Wednesday, December 31, 2003
It looks like the East Coast made it through. I'm on the West Coast (obviously) so I'll probably manage to make it bnack on if something happens here. But it looks like we're going to be ok. God willing. I hope.
Well, it looks like Chris Shays was wrong again. At least.
The Shape of Things to Come
Well, the end of 2003 is upon us and, as is customary, every pundit in the world is offering their predictions for the New Year.
Governor Dr. Howard Brush Dean III will not win the Democratic nomination. He will win in Iowa, knocking Dick Gephardt from the race and he’ll win in New Hampshire, but by a much narrower margin than expected. In fact, the big news on January 27th will be the strong showings in New Hampshire by both John Kerry and Wesley Clark, followed by a debate on over who is now the “Anti-Dean.” Dean will win 35% of the vote, Kerry and Clark will split 40% of the vote, and the remaining 25% will be divided between the rest of the field.
The results of the primaries a week later in Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Carolina will be divided, which will further hurt Dean’s chances. Democratic Underground will become a battleground, as both sides accuse the other of being kept alive by Republicans crossing over and voting in the Democratic primaries (Dean supporters will charge that they’re voting for a more moderate candidate to try and stop Dean while Clark supporters will charge that they’re voting for Dean in order to ensure a Democratic defeat in November).
To the surprise of everyone, Al Sharpton will win the South Carolina Primary, thereby adding a new dimension to the race. After February 3rd, the tide of battle will turn against Dean, leading his supporters to new levels of hysteria. As the primaries wear on, Dean’s support will gradually drop but he will remain in the delegate lead, especially as the sense of being under siege drives his most dedicated followers to increasing levels of exertion.
Finally, Dean will have to be done in through one of three methods: all of the surviving Democratic candidates will endorse one candidate, one of the Clintons will step in and endorse one candidate, or superdelegates will step forward and pledge themselves. By the time the early primaries are through, it will be clear that the only candidate in the field who can command enough support to wrest the nomination from Dean is Wesley Clark.
However, Dean will not give up. With no candidate commanding a majority, he will fight his way right into the convention. He will seek to have rules changed to allow all delegates a free vote on the first ballot and, failing at that, he will try to prevent anyone from achieving a majority. There will be much talk of a Clark-Dean or Dean-Clark ticket but, by this point, there will be so much bad blood between the two candidates and their supporters that such a thing will be impossible.
During the long wait between the end of major primaries and the convention, both sides will smear eachother. Dean’s supporters will attack Clark’s military record, pointing out his involvement in Waco, that he was relieved from command as SACEUR, and his general unpopularity among military officers. Republicans will join in this. Clark will use proxies, especially in the more socially conservative areas of the nation, to attack Dean over gays and abortion. If caught, he will disavow any knowledge of such activities. Republicans will gladly assist in this as well.
As the Democrats gather in Boston many will talk about the need for an entirely new ticket. In the end though, the party machinery will throw the nomination to Clark, who will take a solid moderate with Washington experience as his running mate. Although Howard Dean has repeatedly foresworn the idea of an independent campaign, I expect that, in the end, he will storm from the convention floor and do just that. After all, if he doesn’t win this year then he’s done for. The sort of lightning which has created his movement doesn’t strike twice.
His best hope at this point will be to campaign as an ‘independent Democrat’ claiming to represent the authentic Democratic Party and to then seek to outpoll the regular Democratic nominee. It doesn’t make much sense when it comes to bring about a Democratic victory, but it makes a lot of sense when it comes to helping out Howard Dean. By that point in time his remaining supporters will have been through so much that they’ll be willing to follow old Howard anywhere.
Clark will seek to gain traction by attacking President Bush in the general election, but the crowd motivated by such attacks will already be behind Howard Dean who will be busy attacking Wesley Clark. Faced with this situation, the Bush re-election campaign will resemble Reagan’s 1984 ‘Morning in America’ campaign, with most of Bush’s energy going into campaigning for down-ticket candidates. Unlike 1984 and 1972, where Reagan and Nixon’s campaigns sought to win fifty-state majorities rather than increasing their coattails, Karl Rove will use the President to make the difference in key Senate and House races across the country.
Between various efforts at redistricting and Presidential campaigning, the Republicans will pick up thirty seats in the House. The real battle will come in the Senate, as the GOP seeks not just a majority but a filibuster-proof majority. The Republicans will pick up all of the open Southern seats: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana. They will lose in Illinois, but hold Alaska. The biggest upsets of the year will come on the West Coast, where Bill Jones will defeat Barbara Boxer in California and ‘Giant-Killer’ George Nethercutt will knock off Patti Murray in Washington. Republicans will desperately fight to win South Dakota, North Dakota, and Nevada in order to gain sixty seats in the Senate, but will win only two out of three, leaving them one short. However, with the support of moderate Democrats, Republicans will finally be able to break Democratic filibusters on Judges.
President Bush will win in a landslide: 45 states and 60% of the vote. The regular Democrat will score 20% percent and Dean will score 20%. The posters on Democratic Underground will blame the results on Diebold before cutting their wrists or jumping from tall buildings.
Oh, yes: and the 2008 Presidential Campaign will begin at about 12:01AM on November 3rd, 2004.
Osama Bin Laden will either be killed or will be confirmed as having been killed in December 2001 during the Battle of Tora Bora. The situation in Iraq will gradually grow in stability.
At some point during the year, the Iraqi guerrillas will pull off a spectacular attack which the media will depict as a major reversal for the Coalition. However, such an attack will actually bolster American will to win the war.
Syria will see the writing on the wall and come to an accommodation with the Untied States such as Libya has. Howard Dean will claim that it is the result of Bill Clinton’s patient diplomacy.
Ariel Sharon will cheer leftists and anti-Semites the world over by resigning as Prime Minister of Israel. The above-mentioned individuals will be less-cheered when he is replaced by Benjamin Netanyahu, who proves to be very popular with the Israeli people. The conflict in Israel will continue, but at a reduced pace as both sides become increasingly war-weary. The Israelis will work to effect a unilateral separation.
North Korea will, when the world gets bored of hearing their words, test a nuclear device. This will prompt Japan to modify its Constitution and to debate acquiring nuclear weapons. The United States will continue to pursue its strategy of turning the North Korean problem into the problem more of South Korea, Japan, and China then itself.
If there is another major terrorist attack, there will probably be another invasion or military strike. Iran, Syria (if it has yet to capitulate) and the Sudan are all strong possibilities.
If President Musharraf is killed or there is a coup in Pakistan, the US will launch a spectacular lightning attack in the hopes of disarming Pakistan of nuclear weapons. If such a move fails, India might choose to launch a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Pakistan.
Venezuela will increasingly become visible as the year goes on. By the end of the year a majority of US neo-conservatives will favor military action against Chavez.
And, I think, that’s about it. Now we’ll wait to see how wrong I am.
Tuesday, December 30, 2003
Why Howard Dean is Unfit to be President
Tonight, in his conference call, Governor Dr. Howard Brush Dean III declared that, as President, his first act would be to, "reverse every single executive order Bush ever signed." (This has been reported on the Dean blog and on Free Republic as well). This is, to put it mildly, one of the stupidest things that I can ever recall any serious candidate for President ever saying.
Will he reverse this order, providing for rapid naturalization for Permanent Residents in the Armed Forces?
Will he reverse this order, blocking terrorist financing?
Will he reverse this order, allowing for the detention of terrorists?
Will he reverse this order, providing for the protection of critical infastructure?
This is exactly the kind of thing that, I think, could kill him before he even gets the nomination. Did he think before saying it?
Amending the Constitution
One of the best features of the United States Constitution is the amendment process which the founders built into it. While the process is difficult enough to generally temper it against the fickle will of public opinion, it is simple enough to allow for it to be used when there is general agreement on an issue. The actual design of the Amendment process seems to have been an afterthought: it isn’t even mentioned in the Federalist Papers. Some (such as Thomas Jefferson) expected the entire Constitution to be rewritten every few decades.
Yet it has endured, and for good reason. Because the Constitution is fairly simple it works fairly well. Because it is hard to modify, people do not try unless no other remedy is available. In general, those who try in the face of other remedies fail.
Let us consider for a moment the exact process set out by the Constitution. Article V of the Constitution reads (in part):
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof .
In other words, in order to be passed, an Amendment requires the consent of 2/3’s of the Congress and 3/4th’s of the states. Because this process provides for the equality of the states (each state, in ratification, is treated as an equal) this means that an Amendment supported by 95% of the population could, in theory, be sunk by less than 5% of the people if those people were concentrated in the twelve smallest states.
Let us compare this Amendment process to those found in the California and Florida state Constitutions. In California a Constitutional Amendment is ratified if it is agreed to by two-thirds of both Houses of the State Legislature and a majority of the people, voting in a referendum . In Florida an Amendment is ratified if it is agreed to by three-fifths of both Houses and a majority of the people .
It is, then, much easier to Amend the Florida or California Constitution than it is to modify the United States Constitution. There are also, however, other Constitutions that are much harder to modify.
The Canadian Constitution, for example, requires not only passage of an Amendment by the House of Commons and the Senate, but also, “resolutions of the legislative assemblies of at least two-thirds of the provinces that have, in the aggregate, according to the then latest general census, at least fifty per cent of the population of all the provinces. ” While, on the surface, this might sound like an easier process than that in use in the United States it is, in fact, much more stringent. Because Canada has only ten Provinces, it would require the assent of seven Provinces to provide for any Amendment to the Constitution. Moreover, because of stark regional differences, it is highly unlikely that any national amendment will ever be adopted. The only changes that have been made to the present Canadian Constitution since its promulgation are the result of a direct agreement between the Canadian Federal government and an individual Province, providing for an Amendment which takes effect in a single province.
It is difficult to argue, I think, that the Amendment process arrived at by the Founders is anything but near-perfect. After all, how many other legislative documents remain relevant after two hundred and fifteen years?
Amendments Ratified to Date:
What the amendment process set out by the Constitution means, in practice, is that very little (if anything) is ever added unless it needs to be there. The Constitution has been in effect for nearly two hundred and fifteen years and, in that period of time, it has been amended just twenty-seven times.
Of those twenty-seven amendments, thirteen were proposed during the first fifteen years after the Constitution was adopted . In other words, in the two hundred years that have passed between 1804 and 2004 only fourteen Amendments to the Constitution have been proposed and ratified.
These have tended to come in bursts. In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War there were three Amendments ratified (the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments) which abolished slavery, guaranteed citizenship rights, and extended the franchise to all male citizens over the age of twenty-one. Four more Amendments were passed immediately before and after the First World War. These amendments were largely driven by the ‘Progressive’ political movement of the early years of the 20th Century and allowed for the establishment of an income tax (the 16th Amendment), provided for the direct election of Senators (the 17th Amendment), prohibited liquor (the 18th Amendment) and gave women the right to vote (the 19th Amendment).
The 18th Amendment, I think, is notable because it is the only obvious example of the Constitutional Amendment process being used as a method of legislation. Other Constitutional Amendments broadly fall into several areas: safeguarding the rights of citizens, guaranteeing the rights of citizens, modifying the structure of government, and making technical corrections to the Constitution.
For example, five of the Amendments proposed after the Bill of Rights deal with either how people vote for the President, the term in office served by the President, or the powers of the Presidency . Six amendments have dealt with voting rights . Thus disposed are ten (the 23rd Amendment falling into both groups) of the seventeen Amendments ratified after the bill of rights. The others mostly fall into a number of categories. The 11th Amendment deals with Judicial powers, the 13th and 14th Amendments deal with citizenship rights, the 16th Amendment allows for an income tax, and the 27th Amendment bans Congress from raising its own pay within a single session. That leaves exactly two Amendments unaccounted for: the 18th Amendment and the 21st Amendment.
The 18th Amendment, of course, instituted Prohibition while the 21st Amendment repealed it just fourteen years later. The 18th Amendment holds the distinction of being the only Amendment ever to be repealed. There is a good reason for this (ones opinions on prohibition aside): it never belonged in the Constitution in the first place.
Virtually every other Amendment to the Constitution deals with an issue that could not be dealt with legislatively. The Congress could not change the method of electing the President without changing the Constitution. Slavery could not be fully abolished without an amendment. An appointed Vice President could not be provided for otherwise, nor electoral votes for the District of Columbia. These had no other remedy.
Prohibition, on the other hand, did. To this very day twenty-six of Alabama’s sixty-seven counties are “dry” . The only reason why advocates sought the passage of a national prohibition amendment was that they feared that, “any national prohibition law passed by one congress could be overturned with a simple majority vote by some future congress .”
A combination of strong public approval and conditions caused by the First World War allowed prohibition to be rammed through in 1919. This is the single instance of an Amendment being added to serve a purpose un-related to the Constitution. Consider that, for a moment. Over the centuries any number of popular movements: some for good, some for ill, have spread over America. Yet there were never any Anti-Masonic Amendments added to the Constitution. No Amendment was ever added stripping citizenship from Catholics. Through everything, the Constitution itself has remained a document of higher purpose.
The Issue of Legislation by Constitution and Failed Amendments:
In showing how one of the greatest effects of the present Constitution is to prevent “legislation by Constitution” I have illustrated how the difficult process set out restricts the number and scope of Amendments adopted.
Let us consider, for a moment, the perils of more lenient processes. For example, in the 2002 General Election the voters of Florida were asked to consider eleven Constitutional Amendments, of which nine passed (one was withdrawn from the ballot, and one voted down) . These Amendments dealt with topics including: workplace smoking, pre-school, public school class sizes, and the treatment of pregnant pigs . This occurs for much the same reason why the advocates of prohibition laws sought to enshrine prohibition in the Constitution: the movers behind each amendment want to make it much more difficult for a future citizenry to rid themselves of the will of their ancestors.
The fact that the national Constitution has not been amended in such a way, I might add, is not so much due to any wisdom possessed by Congressmen over State Representatives. Had the Congress the ability to pass national amendments by the same process as the states, I have little doubt that the voters would by now be hard at work on passing Amendments to outlaw all taxes while quadrupling spending.
An examination of some of the Constitutional Amendments that have passed the Congress but failed to be ratified by the States provides a further example of just how well the process outlined by the Constitution works.
For example, in 1810 an Amendment was proposed which would have stripped American citizenship from any citizen who, “shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension, office or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince or foreign power .” While much of the examination of this amendment has revolved around the contention of some that the Amendment was actually ratified, and therefore lawyers (who use the title “Esquire”) are no longer American citizens, it is more significant for another reason: it was a stupid and pointless idea.
In 1861, during the run up to the Civil War, an Amendment to the Constitution was proposed that would have granted protection to slavery. It passed both Houses of Congress and, I suspect, would have been ratified if it were subjected to California or Florida standards. Instead, it was ratified by just two states .
Other Amendments: an Amendment giving the Federal Government the power to regulare the labor of persons under eighteen, an Amendment which would have given Washington, DC full representation in Congress, and the Equal Rights Amendment were also passed by Congress and failed. In two of these cases (the Child Labor Amendment and the ERA) the Congress once again crossed the line into legislating through the Constitution and were stopped only by the Amendment process.
The Amendment Process Today:
A new factor has been introduced into the question in recent years. While it is generally agreed that the Constitution ought not to be amended for legislative purposes: should it be amended for such purposes when it is necessary to do so to correct decisions made by the Supreme Court?
For example, in 1990, the Supreme Court ruled that burning the flag was protected speech under the First Amendment . This ruling struck down the 1989 Flag Protection Act, passed by the Congress after (in Texas v. Johnson) the Supreme Court had struck down state laws prohibiting the desecration of the American flag. Since that time the Congress has been seeking to pass an Amendment to prohibit flag desecration. While such an Amendment has yet to pass , it seems to grow in support every year. Frankly, I suspect that, sooner or later, it will pass and be ratified by the requisite number of states.
This, of course, begs the question: is it ok to use the Constitution to legislate as a means of overturning Supreme Court decisions? I am inclined to say that, in the absence of other options, it is. But also that we must be careful.
One of the reasons that advocates of various causes prefer the use of the Constitution as an ultimate form of legislation is not just that they wish to make their will hard to repeal. They also wish to impose their will upon the nation as a whole. This was certainly true in the case of Prohibition, where advocates were perfectly free to settle in ‘dry’ states or counties but, instead, chose to impose their will upon the nation as a whole. It was true in the case of the Equal Rights Amendment, where certain groups sought to impose their view of the world upon the nation as a whole (I shudder to think what our present Courts would have done with the ERA on hand).
Today we are faced with the contentious issue of gay marriage. The decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in the case of Goodridge v. Department of Public Health has made the issue unavoidable. As things stand today, once the state legalizes gay marriage, it will be imposed upon the entire nation due to the ‘full faith and credit’ clause of the Constitution.
We are thus left with a difficult question: do we use the Constitution to prevent homosexuals from marrying, or do we use the coercive power of the Federal Government to impose gay marriage upon states who plainly do not wish it?
It seems to me, at least, that there must be some other way.
The solution to many of our social ills, I think, is simple: Federalism. I see absolutely no reason why, if the people of Vermont want gay marriage, they cannot have gay marriage. Correspondingly, I see no reason why if the people of Indiana do not want gay marriage, they must have it forced upon them.
This is so today only because our courts have a regrettable tendency to intrude upon what properly are state matters and, as a result, the opponents of individual decisions are left, in the face of Supreme Court rulings, no choice but to seek a national solution. We need to place more emphasis on the 10th Amendment and less on the 14th. If California wants abortion and Wyoming does not: let them both decide. The result of the present system is a sort of judicial totalitarianism which creates national issues where none should exist. The great advantage of such a large and diverse nation with a mobile populace ought to be that there should be room for many different groups of people to live the way they wish.
Look, for example, at the recent case of former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was ordered by a Federal Court to remove a monument featuring the Ten Commandments and then removed from the bench for refusing to follow the removal order. The balance of the Constitution is threatened when it is amended by judicial fiat.
The Constitution was carefully designed for a reason. Amendment was meant to be a careful (and rare) process, not an unseen and largely unwritten process which takes place largely in the minds of Judges whom no one elected and who, seemingly, no one can remove.
If our Constitution is to be eternal, we must take care not to tinker with it too much. The original process of Amendment was a good one: one that worked well for many years. It ought to be left the way it was meant to be.
I Realize That I'm Known as an Ultra Social Conservative...
But this is just really stupid.
Monday, December 29, 2003
Michael Jackson: Moslem?
I reported several weeks ago on rumors that Michael Jackson had converted to Islam. Now there are reports that the Nation of Islam is controlling that affairs of the pervert.
The article denies that Jackson is a Moslem. Yet still, one wonders.
An American Utopia
I have often been asked to outline by vision for the American future. By now regular readers will be aware of the broad outlines of the solution that I advocate to the present problems of the nation but, perhaps, not of the ultimate goal. What do I envision for the nation, a century hence?
Now, what I have written is not, in all ways, a utopia. A few things have, to make the world a describe, gone wrong. That is more a description of the inevitable reckoning that I see in the nation’s future than it is a reflection of my desire to see harm inflicted upon anyone.
Heinlein Naval Base, Mars Territory
January 1, 2104
The President of the United States and the President of the Russian Federation, along with the British, Australian, Japanese, and Israeli Prime Ministers stood together on the deck of the USS Beijing, jointly observing the grand fleet review staged each year for five decades by the Alliance for Democracy. Named for the terrible battle in which nearly twenty-thousand Americans (and several million Chinese) had died, the Beijing was the most powerful space warship built by humanity to date. Her advanced drives allowed her to make the cruise from the Earth to Mars in just three days and she carried sufficient armament to wipe out entire nations, should the need ever arise. Her energy shields made her impervious to all but the most advanced weapons.
Some argued that the construction of ships such as the Beijing was a waste, seeing as there had not been a major war for more than sixty years. However, the 34th Amendment to the Constitution specified, in an effort to avoid the constant cycle by which America was always caught unprepared for war and paid a terrible price in blood as a result, that no less than 7.5% of the Gross Domestic Product be spent on defense. The resultant $41 trillion defense budget was viewed as wasteful by some and, in fact, the Congress regularly found ways of disguising wasteful social spending as being military in character- yet it seemed to work fairly well. After all, that $41 trillion left (in 2103, at least) $512 trillion for the rest of the country. While the per capita income of $792,857.14 enjoyed by the average American might have sounded excessive to those of earlier generations, when inflation was factored in, it really meant that the average American had purchasing power equal only to three times that of their counterparts a century earlier.
Of course, how the average American earned that income would have been mystifying to earlier generations. By 2104 barely 5% of all Americans worked in manufacturing and agriculture combined, with most of the rest working, in essence, to provide services to eachother. A typical “Industrial Worker” now had a Doctoral degree, and was generally a specialized engineer. Modern social scientists now looked back upon the industrial age, in which a majority of the people had been employed in production of some type or another, with the same contempt that their predecessors had viewed the days when the vast majority of humans were engaged in agriculture.
The education system had been totally reformed over the years. While public education now lasted for only four years- the First and Second Grades and the Eleventh and Twelfth Grades. The main purpose of public schools was to provide children with a proper respect for the nation’s institutions and ideals as well as through lessons as to her history: especially the mistakes of the 20th and 21st centuries. Non-denominational Religious instruction, while not compulsory, was almost universally attended. In the years between the second and eleventh grades children were educated in a variety of for-profit institutions which provided them with the tools for any sort of specialization. However, while education was generally a for-profit business (some institutions, mostly religious, political, or military in character were charities) no student was denied an education based on their parent’s inability to pay. However, the names of any parent forced to rely upon the public treasury to school their children were published in newspapers and online.
Naturally, many of those known to be living off of the taxpayers were prone to be challenged in duels. Dueling, a practice almost forgotten, was reintroduced in the third decade of the 21st Century, initially in inner-cities. This, of course, came not long after the Supreme Court managed to find a “right to die and choose one’s means of death” in the Constitution. After several violent attacks involving gangs which killed large numbers of innocents, the leader of the largest Hispanic gang (who, as it happened, had a PH.D in American History) decided that the only answer to safeguard the rights of innocents was a revival of the Code Duello. After all, he reasoned, gang members and other thugs had been killing eachother as long as anyone could remember and they were unlikely to ever stop, but there was little reason for others to have to die. The practice caught on like wildfire, being viewed as an ultimate test of manhood. Though as first various orders of government tried to stop it, they soon reversed course and embraced the practice, especially seeing that it actually reduced overall urban violence. Before long it spread to the rest of society. While early duels had been fought with knives and modern pistols, it was not long before dueling had become a celebrated and highly ritualized practice. Modern duels were typically fought with swords or single-shot black power pistols. One could be challenged to a duel for any reason- and could refuse a challenge. However, a general prejudice had developed that any man who refused a duel was a probable homosexual and, therefore, refusals were generally rare and those who refused often fled. As a result people in the 22nd Century had generally learned not to insult hot-headed individuals and, additionally, governments had developed a lamentable tendency to attempt to rid themselves of various problems by publishing the names of individuals involved in the hope that duels would swiftly dispose of said individuals.
Science, as it turned out, was both the greatest friend and greatest enemy of homosexuality. In 2021 a reliable AIDS vaccine was finally developed and a gene was discovered proving that, in more than 95% of cases, homosexuality was a genetic occurrence. In the short term this led to a great boon for the gay rights movement. However, towards the last decades of the century gay activists began to note an alarming trend: their shrinking ranks. Eventually it was determined that, as genetic modification, examination, and selection of human embryos became more common, a great many parents had quietly chosen not to have children who carried the “gay” gene. In the vast majority of cases the people who made these decisions fancied themselves to be supporters of gay rights- but they themselves had visions of grandchildren and traditional weddings. Most agreed that this was a great injustice, but no one did anything about it.
The effects of the ‘Genetic Revolution’ were (otherwise) not nearly as dramatic as anyone had expected. While the average lifespan continued to edge upwards (it presently stood at a whisker under a century) no method to stop or reverse aging had yet to be discovered. Certain forms of genetic engineering were quite popular by the 22nd Century: for example, methods had been discovered to raise the intelligence of a child by up to twenty points. However, beyond howls from some about the creation of a ‘genetic underclass’ few actual effects had yet to be seen.
After the completion of the Twelfth Grade, virtually all Americans were enrolled for a three-year term of national service which either consisted of military service or service in some sector of the civilian government. While enlistment was far from mandatory, a failure to serve limited employment opportunities and citizenship rights. For example, Americans who did not enroll could not, by law: vote, serve on juries, be President or Vice President, live off-planet, attend university, or hold any of a great number of ‘service-only’ jobs. Those who did military service were enrolled in Earth-based ground defense units. Only after initial enrollment could one enlist in the regular forces. Those who enlisted in the regular forces were entitled to an additional vote for every ten years of service. All of these reforms were instituted after the Chinese War and the Second Great Depression of the mid-21st Century, which were widely judged as being the result of a fat and complacent electorate unwilling to make hard choices such as slashing spending or confronting emerging threats, even at a terrible cost. After that war, which cost more than four million American lives and saw the nuclear destruction of the Cities of Seattle and Honolulu, China had been broken up into a dozen states and ‘pastoralized’.
After the terrible destruction of the Chinese War and the European Civil War, the victorious states- who had joined during the war as the ‘Alliance for Democracy’ had decided that the nations responsible for the war had shown such irresponsibility that they had to be disarmed for all time. If the Chinese, or the remnants of the European Unionists, ever attempted to threaten the peace of the world again, they would simply be bombed into nothingness by orbital weapons.
Criminal punishments were generally swift and harsh. Petty criminals, especially young offenders, were often penalized by a public lashing. The method of execution prescribed by law in nearly every state (and by the Federal Government) was public hanging. This came about as a result of a popular view that, while the state had the right to execute people, the people ought to understand the terrible power wielded by the state. Despite (or, perhaps, because of) this, executions of murderers were extremely common- as were those of serial child molesters and rapists.
Politics, of course, continued. There were three major parties in America: the Republican Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Christian Constitutionalist Party. The Republican Party was the majority party- typically holding a majority in both Houses of Congress, a majority of state Governorships, and the Presidency. However, about 20% of the time power would shift to the Libertarians with, even more rarely, (roughly once every two generations) it going to the Christian Constitutionalists (who were universally known as the ‘Christians’). As a general rule, the Republicans were the most ardently enthusiastic for massive projects and a broader, constructive role for government while the Libertarians favored further reductions in the size of Government. The majority of the Christian platform called for, “enacting the will of our LORD and SAVIOR Jesus Christ into the laws of the land.”
