Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person
They could keep their nuclear energy program and obtain for it Western supplies of enriched uranium fuel, provided the regime in Tehran promised to foreswear nuclear weapons. According to Sen. Edwards, if Iran did not accept this “bargain,” everyone – including our European allies – would recognize the true, military purpose of this program and would “stand with us” in levying on Iran what are described as “very heavy sanctions.”Wasn't this policy already tried once with North Korea? The policy platform offered by Edwards brings to mind the classic definition of insanity - doing the same thing and expecting different results. It also reeks of the European reliance on soft power in foreign policy. What we see clearly demonstrated is the misguided expectation that countries will behave in a civilized manner because that is how we behave. Has not Iran already proven beyond a doubt that their promises are worthless? Do Kedwards really think that Iran will change? Once again the Democrats display a complete unseriousness on the most important issues of the day.
Terrorism did not start on September 11, 2001. It started a long time ago. And it had been festering for many years.Powerline points out that one element that Rudy left out was the fact that the leader of the Achille Lauro hijacking was captured in Baghdad, drawing a direct line from terrorism to Iraq. I think another missed opportunity was to highlight the way that Israel dealt with those terrorists released by Germany; hunting down and killing them, one by one if necessary and with no time constraints, is how Bush has advocated dealing with terrorists from the beginning. This part of the speech was also an indictment of the European response to the terrorist threat, and a reminder of Kerry's deference to the Europeans in the War on Terror.
And the world had created a response to it that allowed it to succeed. The attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics was in 1972. That's a long time ago.
In 1985, terrorists attacked the Achille Lauro. And they murdered an American citizen who was in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer. They marked him for murder solely because he was Jewish.
Terrorist acts became like a ticket to the international bargaining table. How else to explain Yasser Arafat winning the Nobel Peace Prize while he was supporting a plague of terrorism in the Middle East and undermining any chance of peace?
Remember, just a few months ago, John Kerry kind of leaked out that claim that certain foreign leaders who opposed our removal of Saddam Hussein prefer him.Giuliani's discussion of 9/11, was an amazing reminder of what that day and the following week felt like. Anyone who watched this would surely have been transported back, and felt once again the horror, sorrow, and anger.
Well, to me, that raises the risk that he might well accommodate his position to their viewpoint.
It would not be the first time that John Kerry changed his mind about matters of war and peace.
There are many qualities that make a great leader. But having strong beliefs, being able to stick with them through popular and unpopular times, is the most important characteristic of a great leader.His criticism of Kerry's flip-flops was not done maliciously, but with humor, thereby making it that much more effective. It was not the hatred that Democrats express towards Bush, it was a mocking that showed that Kerry's "convictions" are laughable. And then he took away John Edwards's ability to ever again use his "Two America's" stump speech with this joke
One of my heroes, Winston Churchill, saw the dangers of Hitler while his opponents characterized him as a war-mongering gadfly.
Another one of my heroes, Ronald Reagan, saw and described the Soviet Union as "the evil empire," while world opinion accepted it as inevitable and even belittled Ronald Reagan's intelligence.
President Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is.
John Kerry has no such clear, precise and consistent vision.
Maybe this explains John Edwards' need for two Americas.His anecdote about Bush's visit with the construction workers at Ground Zero was absolutely riveting and hilarious. Overall, an incredible speech.
One is where John Kerry can vote for something and another where he can vote against exactly the same thing.
Discussing policy options with knowledgeable people – and even with allied governments – is not “espionage.”Yet again, we see not only a flagrant media bias, but also the undercurrent of the Left anti-semitism that seeks "proof" to expose that the vast right wing conspiracy is led, "Protocols of Zion"-like by a vast Jewish neo-con cabal.
Which is why, after 18 months of investigation, the investigators were about to drop the matter. It looks as if whoever leaked the story of the investigation leaked it precisely because he or she was annoyed that the investigators were concluding that the whole thing was much ado about nothing.
But by cleverly shopping it to journalists who were eager to strike a blow at the Bush administration, a fizzle of a story was (at least temporarily) transformed into a one-day wonder.
The United States invaded Iraq in order to depose Saddam Hussein and search for banned weapons. Hussein is now deposed, and no banned weapons were present. So why don't we leave?Just as the shooting of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the cause of World War I, but not the reason, the two motives cited by Easterbrook were the cause, but not the true reason for the necessity of invading Iraq. As much as the Democrats want to deny that Iraq was linked to 9/11, the invasion of Iraq was undoubtedly linked to those attacks. The invasion of Iraq was necessary as the first step of "draining the swamp" of Arab tyranny, backwardness, and violence. Leaving now would assure that Iraq reverts to the old model of Arab governance and the Arab world continues to be a breeding ground of terrorism. Along this line, putting 150,000 US troops in the center of the Arab world has put pressure on other Arab governments to reform. Leaving now would kill any possibility that the reformers in the Arab world could gain a foothold.
