Sunday, February 29, 2004
The Fraud of Andrew Sullivan
He knows full well that bringing gay marriage to one state will bring them to all states- and he's deliberately fudging that point to fool gullible conservatives. The other day David Frum asked him eight very sensible questions about what ought to happen when a gay couple has a marriage which is recognized in one state and not another. Today he responds by simply ignoring the substance of the questions and attacking Frum's position on gay marriage.
The problem is that Sullivan (and other gay marriage proponents) are being deliberately intellectually dishonest in this argument, and their dishonest is being abetted by others.
They favor gay marriage everywhere, every time. After all, if they believe (as Andrew Sullivan clearly does) that opposition to gay marriage is the equivalent of opposition to interracial marriage (and he believes that the Constitution of the United States protects such a practice) then how can he think it would be ok for some states to make gay marriage illegal?
Essentially "let the states decide" is code for "let gay marriage reign". The moment gay marriage is fully secured in one state, it will be used to spread the contagion to every other state in a matter of months and to force its recognition by the Federal Government.
PS: And as for the question of how many of the "benefits of marriage" I'd grant to Mr. Sullivan and his "partner", the answer is simple: zero. The benefits of marriage are designed to protect families (useful families), not sexual partners.
Winning Without Fighting
Some on the left are screaming about the ouster of Haiti’s wayward President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, claiming that what occurred was nothing less than an American backed “coup” and calling for Congressional investigations. I don’t know if I believe the reports that former President Aristide was led from his house in handcuffs by US Marines, though I wouldn’t much care if he was. What everyone fails to realize is this: the events of the few weeks in Haiti are a perfect illustration of just how successful the foreign policy of George W. Bush has been, why he must remain in office, and why someone like him must ultimately be his successor.
Consider this for a moment: the serious crisis in Haiti erupted less than a month ago. Today Aristide is gone and a Marine Battalion is on the way. In another few days the issue will have disappeared from public sight altogether. Compare that to the extended row over Haiti during the early 1990’s. It spanned several years and featured: a major refugee crisis, US forces turned away by an angry mob, and finally a resolution coming only with American paratroopers in the air on their way to invade the island.
The greatest success a leader can have is not winning a war: it is attaining the fruits of victory without having to fight. Only when the American military is strong and when the threat of its use is credible can we have peace and order in this world. When President Clinton threatened military action against someone, it meant a year of discussion (and often more), typically followed by a last-minute diplomatic resolution. When bombing came under Clinton, it would typically last for a few days and be quickly lifted.
Because of this, when President Clinton (or someone in his Administration) made a foreign policy statement it was generally a standard practice for foreign tyrants to laugh and spit in America’s face. Clinton talked tough about terrorism, but did nothing. He talked tough about Iraq, but did no more than bomb it for a few days. He talked tough about North Korea, and then gave them aid and nuclear reactors. The only foreign enemy of the United States to be ousted during the Clinton Administration was removed from power only after a three month bombing campaign, and even in that case, the actual removal came a year and a half later and at the hands of his own people. Nine out of ten times, a Clinton threat would be forgotten by the day after tomorrow.
This isn’t the case for President Bush. When George Walker Bush says, “you should go,” then you’d better go unless you plan on rapidly becoming a prisoner or dead. As a result of the actions of the Bush Administration no fewer than four tyrannical leaders have either left power or been deposed. Another has given up a weapons of mass destruction program which was far more advanced than anyone realized and, in so doing, has helped to expose the extent of the weapons programs of our other enemies.
In arguing for the invasion of Iraq, one of my key points was that a successful war there would, in fact, make fewer conflicts necessary in the future by convincing others of American strength and willingness to use force. One of Donald Rumsfeld’s famous rules holds that, “weakness is provocative.” One of the reasons why America faces so many enemies today is that people around the world had become convinced that America was weak and unwilling to use force. Saddam Hussein was given the chance to go: he didn’t. Now he is in jail. A lesson learned.
When President Bush told Liberian President Charles Taylor to go, he went. When his surrogates told President Aristide it was time to quit, he did (either voluntarily or involuntarily). The dictator of Libya gave up his weapons because, as he told the Prime Minister of Italy, he saw what happened to Iraq and he was scared. Saddam Hussein and the Taliban failed to heed the warnings of America and, resultantly, have paid a heavy price for their sins.
Under George W. Bush, America’s words mean things. Those who ignore American threats or, for that matter, disregard American “suggestions” do so at the peril of their very lives. The leaders of the world know this and are increasingly behaving in an appropriate fashion.
The left is fond of talking about how President Bush has, “hurt America’s standing in the world.” Yet, in truth, he has done more to improve it than any other President in living memory. Never in the history of the United States have foreign tyrants ever had to so fear the word of the President of the United States. Foreigners know that America’s words are to be feared and heeded. That is what really counts, not how the United States is spoken of at French dinner parties.
What we are now seeing is a revolution in world affairs. The sort of local crises that would, in the past, have consumed the attention of the world for years are now resolved in weeks. American will is bringing order to the world.
This revolution is too important to be aborted now. A tide of liberty is sweeping over the world, striking fear into the hearts of tyrants and madmen who dare to defy America’s might. Every dictator in the world must now go to bed wondering if he will be facing an unstoppable rebellion in the morning.
President Bush is bringing this about through his leadership and strong sense of moral purpose. Do you really think that John Kerry could do the same? The John Forbes Kerry who isn’t sure if God is on the side of America?
A combination of moral purpose and military strength is the key to national power. It is of no use to stockpile great quantities of weapons which you are unwilling to ever use. Not is it of any use to be prepared to use force but lack the weapons of make that force effective. America has both.
Aristide is gone. Many on the left, such as the ever-annoying Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel, and Barbara Lee are afraid that Castro or Chavez will be next. I hope so. We are cleansing of the world of evil, one step at a time. Four enemies gone in the era of Bush, and more will be coming, the shouts of the left be damned.
Saturday, February 28, 2004
Bin Laden on Ice
When Saddam Hussein was captured in December, several people pointed towards evidence that suggested that he had actually been seized at an earlier date and that the actual “capture” was a staged event. At the time I dismissed those reports as simply the nonsensical ravings of tinfoil-hat liberals. Now I’m not quite so sure. The more I think about it, there would be a great deal of sense in keeping the capture of a major figure like Saddam (or Osama Bin Laden) a secret for some length of time. And, contrary to the assertions of a radical left desperate to turn everything into a cause for hatred of George W. Bush, I see nothing at all wrong with such a scenario.
Consider for a moment the tactical advantages available in such a situation. If you were to capture Bin Laden tomorrow, and that capture was initially known only to a very small circle of people, his interrogation could potentially provide a great deal of actionable intelligence. Why should such a chance be thrown away for the sake of immediate disclosure?
Think back to the capture of top al-Qaeda planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, nearly two years ago now. Many people suspect that he was captured (and interrogated) at an earlier date, and that the intelligence he provided led to any number of further captures. I have no idea as to whether or not this is true, but it makes a great deal of sense.
The idea that Bin Laden has already been captured and is being held for a politically opportune moment is a popular one on the left. I, for one, wonder why that would be so wrong. Were Bin Laden to be captured in such circumstances that it could be kept a secret (say by a Special Forces A-Team in a battle where all his accompanying bodyguards were also captured or killed) he could be interrogated at the leisure of the United States and, even better, he could potentially be used to send confusing or disruptive messages throughout the network.
Naturally, the great problem with this is that the uncovering of such happenings would create a political uproar. The left would accuse the President of lying to the American people, of running the war for ‘political gain’, and of every other form of perfidy that they could imagine. Herein one can see the real dangers created by the deliberate effort of the left to politicize the war: the President could be constrained from taking actions which would save American lives for purely domestic political reasons.
I am often mindful of Churchill’s remark that, in war, the truth must be protected by a bodyguard of lies. Deception of all sorts is a central strategy in conflict. I doubt if it would be possible to run an equivalent of the Manhattan Project today. Some fool would decide to be a “whistleblower” on the project, the New York Times would run it on the front page, and angry Congressional committees would haul the leaders of the project before it for lengthy questioning.
One of the key reasons for the success of the Normandy invasion was the creation of a fictional army group in England which was supposedly going to attack at Calais. As the Allies waded ashore at Omaha, Utah, Sword, and Juno beaches the Germans kept invaluable armored divisions tied up to defend against an assault by the fictional First US Army Group. The plan was sold to the Nazis, in part, by taking the corpse of a dead homeless man, dressing him up in the Royal Marine uniform, and dumping him in the waters off Spain with a suitcase containing fictional invasion plans handcuffed to him. If such an event were to be repeated today, I imagine that everyone involved would end up hauled before a variety of human rights tribunals and served with papers from all sorts of civil liberties groups.
The greatest danger we face now is that we will allow our warfighting capacity to be restrained by the politically nonsensical theories of the modern left. If we can gain by keeping Bin Laden hidden away in irons for a bit (and revealing him at the appropriate time), then we ought to do just that.
Already we have seen this in at least one case in this war. When the Pentagon set up an office to fight the propaganda side of this war, howls from the left (and from supposed ‘centrists’ and ‘principled’ conservatives) forced its shut-down on the grounds that it might (shock of shocks!) spread disinformation.
In order to win this war we’re going to have to give the Federal Government a lot of running room. They might have to lie to us, and we ought to accept that.
Thursday, February 26, 2004
A Transcendental Experience
Don’t listen to any of the people who have attacked Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. Yes, it is violent: extremely violent. I’m not entirely sure if it’s quite as violent as some have made it out to be. For example, I have a hard time believing that it’s the most violent film that Roger Ebert has ever seen: I know for a fact that Roger Ebert has seen the vile Last House on the Left (Wes Craven’s first film which, among other things, graphically depicts intestines being dragged out of a human body) and I Spit on Your Grave, an execrable film which features a gang rape scene which runs for nearly a third of the movie. I’m not even sure if The Passion is much more violent than the opening minutes of Saving Private Ryan.
In part I think that the fuss over the violence of the film is a result of nitpicking critics who were never going to approve of the film anyways. The Newsweek film critic who launched one of the most extended attacks on the violence of the film praised The Dreamers at length: a film which features heavy incestuous themes and features a scene in which the blood of a girl who has just lost her virginity is smeared on her forehead. This is not to deny that the violence in the film is deeply moving and disturbing and that it needs to be that way: it is, after all, a film about the crucifixion! Frankly, I suspect that the violence meme will be picked up and passed on because a lot of people who are going to see this film are people who haven’t seen a Hollywood film in years. Certainly, the vast majority of the people who see it will not be familiar with some of the other truly violent films which have been released in recent years.
Some people have dubbed the violence in the film “pornographic.” This is an absurdity. Violence is “pornographic” when it serves no purpose but to titillate when violence is served up, as it is in many modern movies, simply to amuse. That is definitively not the case here. How was Mel Gibson to tell the story of the Passion without truly showing the sort of suffering endured by Christ? The Passion of the Christ truly conveys the scale of the horror in a way I would have not thought possible. Though, in many ways, the scope of the violence is less than can be found elsewhere it is affecting because it brings to life in a nearly unimaginable way a story with which we are all familiar.
Others have attacked this film (since and before its release) for supposed “anti-Semitism.” This is an absurd libel against the movie. Anyone watching the film with their brain engaged will understand several things. First, Christ had to die: his death was foreordained. It was demanded by his existence. That is why Christ submits rather than resists: it was inevitable. Second, the “Jews” didn’t kill Christ, some Jews and Romans did. For every Jew we see in the mob, there is another that is a disciple of Christ, who stands up for him in the temple, or who offers sympathy or assistance along the way. The real “villains” of the film are the sadistic Roman soldiers who cheerfully and brutally whip and scour Jesus. But even the Roman soldiers are not universally evil: several clearly regret their duty, while others are merely carrying out a routine task.
I’m not a film reviewer, so I don’t plan on addressing the artistic merits of the film at any length. The performances in this movie are very strong. But this is something that you really must see to truly understand. The film is a transcendental experience, something that cannot be adequately described.
This, I believe, is the one film of recent years which will still be widely known and watched half a century from now. After all, does anyone really believe that people will still care about American Beauty, Chicago, or A Beautiful Mind in 2054? Perhaps the Lord of the Rings films will still be widely known, though I’m not all that certain. This is a special film, an exceptional film. It is probably a one-of-a-kind thing.
Mel Gibson took exceptional risks in making this film, and he deserves to reap exceptional rewards for it. The film has already made back its entire production budget in a single day: it will make back the costs of advertising and distribution (and then some) today. By the end of the week, it may gross as much as $100 million. It did $27 million on Wednesday, should do at least $15 million today, perhaps $25 million on Friday, $20 million on Saturday, and who knows how much on Sunday. Contrary to traditional pattern, this film may have a massive Sunday: probably the biggest in the history of film. Once the movie has been shown worldwide and released on video, DVD and cable, I would not be at all shocked if Mel Gibson became a billionaire.
The only downside I see to this is that now other studios will jump in and probably fail. This is a movie which is successful only because it has been made with great love and care.
Go see this movie. Even if you don’t think it’s quite your thing. Go see it. You will regret it if you do not.
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
The Passion of the Christ
I saw it this afternoon. It was amazing. I will have more to say tommorow.
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Can the FMA Pass?
The fight is on. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom have placed the issue before the nation. With President Bush’s endorsement of the FMA, the battle has been joined. The question before is no longer, “should we fight for a Marriage Amendment?” Rather, it becomes, “how do we pass it?”
In order to pass the Amendment will require the assent of 2/3’s of the Congress and thirty-eight states. The struggle will be difficult on both fronts, as it seems possible that the Democrats might seek to line up against the amendment nearly unanimously. But that is far from certain. Dogmatic opposition to the FMA could potentially hurt a number of Congressional Democrats who represent socially conservative states.
The following incumbent Democratic Senators voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996: Joe Biden of Delaware, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, John Breaux of Louisiana, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Tom Daschle of South Dakota, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Bob Graham of Florida, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Carl Levin of Michigan, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Harry Reid of Nevada, Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, and Paul Sarbanes of Maryland.
Now, obviously, not all of these will now vote for the FMA. But, certainly, a number of them will. Assuming that fifty of the fifty-two Senate Republicans vote for the Amendment (I’m guessing that Lincoln Chafee and at least one other dissident will vote against) then the Republicans need to pick up the votes of seventeen Democrats. Zell Miller of Georgia can, I think, be counted as a given. The same can probably be said of the fairly conservative John Breaux. Can an additional fifteen votes be squeezed from the Senate Democrats? I think so. After all, thirty-two voted for the Defense of Marriage Act, and not a few are up for re-election this year.
The harder part comes in the House of Representatives, where the Republicans would need two hundred and eighty-seven votes to pass an Amendment. This would probably require the defection of something like eighty Democrats. Given the huge number of safe districts created in recent years along with the increasingly strident leftism of the House Democrats, I’d suggest that it will be difficult to pick up more than forty Democratic votes (and you’d probably lose a number of libertarian-minded Republicans too). The House is the second most difficult part.
Most problematic would be securing the ratification of the amendment by the states. While it is true that, at the present time, thirty-eight states have their own Defense of Marriage acts, getting thirty-eight states to ratify a Constitutional Amendment will be another thing altogether. I think it is safe to assume that such an Amendment will not be ratified by a number of states (California, Hawaii, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois come to mind). In a number of other states, ratification could be blocked by determined Democrats for long enough that gay marriage becomes a fact on the ground.
This assessment sounds gloomy, I know. If we cannot pass an Amendment, why invest political capital in fighting for it? The answer is simple: we may not be able to pass an amendment this year, but that says nothing about what will happen the year after that.
Marriage foes are gleeful about polls that show the public to be evenly divided over the FMA. One recent poll, which they have heavily cited, shows the public against it by seven points. What they miss (or deliberately omit) is the rest of the story.
When asked if they favor a Constitutional Amendment which bans marriage in all states, people are opposed 41-48. When asked their opinion of a law which would allow gay marriage in their own state, the same poll sample showed that people were opposed 30-64.
This support was across the board: in the South 70% were opposed, in the West 63%, in the Mid-West 61% and in the Northeast 60% were opposed. Support for gay marriage was highest among people aged 18-29 at 41%. Given that people in these age groups vote at a lower rate than other groups and that this was a poll of “all adults” instead of registered or likely voters, one can infer that, among voters, roughly 65-70% of voters nationally are opposed to gay marriage in their own state.
Now, what can we draw from this? The first is that support for the Amendment is going to go up as people learn more about it. This same trend has been seen in both Canada and Massachusetts. After moves were made to legalize gay marriage, support in both areas fell by nearly ten points (resulting, in both cases, in a majority narrowly opposed). Second, people don’t yet understand the need for an amendment. Many oppose the Amendment because they feel that, while they don’t wish to see gay marriage in Indiana, they see no reason to deny it to the people of Massachusetts if they wish it. When the learn how, because of the full faith and credit clause, the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts (or California) will lead to the legalization of gay marriage in their home state, the support numbers for the amendment will move noticeably upwards.
This is a good debate for Republicans and a bad debate for Democrats. 83% of Republicans oppose the idea of bringing gay marriage into their own state. The same holds true of 55% of Democrats. Now, naturally, not all of the 12% of Republicans who support gay marriage or the 55% of Democrats who oppose it are going to vote on the issue. But some will. Which side is likely to pick up more votes as a result? With numbers like that it is difficult not to conclude that for every Andrew Sullivan lost to the GOP there will be several Democratic crossovers.
In particular this is a good debate for Republicans because the position of leading Democrats on the issue will not stand up to scrutiny. John Kerry voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, but now claims to be opposed to gay marriage. However, he’s opposed to the FMA because he claims that it’s “divisive.” In short, his position can be summed up as such “I’m opposed to gay marriage, but I’m also bitterly opposed to doing anything to stop it.” This is the sort of cynical political argument which one can use to gloss over an issue, but which will not hold up to debate. One can be for gay marriage or against it, but not both at the same time.