By the early 22nd Century the Environmentalist movement of a century before is viewed as being as silly as those of 1996 viewed those who called for 16:1 coinage of Silver in 1896. Technology has, over time, made the environment noticeably better than it was before. With the benefit of time, the people of the 22nd Century do not understand how the people of the late 20th Century were so foolish as to believe that the Earth was on the verge of destruction.
All things considered, the people of the 22nd Century are healthier, better-educated, better-defended, richer, and happier than their ancestors. While things are far from perfect- they’re going alright.
Sunday, December 28, 2003
Apparently a huge number of Democratic Underground posters think that the World Trade Center was destroyed by internal explosions (presumably set by the Bush Administration).
Meanwhile, members are threatening eachother and attempting to get eachother fired over the 2004 Presidential Primaries.
Osama Bin Laden is also an agent of the US Government.
Time for An Investigation
The Argus has a good piece about how MoveOn.org may or may not be in violation of campaign laws. It's time for the FEC and IRS to come now on these people. Hard.
Saturday, December 27, 2003
The Strange Rise of Governor Dr. Howard Brush Dean III
All of the talk about how, in a general election campaign, Howard Dean will be able to “move to the centre” misses an important point: the only reason why, today, Howard Dean is the front-runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination is the dedication, organization, and fanaticism of his supporters. The network that supports Dean wasn’t created by him: it created him. Relatively early on in the race, a group of cyber-Democrats gathered in a smoke-free room and said of Governor Dean, “here he is- this is our man.” The blogs, the Meet-Ups, and everything else are tools which brought Howard Dean to where he is also work to limit his appeal. It may look like Dean is driving a steamroller through the Democratic primaries: but it only looks that way. He isn’t driving the steamroller: he’s running in front of it and it can crush him just as easily as it can anyone else.
The Democrat campaign is a series of paradoxes. The Democrats probably can’t win with Dean: but they certainly can’t win without him. Dean cannot win without expanding his appeal to the centrist and independent voters: but he certainly cannot win anything without the support of his base which has demonstrated that it is easily capable of abandoning him if he tries to abandon any of his signature left-wing positions.
Dean’s professional campaign team (and the candidate himself) are fond of describing the campaign as “grassroots driven.” This is, to a large extent, true. However, it is also dangerous. Winston Churchill said that the best argument against democracy was a conversation with the average voter. Dean, in essence, is running his campaign based on a series of conversations with liberal activists.
This means two things: first, that the Dean campaign is making strategy based upon a flawed worldview. Second, it means that the campaign self-reinforcing when it heads on a suicidal course, and self-immolating when it heads on a sensible course. Without many big donors or much institutional support (from unions, the party, or minority groups), the Dean campaign is essentially at the mercy of the mob.
At the present time polls show that President Bush would beat Howard Dean by a full twenty points (55% to 35%). More surprisingly, a recent poll shows that- if the election featured Bush versus Dean, only 70% of Democrats would vote for Dean (with 20% voting for Bush and 10% uncertain). With about the same amount of time to go in 2000, Bush only led Gore by nine points. Other polls show Bush beating Dean by twenty-three points and eighteen points. Bush beats even the ‘generic Democrat’ by eight points. The same poll that shows Bush leading 55% to 35% shows that Bush leads among Independents by 57% to 28%.
Now, it is true that Dean could still win this. While he has the solid support of only about 10% of the electorate (Democrats make up about 30% of voters, and Dean supporters make up about 1/3 of Democrats), he will probably be able to, if he wins the nomination, secure the absolute loyalty of most Democrats. However, much of his base of support will erode the moment that he tries to shift towards the middle. Dean has managed to become the front-runner by outbidding all the other serious candidates of the left. Dean (and his supporters) truly hate President Bush. That’s enough to win Dean the nomination- it isn’t enough to win him the general election.
The problem is that Dean’s supporters are operating with a view of the political scene that is fundamentally wrong. First, they have interpreted signs of Republican dissatisfaction with a few of President Bush’s policies as a sign that Republicans are ready to revolt. Only they aren’t. Polls regularly show that over 90% of Republicans plan to vote for the President in 2004 and that the President retains a job approval rating of between 55% and 60%. Even of those who disapprove, I suspect that a majority of them do not hate the President personally.
Frankly, I suspect a Howard Dean being presented before national audiences launching hatred-filled tantrums against the President will come off, more than anything else, as a little nuts. Yet, if Dean attempts to move towards the middle now, he won’t be able to win the nomination. But, if he doesn’t start to move towards the middle, he won’t win the general election.
What is shaping up now, especially as Dean seemingly begins to bleed momentum, is the worst-case scenario for the Democrats. Dean will probably win Iowa and New Hampshire but, I suspect, with less support than expected. The question of whether Dean is electable will nag at voters as they step into the booth. Dean will manage to limp through the rest of the primaries in the lead, but fail to win enough delegates to take the nomination. Other candidates will limp along as well, but not with enough to win even if they combined. A furious Dean and his enraged supporters will move into the summer, confused and lashing out. The Democratic National Convention in Boston will be the most exciting (and damaging) in memory. Either the party will manage to nominate a badly-wounded Dean, or it will manage to anoint someone else, to the fury of Dean’s supporters.
One need only read Democratic Underground and other left-wing web sites to see what is going on. A few months ago, they were busy hating George W. Bush. They still hate him now, but they’re starting to hate eachother more: and not a single vote has yet been cast.
Many Republicans are talking about going into open primaries to vote for Al Sharpton. They shouldn’t: they should look at the polls and vote for whatever candidate other than Howard Dean has the best chance of winning their state’s primary. The longer the Democrats rip eachother apart, the better for us.
The likelihood of victory does not mean that we can stop fighting or slow down. We are nearly in a position to deliver a death-blow to the Democratic Party: let us do it. Let the mailed fist of Republican glory smash down upon them.
President Al Gore
Let’s think about a hypothetical scenario. Imagine that Al Gore had been elected President in the year 2000, that 9-11 happened, and Gore responded by invading Afghanistan (which, under a Gore Administration, dragged on into mid-2002, because there was no Donald Rumsfeld to drive the adoption of an innovative strategy). He followed a course on the rest of the war broadly similar to that followed by George W. Bush. By the end of 2002, he remains a relatively popular President and even manages to win Democratic control of the House and Senate.
There are several major Republicans running for President. George W. Bush and Jeb Bush, who both narrowly win re-election, opt out of the race. Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee is the early leader, followed by Representative Tom Delay of Texas, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Governor Bill Owens of Colorado, Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, political commentator Alan Keyes, and, finally, former Governor George S. Patton III of South Carolina.
While they vary by degree, most of the major candidates (Frist, Delay, McConnell, Owens, and Santorum) offer pretty much the same package. They strongly attack Gore, who is hated by the President, promise to cut taxes, and promise to wage the war more strongly. Major Republicans line up behind various establishment candidates, with the youthful Frist tapped as the early front-runner (and generally viewed as the most moderate of the group) while other Republicans divide their support between the other candidate who, while conservative, generally remain within the Republican mainstream.
Governor Patton (the grandson of the famous General and a fictional character) doesn’t do that, however. While the other candidates discuss waging the War on Terrorism “more strongly” in general terms, he makes fiery speeches in which he promises to invade Iraq and Iran, and strongly suggests that he would like to use force elsewhere as well. While the other candidates speak against gay marriage, he promises to do whatever he has to in order to stop gay marriages- even once making a comment (which he then, with a wink, retracts) about sending in Federal troops to break up gay weddings. He promises to push for an amendment to the Constitution banning abortion, and discusses his desire to throw abortionists in jail or, perhaps, execute them. He comes out strongly and publicly for racial profiling. He is, in a word, unelectable.
At first Governor Patton is more or less regarded as a fringe candidate and he rests at less than 5% in national polls. But, through Free Republic and other conservative internet sites, he steadily gains support of Republican activists. The party elders detest him, but his speaking style (which owes more to George C. Scott than it does to his grandfather) wins him even more supporters. Before long, he begins to climb in national polls, and the media picks up on him as the next big thing.
He takes hits for his positions, but that merely reinforces his support as his followers give him more money to “defend Patton.” Soon polls show that he has the support of a third of likely Republican voters. However, the same polls also show that three in ten Republicans aren’t even sure if they’d vote for him in a general election versus President Gore. While the people on Free Republic and Patton’s campaign blog may hate Al Gore, the majority of the American people do not. They may disagree with him, but they view him as having generally done an acceptable job. They may wish change, but they do not wish radical change.
Patton actually has a fairly moderate record as the Governor of South Carolina- he’s taken a stand against flying the Confederate flag, for example. Of course, it’s only moderate by the standards of South Carolina- but it would help in a general election, but only if he can shift. The problem is that he can’t shift because, if he does, he’ll rapidly lose his base. One of the greatest problems associated with gaining support via the internet is that you can lose it via the internet just as rapidly.
Friday, December 26, 2003
Dean: Bin Laden Needs Jury Trial
This man is just utterly stupid. Read this.
Thursday, December 25, 2003
Las Vegas: Christmas Day, 2003
Apparently Homeland Security efforts managed to foil a 9-11 style attack on Las Vegas- as the Washington Post is set to report tommorow (via Matt Drudge).
Musharraft Assasination Attempt
Frankly, I'm wondering if this second attempt on Mushararaf's life was a signal, like the assasination of the leader of the Northern Alliance right before 9-11.
To the Ninth Degree
Naturally, the Palestinian terrorists have chosen to mark Christmas with a suicide bombing. I hardly regard this as a surprise as, given by events of recent years, human fireworks seem to be the traditional Islamic way of celebrating just about any holiday (additionally today, Pakistani President Musharraf was almost killed in another suicide bombing). I often believe that people fail to understand just how desperate the situation in Israel is this: they’re losing the war. Israel has one of the strongest militaries in the world, they have hundreds of nuclear weapons, and they have every type of military technology that you can dream of. Yet still, it finds itself faced with a bitter reality: if things continue along the present course, Israel will lose and, within a few decades, it will cease to exist.
In The Death of the West Pat Buchanan tells of a conversation that he had with President Richard Nixon about Israel. Nixon declared that, in the short term, Israel would be fine. But, in the long term, it would be endangered by the demographic facts on the ground. Asked what Israel’s long-term fate would be Nixon, in the fashion of a Roman Emperor, made a fist and slowly gave a thumbs-down.
Israel is struggling against the tyranny of fixed numbers. The Moslem population within Israel is growing much faster than the Jewish population is while, at the same time, the will of the Israeli people to struggle for a Jewish state is being worn away by a combination of economic suffering, random homicide bombings, and the weight of world disapproval.
In my mind’s eye I can see what will happen, if things are let to be. Israel will acquiesce to the creation of a Palestinian state. Soon thereafter, the Palestinian state will begin demanding new concessions from the rump Israel: new land, additional rights for Arabs remaining within Israel, and whatever else they can dream up. Arabs and Moslems within Israel will begin to agitate for union with the Palestinian state: and their voices will grow with time as they breed. Eventually their numbers will grow so large that Israel will be given the choice of either surrendering or becoming a dictatorship. Israel will hold on for a little while after that but, year by year, their resolve will fade. Finally, with the cheering of the Europeans, the United Nations, and the American left, whatever is left of Israel will agree to the creation of a ‘multiethnic state’, thereby restoring the territorial integrity of Arab Palestine. The new state will, of course, constitutionally enshrine protections for all religions- and those will last for a while. But, in the end, I foresee that the Mediterranean shore will be foaming with much blood: Jewish blood.
Some will hold that I am being excessively pessimistic, but I think that they’re fools. Anyone who looks long enough at the Middle East can see two things. First, that the Islamic cries over Israel will never be appeased until that nation has been wiped from the map and the Jews either driven out or forced into a state of Dhimmitude. Second, that as things stand today, a great number of Israeli Jews are willing to sign away their future for a little temporary security today.
I’ve had dreams about this, nightmares. I see myself in the not-to-distant future, visiting refugee camps somewhere in America, refugee camps that house the battered and sick survivors of Israel. After all: what other nation would take them in? I can see them, with the sad eyes of a race that has too many times endured the unendurable, bared the unbearable, and lived though the unliveable. ‘Never Again’ means something to me: something real.
Israel is breaking because her civilian will is evaporating faster than that of the Palestinians. Why is this? Aren’t Palestinian civilians dying as well? Yes, they are: but not in numbers anywhere near as great as Israeli civilians, and certainly not in the same fashion. Palestinian civilians die when they get caught up in the effects of legitimate military actions, not when they go to the grocery store. Moreover, unlike Israelis, the Palestinian people as a whole are well-adapted to the problems of war and deprivation. More than that: they support this war, as polls and facts shows. Palestinian mothers encourage their children to become suicide bombers and celebrate their martyrdom. Palestinian schools revel in violence and terror. It isn’t just that Yassir Arafat and Hamas are guilty: the entire Palestinian population is guilty of great crimes.
In Imperial China the families of enemies of the state were liable to be punished, “to the ninth degree.” In essence, that meant that the entire family of such a person would, where possible, be executed. In practice this meant that the government would send a group of soldiers to the hometown of the enemy, and have them kill everyone they could find. It was a cruel policy: but it was also effective. Such a policy not only deters action by an individual, it also encourages members of that individual’s family (even very distant members) to keep watch over potentially dangerous members of their family.
Now, in this day and age, the people would never approve of a policy which called for the mass execution of people simply because of their bloodlines. Nor, under the present circumstances, would such a policy be wise: it would encourage the relatives of suicide attackers to become suicide bombers themselves.
However, what I propose is this: whenever a suicide bomber is identified their family should immediately have their property confiscated, their home burned to the ground, and then be either deported far away or imprisoned. The war being waged by the Palestinians is a collective act that demands collective punishment.
Some might think that such a solution is cruel. It is. But, as William Tecumseh Sherman reminded us, war it cruelty: there’s no refining it. The more cruel it is, the sooner it will be over.
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Dean for America
I was rewatching the Aaron Sorkin-penned The American President a few nights ago. Despite its liberal leanings, I must admit that I’ve always had a soft spot for it. In any case, I enjoy it more because it doesn’t actually show anything that happened after President Sheppard (played by Michael Douglas) makes his little speech at the end in which he, among other things, vows to, “go door to door,” and, “get the guns.” Frankly, I suspect that any President making a speech such as that (in the same speech he also advocates the burning of the American flag, calls on his likely opponent to join the ACLU, and calls for a 20% reduction in all Fossil Fuel emissions) would probably be either impeached or assassinated in short order. In any case, I like to imagine the likely pasting that President Sheppard would receive the following November from the ‘Evil Republican™’ Senator running against him.
The interesting thing about the ending of The American President (and, for that matter, those of other recent American political films) is the insight it provides into how liberals think. Consider it for a moment. What fictional political films have been produced in recent years? Rod Lurie’s The Contender, Chris Rock’s Head of State, and Warren Beatty’s Bulworth (there’s also Primary Colors, but I’m going to ignore that, as it was largely based on actual events). What is the theme of each of these films? To put it simply: the American people are all actually liberals, and the only thing preventing them from expressing their liberalism is the stubborn (and inexplicable) refusal of Democratic candidates to place themselves in the Michael Moore/Dennis Kucinich wing of the Democratic Party.
If Bill Clinton was the candidate of the actual people in Hollywood then Governor Dr. Howard Brush Dean III is the candidate of the images that Hollywood created. One thing that has gone almost totally unremarked upon (an internet search finds a reference by myself and exactly two other stories that even mention it) is that Dean’s campaign slogan, “Dean for America” is obviously cribbed from a 2001 episode of the Aaron Sorkin-penned The West Wing, in which we find out that the campaign slogan of the fictional President Jed Bartlet was “Bartlet for America” (in fact, it’s the title of the episode).
Now I realize that most people would dismiss this as insignificant. I disagree: it says a lot about who Howard Dean wants to be and how his followers see him. This is one of the reasons why the Dean campaign has proved so resilient to bad news: the Deaniacs are operating on the false premise that, if only Americans knew what liberals really believe, they would elect them by overwhelming majorities when, in fact, the truth is much closer to how Ann Coulter has put it in the past: if the American people knew the truth about what liberals believe, they’d probably boil them in oil.
The Deaniacs think that the only reason that other Presidential candidates haven’t gone into the South and told them to stop voting on, “race, God, guns, and gays,” is that they’re cowards when, in fact, the reason is that most Democratic candidates have common sense, something that Governor Dr. Howard Brush Dean III, for all of his fancy name, seems to lack.
Dean followers might claim that they’ll vote for “anyone but Bush” in the end, but I don’t really believe them. The Dean campaign has taken on the lustre of a crusade: they ain’t going to be stopping until either they win, or are smashed utterly. What I think that the entire ‘Dean/Bartlet for America’ thing reveals best is this: the Dean campaign isn’t really about Howard Dean.
Dean is a vessel for their dreams. Dean is President Bartlet, or President Sheppard, or any of the other liberal Presidents that they’ve seen on screen. They hold a vision, shared by many of the less insightful people on the left, that America is a nation of basically liberal people who are continually tricked by ‘fundamentalist preachers’, the NRA and Evil™ Corporations. Because of this, they believe that all that is required is for someone to come along (like Chris Rock’s character in Head of State) and shout left-wing dogma at them from a national stage.
Frankly, I’m hoping that Dean gets the Democratic nomination, most of all because I’m looking forward to reading Democratic Underground that night. Given the way that they reacted over there after the 2002 Mid-Terms and the California Recall, I suspect that half of them will be posting their suicide notes and letting fly from their windows about ten minutes after the election is called for Bush.
A Report I'm Hearing
Investigative Note: There is an unusual number of personnel present at the Pentagon as of 1730 EST 24 December 2003, according to a Washington source. This source stated that the number of personnel on duty is unusual, even for the heightened alert. "I was on-site every time they raised (and lowered) the alert level, and I have not seen it like this before."
I wonder if anyone has looked to see how busy Pizza places around the Pentagon are?
The New Republic on Dean and Religion
Read this story: now.
The E-Bomb: Or How to Destroy the Chinese Economy
Some have recently expressed concern that the People’s Republic of China is buying US Treasury bonds in an effort to influence American policy. This is a serious problem, but not one which cannot be corrected. The advances made by the Chinese economy in recent years are alarming, but not insurmountable. In fact, China’s heavy stake in US Treasury bonds offers us the opportunity to, if necessary, wage the economic equivalent of thermonuclear war against the Chinese Communists.
Let’s step back for a second. Just how much does the United States owe? At the present time the entire US public debt stands at roughly seven trillion dollars. About 2.1 trillion dollars of that is held by foreign governments and investors. That percentage is seemingly increasing with time as foreign governments (especially the Chinese) continue to purchase American securities. While no comparable figures are available for most foreign nations: in 2001 China’s public debt was estimated at just 3% of its entire GDP so, in other words, the ratio of Chinese public debt held in the United States to American public debt held in China is massive.
So, what exactly do I propose? Simple: if China attempts to use its financial powers to interfere in the US economy, influence US policies, or do anything else harmful to the United States or beneficial to China, then the United States should repudiate every single cent of US public debt held by the Chinese government, Chinese businesses, Chinese citizens, or residents of China. In August of 2003 the Chinese were estimated to hold some $124 billion in American securities. That, of course, only counts those securities that we know about and does not consider the rapid rate at which the Chinese have been accumulating Treasury bonds.
The People’s Republic also believed to hold something like $400 billion US Dollars worth of foreign currency reserves which, of course, it could also use to influence the US economy or world markets in various ways.
US-Chinese trade for this year should probably total something like $200 billion dollars. Of that, roughly 1/6 would constitute US exports to China, with the rest being made up of Chinese exports to the United States.
In other words, while it might look like China has the US backed into a corner: it only looks that way. Depending upon how you read it, the Chinese GDP is either $1.2 trillion a year or $6 trillion a year. The vast disparity in figures is the result of a concept called ‘purchasing power parity’. The nominal GDP (the $1.2 trillion figure) is calculated by adding up all production in local currency figures and converting it to US dollars. The PPP figure, on the other hand, is calculated by assuming that goods and services produced in one country have a real value equal to those in another. In other words, for most purposes, neither figure is quite accurate.
However, when we are discussing matters such as trade and the holding of foreign currencies and bonds, the nominal figure is much more relevant because all of these tasks either require or use foreign exchange.
Thinking about this, consider just what the loss of both the $124 billion in US Treasury bonds and a cut-off of trade with the United States (which, one way or another, would inevitably follow a US repudiation of all foreign debt owed to China) would do to a developing Chinese economy and, in particular, to China’s international economic position. The Chinese would be very lucky to survive such a move with only a lengthy economic depression. More likely, we would see famine, riots, and political disorder in China. The entire Chinese ‘new economy’ would disappear virtually overnight, making instant beggars of those who once aspired to mount a challenge to American power.
Equally important would be the neutralization of all Chinese foreign currency reserves. This, of course, is a more difficult task. It would, for example, be virtually impossible to prevent the Chinese from using whatever US banknotes that they have on hand to make purchases. However, I can’t imagine that the Chinese hold all that much in actual, hard, American cash at any given moment.
The answer might be to time any moves against China with a surprise return of the US Dollar to the Gold Standard. This would be necessary, in part, to stem any loss of global confidence as a result of American economic actions against China. All Americans (and nationals of friendly foreign nations) could be given a fixed amount of time to exchange all of their old American dollars for new Gold-backed dollars, with all US funds originating in China being ineligible for transfer. With stern enough measures, I would expect that the Chinese would be unable to launder more than a small fraction of their massive reserves. Foreign banks (or nations) which collaborate with the Chinese, knowingly or unknowingly, would share in their fate.
It would be of high importance that any such US move comes as a “bolt out of the blue” in order to prevent the Chinese from launching a pre-emptive strike. The actual implementation of these policies might be accompanied by a number of covert cyber-strikes designed to shut down Chinese banking systems and cause other problems, thereby exacerbating the problems.
Naturally, it would be important to spin these moves as being ‘defensive’ in nature. This much, I think, would be rather easy. After all, in a very real sense, they are. The rapid growth of the Chinese economy is a direct threat to America’s position as the world’s only Superpower. Given China’s accumulation of US Treasury Bonds and reserves of US dollars, the strike could be presented as having been made to head off a Chinese strike against the US economy.
I am not foolish enough to think that this would not have major economic effects in the United States. Certainly, it would cost a great many companies a great deal of money and possibly push the US economy into a recession. I’d take it as a given that the Chinese will seize the assets of US companies in China. For this reason, any move against the Chinese would have to be preceded by freezing all Chinese assets in the United States, and seizing them as soon as they move against US assets. As well, any such move would have to be accompanied by the strongest possible assurances to other American trading partners that such action is not pending against them.
Now, I’m not advocating that any of this take place at the present time. After all: it would probably, in the short term at least, cost a fair number of American jobs. However, it’s good to have such a plan in America’s back pocket: and for the Chinese to know of it. Moreover, I would greatly prefer to endure the short-term dislocations caused by such a strategy than I would live to see the Chinese become more powerful than the United States.
China is our enemy. It might suit our short term purposes to deal with them for the present time, but we must never forget: they are our enemies. Better to die a thousand deaths than live in a world ruled by the Chinese. If we must, someday, pay an economic price to destroy the Chinese threat: so be it.
Of course, I understate the difficulties of such a strategy. Anything which destroyed the Chinese economy would also severely damage the economies of most of China’s neighbours. But that’s a risk that I think is worth taking. If we cause damage elsewhere: neca eos omnes, deus suos agnoscet.
No American problem is so severe that it cannot be dealt with via appropriately harsh and brutal action. If the Chinese want to mess with America: let them. When they day is over, it shall not be America’s blackened and distorted corpse that is rolled into a mass grave.
Dean and Christ
Matt Drudge is reporting that Governor Dr. Howard Brush Dean III is claiming to be a, "'committed believer in Jesus Christ." (No link yet, it's up on the main page).
He may well be (though, given what I've heard, I doubt it). But his followers sure don't. As of 7PM Pacific Time on December 24th, Blog for America lists a huge number of "X for Dean" websites, of which basically none are Christian themed (there's a 'Mormons for Dean' site and a 'Progressive Christians for Dean' site, neither of which have much content). They're outnumbered by a number of other wonderful sites including "Crushies for Dean", "Cyclists for Dean", "Foodies for Dean" and any number of other, odd sites.
The Dean campaign, to me at least, increasingly looks like a cult.
The Wonders of Sexual Liberalism
VANCOUVER, Canada (AFP) - Vancouver is facing the worst outbreak of syphilis per capita in the developed world, with city health officials fearful of a looming epidemic of the sexually transmitted disease once thought almost wiped out in North America.
Cute. I guess I'll get to pay for the treatment of those infected as a result of their irresponsibility as well, that's twice as cute.
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
The Democratic Dilemma
The Democratic Party is backed into a corner. It now appears inevitable that Governor Dr. Howard Brush Dean III will secure the Presidential nomination in little more than a month. It also appears certain that, if he does so, not only will he lose, but he’ll lose horribly, probably letting the Republicans pick up Senate seats in North Carolina, South Carolina, George, Florida and Louisiana while, at the same time, placing seats as far away as California, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, and perhaps even Wisconsin at risk. However, paradoxally, at this point it appears that Dean is the only potential Democratic candidate with a chance of winning (even if it is a slim chance).
If things break badly for Bush, Dean is the only major Democrat who has the base and following to actually unseat the President. Wesley Clark, John Kerry, Dick Gephardt, or John Edwards (the other Democrats with even a slim chance of winning the nomination) lack any truly motivated base. They’ll benefit from Democratic anti-Bush sentiment: but polls have repeatedly shown that such sentiments are mostly limited to the partisan Democratic base. Additionally, for any Democrat other than Dean to win the nomination now, they will have to do so by traditional methods involving the use of party bosses and big money. If Dean’s quest for the nomination is defeated in such a fashion, it seems likely that his supporters will either support the eventual Democratic nominee with great reluctance or, perhaps, even support a third-party candidate. Any of the major Democrats (other than Dean) is probably guaranteed to win at least 45% of the vote and one hundred and fifty or so electoral votes (unless, of course, there is a major third-party run).