But we're going to leave Iraq at some point; departure is inevitable. We should leave before yet more damage is done.US troops have been in Europe for over 60 years since the end of World War II. If we adopt Norman Podhoretz's argument that the crisis facing the world should be conceptualized as World War IV, why can't US troops remain in the region just as long? Should US troops have left Europe after 2 years "before more damage [was] done"?
"Kerry is much more likely to change the process of consultation, much more likely to listen instead of acting thoughtlessly, much more likely to try and cooperate fully with international groupings, such as the EU and the UN."Is this Kerry trying to appeal to Arabs, or is this what he really thinks? And if this is his true intention, he has managed to hide it pretty well from American Jews.
He said a Kerry administration would probably regard the unofficial Geneva Accord drawn up last year by former Israeli and Palestinian government officials and peace negotiators as a "template" for resuming the Mideast peace process.
"I think it very likely we will specifically see Kerry embrace that kind of model," he said.
I have no views on whether one or more of John Kerry’s bemedalled wounds from the Mekong Delta 35 years ago were self-inflicted — though the Kerry campaign, in its second big concession to his chastisers, now says his first Purple Heart-earning wound might have been ‘unintentionally self-inflicted’. But there’s no doubt every wound from the last 35 days is self-inflicted, beginning with the candidate’s disastrous decision at the Democratic Convention to play up Vietnam and play down Iraq, 9/11 and anything else that happened in the last 30 years. Since then Kerry’s shot himself in the foot so many times he ought to put in for a good dozen more Purple Hearts.
The flaw in the Senator’s strategy to run for president as a plucky 24-year-old Swift boat lieutenant was an obvious one. The argument that his Swift boat command demonstrates his superb qualities of leadership falls apart once you notice his striking lack of the first ingredient of leadership: followers. Aside from the three or four Swiftees who’ve been persuaded to travel around the country with him, all the hundreds of other Swiftvets loathe him, and many of them are determined to stick to him like DNA to Monica’s dress.
The film, subtitled "The Story of the Crew of Patrol Craft Fast 94," charmingly pretends to be a study of the six-man team that patrolled the Mekong Delta in early 1969 on the 94, treating the team's leader, the young John Kerry, as just one of the guys.But look closely at the picture. This is not a "band of brothers", and Kerry is not "one of the guys". There are clearly two "groups" in this photo: the crew, and Kerry. Not noticing this is, in Nudnikette's words, visual illiteracy.
So why does Kerry want to be president?An obvious part of this sense of entitlement is one that has been around for a while, and is perfectly represented by this Howell Raines piece in the Washington Post, is that Democrats are obviously smarter than Republicans. And the fact that this has not been recognized by the general population infuriates them. Charles Krauthammer does a great job analyzing this issue.
The reason is almost tautological: John Kerry wants to be president because he is John Kerry, and John Kerry is supposed to be president. Hence his campaign's flummoxed and tone-deaf response to the swift boat vets. Ban the books, sue the stations, retreat, attack. Underneath it all you can sense the confusion. How dare they attack Kerry? He's supposed to be president. It's almost treason in advance.
Actually, this time around, even more apoplectic. The Democrats' current disdain for George Bush reminds me of another chess master, Efim Bogoljubov, who once said, "When I am White, I win because I am White" -- White moves first and therefore has a distinct advantage -- "when I am Black, I win because I am Bogoljubov." John Kerry is a man of similar vanity -- intellectual and moral -- and that spirit thoroughly permeates the Democratic Party.
Democrats feel a mixture of horror and contempt for the huddled masses -- so bovine, so benighted, so besotted with talk radio -- who made a king of an empty-headed movie star (Reagan, long before Arnold) and inexplicably want the Republicans' current nitwit leader to have a second term.
Bush leads Kerry 49%-43% on who would handle Iraq better. Kerry was ahead 48%-47% right after the convention.
Bush leads Kerry 54%-37% on who would handle terrorism better. Kerry had risen to 41% after his convention.
Bush leads Kerry 54%-34% on who people think is "a strong and decisive leader." Kerry had halved that lead to 10 points right after the convention.
The vast majority of Americans had never heard of John Kerry until this year. So when he explained to them that he was born in a conservative western state to a military family; that he served in the forces himself and went on to a career punishing criminals--all these things created a certain image in their mind. When later evidence emerged to challenge that image, it didn't just affect the public perception of Kerry's past: The discovery that John Kerry hasn't been candid about his personal history has inevitably caused voters to wonder whether Kerry can be trusted in the future.
Dear Senator Kerry,It seems that no matter what Kerry tries, this thing is just not going away. And with each new chapter, Kerry looks worse and worse. There is only one way for Kerry to make this all go away: answer all the questions, and release all the records. If not, this will continue to dog him until November, and possibly beyond.
We are pleased to welcome your campaign representatives to Texas today. We honor all our veterans, all whom have worn the uniform and served our country. We also honor the military and National Guard troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan today. We are very proud of all of them and believe they deserve our full support.
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t build your convention and much of your campaign around your service in Vietnam, and then try to say that only those veterans who agree with you have a right to speak up. There is no double standard for our right to free speech. We all earned it....