By forcing the issue, the brash and young Mayor Newsom has played directly into Republican hands. The previous Democratic plan for the legalization of gay marriage has been shot to hell by his thrusting of the issue into the spotlight. Until a few weeks ago, the Democrats planned to insist that they opposed gay marriage, that the Defense of Marriage Act already banned it, and that any efforts to pass a Constitutional Amendment to stop it were based upon paranoid fears inflamed by “homophobic” bigotry. Then, when one state (likely Massachusetts it seemed) legalized gay marriage and that legalization was followed up by Federal Court decisions legalizing the practice in all states (using both the Full Faith and Credit Clause and the decision in Lawrence v. Texas), they would treat the matter as a fait accompli. Tens of thousands of gay couples across the country would rapidly marry, and Republicans would be called upon to “move on” and “accept the will of the court”. It probably would have worked. Efforts would have then been made to bring in the FMA, but they would have been rendered futile by the reality on the ground. The media would fill with stories of sympathetic homosexuals who would be “divorced” by the passage of the Amendment.
So, how do we pass it? There are two roads. It may be possible to, this very year, have an amendment passed and ratified by simply taking the spirit of the FMA and inserting it into the Constitution. “Nothing in this Constitution shall require any state to recognize any marriage conducted in any other state that is not between a man and a woman nor shall this Constitution or any state constitution be interpreted to require marriages between persons of the same sex.” Such an Amendment would, I think, be fairly popular and passable. However, it is possible that Congressional die-hards might even stall an amendment so-worded. Still, it’s probably worth a try. The end result would probably be that a few liberal states would legalize some form of gay marriage (and, perhaps, recognize each other’s gay marriages) while others would refuse to recognize them. States, if they so desired, could pass laws authorizing gay marriage: but no court could force them to do so.
Naturally, I’d prefer to see a different scenario unfold. Put forward the original amendment- let the Democrats defeat it or hold it up. Then campaign on it: hard. This is the wedge issue to end all wedge issues. Sure, you’ll lose a few Republican votes, but the same issue can be used to slice and dice the Democratic Party. In many states, incumbent Democrats will either have to follow the party line or face angry voters. This is the year to do it, by 2006 or 2008 the initial passions will have calmed.
The issue can even be extended into the states, with campaigns for the State Legislatures fought on the issue. Will it be “divisive”? You bet: but it will divide them far more than it will divide us. Those “Republicans” who will abandon a President in wartime over the radical redefinition of an age-old institution in order to appease a gang of sexual fetishists and their fellow travellers were never worth having in the first place.
In fact, of the most important wedges that Republicans can drive with this issue will be in the black community. Polls consistently show that American blacks are generally less pro-gay than the population as a whole. A great many of them do not take kindly to the efforts of gay activists to compare their “struggle” to the actual one that blacks in the United States have faced. The fact that many national Democrats now make this comparison with regularity can probably be profitably used. A skilful ad campaign in black markets, noting how many white Democrats have suggested a moral equivalency between blackness and homosexuality might generate a substantial number of new Republican votes or, at the very least, helpfully suppress black voter turnout. In any case, it will force the Democrats to respond: if they respond by waffling, it can be used against them- and if they respond by restating their position it will cost them votes.
Of course this is a “divisive” issue, but that should be regarded as a positive. I am unaware of any issue worth fighting over which is not “divisive” to some degree. With enough will and skill we can use the sharp edge of this issue to slash the throat of the Democratic Party and divide its head from its body. That’s the sort of division I seek.
If we can turn 2004 into a Democratic rout, the odds are very high that, come January 2005, a new the 109th Congress will be able to send the Amendment to the states.
This will not be a battle for the faint-hearted. While President Bush will have to take the high road on the issue, the real fight here will be in the gutters. Republicans have an aversion to knife-fighting that we’re going to have to overcome in order to win this thing.
Let's Predict the Passion of the Christ!
How much money do you think it will make:
B) During the opening weekend?
A) $25 million
B) $80 million
C) $220 million domestic
And, naturally, I believe that these are conservative estimates.
The Hollywood Stock Exchange, FYI, has it doing $40 million Friday-Saturday. But that's just a SWAG.
And, regardless of the exact numbers, I'd like to take this moment to taunt all the readers who told me about four months ago that the movie would:
B) Make roughly the same as The Last Temptation of Christ (IE $20 million).
This is going to be huge. I, for one, am taking the day off tomorrow to see it at noon.
UPDATE: Roger Ebert gives the movie four stars.
Cherry-Picking Poll Data
Some people on a pro-gay kick today are touting a new Annenberg Poll which shows the public opposing the FMA 41% to 48%. On the face of it, this would appear to be bad news for advocates.
What they leave out (purposefully, I'm sure) is the second half of the poll which asked the same sample, "Would you [favor/oppose] a law in your state that would allow gays and lesbians to marry a partner of the same sex?"
The result was this: 64% opposed, 30% in favor. That's amendment-ratifying territory, especially when you consider that youth are nearly evenly split when polled, but make up a much smaller percentage of voters than they do of all adults.
Are Homosexuals Unpatriotic?
Take a look around at the number of gays (or extremely pro-gay individuals) who are willing to support the Party of Treason (in wartime, no less) simply over gay issues. Homosexuality is obviously truly an all-consuming fetish. Like a foot fetishist, willing to place themselves in extreme danger to satisfy their bizarre desires, the homosexual is a sunshine patriot, placing their "right" to use the state to legitimacy their so-called "lifestyle" above the infinitely more important issue of the defense of the American Republic.
UPDATE: One fellow on Andrew Sullivan's blog is threatening to leave the country if the amendment is enacted. Where's he going to go, France? Something tells me that leaders of the future Islamic Republic of France won't take too kindly to his... alternative lifestyle.
Andrew Sullivan has answered the question
Some of my fellow conservatives took offense when, a few days ago, I commented that, "if asked to choose between the security of the American Republic and buggery, Andrew Sullivan would choose the latter." (Or, something to that effect). Of course, by his response to the President's declaration of his support for the FMA, Mr. Sullivan has proven that I was exactly right:
This struggle is hard but it is also easy. The president has made it easy. He's a simple man and he divides the world into friends and foes. He has now made a whole group of Americans - and their families and their friends - his enemy. We have no alternative but to defend ourselves and our families from this attack. And we will.
Andrew Sullivan professes to be convinced that President Bush is the only candidate who can defend America against her enemies. Yet he's prepared to turn on him in an instant to defend homosexuality. Andrew Sullivan is easily one of the most conservative and ostensibly patriotic American homosexuals yet, given the choice between buggery and the security of the American Republic, which does he choose?
Roger Simon also uses the issue as a chance to align himself with the forces of treason. What we have here are a bunch of people who think that the so-called "rights" of sexual fetishists to change an age-old institution trump, you know, the relevant task of preventing millions of Americans from being killed.
Anyone who, in this time of crisis, breaks with the President will, if he is defeated, have blood on their hands. American blood.
The Problem with Republicans
One of the most pernicious lies perpetuated by Democrats and their fellow travellers is that Republicans (in contrast with noble and high-minded liberals) are “mean-spirited”, dirty, gutter-fighters. The myth of liberal victimhood practically oozes from their version of history. “McCarthyism”, “Willie Horton”, and all the other Democratic bloody shirts are waved about with a depressing regularity. Democratic organs regularly recite the fable about how the Republican Party captured the South by appealing to “racists.” Republican campaign treachery is a sacred tenet of liberal orthodoxy: it’s their “stabbed in the back” theory which explains why, at the national level, Democrats can only win when they’re cross-dressing as conservatives.
The American people, you see, desperately want liberalism. If given a fair choice, they’d vote for universal health care, gay marriage, slavery reparations, unilateral disarmament, and abortion on demand along with pretty much everything else that presently comes within reach of the left only during their wet dreams. So, why don’t they? Why, because they’re being tricked, of course. Mean and clever Republicans come along and, in the memorable phrase of Howard Dean, convince them to vote on the issues of, “race, God, guns, and gays.” This, at its core, is the liberal view of the American electorate and the Republican Party. Or, at the very least, it is the one to which they publicly subscribe.
Anyone who has spent any time in conservative politics knows what malicious nonsense this is. The greatest flaw of 90% of conservative politicians, commentators, and strategists is their reluctance to even resort to the knife, let alone use it to bring about the evisceration of their enemies. At the same time the Democrats use the cover provided by the Republican’s reputation to launch attacks which are actually vicious and mean-spirited.
In 1990, Jesse Helms ran a campaign ad against affirmative action which showed a pair of white hands crumpling a job application white a voice declares, “You needed that job- but they had to give it to a minority.” Tough? Sure. But was it a fair criticism of affirmative action? I think so. Fourteen years later, we’re still hearing it citied as an example of Republican “racism.” It was sixteen years ago that the first President Bush ran ads pointing out that, when he was Governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis had granted a furlough to convicted murdered Willie Horton, who went on to rape a woman (an incident which, you may recall, was originally raised by Albert Gore). Frankly, I fail to see why the fact that a soft-on-crime Governor let out an obviously evil man to commit more atrocities ought not be a campaign issue. However, through the persistent efforts of Democratic activists, the very name of “Willie Horton” has become shorthand for Republican “racism.” Apparently, in the eyes of some, being upset over the release of murderers who then rape women is “racist.”
Contrast this with the Democratic record. In 2000, the Democrat-affiliated NAACP produced commercials which, in essence, suggested that blacks would be lynched in George W. Bush were to be elected President. Did this attract much censure from the mainstream media? Did it enter the textbooks? Of course not. The big ad flap in 2000 revolved around a Republican ad in which the word “Democrats” flashes on the screen and, at one point, the letters “DEMOC” are cut off, inadvertently displaying the word “Rats”. This, naturally, set off a multi-day firestorm over “subliminal advertising.” Yeah, sure.
In 1964 the Democrats accused Barry Goldwater of being cruel, heartless, evil, etc. for joking that he wished that he could saw off the Northeast part of the country. At the same time, they ran an ad whose message can be summed up as follows: “If Barry Goldwater is elected President, your children will die in a nuclear war.” But, of course, it is the Republicans who are “mean-spirited.”
The greatest problem with too many Republicans is that they fail to see this dichotomy. Because, in general, fairness is a desirable character quality, a great many Republicans have a basic sense of fairness that inhibits them from doing things that they see as somehow “unsporting”. The result is that too many Republicans, faced by Democratic attacks, behave like the Medieval British General who, upon catching a group of Viking raiders who were in an extremely vulnerable state, allowed the Viking commander to play upon his sense of fair-play and, as a result, waited for the Vikings to form their troops up. The British were then slaughtered.
In the past I have related what I’ve dubbed “Yoshida’s First Law of Politics” which is as follows, “If you are going to be successfully blamed for something, then you might as well do it.” I’ve used this in the past to explain why government that plan on making cuts in the social services might as well make big cuts. Similarly, if Republicans are going to get blamed for campaigning dirty and being “mean” then they might as well campaign dirty and be mean because, regardless of whether they are these things, they are going to suffer the negative consequences as being seen as such. If they are not actually these things, they get the blame without the benefit: so they might as well grab what they can.
Too many Republicans recoil from this idea because they want to be accepted by polite society. They say things like, “well, I’m a Republican- but I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh” in order to give them a fig leaf to use for cover. I call these people “Cannibal Republicans” because they seek to eat their own in order to save themselves. They generally support the GOP, but they’re always ready to denounce one of their own if they think it will score them some brownie points.
What is called for is, for lack of a better term, a “Popular Front” among all Republicans. Attacking one’s fellow Republicans is pointless, time consuming, and ultimately self-destructive. We need to stop trying to make ourselves look “moderate” by jumping upon our own.
In this spirit, I’m going to proclaim Yoshida’s second law of politics, “There’s no point being nice to people who aren’t going to vote for you anyways.” Take homosexuals, for example, they’re virtually all going to vote for Democrats anyways and so are all of the people who are willing to change their vote over pro-gay issues. This shouldn’t be received as bad news: it’s an opportunity. There are, I think, a fair number of Democrats who might change their vote once they were made fully aware of the Democratic Party’s embrace of homosexuality. After all, what price is there for being “anti-gay”: the possibility that the media will brand you as “homophobic”? They’d do that even if President Bush divorced Laura and married Dick Cheney.
Monday, February 23, 2004
The Reign of the Freaks
I recently discovered that a fellow I went to high school with (whom I did not like much at the time) has, in recent years, become some sort of cross-dressing homosexual freak who runs a website mostly dedicated to what I am given to understand is a form of written Asian pedophilic pornography which centers on cartoon characters who are underage boys. To put it more briefly: he’s a freak, a weirdo, a pervert, a deviant, etc. We should not be afraid of the aforementioned words: we need them to describe the sort of dangerous lunatics who our society seems determined to embrace as the new face of normality.
The First Commandment of our popular culture is as follows, “Thou shalt be tolerant.” This is something that has been pushed to abhorrent extremes. This new credo holds that you have no right to object to (or judge) any practice that does not directly impact yourself. It holds the consent of the individuals involved as the only applicable standard. In arguments with myself people have used this logic to defend the German cannibal Armin Meiwes: his victim agreed to be butchered and eaten, so what possible right do I have to make an objection of my own?
A deliberate effort has been made to blur the lines between morality and Puritanism. The big lie about modern Christianity is that it is harsh and unforgiving, that it demands absolute perfection from its followers. That is why the left shows so much joy at the moral failings of people like Rush Limbaugh and Bill Bennett. That Limbaugh once popped pills (or that Bennett gambled) is taken as evidence of hypocrisy. After all, by their actions, both have shown themselves to be less than perfect.
This is a deliberate distortion of the message of both modern Christianity and modern conservatism: they do not seek perfection; they wish to strive towards perfection. No human can live a morally perfect life. Everyone with common sense understands this fact. What is demanded then, is nothing more than effort: for an individual to work towards better living.
By this device, the cultural left seeks to shame those who speak out against any vice. How can Bill Bennett speak out against adultery when he gambles? How can Rush Limbaugh speak out against gay marriage when he abused prescription pain killers? It isn’t an argument that’s meant to make any sense: the whole point of Bennett’s and Limbaugh’s problems ought to be that they sought to overcome them, not that they had them. Humanity is in the striving. By liberal logic, Rush ought to have simply declared that there was nothing wrong with his pill popping and appealed for special laws to protect his “people”. By liberal logic, no conservative is fit to judge anything or anyone because all conservatives are, due to their individual moral failings, hypocrites. Thankfully, liberals manage to avoid this horrific fate by the useful expedient of have no moral sensibility whatsoever.
Cultural liberals work from an overly optimistic estimate of human nature. They see the rules and strictures of civilization as oppressive, nothing more than the arcane dictates of dead (and stupid) white men who invented them as a means of dealing with their own psychological demons. It is perfectly clear to me that the proponents of the modern sexual revolution regard all limits (either formal or informal) on sexual practices as inherently irrational and contemptible. The cultural demands of the gay rights lobby (and other advocates of deviancy) are like those of Hitler in the 1930’s. The repeal of laws against gay sex was presented as their “final demand”, then it was the passage of “anti-discrimination” laws which, eventually, became “hate crimes” laws. Now they claim that “gay marriage” is their final demand on the road to equality. Nonsense. Gay marriage is their Sudetenland: a year after they finally get it, they’ll be back for more.
Rules, cultural norms, and laws may “restrict freedom”, they may be “oppressive”, but they are also the essence of civilization. Now, these rules can be for good or for ill: but they are necessary in some form. Absent the rules of a civilization, no large-scale society is possible. Without moral rules, the only co-existence that is possible is that which occurs as a result of familial bonds.
What are we without rules, both formal and informal? Is it not true that, in the absence of such restraint, we are little more than particularly clever animals? It would certainly appear that way to me.
Let us drift back to where we began, namely the question of homosexuality. Recent studies have established that homosexual behavior is quite common in the animal kingdom. It is also quite common in many parts of the world and, quite certainly, was common in the Ancient world (for example, Greece). Pederasty was (and is) quite common as well. Yet, until very recently, the advanced nations of the world have come to view homosexuality with increasing harshness.
What does this tell us? Does it not seem to suggest that, in fact, banning (or restricting) homosexuality goes hand in hand with civilization? Civilization is based, in large measure, upon the subordination of impulses to the greater good. Left entirely free to conduct their own sexual affairs, without fear of formal or informal sanction, a great many people would do little more than was necessary to give themselves as much free time for sex as possible.
Cultural liberals often speak lovingly of the sensual nature of many foreign cultures, which had relaxed sexual attitudes. I notice one other common factor shared by most foreign cultures: they were eventually conquered by “puritanical”, Christian, Westerners.
Take a look at the North American Indians so admired by the left. They lived in cultures that many of our liberal friends seem to look upon as ideal: (ostensibly) environmentally-friendly, (allegedly) peaceful, relaxed, mystical and (supposedly) tolerant. The thing I notice most of all about those folks is this: they lived on the richest land in the world for thousands upon thousands of years, and they never developed much beyond the Stone Age. In the end, they were forcibly displaced by culturally-superior Westerners.
At the core of Western (and Christian) culture is the sublimation of impulse. The entire point of Christian sexual values is to redirect people’s energy into other endeavours. The restrictions that people are trying to do away with are, in fact, central to civilization itself.
The cultural left fails to understand this point. They believe that all of our rules are mere superstitions. They distrust them because they are religiously-based. What they miss is that, in creating a sort of social anarchy where anything goes, they threaten to cause immense damage to a civilization whose power and prosperity is the only thing that allows them to indulge themselves as they presently do.
Sunday, February 22, 2004
Trashing the "Secular Saints"
NOTE: I originally posted this a few months ago but, with the talk of Martin Luther King, I felt it was worth posting again.
The history that we teach students today is deliberately depersonalized and, when personalities must be mentioned, it is mostly in the interests of knocking them down a peg or two. George Washington owned slaves, Thomas Jefferson had sex with them, Abraham Lincoln was a racist who wanted to send them back to Africa, etc. It is more than just an effort to avoid the “great man” theory of history. Rather, it is a conscious attempt to demythologize our greatest leaders, to rob them of their rightful place in history, and to shake the faith of young Americans in their country and themselves. Almost no figure is immune to these smears. Almost.