Dean, however, I think could win anywhere from less than 40% of the vote to just over 50%. If Iraq goes badly for Bush and the economy tanks, Dean will be in a position to capitalize on these in a way that the other candidates will not. Moreover, Dean’s strong activist base could prove to be a major asset during a general election, motivating turn-out of non-voters. Moreover, Dean’s fanatical base helps to immunize him against attacks or mistakes which could prove fatal to a more traditional candidate.
However, a Dean win would be a major surprise. I would place the odds against it at something like 50:1. However, it is not impossible. This is why I’ve already begun directing all of my fire towards Dean: he’s the only candidate that worries me.
Some Democrats like to salivate at the idea of General Wesley Clark campaigning against President Bush: they shouldn’t. These Clark supporters seem to think that his military record will immunize him against attacks when, in fact, it will prove to be one of his greatest vulnerabilities. General Clark, it should be remembered, was actually relieved from the biggest command he ever held, as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. This hasn’t been talked about much to date: but you can bet that it will be extensively discussed in a general election campaign. Many former military officers including General Hugh Shelton, who was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when Clark was SACEUR, have commented negatively on character of General Clark. Several officers have noted that they have rarely known of a senior officer who was so universally disliked. So, in other words, don’t expect General Clark to turn out to be the Democrat’s man on a white horse.
So, the Democrats are left with a very hard choice: do they nominate Dean, knowing that he has only a slim chance of winning, do they nominate a genial non-entity like Dick Gephardt, knowing that he’ll lose, but he won’t lose as bad as Dean could, or is there another option?
Given that time is running out (and that any scenario that does not end with Howard Brush Dean III as the Democratic nominee is likely to leave his followers embittered) many senior Democrats seem to have elected to sit on their hands and hope for the best. Frankly, I don’t think that there’s much else that they can do at this point. The sane wing of the Democratic Party made a horrible mistake by allowing so many major candidates into the field and front-loading the primary season. The only way to stop Dean now will be for several of the major candidates to withdraw in favor of another. This, to say the least, seems unlikely. Unlike in past campaigns, there won’t be weeks or months for withdrawals and endorsements: there will be days.
So many senior Democrats then are left hoping that Dean won’t lose too badly. However, I think that there hopes are going to be dashed. Dean has far too many knocks against him and, beyond his support on the left-wing of the Democratic Party and his internet base, he doesn’t really have much going for him unless economic and world circumstances drastically change.
Dean has severe personal liabilities. Among these, the most potentially damaging is probably his wife. While the idea that a Presidential candidate would have a wife who simply does not care about the campaign because she’s so busy with her own career might appeal to some on the left, it will not sell in Middle America. Frankly, it makes one wonder as to the state of the Dean union. One can comprehend a wife being uninterested in her husband’s career: but what kind of loyal wife is so wrapped up in their career that they seemingly are uninterested in their husband’s campaign for President? Something tells me that there’s more to the Dean marriage that could come out during a campaign.
Dean’s temperament will also, under the strain of a general election campaign, become a major liability. He regularly says stupid things and, because he contains an all-consuming arrogance, is largely unwilling to retract or apologize for them. The bizarre Confederate flag incident was an example was this, as was his suggestion that President Bush had foreknowledge of the 9-11 attacks. There are others. Earlier this year Dean told the story of a twelve year-old patient of his who he believed to have been impregnated by her father to explain his opposition to parental-notification laws in cases where a child seeks an abortion. The problem was this: that girl wasn’t impregnated by her father, and Dean knew it at the time he told the story. Moreover, he later stated that he never notified the authorities of his initial suspicions meaning that he may have violated Vermont law. Dean runs his mouth: and that will cause him increasingly serious trouble as the campaign goes on.
Dean also has an attitude approaching hostility towards organized religion which, I am certain, will endear him with the left, but will not be helpful in a campaign against the President. When you combine this with his tendency to shoot off his mouth, there exists the possibility that he might make a rather serious misstatement. These aren’t to be dismissed lightly: James G. Blaine lost the 1884 Presidential election in part because he allowed a Protestant Clergyman’s characterization of the Democrats as the party of, “rum, Romanism, and rebellion” to pass unremarked upon. Gerald Ford lost in 1976, in part, as a result of his bizarre assertion that Poland was not communist dominated. I would not put it beyond Dean to, at some point in the campaign; get caught dismissing Christians as “simple-minded” or something along similar lines.
Even in the best case scenario with Dean (outside of that fluke chance that absolutely everything will break in his favor between now and next November) the Democrats will lose four of the five open Southern Senate seats, the Presidency and (given the apparent success of the Texas redistricting plan) a dozen seats in the House. And that, of course, ignores the much higher chance that pretty much everything could break right for President Bush between now and next November.
Imagine this: Iraq goes fairly well for the next year and, for the most part, begins to slip from the public eye. The economy grows at around 5%. The US scores successes elsewhere in the War. Then, in the late Spring, the Massachusetts Supreme Court, reacting to a failure of the Legislature to move according to its wishes, fully imposes gay marriage upon the land: setting off the mother of all cultural battles. In late October, Osama Bin Laden is captured or confirmed as dead. All of this is possible and, under such conditions, we can forget about Dean losing in a McGovern-like landslide and begin to talk about an Alf Landon-style defeat for the Doctor. It could well be a Republican Passover, with the Angel of Death passing over all the land: smiting the Democrats and sparing all Republicans.
So, why are some Democrats willing to risk this? Simple: the Republicans recovered from 1936. If Dean is stopped now, there’s a good chance that the Democratic Party could end up going the way of the Whigs, Know-Nothings, and Federalists. If Howard Dean were stopped by the Old-Boys network of the Democratic Party, he (or someone who captures his following) might well launch a third-party campaign that could perform better than the regular Democratic candidate. Think about it for a second.
At the moment, the only thing limiting the liberal positions taken by Dean is his need to move to the centre in a general election. If he is running a third-party campaign, he no longer needs to worry about that: he can campaign exclusively to the left-wing of the Democratic Party which, all told, could number as much as a quarter of the electorate. Think about that.
So, in other words, the Democrats are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Moderate Democrats are even more damned. They can go down to defeat under Dean, they can split (and possibly destroy the party), or they can take the chance that Dean might actually win, in which case he would probably destroy the moderate wing of the party over the course of his single term.
It goes without saying, I think, that I’m looking forward to next November.
Monday, December 22, 2003
The Enemy at Home
The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is more than just a liberal court. It is an active enemy cell, a disloyal institution which has taken the side of America’s enemies in the War on Terror. Its recent ruling that the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba must be given access to lawyers and American courts is nothing short of treason, if you accept the Constitutional definition of treason as giving “aid and comfort” to enemies of the United States. They are part of a growing Corps of enemies in the homeland who are, in many ways, more dangerous to the survival of the Republic. Our enemy is not just over there, they are also right here, at home.
Now, let me make the dimensions and motives of this enemy clear. I do not believe that the liberal Judges on the 9th Circuit are covert members of al-Qaeda any more than I ever believed that Jimmy Carter was a covert winner of the Order of Lenin. The enemy within operates in the fashion that they do because they are post-American and, therefore, they lack all belief in the meaning of national identity. Lacking, as they do, a fundamental sense of Americanism, this portion of the left places a far higher value on ideology than they do on country. For them ‘America’ as a concept is, at best, meaningless or, at worst, a dangerous vestige of the reactionary old regime.
They fancy themselves (and, in actuality, are) ‘citizens of the world’. This is a term which deserves some examination. Think back to the time of the Civil War. Many officers, including Robert E. Lee, believed in the Union, but sided with the Confederacy because their ‘country’ (or, in other words, their home state) did so. Today we view such sentiments as quaint. That, I think, is how the ‘citizens of the world’ view people who would put America first. The United States, to them, is viewed only in the context of the larger world.
This viewpoint, in essence, means that these people constitute a large and disloyal group. Their loyalty to the United States is entirely contingent upon politics. When Bill Clinton was President they were loyal because they believed that would advance the cause of the left. Now that George W. Bush is President, they behave disloyally because they believe that will advance the cause of the left today. It is a spirit utterly devoid of patriotism, which much of the left today considers to be a reactionary and outdated sentiment.
The advent of the internet has accelerated the spread of this contagion. American, European, Australian, and Canadian leftists (along with a few assorted others) get a place where they can stand side by side and develop a sense of solidarity which helps to further erode national feeling. Into the gap caused by that loss rush a sort of international leftist ideology. Someday talk to a Howard Dean campaign worked, a Canadian New Democrat, a British peace activist, and a German politician. The thing which will quickly strike you is this: they all believe pretty much the same things about politics, about America, and about the world. The creed of much of the American left is an Internationalism that transcends Americanism. If given the chance they’d gladly sign away the flag for gay marriage and universal health care. It isn’t even that (in most American cases, at least) they really hate America as much as they don’t care about it).
Howard Dean’s campaign howls about how they’re going to take back the country: but do they actually believe in the country? Is the nation an ends onto itself, or merely a means onto an ends? I believe that, for them at least, it is the latter. In fact, as time has passed, I’ve increasingly noticed that the Dean campaign is a lot like syphilis. People join the campaign as normal, if slightly misguided, Americans and come out of it as deranged, ultra-partisan, Dean-bots whose passion for America is matched only by the oratorical abilities of Steve Forbes. Like syphilis, supporting Howard Dean will eventually rot your brain.
The question now left to us is of how to deal with these people. As tempting as it might sound, we cannot throw all of them in jail. But, at the same time, we must do something against them. This is wartime, and we cannot allow a large element determined to aid our enemies to operate freely.
Sunday, December 21, 2003
Andrew Sullivan, the New York Times, and the FMA
Andrew Sullivan takes issue with the Sunday New York Times story on support for the Federal Marriage Amendment.
It's worth recalling that the flag-burning amendment was supported by around 80 percent of the public, and the balanced budget amendment by around 85 percent - and yet both failed.
What he misses here, I think, is this: no one was going to really rally for these issues. It was a matter of sentiment that the public didn't care so strongly about. No Congressman who voted against either Amendment was going to lose their seat as a result or face a primary challenge, or anything else.
In fact- had either Amendment gone to the states, they certainly would have passed.
Sullivan also misses this: it seems to be widely evident that gay marriage, when asked at the beginning of a fight, is much more popular than it is a little while later. Look at the eventual reaction to Civil Unions in ultra-liberal Vermont. Or look at Canada, where support for gay marriage dropped by as much as twenty points in a few months. If it looks like gay marriage is going to be judicially-imposed, it will be hard for the Democrats not to go along with an Amendment.
I think the eventual compromise on the issue will be that there will be an Amendment codifying marriage- but allowing the states to create 'civil unions.' An Amendment which bans all gay unions will not pass- one which simply restricts marriage to a man and a woman will.
After all- not a single major Democratic Presidential candidate can be found who will openly support gay marriage. What happens next May, when MA will probably have to allow gay marriage, people flood into the state to get married, and then file forty-nine Federal lawsuits?
If the Republicans push for the FMA under such conditions, and the Democrats manage to obstruct it, they'll ice a lot of Congressmen and Senators. If they seek to stop ratification: they're in danger of losing State Houses.
On American Imperialism
Today the word ‘Imperialist’ is mostly used as an epithet by the radical left. “US Imperialist Circles Plot Aggression against Korean Workers’ State” might make a good headline in the Daily Worker, but the actual word ‘Imperialist’ seems anachronistic when used outside of the context of historical discussion. Yet I think that is needs to be brought back into use. While the left might hurl the word as an insult, I wear it proudly. Yes, I am willing to proclaim it openly: I am an Imperialist.
What is Imperialism? Does my being an Imperialist mean that I wish to redraw the maps of continents and carve economic concessions out of foreign nations. Hardly. What I advocate is a largely indirect imperialism whereby other nations (and eventually the entire world) will be brought into the family of Western nations. It is silly to pretend that other civilizations are equal to that of the West when all objective evidence demonstrates that they are not.
An American Empire already de facto exists. We must admit this and begin to deal with it, or we shall suffer the consequences. An Empire, such as that controlled by the United States today will require sacrifices and bring benefits. We must admit this and make the case for it to the American people.
The Basis of Empire:
Contrary to popular belief, there is a proud tradition of Empire in the West. From the dawn of the West, great Empires have exported out values and brought foreign peoples into the light of reason. In particular, the Athenian, Roman, and British Empires should be our model. Athens is the birthplace of the West and we today are its descendents. Rome spread Western ideals through the known world and enjoyed centuries of unrivalled power. Britain brought the blessing of civilization to five continents. This is not, as some would suggest, something to run from or be ashamed of: the collective accomplishments of Athens, Rome, and Britain represent the greatest achievement in the history of humanity. The hidden empires of the West: those of Christ and those of the Jews, bring us greater glory still. This is the legacy which we now must embrace.
America is left with the mantle of Empire: whether we like it or not. Who else could lead the world in this dangerous new era: France? The United Nations? China? There is no other nation which could successfully be the leader of decent humanity and there is no other nation which deserves to. Modern America is the inheritor of heritage of liberty that is a unique gift to the West.
We must accept the mantle of Empire because we desire progress. Those who claim that, absent a world government of some sort, the civilization will eventually destroy itself are probably right. The pace of technology is as such that weapons of mass destruction are within the means of even the poorest countries. Before too long they will be within the reach of individuals. Other dangerous technologies, groups, and regimes threaten both our way of life and our very lives.
If we must live with some form of world government then, what form do we wish it to take? Does anyone sincerely believe that the United Nations is up to the job? Would any patriotic American ever consent to live under such a system? I pray to God that they would not. George W. Bush has done more to reign in the thugs of the world in three years than the United Nations has done in fifty-eight years.
Peace for the world does not lay down the path of negotiations and conciliation. Our enemies, or at least our sane enemies, respect only one thing: strength. This world does not need a diplomat: it needs a dictator.
America must, for its own sake as well as that of others, become the “good King” of the world. That does not mean that we must be involved in every decision of every nation. But it does mean that we will have to accept that we must keep the peace and act to destroy threats. It will mean accepting spending and sacrifice. But it will also bring benefits.
With our efforts to assure are own security, we can spread the precious heritage of Western liberty throughout the world. We can secure our own economy by designing a world economic system with the rules stacked in our favor. Free trade, it should be recalled, does not work the best between equals: it works best when there is a disparity of power (or, at least, it works best for the nation in whose favor that disparity lies). As it was for Britain: economic and scientific progress will be the greatest benefits of American Imperialism.
What exactly is this ‘heritage’ which enables us to lead the world? What are the hallmarks of Western progress?
An Interest in Scientific and Material Advancement: One of the great inherent advantages of Western civilization is its forward-looking nature. Much is often made of the fact that the Chinese ‘invented’ gunpowder. However, the truth of the matter is this: the Chinese had gunpowder for hundreds of years and never managed to do much more with it than build fireworks. Westerners got hold of gunpowder and, within a few years, they were blowing down castle walls with it.
A quick examination of major non-Western civilizations (the Chinese, the Indians, Africans, Native Americans, Moslems, and the Japanese, among others) reveals a single common thread: without outside factors, none of these seem to have ever been particularly interested in scientific or material development. A Chinese peasant of the 5th Century BC and a Chinese peasant in the year 1900 would probably find that they had much more in common than they had separating them. Advancement in modern China has come only through outside influences. Similarly, Japan actually deliberately shunned advancement and spent several centuries seeking to revert to an earlier state. This was not because either the Japanese or Chinese lack a racial capacity for development: it is because they are culturally inclined against it. China built a fleet which was capable of dispatching men to virtually any point in the world: yet they never established any presence overseas.
A hundred generations of North American Indians managed to live and die without making a single notable contribution to human history. Now, I am fully aware that this statement will raise the ire of some, but to them I ask: if the Indians were so sophisticated, then where are their cities and monuments? Where are their great works of art and literature?
In fact, looking at the span of human history leads to a single conclusion: mankind, for the most part, has traditionally shunned progress. More human progress has been made in the three thousand year history of the West than was ever made in all the rest of time. Modern humans emerged in Africa and Asia 100,000 years ago, and appeared in Europe 28,000 years ago. If one assumes that all cultures are equally inclined towards development, then should not Africa and Asia be vastly more advanced than the rest of the world?
The only possible conclusion, it seems to me, is that there is something special about the West. We are, in fact, culturally superior to some extent. We are culturally driven to advance in ways that other people aren’t. To this very day there are people in parts of Africa and Asia who live in ways which would be comprehensible to our earliest ancestors. Without Western interference over many years, I wonder what all of Africa would be like today.
Only Western Civilization brings with it actual growth and development. In many ways, it seems to me that most non-Western civilizations are set up to actively inhibit growth, which is viewed as bringing undesirable complications.
Human Rights and Individual Liberty: The key, I think, to Western superiority is the liberation of the individual. We live in a society so concerned with personal liberties that some circles fly into hysteria over the idea that enemies captured on foreign battlefields could be denied access to lawyers.
We, I often believe, have gone too far in our obsession with ‘human rights.’ Even a society which is as deeply concerned with liberty as ours has to worry about its own security. Civilization isn’t going to end because someone who was planning to blow up a radioactive bomb in a city is held without charges. It just might end in the face of persistent biological attacks. Yet, still, we must understand that our culture of freedom is one of the major reasons for our success.
In most cases (where there is not a compelling security interest involved) we tend to place a priority on individual rights. We do not permit people to be pointlessly wasted in the name of ‘custom’. The West, unlike most other civilizations, has never engaged in any form of organized human sacrifice.
When I hear someone prattling on about the ‘equality of all cultures’ I am often reminded of the story of a British officer in India who came upon the scene of a Suttee, a Hindu rite where a live wife is burned upon the funeral pyre of her dead husband. Told that such practices were an “Indian tradition”, the officer responded that it was a British tradition to hang people who did such things. We live in an uncivilized world. Where we can we have the ability and the obligation to bring a little light in and to safeguard the rights of others.
Human rights are not only generally a good thing because people like them. They are also a good thing because they lead to development. Slaves do not make scientific breakthroughs or produce great works of art. Free people, however, do. The liberation of the human spirit is to the great benefit of everyone.
The Progress Drive: We are left with the decision between stagnation and progress. A world order in which non-Western powers are allowed to dominate will be a static one. I would, I think, even include the European Union amongst the ranks of the ‘non-Western’ powers. ‘Western’ is about more than geography. It is about a spirit of exploration and discovery which is derived from some strange and innate spark. Modern Europeans, if left to their own devices, would probably be perfectly content to remain exactly where they are. An examination of human history would lead one to conclude that this is the natural state of man.
It is only in the West, it seems, that we develop, explore, and invent for the sake of doing so. Here we do things the way that they work best, not the way that they have always been done.
This is especially significant because we have, to some extent, reached a plateau of Earth-bound human development. The real future of mankind lies in space, where we can build colonies on other worlds and vastly expand the human population. The Chinese, despite the obvious need, never established overseas colonies: Europe did.
The Nature of the Empire:
Am I saying then that Imperialism is an entirely altruistic enterprise? No: far from it. American Imperialism will bring the blessings of civilization to the world- with a price. In exchange for the United States being the global Hegemon, it gets the benefits of Empire. This means special trade deals for Americans, extra rights for American companies, additional protection for American citizens, and perpetual American military superiority. These are the benefits of Empire. A dominant (and well-run) Empire is going to become richer and safer with time.
American Imperialism is rooted in an acceptance of two basic facts. First, that Western Civilization is the only civilization capable of bring progress to this world and that, second, the United States of America is the only nation capable of spreading the virtues of the West.
The focus of the American Empire would be threefold:
1) The American Empire will bring peace and security to the Earth by destroying enemies of freedom where it is easily possible and otherwise containing or deterring them. This cannot be done by an ordinary nation or even a combination of ordinary nations. The only two entities which could undertake such action are a World Government or a dominant, hegemonic power. The latter (so long as it is the United States) is, in my opinion, preferable.
2) The American Empire will promote human advancement by extending the reach of human freedom and promoting the useful sciences. The more free and well-educated people we have on the Earth (in other words, the more ‘Western’ people) the higher the likelihood of necessary major breakthroughs such as Faster-than-light travel.
3) The American Empire will usher in the next phase of human existence: the settlement of major populations off the surface of the Earth.
The Means of Empire:
Now it must be noted here that I do not advocate the conquest and colonization of other nations (though I do advocate colonization: more on that later, though). Rather, I would use a combination of military bases, collaboration with local elites, and, where necessary, short-term direct military occupation. We do this for our own security and gain as well as the security and gain of others. Benevolent Empire is always a balancing of altruism and enlightened self-interest.
People say, “Empires always fall.” This has been true, at least to the present time. However, this is not so much true because it is an immutable fact of history as it is true because those running Empires have made fatal and often stupid mistakes.
The Athenian Empire fell because it horribly mismanaged the Peloponnesian War. The British and Roman Empires both fell because of over-extension and other mismanagement. Of course: it took hundreds of years for that to happen so, even if America is “following the path of Rome” as many have written, there are about three hundred years to go before the fall.
The American Empire should (and probably will) avoid the greatest trap into which other Empires have historically fallen: attempting to conquer vast swaths of already inhabited land. This was the downfall of Rome and of Britain, but it shall not be the fall of America.
Instead the American Empire will rule by proxy: operating in the shadows with relative handfuls of administrators and soldiers. The rule of the Empire will be mostly peaceful, as most will eventually reconcile themselves to its power and work to enjoy its benefits.
As I have recommended earlier- an American Empire should annex both the Moon and Mars. It should also look into discarding the Antarctic Treaty and pressing American claims there (though, perhaps, allowing the claims of some friendly nations as well). I fully realize that some will consider such a venture to be a waste of time. But I will remind you that the purchase of Alaska was once known as “Seward’s Folly.” While the practical uses of Antarctica may not be apparent at the present time: that does not mean that they are not there or that they will not appear in the future. It ought to be recalled that Antarctica is an actual continent, albeit one covered in ice. It is certainly rich in resources (which, I admit, cannot be extracted for the present time). What isn’t great about owning an extra continent, especially when it can be done with a minimum cost?
Yes, I am an Imperialist:
Some will try and confuse Imperialism with Racism. They are, in fact, totally different things. As it happens, most of the nations which are seemingly unfit to govern themselves are mostly made up of minority groups. This doesn’t mean that minorities are inherently incapable of government: it just means that those in question are.
I’ve never bought into the lie that “all cultures are equal”- it is obvious to any unbiased observer that the culture of the West is vastly superior to any other. If we accept that: must we not also accept a duty to seek to spread that culture elsewhere? Imagine the potential of a world full of dynamic Westerners.
Empire is the destiny of great nations. It is the destiny of America. The American Empire can lead mankind into the future: soaring into the stars upon the backs of those great heroes who raised a mighty Republic from nothing, promoted it to the head of nations, and on behalf of a just God who has made it the master of the world.
"The diehards will just have to die hard"
We've got some great men in Iraq. This story is just too good for words:
But Lieutenant Colonel Steven Russell isn't nervous. He believes he has the best protection.
"If God doesn't intend for me to die in Iraq then nothing the enemy can do will make it so," he told Reuters.
"I have a strong belief in Jesus Christ as my lord and saviour."
Meet the man who heads the search for some of Iraq's most dangerous guerrillas in Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit, a grim place that only has dust and flatlands in common with Russell's native Del City, Oklahoma.
He is not your typical tobacco-chewing American soldier with nude centrefolds hanging in his barracks.
Russell is a deeply religious family man who believes good old-fashioned American discipline and prayers will help lead him to Saddam's hardcore supporters.
"The diehards will just have to die hard," he said in an interview, sitting in one of Saddam's former palaces as American soldiers grunted and lifted weights nearby.
UPDATE: This man should be a General.
“In retaliation, American troops backed by Bradley fighting vehicles swept through Iraqi neighborhoods before dawn
“ ‘This is to remind the town that we have teeth and claws and we will use them,’ said Lt. Col. Steven Russell, commander of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment.”
--AP story, Nov. 8, after Black Hawk copter goes down.
“ ‘They are not allowed to go around kissing pictures of Saddam in this city,’
“Afterwards, Jaburi and Russell interviewed a middle-aged man in traditional Arab clothing who they suspect of inciting demonstrations.
“ ‘Look me in the eye. Let me make some-thing very clear,’ the American officer told the man over tea at the governor’s office.
“ ‘If our ears and eyes see and hear you are connected with demonstrations, and anti-coalition activities you will be going to jail for a very long time.’
--Reuters, Dec. 16
The left often talks about how stories are 'filtered' from the Extreme Right into a right-wing media 'echo chamber'.
Well, more or less, this story- now on Yahoo thanks to Agence France Presse- is cribbed from the British Sunday Express via an unnamed British source who, in all probability, got the story from some Kurdish press sources (or maybe the hit-and-miss folks at Debka who, sometimes, are amazingly accurate and othertimes are telling tales about masses of Chinese troops in Afghanistan).
Now, because this story has an AFP stamp on it, it can be reported in the 'mainstream' US press. Hence how rumor gets turned into a story.
Howard Brush Dean III: Abortionist?
Remember when I was talking about 'unknown unknowns'? Read this.
Some French prosecutor wants to prosecute Dick Cheney. The alleged-men at DU are slobbering. Good luck.
Polly Toynbee of the Guradian...
Manages to get taken in by a Nigerian Bank Scam and tries to blame President Bush for it.
The Best part:
Looking back at the letters now, I can see it all. For heaven's sake, she even said both her parents had died of the ebola flesh-eating virus.
Saturday, December 20, 2003
A Truly Nutty Idea from Howard Dean
Responding to a Washington Post editorial which declared him 'out of the mainstream' Howard Brush Dean III explains:
We need a global alliance to defeat terrorism that will draw on the strengths of allies and partners to destroy terrorist networks. And I will build, with our allies, a $60 billion global fund to combat weapons of mass destruction.
Huh? That's hardly a coherent plan. What exactly will this $60 billion fund do? Will they hand it over to George Soros and let him drive down the currencies of recalcitrant states?
Perhaps he can work with the Soviet Union to develop a solution.
As a Side Note
Apparently the Sunday Herald story and the Debka File story feature the same text.
From Debka's version of the story:
Iran, which is now in the final stages of uranium enrichment for its nuclear program, is badly hit, having counted on taking delivery and fitting into place key parts of its weapons project made in Libya. The Iranians have made substantial investments of money and manpower in their nuclear program. But they may have no choice now but to slow down or reduce output. North Korea may also be forced to scale back the production of nuclear devices as well as counting the loss of a lucrative source of income for its Scuds and nuclear technology.