"I was taking care of things that made a difference to the life of this nation. You may not have agreed with me, but I stood up and was counted, and that's the kind of president I'm going to be."
Nevertheless our policy of selective silence remains largely unchanged. We still ignore the existential danger to Israel, our most loyal and most supportive ally. But we also deliver another unintended lesson to our enemies and to our few remaining friends. The lesson is that the U.S. will betray a loyal friend in order to appease an enemy in the hope that it will somehow work to our benefit. Egypt, Arabia, France, China, Russia and others all betray us and yet we call them friends and there is no price for them to pay. And then we wonder why so may nations feel entirely free to turn against us.The main problem of US policy towards Israel has been not allowing Israel to win. Looking back through history, it is evident that negotiations have never produced a resolution of a major conflicts; the only resolution has been by complete and total victory of one side over the other. By not allowing Israel to achieve total victory the US has prolonged the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Kerry's campaign now says is possible first Purple Heart was awarded for unintentional self-inflicted wound...So two of the "lies" have now been proven to be true, while none of Kerry's assertions have been proven. Will these admissions appear in the New York Times???
Kerry received Purple Heart for wounds suffered on 12/2/68...
In Kerry's own journal written 9 days later, he writes he and his crew, quote, 'hadn't been shot at yet'...
I said a couple of weeks back that John Kerry was too strange to be President, and a week or two earlier that he was too stuck-up to be President. Since I'm on an alliterative roll, let me add that he's too stupid to be President. What sort of idiot would make the centrepiece of his presidential campaign four months of proud service in a war he's best known for opposing?Ralph Peters, meanwhile, brings up other reasons why veterans do not support Kerry, the main one being his lack of humility.
How cocooned from reality do you have to be to think you can transform one of the most divisive periods in American history - in which you were largely responsible for much of the divisiveness - into a sappy, happy-clappy, soft-focus patriotic blur without anybody objecting? Most Vietnam veterans of my acquaintance loathe John Kerry, and, if he wasn't aware of that, he's too out of it to be President.
And even if he'd never slimed his comrades, there's something ridiculous about a fellow with four months in Vietnam running as Ike, the Duke of Wellington and Alexander the Great rolled into one. On Sunday, after calling on the Senator to apologise to the 2.5 million veterans he slandered, Bob Dole couldn't resist chipping in his own view of Kerry's wounds.
"Here's, you know, a good guy, a good friend. I respect his record. But three Purple Hearts and never bled that I know of," he said. "I mean, they're all superficial wounds." Dole's right arm is withered and useless from wounds received in World War Two, and he never made a big hoo-ha about it in the '96 campaign.
But, more significantly, Dole prizes bipartisan Senatorial chumminess over almost everything, and my guess is he wouldn't be slamming Kerry if he weren't so revolted by the unseemly showboating of this campaign. If Vietnam vets loathe him, World War Two vets seem to think he's a buffoon. Short of reversing over the last 128-year-old Spanish-American War veteran in the retirement home parking lot, it's hard to see how Kerry could more comprehensively diminish his military support.
Finally - and this is the one the pundits have trouble grasping, given the self-promoting nature of today's culture - real heroes don't call themselves heroes. Honorable soldiers or sailors don't brag. They let their deeds speak for themselves. Some of the most off-putting words any veteran can utter are "I'm a war hero."
Real heroes (and I've been honored to know some) never portray their service in grandiose terms, telling TV cameras that they're reporting for duty. Real heroes may be proud of the sacrifices they offered, but they don't shout for attention.
This is so profoundly a part of the military code of behavior that it cannot be over-emphasized. The rule is that those who brag about being heroes usually aren't heroes at all. Bragging is for drunks at the end of the bar, not for real vets. And certainly not for anyone who wishes to trade on his service to become our commander-in-chief.
While designed to provide a short-term boost to Israel's embattled prime minister, Ariel Sharon, this cynical change in administration policy will have important long-term costs. It will further demoralize Israeli and Palestinian moderates, frustrate Washington's closest European and Middle Eastern allies, and undermine the American-backed road map peace plan, which, though a long shot, is the only current peaceful political alternative.The continued reference to the "road-map" willfully ignores the facts on the ground - the road map is dead. It was killed when the Palestinians refused to abide by the first step, namely disarming and dismantling the terrorist organizations. Everything afterwards is irrelevant. To pretend otherwise is simply dishonest.
Settlements are such a sensitive matter because they cut directly to the core of the Israeli-Palestinian issue - the ultimate division of the land of Palestine.This is the standard leftist view of the conflict that if we just partition the land (again), the Arabs will stop their war against Israel. Israel gave up all of the Sinai to Egypt in exchange for peace. And while Egypt is no longer technically at war with Israel, it is not at peace either. The Egyptian army trains with one goal in mind: war with Israel. The editorials of the government controlled press are no different in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic invective than the virulence emanating from the Hizbullah press or the Syrian or Iranian press.