Now, let’s set something straight. This isn’t a racist article, far from it. As those of you who have seen the pictures of me floating about the internet know, I am ‘non-white’ (or, rather, half-white, a product of miscegenation). But I think it’s time to take on the Holy Trinity of secular heroes of the left: ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela.
While figures like Robert E. Lee and Winston Churchill get gradually written out of history, in favor of broader, less personal history which, typically, will focus on the ‘plight of women and minorities’ at the minor cost of omitting tiny details like the Battle of Gettysburg from the study of the Civil War, these new heroes are raised up and mythologized to take their place. It isn’t that the left hates the ‘great man’ theory, they simply prefer other men.
Some might identify ‘non-violence’ as the primary connection between these men. This is far from the truth. As history shows all of them were, either through action or inaction, willing to condone violence to achieve their aims and that all of them, to some degree, aligned themselves with evil powers to achieve their ends. The primary connecting factor here is moral turpitude passed off as virtue.
Not to put too fine a point on it but, ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi, the celebrated ‘pacifist’ and leader of the movement for Indian independence, was a sex pervert who declared that the proper response to the Holocaust would have been for European Jews to commit mass suicide as a form of protest (how violence to the self aligns with the principles of non-violence and what exactly the response to this of the rest of the world, given that they would also theoretically be constrained by the same principles, was not explained.
Let me go back for a moment. I did, after all, just refer to the revered Gandhi as a “sex pervert.” In his seventies, Gandhi slept in the nude with teenaged and pre-pubescent girls, supposedly as a way of testing his “ability to resist temptation”. He also would administer enemas to them and have enemas administered to him on a daily basis. He was utterly obsessed with bodily functions, even to the point of drinking his own urine, which he believed had healthful effects.
Eventually, Gandhi’s inept leadership of the independence movement would lead to post-independence massacres in India in which an upwards of four million were hacked to death by crazed mobs. Some legacy. Some hero.
We often hear the J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI denounced for investigating Martin Luther King during the 1960’s. Before such denunciations are made, we ought to ask a question: just what did they find?
Martin Luther King, that supposed paragon of Christian virtue, had numerous affairs with married women. This has been admitted to by, among others, Ralph Abernathy, King’s principle deputy at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
The SCLC and King also had numerous connections with the Communist Party. Several of his chief aides, such as Stanley D. Levison and Jack O'Dell were former members of the party. Levinson, despite formally leaving the CPUSA, continued to donate money to it.
Towards the end of his life, King crossed the line from being a mere civil rights leader to become one of the principle spokesmen of the treasonous forces which, ultimately, stabbed the morally decent Americans who supported the Republic’s worthy cause in Vietnam and set in motion events which would mean the genocide of millions and a denial of freedom in Indochina foe what has now been more than a quarter of a century.
In a speech in 1967 he called the United States the, “greatest purveyor of violence in the world today,” and spoke glowingly of how, “shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before.” His agitation took on an increasingly communistic tone, with him calling for a, “radical revolution of values.” And, quite certainly, the revolution of values he had in mind wasn’t of the sort that Ronald Reagan had. Especially not when he was saying that the, “edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring”, essentially calling for the overthrow of capitalism.
Finally, there is Nelson Mandela, the living icon of the international left. A few years ago, Canadian MP Rob Anders caused an uproar when he objected to a motion in Parliament to pass, by unanimous consent, a bill giving Mandela honorary Canadian citizenship. Anders later said he objected because Mandela was a “communist and a terrorist.” He later apologized for his comments. He ought not to have.
Mandela was, in fact, both things. He wrote a manuscript entitled How to be a Good Communist and his party, the African National Congress, has close links with the South African Communist Party. ANC members, to this day, address eachother as ‘comrade’. This, naturally, is never mentioned in adulatory accounts of his life.
Similarly, although Mandela is well-known for being a ‘political prisoner’, it is, in fact, true that he, “participated in planning acts of sabotage and inciting violence.” This led Amnesty International to declare, in 1985, that Mandela was not, in fact, a political prisoner.
So why, then, is their all of this admiration for these men? For men who slept with little girls, cheated on their wives, plotted the murder of others, refused to resist Nazis, sympathized with communists, and actually were communists? The answer is two-fold. First, they fought against the West. The modern establishment, as we all know, hates Western civilization and everything it stands for. That is why they insanely try to tell us that trash written by Third-Worlders, such as the fabricated “Autobiography” of Rigoberta Menchu is the equal of the works of Shakespeare. Second, they understand a fundamental need for heroes and, to this end, they had to find someone to put in place of all of the dead white guys who people used to admire. They couldn’t bear the thought of replacing these dead white guys with some more ‘stupid white men’ (as gasbag forger Michael Moore might call them) so they canonized some ‘stupid non-white men’ instead.
It’s time that we teach children to admire people who fought our enemies, rather than people who sympathized with them. Martin Luther King may well have done worthy work in the field of Civil Rights, but that does not disguise or excuse his treason over the issue of Vietnam. It is possible that Gandhi did a good thing in working for Indian Independence, but that does not excuse the bloodshed he brought about or his refusal to confront real evil.
Let’s have real heroes again. Men with names like Lincoln, Churchill, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Jackson, Hamilton, MacArthur, Roosevelt, Patton, Grant, Sherman, and Lee. Let us celebrate the guardians and defenders of our great civilization once more.
Why Haven't We Heard More About This?
I was browsing "The Straight Dope" tonight, and came across this:
In his 1991 memoir, Breaking Barriers, journalist Carl Rowan writes that in 1964 congressman John Rooney told him that he and his congressional committee had heard J. Edgar Hoover play an audiotape of an apparent orgy held in King's Washington hotel suite. Over the sounds of a couple having intercourse in the background, according to Rooney, King could be heard saying to a man identified as Abernathy, "Come on over here, you big black motherfucker, and let me suck your dick."
A search of much of the net finds this little piece of information turning up only a few other times: notably in a Usenet message from 1990 (which was apparently written by someone with a pre-publication copy of Rowan's book). I suppose that people are afraid to say anything about Saint Martin.
Want to see what's coming next?
This is horrifying, sickening, and dangerous. Think it could never happen? Think of what you would have said if, fifty years ago, someone had told you that gay marriage would be legalized.
After nearly three decades of failed relationships and emotional discontent, Lindsay Ashford has finally found himself.
Since he was a child, Ashford has always had a deep attraction to young girls but never acted on his urges or knew they had a name.
It wasn't until five years ago, at the age of 30, that Ashford realized why his brief marriage and his countless flings across the United States and Europe always ended the same.
Ashford is a pedophile.
For most of his life, he has buried his emotions and masked his long-secreted attraction. It wasn't until recently that Ashford decided to throw off the shackles of pedophilia and shed light on what he says is a misunderstood "sexual orientation." Last year, he became perhaps one of the first pedophiles in the world to put his name and face on a Web site to publicly profess his love for children.
"I am tired of being forced into the shadows by society," Ashford said recently in an e-mail interview. "I have committed no crime, therefore there is no good reason that I should have to hide myself. As long as pedophiles continue to hide, there is no chance of them ever being accepted."
People like this, in my humble opinion, ought to be burned at the stake.
Saturday, February 21, 2004
Actual Link to Kerry's 1971 Testimony...
Hold your nose and click this link to Pacifica. Really listen, it's rather appalling. But also wonderful. Replaying this will hurt Kerry.
UPDATE: Listen to this phrase: "An American Indian friend of mine who lives in the Indian Nation of Alcatraz."
Christ. How radical was this guy? Was he an out-and-out Communist?
Will John Kerry Defend America?... Developing
Campaign materials from John Kerry's 1984 Senate campaign reveal his true hostility to the US defense effort...
Thanks to "Diotima" at Free Republic.
On Tolerance and Marriage
What is the core purpose of state recognition of marriage? Think about it for a second. Certainly the state has no compelling interest in helping people to “affirm their love”, so why, then, is the state in the marriage business? Why do governments the world over confer specific benefits upon married persons? These are the questions which ought to be at the centre of the debate over gay “marriage.”
It is fashionable for supporters of gay marriage to make statements to the effect that, while the state must recognize “equal marriage”, individual religions ought to be free to do what they like (IE refuse to recognize same-sex marriages). This, in fact, is entirely backwards. Religions (and other groups) recognize marriage for any number of reasons (including the affirmation of “love”). The state, on the other hand, has a single reason for recognizing marriage: to protect procreative relationships and to create an environment conducive to the raising of children.
This is the reason why governments grant benefits to go along with marriage: in order to assist families. That’s it: the government isn’t giving people a wedding present; they’re trying to ensure family stability and assist in the raising of children.
Now, I fully realize that this will bring the inevitable rejoinder, “but infertile couples, the childless and old people are allowed to marry!” This is true. But, alas, this is merely the inevitable consequence of state marriage. That such people are allowed marriage benefits from the state is a side-effect, not the intent.
In any case, as has been clearly established in recent years, the “benefits” of marriage are simply an excuse, not the reason, for homosexual marriage. Civil Unions, domestic partner benefits, and all manner of other solutions have been devised to appease gays and their supporters by giving them the benefits of marriage. But that isn’t the point.
The problem is that homosexuals are trying to use marriage to confer legitimacy upon themselves. That is the core issue at hand. That is why the very word, “marriage” matters. What they are seeking is the endorsement of the state. They are seeking a piece of paper from the state that they can wave and shout, “See, our relationships are indistinguishable from heterosexual ones.”
Tolerance is perfectly alright. I’d suggest that more than 99% of the people in the United States are willing to “tolerate” homosexuality in the sense that they are perfectly happy to allow homosexuals to do as they like in private, away from everybody else. This, quite frankly, is the absolute maximum which should be expected of any group of people in relation to any sexual practice.
Why is homosexuality a “lifestyle” worthy of state protection and, for example, sado-masochism, a sexual fetish? Is it merely that homosexuals have better PR? If the sado-masochists were well organized, would we be seeing demands that the 13th Amendment be repealed in order to “recognize the legitimate relationships between masters and slaves?”
I agree that the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation. This principle, however, cuts both ways: just as the state should not invade the sexual privacy of individuals, it ought not be used as a tool to force other to accept the legitimacy of any sexual practice.
I fail to see any distinguishing line between homosexuality and any of a hundred other forms of sexual deviancy. I do not use “deviancy” as a pejorative, I simply use it to refer to any practice which deviates from the norm: the sexual ‘norm’ in this case being procreative sex.
Now, there may or may not be anything wrong with any of these deviant practices: and, so long as they remain consensual and private, there’s state interest which should result in interference. But, that being said, there should be no state recognition of these practices either.
Libertarians who support gay marriage miss the point: the coercive use of state power in this case is not the denial of marriage “rights” to homosexuals, it is the efforts of a tiny minority to use the state to impose public acceptance of their sexual practices upon the majority that is the tyranny here.
The real problem with the gay marriage argument is that the other side has been allowed to claim all the best words and set the battlefield of the argument. To claim that disallowing gay “marriage” is a denial of rights, one must believe that the purpose of marriage is to reward heterosexual relations (as opposed to the result of said relations).
Individuals are free to solemnize their love in any fashion that they, or any other private organization, wishes to do so. This is right and proper. If some “church” wants to marry homosexuals, they are perfectly free to do so. However, it would be an abuse of the purpose of marriage to confer its rights and responsibilities upon those who do not conform to the minimal standard demanded.
Friday, February 20, 2004
The Face of Gay Marriage
A Brilliant Film
If this script by Charlie Kaufman has been produced faithfully (the movie is being released soon) it will be one of the most exceptional films ever made.
Thursday, February 19, 2004
The Brilliant Peggy Noonan
Her column today is wonderful:
Mr. Bush is the triumph of the seemingly average American man. He's normal. He thinks in a sort of common-sense way. He speaks the language of business and sports and politics. You know him. He's not exotic. But if there's a fire on the block, he'll run out and help. He'll help direct the rig to the right house and count the kids coming out and say, "Where's Sally?" He's responsible. He's not an intellectual. Intellectuals start all the trouble in the world. And then when the fire comes they say, "I warned Joe about that furnace." And, "Does Joe have children?" And "I saw a fire once. It spreads like syrup. No, it spreads like explosive syrup. No, it's formidable and yet fleeting." When the fire comes they talk. Bush ain't that guy. Republicans love the guy who ain't that guy. Americans love the guy who ain't that guy.
It's terribly funny because it's all so terribly true.
Of course, I really like Peggy Noonan. I've been toying with adapting her What I Saw at the Revolution into a movie for at least a year or two. My choice to play the 30-something Peggy: Jennie Garth.
If the United States were to occupy Haiti today, it wouldn?t be the first time. From 1915 through 1934 the island nation was, following a revolution, directly administered by the United States Marine Corps. The reasons for the occupation then were self-evident: political instability in one place breeds chaos elsewhere and, in times of international tension, such crises are particularly dangerous.
Truthfully, the results of the present crisis are the result of President Clinton?s foolish 1994 decision to restore deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power. Aristide, a radical Catholic socialist, was elected President of the desperately poor island in 1990 and, upon his taking office, immediately began to enact a series of economic ?reforms? which (predictably) began to destroy the economy. In response, he was overthrown by the Haitian military.
However, the military rulers of Haiti proved to be particularly brutal and soon ignited a refugee crisis that caused problems for every nation in the region, particularly the United States. Fixated upon the ?democracy legitimacy? of Aristide (who spent most of his time after been overthrown lobbying sympathetic politicians in the US), Clinton used the threat of military force to reinstall him in office (elements of the 101st Airborne Division were actually in the air at the time the Generals capitulated).
Naturally, after using appeals to democratic sensibilities to bring upon his restoration to power, President Aristide began to set himself up as the dictator of Haiti. Obeying (for the time at least) the letter of the law, Aristide stepped aside in 1996, installing a close ally (who won with 88% of the vote) as President. Four years later, in an election boycotted by opposition political parties (who, in view of other electoral fraud, saw no reason to expect a fair vote) Aristide was returned to power as President. In response, the opposition set up a provisional government, which Aristide sought to stamp out.
Since then the nation has been plunged into economic chaos and political turmoil. Protests against Aristide?s corrupt rule have turned violent, and a rebel movement has seized control of one of the Island?s largest cities. All political order in the country appears to be on the verge of breaking down.
The solution here is obvious: US troops should sweep into the nation, remove President Aristide by force, and then allow troops from other members of the Organization of American States to remain behind and supervise free elections (backed up, perhaps, by a token American contingent). The result need not hold up forever, but a decade or so of peace would be helpful. There?s no real strategic imperative for building a lasting democracy in Haiti as there is in Iraq: but there are several real reasons to prevent chaos and encourage stability.
First, the total collapse of political order in Haiti will trigger another refugee crisis. This was a headache for the first President Bush and, quite certainly, is the last thing that this one needs. People fleeing Haiti would, quite naturally, end up in Florida.
Second, if left to its own devices, Haiti looks likely to become an anarchic failed state: just the sort of area which lends itself to serving as a base, incubator, and recruiting ground for terrorists.
Third, if the United States does not intervene in Haiti, the odds are high that someone else probably will. Already there are rumblings about the dispatch of French troops to the island. Leaving aside that such a deployment would be a violation of the Monroe Doctrine; it would also provide an effective anti-American talking point in much of the world. I imagine that a great deal would be made of the fact that the United States apparently could not police its own backyard and required French help in doing so.
Finally, allowing a bloodbath to develop in Haiti would undermine the moral credibility of the United States in the rest of the world. If the United States will not step in to prevent mass slaughter right next door, why should some tin-pot dictator believe that it will do so in Africa?
Given that the United States managed to conquer Afghanistan with about one hundred Green Berets, I imagine the broad equivalent would be possible in Haiti. Certainly the forces required for such an operation would, at the most, be no larger than those used in the invasion of Grenada in 1983.
We might as well do this now as, all things considered, someone will probably have to do it soon anyways. Better to seize the initiative than to behave in a reactive fashion.
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Damn! Tonight's Law and Order Ruled!
Normally I skip Law and Order these days because, except for Fred Thompson and the stunning Elizabeth Rohm, the show has gone downhill.
But, I loved tonight's epsiode- loved it. It's probably my favorite episode of the whole series, and I used to watch two episodes a night back when it was on A&E at some ungodly hour.
I won't spoil it, in case you live somewhere that reruns the episodes later. But it was great. Justice was truly served.
Losing Andrew Sullivan
The Democratic Party is determined to make this election as dirty a fight as possible. They mean to use every possible rumour to smear the President. They mean to interfere with the national defense for the sole purpose of putting their man in the White House. The Party of Treason must not be allowed to emerge victorious, whatever the cost. This means that we’re going to have to do what Howard Dean accuses us of: we’re going to have to fight a good part of this election on the issues of God, guns, and gays.
Now, what exactly does this have to do with Andrew Sullivan? Simple: we need to use the gay issue against the Democrats. Andrew Sullivan is among that tiny percentage of American voters who, presently, seemingly intend to vote for George W. Bush, but will vote the other way on gay issues. After all, as is increasingly clear, Andrew Sullivan and his ilk place their right to buggery before the security of the American Republic and the safety of the American people. I have a strong feeling that it is for fear of offending these people (and of being dubbed ‘homophobic’ by the media) that the President (and other senior Republicans) are holding back from fighting for the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Yoshida’s first law of politics is this: if you’re going to get blamed for something, then you might as well do it anyways. For example, if a new Republican Governor comes into power and needs to cut spending to balance the books, they might as well make a drastic cut in spending rather than a mild one, because the media, the Democrats, the unions, and everyone else are going to (successfully) accuse them of making “heartless” cuts and the media is going to fill up with stories about endangered school lunch programs even if the budget is balanced by simply cutting the rate of increase in spending.
Look, President Bush is going to have to endorse and campaign for the FMA sooner or later one way or another. Even if he endorses it in the mildest of terms and does so surrounded by supportive homosexuals, the media (and the left, and the homosexuals) is still going to respond to so much as a whisper by basically accusing the President of being responsible for the killing of Matthew Sheppard. In other words, if you’re going to get accused of ‘spreading homophobia’, then you might as well do it, because if you don’t you’re going to suffer the consequences of the accusations without the benefit of the act.