From the Sunday Hearld story:
Iran, which is now in the final stages of uranium enrichment for its program, is badly hit, having counted on fitting into place key parts of its WMD project made in Libya. North Korea may also be forced to scale back the production of nuclear devices as well as counting the loss of a lucrative source of income for its Scuds and nuclear technology.
The Real Dimensions of the Victory in Libya
I'll have more to say about this later.
Here's the money shot of the article:
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi took the decision to renounce all weapons of mass destruction (WMD) on Friday night, but while at first it was thought this only had implications for Libya it is now clear that his decision has scuppered a secret partnership between Libya, Iran and North Korea formed with the intention of developing an independent nuclear weapon.
New documents revealed yesterday show that the three were working on the nuclear weapons programme at a top-secret underground site near the Kufra Oasis of the Sahara in southeastern Libya. The team was made up of North Korean scientists, engineers and technicians, as well as some Iranian and Libyan nuclear scientists.
North Korea and Iran, originally dubbed by Bush as the axis of evil along with Iraq, avoided detection by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) inspectors by each member farming out vital sections of its projects to its fellow members.
Iran, which is now in the final stages of uranium enrichment for its program, is badly hit, having counted on fitting into place key parts of its WMD project made in Libya. North Korea may also be forced to scale back the production of nuclear devices as well as counting the loss of a lucrative source of income for its Scuds and nuclear technology.
From CBS News:
One American, who has been inside the cell, told 60 Minutes the walls are covered in white tiles. On one wall, there is a poster that shows the faces of the 38 former Iraqi officials who have been killed or captured. They include the pictures of Saddam's two dead sons, Uday Hussein and Qusai Hussein. On the opposite wall of Saddam's cell hangs a portrait. Saddam Hussein now spends his day looking at a picture of President Bush.
Dean Part II
Now, let's get something straight: I never said that there was anything wrong with being a Doctor- I just said that Dean's wife will not play well in middle America. Recall how Hillary was a big deal, because she didn't conform to the standards expected of normal First Ladies. Democratic Primary voters might regard it as natural that a wife would seemingly take no interest in the career of her Husband who was a State Governor and is in the middle of a serious campaign for the Presidency. But the electorate as a whole is going to regard that as, quite frankly, bizarre. To put it simply: it won't help him with anyone who wasn't already going to vote for him, and it will hurt him with people (especially older people) who might. Hillary took a lot of flak for her "I'm not going to bake cookies" comment: but she at least was willing to play ball in the end. I don't think the same is true of Dean's wife. Face it: without Hillary, Bill Clinton would probably be a ten-term Congressman with a penchant for his female staffers.
Now, as to his brother: it's still a good question: what the hell was he doing in Laos in 1974? Some have sought to create the idea that he was CIA. But I don't believe that is a likely career choice for an ex-McGovernite. There's something else there, I can feel it.
As for what courses he took in college: the left sure seemed to think it mattered greatly that George W. Bush got a lot of C's at Yale: isn't it fair, then, to question what Dean took there? Do you not agree that it sounds like he took a lot of courses on or related-to Communism. The only reasonable explanations for someone taking that many courses is that they were a dedicated Cold Warrior determined to know their enemy- or they were Communistically-inclined. Dean's own statements have pretty much ruled out the former.
It should be recalled that people who vote one way or another often vote for stupid reasons. I always recall the story of the woman who, in 1964, said she was going to vote for Lyndon Johnson because Barry Goldwater wanted to take away her TV. Told that he actually wanted to abolish the Tennessee Valley Authority (or 'TVA') she responded,
"Well, I'm not going to take any chances."
Howard Dean’s October Surprises
What exactly is in the past of Howard Brush Dean III? Obviously, this is a question that I cannot yet answer. However, I cannot help but feel that there’s something there which could be uncovered with sufficient investigation. The recent leak of his Yale transcripts raises several more interesting questions which, I suspect, might provide a nasty surprise for HBD3 as time goes on.
After all: we all recall how the revelation of George W. Bush’s drunk-driving conviction nearly cost him the election in 2000: what exactly lies in the past of the former Governor of Vermont?
Dean and Communism:
The Associated Press tactfully notes that HBD3 took “more than one” course on Marxism. A look at his actual transcripts reveals that he took courses on the history of the Soviet Union, Soviet Foreign Policy, and Chinese politics. Of course, such courses are unexceptional: after all, many committed anti-communists (or, in this day, anti-terrorists) have taken courses in the policies and history of our enemies. However, the same transcript reveals that he took courses entitled, “Marxist Existentialism”, “International Communism”, “Marxist Theory”, and “Reason and Revolution”. In other words: Dean took at least seven courses at Yale that focused on Communism.
Given this, we are left with a question: just what kind of radical was Howard Dean? One begins to wonder if someone is holding on to a letter like that Bill Clinton wrote in which he confessed that he, “loathed the military.” In fact, a look at the courses Dean took suggests that he had a strong interest in Marxist theory- even revolution. What sort of stuff is out there?
Howard Dean’s brother, Charles Dean, was killed in Laos in 1974. With him at that time was an Australian national. They were executed by the Communist Pathet Lao. Those, for the most part, are the only certain facts surrounding his death.
Many have suggested that Charlie Dean was working for the CIA when he was killed: a fact which would appear to be backed up by plans to bury him in Arlington National Cemetery. The problem with that theory is this: Charlie Dean was an ardent anti-war activist and a dedicated, paid, campaign worked for George McGovern. When McGovern was annihilated in the election, Charlie Dean went into a state of depression.
Does that sound like a person who was about to conduct CIA covert ops in Laos? It certainly doesn’t to me. I begin to wonder if he is being buried in Arlington only to allow the issue to be quickly swept aside. After all- if the US Government had some evidence that Charlie Dean and his friend were in Laos for other reasons, and it were made public, they could be accused to seeking to smear HBD3 through his dead brother, charges which would undoubtedly be amplified by a media echo chamber.
Unlike most Presidential candidates, Howard Dean seems to keep his family in the shadows. The only time we have ever heard anything about them was when his son was arrested for breaking into a country club in part of a bungled effort to steal alcohol. Beyond that, we’ve basically seen nothing of them. His wife, in particular, has been invisible: as she apparently was during HBD3’s tenure as the Governor of Vermont.
Just what exactly is the status of Dean’s relationship with his wife? They can’t be all that close, I would suggest, if his wife values her career so highly (she’s a doctor as well) that she won’t even interrupt it in order to assist in her husband’s Presidential campaign. That sort of wife is not going to sell well in large parts of America. And, of course, in such situations other issues potentially exist.
Dean’s Sealed Records:
HBD3 has sought to extraordinary secrecy for the papers from his tenure as Governor of Vermont. No one exactly knows what is in those records, and we won’t know until they’re released. Naturally, they could prove to be interesting.
The X Factor:
Then, of course, there are the other issues which could come out of nowhere: what Donald Rumsfeld calls the ‘unknown unknowns.’ Perhaps HBD3 will be found with a dead girl or a live boy. Who knows?
Friday, December 19, 2003
A Great Victory in the War on Terror
Whatever else Muammar Gaddafi, the leader of the ongoing Libyan People’s Revolution, is, there is one thing that is quite clear: he’s not crazy. At some point last March: either as the US and Britain were about to attack Iraq (or as they were invading Iraq) he looked at his hand and decided to fold. Fundamentally, it is as simple as that. He looked at the world situation and, most of all, he looked at the faces of President Bush and Prime Minister Blair and he decided that the West was serious this time. Given the choice of his country or his weapons, Gaddafi opted for the former.
However some try to spin it; this is a great victory in the War on Terrorism. Only once before, in all of modern history, has a nation voluntarily agreed to destroy its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction: and that country was post-Apartheid South Africa. Libya is a dictatorship in the heart of the Middle East and her sudden acceptance of American dominance is, when combined with the capture of a pitiful Saddam Hussein, a serious blow to the morale of the Arab and Moslem worlds.
It is increasingly clear that the greatest effect of the Battle of Iraq has been exactly that which the left and various foreign policy professionals warned us against at length before the start of the war: it is destabilizing the entire Islamic world. This, in truth, was a fundamental objective of the war. The Ante Bellum Mid-East was a breeding ground for terrorism, filled with petty despotisms which sought weapons of mass destruction and created conditions in which groups like al-Qaeda could thrive. The Iraq War shattered the status quo in the region, which is wonderful since the status quo was our enemy.
The facts of the war have exposed the leaders and, more importantly, the people of the Middle East to some great truths. Despite whatever their leaders tell them, they are weak. The great Saddam Hussein, the new Saladin, was a coward who would advocate martyrdom for others (including his own children and grandchildren) but who, when given his own chance, chose to surrender to Americans. The humbling of Saddam has a great effect, I think, on the prestige of the two other heroes of the Moslem world: Arafat and Bin Laden. Arafat can be killed or made a prisoner at any point Israel chooses to do so. Many in the Islamic world, I think, are probably wondering now just how long it will be before Osama Bin Laden is either revealed to be dead or dragged from some cave somewhere.
It is true that the Islamic world is still bathed in hysterical propaganda. However, bit by bit, the veil of lies is being lifted from the region. How long will insane conspiracy theories be able to retain their popularity in the face of the facts on the ground? One wonders.
There are two camps in the Middle East now: the cooperative and the recalcitrant. The cooperative nations, like Libya, will recognize the facts of American power and do whatever they can to make their peace with that power. That means that they will, as Libya has, abandon their weapons of mass destruction or that they will, as Saudi Arabia has, begin to grant some small measure of freedom to their people. Middle Eastern dictators, for the most part, are eminently sensible and rational men: they know which way the wind is blowing. In many case, I think, these reforms will follow the Soviet course: with the original systems proving to be unreformable and, therefore, being discarded in favor of an entirely new systems.
Some, however, will resist: and these people will have to be dealt with in the same fashion that we have dealt with the former Dictator of Iraq. This is what I have said all along: there is only a small fraction of Moslems who will die to resist freedom. In any given society there are only a limited number of people willing to engage in suicide attacks. We are waging war against these people. Others will sometimes make common cause with them or get in our way and, when they do, we’ll have to kill them too- but the real objective here is that small fraction. They need to be destroyed, wiped out. When we grasp those mathematics, we shall win the war.
Michael Jackson Converts to Islam?
That's what's bring reported by the New York Post (via WorldNet Daily).
Thursday, December 18, 2003
Dean and the Bike Path
Via Jonathan Chait at the New Republic.
The US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has struck a blow for the enemy today in the War on Terrorism. In a 2-1 ruling, the court declared that Abdullah al-Muhajir (AKA Jose Padilla) cannot be held as an ‘Enemy Combatant’ under the Constitution. This is an absurd ruling and one injurious to American security. Quite plainly, any individual affiliated with al-Qaeda (regardless of citizenship) entering the United States for the purpose of attacking it is not entitled to the regular protections and processes of the criminal justice system. We need to accept the fact that this war against hidden enemies cannot be waged entirely by the strict letter of the Constitution. This is simply something that we have to face: the Civil War wasn’t waged according to the strict dictates of the Constitution, and neither were the First or Second World Wars. The same must be true here. Concerns about the civil rights of criminals are best left to times of peace (if, even, they are of any value then). This is war.
Abdullah al-Muhajir shouldn’t even be alive today. It’s been eighteen months since he was captured: certainly his intelligence value has expired. He doesn’t deserve lawyers or the comforts of a civilian jail. Come to think of it, he also doesn’t deserve food, water, or air. All he deserves is to have one precisely-aimed bullet drilled into his skull. Those who join, support, or sympathize with al-Qaeda render their lives forfeit, so far as I’m concerned. They should be interrogated (and tortured, if necessary) for all information which might have value and then they should be immediately put to the sword.
In their ruling on this matter the Appeals Court points out that, if President Bush wishes more power, he should go to the Congress and ask for it. I agree. Under the provisions of Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution the Congress has the power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in cases of “invasion (where) the public Safety may require it.” Does it not seem self-evident that, in fact, the United States has been ‘invaded’ by al-Qaeda?
Under a post-Civil War Supreme Court ruling (Ex Parte Milligan) the Congress may only suspend the writ where civil courts are not functioning: but who can deny that they are self-evidently not functioning, at least where terror cases are concerned? Look at the behavior of Federal Courts in this case and the Moussaoui case- they are serving as a safeguard for the rights of terrorists when, properly, terrorists should have no rights, save the right to a painful death.
We’re fighting a war against these people: we don’t have time for search warrants, ‘due process’ and all of the other safeguards which were designed to protect Americans, not enemy soldiers. It is absurd to attempt to deal with al-Qaeda through the criminal justice system for the crimes that it commits are not conventional crimes.
In addition to the suspension of habeas corpus there are two other major steps which I believe the US Government should take in order to win the war.
First, the time has come to begin the executions of the al-Qaeda and Taliban members held at Guantanamo Bay. All who are still held there are clearly guilty of, at the very least, being enemy combatants and, therefore, all should be put to death. After all, we can’t release them- not if we don’t want to have to fight them again. It’s also not like we can exchange them until they’re paroled- al-Qaeda doesn’t keep any prisoners and, in any case, an Islamist cannot be trusted to keep their word. Nor should we be saddled with the expense of holding them for the next fifty years. Better to swiftly dispatch them to Hell.
Second, following the suspension of habeas corpus the government should begin a mass round-up and indefinite internment of all of those who are known to support al-Qaeda or other Islamist groups. Naturally, some would compare such a move to the internment of Japanese-Americans: but such comparisons are specious. Japanese-Americans were investigated and found to be generally loyal. In fact, no one had uncovered a single attack or act of sabotage being planned by any member of this population. In any case, I suspect that far fewer would have objected if only those who expressed support for Japan’s Emperor and/or Armed Forces had been interned. In this case we wouldn’t be interning people based on race: we’d be interning them based on loyalty.
Victory against Islamist infiltrators will come only when we accept the following simple fact: Islamists aren’t human in any meaningful sense of the word, and do not deserve to be treated as such. If some people want to practice the sad, heathen, Moslem faith in peace: that’s fine by me, I hold no more animus towards those people than I hold towards Wiccans, Scientologists, and other adherents of nutcase religions. But when someone accepts the Islamo-fascist creed, they surrender their humanity and, by extension, their human rights as well.
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
How Real is Africa's AIDS Problem?
An article in the London Spectator raises some very interesting questions.
Howard Dean’s Foreign Money Problem
There’s an interesting question which needs to be answered. What percentage of the money which has come to the Presidential campaign of Howard Dean via the internet illegally comes from overseas? I have no idea of what the answer to that question is, but an examination of the safeguards put in place by the Dean campaign, combined with the massive interest in the campaign overseas and evidence of open solicitation of information overseas points towards a single answer: a lot. Probably tens of thousands of dollars. Perhaps hundreds of thousands. Maybe even millions. I don’t know: but we need to know.
Now, I realize that the Dean campaign will insist that there are ‘safeguards’ in place against foreign donations, and so there are. Before you can donate you must check off several boxes agreeing that you are a US Citizen or Permanent Resident, that you are over the age of eighteen, and several other things. But: they’re just boxes, and I don’t imagine that people in foreign nations committing offences under election laws who are resident in foreign nations are very likely to ever be criminally charged. It is also notable that the Dean campaign’s donation form helpfully provides a dropdown list of every country in the world for a contributor to specify as their residence. To be additionally helpful, Canadian Provinces are included alongside US states in the drop-down list of states. Were I of a mind to do so I could, at this very moment, make a donation to the Dean Campaign and, provided it were $200 or under, get away with it.
It is also of note that the donation form on President Bush’s does not provide room for potential contributors resident in foreign nations to list their country or province. Neither do the sites of Wesley Clark, Joe Lieberman, or John Edwards. Like Dean, both John Kerry and Dick Gephardt do provide room for foreign contributors. So does the site of fringe candidate Dennis Kucinich, though I struggle to think of a reason why I should care about anything the candidate of the Department of Peace does.
Some people might scoff and say, “$200? What does that matter?” Well, as Dr. Dean himself has reminded us, if one million people give $200 each, that’s two hundred million dollars: enough to run an entire campaign. Forgetting that: if just 10,000 people were to give $200, that’s $2 million. Is there anyone here who believes that there aren’t more than 10,000 committed European leftists willing to put up $200 to help defeat President Bush?
In fact, at least one individual has already discovered the solicitation of Dean contributions overseas- in Japan. As was previously revealed, the far-left group Moveon.org, which has close ties to former Vice President Al Gore, was recently forced to stop accepting foreign contributions after it was revealed that an organized group of Swedish leftists were soliciting money for the organization.
It would obviously be in the interests of a number of American foes to see Howard Dean inaugurated on January 20th, 2005. It would be in the interests of Iran, North Korea, al-Qaeda, France, Germany, and others opposed to a strong and secure America. Given these facts, one wonders if any of these groups are endeavouring to pour money into the Dean campaign. After all, given the controversy caused by Chinese Communist contributions to Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign in 1996, what better way would there be to hide an effort to influence American politics than to pass money along via the internet, in small amount that add up to large sums over time?
Now, I have no hard evidence of how much the Dean campaign has taken from foreign sources. However, based upon the ease with which their web site would allow for such donations (and, it ought to be recalled, that a very large chunk of Dean money is raised via the web) and, given the evidence that exists that at least some people are willing to solicit such money, it must be concluded that it is extremely likely that the campaign has taken some amount of foreign money. Unless the flaws in the present system are corrected, it seems very likely that they will take in substantial amounts of such money over the next eleven months.
The Federal Elections Commission needs to investigate this and they need to do this yesterday. Obviously, the left will respond to this by exploding and comparing Bush to Nixon: fine, let them. We cannot allow American elections to be tainted by foreign money- especially money from enemies of America. As things stand right now, al-Qaeda could be contributing millions of dollars to the Dean campaign. And, come to think of it, why wouldn’t they? After all, what greater victory could the al-Qaeda win than to see President Bush defeated at the polls?
"It is as it was"
That's what John Paul II has to say about The Passion of Christ. The film has now been endorsed by both Billy Graham and the Pope- that says something.
Peggy Noonan has more to say about it here.
I stand by my earlier prediction- this film is going to be a really big deal. Much bigger than anyone would ever expect with such a movie. By the time it opens, the publicity will be so much that it will open big: thirty to fifty million and it will gross massively, because people will go back to see it again and again.
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
The True Face of the Left
Check out what Scott Lee has to say on Democratic Underground:
This is why I advocate small countries get nukes
Posted by Scott Lee on Tue Dec-16-03 03:03 PM
Understand, I was an anti-nuclear weapons activist for many years. But the sad reality, as it is with being armed for self defense in general, is that if you don't have a deterrent to rogue states like the USA, you leave yourself open to the fate of Iraq.
Believe me, I wish it were different. But in the material world, MADD works.
NYT- July 14, 1939
The ‘Imminent Threat’ Distortion
The New York Times, July 14, 1939
While some individuals are now claiming that Japan’s recent security interventions in Manchuria and the Chinese main demonstrate that Japan is an ‘imminent’ threat to the United States, we have our doubts. Japan has never shown any inclination towards launching military operations outside of its own sphere of influence in East Asia and, in any case, lacks the weapons and military expertise with which they could pose any serious threat to the United States.
Japan has repeatedly made clear that she has no designs upon territory outside of her own region. The only area where the United States and Japan might have cause for conflict is the American-occupied Philippine Islands, but we see little reason why our nations should come to blows over them. Every indication is that the Philippine people would prefer to live in harmony with their Japanese brothers, rather than continue to be ruled by a people who have inflicted so many cruelties upon them.
Where exactly is Japan going to attack the United States, other than the Phillipines? No sensible military leader would even dispatch lightly-defended Japanese Aircraft Carriers into the Eastern Pacific, where they would face certain destruction by the American Battle Line. We strongly doubt that the Japanese would be rash enough to make such a move.
Particularly silly are the claims that Japan might go to war against the United States in an alliance with Hitler’s Germany. Such claims are patently absurd. National Socialism, the dominant political ideology in Germany today, is founded up theories of the superiority of the white or ‘Aryan’ race which would naturally prevent them from working with Japan. How could a nation whose fundamental beliefs include discrimination against Jewish and Slavic peoples ever bring itself to ally with a yellow Asian state? Every person of common sense knows that a German-Japanese Alliance is an impossibility.
In any case, whatever threat Germany may pose to the United States- even if, by magic, it were to strike an Alliance with Japan, is theoretical at best. National Socialist Germany is contained by the Soviet Union in the East and a powerful French Army in the West. Though we grant that the German rearmament of many years has left Germany with a military force more powerful on paper than that of France, experience during the Great War has demonstrated the natural advantage held by the defender. None of the weapons developed since the last war has altered this fundamental balance, especially given that in the event of war on either side, Germany would have to retain substantial forces for its own defense.
Germany is effectively deterred from action anywhere by the presence of the Soviet Union, in any case. Soviet power, even at the present time, is easily the equal of that of Germany- and Soviet potential easily exceeds that of Germany. Nor do we foresee any thawing of relations between their respective systems. A fundamental hostility exists between National Socialism and Communism which will prevent even a slight easing of tensions, let alone any sort of cooperation or rapprochement between these two powers.
Adding to this are the respective personalities of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. It is unthinkable that these two powerful men, mutual enemies as they are, could ever manage to put aside their mutual hatred.
Altogether, we believe that there is no need to rush into rearmament when we have so many worthy priorities here at home. America remains safe behind her Oceans and the world is stabilized by the competitive nature of the other great powers.
Give Spec. James Ross the Medal of Honor
On December 10th, 2003 Specialist James Ross, of the 101st Airborne Division, personally stopped a car bomb which could have killed upwards of three hundred American soliders. He fired over one hundred rounds into a speeding car, hurtling towards his base, until it blew up.
We are seeing real heroism in Iraq- for which we ought to start awarding some real Medals. Not just Bronze Stars for people at bases in Germany (as occured after Operation Allied Force).
Treason in Action
In a thread on the possibility of the execution of Saddam Hussein- Democratic Underground shows its true colors. 'Triana' calls for the execution of President Bush and no one even bothers to rebuke her.
This woman, I might add, is no infiltrator- she's got over a thousand posts, and DU is always ready to remove those who are not 100% leftists a few seconds after their first post.
I've saved a copy of the page, lest they now remove it.
If All Democrats Were LIke Orson Scott Card...
Then we wouldn't have any problems. His piece in today's Wall Street Journal is a must read.
I can think of many, many reasons why the Republicans should not control both houses of Congress and the White House. But right now, if the alternative is the Democratic Party as led in Congress and as exemplified by the current candidates for the Democratic nomination, then I can't be the only Democrat who will, with great reluctance, vote not just for George W. Bush, but also for every other candidate of the only party that seems committed to fighting abroad to destroy the enemies that seek to kill us and our friends at home.
And if we elect a government that subverts or weakens or ends our war against terrorism, we can count on this: We will soon face enemies that will make 9/11 look like stubbing our toe, and they will attack us with the confidence and determination that come from knowing that we don't have the will to sustain a war all the way to the end.
Monday, December 15, 2003
The Democrats are Crazy
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Washington) is claiming that the Bush Administration knew the location of Saddam all along . When you combine this with Howard Dean's comments vis a vis Bush and 9-11, Jim Moran's pre-war comments about a Jewish Cabal, and all the rest- and there's one inescapable conclusion: the Democrats have simply, collectively, lost their minds.
The only reason why that Nancy Pelosi and the like are not like the much-quoted woman on Howard Dean's blog, and openly talking about how they are crying because this reduces the chance of their winning, is that they have some political discipline. Some- not a lot.
This is going to be a fun campaign. Forget about everything else: what kind of foolish things are they going to say in the heat of the coming battles?
Sunday, December 14, 2003
‘Your thirty bullets can buy thirty dead terrorists’
The capture of Saddam Hussein is a great victory for America and its holy cause in Iraq. It is a great victory for the Iraqi people and, indeed, all of the freedom-loving people of this world. However, we live in the age of time accelerated: we cannot rest upon our laurels. Indeed, we might raise the pace of war, heighten the intensity of combat, and strive on towards the final day, that glorious moment when we shall put the last of our enemies to the sword. The inherent risk contained in a victory such as this is that it will be interpreted as an end, rather than a beginning.
The Trial of Saddam Hussein:
First, we must worry about the matter of the disposal of Saddam. It is critical that he be tried in Iraq, that he be tried by the present government, and that is conviction and execution be brought about in the shortest possible time. The greatest mistake that the United States could make now would be to agree to any international involvement in the trial. Saddam in The Hague, as is already being demanded by Democratic Presidential candidate Wesley Clark, would be an unmitigated disaster.
Given the chance, I am certain that the international Hate American-brigade and the Democratic Copperheads here at home would be eager to go over the history of the Iran-Iraq War in which the United States supported Iraq against Iran and vice versa. They, of course, will ignore the obvious strategic logic of the policy and instead make effective use of the rhetoric of irrationality. It wasn’t that we desired Iraq to win, quite the opposite, the point of US policy vis a vis the Iran-Iraq War was to make sure that both sides lost, which is exactly what happened in the end. It was a strategic masterstroke which greatly weakened two enemies of America. But it is also something that it would be better not to discuss, because it exposes the truth of the rationalistic calculations which are sometimes required to advance American goals and, therefore, is difficult to explain in terms that will easily penetrate the fog of media distortion.
As well, putting Saddam on trial before the International Criminal Court would prevent his execution: the only punishment which befits a tyrant of his stripe. Additionally, giving him a forum would certainly help his reputation and standing in the world. As thing stand, he will be remembered as an object lesson at what happens to scumbags who defy America: they get dragged, sickly and dirty, out of rat-infested holes by men with M-16’s.
Senator Robert Taft was one of the few Americans to have openly opposed the Nuremburg Tribunals. He thought, especially because of the presence of Soviet Judges, that they were show trials and, therefore, he thought it would have been better to simply dispense ‘victor’s justice’ than to pervert American judicial ideas via the adoption of Soviet methods. In part, I agree with him: the less fair of a trial that Saddam receives the better. Once we are done with Saddam, he should be hauled before a hastily constituted Iraqi tribunal, tried in a few days, and then taken out and hanged.
There is a great political advantage in this for the United States. Everyone in the entire world knows that Saddam Hussein is a guilty man and fully deserving of whatever punishment he receives. However, there will be many on the left (including most of the Democratic Presidential Candidates) who will find themselves unable to abide such an ‘injustice.’ Let us make them speak out against it. Then, if that person is the eventual nominee, someone can run attack ads reminding the American people that, “X even spoke out in defense of Saddam Hussein.”