No one step by Israel would be likely to do more to restart peace talks and isolate Palestinian terrorists than announcing a genuine freeze on all settlement construction.So the Times's prescription for restarting "peace talks" is Israel's acceding to the demands of the terrorists. This is about as inane as it gets, but typical for the Times. Does the Times really think that agreeing to one demand of the terrorists will not encourage them to continue terrorism in getting more concessions, in the belief that their tactics work?
In fact, according to a Kerry campaign volunteer, staff members and volunteers of the Kerry campaign in New York, Washington, and Los Angeles have been in almost constant contact with MoveOn.org staffers, including advanced viewing and reviews of MoveOn.org television commercials, online ads, and web content. As well, MoveOn.org staffers provided the Kerry campaign with opposition research within the past two months, as well as advance looks at speeches made by MoveOn.org speakers, including former Vice President Al Gore.Of course, I don't expect the "mainstream" media to ever point out something like this.
"We're always running into those guys," says a Kerry campaign volunteer in Washington, about MoveOn.org staffers. "We socialize with them, we see them at meetings, we can't avoid it. And of course we talk about the campaign. In some cities, we get our volunteers from MoveOn. No one has ever raised an issue about it."
is a report that recently surfaced in the Israeli business magazine Globes that the EU was going to use the experts in "separation fence" construction to build their fence -- Israeli companies. Globes reports that Magal Security Systems is "expected to sign a cooperation agreement with a major Western company for building fence and command and control systems in Eastern Europe."
Listening to John Kerry's recent evolution on Iraq makes us wistful for the John Kerry of old--the John Kerry whose position on the war was contorted to the point of near incomprehension. True, the candidate's explanation of his 2002 vote to authorize force against Iraq may have varied by campaign stop, and true, his vote against the $87 billion for reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan represented the triumph of politics over policy. But, looking forward, Kerry usually sounded a responsible note. In April, for example, Kerry said "it would be unwise beyond belief for the United States of America to leave a failed Iraq in its wake."The problem with Kerry is not simply his flip-flopping, or his position on Iran, or on his reliance on outdated and useless alliances. The main problem is his world-view in general - a pacifist, postmodern, therapeutic reliance on consensus rather than leadership. This is not something that we can afford, especially with confrontations with Iran and North Korea looming.
The good news is that Kerry's position on the war is no longer inscrutable. The bad news is that it is now indefensible. In the space of a month, the Democratic standard-bearer has gone from a pledge to bring troops home during his first term in the White House, to a pledge to bring troops home during his first year in office, to a pledge to bring them home during the first six months of his administration. Today, well, he just wants to bring the troops home. Hence his latest applause line: "We're going to get our troops home where they belong!"
The Democrats' response is a classic demonstration of reactionary liberalism, the reflexive defense of the status quo long after its raison d'être has evaporated. John Kerry adviser Wesley Clark protested vigorously: "As we face a global war on terror with Al Qaeda active in more than 60 countries, now is not the time to pull-back our forces."Hanson, meanwhile, looks somewhat optimistically at the effects that this redeployment will have on Europe.
He cannot be serious. How exactly are the 72,000 American troops in Germany fighting al Qaeda? A lot of good they did in uncovering the al Qaeda cell in Hamburg that carried out the Sept. 11 attacks
The New York Times editorial page offered this reason for maintaining the status quo: Otherwise, "the military will also lose the advantage that comes with giving large numbers of its men and women the experience of living in other cultures." Seventy-thousand GIs parked in Stuttgart, practicing their German and listening to Wagner. Finally, a military deployment the New York Times can support.
The real significance, inasmuch as many airbases and depots will stay, is symbolic and psycho-sociological. Unwittingly, we had created an unhealthy passive-aggressiveness in Europe that clinicians might identify as a classic symptom of dependency. Europe — now larger and more populous than the United States — has reduced defense investment to subsidize a variety of social expenditures found nowhere in the world. So insular had its utopians become under the aegis of NATO's subsidized protection that it was increasingly convinced that the ubiquitous United States was the world's rogue nation, the last impediment to a 35-hour work week, cradle-to-grave subsidies, and wind power the world over.
A once-muscular and hallowed NATO has become a Potemkin alliance. The more jetting grandees praised the "historic role of the Trans-Atlantic partnership," the more its logic dictated that it would deploy only where there were no enemies of the West — parading and maneuvering where there were never dangers, bickering and recriminating about going where there always were.
Europe, as the perpetual adolescent, took potshots at its doting parent, always with the assumption that Dad would still hand over the keys, ignore the cheap sass, and "be there for me" if the car ended up in the ditch.
Gut-check time is approaching. In places like Brussels, Berlin, and Oslo, in the next half-century citizens will slowly decide who wishes and does not wish to be an ally of the United States of America. Some will prefer opportunistic neutrality and thus go the Swedish and Swiss route. Others in their folly may ape French and Spanish bellicosity, and think isolating the U.S., selling weapons to the Middle East, or going on maneuvers with the Chinese might work. Still more may prefer to remain staunch friends like the Poles and Italians, realizing that, for all the leftist slurs about unilateralism, never in the history of civilization has such a powerful country as the United States sought advice and cooperation from weaker friends about the wisdom, efficacy, and consequences of using its vast military.