Remember last year, when Senator Rick Santorum caused a firestorm by telling the AP (prior to the ruling in Lawrence v. Texas) that, “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything”? Well, guess what, after the nationwide controversy Santorum’s approval rating held steady and even ticked slightly upwards. More than that, he mobilized his conservative base with such remarks.
The President should take his first chance to make some similar remarks. The next time he faces the press, he should say something along exactly the same lines. It will make the media and the Democrats suffer a seizure. When that happens, he should shrug.
What the media forgets is that homosexuality is popular with the media, but not so popular with the American people (and especially unpopular in areas where the President needs to be strong in November). What won’t do the damage is so much the comment itself, as the reaction. Every national Democrat will scream loudly in support of the gays for at least a week or two. It will anger the Democratic base, but they’re already angry. And, in any case, since they’re already accusing those who oppose gay marriage of, essentially, condoning the murder of homosexuals, they can’t exactly get any angrier.
Andrew Sullivan is constantly (and gleefully) pointing to polls that her claims show that the Federal Marriage Amendment is supported (at best) by a bare majority of the people. Let’s be frank: I don’t believe that those polls are accurate. Because of the effect of popular culture, I believe that we’re seeing the “Wilder Effect” in action. Named for former Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder, it refers to a phenomenon where people being polled tell pollsters what they think is politically correct (IE that they’re going to vote for the black guy, in the case of Wilder) and then merrily do their own thing when they get into the voting booth. This has also been repeatedly seen in Louisiana over the years- with David Duke scoring far better in the actual elections for Governor and US Senator than he did in the polls and last year, when Bobby Jindal consistently held a lead in the polls and then lost.
On top of all of this, the case for the FMA has yet to be publicly made. I suspect that many of the people polled don’t understand the need for a Constitutional Amendment given that thirty-eight states and the Federal Government have laws against gay marriage. When they come to understand how the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will force gay marriage upon all the states after legalization in a single state (and if you think that the left won’t find some judge to clear away all other obstacles, you’re fooling yourself).
I realize that a few weeks ago I spoke out against the FMA on the grounds that it wouldn’t pass: I’ve changed my mind. Frankly, I’d say that, if a strong enough fight is made, it has a better-than-even chance of passage. Even more, though, I think that the fight is needed.
If the President presses for the FMA, it will expose the insanity of the Democratic position on gay marriage which bears a strong resemblance to President Buchanan’s position on secession (“I’m strongly opposed to it, but I’m also strongly opposed to doing anything about it”). Naturally, the limp-wristed Republicans will fear such a battle on the grounds that it would be “divisive.” However, to them I say this: “good, that’s the whole idea.”
Look, in most of the country a majority of the people think that homosexual relations ought to be illegal: and that’s just what people tell the pollsters. On the whole, I think most people believe in ‘tolerance’ for gays, so long as they remain out of public view. The present mainstreaming of homosexual themes is an almost entirely new societal phenomenon and, I believe, on that will not stand up to a sustained assault.
Now, of course, I regret the probable loss of the support of Andrew Sullivan and others like him. Of course, I’m not sure how much I regret it at the moment since Mr. Sullivan seems to be undergoing an extended, to steal a phrase from a poster at Free Republic, David-Brockification and I’m pretty sure that he’s going to turn against the President some time before November anyways. Taking this measure also works to prevent him (and others like him) from choosing a particularly damaging time to turn against the President (IE a week before the election).
Is this “divisive” and “mean-spirited”? You bet it is. But Republicans are going to get called these things anyways, so we might as well be them. We must be willing to use any tactic, no matter how dirty, to save the Republic in this election.
For Christ's Sake
The 'individual' who delayed ruling on the blatant defiance the law by the Mayor of San Fransisco is both homosexual and the grandson of Eal Warren.
(Provided via Andrew Sullivan)
A Good Message for Canada's Liberals
With a shout out to my good friend, Oliver Cromwell:
It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money; is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth? Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves become the greatest grievance. Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God's help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do; I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place; go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!
The New Kaiser
This month's issue of The Atlantic is a must-read. There's a great article on preparations for continuity of government in a nuclear war- an issue which has fascinated me for years (which, of course, isn't available online) as well as the cover story, by Robert Kaplan, entitled "The Man who Would be Khan" about the American military atache in Mongolia, a Colonel with the unlikely name of Tom Wilhelm.
Despite the notable flaw of being a liberal who voted for Al Gore in 2000, Colonel Wilhelm seems to be an outstanding example of an American soldier. Albeit, one whose archetype seems more ripped from the history of the British Empire than that of the American Republic.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Can John Edwards Take It?
The stunning second place finish (and near win) by John Edwards tonight in Wisconsin prolongs the Democratic race. Depending on which polls you read in the last few days of the race, John Kerry fell by about ten points and John Edwards gained about fifteen. Had Howard Dean dropped out of the race and endorsed Edwards, he would have convincingly won. What this means, in essence, is that we have a second front-runner under siege. Kerry, I suspect, has already peaked: the recent hints of an affair, combined with the attacks on his involvement in the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War, have been enough to crack (though not yet shatter) the myth of his ‘electability’. Already we have seen him sink eight points among Democrats in national polls; I expect to see him sink a few more now.
Frankly, I think we are left with a situation like that in the 1976 election: the front-runner (in that case, Jimmy Carter) is fading with his opponent gaining rapidly. With no real way of generating more support (pretty much everything positive about John Kerry has already be said, repeatedly) the candidate it left holding onto a lead and hoping to run out the clock. The difference is this: time moves a lot faster in 2004 than it did in 1976. Governor Dr. Howard Brush Dean III went from certain nominee to also-ran in less than a week. However, the leads built up by John Kerry in many of the March 2nd states is much larger than that which Howard Dean ever held.
Thirty-eight points in California, thirty-seven in Connecticut, forty-five in New York, thirty-one in Ohio. Those are formidable numbers: and John Kerry certainly has more cash on hand (and the ability to raise more) than John Edwards. Unless something else unexpected happens, I’d expect Kerry to win a majority of delegates two weeks from now: though by narrower margins than expected. However, because of the way the Democratic system works, Edwards will still win delegates. Then, quite probably, he’ll win (or perform very strongly in) Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas on March 9th. He’ll also probably win Georgia on March 2nd.
Where will that leave us? Kerry already has about six hundred delegates versus 200 for John Edwards. If Dean were to endorse Edwards (and carry over most of his delegate support), that would leave Edwards with about 350. Without carrying the March 2nd primaries decisively, I’m unsure if Kerry can win the nomination without being put over the top by superdelegates.
But, how strong a candidate is John Edwards? He’s a man with a single term as a Senator, trial-lawyer charm, and a well-delivered stump speech which could have been used in virtually any election since the era of William Jennings Bryan. The man is a cipher, a smooth charmer with little substance. I don’t know how well he’ll hold up in the age of the War on Terrorism.
Quite frankly, I think that the odds of a contested convention just went up again. The speed of the race is resulting in a number of rapid booms and busts, which are creating a confusing process that is likely to produce a mixed result.
The real winner in all of this is George Walker Bush. The Democratic Convention in Boston, I think, might go down as badly as the Republican Convention in 1992. Without a certain nominee, not only will the public be exposed to screaming fights between Democrats, but probably to a number of virulently leftist speeches which would have a similar effect upon moderates as Pat Buchanan’s 1992 speech had.
Frankly, I don’t think that a brokered convention is likely to make Hillary Clinton the nominee. Why? Hillary is popular among Democrats, but not among the American people as a whole. Moreover, the combination of the messed up (and often bizarre primary process) and the emergence of Hillary would probably be enough to convince even a great many Democrats that the Clinton’s had been manipulating the process Urquhart-style from behind the scenes all along.
Strange Wisconsin Exit Numbers
Take a look at this CBS exit poll, and you'll see some strange stuff:
13% of the people who voted Howard Dean were Republicans, so were 12% of the people who voted for John Edwards, and 4% of those who voted for John Kerry (as, bizarrely, were 6% of those who voted for Dennis Kucinich).
5% of the people who voted for Howard Dean think of themselves as "Very Conservative", 15% as "somewhat conservative".
Some interesting Kerry numbers: 6% of Kerry voters feel that the Bush Tax Cuts should be left in place. 8% of Kerry voters "strongly approve" of the war in Iraq (so do 16% of Dean voters and 13% of Edwards voters). 8% of Kerry voters are satisfied or enthusiastic about President Bush (so are 23% of Dean voters, 25% of John Edwards voters, 7% of Kucinich voters, and 8% of Kerry voters).
Frankly, what these numbers make clear (to me) is the following:
1) A large number of Republicans voted for Howard Dean in an effort to prop up his campaign. Very large. Enough to, if they voted for someone else somewhere else, really effect the outcome. About a fifth of Dean voters, and Dean got 18%- so nearly 4% of the primary electorate there alone.
2) Some Republicans voted for Dennis Kucinich for fun.
3) Given that there was no push to keep Edwards in the race, as there was for Dean, I suspect that a good chunk Edwards primary voters are, for lack of a better term, "fair-minded Republicans." Most of them support Bush, but they want the Democratic Party to have the best candidate (as opposed to the political Republicans, who want them to have the worst). These are potentially dangerous, because they'd be open to voting for Edwards were he the nominee.
4) Kerry will prove to be as polarizing a figure as Bush in a general election campaign (only 20% of his voters were independents and, given the rest of his polling, I'd suggest that the 4% who were Republicans don't sound like supporters).
5) John Kerry's military service made him no more attractive to veterans than any other candidate.
All in all, good news for Bush: unless Edwards can now make a real fight for the nomination.
San Fransisco's Marriage Problem
Frankly, I'm not really sure if there's an effective way to fight back against this. It's a really clever move on their part- imagine the stories we'll get if those licences are nullified. Heads, they win, tails, we lose.
I'm going to think about this some more.
Sunday, February 15, 2004
As a Side Note
I strongly encourage my fans to sign this petition supporting Angel, which has been foolishly cancelled by the WB.
I realize that such efforts are normally futile, but hell: 23,000 signatures in two days sounds pretty damned good to me. Wasn't Howard Dean always bragging about how he'd managed to get 600,000 email addresses? And that was in, what, a year?
Patriots and Traitors
This election may be the most important in living memory. I believe that it is the most important since 1864, when the voters of the North were asked to choose between the folksy Republican who had led them through three years of war and a Democratic “war hero” whose election would almost certainly lead to capitulation and defeat. There were two sides in 1864: patriots, who were willing to save the Union regardless of the cost, and traitors, who were willing to lose the war for ideological reasons. The same is true today.
Let us understand the cause for which we are fighting. The enemy is both like and unlike any other which America has ever faced: like our foes of the past, the Islamist hates the West and seeks to establish a totally new world order. Unlike our other enemies, the Islamist lurks on the periphery, fighting by dishonourable but effective means. They have no armies of tanks, no fleets of Aircraft Carriers, no armadas of bombers: yet the danger posed by this enemy is the greatest that America has ever faced.
Consider, for a moment, what it would mean if a single nuclear bomb went off in a single American city. What would the effects be? Would any form of Constitutional government even survive? Would it if, instead of one bomb, it were five? How would American society cope with a Smallpox plague that killed millions?
The Democrats assume that such suggestions are an exaggeration, a ploy to scare Americans. John F. Kerry assures us that the terrorist threat is, “exaggerated.” But is it? If I’d told you, on September 10th, 2001 that terrorists were going to hijack civilian planes and crash them into the Pentagon and World Trade Center, what would you have said? A single nuclear bomb, in the right place, could kill hundreds of thousands, wound millions, and cost the American economy trillions of dollars. In one second everything could change.
Contrary to popular belief, this is not because our enemies are irrational or insane. They have very good reasons to believe that a nuclear attack on America would be successful.
Suppose that al-Qaeda destroyed New York City tomorrow. What would the nation retaliate against? Perhaps a few tactical nuclear weapons could be used against suspected terrorist sites: perhaps. But, because al-Qaeda controls no countries, any form of retaliation which would serve as a deterrent is problematic at best. While, logically, it would make sense to respond to any nuclear attack on the United States with an all-out nuclear assault on any target with the slightest connection to the terrorists, does such a course seem likely?
The fundamental Islamist strategic concept in the war on America is this: America values life more than they do. This means two things: first, that the United States is prevented from retaliating reciprocally for most of their outrages and that, second, Americans will do almost anything to avoid sustaining losses.
Early on, al-Qaeda made a basic calculation: kill enough Americans, and the United States will leave the Islamists to do as they like. Osama Bin Laden came to this conclusion when, after the “Blackhawk Down” incident, President Clinton ordered the withdrawal of all US troops from Somalia: kick the Americans and their leaders will run.
Given this, the campaign launched by al-Qaeda through the 1990’s makes perfect sense. The series of escalating outrages were designed with a single purpose: to convince the American people that the price in blood was not worth standing in the way of an Islamist takeover of the Middle East. Each attack escalated in severity: right up until 9-11.
At the present moment, al-Qaeda’s war is directed at driving President Bush from office: an event which would vindicate their strategic theory. That is because a vote against President Bush this November will, in effect, be a vote against the War on Terrorism (whatever silly motivation happens to be in the mind of each Democratic and Third Party voter is largely irrelevant). Our enemies would see the defeat of President Bush as a rejection of the forward strategy of fighting terror.
Like George McClellan in 1864, the Democratic Party today officially maintains that it has a plan for fighting terror while, with a wink and nod; they let everyone know that they mean to do no such thing. The Democrats of one hundred and forty years ago called for peace convention to restore the Union when virtually everyone knew that it would result in exactly the opposite: permanent disunion. Similarly, modern Democrats occasionally try to talk though about terrorism, but lack any plans for actually doing anything about it (aside, of course from “consulting with our allies”).
Democrats seem to be seized by the strange notion that Clinton’s policies for “fighting terrorism” were just fine and will work well if re-implemented. This seems to be based largely on the specious theory that, “well, no 9-11 happened when Clinton was President, so everything must have been ok.” A vote for the Democrats means more terrorist attacks on America, more orphans, more bereaved families. Maybe millions of them. If a Democrat is elected President, the odds of a major attack on America go up seriously for two reasons: the pressure on al-Qaeda will decrease and the leadership of that group will, given that the War on Terrorism resulted in the defeat of Bush, come to the conclusion that another major terror attack will push the United States to let up altogether.
After all, were there a nuclear attack (and one might happen no matter what we do), no one had any idea what will happen next. It is possible that the United States will lash out in vengeance but is it not also possible that, especially with the right leader, the nation might decide simply to throw up their hands, meet the short-term demands of al-Qaeda, and kick the rest of the problem to a future Administration? I can easily see such a thing happening: a nuclear attack is followed by a major increase in homeland defense efforts, combined with a withdrawal of troops abroad needed to “defend the homeland.” A single retaliatory nuclear attack is launched to cover the President politically (“he used nuclear weapons,” Democratic pundits will shout, “what more do you want!”). As part of a program for “energy independence” the United States then cuts free the Islamic world, and under some other pretext, Israel as well. The Islamists have enough people in their own region to kill to keep them busy for years.
Naturally such approach would guarantee even more problems in the long run, but I’ve never known Democrats to think much about that. Liberals simply believe that marrying buggery partners is much more important that fighting murderers and thugs who seek to kill millions of Americans.
There is only one way to defeat the terrorists, as I’ve explained many times before. We must, as Lincoln once said of the Civil War, bring ourselves to grasp the mathematics of the situation. In any society there are only a limited number of people who are willing to knowingly commit suicide for any cause. The number willing to do so in a losing cause is even less than that.
Look at the experience of Japan in the Second World War. While, in battle, organized units of Japanese were willing to, essentially, commit mass suicide in battles- the number who were willing to volunteer to be kamikazes was actually rather small, given the size of Japan’s population. Similarly, despite lavish subsidies, the Palestinians have managed to (at the most) recruit only a few hundred suicide bombers from a population of millions. In both the cases of the Japanese and Palestinians these efforts were aided by a state apparatus which dwarfs anything that al-Qaeda possesses.
In other words, al-Qaeda operatives are extremely valuable and difficult to replace assets. For this reason, the method for defeating them is obvious: we must take and hold ground for which they will fight and give their lives. We have done this in both Iraq and Afghanistan. No reliable account exists of how many terrorists have fallen in these campaigns but, based on the numbers of prisoners taken, I reckon that it must be in the thousands. Each al-Qaeda member who is killed in the sands of Mesopotamia is unavailable for action elsewhere. Every terrorist we kill in Baghdad is one who won’t be able to kill in Boston.
The last two and a half years have put al-Qaeda on the defensive. Contrary to the claims of some on the left, their recruitment is down in this time. In fact, according to its own leaders, it peaked right after 9-11. There’s good reason for that: murderous killers don’t want to join a losing team. Even during the great Afghan Jihad, no so mythologized, most of the rich Moslems who rushed off to join in the war did little more than fire their weapons into the air a few times and then head home. The Islamists are incapable of action without the support of the local population, something they plainly lack in both Afghanistan and Iraq. If they Iraqi people were so eager to fight the Americans, al-Qaeda wouldn’t be killing hundreds of them in car bombings. The fact that al-Qaeda has resorted to such tactics there indicates that they are desperate and lashing out- and that their efforts to stir up an authentic insurrection have failed.
Take that pressure off and let al-Qaeda get a few shots away: what happens? People flock to the banner of Jihad. The years of the Bush Administration become the Islamists’ Valley Forge, a difficult and nearly impossible ordeal that they endured. Much of the world will interpret the defeat of the President as a victory for al-Qaeda.
President Bush has been willing to sacrifice some of his domestic priorities to fight and win this war. Franklin Roosevelt did the same during the Second World War. It is right and just that a President should do so. Some Republicans howl about this, but in truth it is necessary. A President at war must pick their battles carefully.
That is the problem with the Democratic Party today (as it was in 1864), they are so determined to advance their political goals that they are willing to sacrifice the security of the nation. When I say this, I am not referring to the hate-America left. If Nazi Germany were to magically resurface, they would praise Hitler for his anti-smoking and gun control initiatives, as well as how he managed to, “provide free health care for every Aryan.” I’m talking about the mainstream of the Democratic Party. They are the real danger, for they are the ones with the votes.
