Iraq would be thought of were it being waged by a master communicator such as Clinton. Perception is often reality.

My optimism concerning Iraq arises from the essential goodness of the liberation effort.

A regime that offered the people it governed a society characterized by the oppresive denial of basic human rights, state engineered genocide murder and terror, lack of material comforts and opportunity - while the wealth of the country was wasted on palaces and arms- has been supplanted.

But we need to keep emphasizing and getting the word out everywhere as to what it was like under Saddam and what it will be like when the insurgency is put down - and it will be. When completed the liberation of Iraq will be a recruitment vehicle for a way of life built on liberty and respect for life and not as a recruitment vehicle for a way of life based on hate - a way of life that that can offer up only misery and death.

(43) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 2:30:28 PM | Permalink

I see the seeds of tyranny being sprinkled here.

If Democrats dare oppose or criticize Bush the next time he wants to launch another unnecessary war like he did in Iraq, we're traitors. Remember--half this country thinks that Iraq was a mistake. That's a lot of traitors for you to intern.

This after Bush and his campaign demonized homosexuals, liberals, and an entire state.

News flash to you guys and your Dear Leader: You can't smear people as unAmerican and disloyal (those homosexual liberals from Massachusetts. Massachusetts!) and then talk about us all being in this together.

(44) Loren made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 3:03:41 PM | Permalink


Put the Kool-Aid glass down, step away from the pitcher.

Take a deep breath, and look in the mirror. Nearly everything you say in your last post is also said in the mirror image.

From my perspective the demonization is from the other side. Move-On, MMoore, etc.

(45) Geek, Esq. made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 3:25:03 PM | Permalink


I didn't hear John Kerry smearing the state of Texas or scapegoating an unpopular minority like homosexuals for political gain.

And I'm not telling any Bush supporters that their statements amount to treason.

In any event, the Red America and its champion have told gays to go sit in the back of the bus. Can anyone seriously blame gays who want to move to Canada or Europe?

Many of us despised Northeast liberals are wondering who's next on the list of unpopular minorities to be pilloried and demonized. Hell, we had a sitting president stand up and smear an entire state.

(46) Terry Gain made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 3:41:09 PM | Permalink

Your hyperbole is unpersuasive and counter- productive. No one is talking about internment. Those who oppose the decisions of the administation have every right to speak out. And those who support the administration have every right to point out what they think is the effect of that dissent.

After the attacks on Bush, your use of the word demonization is ironic. As I understand Bush's position on marriage he believes that the institution of marriage is under attack and as a bulding block of society concened with the rearing of children needs to be protected. I think reasonable people may disagree with him on this issue. I don't think that makes him or them demons.

(47) Mimi made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 3:58:21 PM | Permalink


No, John Kerry decided to pick on one poor woman, the daughter of an opponent, when he wanted to use homosexuals for political gain. But I guess that doesn't count for you.

You can't have it both ways, Geek, no matter how much you want to.

And in case you hadn't noticed, a HUGE majority of the people in this country are opposed to "Gay Marriage", not just "the extreme right wing". Not all of us agree with that opposition, but it's about 70% of the country that is opposed to gay marriage. Most of those people who are opposed to gay marriage are not gay haters or gay bashers, they're just opposed to gay marriage.

I'm sure that at some point, a compromise will be reached, but that day isn't here yet. But it is completely inaccurate, and it is not supported by any facts, to characterize people who are opposed to gay marriage as gay hating.

In the meantime, if anyone wants to move to Canada to Europe, they are welcome to do so. In my experience, real Americans don't move to Canada, cowards do.

(48) Cap'n DOC made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 4:36:35 PM | Permalink

Well, Geek, Esq., your guy demonized 2.5 million + veterans 30 years ago. He didn't have much of a problem calling those (who are still alive) a bunch of liars to this day, either. MOF, his DAUGHTER did that on Election evening in a public interview.

You just don't get it, do you?

(49) Where's The Beef? made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 5:48:23 PM | Permalink

What Cap'n Doc said.

The chief campaign tactic utilized by Kerry this year has been to play the part of the victim while all the time committing the very transgressions that he accused of others.

In the final week of his campaign he attempted to mislead the country about an ammunitions depot. He rushed. He got it wrong. His judgement was shown to be horrendous. It was as if he hoped that by showing how such a goof-up could be made and defended, he could set an example for what he criticized.

Ditto to the nth degree for three decades of misleading the country about the Vietnam conflict.

Thirty years from now, Kerry will still be harping about that ammunitions dump. If Kerry reaches across the partisan divide, it will be to take a poke at the back of the heads of those who chose to work with the President in making progress.

(50) MD made the following comment | Nov 4, 2004 7:29:54 PM | Permalink

To a liberal, "demonize" is code for "he disagrees with me."

This kind of dramatic, overwrought rhetoric is typical of liberal engagement.

If a conservative should state a position that is in disagreement with liberal dogma, then the liberal response is personal: "he [the conservative] is demonizing us."

This immediately does two things: first, the discussion is no longer over an issue, it's about the personal qualities of the participants [the ad hominem fallacy]; and secondly, it includes an implicit assumption, without evidence or discussion, that "demonization" is taking place, and, as we all know, those who "demonize" others are the real demons, aren't they? [In the meantime, the actual issue is never addressed].

This is typical of liberal "debate." All issues (even the most mundane, such as tax brackets) are inherently moral and a test of moral correctness; therefore all public policy issues are at bottom personal and a test of spiritual goodness; disagreement with the approved liberal position denotes moral and spiritual degeneracy (or even mental defect); it is therefore permissible, and nearly mandatory, to assume that those who disagree with you are degenerates; and degenerates are capable of anything, even "demonization."

Hence, our political discourse descends into the emotionalism and personalism of juveniles, even in Congress (perhaps especially in Congress), the press repeats it, and the public learns through repetition that this kind of irrational discourse is acceptable and worthy of emulation.

It's a tiresome exercise.

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