But this is no parlor game any more. Islamic fascism, scary former Soviet republics, rogue Middle Eastern nuclear states, an ever more proud and muscular China thirsty for oil — these and more specters are all out there and waiting, waiting, waiting...
Welcome back to the world, Europe.
I shocked, or tried to shock, a prominent Washington "neoconservative" over lunch the other day by declaring that the Iraqi mission was a complete success. "I hoped the U.S. would get into a quagmire in Iraq, and now they' re in the quagmire. The operation has in fact gone more smoothly than I could have foreseen." This is because, as I went on to explain, simply by being there, and not budging, the U.S. has moved the focus of the international Jihad from the West back to the East.
We thus return to the "flypaper hypothesis" I first expounded a couple of years ago, in which the U.S. hangs out its flypaper far away from home, and also as far from Israel as possible, to collect as many as possible of the world's moveable Jihadis in a place where the U.S. has installed the equipment to kill them.
It's working, after a fashion. Iraq continues to soak the enemy up. But whereas I formerly thought the Bush administration had adopted this policy consciously, I now realize it was a happy accident. They have consciously "taken the battle to the enemy", but the quagmire -- the "flypaper" -- was hung by mistake.
Which makes the U.S. hesitate to do what needs to be done next, given the existence of fly-hatcheries all over the region. And that is to put out more flypaper, by moving U.S. troops on, over Iraq's frontiers. Or to put it another way, it is time to create a few more quagmires.
The planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Europe and Asia that President Bush announced this week, if allowed to stand, could lead to the demise of the United States' key alliances across the globe, including the one that Truman considered his greatest foreign policy accomplishment: NATO.NATO was created as a military alliance 60 years ago to counter the Soviet threat in Europe. The Soviet threat is gone, yet NATO remains. As a military alliance, NATO is pretty much worthless at this point. Beyond invoking the mutual defense clause of the alliance after the 9/11 attacks on the US, NATO did very little. Sure some NATO troops deployed to Afghanistan, but the numbers deployed were a joke and due to the decrepit nature of their militaries our allies couldn't even get their own troops to the war zone - the US had to airlift them there. Maybe its time to realize that an institution established in the 1940's has outlived its usefulness in today's world.
help ensure that peace and stability on the continent would endureI would have to say that this has been accomplished already. Europe has been peaceful and stable for quite a while and removing 100,000 soldiers from Germany is unlikely to alter this. The second objective is:
have the capacity to support NATO and European Union expansion and project the communities of democracies eastwardThis has also been accomplished as virtually all of Eastern Europe is now part of the EU. And the final objective is:
provide the political and military glue to enable our allies to reorient themselves militarily and prepare, together with the United States, to address new conflicts beyond the continent's borders.What does this mean? Is Asmus saying that keeping US soldiers in Germany will help modernize the European militaries? The troops have been there for quite a while, and this has contributed to a degradation of European armed forces, as the Europeans figured that since the US was protecting them there was no need to build up their own defense. More importantly, "address[ing] new conflicts beyond the continent's borders" is exactly a reason for moving the troops out of Europe. Given that the threat we are facing is coming from the Middle East and Central Asia, it makes a lot more sense to have troops there than in central Europe where they are doing nothing. Yes alliances are important, but in the words of Walter Lippman
An alliance is like a chain. It is not made stronger by adding weak links to it. A great power like the United States gains no advantage and it loses prestige by offering, indeed peddling, its alliances to all and sundry. An alliance should be hard diplomatic currency, valuable and hard to get, and not inflationary paper from the mimeograph machine in the State Department.something the Democrats, in their quest to be liked by all, don't understand.
Did John Kerry's mission ever exist? Was it known only to the CIA and God -- or not even to them? Is John Kerry dreaming of being Martin Sheen's Capt. Willard in "Apocalypse Now" or Martin Sheen's President Bartlet in "The West Wing"? That is the thing about dreams: They merge and twist, and generally lack linear reality.
It may now be dawning on John Kerry that he is living out Colonel Kurtz's Cambodian nightmare: "I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream. That's my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor ... and surviving." So far, John Kerry continues to slither ... and survive.
But the American political jungle is every bit as disorienting and suddenly lethal as the one he emerged from 30 years ago. John Kerry's tangled memory and war braggadocio has been mismanaged by him and his campaign team. They have given too many inconsistent answers, thus forcing the hand of major media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, U.S. News and World Report, Knight-Ridder and the Boston Globe to start reporting the story.
Even self-admitted Kerry supporter Joan Vennochi wrote in her Boston Globe column this week that: "Kerry's statements about Cambodia do have traction for opponents ... (his spokesmen's) answer aren't good enough. ... He should answer every question voters have about it -- and he should answer himself."
I love the smell of political lies in the morning. ... The smell, you know ... smells like ... defeat.