Any look at exit polls, any look at the speeches of the candidates, shows one thing: they don’t take this war seriously. They’re more worried about “jobs” than they are about killers planning on murdering them with nuclear bombs. They are a danger because they are unaware of the threat their attitudes pose to America. They don’t hate America, but they don’t quite love it either. It is a fact they live with.
That is the choice that must be made this November: between a party which takes the terrorist threat seriously and is prepared to fight it to the point of sacrificing many things they want, and between a party whose adherents place their own individual issues take precedence over the security of the nation. In short, this election is a choice between patriotism and treason.
I'm Not Sure What to Make of This...
The Sun (UK) has a story with some interesting new information. Specifically, that a US Network has an interview with the woman whom John F. Kerry reportedly has been carrying on an affair with- and has been holding it since before Christmas.
Now, this raises a few questions- not the least the reliability of the information given the source.
(Sir Humphrey: And what of the readers of the Sun, Prime Minister?
Bernard: They don't care who runs the country so long as she's got big tits)
It can all be reconciled, I suppose. She gave the interview in December, when it looked like Kerry was finished, but when he jumped ahead she was convinced to leave the country in order to bury the thing.
I suppose we'll have to wait and see.
Who Would Osama Vote For?
Saturday, February 14, 2004
If new news is going to break tommorow on all this, my bet is that is gets teased at about 3PM (PST) and gets revealed at about 6ish, just as Drudge goes on the radio.
Violence is the Answer
As many of you are aware, I live in Vancouver, British Columbia: city which routinely ranks among the “most livable” in the world, but whose crime rates are among the highest in North America (Surrey, a major suburb, has the highest rate of auto theft in the English-speaking world, double that of Phoenix- the worst American city. The rate of property crime in Vancouver proper is the second highest in all of North America, behind only Miami). The drug problem in the area in unequaled anywhere else on this continent.
Why is this happening? There are many answers, though one obvious one: people here are simply not punished for the crimes they commit. Deterrence, in general, does not work very well in the cases of serious crimes because those who commit them are already in a state of mind where their determination to commit an act will not be deterred by potential later consequences. This is not nearly so true with lesser crimes, which may be deterred by punishments disproportional to any potential benefit.
These problems are not unique to Vancouver: they can be found everywhere. Harsh enforcement in New York City and elsewhere has brought crime rates down, but the rates remain unacceptably high. Additionally, the crackdowns on crime in the 1990’s have had the unfortunate effect of filling jails far beyond capacity.
Think of property crime (or drug crime) as an economic calculation. Many individuals will commit a crime if they believe they can, in some fashion, benefit from that crime more than they will suffer if they are caught and punished for committing it. This is one reason why most property criminals are habitual criminals: once the stigma of being a ‘criminal’ is lifted, then the small (and often nearly-nonexistent) punishments dished out by the courts.
The notion that punishments should be proportional to the crime committed is absurd: by definition, in order to be effective, a punishment ought to be disproportional to the crime for two reasons- to discourage recidivism and to provide and example to others. A punishment equal to a crime (or, in many cases, lesser than) simply encourages further efforts to avoid capture.
As I’ve said, the problem with increasing conventional punishments for minor crimes is that it means locking people in expensive jails for needless years. This is a waste of both money and useful human resources. People who are jailed are far more likely to commit further crimes and, even if they don’t, tend to attain lower levels of achievement in life.
So, what then? Obviously letting crimes go unpunished would be even less productive. Fines are mostly useless, because they are largely unlikely to be paid. The answer is simple, obvious, and even elegant: corporal punishment.
Giving someone probation or a conditional discharge for auto theft is likely to be viewed as little more than useless. Similarly, a few months for running a marijuana grow op is seen as little more than the cost of doing business.
Twenty lashes in the public square would, I think go a long way towards convincing many small-time thugs that the crime is, in fact, not worth the time. In order to be truly effective, of course, this policy would have to be extended to young offenders- something sure to elicit howls. But I can think of few things which would go further towards deterring fifteen year-old car thieves and drug dealers than a solid, state-administered and judicially-authorized beating.
Think about it: how many career criminals would have been deterred had they faced real punishment at an early age? I imagine a lot of repeat offenders would decide that the thrill of joy riding wasn’t worth a severe lashing.
Singapore, for example, uses caning to punish all sorts of various minor transgressions. This might sound draconian, but as a result Singapore’s petty crime problem remains minor and controllable.
When I floated this idea with a number of (politically diverse) people over the past few days I was surprised by the response: barely anyone seriously objected. People, I think, recognize that our justice system had deteriorated to such a degree that extreme solutions are required.
Why not the whip? It can hardly be called ‘uncivilized’, unless you define ‘civilization’ by what the European Court of Human Rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms says. I fail to see why it is ‘civilized’ to allow our streets to be overrun by drug pushers, thieves, and pimps.
Thursday, February 12, 2004
The Fall of John Forbes Kerry
Damn. It happened again. The moment it became clear that the presumptive Democratic nominee was eminently beatable, something happened to bring the guy down. I am referring, of course, to John F. Kerry’s latest apparent effort to emulate his initial-sharer and hero. Just as the whole “Bush AWOL” story had reached its culmination point, and just as people were beginning to focus on Kerry’s treasonous post-Vietnam behavior, this had to happen.
Let’s review the story, because it’s already becoming cluttered and confused. Various internet pundits appear to be taking two different stories about possible affairs (several years apart) and fusing them into a single composite event. Kerry, recently, had an affair with a woman about whom the following things are rumoured: she’s about twenty, she worked for the Associated Press (apparently as an intern), and she’s recently left the country at the encouragement of Kerry. The relationship continued right up until he announced his candidacy for President in the fall of 2002. This is the affair which Matt Drudge was talking about in the story he broke.
Oh, yes, and reportedly there are letters from him to her. A note for future Presidential candidates: don’t send your mistress gifts, don’t write her letters, don’t leave her phone messages, and don’t have your picture taken with her.
People are confusing this story with another story about an affair that Kerry might have had earlier, in 1998 or so: which was already known about in political circles at the time of the 2000 election. This is a different story altogether and the newness, combined with the repeated pattern, makes it far more significant.
Anyone who believes that the reports of an extramarital affair by Kerry won’t sink him hasn’t been paying attention to the reason for his ascent: electability. Democrats, even those who disagree with the Senator on the issues, have been flocking to him because they believe him to be “electable”, a delusion which swept through Democratic ranks like Smallpox through an Indian settlement. However the average Democrat feels about extramarital sex (and, by all accounts, most of them are for it) it seems quite obvious to me that none of them are anxious to spend the next nine months (let alone the next four or eight years) talking about it and defending it.
The Democratic Party of 1992 knew that Clinton was a liar and a philanderer: but they didn’t know the extent. So far as they (and much of the public) were concerned the guy had an affair many years earlier- his wife had forgiven him- and he’d moved on. A quick read-through of Democratic boards and sites today find large numbers of the faithful swearing that they would do almost anything to not have to defend another Clinton. By the time the real truth of Clinton’s venality became public, they had few choices (if they wanted to save the Democratic Party) but to fight for the guy to the death. The results, however, of those eight years must now be apparent, especially to the liberal Democrats who were his staunchest defenders during the Lewinsky affair: a lost Congressional majority, declining identification with the party, no major policy achievements. In the end, the only people who truly benefited from eight years of Clintonism were Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Democratic delusions of Kerry’s ‘electability’ are little more than a strange, self-fulfilling prophecy. Iowa Democrats choose Kerry by default: he was the least offensive and objectionable candidate. A nice solid liberal, who was sold as a ‘war hero’ and who, by appearance and dullness, seemed to be a man of strong Yankee moral rectitude. Voters elsewhere, seeing Kerry’s appeal (and the first-rate free media he received) concluded that, even if they weren’t personally thrilled by the junior Senator from Massachusetts, people elsewhere apparently were, so they’d take their chances. So Kerry’s support built, like money in a Pyramid Scheme. Kerry could continue the illusion of his support, but only so long as his increasing support convinced more people to support him on the grounds that he was capable of winning. There is no compelling personal or policy reason for Kerry’s support: people are jumping on because they think that he’s electable: as soon as that myth is punctured, they’ll jump back off.
I have no idea who leaked the story: there are any number of possible suspects. I’d suggest that, in all likelihood, it was one of Kerry’s Democratic rivals. But that, of course, is far from certain. Were I Karl Rove, and in possession of this information, I’d leak it now rather than later.
Why? Easy: deniability. If this story came out a month before the election, the media would (just as the increasingly David Brock-ified Andrew Sullivan is doing now) would start screaming about “sex-crazed Republicans” and manage, probably, to use the story to rally Democrats to their standard-bearer. Whereas, now, the blame for the leak will fall on Kerry’s Democratic rivals and the people who will have to spend the most time dealing with the rumour will be Democrats. President Bush’s campaign can respond simply by smiling and expressing their confidence in the abilities and popularity of the President.
The timing and method of release are perfect as well: the story will, I suspect, take a day or so to be fully transmitted to the public. Probably it will be too late to have any noticeable effect on either the Saturday caucuses in Nevada or the Tuesday Wisconsin primary. However, as the story moves through the media it will have a more noticeable effect a week later: but the states voting will be small enough for it to inconclusive. Finally, when we get to March 2nd, the myth of Kerry’s ‘electability’ will have been fully shattered by two weeks of media coverage: it won’t be enough to kill him then and there, but it will dilute his support and eliminate the idea of the inevitability of his nomination.
Many of those Dean supporters, the ones who flipped overnight because they were convinced that Kerry could win, will go back home to the screamer. With Wesley Clark out of the race, Edwards might be able to deal a serious blow to Kerry by winning most of the states on “Southern Tuesday” (March 9th). Dean may not win many primaries, but his support will stabilize at a level which will allow him to continue amassing delegates and remain in the race.
Why, then, would Wesley Clark- who is quoted as telling people that the scandal would finish Kerry- going to endorse him tomorrow? I’ve got one guess: he thinks that Kerry will leave the race. Make sense? No, think about it: the scandal gets bad enough that Kerry has to drop out. By this time, he’s got at least five hundred or so delegates pledged to him, possibly more: where do these go? At this point Wesley Clark, the other Democrat who can be sold and packaged as ‘electable’ can re-enter the race, pick up Kerry’s delegates, and muddle things up some more.
Naturally, it is likely that exactly none of what I have outlined above will happen exactly as I have stated it. This race has been strange to date and shows every sign of getting even stranger with time.
What I can tell you is this: two words continue to float in my head, words which I think we’ll be hearing a lot of in the days and weeks ahead: “brokered convention.” If Kerry can’t score a knock out on March 2nd, then the odds are high that we’ll be heading into Boston with the nominee still uncertain.
If this is the case, there will be two people to watch: Hillary Clinton and Al Gore. Both continue, by all appearances, to be conducting strange “shadow campaigns”, seeking to remain within the public view.
As for those who will insist that such person charges “shouldn’t be a part of politics”: tough, they are. Naturally, I’m no fan of them when they go against Republicans: but that hasn’t stopped the Democrats from inventing all sorts of scurrilous lies to insult the President, so we might as well use all this while we can.
After a Nuclear Attack
What would happen after a nuclear attack upon the United States? This is a question which, I feel, has never been adequately explored. Or, at the very least, not in the public sphere. Suppose that, tomorrow, a nuclear bomb was to destroy New York City? Or Washington, DC? Or some other city? Or several?
Frankly, if they had only a single useable bomb, I’m not sure which target is more tempting: they’d kill more people in New York City, Los Angeles, or Chicago but, if timed right, they could launch an attack on Washington which would take out much of the government. Were I in command of al-Qaeda, I’d opt for the latter.
So, let’s say a nuclear bomb destroys much of Washington on the night of the State of the Union. The President is dead, along with the Vice President, the Supreme Court, most of the Congress, and a good part of the rest of the government. The new President is whichever Cabinet Secretary got to stay in a secure location that night: just in case. Say, the Secretary of Energy or Education or something like that.
There are three primary problems now: first, the civilian portion of the Federal Government is pretty much inoperable. Various middle-ranking individuals are now in charge of confused Departments which are missing a great deal of their administrative staff. The military remains functional, though overall command is uncertain. The second problem is even more difficult: people are fleeing large cities en masse. Millions of people are taking to their cars with whatever possessions they can load and setting off for the countryside. Finally, the nation’s Moslem and Arab populations suddenly find themselves in grave danger. All across the nation Mosques are burned by furious mobs.
For the sake of discussion, I’m going to presume that the new President is competent. It is entirely possible that the new President, some minor functionary suddenly thrown into supreme command at the greatest point of crisis in the history of the Republic, will freeze. Now, the first thing that the President is going to have to do is mobilize all of the Reserves and Federalize the National Guard. These troops are going to have to be put onto the streets and used to keep order. They’re going to have to be used to defend various minority groups, which is going to possibly lead to shooting: and certainly a lot of shouting.
Faced with disorder, the President will have little choice but to, citing the Lincoln precedent, suspend the writ of habeas corpus and round up everyone with suspected links to terror. Second, they’ll probably have to declare Martial Law: the exact letter of the Constitution be damned, for the moment at least.
There will be an immediate demand for massive retaliation. It is entirely possible that, under such circumstances, an unsure and angry new President might order an all-out nuclear attack against the major cities of the Islamic world. I suspect, however, that cooler heads will prevail: for a short time. Orders will go out from alternate US military command posts to activate the Selective Service system. Local Draft Boards will be assembled in order to begin the process. It will, I think, be hardly necessary: after a nuclear attack, the various recruitment centers will be swarmed. Better, I think, to die defending your country than to be murdered in a nuclear attack.
Troops will have to be deployed to seal the borders: the public will demand it. This will require the deployment of elements of the regular Army, as the National Guard will be required to maintain civil order. To maintain control, press censorship will have to be established. Looters will, under military law, probably face drumhead trial and execution.
As the initial post-attack days pass, the President will be faced with two major problems: retaliation and the loss of Congress. While it is true that the Senate could, in an emergency, be replaced in a few days through appointments by State Governors, the loss of the House of Representatives would take months to make right. There are several potential dangers here. First, a legalistic President could throw up their hands and (rightly) insist that they are incapable of acting without the assent of the Congress. Second, depending on the circumstances of the attack, a President could be left with a rump House which is grossly unrepresentative of the American people, and therefore obstructive to the war effort. Imagine, for example, if the survivors among the House were Barney Frank, Barbara Lee, John Conyers, Maxine Waters, and Bernie Sanders!
In the short term, the new President will have little choice but to rule-by-decree, violating the Constitution for the sake of saving it. The danger here, of course, is that the wrong President might be tempted to make such a state permanent.
By this point, there would already be the beginnings of a severe Depression underway. The closure of the borders (with, perhaps, some limited openings) would have a devastating effect on trade. People staying home from work would cause further problems.
The War on Terrorism, of course, would take on entirely new dimensions. It would have little choice but to become a full-on Crusade: every nation that refused complete cooperation would have to be invaded and occupied. When necessary, I doubt if there would be any reluctance to use nuclear weapons.
There would, naturally, be a major curtailment of freedom associated with this. I don’t imagine that, after hundreds of thousands or millions died in terrorist attacks, the general public would feel terribly kindly towards Michael Moore and all those others who encouraged them to ignore or dismiss the problem. When the terrorists launched follow-on attacks, millions would die- and so would millions of others in the rest of the world. It would go on for years and years.
This is what we are trying to avoid in this war. This is what President George Walker Bush seeks to avert by taking the war to the terrorists on their own turf.
We must all understand that turning away from the President now means that we shall face exactly this some day. The terrorists are determined, and, if given time and space, they will acquire weapons of mass destruction and, when they get them, they shall use them.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
The Sunshine Patriot: John Forbes Kerry after Vietnam
According to some people, in essence, John Kerry deserves to be President because he served in Vietnam while George W. Bush was in the Air National Guard. I would point out, as others have, that both of our finest War Presidents had almost no military experience: FDR had none at all. Abraham Lincoln’s military experience consisted of a few months in a militia company during the Black Hawk War, in which he saw no action. Elected the Captain of his company, the first enlisted man he attempted to issue an order to told him to go to hell.
We cannot consider the four months that John Kerry served on the front lines in isolation. In order to understand, we must look at what came before and after. We require the full story.
I do not wish to question the service of John F. Kerry in Vietnam. Some people are trying to search out the recommendation that earned him his Silver Star or to point out that the three “wounds” which earned him his trip back home were so minor as to require virtually no treatment. This is the wrong track: whatever else you can say about John Forbes Kerry, his service in Vietnam is something that deserves respect. This, however, is hardly something that in and of itself ought to qualify someone to be the President of the United States. After all, Colonel David Hackworth was awarded the Silver Star ten times, and he isn’t running for President. To put things in perspective, between 1966 and 1969, there were roughly twenty-eight hundred Silver Stars awarded to the members of the First Cavalry Division alone. Every man who won one is a hero, but that doesn’t make him fit to be President.
So, why is John F. Kerry running for President when all of those others (with the exception of General Wesley Clark, who also holds a Silver Star) are not? What distinguished him from all those others? It is not, I assert, for heroism in war that John F. Kerry gained his present station in life, but for slandering his fellow veterans (those same ones who he now seeks to attach himself to so closely) and for being a primary advocate of a disastrous foreign policy which would subordinate American interests to those of foreign nations and peoples, which would ignore and dismiss threats, and which would, in these days of danger, place the very survival of the Republic at stake.
In his testimony before the Congress in 1971, John Kerry claimed that his fellow soldiers had, “personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam.” These were slanderous lies drawn largely from testimony at the Jane Fonda-sponsored “Winter Soldier Investigation” in which pro-communist individuals presented fabricated stories of American atrocities in Vietnam so lurid that they would have made the editors of Pravda proud.
In some cases people testified at the Winter Soldier Investigation, telling stories which they could not have possibly witnessed. In other cases the identities of real veterans were simply appropriated by individuals who remain unknown to this day. When the Pentagon sought the cooperation of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (who had organized the event) in conducting formal investigations of the atrocities testified to, they were stonewalled.