The Re-Engagement of the American People:
It is time to remind the American people that we are actually at war. Frankly, I think that the atmosphere of urgency that existed after 9-11 and during the run-up to the Iraq War has now totally dissipated. It’s time to get some of that back.
The first thing the United States ought to do after Christmas is to begin to signal who the next target will be: Iran, Syria, or North Korea. Of these, Syria is the easiest and least important while North Korea is the hardest and most important. On the balance, I think, it will be best to go with the middle case and attack Iran which, unlike North Korea, does not yet quite have nuclear weapons but which also, unlike Syria, is on the verge of getting them.
Iran’s nuclear program is horribly close to producing its first weapons. Also, the Islamic Regime in Tehran is becoming hopelessly unstable. This is, to put it very mildly, a dangerous situation. After all, while Kim Jong Il may be a lunatic with nuclear arms, at least we’re reasonably confident that he isn’t about to be violently overthrown by someone crazier. Most discussion of the student protests in Iran have focused on the possibility of a revolution which will bring about a more democratic Iran. However, this belief tends to ignore the obvious fact that such movements bring about counter-revolution about as often as revolution. It might be that we will wake up some day and find Iran in the hands of reasonable, pro-Western people. It is just as reasonable to believe that we might someday instead wake up and discover that the nuclear-armed Iranian Government has been seized by insane Mullah’s bent on martyrdom. It is not a happy prospect.
While it is early to begin to discuss the strategies which might be employed in a war with Iran, it is not too early to begin to use the rhetoric of war. After all, it will take months to deploy any additional forces to the Middle East: why not now begin to actually press Iran and make the American people aware of the need for action against the Iranian nuclear arsenal. Naturally, the Democrats will fly into a rage at this- but this too is an advantage. If, tomorrow, Iran were to deploy nuclear weapons the Democrats would seek to blame President Bush for allowing them to do so. But, if the Administration is pressing for action against Iran in the face of Democratic and foreign opposition, Democratic ‘obstructionism’ can then be blamed for pretty much anything that goes wrong.
However, we must seek to re-engage the American people in other ways. What we need to do is bring the war home to people in a way that it hasn’t been to date. During the Second World War rationing and other war measures made the war a presence in the home of each and every American. The same cannot be said of this war.
At the opening of the war some members of Congress proposed selling ‘War Bonds’ as were sold in both World Wars and the Civil War. The proposal stalled at the time, in part, because people saw little need for the government to sell large quantities of bonds. The same certainly cannot be said today.
A ‘war bond’ program would help the American people understand the nature of this war. ‘War Bonds’ have previously been sold only in the most serious of wars- there were no Gulf War or Vietnam ‘War Bonds’.
Second, I propose the revival of an even older tradition. In the early days of the Republic, some military vessels were purchased via popular subscriptions in various cities. People would contribute their own money to a fund for the production of a warship, which would then typically bear the name of the city that paid for it.
Such an effort is untenable today mostly because the high cost of any type of ship (a billion dollars for an Arleigh Burke Destroyer) places the cost well beyond what most cities could afford. At the present time, the Department of Defense is also banned from receiving contributions from individuals or organizations.
What I would like to see is for that ban to be lifted and a new organization set up. We’ll call it the ‘United States Ammunition Commission’ and its function would be to raise money from non-governmental sources for the purchase of various munitions for the Armed Forces.
Now, the purpose of this is not really to raise money, but rather to involve the people in the military. I’ve devised the concept of an ‘Ammunition Commission’ for a critical reason: bullets kill people and, on the whole, are easily affordable. In fact, I’d even let contributors pick the type of munitions they were buying from a catalogue.
Think about it- schoolchildren could donate a few dollars and buy a magazine for an M-16. Other people could make an annual donation sufficient to buy an anti-tank missile. Small companies (or community groups) could donate enough money to buy a GPS-guided bomb. Large corporations could donate enough money to buy Tomahawk Cruise Missiles.
Imagine the howls of the left at that one! They would piss their pants over the idea that the government would encourage children to buy weapons to help kill terrorists. We could even tailor publicity to help increase their rage. “Your thirty bullets can buy thirty dead terrorists” would make a catchy slogan.
Additionally, a ‘War Bond’ and ‘ammunition fund’ program would give the government an excuse to spend millions upon millions of dollars of advertising which would, in reality, be little more than thinly-veiled campaign ads for the President. This, I think, is only fair: given that the three networks will be airing daily half-hour campaign commercials for the Democrats.
Nuking the Terrorists:
Finally, now is the time to raise the temperature in the battle against the terrorists. For months there have been credible reports floating about which suggest that al-Qaeda has a fleet of as many as fifteen ships at sea. I assume that we must be tracking at least some of these ships. Let’s find one of them, target it, and then obliterate it with a nuclear strike somewhere in the open ocean. Few things would do more to convince the world of American resolve than the use of a nuclear bomb in anger.
Think about it for a moment: those ships might be carrying dangerous biological weapons. Do we really wish to merely sink such a ship, and risk the release of those weapons? A nuclear strike in blue water would have very little effect upon the environment; however, it would provide an ideal demonstration of American resolve.
Also, it would help to break the taboo against the use of nuclear weapons, something which I believe is important. Any strike against North Korea, I believe, will have to include the use of a number of tactical nukes. If, as I advocated at the time, low-yield nuclear weapons had been used against the Caves at Tora Bora, we would know for certain the fate of Osama Bin Laden and many of his closest associates. We could have closed those caves for a thousand years: the only reason we did not do so is that we have a silly societal prejudice against the use of tactical nuclear weapons.
Now is the moment to press on, not to lay back. With the vigour of our will, we can drive on, inevitably forwards towards the day of our final victory.
South Africa Bans Letters to Santa Claus
Apparently South Africa has banned the Post Office from allowing children to send letters to Santa Claus on the grounds that the Post Office could not provide the children with the things they ask for and, therefore, would upset them. I wish I could make this stuff up, but I can't. Read the full story here.
DU Roundup on Saddam
Things are not black and white. It’s much easier to believe that they are. We’re good, he is evil, we got him, we’re proud and happy. It’s a very simple worldview, and difficult to refute. We all notice how nearly everyone who tries to illuminate the gray areas prefaces their examination with some sort of disclaimer: “We all know that Saddam is an evil man.” or “There’s no disputing that the world is better off without Saddam.” Critics know that those who promote the black & white way of seeing have an easier job, and don’t want to end up on the wrong side.
just drop his sorry ass
(preferably in prison)
freakin criminal slimebag
All of this, of course, about President Bush, not Saddam.
After they finish with Saddam, they can go on to bush*,Pearle, Wolfie, Cheney, Condo, Rummy and all the other sociopath War Criminals that demanded this illegal invasion.
I've restored them and managed to get them to stop preventing the site from loading- but does anyone know how I can prevent them from slowing the site to a crawl? It's very frustrating.
Peggy Noonan is Back
She's written a column on the capture of Saddam- and she's in fine form.
America did this. American troops did this. The American people, by supporting those troops and this effort, did it. And a particular group of soldiers led by a particular U.S. army officer did it. As Dana Priest of the Washington Post has just reported on NBC, he is a big, tall, bearlike guy who loves his job and whose attitude toward his mission was, apparently, a natural and constitutional optimism. We don't yet know his name, but he'll be famous by tomorrow morning.
Of course, I like pretty much anything that Peggy Noonan writes. In fact, she writes so beautifully, that I've long had a crush on her.
Oh, the Best Part
The capture of Saddam was designated as 'Operation Red Dawn.'
Hell, I think I'm going to run on down to the local electronic store and buy that movie right now- on DVD, as I've already got it on VHS.
Also- the targeted sites were desiganted 'Wolverine 1' and Wolverine 2'.
Ok, well- it's not the best part. But still, pretty damned cool.
A Vote for the Democrats is a Vote for the Terrorists
Have you ever noticed how it seems that everything that is good for America and for the world is bad for the Democrats? In order for the Democrats to win in 2004 they need: the economy to tank, more Americans to die in Iraq, and an upswing in terrorism worldwide. And, as a result, many of them seem to be praying for just that.
One of the strikingly clever features of the Copperhead movement during the Civil War was how it claimed to be for Union, but proposed solutions to save the Union which no rational person believed could save it. They claimed to be for a negotiated peace, but the South would have no such peace, but on the terms of Independence. Therefore, while they were subjectively pro-Union, the Copperheads were objectively pro-Confederate.
What does all of this have to do with anything? Simple: today’s Democratic Party has been taken over by a new generation of Copperheads. They claim to be for fighting terrorism, yet they are only willing to do so by such means whose failure is certain. The idea that ‘internationalizing’ the War on Terrorism by bringing the United Nations, the French, the Germans and the Chinese onboard would be an effective way of fighting terror is as absurd as the suggestion that the Army of Northern Virginia would have willingly given up the rifle and returned home in 1863. In fact the Democratic Party doesn’t have a position on fighting terror: they have an excuse.
A quick look at any of the popular left-wing web sites begins to quickly show the real feelings of the Democrats when it comes to terror. When Saddam Hussein was captured, more on the left were upset that it hurt their chance of winning in 2004 than were happy because it was good for America. Whatever tepid statements of support the actual politicians manage to make, we can learn far more from the feelings of those who support them. They would much rather see America defeated in war than have a Republican in the White House.
Now, this is not true of all Democrats. As in the Civil War, there are ‘War Democrats’ here as well. But they are in the minority: on the main the Democratic Party itself has become a treasonable institution. To see this, one needs only to look at the feelings of our enemies.
Let’s not mince words here. If, on November 2nd, 2004, Howard Dean is elected to the Presidency we will hear some very loud cheers coming from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, hidden bunkers in Iraq, Pakistani Madrassas, and a few caves in Afghanistan. If George W. Bush is not re-elected, the War on Terrorism will be effectively over: the terrorists will have won. After the great defeats of the summer of 1863, at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, the last great hope of the Confederacy was that Abraham Lincoln would be defeated in the election the following November. The same holds true today: we have seen that the terrorists cannot win by military means. So long as we are committed, they may launch whatever attacks they would like: they will still be destroyed.
However, if a Democrat is elected next November: then the terrorists will win. Sure, a future Democratic President will make noises about fighting the terrorists but, in truth; they will spend their time promoting causes nearer and dearer to their hearts such as abortion and buggery. Does any person on this Earth really believe that Democrats will be able to successfully fight terrorists? With all of Europe along for the ride, it took Bill Clinton nearly three months to drive Serbian forces from one Province. That’s more time than it took George W. Bush to conquer both Iraq and Afghanistan. I have little doubt that, by 2010, Iraq will be a stable and functioning nation. In contrast, I expect that Kosovo will still be administered by the United Nations in the year 2525.
If the Democrats were still in power today, Saddam Hussein would be as well. Period. The Democrats don’t have the stomach or the will to fight the terrorists, as they have shown us over a period of several decades. The Democrat Party is the party of appeasement, cowardice, and treason.
There is no moral difference now between giving money to Howard Dean and giving money to al-Qaeda. While the two have ideological differences, they have the same ultimate goal: the defeat of George W. Bush.
A vote for the Democrats is a vote for the victory of the terrorists. This is not meant as an insult, it is simply the truth. Just as a vote for the Democrats in 1864 was a vote for disunion, a vote for the Democrats today is a vote for the victory of the Islamists.
A Christmas Gift
Nearly one hundred and thirty-nine years ago, to the day, General William Temesech Sherman and his Army of Georgia captured the City of Savannah. General Sherman then telegraphed the President, “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.” For some reason, today’s capture of Saddam Hussein calls to mind that long-ago event. Whatever some will try to say, this is a great victory for the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, for the members of the Coalition, for the President and his Administration, and for those people everywhere who supported the liberation of Iraq. It is not, however, as some have tried to claim a victory for everyone.
Howard Dean’s supporters (those, at least, who are not admitting that they are crying in despair as a result of the capture of Saddam) and the crowd at Democratic Underground are trying to assert that this is, “everyone’s victory.” To which, I must reply: a victory yes, but one in which no credit it due to you. Now that we are successful in Iraq, everyone will probably try and jump on the bandwagon once more. We should not let them. If Howard Dean was the President today Saddam Hussein would still be in command in Baghdad, still be dealing with terrorists, still murdering his own people, and still dealing with terrorists. The same goes for most of the other Democratic Presidential candidates, who would not have had the courage or fortitude to lead us into this war of their own volition.
If you would not stand with us in our darkest hours, we do not wish you to celebrate with us now. In this hour the summer solider and the sunshine patriot will surely reappear: let us make them aware of what we think of their cowardice.
Now, this does not mean that the Iraqi Insurrection is over. In fact, I would expect to see an upsurge of attacks in the short term. I would also expect to see an increase in attacks as we approach elections and the handover of power in the New Year. Yet, if this is not the end, I cannot help but feel that, in the words of Winston Churchill, it is the, “end of the beginning.”
This does, I am certain, signal the death knell of the Ba’athist portion of the resistance. While they may seek to launch revenge attacks in the coming days, in the long run, they’re done, finished: through. Saddam Hussein was ‘Ba’athism’ in Iraq, there was nothing more left to it than that. The Islamists will be in charge of the new resistance or rather, what is left of the old resistance.
The capture of Saddam, I think, helps to demonstrate President Bush’s best quality, namely his essential steadiness. There is nothing frantic about this President: he decides on a course of action, follows it, modifies it where necessary, and eventually is successful. We saw this in the Tax Cuts of 2001 and 2003, the Afghan War, the Iraq War, and now in the aftermath of the Iraq War. He seems to always know where he is going, even if there are a few twists and bumps along the way. And, in the end, he always seems to win.
We now have the execution of Saddam to look forward to. Mark it on your calendar. Hopefully we’ll get a public hanging, seeing as he’s going to be tried by the Iraqi people. Frankly, I don’t imagine they’ll be in what can exactly be called a ‘charitable’ mood.
This is the greatest Christmas Gift that we could have. Not only does it help us in Iraq: it also helps us here at home. However they try to spin it, this will be a serious blow to the candidacy of Howard Dean for President and to the left in general. They have bet on American disaster in Iraq, and they have lost.
Thank God Almighty
Well, I knew that this day would come sooner or later. This is a great victory.
Also: this exposed to us the existance of at least one patriotic Democrat:
On with Dan Rather a few minutes ago, Joe Biden said (when asked about how this affects the Dem race)that if we can capture Osama and Mullah Omar and stabilize Iraq and the president gets re-elected, that's just fine with him, and best for the country.
Now, obviously- I think it's fine anyways, but it's a pretty startling thing to hear that from a Democrat.
Saturday, December 13, 2003
Why We Fought
Were Iraq and al-Qaeda linked? The left insists that they were not and the Administration meekly seems to concede the point. Yet virtually all objective evidence suggests that, yes, Iraq and al-Qaeda were working together.
The most recent such report, of course, is that in the British Daily Telegraph which reveals the existence of an Iraqi intelligence memo from the Summer of 2001 which claims that Mohammed Atta, the leader of the al-Qaeda terrorists, spent several days in Iraq training under the famed terrorist Abu Nidal.
In a way it makes sense: Nidal was in Iraq to revive his network of overseas cells which had launched a wave of terror in the 1980’s. In many ways, Nidal was that decade’s Osama Bin Laden. Mohammed Atta’s whereabouts at the time of the supposed meeting are unknown and it is widely believed that he could have slipped out of the United States under a false identity. Nidal died in late August of 2001 under circumstances which, at best, could be described as suspicious. It is widely believed that he was murdered by Saddam Hussein’s thugs. At the time it was assumed that his death came about because of disagreements between the two. Now one is left to wonder: was it because Nidal knew too much?
There are some reasons to wonder about the authenticity of the memo. The same document also makes reference to the trans-shipment of goods (presumably Uranium) through Syria from Niger. In some ways, it makes me feel that the memo might simply be too good to be true. One also wonders just what sort of training that Atta would have been receiving at such a late date and why he would take the risk of travelling to Baghdad.
Still, the fact that the Telegraph (a respected British broadsheet) would run with the story indicates that they have a high degree of confidence in it. Moreover, while the discovery of a single document confirming both linking Iraq directly to September 11th, its continuing nuclear program, and Syrian complicity in said program does seem somewhat implausible, history is filled with such occurrences. Salamis was decided by a ruse involving a slave. Antietam by a piece of paper tied around some cigars. The truth, as we have learned in recent years, if often stranger than fiction.
Atta appears to have been quite the jet-setter: he also attended an al-Qaeda conference in Spain that same July. Based on his behavior (which included threatening an employee of the US Department of Agriculture), it becomes clear that Atta wasn’t very worried about being caught by US security forces. As for training: Iraq had a fully-rigged plane to allow for training in simulated hijackings. This little-known facility, I am certain, would have been of tremendous use in putting the finishing touches on a plan of operations.
In fact, we have only two good reasons to truly disbelieve this report. First- we have the feeling that the memo is so wonderful for our cause that, therefore, it must be false. This is an absurd line of argument- based on emotion rather than an objective assessment of the facts. The second reason: that the original source (the Iraqi Government) is untrustworthy also does not seem to stand up to an assessment of the facts.
If the Coalition Government in Iraq really desired to fabricate evidence to bolster the case for war, why wouldn’t they arrange the ‘discovery’ of a few armed chemical weapons shells in some arms cache? Why wouldn’t they have forged many, many documents and done so much earlier?
In any case, we have more than this single memo to make the case for links between Iraq and al-Qaeda. As detailed by Stephen Hayes in a recent article in the Weekly Standard, the US Government has proof of links between Iraq and al-Qaeda which stretches back more than a decade, to right after the Gulf War when Iraq, with help from the Islamist government of the Sudan, sought to establish links with al-Qaeda.
One of the most interesting things in the Hayes article (which is drawn, in large measure, from a memo written to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence by Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith) is that there were a flurry of contacts between Bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and Iraqi intelligence in the Winter of 1998 and 1999: about the same time that the planning for the September 11th operation would have begun in earnest.
Frankly, I am beginning to seriously believe that Iraq may have had a hand in the 9-11 attacks: a theory that I never previously subscribed to. Perhaps sometime during the 1990’s Iraq and al-Qaeda worked out a secret alliance of some sort. In fact, it is in such a context that the strategic reasoning behind the September 11th attacks begins to make more sense.
Why did al-Qaeda attack America in such a fashion on September 11th, 2001? It is a question which, to my satisfaction, has never been fully answered. There are a few theories floating about, each of varying validity.
The first (and most popular in the public mind, I think) is that al-Qaeda launched the attacks simply because they were unreasoning killers, animals, and monsters who simply bent on killing as many Americans as possible for the sake of killing as many Americans as possible. This, I must admit, enters into the equation- but only in terms of the motivations of the killers. It answers the question: why where the hijackers willing to do what they did? It does not answer the question: why did al-Qaeda do what it did?
While many of the members of al-Qaeda are irrational: the organization and its planners have repeatedly shown that they are not. They are cold, calculating, and merciless. On the surface September 11th appears to have been a huge strategic mistake by al-Qaeda: absent the terrorist attacks, combined with a continued drumbeat of attacks such as those seen before 9-11, al-Qaeda would probably have been able to incrementally achieve some of its goals. After all: without 9-11, there is no way that the Bush Administration would ever have sought to launch a general campaign against Islamism as it has.
The second explanation is that al-Qaeda convinced itself that the incremental victories it had achieved by smaller attacks, combined with American fecklessness in the face of terror, suggested that a big attack would have bigger results. They hoped that by killing thousands of Americans, and destroying symbols of American power, they would trigger a broad American retreat from the Middle East.
The third scenario, the one I have previously favored, is that al-Qaeda was desperate for a head-on confrontation with America, preferably one which would involve the rest of the Islamic world. They hoped that by launching such a massive and provocative attack they would trigger, in essence, an American Crusade which they could then meet with a massive army of Jihadists.
One important fact that is now forgotten is that, initially, al-Qaeda disclaimed responsibility for the attacks. This is not characteristic of the groups: it is also not consistent with either the second or third scenario. If al-Qaeda really wanted to trigger a US withdrawal from the Middle East (or a Holy War) they ought to have been shouting from the rooftops moments after the planes finished their work.
I now begin to wonder if al-Qaeda had developed, what for lack of a better term, I will call an ‘Oriental strategic mindset’ when they planned September 11th. During the Second World War, the Japanese Navy often failed because their plans were horribly complex and required everything to go right in order to be executed. In essence, what I wonder is this: did al-Qaeda dupe Iraq?
Perhaps al-Qaeda convinced Iraq to go along with the September 11th plan, using the second scenario to sell their case. “Saddam,” they would say, “we can force the Americans to withdraw from the areas around your country, and all we need is a little help.” When he would ask if retaliation would fall on him, they would respond, “of course not- all of the operatives are our people, not yours. If it goes badly, we will be blamed.”
By these means, Saddam is talked into providing a little bit of support- a little training to Mohammed Atta, and a few other things. He is not confident that they will succeed, but it costs him little and the potential benefits are great.
It ought to be recalled that, in the immediate aftermath of September 11th, many people believed that Iraq was behind the attacks. In fact, only the rapid identification of several hijackers as al-Qaeda members prevented more speculation in that area. Perhaps al-Qaeda hoped that the United States would quickly uncover links to Iraq and immediately invade the nation- thereby doing two things. First of all, it would finally rid them of Saddam who, for the most part, had been no friend to Islamists and, in some ways, a stumbling block to their aspirations. Second, it would offer a battlefield where they could seek a hoped-for ‘million Mogadishus.’
I do not mean to assert that this theory is necessarily true: I have no idea. But I do not regard it as impossible. In fact, any number of combinations between Iraq and al-Qaeda with regards to September 11th seem possible, to dismiss them out of hand it simply insane.
In fact, the entire case against the existence of al-Qaeda-Iraq links rests on a single piece of ‘conventional wisdom’: the idea that, because Iraq is nominally ‘secular’, al-Qaeda would never work with it. This is absurd: to accept this idea one must be wilfully blind. Not only do we have evidence of a decade of cooperation between al-Qaeda and Iraq: we also have a great deal of evidence that al-Qaeda was, in the past, more than willing to cut deals with the Saudi Government which, bizarrely, is regarded by al-Qaeda has hopelessly apostate. The left’s argument against cooperation seems to mostly consist of placing their hands over their collective ears and shouting, “no, no, no” as conservatives read out dozens of pages of information detailing links between al-Qaeda and Iraq.
Let’s forget about the rest of the case for war for a moment: the WMD’s, the strategic positioning of Iraq, the threat to the region, and the oppression of the Iraqi people. Any nation as deeply in bed with al-Qaeda as Iraq ought to be invaded and occupied.
Friday, December 12, 2003
Is Dean a Lock?
The conventional wisdom is that, with recent successes such as the endorsement of former Vice President Al Gore, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is now certain to win the Democratic Presidential Nomination. But, as I’ve said in the past: the conventional wisdom is wrong roughly as often as a retarded second-grader in a College Calculus class.
The only area where Dean appears certain to win is New Hampshire. This is to be expected: he was the Governor of a neighbouring State and has been campaigning heavily there for a long time. He’s got a good shot at winning in Iowa as well. But what of the rest of the nation?
The latest national polls give Governor Dean the support of less than a quarter of Democratic voters nationwide. All of this, I might add, despite the massive river of fawning media attention received by Dean and the generally uninspiring campaigns run by the other Democratic candidates. All of this despite the fact that Dean is running the best-organized primary campaign in memory, with many hard-working and fanatical supporters.
At this time four years ago, about a month before the start of the 2000 Primary Season, George W. Bush had the support of 64% of Republican voters in a CNN/Gallup Poll. Now, I realize that some have said that national polls will matter only when there is a national primary, but I respectfully disagree. Given all of the coverage he’s received, given the lacklustre and divided field of remaining Democratic candidates: given all of this, he should be far higher in national polls. The low national poll numbers for Dean suggest that the appeal of his candidacy is, in many respects, limited to the activist wing of the Democratic Party. He is not drawing much support from the party as a whole- but what support he has is being magnified by the adulation of the media and the fanaticism of those supporters he has.
The most striking feature of the Dean campaign is this: I have yet to meet a single ‘normal person’ who strongly supports Howard Dean for President. His appeal seems limited to small minority groups which simply happen to be placed in such a position as to have their voices amplified. Forgetting the politics of his supporters for a second, one is struck by the fact that the campaign seems to be staffed largely by laid-off tech workers of dubious mental stability. This isn’t a Presidential campaign to them: it’s some sort of journey of personal healing. Presidential politics isn’t therapy: a point which I suspect we will have further illuminated for us during the campaign.
It now seems very likely that, after New Hampshire, we will see a rapid whittling of the Democratic field as an ‘Anyone-but-Dean’ movement emerges to stop his nomination. In this race, there are arguably five major candidates to the right of Dean: Joe Lieberman, Wesley Clark, John Kerry, John Edwards and Dick Gephardt. According to the latest national polls, these candidates combined have the support of 47% of the Democratic electorate, with 18% undecided.
That Dean will win in New Hampshire is, given his thirty-two point lead, probably a foregone conclusion. However, the fact that this is generally known at this early stage does two things: it reduces the potential boost that Dean can receive from a New Hampshire victory and creates a serious danger that, if he wins by ‘just’ ten or twenty points, it will be seen as a defeat for him. The biggest question in New Hampshire will be the performance of the other five major Democratic candidates. Who will drop out after defeat there? I would suggest that the obvious candidates are John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, whose campaigns are faltering already. A poor finish in Iowa combined with a non-showing in New Hampshire would probably doom John Edwards as well.
The real test then comes a week after New Hampshire, on February 3rd. If Dean can rack up a number of convincing wins on that day (I’d say he has to win at least four wins out of seven primaries) then he’ll probably seal the nomination, with other candidates gradually conceding to him. If, on the other hand, he manages to win only one or two primaries that day (or none at all), then he’s probably going to have to fight like hell to win the nomination.
The states that vote on February 3rd: Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Carolina are hardly what could be called ‘Dean Territory’- but he has to win at least some of these states to show that he’ll even have a chance against George W. Bush. If one alternate candidate (most probably either Wesley Clark or Dick Gephardt) manages to win several contests that day, then they will become both the anti-Dean contender and the media flavour of the week.