Since almost all Arab regimes could be described as despotic, it is clear that they all feel targeted by Bush's calls for reform and democratization.And this is exactly the reason why Bush must win. A Kerry victory will return us to the pre-9/11 policies of appeasement and status-quo, policies that we can not afford if we are to face down and triumph over Islamofascism.
Bush has committed himself to changing Washington's 60-year-old policy of supporting the status quo in the region. It is, therefore, no surprise that all regimes in the region feel threatened to some degree. Their hope is that under a President Kerry, the United States would abandon Bush's "adventurous attempt to remould the region."
Bush Declares End to Occupation of GermanyMark Steyn weighs in on the end of this 60 year defense of Europe.
(2004-08-16) -- President George Bush today announced that the United States would begin "drawing down" its military forces in Germany, signaling the impending end of the U.S. occupation of post-Third Reich Germany and thus the official end of World War II.
"The dictator is gone and it's time for the German people to chart their own course," said Mr. Bush. "Their land is now safe for democracy and our mission is accomplished."
Meanwhile, Democrat presidential candidate John Forbes Kerry said he would have voted to give authority to the president to remove troops from Germany, "but I oppose the way the president is going about it."
"It's good that the dictator is gone, and that World War II is over" said Mr. Kerry, who is also a U.S. Senator, "but does the president have a plan to win the peace?"
In the largest military realignment in years, Washington plans to withdraw 70,000 troops plus 100,000 family members and support personnel from overseas US bases. That means, for the most part, from Europe.Germany is not thrilled about this realignment because the bases provided thousands of jobs in the communities where they were located. But everyone who looks at the strategic usefulness of these bases can clearly see that they were entirely useless where they were. Additionally, in the run-up to the Iraq War some European countries would not eve allow us to move those troops through their territory to get them to Kuwait. In effect, the US was providing 100,000 plus consumers for Germany's economy; and now they will have to get some of their own.
This will undoubtedly be welcome news to the likes of Goran Persson, the Swedish prime minister, who famously declared that the purpose of the European Union is that "it's one of the few institutions we can develop as a balance to US world domination". It must surely be awfully embarrassing to be the first superpower in history to be permanently garrisoned by your principal rival superpower. But it's also grand news for those of us who've long argued that America's six-decade security guarantee to Europe has been a massive strategic error.
The basic flaw in the Atlantic "alliance" is that, for almost all its participants, the free world is a free lunch: a defence pact of wealthy nations in which only one guy picks up the tab.
Like any other form of welfare, defence welfare is a hard habit to break and profoundly damaging to the recipient. The peculiarly obnoxious character of modern Europe is a logical consequence of Washington's willingness to absolve it of responsibility for its own security. Our Defence Editor, John Keegan, once wrote that "without armed forces a state does not exist".
In Israel this week Palestinian terrorists are using the old liberal prop of the hunger strike to demand that they be allowed to coordinate terrorist strikes from Israeli jail cells. Fourteen-hundred Palestinian prisoners say that they will starve themselves to death unless their Israeli jailers provide them with phones, allow them to meet visitors unimpeded by security glass, and stop strip searching them. Perhaps cell phones in jail can be added to the United Nations' catalogue of rights.Meanwhile, Israel is planning barbecues in the jails to try to entice the prisoners to break their strike.
Our troops fight in streets and alleys, amid civilian populations, against unscrupulous opponents determined to run out the clock until the political referees toss a flag. A hostile media not only magnifies American errors, but invents American atrocities. Our allies panic, followed by our own leaders.
The new American way of war is to quit on the edge of victory.
This really isn't hard to figure out: When we fail to win fast, we lose. Our military is slowly digesting the lesson, but our political leaders ignore the truth entirely. They don't want "excessive" casualties or collateral damage. So we dither. And, over months and years, the casualties and damage soar beyond what a swift victory would have cost.
Now the feckless dithering in the White House and the Pentagon has resulted in an even more difficult situation in Iraq, with the addition of yet another political layer. By delaying resolute action against Sadr until sovereignty was handed over, we gave a minority of Iraqis a veto over what must be done to protect the majority.
A point may come soon when it just won't be worth risking the lives of our troops any longer. If we cannot fight to win, we're foolish to spend our soldiers' blood for nothing. If Iraq lacks the will to save itself, our troops won't be able to save it. And then there is the bogus issue of mosques, which our leaders approach with superstition, not sense. While Najaf's Imam Ali shrine truly is a sacred place, the fact is that there are mosques and there are mosques.
Our unwillingness to target even a derelict neighborhood mosque packed with ammunition, weapons and terrorists is not only militarily foolish — it's based upon the assumption that Muslims are so stupid that they don't know the rules of their own religion. That's nonsense. They know that mosques aren't supposed to be used as bunkers. But they're not going to shout it from the rooftops to help us out.
A poll conducted in the U.S. for the National Jewish Democratic Council by Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner, the polling and political consultancy that worked for Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak in the past.And second the pool of people polled:
This poll was conducted by making an appeal for respondents through the Internet to known Jewish population centers and then adjusting the results according to known national data.In terms of scientific polling, this is about as meaningless as a poll can get. The fact that Ha'aretz chose to publish it is simply an indication of its preference in this election.