Now, some might argue that John Kerry was simply taken in by a clever fraud. Yet, in a 1971 appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Kerry openly proclaimed that he had “committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers.” Moreover, that same year, Kerry put out a book entitled The New Soldier which combined his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with various accounts of “atrocities”.
It was for this, and not his service in Vietnam, that John Kerry rose to national prominence. John Kerry built his career by accusing his fellow servicemen of being rapists and murderers, based upon evidence that had been falsified with the deliberate intention of promoting the communist cause in Vietnam.
I have no idea if Kerry was sincerely opposed to the war, or he began protesting it only when he saw that was the way that the wind war blowing. As part of the protests which accompanied Kerry’s Congressional appearance, he (and many other veterans) dramatically threw their medals away. Except, of course, John Kerry didn’t do that: he threw away someone else’s medals, a fact which was revealed many years later when they appeared on the wall of his Senate office. It must have been, then, that even thirty-three years ago, there must have been a time when John Kerry was aware that his medals might be more popular with the public.
While the rest of the protestors camped out, Kerry slept in the home of a wealthy Washingtonian. While other protestors at least (seemingly) had the courage of their convictions and threw their medals away, John Kerry pocketed his: just in case. When he graduated from Yale in 1966, Kerry made a speech denouncing American foreign policy declaring that the young, “question the very roots of what we are serving.” Then he joined the Navy.
The name of the “Winter Soldier Investigation” was taken from Thomas Paine’s The Crisis, in which he declared that, “(t)he summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country.” That well describes John Forbes Kerry. When he thought it would be popular, he went off to become a war hero like his idol JFK. When that wasn’t popular, he spat on the cause that he and his fellow warriors and fought and died for. Now that toughness is in vogue again, he surrounds himself with the same men who he once accused of crimes against humanity.
Similarly, when the first Gulf War seemed likely to prove unpopular, he opposed it. When he recalled that all of the Democrats who voted against the first Gulf War in 1991 were prevented from running for President in 1992, he made sure to vote for the Iraq War. When things got tough in Iraq, he suddenly turned against the war and voted against the money necessary to win the peace.
In 1984, while running for the Senate, he denounced the invasion of Grenada claiming that there had been, “no substantial threat to US interests existed and American lives were not endangered.” He then called the invasion a, “a bully's show of force against a weak Third World nation.” Naturally, today, when the invasion is generally viewed as a turning point in the Cold War, he insists that he, “basically was supportive” of Reagan’s action.
Any serious examination of Kerry’s record finds him to be consumed by two competing impulses. First, the “JFK” syndrome identified by the former President of the Massachusetts Senate- “Just for Kerry.” John Forbes Kerry has been a relentless climber his entire life: running for office for his own sake, marrying heiresses for the cash, taking money from every special interest willing to fork it over. The arrogance of the Junior Senator for Massachusetts is revealed by the countless stories of his efforts to cut in line or otherwise enjoy privileges not granted to his constituents.
This does not mean that John Forbes Kerry lacks political convictions, that’s what scares me about the man. For all his flaws, William Jefferson Clinton was little more than a self-interested dunce, interested in power but without any particular agenda for the country. John Kerry, however, has a very clear agenda for America. He’s the same man who was questioning the roots of what he was serving in 1966.
John Kerry’s entire record suggests someone who views American power to be fundamentally malign and all threats to the United States to be the fantasies of paranoid zealots. In fact, just as John Kerry has been dismissive of the terrorist threat against the United States today, claiming that the threat had been “exaggerated” and that the Bush Administration was, “misleading all Americans in a profound way”, John Kerry was similarly dismissive of the communist threat. In his 1971 Senate testimony he declared that the threat posed by communism was, “bogus, totally artificial.” He went so far as to declare that, “there is no threat.”
During a campaign for Congress in 1970, Kerry declared that he would like to, “almost eliminate CIA activity” and see to it that, American troops were, “dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations.” Later, during the 1980’s, Kerry was a leading advocate of a “Nuclear Freeze” as well as unilateral nuclear disarmament by the United States. He worked aggressively to undermine American efforts to fight communism in the Americas: a fact which he brags about to this very day.
It is true that John Kerry fought gallantly in Vietnam. It is also true that Benedict Arnold fought gallantly at Saratoga. Like Arnold, Kerry fought well and then, when things did not go as he expected, turned violently against those with who he had served. John Kerry fought under the American flag, but he marched under the VC flag.
This election is about what will happen in the next four years, not what happened more than thirty years ago. Those of us interested in the salvation of the Republic would be better served to look at what the records tells us about the candidates today, rather than merely recounting old sins: both real and imagined.
What does the record of John Forbes Kerry tell us about where he would lead the Republic? To this very day, the man carries on his hands the stain of the blood of the innocents. Not those who he claims to have killed in “atrocities”, but that of the millions who were murdered because John Kerry and others like him thought that communism posed “no threat.”
Today John Kerry tells us that the threat of terrorism is “exaggerated”. Will it, I wonder, still be “exaggerated” when there is a giant smoking hole in the ground where Washington, DC once stood? Will Kerry admit to having been wrong then, or will he insist that he had warned against the terrorist threat all along, only no one listened?
Why should we turn away from a Commander-in-Chief who has led America through two wars, and continues to lead her into a dangerous future? Why should we allow a man who has been wrong about every threat to America for four decades to assume command now, at what might be one of the most critical moments since the very beginning of the Republic?
Events are rough at the moment, yes. But who can lead us to victory? To turn away from George Walker Bush, to reject this man based on petty lies and innuendo and, even worse, to replace him with a man who has built his career upon the denigration of the United States, would be an act of supreme folly. In our war against the terrorists, we are winning: and we’ll go on winning so long as we have the right leads. We must recall, as Thomas Paine might remind us, that tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered.
Monday, February 09, 2004
The Final Word on George W. Bush’s Military Record
I’ve already written a few times on the accusations being made against President Bush. Frankly, I expect to hear a lot of this in the months to come because the Democrats’ national security strategy, insofar as I can see, consists of shouting, “but John F. Kerry won medals in Vietnam!” until they turn blue in the face.
But, let’s leave all of the hyperbole behind for a moment and address the base question: are any of these charges substantively true? Most sources simply repeat the allegations as fact without actually looking into their factual basis. “Bush was AWOL!” scream the Democrats: but what proof do they have?
There are now, in fact, two competing theories circulating among the opponents of the President. The first (and original) holds that he simply did not appear for service between May 1972 and the spring on 1973. The second, which is only now beginning to become widely known, holds that Bush was, due to poor performance, transferred to a “paper unit” based out of Denver in late 1972, and never served after that point.
Both of these theories are provably untrue: they are slanderous lies invented by traitors and spread by their fellow travellers with the sole purpose of discrediting the only man in this race who can lead us to victory over the terrorists. Those who have concocted these stories are well aware of the great political truism: rumours are easy to start and nearly impossible to stop. An artfully told lie can, if told to the right person, be credibly passed on to fifty other people who will, in turn, pass it on to others, embellishing and exaggerating it along the way.
Naturally, I don’t expect you to take my word for this. I’ve spent countless hours investigating these charges and, quite frankly; it took me several days of searching to discover that they are almost completely untrue.
What I’m going to do is this: I’m going to address the major charges one by one, using evidence that is provided largely by people dedicated to proving that the President is guilty of some great wrong.
Q: Was George Walker Bush AWOL?
A: No, he was not. In fact it would not have even been possible for him to be considered as such, given that he was in the Air National Guard and, therefore, would not ever be given “leave” in the military sense of the word.
The “AWOL” charge is deliberately designed to take advantage of the lack of public knowledge as to the character and operations of the National Guard. The National Guard is a force of citizen-soldiers, people who have jobs and lives outside of the military. As one member of the present-day National Guard told me, “if every member who missed a drill were considered ‘AWOL’, then everyone in the Guard would be facing a court martial.”
Let’s see what the Uniform Code of Military Justice says about this:
Any member of the armed forces who, without authority--
(1) fails to go to his appointed place of duty at the time prescribed;
(2) goes from that place; or
(3) absents himself or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty at which he is required to be at the time prescribed; shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
Read that closely. Bush, at best, is accused of not reporting to training which he was “invited” but not “ordered” to attend. As Brigadier General William Turnipseed, who was the commander of the unit in Alabama which has been the center of so much controversy explained, he didn’t have the power to order him to report- and wouldn’t have if he’d wanted to. Bush was merely informed of days on which he could partake in alternative training (knowing that he would have to, before the end of the year, reach the required number of days one way or another).
In any case, as I’ll demonstrate shortly, Bush did report for duty in Alabama, so this entire part of the question is moot. The other period in which Bush is accused of being “AWOL” is similarly easy to explain.
In May of 1972, then First Lieutenant Bush asked permission to be temporarily transferred to Alabama so that he could work on the Senate campaign of Republican “Red” Blount. His commander in Texas (and the Commander of the unit in Alabama) agreed to the transfer: this was to a unit which had no real duties (unless it was to be mobilized) and whose members served without pay. So Bush, believing all things were in order, went to Alabama.
Then, a few weeks later, a separate command disallowed and revoked the orders issued to Bush on the grounds that, as an obligated reservist, he was ineligible to be assigned to the unit which he had been temporarily assigned to. However, no new orders were issued to Bush for him to report to another unit. In other words, Bush was lost in bureaucracy.
This status was only changed when Bush himself (again, according to General Turnipseed) wrote to him asking when his unit was conducting training, and then wrote in turn to the commander of the his own unit and requested approval for the arrangement. Presumably, in the interim, Bush was working in Alabama and awaiting reassignment: when none was forthcoming, he sought permission to train with the unit which would later be the center of so much controversy.
Q: Is George Walker Bush an ‘unconvinced deserter’?
A: No. Let’s again go to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. For Bush to be a “deserter” he’d have to quit his unit without any intention of returning. The very fact that, upon leaving Texas, he sought a transfer to a unit in Alabama and then, in Alabama, sought a unit to perform training with demonstrates this charge to be inherently false.
Q: Did George Walker Bush report for duty in Alabama?
A: Yes! And, at last, I have the proof (all thanks to someone seeking to attack the President).
Let’s review some things that were recorded in an AP Story filed July 5, 2000 (scroll to near the bottom). Joe Holcombe, the former Chairman of the Morgan County Republican Party said, “I remember one weekend he was not at a campaign staff meeting, and we were told that he was pulling National Guard duty.” Emily Martin, who dated Bush at the time and worked on the campaign said, “I remember he actually came back to Alabama for about a week to 10 days several weeks after the campaign was over to complete his Guard duty in the state.”
Now, obviously, any statement coming from people who are identified as partisan Republicans is going to have to be taken with a grain of salt. Especially given that, at the time these statements were made, there were no known documents which backed up these assertions. However, a document entitled “ARF Statement of Points Earned” for the time period spanning May 1972 through May 1973 (because Bush enlisted in the Guard in May, his ‘year’ ran from May to May) notes that Bush earned four points on October 28th and 29th of 1972 and eight points from November 11th 1972 through November 14th, 1972.
Now, let’s go back to those uncorroborated statements from July 5, 2000. October 28th and 29th would be a weekend: and November 11th through the 14th don’t line up as closely, being fairly close after the campaign: but they still fit what was said- that Bush either stuck around (or came back) after the election in order to fulfill his National Guard obligations in Alabama. It is also noteworthy that, according to this, Bush served exactly six days in Alabama: the same number of days that he outlined in the letter he wrote in September.
As for the oft-stated “fact” that then-Colonel Turnipseed cannot recall his appearance, according to the now-retired General Turnipseed, he doesn’t even recall if he was on base that much at the time. Not only was it more than thirty years ago, it’s entirely possible that he wasn’t there himself. The General says that he’s said this all along, but the media has declined to report it or, when they’ve reported it, they’ve accused him of backtracking on what he originally said to the Boston Globe.
Again, going back to the 2000 campaign, Bush himself explained that whatever duty he performed there wasn’t memorable: paper pushing and such, seeing as he wasn’t flying (the unit in Alabama didn’t have the type of aircraft that he was rated on). Most likely, he was handed some make-work menial task simply to allow him to put in the requisite number of days. In any case, look at the ARF statement again and look at those days. Those are clearly the days on which Lieutenant Bush was in Alabama, and the paper (produced to discredit the President) clearly shows that he served while there.
Q: Was George Walker Bush transferred to the “air reserve forces” as a punishment?
A: This is the new claim, based on several documents that are being deliberately misinterpreted and misrepresented by the enemies of the President. In fact, in their chase to “prove” this, they’ve put forward the very document which demonstrates that he did, in fact, serve in Alabama. This is based entirely on the appearance of the acronym “ARF” on the document in question. As one iteration of the allegations (from the blogger CalPundit) claims:
ARF is a "paper unit" based in Denver that requires no drills and no attendance. For active guard members it is disciplinary because ARF members can theoretically be called up for active duty in the regular military, although this obviously never happened to George Bush.
“ARF”, CalPundit explains, stands for “Army Reserve Force” (which, later, he corrects to Air Reserve Forces). In any case, his description of the Air Reserve Forces would come as a shock to the United States Air Force, which describes them as, “the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, known collectively as the Air Reserve Forces.”
This statement is further backed up by the fact that another document, presented in support of the argument that George W. Bush was transferred to the Air Reserve Forces for punitive reasons in 1972 clearly dates from either 1968 or 1969 and is also labelled, wait, “Air Reserve Forces Retirement Credit Summary.”
Moreover, if George W. Bush was transferred to a “paper unit” in the fall of 1972, as this theory holds, why was his unit in Texas issuing orders to him in May 1973, and why was he responding to them?
The most absurd part of this theory is the idea that these documents labelled “ARF Statement of Points Earned” simply give Bush points for existing- yet they give variable numbers of points and do so in a fashion which synch up with other known facts. (IE, statements about his time in Alabama and the orders to him to report for Annual Training in 1973). Moreover, if he were transferred to another unit altogether, would not that be reflected in his military biography?
Additionally, if Bush had been transferred out of his unit in 1972, why would his senior officers complete (even if they rated him as “non-observed”) an evaluation of him in 1973 without noting such a fact? Why would they complete one at all?
Some are waving about a document which they claim is proof that Bush was “penalized for bad attendance”. A reading of the document itself proves this to be false. The document in question is clearly something that was signed in 1968, at the time of his initial enlistment. It explains that someone with unsatisfactory performance can be ordered to active duty as a punishment and asks the ‘enlistee’ to sign. Note that word: officers aren’t referred to as an ‘enlistee’, not does the document contain anything but an acknowledgement that the information contained has been explained and understood.
Q: Why was George Walker Bush suspended from flight duty in 1972?
A: For not taking a flight physical. That is the sum total of it. That is exactly what the order suspending him from such duties says, and the fact that such a suspension was temporary (pending his taking such a physical) is reflected in paperwork from later dates. For example, his military biography never lists him as having been assigned a different Air Force Specialty Code, as he would have been had he been removed from flying duty for non-bureaucratic reasons.
Why didn’t Bush take a flight physical in the summer of 1972? That’s simple: he wasn’t serving with a flying unit, nor was there any plan of his doing so in the near future (so long, at least, as he stayed in Alabama). Moreover, from what I’ve read, he’d have had to actually travel back to Texas in order to receive such an exam.
By the time he got back to Texas, two things were already happening: he was planning on going to Harvard Business School and the F-102 (the aircraft which was trained to fly) was being phased out. Given that it would have been eight months since he’d flown, and that he was planning on exiting the forces in the future, it makes perfect sense that, upon his return, he would stay in non-flight assignments.
Q: Why was George Walker Bush granted an early discharge?
A: For three reasons: he was going to Harvard Business School, the F-102 was being removed from service anyways and, as a result of the post-Vietnam drawdown, there was a glut of officers in any case. Before anyone makes a big deal of this, it ought to be noted that John Kerry received an early discharge as well: to run for Congress on an anti-war platform.
Q: Why has George Walker Bush generally avoided addressing these claims?
A: “Well,” you say, “great: why hasn’t he said all of this?” That one is simple: addressing these allegations, even to speak against them, merely brings everything back up for discussion and, as I’ve explained before, the accusation- when publicized, is hard to undo. Bush seeks to avoid addressing charges that he’s a “deserter” for the exact same reasons that Bill Clinton never addressed the absurd charges that he was responsible for “murdering” Ron Brown and Vince Foster: addressing the charges gives them far more publicity than they deserve.
Alright, does that all sound good to you? This debate is a sham, designed to simply attack the President rather than engaging on his policies. The Democrats know that they’re horribly weak on national security: as a collective entity their party has been absent without leave from every effort to defend America for decades. The man who is their presumptive nominee has, historically, been with the far left on virtually every important military or foreign policy issue throughout his career. By advancing these nonsensical attacks, they hope to immunize themselves to the greatest degree possible.
It’s time to forget all of this nonsense and get back to the real work of defending the Republic from all enemies: foreign and domestic.
Sunday, February 08, 2004
Bush in Alabama
CalPundit, in an effort to discredit President Bush, has provided the proof that we've needed all along:
Look carefully at that document. What do you see?
That's right: 1st LT. George W. Bush was credited for service in October and November of 1972. When he was in Alabama.
Now, CalPundit tries to prevent some nonsense about Bush being transferred to the "Army Reserve Force", supposedly as a punishment. He tries to claim that Bush no longer served after that point- saying that he "didn't serve thirty-six days as claimed", but look at this:
If Bush "didn't serve thirty-six days", then why was the 147th Fighter-Interceptor Group ordering him to report for training in May 1973? By the logic that CalPundit uses, he was transferred to an inactive reserve force. Further, if you look at the dates on the document at the top and this one:
What do you notice? Yes, the days on the service records line up with the days in the orders. Moreover if, as CalPundit claims, Bush didn't serve in 1972 (after May) or 1973, then why is he credited with serving on specific days (which line up with orders sent to him)?
Third, if he was transferred out of his unit, then why does his service record list him as remaining with it (the 111th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron)?
See that? If he were transferred out of his unit, the unit to which he was transferred would be listed by name.