One also ought not to forget the Al Sharpton factor. Whatever else you might think of the man, he’s managed to use the campaign to polish his image and some polls put him within striking distance of victory in South Carolina which, of course, has a heavily black electorate. It is easy to imagine the kind of field day that some media will have if Al Sharpton starts winning Democratic Presidential primaries. The frightening thought emerges that, under the right conditions, Al Sharpton might actually win a handful of delegates which will allow him to play Democratic kingmaker. This is especially important because of the seemingly limited appeal that Dean holds for blacks.
This isn’t over yet, despite what some would try and tell you. In fact, I’m willing to make a prediction. At this time, five months from now, Howard Dean will not be the Democratic nominee. He might still be bitterly in contention, but he will not have won enough delegates to secure the nomination. Dean is one of those candidates who shows up from time to time at primary season, sparkles, and then disappears. He will, I think, walk in the footsteps of John McCain, Gary Hart, Ed Muskie, George Romney, and other candidates whose star once shone so bright, only to be extinguished by the cold verdict of the voters.
Given that the Constitution is a 'Living Document'
I think that the Surpeme Court ought to reinterpret Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution, which reads as follows:
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
I would argue that this wording prohibits anyone who isn't a Republican from holding a state office. I'd be wrong but- who knows- perhaps I could get five Justices to agree with me.
Can the Washington Post spell?
Dana Milbank's story from today:
When last we checked in on Stripes, it was reporting on a survey it did of troops in Iraq, finding that half of those questioned described their units' moral as low and their training as insufficient and said they did not plan to reenlist.
Well, I'll Be Damned
Each year we in Canada are subjected to the ritual which has grown up around the Montreal massacre, which occurred on December 6, 1989. Marc Lepine, an deeply troubled man who, after his girlfriend decided to abort their unborn child, murdered fifteen women at a school in Montreal. The ritual around December 6th often exceeds that of November 11th (Remembrance Day). I was always vaguely annoyed by the memorials for the simple reason that they were used to demonize men in general. Mark Steyn has a good take on this.
Here's what I, in many years, never learned: Mark Lepine was born Gamil Gharbi. He was the son of an Algerian Moslem.
The Conventional Wisdom
I’ve recently been re-reading James McPherson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning single volume history of the Civil War The Battle Cry of Freedom. The one thing that has struck me about the book is this: the wild and rapid swings in Northern (and European) public opinion which accompanied the trials of defeat and the exaltation of victory. In fighting the present war, it is important to be mindful of this: popular opinion, the so-called ‘conventional wisdom’ is fickle and almost always wrong.
Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune often best showed (and led) the wild swings in popular sentiment. In the months before the war it was calling for the Southern states to be allowed to depart in peace. After Fort Sumter it led cry of ‘On to Richmond’, demanding that it be taken before the Confederate Congress could meet there. Later still, it again swung with each victory and defeat.
At many times during the war a general despair spread throughout the North, with the conviction that the South could not be restored to the Union by the force of arms commanding the sentiments of a large percentage of the population. In Europe the position was almost universally held, both by opinion elites and the people.
I often wonder just how a modern population would react to another war like the Civil War. After all, for all of the worries about casualties, fewer than five hundred American soldiers have been lost in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. As tragic as those losses are, they barely match those of a few minutes in some of the worst battles of the Civil War. 600,000 people out of a population of thirty million were killed during the war. An equivalent number today would be six million.
What I mean to point out by bringing this up is this: the swings in public opinion during the Civil War may be excused by the stress brought on by the scale of the carnage. What is our excuse today?
The conventional wisdom today holds that the situation in Iraq has become a quagmire and that it will be impossible to triumph over the resistance. Of course, in the summer of 1864 the conventional wisdom held that Grant was in a quagmire in Virginia and that Sherman was trapped at the gates of Atlanta.
During the fall of 2001 the conventional wisdom held that Afghanistan was a ‘quagmire’ and that American and Northern Alliance forces would have a difficult time prevailing during the ‘fierce Afghan winter.’
‘Conventional wisdom’ and ‘popular opinion’ are virtually useless in wartime because the people as a whole know so little about war. The strong tendency of the people and ‘respected observers’ is to note a military trend present on the surface and presume that it will continue and intensify into infinity.
What that ‘conventional wisdom’ missed about Iraq is the fact that the underlying trends are in the favor of a Coalition victory. While, on the surface, it might be easy to conclude that the steady drumbeat of Iraqi resistance is an ominous signal, this is only one element of the conflict.
Steady military action is weakening the resistance. In many ways it is a good sign that they have turned towards car bombings, rocket attacks, and ambushes: with fewer and fewer of them being directed at Coalition forces. What this means is that the enemy force is increasingly terroristic in nature and, therefore, will have a much harder time taking on the characteristics of a popular movement. While it is tragic that the turn of the resistance towards ‘soft targets’ has massively increased the body count of Iraqi civilians, it has also prevented the resistance from moving beyond what it is at the present time. It is a collection of killers: Ba’athists, Jihadists, and other criminals. And it seems likely to remain that way.
As the dimensions of military resistance are reduced, the situation in the civilian sphere is steadily improving. The Iraqi economy is stabilizing, and society is returning to something closer to normal. Give it another few years, and I expect Iraq to be fully stable.
The real danger is that we will, based upon the misinformed opinions of the general public, take precipitous or rash action. If stay the course and remain faithful to our mission, we cannot fail to be victorious.
Thursday, December 11, 2003
Some ‘public servants’ in British Columbia apparently believe that the public are their servants. The B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers Union is seeking to hold the public hostage as a means of wringing from their employer concessions to which no rational person, under normal conditions, would accede. They are thugs, seeking to use force to achieve what they never could have by peaceful means. In order to ensure that the credibility of the government is maintained, no accommodation whatsoever should be reached with the union. Either the Ferry workers must work: or they must be fired.
Make no mistake about it. While, technically, the dispute here in between a union and a private corporation, in all reality it is really between the union and the Provincial Government. The Ferry system is integral to the transportation system of this Province and, therefore, any threat made against it is a challenge to the legitimate authority of the government. It is the responsibility of the government to see that our transportation system is free of obstructions. If some disgruntled group were to blockade the Sea to Sky Highway, would not the government see it cleared? Would they not clear it by force, were it necessary? There is no fundamental separation between the obstruction of water and land traffic: both have the same damaging effect upon the people that the government has been elected to protect.
There is just one goal here: to have the ferry system back in operation as quickly as possible. It would be nice to have the cooperation of the Ferry workers in this, but such cooperation is not strictly necessary. An ultimatum should be given to all workers striking illegally: either return to work, or be fired. When the ultimatum is largely defied (as should be expected) all workers who have failed to report for work should be summarily dismissed with cause.
The question then becomes this: how does one continue to run the Ferry System then? Some of the Ferries could be run with management personnel and those workers who are willing to return to duty. Fishing season having come to a conclusion, I suspect that many commercial fishermen could be hired to work on a temporary basis. If the Federal Government is willing to cooperate, perhaps Naval or Coast Guard Reserve personnel might be called to active duty and assigned essential roles. It wouldn’t be pretty: but I am fairly confident that people who can sail a guided missile Destroyer will prove capable of guiding a Ferry twenty or so miles.
But still, I admit that such measures might be insufficient to bring the Ferries fully back online. After all, some specialized areas might require specialized personnel and, despite the best efforts of the government and company, there simply might not be enough workers to restore full Ferry service. But still, at this point, the government would still have one trick left up its sleeve.
Remember how, during the fires this summer, a ‘state of emergency’ was declared within the Province? Under the terms of the Emergency Program Act the Province was therefore empowered to order about and requisition whatever was needed to fight the forest fires. Well, the same could be done here.
After all, if the severing of transportation links between Vancouver Island and the Mainland does not constitute an ‘emergency’, then what does? This is especially true, given the likelihood that a prolonged illegal strike will cause severe hardship in some areas which are heavily reliant upon Ferry service.
Upon the declaration of a Province-wide state of emergency, the Provincial government would be legally allowed to, “authorize or require any person to render assistance of a type that the person is qualified to provide or that otherwise is or may be required to prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects of an emergency or disaster.” In other words, the remaining required workers could be forcibly impressed into service and punished if they still refused.
The greatest flaw of this government to date has been a lack of action. They allowed the protestors to remain in Vancouver parks, in the Woodwards Building, and on the lawn of the Legislature- even when it was able to move against them. In more than two years of power they have yet to seriously move against the BCTF. Just a few days ago, they capitulated in their dispute over the BC College of Teachers, a dispute which had given the government a golden opportunity to purge the teaching profession of its least useful and most annoying members.
This government, being made up mostly of people of moderate temperament and views, has an unfortunate tendency towards conciliation. I fear that, rather than risk an open confrontation, some in the government might adopt a strategy of making angry-sounding noises towards the Union while privately coercing the Ferry Corporation to appease union demands. Such a course would be contrary to the best interests of the people of this Province.
Now is the time for a showdown. The public is against the union and, I believe, a majority will back any move which restores proper ferry service. Now is not the time for moderation: now is time for battle. Whip the union and teach them forever who the true master of this Province is.
If anyone knows a good, reliable, way of leaving comments- email me.
This damned site.
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Ted Rall, for those who don't know
In the comments, I saw someone who claimed that they didn't know who Ted Rall was. Well, he's a popular left-wing columnist and cartoonist. On November 11th, he wrote a truly appalling column entitled 'Why We Fight'. It has to be read to be believed in its awfulness.
Leftists Who Want America to Lose
Gabriel Ash has written for Counterpunch, Common Dreams, and many other noted left-wing web sites.
Here's what he has to say today at YellowTimes.org:
While Iraqis have every right to shoot and kill occupation soldiers, that isn't necessary the most effective way to influence George Bush. Quite a few of the people who fund Bush's election campaign are involved in the latest corporate gold rush ("reconstruction") in Iraq. Attacking their interests might be a quicker way to get the president into listening mode. The lives of American soldiers are dear, but four more years in the White House are priceless.
Not only does he call for the death of US soldiers- but he also seemingly calls for attacks on US civilians.
Will those on the left, who insisted that 'no one on the left wants the US to lose' denounce him?
Thanks to John Hawkins at RightWingNews for first bringing this one forward.
The Need for More Executions
Here’s an interesting fact: it has been twenty-seven months since September 11th and not one person has been judicially executed, either for their role in that atrocity or as a result of their actions in the months that followed. Not a single person: not Zacarias Moussaoui, the 20th hijacker, not John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, not Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the senior planner of 9-11. In fact, the only person sentenced to death in a case which is even arguably terrorism-related is John Allen Muhammad, on the two Beltway Snipers. But he won’t actually die, assuming his conviction is upheld, for many years. The question then becomes this: what in hell is taking so long?
I’m on the record as saying that I believe that, under the laws of war, al-Qaeda combatants captured in the field should be given a drumhead trial followed by an execution in the field. But let’s forget about that for the time being, because the likelihood of such a policy being adopted in remote. Rather, let’s talk about some of the more serious cases of terrorism, where executions would be backed by (and be popular with) the public. Executing captured terrorists whose intelligence value has been exhausted is not only the best way of gaining justice for the fallen: it also makes military and political sense.
The greatest danger posed by maintaining so many terrorist prisoners on hand is not that they will escape or be rescued by a terrorist expeditionary force. Rather, it is that al-Qaeda (or some other Islamist group) will take Americans (or other Westerners) as hostages and demand their release. I would argue that the large-scale kidnapping of Westerners is, in many ways, poses a great difficulty than the possibility that al-Qaeda will simply kill them. After all, as tragic as the loss of all American life is, the images of many Americans in captivity, coupled with reasonable-sounding demands for the release of specific prisoners, would create great political pressure for the United States to release captured terrorists. We have seen this in Israel, where the Israeli government has often been willing to trade hundreds of detained terrorists for a handful of its own citizens.
Holding large numbers of al-Qaeda members captive is a liability. What are we going to do with these people? We can’t ever let them go, lest they again take up their former occupation. Holding them alive simply leads to the possibility of demands for their release. Better to liquidate them and get it over with.
Now, earlier, I mentioned that executing terrorists makes political sense. Here’s how. The left is already unhappy with the idea of simply holding so many of these people as ‘enemy combatants’- one need only read their rantings about the ‘Concentration Camp’ at Guantanamo Bay to get an idea of the depth of their feelings on the issue. However, the vast majority of the American people are inclined to feel rather differently about these alleged people. I suspect that few Americans, outside of the far left and those ideologically opposed to the death penalty, would have any problem at all with the execution of these terrorists.
However, those opposed would truly scream about it. It ought to be further noted that many of those most angered by such a policy are counted among the base of the Democratic Party. Their howls of rage would either force a Democratic Presidential candidate to support the executions, and thereby allow a bleeding of strength to a Green Presidential contender, or oppose them and thereby alienate the American people. After all, how is the average American voter going to feel about a Presidential candidate who speaks out for the rights of terrorists?
In order to speed the execution process, all of the individuals in question ought to be tried by military courts. Some of them, such as John Walker Lindh, will have to be pulled out of civilian jails. I am, for obvious reasons, unable to compose a complete list of those to be executed, but I can think of at least a few.
John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, tops my list. It was a travesty that he was allowed to bargain down his sentence to just a few decades in prison. He should be placed on trial for treason, and executed by firing squad. This, quite obviously, would not be strictly Constitution but, with the right laws and lawyers, should be able to be fudged. If some leftists manage to stop Lindh’s execution, well, that can be added to the long list of disloyal acts by modern leftists.
Zacarias Moussaoui, the 20th hijacker, ought to be transferred from civilian to military custody, tried for conspiracy in the September 11th plot, and put to death. His execution would have the added advantage of pissing off the French, as Moussaoui is a citizen of that nation.
Asan Akhbar, the former member of the 101st Airborne Division who killed several of his comrades in a grenade attack during the Battle of Iraq, all the while screaming about Americans invading “our (Moslem) countries” should be hanged for murder and treason.
Abdullah al Muhajir (AKA Jose Padilla), the man who plotted to set off a ‘Dirty Bomb’ in a US city should be executed for conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and treason.
Yaser Esam Hamdi, an American-born Saudi who was captured while fighting with enemy forces in Afghanistan should be tried for treason and shot.
Abdurahman Alamoudi, the former director of the American Muslim Council and president of the American Muslim Federation, an ‘activist’ who was recently arrested for funnelling hundreds of thousands of dollars in Libyan money into the United States should be executed as well: again for treason.
Sami Al-Arian, a Palestinian-born University Professor from Florida, who was a senior official of (and top US-based fundraiser for) Islamic Jihad, a major terrorist group, ought to be added to the list.
None of the above, I might add, are presently at Guantanamo Bay- they are all either in custody somewhere as ‘Enemy Combatants’ or within the regular Federal judicial system. I picked all of them because they all deserve to die for their crimes and because, unlike those in Guantanamo, we know a fair amount about all of their cases.
Given the recent release of some prisoners from the camp at Guantanamo, I am now of the belief that every single person remaining in the camp was, at the very least, a member or supporter of al-Qaeda. After all, the US Government was selective about who they sent to Gitmo and selective over who the kept. They even released some people who, at the very least, trained in al-Qaeda camps.
Every prisoner still held in Guantanamo, unless they have turned and begun providing useful support to the United States or has some remaining intelligence value, ought to be put to death between now and the end of 2004. There are two advantages to this timetable: it means that, even if the worst happens and President Bush loses the election next year, at least all of the terrorists in Guantanamo will be dead. Second, it will generate a domestic and international controversy which will play well for the President during the campaign. Either the Democrats will have to cast themselves as the defenders of the civil rights of foreign terrorists, or they will have to alienate some of their supporters.
We are at war. It is time for the nation to start acting like it. In wartime the enemy deserves but one fate: death. Commencing the execution of those enemies presently held in American custody would send a resounding message to the world.
Brison Will be in the Martin Cabinet
Wait until Friday- I'll bet good money that Scott Brison, who suddenly jumped from the Conservative Party to the Liberals, will be in the Cabinet. There's nothing else to explain his behavior.
After all- Brison supported the merger, which was finally ratified all of four days ago. He supported it then. What has changed in the last four days? The only answer I can think of is this: he got a better offer.
Bet on it.
The Christian Science Monitor reports that Task Force 121, a special joint group, is being put together (and trained by the Israelis!) to engage in the targeted assasination of Ba'athists and their ilk in Iraq.
This, as you might have guessed, is a step that I have been advocating for months.
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
My Old Friend Adam Groves...
Weighs in on one of my recent posts.
His post seems as good as any to use to spring into discussing several charges against me which are flying about (odd, that people so convinced that I'm crazy spend so much time seemingly stalking me).
First of all, he accuses me of lying, on the Usenet, in 1998. This, from what I recall, is true- if after a fashion. I was simply using family income as my own, largely in the heat of political arguments. The only reason why anyone know about this is that I admitted it at the time, on my own. It was also, if I recall correctly, what led an individual who was convinced that I was a 'conservative Christian businessman' to track me down at my High School. In any case, if anyone is hurt to discover that, nearly six years ago, I once lied (or made a confusing statement) on the internet, I do apologize.
Adam Groves also states that I do not go to Harvard- this is both true and untrue. So far as I recall, I've never really claimed to be a 'Harvard' student, though a few people who have really investigated me have discovered this 'fact' by reading my profiles and discovering that I have a harvard.edu email address. Anyways, I'm not at Harvard, I'm in British Columbia (for those who doubt my existence, here's where I got my ass handed to me in the 2002 Municipal Elections, even if I did get 2500 more votes than were expected at the time). I have my harvard.edu e-mail address because I am presently working on finishing up a Bachelor degree through the Harvard Faculty of Continuing Education. In other words, I am a 'Harvard student' in the sense of the word, but I don't really feel comfortable being thought of or described that way.
As for why I'm in the program I am (as far as I know, I'm the only person from British Columbia so enrolled)- the answer there is quite simple: I couldn't stand Canadian schools, but lack the money to go to the United States (Canadian student loans wouldn't near cover the costs, and I pay my own way and barely make it by as it is). I looked at a number of American programs which provided distance courses, and settled on those offered by Harvard. It is an imperfect solution (I, for one, very much miss actual classrooms)- but it's the best I can do for now.
If you really must have proof, feel free to e-mail me at: email@example.com
Also, for the record, I really don't care what I said in various online games that some of you are 'threatening' me with. Those were games. Do you get that part? Games.
Now, as to Adam Groves' charge that I'm a 'collectivist'. Frankly, I don't really see why I should run from the title. In my experience, 'collectivst' tends to be a charge my mostly by Randriods. Yes, I value community and the state, I don't run from them. I don't want them involved in things more than necessary, but I don't want them involved in things less than necessary either.
Also, while I'm at it, I'd like to address the, "why don't you join the army?" comments. The answer to that one is simple: I would if I could. To even enlist in the US Armed Forces, you must first become a permanent resident of the United States. I'm not wealthy and, 1998 descriptions aside, neither is my family. I can't simply immigrate via investment. Because I'm Canadian, I'm not eligible for the Diversity Lottery. I don't have any close family in the United States. I am opposed to illegal immigration, and not prepared to immigrate that way myself. In any case, an illegal immigrant isn't a permanent resident.
I too wondered about the fact that 30,000 Canadians served in the Vietnam War, but there's a simple answer to that: those 'Canadians' were almost all US citizens. I also looked to the example of the 'Eagles' who fought in the RAF during World War Two, but no such exceptions seem to be being made this time about.
In fact, I contacted US Army and US Navy recruiters, and both times received the same type of answer explaining why I would be ineligible to enlist. I would post them here, but I notice that the messages contain a disclaimer warning me not to redistribute them.
So, as it stands, I'm going to school, working, and saving in hopes of moving at the earliest possible date. Once there, I would very much like to serve. However, as immigration via employment seems to be my only option, I suppose I will end up serving in the National Guard which I view as fully honorable but which I'm sure, come the time, some of you will attack me for.
Oh, yes, and I have arms which are very messed up (my right arm has two plates and a half-dozen screws in it, my left has about 50% of the mobility it should- the right a similar amount, both as a result of being broken and then having the repair botched by government doctors), so I don't even know of how much use I would be, save as a Clerk or something. So, I guess you'll attack me for that (or claim that I'm lying, which you're free to do).
On another subject- I see pictures floating about of me, leading to various comments about my weight. The answers is as such: yes, I'm overweight. Not horribly so- but perhaps by twenty or thirty pounds at the present time. If you don't like that: tough. I really don't care. Yes, it's a flaw- but a correctable one, if necessary. When I played hockey, I used to easily drop a huge amount of weight in a few months. But then, I see little reason to do so now, least of all to save myself from your personal attacks.
The reason why will not join the Canadian Armed Forces ought to be obvious: I hate modern Canada, and am looking to leave it when I can. I hoped for a while that there might be a conservative revival here, and I'll work hard if I'm here in the next election, as I have in the last few, but I don't see it. And I'd no sooner serve Canada than I'd serve France.
I bring all of this up, despite the fact that I deplore the entire 'Chickenhawk' line of argument as, seemingly, do most people outside of the far-left. It's a method of silencing opposition, more than a coherent argument. If everyone who supported military action was in the military, there'd be no one to argue for it politically. I wish to serve in the US Armed Forces not to please any of you, but out of respect for the fact that virtually every single one of my personal heroes served in them.
I can't censor comments, and I wouldn't be inclined to do so even if I could. But I would like to ask that, if you want to comment, that you at least think of something rational to say first. I don't spend my time investigating your personal lives, and it would be my preference if you would live mine private as well. This is a political blog, I'm not here to talk about myself or, really, to defend myself.
Oh, yes- I also once impersonated Tom Clancy on the Usenet as a joke. I apologized at the time, and still apologize. I thought it would be funny, but it really wasn't.
Also, I might as well admit this right now: in 1972, I did advise the Committee to Re-Elect the President that damaging documents might be obtained via a burglary at the Democratic National Committee. I'm sorry for that too.
Additionally, in the Fourth Grade, I once carried a snowball inside of a classroom and threw it at an enemy, I might as well admit that before someone posts an article entitled 'the real Adam Yoshida' detailing my violent tendencies.
OH- and, when I was three, I went to see the "Transformers" movie and cried when Optimus Prime died. I might as well admit that, I was afraid that there might be pictures.
I ALSO- and this leaves me deeply ashamed, paid money to see the film 'The Glass House' at a movie theatre.
Also, I purchased liquor as a minor (from our state liquor stores, no less, which cannot be privatized, because they never sell to minors).
Do we have the will to win?
In a special message to Congress shortly after the start of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln asked a timeless question, “Must a government, of necessity, be too strong for the liberties of its own people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?” This is the fundamental paradox of democratic governance: a democracy cannot be defended by democratic means. It is the question that is before us today: do we have the resolve to do what is necessary to win the War on Terrorism, whatever the cost might be?
I sought to discuss this topic the other day. I was only moderately successful. This is, I think, because I was so angry. I was angry because, for the first time, I could clearly and fully see the stakes in this war. Some of the advice I gave was foolish, born of fury. There’s no point in starting random arguments on the street, such a course would be counterproductive. But the core point remains true: it is possible for us to lose this war and, if we lose it, we will not lose because our armies have been defeated in the field, we will lose it because we have been bested by the enemy within, which operates in synch with the enemy without.
I begin to wonder if people fail to realize just how much danger the people, the nation, and the Constitution are in at the present moment. Forget all of those rants you’ve heard about Attorney General John Ashcroft and the PATRIOT Act. Instead, ask yourself this question: if, tomorrow, New York City, Washington, DC and Los Angeles were to be destroyed by nuclear attack, what would happen next? This is not a theoretical question, but a practical one. The only reason why the enemy has yet to launch such attacks is that, for the present time, they lack the weapons with which to match their hate. Does anyone seriously believe that, after such an atrocity, the people would defer to the positions of the ACLU? Frankly, I suspect that if, under the present conditions, such an attack were to ever occur the appeasers, the seditionists, the traitors and all others who have obstructed necessary measures towards the national defense would be extremely lucky to escape with their lives.
The survival of the Republic itself is at stake. This cannot be emphasised or repeated enough. If we fail in our sacred duty, the United States of America will either cease to exist or exist only in an unrecognizable form. After an attack which killed millions, either the appeasers would gain control, and the country would disappear, or the last patriots will be thrust into leadership and, out of necessity, will transform the nation into one giant armed camp: a garrison state.
Decades of liberalism have weakened our institutions and culture to such an extent, that I am left to wonder how long it will be before armed mobs of both political persuasions come to clashing in the streets. I do not believe that this is an unrealistic or wild prediction. Modern left-wing activists believe that the Bush Administration stole the 2000 Presidential election, murdered Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan and Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, staged the 9-11 attacks, and are using electronic voting to rig elections all across the country. What will these people do if President Bush is re-elected next November? What will they do before then?
What will those on the right do in Howard Dean is elected, prepared to betray the cause of freedom in Iraq, turn American foreign policy over to the United Nations, sanction the destruction of marriage, socialize the economy, and place the nation at risk of even worse terrorist atrocities? One wonders.
Sometimes people fight hard because the stakes are so low. Other times, such as now, they fight even harder because the stakes are so terribly high. Sometimes I believe that we will be very lucky if we make it through the 2004 elections with only political wounds, and only political deaths. In the past, bloodshed has accompanied some American elections, perhaps it shall be so again.
This is why the Republic is in danger. It is not so much in danger from enemy attack as it is in danger from the consequences of enemy attack. The nuclear destruction of even twenty or thirty major cities would not, several decades ago, have meant the end of the nation. It would have been awful, and it would have made life very hard, but it would not have been the end. Now I wonder.
The Post-American Generation:
Long ago, more than two decades before he became President, Abraham Lincoln declared, “At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”
The mystic chords of memory have snapped. This was not so much by accident as it was by design. Ronald Reagan saw it and warned us of it when he left us. Patriotism, he said, “won't last unless it's grounded in thoughtfulness and knowledge.” American children, he said need to know, “why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant.” He was right.
Contrary to the perceptions of some, American youth today are not stupid. They can, I am certain, tell you plenty about rap music, cellular phones, and Jennifer Lopez. They know more about computers and technology than any other generation which has ever lived. In all but one respect, they are probably the best educated generation of people in the history of the world. In all but one respect.