Is Bush suggesting that despite this knowledge he would still have concluded that Iraq constituted a "grave and gathering threat" that required an immediate, preventive war? Please.Yet, he then goes on to show that the sanctions regime had become a farce, and that undoubtedly when those would be removed, Saddam would have restarted (or reaccelerated) his WMD programs which we know existed. So then what is the issue? Should we have invaded or not? His argument is then that while it may have been the right thing to invade Iraq, the way that the Bush Administration did it was wrong.
Did the United States have to go to war before the weapons inspectors had finished their job? Did it have to junk the U.N. process? Did it have to invade with insufficient troops to provide order and stability in Iraq? Did it have to occupy a foreign country with no cover of legitimacy from the world community? Did it have to ignore the State Department's postwar planning? Did it have to pack the Iraqi Governing Council with unpopular exiles, disband the army and engage in radical de-Baathification? Did it have to spend a fraction of the money allocated for Iraqi reconstruction -- and have that be mired in charges of corruption and favoritism? Was all this an inevitable consequence of dealing with the problem of Saddam Hussein?In response to the first two questions, is 12 years of inspections and UN "process" not enough time? How much longer should we have waited? And does he really believe that if we had just begged the UN a little more, France and Russia would have agreed to an invasion? For an astute political observer, Zakaria is either being naive or simply ignoring facts that don't fit his argument.
"What if we have a president who believes in science, so we can unleash the wonders of discovery -- like stem cell research -- and treat illness for millions of lives?"These are all quotes from speakers at the DNC, and all they accomplish is the politicization of science. The last two quotes are intentionally misleading, giving people the impression that the Bush Administration has imposed a "ban" on any research on stem cells and has cut off all funds for it. As Anne Applebaum points out, this is completely false.
"Sound like magic? Welcome to the future of medicine."
"lift the ban" and "unleash the wonders of discovery."
Stem cell research is not, in fact, either illegal or unfunded: The federal budget in 2003 included $24.8 million for human embryonic stem cell research -- up from zero in 2000. Private funding of stem cell research, which is unlimited, runs into the tens and possibly hundreds of millions of dollars.Additionally, to say that the results of stem cell research will produce a panacea is irresponsible. At this point, we know very little about what the possibilities of the research are. There have been a number of promising research routes recently, and then as now there were promises of new technology that would cure everything. The Human Genome Project and gene therapy were two such innovations that despite huge promise have produced few real results. It is possible that stem cell research will produce cures, but it is just as possible that it will produce little.
In other words, the left believes that the Islamists hate us for our sins, and the right believes that they hate us for our virtues. Both sides commit the same narcissistic fallacy of thinking that the Islamist holy war against the West revolves solely around ourselves, around the moral drama of our goodness or our wickedness, rather than having something to do with Islam itself.It is understandable why we come up with these explanations for the behavior of the Islamists - we do not understand their culture and so transfer our values and ways of thinking to them. This is the same kind of thinking that makes some in the West think that if only we sat down with them, we could come to an agreement. No matter what bin Laden says in his video and audio tapes, or what other Islamist leaders say publicly (MEMRI.org provides excellent translations of speeches and writings from the Arab world), we refuse to be shaken from our mistaken belief that there is something we can do that will actually change the way Islamists see us or what they want to do to us.
Using Muhammed as their model, the jihadis live and think and act within paradigms provided by the stages of Muhammed’s political and military career. According to Habeck, this internally driven logic of Islam, and not any particular provocation, real or imagined, by some outside power, is the key to understanding why the jihadis do what they do.
What is most striking in the Method of Muhammed is the utter absence of any transcendent notion of morality. Unlike in traditional Western religion and philosophy, where God or the Good is the measure of human actions, in Islamism (which after all is simply a pure form of Islam) the measure of human actions is the shifting power tactics and military strategies of a desert brigand and war leader.
Two defense sources told The Washington Times that the ISG has interviewed Iraqis who told of Saddam's system of dispatching his trusted Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) to the border, where they would send border inspectors away.
The shift was followed by the movement of trucks in and out of Syria suspected of carrying materials banned by U.N. sanctions. Once the shipments were made, the agents would leave and the regular border guards would resume their posts.
The obvious conclusion to draw at the moment is that we are living in a rerun of the 1930s, and the liberal left is once again sucking up to tyranny. It is easy to think that way. Look at how the democratic left in Britain proved its futility and played into Tony Blair's hands when it allowed the Marxist-Leninist Socialist Workers Party to lead the anti-war movement.
Yet the idea that history is repeating itself fails to take account of the weirdness of the times. If the fact that the anti-war movement was as much under the control of the religious fundamentalists of the Muslim Association of Britain as the political totalitarians of the SWP doesn't convince you, look again at the three examples I gave. They are all symptoms of a left that has swerved to the right. Saddam Hussein may have slavishly followed Stalin's methods of dealing with his opponents, but his Ba'ath Party was inspired by Nazi Germany and its programme of exterminating impure ethnic minorities was recognisably fascist.