Moreover, if he had been- in the period between May 1972 and May 1973, been transferred, don't you think that his Officer Evaluation would note that fact?
It's also of note that the same review continues to describe him as a pilot despite his suspension from flight status, indicating that the suspension was technical rather than punitive.
Again, this merely goes to show what a big lie the whole "AWOL" thing is. In fact, these records explode the central idea advanced by the proponents- that Bush never showed up in Alabama (and, in some cases, never showed up after May 1972). It's right in the records that they're citing to try and prove their case.
NOTE: As for the retirement document which CalPundit shows off, there are two important things to note here- first, it explodes his lie that the "Air Reserve Force" notation signals punishment, since the document in question clearly dates originally from 1968. As for why it contains no notations from 1972-73, I'd suggest that sloppy record-keeping is the most obvious cause. Note how the first year of the document is counter-signed, but not the rest. In fact, most of these documents do not appear to be at all well-kept.
In Better Times...
This woman would have been sent before a firing squad at dawn.
Forget “Love” in Marriage
Let’s get something straight: marriage, and the privileges that come with it, have absolutely nothing to do with “love”. The core of the argument for gay marriage is predicated upon this concept that it is immoral to deny “two people who love eachother” the “right” to marry. Marriage, and the various rights and responsibilities that come with it, is meant to serve an actual societal function: providing for stable families which are capable of having and raising other children.
“Love” is something which has been grafted onto what is, in its simplest form, an economic institution. Naturally, it is best when spouses do feel affection for one another, but the history of marriage throughout the world (where arranged marriages have been the norm, not an aberration) shows that love is a sufficient, but not a necessary, condition for marriage.
Do we allow people to get married who can not or will not fulfill this function (the elderly, the infertile, those who choose to remain childless, etc.)? They certainly do. But this does not detract from the core purpose of the institution of marriage: the perpetuation of society. Marriage, by creating bonds of legal responsibility and offering certain rights, is designed to bind people to eachother in order to ensure that civilization may go on. Through marriage the man, who feels a biological imperative to make as many children as possible, though not to care for them, is supposed to be bound to one woman and made responsible for the financial needs of the same. That is what gives the state a compelling interest in promoting and guarding the sanctity of marriage: societal stability.
If you believe that marriage is merely an “affirmation of love”, or something along similar lines, then the case for gay marriage makes perfect sense. Who are you (or the state) to, “tell people that they may not love another”? If you believe that marriage is merely a way of expressing love, then the only reason to oppose gay marriage is opposition to homosexuality itself which, of course, is a verboten “homophobic” notion according to the modern establishment.
The people who are pushing for gay marriage feel that the institution is social in character. Marriage, as they see it, legitimizes a relationship. They are so determined to reach this end, of inhibiting any claim that gay relationships are not the equal of straight relationships, that they are seeking to, in essence, hijack the institution for their own purposes.
By, in effect, reducing marriage to little more than a “love contract” we place the families of the future at risk. The social science is there to show us that children who come from married families are far more likely to be successful in life than those who are raised by either single or merely cohabitating parents. Family breakdown must be regarded as a primary cause of many of the rising social ills of the present day: crime, poverty, and declining educational results.
As thing stand, marriage is already an institution in danger. Allowing homosexuals in will destroy it. The reason for this is simple: allowing gays to marry will make the redefinition of marriage as a social institution an irreversible fact. Once the first gays are allowed to marry in any great numbers, it will be nearly impossible to ever get rid of gay marriage. The proponents of the bastardization of marriage will be able to nuke all of their opponents with heart-rending stories of “loving same-sex couples” who will be, in effect, forcibly divorced by any law or Constitutional Amendment which forbids gay marriage.
Already, as thing stand, we are closer to the bastardized view of marriage than we are to the traditional one. The high divorce rates, high cohabitation rates, and all of the other declining indices of marital health attest to this fact.
Frankly, given the high divorce rates and gay demands for ‘legitimization’, I think that we ought to create an entirely new institution to suit the attitudes of modern day. People don’t want to be married for the sake of having families, living together forever, etc: they want to be married as a way of affirming their relationship as “special” and having it recognized as such officially. Oh, and they want an excuse to throw a big party, buy fancy clothes, etc. So-called “Civil Unions” do not fit this description because they are, in essence, marriage without the name.
Let’s create something simpler. I’ll call them “Love Covenants” for lack of a better term. Such would be, in essence, a contact agreeing to love eachother until such a time as one partner or the other decides to dissolve the arrangement (though, of course, it will be put in much flowerier language). Under a “Covenant” each person retains their own property and continues to file taxes separately and, in general, be treated by the government as a single person. “Divorce” simply consists of one person dissolving the agreement in writing. A person can be so “bound” to a person of the same sex and, if they wish, multiple partners as well. Additionally, a person in such a relationship is allowed to visit their fellow covenantee in the hospital on equal footing with a married partner (thereby eliminating homosexual whining about how, because they cannot be married, they are prevented from being with dying partners in the hospital). Much cleaner than marriage, much simpler, and far more in tune with what they are trying to make marriage itself into.
Friday, February 06, 2004
The Whole Truth About the ‘AWOL Bush’ Story Revealed
The power of the internet is an amazing thing. For four years a casual comment by Brigadier General William Turnipseed has, in the General’s own words, been twisted by “Bush haters” to paint the President as having been “AWOL” or, in the words of gasbag crypto-communist Michael Moore, a “deserter.” In all of this time, amid all of these stories, no one has ever bothered to do the obvious thing: actually call General Turnipseed, speak to him, and then accurately report what he said. Well, today, a poster on the popular Free Republic message board (who goes by the name “Hon” and to whom all patriots owe a debt of gratitude) did just that, and the results are destined to blow these false and malicious charges to the hell in which they belong.
Here’s what happened. In May 1972 then First Lieutenant Bush asked his commander in Texas for a temporary transfer to an Air National Guard unit in Alabama while he worked on a Senate campaign. His commander in Texas authorized that transfer, which was to a “paper unit” without any formal duties, and off Bush went. He did not report for duty during that time because he had no duty for which to report: save in the event of a mobilization.
Finally, four months later, a National Guard personnel officers in Colorado (who had the actual authority over transfers) disallowed Bush’s transfer from May because, as an obligated reservist, he was not eligible for duty with the Alabama unit to which he had been transferred. Bush was then temporarily assigned to perform equivalent training with then-Col. Turnipseed’s unit in Alabama.
Bush then, according to General Turnipseed, wrote to him asking if he could perform duty with his unit. Turnipseed then had his assistant write back with the training days for October and November 1972. Turnipseed is unsure if Bush ever came to the base: he wasn’t on the base all of the time, and might not have been around at all on those particular days. General Turnipseed says that he’s always noted this, but the media has simply declined to report on this fact.
As for the matter of record, think of this: it took four months for his initial orders to be disallowed. Read that again: four months. If it was taking the National Guard four months to deal with such a simple matter in those days, just how strong do you think that their paperwork was?
Other attacks often center upon the fact that Bush was “suspended from flight duty” in August of 1972 for not taking a flight physical. The reason for this is quite obvious: Bush wasn’t assigned to a flying unit in Alabama and, that August, he wasn’t even assigned to a unit with any duties at all. Even when he later sought to perform equivalent duty with the other Alabama unit- it was non-flying duty on account of the fact that the unit did not possess the type of aircraft on which he was rated to fly.
What the people making these attacks deliberately ignore is this: the National Guard is designed to accommodate the needs of civilians. People miss weekend drills on a regular basis: there’s no problem so long as they make them up later. Bush clearly made up the missed days- there’s a record of him serving a number of days in 1973- otherwise he would not have been given an honourable discharge.
As for the nonsense about his “military records”, virtually all of them appear to already be publicly available. I drew many of the dates I used here from a site whose owner obtained them via the Freedom of Information Act.
General Turnipseed says that this has been his story all along: the media has simply declined to report it this way. They either decline to quote him, or they claim that he’s backpeddling when he is actually saying the same things that he said four years ago. He’s since been asked to go on Dateline NBC and ABC News, but has declined out of a fear that his comments would again be edited and taken out of context.
That’s it. That’s the whole story. That’s what all of this fuss and shouting has been about. There’s simply nothing to it. Not a single damned thing.
Naturally, the people pushing this know that. It’s the politics of innuendo. People are well aware that suggestions are harder to bury into people than they are to extract. Most people won’t even know the half of the real story; they’ll simply come to know little bits and pieces the broad outlines of the thing.
This entire story is a damnable lie, designed to injure the reputation of the one man who can lead us to victory against the terrorists. Those who spread it, and fail to repudiate it, are spreading pro-terrorist propaganda.
It’s time to put this to rest and get to the real “AWOL story”: the Democrats in the War on Terrorism.
The Truth About William Turnipseed
I'm happy to see that I was wrong about General Turnipseed- in an interview with a Free Republic member, he proved what a lie the whole "Bush AWOL" thing is.
Turnipseed said that this request was as a matter of routine turned over to his administrative assistant, Lott, who wrote back to Bush, giving him the dates of the next unit drills. Lott told Bush he could report for those dates.
Neither Turnipseed nor Lott can now remember whether Bush appeared for these drills or not. Turnipseed says he himself might not have even been around the base at the time, so he wouldn't know one way or the other. And he says he has always said this.
The points Turnipseed wanted to stress are these: Bush was never ordered to report for duty to his unit. Since Bush was in the Texas National Guard and Turnipseed was in the Alabama National Guard, he couldn't have ordered him even if he had wanted to. But he didn't want to.
He (or his assistant, Lott) simply gave Bush the dates he could report if he wanted to do equivalency training with them. There were no orders given. If he showed up or didn't show up, it wasn't their concern.
Additionally, Turnipseed says that he never once said anything about Bush being "AWOL." He said it isn't even a term used in the National Guard. And anyway, as already noted, Bush's training record was not his concern, but the Texas National Guard's.
He said that since the Texas National Guard gave him an honorable discharge it shows that he fulfilled his training requirements.
And, at this point, I have to apologize: it's clear that General Turnipseed, whoever he may have donated to and whomever he may be related to, never sought to damage or insult the President. His comments were taken out of context, and twisted by the media.
For even implying anything untoward by the General, I intend to write him a personal letter of apology.
Now let's see the media- who twisted his words to insult the President- do the same.
And, I might add, extra credit to Hon at Free Republic, who did the actual reporting for this. God bless him.
Now, let's end this nonsense once and for all. Spread this far and wide.
Thursday, February 05, 2004
The William Turnipseed Report
UPDATE: Tom Turnipseed IS Gen. Turnipseed's cousin
UPDATE II: Given new information, it is clear that the story was not pushed by Gen. Turnipseed but that, instead, he was taken advantage of by the media.
UPDATE III: Although the Montgomery, Alabama phone book lists only a single 'W Turnipseed', General Turnipseed denies donating any money to John Edwards. He is, in fact, a Bush supporter. Since the information for the donation made by a W Turnipseed on Montgomery, Alabama is incomplete (no occupation, for example, is listed in FEC records) I'm going to make a SWAG and suppose that the donation in question was made by a 'Will Turnipseed' who resides elsewhere but made the donation at a fundraiser in Montgomery (and for whom further information could not be obtained, that there was an error in FEC records, or something).
The AWOL Question
Let’s face it: sooner or later the ‘AWOL question’ is going to have to be satisfactorily answered. I do not wish to bring this up but, for the sake of the Republic, it must be asked and answered. I realize that some of my friends might object to my raising this issue and discussing it openly, but I feel that I must: why has the Democratic Party, and its supporters, been absent without leave in virtually every military crisis since the Second World War?
That is the real question which needs to be asked, isn’t it? The Democratic Party and its supporters seem to be convinced that they can make up for five decades of failure, stupidity, ineptitude and, from time to time, outright treason with a fabricated story which, when one comes down to it, revolves around a few days of missed (and made-up for) days of National Guard training more than thirty years ago.
Think about this for a moment: since they botched the end of the Second World War by letting the Soviets take over all of Eastern Europe, there have been five Democratic Presidents. The Truman Administration lost China, helped bring on the Korean War by refusing to transfer adequate arms to the South Koreans, listing the Republic of Korea as being outside of its security perimeter, and then it went on to prolong the war by refusing to let General Douglas MacArthur win it. President Kennedy’s weakness convinced the Soviets to deploy missiles into Cuba, leading to a situation in which he was able to avoid nuclear war only by appeasing the Russians. The Johnson Administration deployed half a million American troops into Vietnam, without a plan for victory and without the will to do what was necessary to win. President Carter stood by as the Shah was overthrown in Iran, and then let radical Moslems hold Americans hostage for more than a year, setting the stage for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. His weakness invited Soviet adventurism, particularly in Afghanistan. President Clinton appeased the North Koreans, allowing them to get nuclear weapons, turned down multiple chances to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden, and allowed the terrorist threat to grow for eight years,
This is the heritage of modern Democrat foreign policy. When it has come to defending America, the Democrats have been AWOL for nearly sixty years, and they still have yet to report for duty. When it comes to defending America from its enemies, it is the Democrats who are the deserters.
Now this, of course, isn’t entirely fair. Say whatever else you will about Harry S. Truman, he was an honourable man who thought he was doing the right thing. The same (though to a lesser extent) goes for Kennedy and Johnson both of whom, whatever their personal moral failings, loved their country and sought to do their best for it. However, good intentions do not excuse failure and not all Democrats are good-intentioned.
A new and malignant spirit has taken hold of the Democrat Party in the last thirty years. Well-meaning incompetence has been replaced by malicious negligence. The treasonous generation which came to age during the Vietnam War is convinced that American power is fundamentally immoral and that the United States is not worth defending. To this day, in his stump speech, John F. Kerry can’t keep himself from bragging about his efforts to help Communist forces in South and Central America during the 1980’s. The very same man, John F. Kerry, who once grievously insulted his fellow veterans with fabricated stories of “atrocities” in Vietnam, now seeks to become President on the strength of his service there.
The entire “AWOL Bush” thing is more Democratic flim-flam, nonsensical garbage drawn from half-truths and lies, designed to deceive the stupid and ignorant. Bush in fact volunteered for service far more dangerous than he had to take (after all, he could have managed to wrangle some sort of Administrative position with ease were his father as powerful in 1968 as some people propose). Basically, the entire AWOL story is generated out of a mess of tangled paperwork.
In May of 1972, Bush requested a transfer to a unit in the Alabama National Guard so that he could work on a Republican Senate campaign. This was approved by his commanding officer in Texas. Some months later, those orders were rejected by another layer of the command, leaving First Lieutenant Bush without orders. Then, at a later point, he was given orders to report to a different unit, commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel William R. Turnipseed Jr. Initially Col. Turnipseed claimed that Bush had never appeared on the base. Later he revised his claim to simply say that he didn’t remember him, but he wasn’t sure how much he was on base in those days.
Now, you have to understand: whatever duty Bush would have been asked to perform would not have been glamorous. He wasn’t rated to fly anything on the base. Once there, he’d probably have been asked to perform some mundane, make-work task. It does not seem at all inconceivable that, thirty years later, no one would remember a young Lieutenant who once showed up for a day or two of paper-pushing. This was in the days before computers, I truly doubt if anyone bothered to extensively document the brief service of a single National Guardsman on the off chance that he might become President three decades later.
It is routine for National Guardsmen to miss some drills, and to make them up later. This is what Bush eventually did, putting in a number of days of service in Texas. He was later honourably discharged: something not given to people who go “AWOL” or who desert.
The source of the original story, General William Turnipseed, says that the charges were distorted and taken out of context.
In any case, this is a distraction, an effort to beg the real question. George W. Bush might have missed a few training days thirty years ago, but he made them up, and was honourably discharged from the United States Air Force. End of story. Naturally, it’s rather funny that the people howling over this are the same people who thought that President Clinton’s dodging of the draft, followed by his trip to Moscow and organizing of anti-US demonstrations overseas was “no big deal”. As a side note, one list contrasting “patriotic Democrats” with “chickenhawk Republicans” begins the Democratic list with the service of Rep. Richard Gephardt in the Missouri National Guard from 1970 through 1976. Apparently the sons of Milk Truck drivers could get into the Guard in those days as well.
In this hour of danger we are called to defend America: where are the Democrats? Do they ever plan to report for duty? President Bush has ably led the nation through two wars and helped us recover from 9-11: how would a Democrat have done in the same situation? How would a Democrat serve us tomorrow?
Forget the distractions thrown out there by the traitor Michael Moore. Let’s ask real questions: where have the Democrats been these past decades when America was threatened? Do they plan on showing up any time soon? Do they plan to seek asylum in Canada? Enquiring minds wish to know.
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
We Were Right in Iraq
It’s been nearly a year since the Battle of Iraq. Enough time has now passed for the question to be asked and answered: was it worth it? The naysayers, of course, will answer this question with an emphatic “no”. The nervous, the unsure, and all the other Sunshine patriots who are careful to sway with public opinion will hedge and weave. “If,” “well,” and, “but,” they will say. However, the answer has long been known to the sane, the rational, the stable, the moral, the patriotic, and the good: “yes, yes, a thousand times yes!” Those who opposed this war beforehand were stupid and immoral: but at least they had the courage to be that. Those who have turned against the war since must add “cowardly” to the rap sheet as well. We won the war, and we are steadily winning the peace, all things the media says aside.
Now, some might say, “well, we won the war, but now we’re losing the peace! Ha!” This is simply untrue. Reconstruction is moving along at a fairly rapid pace, with all of the basic services whose losses were so bemoaned being restored. A stable Iraqi currency is already in circulation: a process which took three years in Germany. Oil production is steadily coming back online. Despite all of the talk of the “growing resistance” the events of recent weeks and months makes it increasingly clear that the Iraqi insurgency, far from being broad-based, is an essentially terrorist movement with limited appeal. Look at the recent attacks: remote-detonated roadside bombings and car bombings, mostly. These are the tactics of a desperate movement which has a capability to kill, but no innate capability to win. They are little more than serial killers writ large, capable of murder and little else.