What they lack is knowledge of their country, of its fundamental institutions, and of what makes it great. They can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Eminem, but I am quite certain that fewer than one in one hundred of them could tell you anything more than the most basic details of the Battle of Gettysburg.
This is not just a sad thing, something to be lamented: it’s a dangerous thing and it is something that was done deliberately. The children of the baby boom did not value America, many of them in fact hated it, and so they taught their children to feel the same way. The schools, which were once the incubators of patriotic spirit, instead spread anti-American hate with nearly the same vehemence as you would find in a Pakistani Madrassa.
Surprisingly, most of them don’t so much hate America as simply not care much for it. Certainly, this system does produce hard-core anti-Americans (such as John Walker Lindh), but more often it produces individuals who are agonistic about Americanism. This can be seen best in an examination of the campaign of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. In truth, it does not appear that his followers hate America so much as they don’t think about it.
Personal Versus National Interests:
Someday sit down for a few hours and read Free Republic and Democratic Underground. Read the messages and think about what lies behind them for a bit. After a while you are left with the feeling that the people on Free Republic make decisions on what would be best from a national standpoint: how best to defend the country, how best to promote the growth of the economy, and the like. This can well be seen in the fact that support for tax cuts is overwhelming among conservative activists despite the fact that it seems to be quite obvious that, materially, the average person on Free Republic probably doesn’t have that much to gain from them. Democrats such as Howard Dean are bewildered by this: they shake their heads as they talk about how working class Republicans vote against their own economic interests. What they miss is this: working class Republicans aren’t stupid people, they know that they, personally, could probably get more extorted money if they voted for liberal Democrats, but they support Republicans because they know that tax cuts and Republican governance is in the national interest.
The thing that comes across mostly strongly when reading the writings of modern liberal activists is their selfishness. Ask yourself this: why are most liberals pro-choice? When you dig down, it has far less to do with their deep-seeded belief in reproductive freedom than it does with their desire to be sexually promiscuous and avoid the consequences. Why do liberals oppose tax cuts, even when they will boost the economy? Because they want more money stolen from others on their behalf. Modern liberalism is what you get when you strip away from a people their love of country and their fear of God: pure selfishness. Liberalism, not an Ayn Rand-style objectivist paradise is the ultimate result of selfishness because, as a general rule, the selfish are also lazy and would rather steal from others than produce on their own.
No nation is powerful enough to defeat the United States upon a foreign battlefield. Americans can only be beaten here, at home, by other Americans. When a significant percentage of the population would choose sodomy over the flag, how are we to trust in their loyalty? And, if we cannot trust the loyalty of so many of our own, how are we to ever defend against foreign threats?
The Two Threats:
There are now fundamentally two threats: the enemy within and the enemy without. The enemy without wants to kill tens of millions of Americans and impose Islamic totalitarianism upon the world. The enemy within is uninterested in stopping them, and willing only to fight those who are. The solutions I am about to advocate may sound extreme, as they are, but bear in mind that the medicine must be as strong as the disease.
We are winning on the ground in Iraq and, for the most part, we are winning in the general campaign against al-Qaeda. These, however, are just two battles in a much wider war. The final victory will not be ours until every Islamist organization in the world has been smashed and their members either killed or imprisoned. This war will not be over until the Ayatollahs are gone from Tehran and North Korea’s communist monarchy destroyed. The war will not be over until the second-tier terrorist states: Libya, Sudan, and Syria have all been bested as well. The war will not over until the living heart has been torn from the Islamist beast and his house is burned to the ground. This war will end when the Palestinians terrorists are destroyed, and the just rule of the State of Israel is affirmed. This war will not be over until Pakistan is fully stabilized and the Saudis are either convinced or coerced into ending their support for terror and Islamism. Only then will the war be over. And that, I might add, is only what we know must be done. We must also remain aware of what Donald Rumsfeld called the “unknown unknowns”, those strange developments that no one could ever have anticipated, expected, or prepared for. We must do these things or millions of Americans will die.
The question then becomes: how do we do these things if we are constantly faced by the enemy within? The short answer is this: we can’t. This is the ultimate truth revealed by the War in Iraq, for the left war in America has become a partisan issue. Being for or against American victory in Iraq is simply regarded as another position on the political spectrum. Among the Democrats, Joe Lieberman is for victory, Dennis Kucinich is opposed and Howard Dean is, as his fluffers in the media are so fond of claiming, a ‘centrist’. We cannot wage a war on global scale while constantly arguing over it, it is simply not possible. As things stand now, we could continue this global campaign for years, only to have all the work laid waste in a day in 2004, 2008, 2012, or some other point, where the American people, led by the post-Americans, choose a leader committed to undoing the work of years. No democracy has ever successfully fought a war while allowing the political opposition to work actively to undermine it. We should have learned this lesson in Vietnam.
While there were many poor strategic and tactical decisions made by the US Government and military during the Vietnam War, the fundamental truth remains that the war on the ground was still won. Should restrictions against attacks on critical Northern targets been lifted? Should North Vietnamese harbours been mined earlier? Should rules of engagement been loosened? Sure. But, despite all of the problems, the actual war itself was still won; victory was thrown away because the Government failed to take action to stop those working for the victory of the enemy within their own borders. In any previous major war anyone displaying the flag of the enemy (as was quite common during the Vietnam years) would have been arrested. Anyone travelling to a foreign nation to assist the enemy (as Susan Sontag, Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden and many others did) would have been arrested for treason and, quite possibly, executed.
This is what should have happened. The movement against Vietnam, as large as it was, would have dissipated very quickly after the first few dozen anti-war radicals were interned for the duration of the war. Were that to prove insufficient, it would certainly have gone after the first hangings of those who rendered active assistance to the enemy.
We forget now, but there was a great deal of ‘dissent’ during the Civil War as well. This came primarily from two sources: secessionists who wished to leave the Union and join the Confederacy (these, naturally, were found primarily in Border States which remained loyal such as Maryland, Missouri, and Kentucky) the second source of this ‘dissent’ came from Northern ‘Peace’ Democrats, known as ‘Copperheads’, who objected to the idea of emancipation and who claimed to favor a ‘negotiated settlement’ with the South which, in practice, would have conceded Southern independence.
If we were fighting the Civil War today, I have little doubt that every single Northern political talk show would feel compelled to bring on a Copperhead for each Union man and, in general, even the staunchest Unionists would concede that they had a perfect right to ‘dissent.’ This wasn’t how President Lincoln and other patriots felt in the 1860’s: they threw many of the Copperheads in jail and felt that they had a perfect right to do so.
What would have become of the United States had not measures been taken to reign in the ‘peace movement’? We cannot be certain, but does it not seem possible that, absent strong action, they might have caused the people against the North to turn against the war? And if that had happened, and slavery had continued in the South and the Union destroyed, would that have been a victory for ‘democracy’?
The problem with ‘dissent’ is that it can be subjectively viewed and portrayed as patriotic but, objectively, is pro-enemy and, therefore, treasonous. Think about it for a second, if you ‘dissent’ from the War on Terrorism, what are you saying? You are saying that you disagree with attacks upon the enemy. The natural end result, if the ‘dissenters’ were to gain power, therefore, would be a cessation of hostilities on terms favourable to the enemy. On whose side, then, are ‘dissenters’?
In this situation we are left with two viewpoints: one view wants to stop the enemy from killing millions of Americans and possibly destroyed the country and the other view dissents from the former. How is the latter not treason? And his is spreading it not sedition? This is a total war, a war in which the options for the nation have been reduced to victory or death. Therefore, to oppose victory is to endorse national suicide.
‘Dissent’ in Small and Big Wars:
Now, I fully realize that at least two previous wars are going to be thrown in my face: the Kosovo War and the Mexican War. There is a difference. While I strongly supported the Kosovo War (and, in fact, was heavily criticized by some at the time for denouncing those, including those on the right, who opposed that war) the war there was, very plainly, not a war for national survival. Opposition to that war may have been ill-conceived and disagreeable, but it could hardly have been classed as treason (in most cases- some elements of the paleo-conservative right certainly crossed the line during that war as well). The Serbs were not about to attack the United States, nor could they have in any way brought about the destruction of the nation: the terrorists can. There is, at least in my opinion, an obvious difference between opposing a little war, not directly related to the national interest, and between opposing a war for the life of the nation. Consider, for a moment, the moral difference between someone opposed to the Revolutionary War and someone opposed to the War of 1812.
Similarly, some will recall that (shamefully) many Whigs, including Abraham Lincoln, opposed the Mexican War. This is certainly true, though the wisdom of that war has been shown over the last century and a half. However, like the Kosovo War, opposition to the Mexican War cannot be classed as treasonable because the Mexicans posed no threat to the survival of the United States, nor did they seriously threaten the lives of a great many Americans.
In many ways, the seriousness of an American war can be gauged by the extent to which ‘dissent’ was suppressed during that war. No new Sedition Act was passed during the Gulf War, nor was one needed. Only in five of America’s wars has action seriously been taken against ‘dissenters’ and, in all of those cases, the survival of the nation has been at stake. ‘Dissent’ was suppressed in the Revolution, the Civil War, the First and Second World Wars and the early years of the Cold War. And, in all of those cases, it was suppressed for good and just reasons. We might cry over it now, but there’s also still a nation to cry over it now in part because of it.
What is to be Done Today:
So, finally, we are left with a single, simple, question: how do we win the war against the enemy within? I do not advocate the establishment of a dictatorship, America has never postponed an election because of war, and it cannot do so now. Rather, we must put in place the same sort of incremental restrictions upon our internal enemies as have been done in previous wars.
The first step should be taken against both the enemy without and the enemy within. It is expressly within the powers of the Congress to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in emergencies. On a limited basis, this should be done immediately.
A law could be passed suspending habeas corpus for all individuals believed to be planning, funding, supporting, or advocating terrorist attacks against the United States. This law could then be used to round up all individuals known to have links with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. It could also be used to round up Islamist propagandists within the United States- including the leadership of groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
There is precedent for this: after the Civil War Congress passed laws allowing the President to suspend habeas corpus on a limited basis in order to deal with the Ku Klux Klan. While it is true that in Ex Parte Milligan the Supreme Court ruled that habeas corpus cannot be suspended where civilian courts are functional, the Congress could find in its law that civilian courts are not functional in terrorism-related cases and hope that the Supreme Court knows the score. Of course, during the Civil War, Chief Justice Roger Taney found that the suspension of habeas corpus was illegal: and President Lincoln simply ignored the ruling.
The second step will be the passage of a new Sedition Act. Given the changing times, it will not be possible to make it quite as strict as that of the First World War, but the Congress should be able to cobble something together. It need not even target those who simply oppose the war: it could merely criminalize advocating victory by the enemy. There are enough people who make such statements that could then be thrown in jail. It should be recalled that the real point of such an act is to have a chilling effect on opposition, rather than simply to throw massive numbers of people in jail. In many ways, it would probably be more effective to jail a few dozen ‘activists’ than a few thousand.
Another way to crack down on anti-war material would be to make it a crime for internet service providers to allow the dissemination of seditious material via the internet. The punishment would be crippling fines. I suspect that, given the chance, various internet companies will prove to be much more effective at playing the thought police than the government ever would. Think of it as privatized oppression.
The third step will be to purge the government (and whatever other groups possible) of individuals of questionable loyalty to the United States. The key focus should be upon teachers, who have done so much to undermine patriotic spirit in America. In the long-term, no strategy for the defense of the nation will be successful so long as certain individuals are allowed to continue undermining the nation’s faith in itself.
Fourth, there must be a major propaganda effort made. A revived Office of War Information could be given a budget of twenty million dollars annually to be spent on pro-government, pro-American, and pro-war propaganda. This was done in every other war, and it should be done now as well. Studios which produce pro-American material could receive lavish subsidies, while those who create left-wing films, music, and television programming could be left behind. The theatres should be flooded with films like those produced during the Second World War, portraying the conflict and the armed forces in a positive light.
Fifth, press censorship must be put in place. The media was heavily censored in the Second World War (and the First World War), and it should be so again. Media outlets should be forbidden from reporting anything from the front that is not passed through a reporter embedded with a US or Coalition unit.
Finally, American history must be re-mythologized and made central to the education of future generations. The sad truth is, as a general rule, people generally go on believing the things they learn about history in school. The people of previous generations went through life believing that Americans were a good and noble people and the people of recent generations will probably go through life believing that Americans are genocidal, Indian-killing, maniacs whose history is a catalogue of sin. This needs to be changed: the traditional, triumphant, narrative of American history must be restored. Less time needs to be spent dealing the evils of slavery, and more teaching the nobility of Southern Warriors such as Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. This is the right thing to do because, for the majority of the American people, it is ennobling. Americans need to be taught that they are a special people with a special destiny made self-evident by their righteous history. The positives of American history need to be emphasised while the negatives glossed over and forgotten. This might, ultimately, leave the average American with a slightly less ‘accurate’ view of their own history, but it will leave them with a much better view of their country. The truth of history, especially for the average person, is only as important as the lessons that it teaches.
A Republic, if we can keep it:
Some of the measures I advocate may sound harsh. That is because they are. Harsh, extreme, and often undemocratic measures are required to defend democracy.
We wish to return to peace: the patterns of peace, the arguments of peace, and the decorum of peace. But the war is on! Anyone who does not see that is blind. The measures I advocate may sound extreme now: but will they after we come under biological attack?
While we must worry about the enemy abroad, we cannot ignore the enemy within. We could have killed ten times as many Vietnamese communists, and it still would have been ultimately meaningless if the Democrats were again allowed to abandon the cause of freedom. All of the Union victories in the world would have mattered not at all had Copperheads won control of the Northern Government during the Civil War.
You may say, “If we restrict freedoms, the terrorists will have won.” I say, “If we’re all dead, the terrorists will have won as well.” America has traded civil liberties for victory before: it’s a fair trade, and one to be expected. A total war cannot be waged by democratic means.
It is possible, perhaps, they we will even go too far. That is very well possible. But I’d rather everyone be alive and a few people have their rights violated than have millions dead, but the ACLU satisfied. In the worst case scenario, we can always give everyone who’s rights we violate a few thousand dollars and a formal apology four or five decades from now. Let some future generation worry about that.
We have a Republic, if we can keep it. We will not keep it by irresolution and timidity. Either we will strike out, and destroy all enemies: foreign and domestic. Or we shall perish.
Monday, December 08, 2003
Car Bombing Stopped, 31 Injured
We'll see how this plays in the media. It hit the wires a few minutes ago, we'll see how long it takes to get to television and how they show it.
The Passion of Christ
Early reviews are coming in and they're good. Very good.
This isn't the first person I've heard say that this might be the best, most important, film to be released in many years. Mel Gibson is an exceptional man. Certianly an exceptionally brave man.
I expect to hear more people denounce this film as time goes on. I also expect it to be a huge hit, much bigger than anyone is expecting.
It will do at least two hundred million dollars.
Sunday, December 07, 2003
Defeat is not Unthinkable
The enemy we are facing has several columns. Of these, the fifth is the strongest. Last week I discussed how, contrary to reports in the mainstream media, we are winning in Iraq. The problem is this: we can win ten thousand battles in Iraq and still lose the war. Ultimately, the question of victory or defeat will not be decided over there, but here at home. The one enemy which can defeat the United States is the one enemy that all of those brave soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen cannot meet upon the field of battle. The real enemy is the enemy within.
Those who have compared this war to Vietnam are correct. Not in the way they mean it, of course, but they are correct nonetheless. Why did America lose in Vietnam? It lost because there was a determined and organized element within its own population that was determined to see it lose. In the entire history of the world there has never been an army which could successfully march while being attacked in the rear by millions of their own.
Too many on the left (and, for that matter, at other points on the political spectrum) have come to few support of or opposition to a war of national survival as just another political spectrum. Is a candidate pro-life or pro-choice? Is a candidate for gun control, or against? Are they for the survival of the Republic, or opposed? It’s all the same to them.
We are facing an enemy which means to kill millions or tens of millions of Americans. The enemy is not fighting for some limited goal. Even if we were base enough to desire it, a negotiated peace is not an option. The enemy will not be satisfied until either they have been dispatched to their god or until they have conquered the world for Islam and consigned all non-Moslems to a state of Dhimmitude, a condition of slavery. There is no middle ground here, we have but two options: victory or death.
In these days of danger, the old divisions of party and ideology have become almost meaningless. There are but two parties now: patriots and traitors. Active opposition to this war is treason, and nothing less. Those who seek to obstruct all just and necessary efforts for the defense of the nation are, thereby, giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
I fully realize that my assertion of this doctrine will set some to screaming about the right of ‘dissent’. Well, as to that, let me say this. The right to ‘dissent’ is the right to remain silent, to disagree, to not participate. That is a natural right which is retained by every single human being under any condition. There is no right, however, to attempt to incite others to join you in undermining the efforts of a national at war. That is not dissent: it is sedition. There is no right to speak out in support of an enemy of the nation. That is no dissent: it is treason.
We have seen this before, in Vietnam. Those who we fight here at home will abuse freedom in order to destroy it. They claim the mantle of liberalism and the protections that it affords in order to attack liberal society. That is the question before us now: can we allow those who mean to destroy the Constitution to cloak themselves in it?
The enemy at home is well-entrenched and means to fight us to the death. Will we allow them to betray freedom again, as they did in Vietnam? Never! When I think of Vietnam, I can hear but two words echoing in the distance, ‘never again.’ Never again will we allow our forces to win a war on the fields of battle only to see that victory thrown away by the traitors and cowards at home and never again will we allow the shame of defeat to stain American honor.
Under the cover of darkness the enemy is on the move. They will strike at dawn. We have no option but to fight them, meet them, and ultimately destroy them. Our soldiers over there are doing there job, why do we not do our job? They have the courage to march into Islamist guns. Have we not the courage to deal with the traitors and seditionists who would stab our brave forces in the back?
Sometimes I think that the treason is so deeply ingrained in our society that nothing short of martial law, the suspension of habeas corpus, and the repeal of Posse Comitatus will do. Sometimes I think that we will need to think to the Revolution, where Tories and other traitors were dealt with harshly by a righteous people. I hope that I am wrong, but I do not deny the possibility.
This is too important to be dealt with civilly. Civility will bring us only defeat. We need to recall the spirit of those construction workers in New York City who, upon seeing a treason rally after the invasion of Cambodia, charged into the protests with their fists flying. The next time you see a person walking down a street with an anti-war button, even if they are minding their own business, call them a name. Start a screaming match with them. If a relative if yours opposes the war, refuse to speak to them, except in support for the war. If a bookstore displays anti-war books in a prominent position, refuse to shop there and explain to the owners exactly why.
We will never win by denouncing the anti-war movement as a whole. Altogether, they are too powerful to be easily defeated. Rather, we need to drive anti-war sentiments underground by making it difficult to be anti-war. For example, if you know for a fact that the owner of a small business is opposed to the war, look for ways to hurt that specific small business. Boycotting a large company, even one with obvious liberal leanings like Ben and Jerry’s or a movie made by some jackass like Sean Penn is unlikely to have any real effect. Rather, hit the small people. Make those who oppose the war pay a price for their treasonous beliefs. If they own a little market, picket it. They might have a free speech right to oppose the war, but you have a free speech right to oppose them. I want them to lose their businesses, lose their jobs, go bankrupt, and lose their homes. Given their great efforts against America, that is the least deserved by everyone who opposes the war. Stop thinking of people who oppose the war as your friends, family, and neighbours: start thinking of them as enemies of America who must be defeated if the Republic is to endure.
How can we fight the enemy within? Only by actually fighting them. So long as the domestic enemies of America remain shielded by the democracy that they seek to destroy, there will be no means to bring about their defeat. They control the media, they control the schools, they control the entertainment industry. Hell, these days, more corporate executives are liberals than conservatives. If we want to defeat them, we have no choice but to fight them and destroy them.
Our Russian Friends
People on the left are obsessed with gaining the love and approval of ‘allies’ that America does not need. The United States has little use for the friendship of France and even less desire for it. Allies are only of worth of they provide something of use: all the allegiance of continental Europeans brings is the certainty of annoyance and delay. They will not provide military aid and are not capable of providing it, even if they desired to do so. This does not, however, mean that America does not need allies. Rather, what the United States does need is effective allies who can provide a worthy contribution to the War on Terrorism.
Russia is on the way back. In recent Parliamentary elections President Putin’s ‘United Russia’ faction and its allies attained nearly 60% of the vote. The once-powerful Communists have been reduced to just 14% of the public, a figure sure to be eroded as more of its aging supporters die. Putin has cracked down on his opponents in recent months, effectively eliminating his competition. Some believe that the new Duma may even amend the Russian Constitution to either extend Putin’s term or make him President-for-life.
The Russian economy is growing and it is clear that the chaos of the early post-Communist years has passed. The question now for Russia is this: what path shall they take? Russia can join NATO, seek closer relations with the European Union, and seek to be a leader of the anti-American block. The left clearly anticipates and hopes for this, both in Europe and America. On Democratic Underground some leftists are already eagerly anticipating the rise of a Russian challenge to American power.
There is some reason to believe that this might be coming. After all, Russia did oppose the Iraq War. However, an examination of Russia’s motives in opposing the Iraq War (and in providing support to Iran) reveals something important which many have missed. Unlike France and Germany, Russia opposed the war in Iraq out of pure strategic calculation. Russia knew it would not suffer any adverse consequences from its opposition to the war and that it would help it to keep its position in the Arab and Moslem worlds. Russia does what offers the greatest gain for Russia. This means that, with a better offer, Russia can be turned. This is especially true given the solidification of the Putin faction’s rule of the nation. Putin is Russia today, and Putin likes America. Those who are lined up behind Putin are cut of the same cloth.
Russia is now one of the most Christian nations in the world. Certainly, it is a more Christian nation than any in Western Europe. When they met in person in June of 2001, President Bush and President Putin bonded over their common faith in God. If seventy years of atheistic Communist rule could not destroy Christianity in Russia, then nothing ever will. When a same-sex marriage occurred in Russia, the Priest who preformed it was defrocked and the Church in which it was performed demolished.
From this perspective, Russia shares far more in common with America than it does with Europe. After all, Russia has the death penalty as well. It also has what seems to be one of the least-regulated economies in the world. If Russia were to align itself with Europe, it can expect to be the subject of perpetual nagging over every possible topic. Membership within the European Union itself will never come.
Socially, America has few quarrels with Russia. Certainly, the United States will never demand that Russia abolish the death penalty, release some types of criminals, or undertake other silly ‘reforms.’ Nor ought the United States make such demands, for it shares a critical link with Russia: they face the same threat.
And what, we should ask, is the greatest threat to Russia today? The answer is obvious: radical Islam. The decades-long war in Chechnya is a war being primarily raged by Islamists that have increasingly taken their fight into Russia itself. Europe and the United States have opposed Russian actions in Chechnya, worrying about violations of the ‘human rights’ of people who blow up trains full of civilians.
The other primary threat to Russia comes from the People’s Republic of China, which is generally believed to covet Russia’s resource-rich but sparsely-populated Siberian lands. While China and Russia have, in recent years, been on friendlier terms than during the later years of the Cold War, this does not obscure the fact that China is a deadly threat to the future integrity of the Russian nation.
The United States and Russia, therefore, share two common interests: the destruction of radical Islam and preventing the emergence of a Chinese superpower. Russia and the United States share common enemies and, given the utter repudiation of communism in Russia, now seem to share common values as well.
The United States and the Russian Federation should be allies. I do not mean this merely in the theoretical sense that they should be friends, but I mean it in the literal sense: the two nations should sign a formal treaty of alliance, to be ratified by the Senate and Duma. The terms of the Alliance could be rather simple. The United States and Russia will agree to come to the aid of eachother in the event that one is attacked, they will give the other a free hand to act within their own spheres of influence, and do all the other simple things generally associated with an alliance. This arrangement should occur explicitly outside of the NATO framework. If the Europeans wish to make outside arrangements for their own defense, the United States will do so as well.
A formal Russo-American alliance would send a powerful message to the world. Europeans, were they ever to increase their anti-Americanism, would suddenly face a resurgent Russian bear on their flanks. The Chinese would find themselves pinned in: checked by the Russo-Americans to the North, East, and West and facing India in the South.
How do we achieve such an alliance? There are two tracks to follow. It seems likely that Russia has ambitions in Central Asia, where many nations have only recently emerged from decades of Russian rule. Given the chance, one suspects that the Russians would be eager to, at the very least, revise the post-Soviet order of things in the region. One of the main reasons why they have failed to act, is that they fear American retaliation in some form were they to move. The United States ought to (quietly) give Russia a free hand to do as they like in the region, under the condition that Russia will fully support American moves in the Middle East.
Second, it is time to end all attacks on Russia over its policy in Chechnya. The Russians are fighting terror there just as we are fighting terror elsewhere. It is a well-known fact that al-Qaeda is active in the region. If the Russians want to level every square inch of the rebel province, then we should let them do just that. The more terrorists that the Russians can kill in Chechnya, the fewer that will be available for duty elsewhere.
The Cold War is over. Looking back upon it there seems little choice but to conclude that, through it all, the Soviet Union was often more honest than many of the so-called allies that we have today. At least they were open about their treachery. Today Russia is free and on the road to being a great nation again. There is no reason to fear the ascendancy of Russia to the first rank of world powers and many reasons to welcome it. Let our common enemies face the combined forces of the Great Satan and the Lesser Satan.
Newt Will be Back
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich is criticizing the performance of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.
I don't agree with everything he says, but I do say this: Newt is going try and come back in a big way someday. Sooner, I think, than anyone thinks. I believe that he's either got his eye on the White House in 2008, or on replacing Powell as Secretary of State in 2005. Frankly, I believe he would be the perfect SecState. Cheney, Gingrich, and Rumsfeld running foerign policy. Imagine that.
I've always been a big fan of Newt. He's that exceptionally rare thing: a thinking politician. Newt actually has ideas. The problem he has is the same one that Churchill does: he has a hundred ideas each day, of which only five are good.
According to exit polls, United Russia picked up 37% of the vote in Russia's parliamentary elections, to 14% for the Communist Party. Two other pro-Putin parties picked up 12% and 9% of the vote, respectively. In other words, Communism is well and truly dead in Russia, and Vladmir Putin is, for all practical purposes, totally triumphant.
Saturday, December 06, 2003
The Joys of Cuban Democracy
Watch this thread on Democratic Underground. They're about to start arguing with eachother over whether Cuba is really a democracy. It's always fun to watch leftists who like to claim that Cuba is the 'most democratic country in the world.'