The extent to which we are “losing the peace” is exactly the fault of the same people who whine about it the most. What remains in Iraq is as much a public relations war as it is a clash of arms. The war opponents, by their constant action, are “talking down” the victory. In speaking against the War and Occupation, they are striking a blow on behalf of the enemy. The terrorist forces in Iraq are incapable of winning upon the battlefield. Their only hope for victory is to break the will of America. Because of this, those who oppose and have opposed the war are acting as little more than agents of the enemy.
Every single argument against the war is based on simple demagoguery. The same people who, a year ago, were arguing against the war on the grounds that it would cause Saddam to unleash all of his weapons of mass destruction and kill millions now claim to have never believed in the existence of those weapons. The same people who, a year ago, were full of sympathy for the “millions” of Iraqi people whom they predicted would be killed in the war and its aftermath now show nothing but indifference to the hundreds of thousands of innocents who were slaughtered on the orders of the dictator of Iraq. Those who claimed that they were opposed to action in Iraq, because they thought it was more urgent to take military action against North Korea are now in favor of appeasing Kim Jong Il just as they were in favor of Saddam Hussein.
If the left has to flip to throw stones at the President: they’ll flip. If they have to flop to throw stones at the President: they’ll flow. One position yesterday, another position today, a different position tommorow, and yet another position the day after that. Their arguments are designed to appeal to people whose entire view on national security can be summed up by the phrase, “hey man, ummm… war’s like… bad” and those whose political reading consists entirely of the lunatic ravings of crypto-communist psychopaths like Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore.
Take, for example, the never-ending debate over Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Were there weapons in Iraq? It’s obvious that there weren’t on the scale that was predicted before the war. Certainly there was some residual capacity and some ongoing programs. Beyond that, given the confusion in that country, it will be pretty much impossible to figure out anything beyond generalities.
They speak of the “intelligence failure” in Iraq as though it were already an established fact, something which belies their fundamental misunderstanding of intelligence. Contrary to whatever they might have read at Democratic Underground or heard discussed on Pacifica Radio, the CIA doesn’t employ mind-readers, nor is it omnipotent. Iraq deliberately sought to conceal its weapons programs, leading everyone in the entire world to believe that Iraq did, in fact, possess weapons of mass destruction. Iraq went to extremely great lengths in order to achieve this goal- with Iraqi scientists apparently even concealing this fact from Saddam Hussein, causing him to issue orders for the release of these weapons which were never followed up upon. The concealment was so through, the secrecy so tight, that Iraqi officials in virtually every department and military unit simply assumed that someone else was in charge of said weapons. Saddam’s Iraq, after all, was a place where you avoided asking too many questions.
Essentially, Saddam’s Iraq was the equivalent of a known criminal pointing a toy gun at the NYPD in the middle of the night. While the fellow might have been technically “unarmed” no one should be too worried that he got shot.
Could the CIA have done better? Certainly. Why didn’t it? I can answer that one too. You see, many of the same people who are now attacking US intelligence agencies for supposedly “failing” are, by and large, the same people who spent most of their careers deliberately seeking to kneecap the CIA and other US intelligence services as a result of their own paranoid fears. The obvious way that the CIA might have developed better intelligence in Iraq was through the acquisition of better human sources: something rendered impossible by rules which prevented the US from recruiting people known to be human rights violators. I’ll just let you guess which party came up with that idiocy.
Naturally, many of the same people who accuse the Administration of “overstating” the threat in Iraq are the very same people who claim that they ought to have prevented 9-11 through hyper-paranoid conjecture which would require leaps of imagination an order of magnitude greater than anything which they assert went on vis a vis Iraq. They claim that President Clinton left Bush with plans for invading Afghanistan, something which seems highly doubtful. If President Clinton thought invading Afghanistan or taking harsher action against al-Qaeda was such a good idea, why didn’t he do it when he President? Why didn’t he do more in 1998 than hurl a few Cruise Missiles? Why didn’t he take Bin Laden when he was offered up in 1996? The whole “Clinton had a plan” myth is simply another lie pied upon the ten thousand other lies of the Clintons.
In any case, Weapons of Mass Destruction were never the best reason for action in Iraq. Many of nations have WMD, and invading and occupying them all would be a Herculean task. The purpose of invading Iraq was to demonstrate our ability to strike, thereby forcing other nations (with more rational leaders) to buckle under. We have seen this in the case of Libya- whose leader openly admitted this to be the reason. I am quite certain that we have seen it quietly elsewhere with other nations quietly giving way before American resolve.
This part of the victory is greatly endangered by traitors and seditionists at home. If President Bush is defeated in November, it will be negated altogether. If he is re-elected, it would be greatly multiplied. If the leaders of the terrorist block see that a President of the United States can invade their country, depose them, build a new pro-American government, and then go get himself re-elected, many of them will decide that they like ruling their country better than they like supporting terrorists.
Second, the invasion of Iraq allowed the United States to extricate itself from two other difficult problems: the troops in Saudi Arabia and the sanctions against Iraq. Both of these policies were extremely damaging to the US- and probably impossible to sustain for much longer (especially the sanctions, which were already on their way out due to French, Russian, and Chinese machinations at the UN). Yet they were necessary so long as Saddam remained in power in Iraq. Invading and occupying Iraq had made both of these difficult problems simply go away. Additionally, if we believe the left-wing mantra that the sanctions killed one hundred thousand Iraqis a year, then the war has already saved something like 80,000 innocent lives. Taking into account the rate of executions by Saddam, the total must top 100,000: easily.
Finally, the invasion of Iraq has opened up a new battlefield in the fight against the Islamists. Those who are still resisting are mostly Islamists, and those are largely al-Qaeda. These forces are, by all accounts, not indigenously recruited- but rather drawn from al-Qaeda’s forces elsewhere. They are well-trained fighters who are unavailable for duty elsewhere. Each that is killed in Iraq is one that cannot fight somewhere else.
Naturally, seeing this, the opponents of victory attempt to de-link Iraq from the War on Terrorism, or to simply forget that it exists altogether. John F. Kerry, for example, insists that it is mainly a problem of law enforcement. Yet something tells me that al-Qaeda probably doesn’t respond to a subpoena.
Iraq, in fact, is integral to the war: a central battlefield in the fight against the nexus of America’s enemies. Now is not the time to fall back, to retreat. We were right to go into Iraq, we are right to stay, and we are right to press on in this war.
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
A Muse of Fire
So, the race goes on. Frankly, I have a hard time watching most of these Democrats talk without screaming at the television. In the end, it doesn’t really matter all that much who the Democrats nominate. In the end, virtually all of the same people will be making all of the same attacks against the President and his policies. They can nominate a peace Democrat on a war platform or a war Democrat on a peace platform: the end result shall be the same.
Who will be cheered if a Democrat wins in November? The insurgents in Iraq, Arafat, Hamas, the French, Kofi Annan and, most of all, al-Qaeda. The Democratic Party has become nothing less than a tool of the enemies of America, an institution which is fundamentally hostile to American power. They are deliberately subversive of American national security- believing that the preservation of American lives is secondary to the promotion of abortion and homosexuality. They seek to end America’s status as a Superpower and to bind up whatever residual power there is through a series of nonsensical international treaties and self-imposed limitations.
This election has become a referendum between patriotism and treason. The Democrats are determined to win. They view American power as fundamentally illegitimate, and they mean to end it. Make no mistake about it: their outlook is fundamentally isolationist. Their goals are simple: end American dominance and to transform American society into something resembling Sweden.
Let’s be honest for a moment: everyone knows that none of these candidates (George W. Bush included) are capable of “creating jobs” in any meaningful sense. The economy creates jobs, and not the President. If you’re going to vote against George W. Bush because of “jobs” then you’re a damned fool. The economy changes with time, and trying to hold on to the old Industrial Economy today is every bit as foolish as it was trying to hold on to the agricultural age at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. You might not like it, but you’re going to have to live with it- even if you manage to put a traitor in the White House. Only one person can make sure you get a job (or a better job): you.
Similarly, no one is going to do anything good for health care because there’s nothing that can be done that the voters would accept. It’s well and good to mouth platitudes about how “everyone deserves health care”, but that’s just meaningless nonsense. To give every single person in the country the best care possible would cost in excess of all the money in existence. Keeping in mind, then, that we are only willing to dedicate a certain percentage of our resources to health care, then we accept the principle that rationing must occur.
The question then becomes, “how are we to ration care?” The sort of health care system proposed by the Democrats means that care will be rationed on a “first come, first served” basis. That might sound well and good in fact, but it works terribly in practice. A system, such as the American system, which organizes itself on a pay-for-service basis, will be the most economically rational. If we can’t save everyone (and, face it, we can’t) then we ought to understand that a system which provides the best care to the people with the best ability to pay will generally serve a society best, as it will save the most economically productive people.
In any case, no President is going to “improve your health care”, because a President doesn’t really have the power to do that. He has the power to place you in a state-run system which will ignore you with great gusto, but not to make your care better. You know who can do that? You.
There is one thing that a President can do: defend the country. The President of the United States has that power and that responsibility. If you can look at someone with a straight face and tell them that any of the remaining Democratic candidates will do a better job of defending America than George Walker Bush, then you ought to be locked up in a mental institution as a potential danger to yourself and others.
The ideas of the Democratic contenders for fighting terror run the gamut from the actually insane to the mostly insane. John F. Kerry thinks that the terror threat is exaggerated, and secondary to his plans for taxing everyone’s asses off. John Edwards seems to be unaware that the War on Terrorism is going on, a function of the fact that his ‘brilliant’ stump speech appears to have been plagiarized from William Jennings Bryan (“You shall not crucify mankind on a cross of Gold!”). The obvious end result of the election of a Democratic President is the death of many more Americans at the hands of terrorists.
Democrats mostly have this bizarre idea that terrorism is a problem that can be dealt with by subpoenas. John Edwards would probably respond to a second 9-11 by organizing the families of the victims for a Class Action lawsuit. Howard Dean would suffer a panic attack, and then deliver a shouting speech in which he lists all of the nations he wants to bring into a new coalition (“We’re going to ally with Uzbekistan, and Eritrea, and Thailand, and Canada! Yargh!”). These candidates, when it comes to dealing with terror, are fundamentally unserious and dangerous to national security.
To understand the danger of a Democratic President, one must know why they attacked on 9-11. For eight years, William Jefferson Clinton responded to terror with weakness. When al-Qaeda backed militias killed Americans in Somalia, Clinton pulled the troops out. When terrorists bombed the World Trade Centre, he did nothing. When given a chance to kill Bin Laden in 1996, he did nothing. When the African embassies were bombed, he responded with a handful of Cruise Missiles. When the USS Cole was bombed, he did nothing.
For nearly a decade, Osama Bin Laden waged war on America: and Clinton did nothing. 9-11 wasn’t meant to be a Pearl Harbor, it was meant to be a Hiroshima: a final blow. It is only the resolute leadership of George Walker Bush that has put the enemy on the run.
Under President Bush, the enemy is being steadily driven back and defeated. The Taliban have been overthrown, the regime of the dictator of Iraq has been destroyed, the Libya has been forced to disarm. These are epic accomplishments, and they are only the beginning.
George Washington was unanimously elected to be the first President. This was not because the nation was ‘undemocratic’, it was a reflection of the fact that he was the best man to lead, the right man. The same is true today of George Walker Bush. He is the right man to lead us to victory and, for that reason alone, he deserves to be re-elected unanimously.
Is Something More Going on In DC?
Georgetown Hospital is under lockdown.
Monday, February 02, 2004
What the Hell
A real title from a homosexual 'news' web site:
"Ricin Letter Found In Anti-Gay Senate Leader's Mail"
It gets even better than that, the story is mostly slamming Frist for opposing gay marriage:
Frist has been one of the most vocal opponents to LGBT rights in the Senate, and is a supporter of a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage.
Last month, in a speech to a conservative lobby group, Frist said that marriage is under attack by 'activist judges'.
Calling heterosexual marriage a "God-ordained institution" Frist said, "we will do whatever it takes to protect, preserve, and strengthen the institution of marriage against activist judges. If that means we must amend the Constitution, we will do it."
This helps to demonstrate exactly what is wrong with the left- they're fixated on their issues to such a degree that they well, forget to be Americans.
(Oh, and for those who will make snide remarks- I found the link via Democratic Underground, thank you very much).
Sunday, February 01, 2004
The Totalitarian Instincts of the Modern Left
Long-time readers will be well aware of my general hatred for the modern education system. And, in this particular case, my hatred is more than talk: I spent thousands of dollars of my own money running for School Trustee and actually managed to win 3500 votes. I’ve spent years fighting the ‘education’ leviathan, and I mean to go on doing so. I was inspired to take up the cause today by the case of Cecile du Bois, a fellow blogger who was attacked by her teacher after stating her opposition to Affirmative Action (after being solicited to do so by the teacher in question).
I don’t know much more about her, but I certainly know how she feels. I am constantly amazed at the hypocrisy of leftists who, after marching in rallies which support the enemies of America, defend themselves by invoking the sacred right to ‘dissent’ (which in their opinion, judging from recent moves, apparently extends to giving ‘expert advice’ to terrorist organizations and actually joining in al-Qaeda). This is not the hypocritical part. Leftists, after all, are largely traitors and so, therefore, it is hard to be shocked when they behave in treasonous ways. The hypocrisy here is this: those very same leftists who scream about their right to ‘dissent’ against the war (President Bush wants Americans not to be killed and the Republic to survive: they dissent) are constantly standing at the ready to stamp out even the tiniest hint of independent thought in those areas they hold sacred: race, sex, abortion, homosexuality, etc. Conservatives criticism of seditious speech and actions is immoral- but it’s perfectly alright to do pretty much anything to the ‘racist’, ‘sexist’ or, ‘homophobic’ since any actions taken in support of the ‘three A’s’ of the Democratic Party (abortion, AIDS, and adultery) is taken in the name of social justice and, therefore, righteous.
One of the greatest long-term problems which will have to be faced by conservatives in this country is this: the vast majority of students have been greatly indoctrinated by the modern left. Much of this indoctrination is subtle (though a great deal of it is overt) it is a matter of assumptions about the nature of government and society. The worst effect of it is the spread of the poisonous idea that people who disagree with certain mainstream liberal positions are, therefore, somehow deeply immoral and, yes, evil.
In the past I have suggested that, eventually, the cultural right is going to lose pretty much every argument: on race, on homosexuality, on pretty much everything. This is exactly why. Were I not ideologically disinclined to believe in conspiracy theories, I would suggest that the modern educational establishment is controlled by disciples of the Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci, who theorized that, if the left would never gain control through an open revolution, it could win via a “long march through the institutions” in which it gained control of the entertainment industry, the media and, most of all, the schools. Sixties activists taunted reasonable adults shouting that they would “steal (their) children.” They did.
What happened can best be described as an unwitting conspiracy. The education profession, as time went on, began to attract increasingly radicalized people, a process that became self-perpetuating as great numbers of ideologically sane people decided not to pursue careers in education in order to avoid the constant fights that would come with it or, in many cases, because better-paying jobs were offered elsewhere. In many cases, the teaching profession became crowded with college-educated people with nothing better to do: the riff-raff and other human trash who spent most of their time at school taking classes which focused on the Feminist interpretation of Norse literature, writing papers ‘Queering’ Henry V, and protesting stuff.
The result is an increasing number of teachers who are placed on the unthinking-Democratic-Underground-left. Dogmatic people with small and petty minds who eagerly enjoy ideologically tyrannizing their charges. Teachers (among others) have a great opportunity to through indoctrinate young people, especially those who care little for politics. Generally, most students will accept what a teacher says as honest and truthful. Because of this, while they forget exact facts, they often accept their basic assumptions. This is especially true as more and more parents neglect their very important function in teaching basic Americanism to their children (this, given the number of adults who are non-voters or Democrats, is hardly surprising). Similarly, whatever civic education is provided to the young via popular culture is insipid and nonsensical. This means that rigidly ideological teachers become, for students who spend the rest of their time listening to hip-hop and watching MTV, a primary source of information.
The basic assumptions of the modern left in these areas can be summed up as follows:
• Minorities are constantly oppressed by American society and, therefore, in need of special protection and consideration.
• Western Civilization is in no way superior to any other Civilization. It is, in fact, spiritually inferior to the “more enlightened” religions of the East such as Buddhism and Hinduism (that is, of course, when the Hindus aren’t burning widows on the funeral pyre of their husband).
• Our lifestyle is ‘destroying the environment.’
• Christianity is a thread-bare and archaic faith, largely made up for political reasons and with many of its traditions being stolen from (superior) pagan religions. Witchcraft, however, is worth exploring.
• Homosexuality is the equal of heterosexuality.
• The United States of America has no special superiority and is, in no way, superior to other nations.
• The history of the United States is a catalogue of sins (slavery, segregation, support for Third World Dictators, etc.)
These are the convictions that are stamped into children from an early age. Many of them can be found in children’s books and Walt Disney movies (think Pocahontas or this year’s Brother Bear). In convincing the young of the basic rightness and righteousness of conservatism, these are the barriers with which we must deal. In doing so, we must face the fact that, though those dangerous words (‘sexist’, ‘racist’, et al) the left will seek to smash any attack on these assumptions.
Still, a few iconoclastic young conservatives are at it: and are constantly attacked and derided for their efforts. Anyone who manages to emerge into adulthood as a conservative in this world deserves to be commended for their morality and fidelity.
I greatly admire another young conservative: Tim Buhler, a high school student in California who has encountered fierce opposition (and even threats) from teachers and students after writing a piece exposing the treasonous instincts of the left and another opposing illegal immigration. We need more people like him out there. But, more than that, we need to give our help to all of the Tim’s and Cecile’s out there.
It’s time for a purging of those so-called “teachers” who spend most of their time preaching (or, at least, the leftist ones). Everyone who is in possession of half a brain knows that the ideas of the left are universally immoral and fundamentally flawed. Liberalism is a disease of the mind, and those so afflicted cannot be allowed to monopolize education.
About 250 people were trampled to death in Mecca during the last day of the Hajj. This, explains the BBC, is the highest number... since 1997.
Among other things, it seems rather clear that the Moslem world needs to learn a thing or two about crowd control from the Infidel West.