Dropped out of the race about twenty minutes after I finished and posted my last article. Great.
Edit: I pulled the earlier post, seeing as it has been overtaken by events.
Schizophrenics for Dean
The perils of having too many supporters:
hope that you will see fit to visit this blog over the course of the campaign to hear the voice of the mentally ill, which is so often ignored in our society. As you will see, the voices of the mentally ill, from New York City to Los Angeles, are lined up behind Governor Howard Dean!
Islamic Canuckistan: Part Two
Canada is apparently not as immune from terrorist attack as some would have us believe. Not that this is new news, at least not to those who have been awake these past years. A few miles from where I am writing at this moment Ahmed Ressam built the bombs with which he planned to blow up the Los Angeles International Airport. Prior to that, back further east, Ressam once planned to launch an attack on Jewish neighborhoods in Montreal. Earlier this year an Egyptian man on his way to Canada was reportedly killed while transporting a suitcase full on Anthrax to Canada. We are foolish to believe that our supposed virtues will be regarded as such by the same people who believe that the Red Cross is the vanguard of the crusading West. I somehow doubt that Osama Bin Laden is moved by our policies of official bilingualism and multiculturalism.
Now we have the news that Hamas, of all groups, dispatched a representative to Canada with the purpose of launching terrorist attacks on ‘Jewish and Israeli targets’. The Canadian government has responded to this outrage with its typical firmness, resolve, and moral clarity: by criticizing Israel for extracting and revealing this information. This is in the line with the moral courage they showed when, in responding to the threat of missile attack against Israeli passenger jets, the Federal government suggested that it might be best if Israeli jets stopped coming to Canadian airports.
One begins to wonder the extent of terrorist penetration in Canada. After all, in the case of the El Al planes coming in to Pearson International (Toronto’s main airport), apparently live man portable surface to air missiles were actually found. The extent of the current Hamas plot is unknown, but it makes clear a dangerous level of terrorist penetration in this country. To date, Hamas has not undertaken active operations in the continental United States, that it would do so here in Canada shows the extent to which the lax Canadian attitude toward terrorism has left us vulnerable to attack. We are a soft target.
It often seems (seems! It’s pretty obvious) that Canada cares more about the rights of terrorists than it does about defending its own people. After all, we’ve heard a lot more about the ‘rights’ of Mahar Arar, the Syrian-born Canadian citizen with al-Qaeda ties who was tortured by the Syrian government. The Canadian Government has put far more effort into getting al-Qaeda killers like Omar Khadr released from the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay than it has on capturing their associates within our borders.
Frankly, the longer the Canadian government fails to take sensible steps for our own defense, the greater the danger to all of us. More than that, if this government fails to take sensible, common sense, efforts to stop terrorism, the more likely of vigilante actions against terrorism taking place within our borders.
A few days ago Rocco Galati, the attorney for Abdurrahman Khadr (who admits to having trained in an al-Qaeda camp), announced that he was quitting the case because of a threat he had received. Absurdly, he blamed the threat on either US or Canadian intelligence services. What seems far more likely, especially after hearing the threat, is that it was delivered by a frustrating and basically well-meaning citizen who is sick of living in a country where the rights of terrorists seem to come about the security of the people. While I cannot condone threatening lawyers simply on the basis of the clients that the represent, I can frankly understand the sentiment. These people are trying to kill us and no one seems to care.
What will be the public reaction after al-Qaeda blows up a Synagogue in Winnipeg? One begins to wonder. Will we be ready to confront terror then? Will we ever accept the fact that we are all in great danger?
Unless we get serious about terrorism, one day we’re going to wake up and find a smoking crater in the heart of one of our cities and hundreds of our own people dead. Frankly, until our government takes effective action to combat the terrorists, we are with the terrorists in the war.
Our active negligence provides active aid to the enemy in this war. Failure to act when we are capable of acting is a form of assistance to the enemy.
Friday, December 05, 2003
Come on Hillary!
I'm increasingly convinced that most major Democrats have read no American history whatsoever.
In an interview with the Houston Chronicle due out tomorrow (and available to us thanks to our dear friend, Matt Drudge), Ms. Clinton says:
"This administration is in danger of being the first in American history to leave our nation worse off than when they found it."
One would think that, at the very least, Democrats would recall their favorite Republican, Herbert Hoover. They invoke him enough. I mean, yeah, sure. How about Jimmy Carter? Lyndon Johnson? James Buchanan?
After all, we know where history will rank her husband. I strongly doubt if historians, a century from now, will care much at all about 'jobs created' or 'one hundred thousand new police officers' or whatever other trendy slogan the Clinton Administration uses to seek its place in history.
Q: Do the Canadians speak Arabic?
A: Once they become Dhimmis they may have to
Read This Closely
So Hamas, it seems, was planning terrorist attacks in Canada.
Now, read this (from the linked article):
"A Canadian had confessed to planning attacks in North America on behalf of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, prompting an angry Ottawa to say it would reprimand the Israeli ambassador."
Yes, that's right. That's the kind of country Canada is. Israel discovers people planning to murder our citizens so we get mad at... Israel. This fucking country.
It's Official: Dean's Supporters are Losers
Read this, from the New York Times Magazine:
Last February, Clay Johnson, 26, took a trip from Atlanta to the Dominican Republic to visit his girlfriend, Merrill, who was studying linguistics at a university there. He carried an engagement ring in his pocket, but when he arrived, he said, Merrill was cold and distant, and he never gave it to her. Before he left, Merrill told him that she didn't love him anymore.
He returned to his apartment in Atlanta, where he worked as a freelance technology consultant. His place was also serving as a storage space for Merrill's possessions, in boxes, and as a temporary home for her two cats. He was allergic to the cats. He stripped to his underwear, lay on the floor in a fetal position and remained there for days, occasionally sipping from an old carton of orange juice. ''I was completely obliterated,'' he says. ''I didn't know something like that could actually cause physical pain.''
Yep, sure. He sat on the floor, in his underwear, in a fetal position, for three days. Dean sure is managing to draw a lot of mentally stable people. None of these folks are going to embarass him during the campaign, no sir.
I'm going to start up a new blog, I think. 'Mentally Deranged for Dean'.
Thursday, December 04, 2003
View the FI
We've got a great issue over at the Freedom Institute this week.
Trouble in Frog-Land
Apparently the new French nuclear-powed Aircraft Carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, functions so poorly that the French are already planning on replacing it with a British-built ship. It took eleven years to build, cost as much as a Nimitz-class CVN, can only carry forty aircraft, and has a reactor which gives off five times the allowable yearly dose of radiation to crew.
It's nice to have the French to laugh at.
Later this month President Bush is set to announce plans for an American return to the Moon. This is a good first step on the road to something much greater. It is critical for everyone to understand the role that military supremacy in space will play in the future security of the United States. From the Moon we must go to Mars and from Mars… onwards. Whoever establishes military control of the Earth’s Gravity Well shall be the master of humanity for all time. The race is on: the Chinese are preparing their own visit to the Moon- a pre-emptive American mission there will be of great use to the entire human race. The time is now: America has the technology, the resources and, God willing, the resolve to seize space while the opportunity exists.
What is not needed now is another cosmetic trip for a little bit of flag waving on the Moon. Future space missions need to be a component of a well-planned national security strategy which includes the military dimensions of space.
As things stand today the United States armed forces depend heavily upon space-based assets for intelligence, targeting, and navigation. Without the network of satellites in orbit GPS-guided weapons would be useless and American forces virtually blind. Various space-based assets are the critical force multipliers which allow the United States to operate with crushing speed, lethality, and efficiency. These assets depend upon a permissive environment in space. A GPS satellite has no defenses against an anti-satellite weapon. An opponent which mastered such technologies could launch blows which would devastate American forces, destroy nuclear early-warning systems, and cripple any future ballistic missile defense system.
The defense of these critical assets requires the emplacement of defensive weapons systems in space. Future generations of military satellite will either require their own defensive systems to shoot down missiles directed towards them, or they will need to be defended by ‘escort satellites’, mounted with enough weapons to defend an entire area. However, as things stand today, such a move would be illegal under the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. This is why the President must immediately move to repudiate that awful document, and seek to launch the era of American dominance of the stars.
Weapons placed in space ought not to be entirely defensive in nature. Manned and unmanned spacecraft, along with killer satellites, could be used to strike the space-based assets of other nations. Eventually, Earth-to-orbit weapons could be used to dole out vicious and precise punishment to other nations. Enemy communications satellites can be held at threat, thereby placing the civilian economies of advanced nations which dare to oppose American policy at risk. After all, if America controlled space, how difficult would it be to arrange a timely ‘accident’ for a key French or Chinese-owned communications satellite? Control of space by the United States would prevent any unfriendly nation from ever deploying a space-based missile defense, thereby making the United States the only nation with an effective defense against ballistic missile attack.
There would be a second advantage to be gained by repudiating the Outer Space Treaty: it is the terms of that document that prevent the United States (or any other signatory to the treaty) from acquiring lands in space. Sooner or later human colonies will be placed on the Moon and Mars: do we really want them to live under United Nations administration? That treaty will have to go sooner or later: better for it to go now, on our terms, rather than many years from now on Chinese or European terms.
Immediately upon exiting the treaty the United States could, by right of first arrival, claim the entire Moon as the sovereign territory of the United States of America. This might sound somewhat crazy at first, I know. But think about it for a moment. By being the first to get to the Moon, claiming it as American territory and, possibly, defending it with the force of arms, the United States can gain eternal possession of the Moon. And what good can come from possession of the Moon? Think about it.
Humanity will not remain Earthbound forever. The Moon is the logical initial point for human settlement. Because of its low gravity, it is the logical point for the construction of extra-terrestrial industry. Because it is beyond the gravity of the Earth, it will probably become the launch point for space missions beyond the orbit of the Earth, with specialized carriers taking cargo and people from the Earth to the Moon and other ships taking them on farther. We have, as yet, no idea as to what the exact mineral resources of the Moon are. They may amount to nothing or they may turn out to be of immense value. In other words, the acquisition of the Moon has the potential to be the most profitable commercial venture in the history of the United States.
Mars too should rest under the America’s shield. The long-term potential of Mars is nearly unlimited. An extensive program of terraforming could well eventually turn it into an Earth-like planet. In the short term, with adequate preparations, it could host a great many colonists and provide a new frontier for commerce and exploration.
Who knows, but it may well be given to us that we will be the generation with the sacred duty and special privilege of being at the vanguard of the true conquest of space. It may well be that we are not nearly so far off as we believed from a wonderful world in which humanity shall cruise among the stars and plant its progeny on a thousand different worlds. Who knows? We won’t. Not unless we try. Even if we fail, it shall be a truly noble endeavour.
Space, and the future with it, belongs to America if we have the daring for it. To Hell with anti-poverty programs that don’t work and education dollars which just make teacher’s union executives fatter: let’s do something useful. Let’s take the Moon. Let’s take Mars. Let’s claim the Sun and sail beyond it: to Alpha Centauri and all that lies beyond. Let us move in the limitlessness of space and forever ensure that American values, American history, American honor, American courage, and the American Union will be perpetual.
Do it now, while there is still time. If we do not get their first, someone else will. The Chinese are preparing their own Moon shot within the decade. They’re already shown they can launch a man into space: we have no time to lose. Whoever is the master of space shall be the master of all humanity.
Let us seize the Moon! Seize Mars! The destiny of America lies among the stars.
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
If a recent article in the Vancouver Province is to be believed, Filipino-Canadians live in constant fear of pogroms and other racist violence. What occasioned this revelation? The tragic murder of a seventeen year-old Filipino-Canadian boy… by a group of Indo-Canadian teenagers. The claim that his murder was racially-motivated came as a surprise to me, as it has come from the same sort of ‘Human Rights experts’ who had previously assured me that ‘racism’ was something that only white people are capable of. Mary Woo-Sims, the former head of the BC Human Rights Commission used the occasion of the murder to denounce racism and call for a greater focus on the problem of ‘bullying.’ The reaction to this sad event illustrates the problem that probably helped lead to it: our leaders are more interested in appearing to do something than actually doing something.
For the last decade or so ‘anti-bullying’ education has been a primary focus of various parent groups and educators. During my time in school, I sat through a number of sessions on the issue. In various political forums, I have sat through more nonsense while on the other side of the table. From all of this I have come to a single conclusion: the entire focus on ‘bullying’ is a ridiculous waste of time and money and it should be immediately scrapped altogether. I fully believe that, despite tens of thousands of hours of time and millions and millions of dollars, all of the efforts to ‘stop bullying’ in the past decade have not stopped a single child from being bullied, nor have they deterred a single bully from doing their work.
Similarly, I believe that many years of effort and massive amounts of cash spent on ‘anti-racism’ education have done nothing at all to actually reduce racism. If anything the well-meaning but thoroughly misguided efforts of so-called ‘anti-racist educators’ have worked to increase racism by encouraging various minority groups to hold onto (or ‘discover’) their native cultures rather than working to assimilate into society as a whole.
I know this because I went to a school that operated entirely under the sway of various modern educational doctrines. We actually flew the United Nations Flag in front of the school (despite many years of protest over the matter on my part), as a symbol of our ‘international character’ or some other such nonsense. We spent plenty of hours in sessions designed to ‘prevent bullying’ and ‘reduce racism.’ The population of the school was more than 50% Asian.
Despite all of this (or, perhaps, because of it) our school was effectively segregated by race. A few people of Asian (or, in my case, half-Asian) heritage fell into the ‘white’ side of the school (which also included the few dozen blacks in the school) - but, more or less, in four years of high school I don’t believe I ever spoke to a full-fledged member of the ‘Asian’ side of the school unless it was required for some reason. This was simply the way things were (and, I might add: don’t think this was a few decades ago. This went on during the 1990’s).
This was not out of any particular animus or hatred: it was just the way things were. The Asians were actually divided amongst themselves (there were Koreans, Taiwanese, and people from Hong Kong) and those who stayed to that side of the school spoke their native languages among themselves. Few of the other people I knew had any association with people on their other side either. In effect, we were parallel societies.
We see this in out world-at-large as well. Not too long ago an acquaintance of mine was shopping at a local mall. As all of the stores in it are adorned with Chinese lettering, I suppose it would be fair to call it a ‘Chinese’ mall. They accidentally bumped into an Asian individual while walking about. The person wheeled on them and shouted,
“You go your own mall!”
I don’t know if racism was responsible for this murder. I suspect that it was just another group of teenage thugs of a type which have become all too common in our society, which brings us back to the problem at hand.
If we want to get rid of bullying then we’ll stop making videos about it and punish people who bully. If we really want to stop bullying, we’ll teach kids to stick up for themselves, rather than relying upon the protection of unreliable teachers and administrators. I suspect a great many of the teenaged bullies we face today could have been stopped by a good, solid, punch in the first grade.
As a Side Note
I was just finishing writing this when I saw that Ann Coulter brought up cannibalism in her new column:
Judges are not our dictators. The only reason the nation defers to rulings of the Supreme Court is because of the very Constitution the justices choose to ignore. At what point has the court made itself so ridiculous that we ignore it? What if the Supreme Court finds a constitutional right to cannibalism? How about fascism? Does the nation respond by passing a constitutional amendment clearly articulating that there is no right to cannibalism or fascism in the Constitution?
Maybe Salon is right. But probably not.
Here Come the Cannibals
In discussions over gay marriage I’ve heard many people warn that acceptance of homosexuality will eventually bring with it incest, polygamy, bestiality, and pedophilia. Frankly, there is a logic to this that few are willing to admit. The premise behind the movement for the acceptance of homosexuality is that since gay sexual activity is private and consensual, it is the business of no one else. In other words, if actions between two (or more) individuals bring no actual harm to those who do not consent to be involved, then the state has no compelling interest in regulating, opposing, or proscribing that activity. The proponents of this line generally (though there are exceptions) claim that in this they are referring only to consensual homosexual activity. However, homosexual activity is not the only form of sexual practice proscribed by society which could be portrayed as consensual, private, and therefore free from any regulation and oversight. If two gay men have a constitutionally protected right to buggery, then on what grounds may the state forbid a Grandfather and Granddaughter from marrying eachother if they so choose? For what reason can they forbid that Grandfather from marrying both his daughter and his Granddaughter?
The idea that simply because an act is consensual and not harmful to anyone who has not consented to be harmed is dangerous. We are seeing the consequences of that idea now played out in a German courtroom where Arwan Meiwes, a forty-one year old computer technician, is presently on trial of killing and cannibalizing another man. But the catch is this: the man who he killed and ate volunteered for the task. In fact, the two men made together a videotape on which we see Herr Meiwes cut off and cook his victim’s penis, which the two of them then ate together.
Here is the question then: under the new standard of morality in our society, did Herr Meiwes do anything wrong? After all, he apparently had the informed consent of this man before he killed and ate him. We might find the practice gross and repellent: but what right do we have to judge?
I am not attempting to assert that consensual cannibalism sessions are about to become commonplace in our society. But, I do not know that they aren’t: Herr Meiwes claimed that he began having fantasies about cannibalism before his tenth birthday: and he apparently found his victim on an internet group made up of individuals of the cannibal sexual orientation. So, who knows?
The principle of consent is value-free. People talk about the rights of ‘consenting adults’ but, frankly, two sufficiently sick people can consent to pretty much anything. The entire concept is the result of an abdication of moral responsibility. Homosexuality does not lead to pedophilia because all homosexuals are pedophiles (though the evidence seems to show that gay men molest children at a much higher rate than straight men do)- acceptance of homosexuality as ‘normal’ will inevitably lead to an acceptance of pedophilia because, in order to convince a people of Judeo-Christian morals that homosexuality is acceptable, one must reconstruct morality to make the surrender to individual impulse a virtue rather than a vice.
Once we accept the idea that anything is alright just so long as the people involved agree it is, then we gradually lose our ability to make moral judgements. Really, the only thing preventing the advancement of a serious ‘child molester’s rights movement’ right now is the widespread (and self-evidently true) belief that child molestation is harmful to children. But I doubt we’ll have to worry about that for very long, since our finest ethicists and academics are already hard at work telling us just why pedophilia is A-OK.
Let us not be foolish. Despite the claims of some, by accepting homosexuality as normal, we are passing into the unknown. I do not know that gay marriage will lead to pedophilia: but I do not know that it will not lead to pedophilia either. After all, in many places, homosexuals have actively been at the forefront of the movement to lower the age of consent. In the early 1990’s, the International Gay and Lesbian Organization was stripped of its observer status at the United Nations after it was revealed that the North American Man-Boy Love Association, a pedophile-advocacy group, was a member.
If we strip away traditional morality, disregard it as a basis for the law, then we will soon find ourselves living in a world of social anarchy. That is, of course, if we do not already. The way things are going I suspect that, in a few decades, we’re going to be arguing about the need for an Amendment to the Constitution to ban cannibalism.
This is what makes politics so exhausting today. The left, with all of their money, all of their media, all of their tenured professors and all of the rest has plenty of time to argue about anything. When we remove the foundations of traditional Judeo-Christian morality, we suddenly place everything up for discussion all of the time, and we do so under conditions where the side that is for everything has a natural advantage. Suddenly, instead of talking about how to best defeat the terrorists, we suddenly find ourselves having to patiently explain why people shouldn’t be murdering, cooking, and eating other people. In our exhaustion too many of us are always willing to concede a little ground. But a conservative seeking to appease a liberal by giving just a little territory will have the same rate of success as the Israelis have had in giving just a little territory to the Palestinians. I can see Crossfire in about thirty years, with discussions centering on the moral difference between pre and post-mortem cannibalism, with ‘moderate’ Republicans explaining their support for the ‘right to choose’ to eat the flesh of the already dead, but expressing their opposition to killing people for that explicit purpose.
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
Something is rotten in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The problem is not, as some have asserted, that the United States is abusing human rights: the problem is that it is spending too much time paying attention to them and offering too much deference to so-called allies who cry about the rights of their terrorist ‘citizens.’
Abdurahman Khadr, the son of top al-Qaeda financer Ahmed Saeed Khadr, was released from Guantanamo Bay several months ago. He has now made his way back into Canada. He claims to have been ‘innocent’ of any crime- a statement which the United States Government apparently agrees with, since it released him. Oh: except for the three months he spent training in an al-Qaeda camp. Yes, that.
Why in the world is the United States letting anyone who trained in an al-Qaeda camp go? Even if you buy the assertion that these people ought to be treated as Prisoners of War, you don’t let enemy POW’s go before the end of a war! Anyone who has any connection with al-Qaeda who falls into US custody should be held in a cage for the duration of the war. If the War on Terrorism goes on for three decades, that’s fine by me. By all rights those who join al-Qaeda, upon capture, should be forcibly interrogated and then executed on the spot. Bandits do not have the protections of soldiers. Those who would join the terrorists deserve nothing more than a shallow and anonymous grave. There they can begin their journey to Hell: unknown, unloved, and unmourned.
Now we have word that Abdurahman’s brother, Omar, is going to be released as well. Omar not only joined al-Qaeda: but he killed an American solider. There can be no worthy punishment for him short of the rope, the bullet, or the bayonet. My best guess is that he’s being released because he was ‘only’ fifteen when he committed his crime, because trying him would cause problems with all sorts of human rights groups and the Canadian government (he, laughably, being a Canadian Citizen), and because, given the chaotic conditions of battle, proving he was the one who threw the fatal grenade would be difficult.
But none of that, so far as I’m concerned, matters. He killed an American solider: there can be no remission of such sins but by blood. The blood of our slain heroes calls out for the blood of their murderers. Let a thousand terrorists meet their deaths for each one of our own they take. The lives of those who join al-Qaeda, support it, or sympathize with it are, so far as I am concerned, forfeit. By joining or supporting al-Qaeda or a similar group one shows oneself to be less than a human being. There is only one fate that these terrorists deserve: violent and bloody death.
Some will say, “But these (alleged) people are soldiers, we didn’t execute Germans or Japanese who killed our own.” This is quite true. The difference is clear and simple: other armies are entitled to a certain respect and deference as a result of their status. However, al-Qaeda is not an army: it is a mob of bandit murders. Its members are owed none of the respect traditionally accorded to soldiers and none of the protections due either.
Once a person has committed a crime like that of Omar Khadr, they no longer have a right to life. They ought not to be entitled to food, water, or oxygen. The idea that this human refuse might soon be walking the same streets as I makes me shake with rage. I pray that a benevolent God will strike down this heathen sinner. After all, if I were to kill him, I’d probably actually go to jail for a long time, as it would doubtlessly be tried as a ‘hate crime.’ Some country Canada is.
This is a war. In wars, lives our lost. But, by God, let those lives be theirs and not ours. Almost all things may be purged away with blood, it is true. The sins of those who join, support, or sympathize with the terrorists can even be expunged by such means, if the quantity is sufficient. About 5.6 litres per terrorist ought to suffice.
Take That, Planned Parenthood
They're having trouble building a new abortion clinic in Austin, TX.
The Spending Question
I am not a fan of deficit spending. Yet I find it difficult to greet the cries and moans over the present Federal Budget Deficit with more than a shrug. This is wartime: deficits (as a percentage of the GDP) have been higher at many other points in American history. While I am loath to see so much wasteful discretionary spending, I believe that it is necessary to give the Republicans a little bit of room to maneuver given the circumstances.
This is a war. It is, I think, better to have a Republican majority and a few wasted dollars than to have a Democratic majority and lose the war. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t like Federal spending in general. If it were up to me I would probably slash the budgets of all non-security related organs of the Federal Government by half. But we can’t have everything else: now is not the time to fight. Either we can win the war expensively or lose it cheaply. If a little too much is spent now and passed to the taxpayers fifty years down the road (whom I shall probably be among), so be it. At least they’ll be alive.
My major concern is that the President’s economic policies, if sustained over the long term, carry the same risk as the Keynesian policies put into place by the Nixon Administration during the run-up to the 1972 election: inflation. However, it also seems possible that productivity gains will stomp inflation out of the economy to the point of causing deflation. It is even possible that inflationary policies will, in combination with deflation caused by productivity increases, work to stabilize prices.
The truly laughable thing about the present debates is to hear the Democrats cast themselves in the role of deficit hawks. Despite the various claims that President Clinton was responsible for balancing the budget, the truth of the matter is that the budget was balanced briefly during his tenure mostly due to a divided government which stymied spending efforts. The Clinton-era surpluses which President Bush is routinely blamed for ‘squandering’ were one of the greatest works of fiction in American history, nearly the equal of Ben Hur and Gone With the Wind. Basically, they were calculated by assuming that the surplus would remain a static percentage of the Gross Domestic Product onwards through the rest of time. By the logic used by Congressional Democrats, President Bush should be blamed for ‘squandering’ the six hundred and seventy-one thousand trillion dollar surplus which would have existed had surpluses continued to accumulate through the year 2529.
Liberals like to complain about the deficit, yet seemingly have no idea of exactly how they would retire it. After all, McGovernite attacks on the defense budget have largely gone out of fashion what with this being, you know, wartime and all. In fact, I have yet to hear a single appropriation to which any Democrat is opposed which does not involve either defending the country or keeping convicted rapists off the streets. So far as I can tell, the left plans to get rid of the deficit by wishing it away as they blow out the candles on their birthday cakes.
Well, that isn’t entirely true. They do have one way to eliminate the deficit: they’re going to raise taxes. Except, of course, they don’t call it exactly that. Rather, they like to talk about ‘repealing’ the Bush tax cuts. Except most of them plan to use the money from ‘repealing the Bush tax cuts’ to ‘fashionably throw money at health care.’ So, I suppose, they’ll raise more revenue by repealing the Kemp-Roth tax cuts, the Kennedy tax cut, and retroactively reinstituting and collecting the income tax which was instituted in the midst of the Civil War. Presumably they will refer to this process as, “the repeal of Andrew Johnson’s tax cuts for the wealthy.”
Politics must always be the art of the possible. While it is important to work for fiscal responsibility (and there needs to be more of that than we see now), it would be suicidal to break with the Administration over this issue, as some have called for. Democrats can hardly be expected to overcome their nature and behave in a fiscally sane fashion. Libertarians (their other faults aside) can’t win. Criticize, sure: but do so constructively. Blanker denunciations of the President and the Republican Party over this matter are senseless and unproductive. More than anything else, we must be united so that we can win.
Monday, December 01, 2003