The ineluctable answer is, I'm afraid, that there no longer is a left with a coherent message of hope for the human race. The audiences at Michael Moore films don't look at his propaganda images of kite-flying kiddies and pull themselves up short by thinking of what happened to their comrades in Iraq. They have no comrades. They don't support Saddam. They don't support his foes. They have no policy to offer. The noise of their self-righteous anger is merely a cover for an indifference bred by failure.
Marxist-Leninism is as dead as any idea can be - it made the fatal blunder of putting its ideas into practice and died of shame. Fifty years ago, there were revolutionary socialist movements in dozens of countries ready to take power. Today there isn't one, and the world is a better place for that.
Unless you believe that the failure of the world's peoples to look leftwards is all the result of brainwashing by the corporate media, you have to conclude that the left is dead. The anger that propelled it is still there, and although it won many battles, some of the oppressions it fought against remain as grievous as ever.
The pity of the aftermath is that while the honourable traditions of the left are forgotten, the worst flourish and mutate into aberrations that would have made our predecessors choke.
"My truth is that I am a gay American,'' announced Gov. James McGreevey to the people of New Jersey last Thursday.
That's such an exquisitely contemporary formulation: ''my'' truth. Once upon a time, there was only ''the'' truth. Now everyone gets his own
Which brings us to John Kerry. What is his unique truth? In 1986, on the floor of the United States Senate, he said:
''I remember Christmas of 1968, sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by the Vietnamese and the Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there, the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory, which is seared -- seared -- in me.''
So what are we to make of Sen. Kerry's self-seared 30-year-old false memory of Christmas in Cambodia with its vast accumulation of precise details? Of being shot at by the Khmer Rouge (unlikely in 1968) and of South Vietnamese troops drunkenly celebrating Christmas (as only devout Buddhists know how)?
It's not about dates and places. For Kerry, his Yuletide mission was an epiphany: the moment when he realized his government was lying to the people about what was going on. This is the turning point, the moment that set the young Kerry on the path from brave young war volunteer to fierce anti-war activist.
And it turns out it's total bunk.
Overwhelmingly, those who have been crying for a year-and-a-half to “bring our troops home,” and whose fervor is now renewed by the electoral contest, don’t give a flying latte about our soldiers. Whether we speak of the irresponsible, self-important celebrities suddenly pretending to care about those in uniform, or the “useful idiots” (to use the Marxist-Leninist term) who crowd the streets to condemn a war of liberation because “America must be wrong” and who weep crocodile tears for brave young Americans they privately despise, the truth is that there are no more repugnant creatures on the American political scene than those who pretend to represent the best interests of our troops while secretly celebrating every one of our casualties.These same people will be in New York, protesting the Republican Convention. Of course, when there is actual evil - like Saddam gassing Kurds, or massacres in Sudan, or suicide bombers killing innocents - these people are nowhere to be found.
When someone who has never served in uniform, who will never serve in uniform, whose children will never serve in uniform, whose relatives don’t serve in uniform, and who doesn’t even know—or want to know—anyone who actually serves in uniform tells you that they’re speaking on behalf of our troops, you know you’ve met an Olympic-level hypocrite, a vampire sucking the blood of America’s best.
The American Left is out of ideas, out of morals and out of simple decency. All they can do is to shout, lie and pretend to care about those American citizens—our troops, inner-city minorities and the average working man and woman—for whom they don’t give a tiny shred of a damn.
The protesters are going to do a lot of shouting in New York. If you hear one honest voice among them, call me.
This is a double kill, both on the U.N.'s temperature records and its vaunted climate models. That's because the models generally predict an increased warming rate with height (outside of local polar regions). Neither the satellite nor the balloon records can find it. When this was noted in the first satellite paper published in 1990, some scientists objected that the record, which began in 1979, was too short. Now we have a quarter-century of concurrent balloon and satellite data, both screaming that the UN's climate models have failed, as well as indicating that its surface record is simply too hot.
If the models are wrong as one goes up in the atmosphere, then any correspondence between them and surface temperatures is either pretty lucky or the product of some unspecified "adjustment." Getting the vertical distribution of temperature wrong means that everything dependent upon that -- precipitation and cloudiness, as examples -- must be wrong. Obviously, the amount of cloud in the air determines the day's high temperature as well as whether or not it rains.
As bad as things have gone for the IPCC and its ideologues, it gets worse, much, much worse.
So, next time you get the "crazy idea" that just maybe Israel can make peace with the Palestinians, or that the Islamic world is ready to live in peace with the rest of the world, knock that revisionist baloney right out of your head. They're having a psychotic episode, gripped in mass insanity.
And, if Jesus ever comes back, Arafat will portray the Nazarene as a Palestinian "Shaheed" (martyr) who the Israeli occupation has killed - as Yasser Arafat has stated on numerous occasions. You'll hear it first on Palestinian Authority TV.
Iranian officials refused point-blank to comply, saying they had every right under international law to pursue "peaceful" nuclear technology.Has someone at the Iranian Foreign Ministry been sniffing too much glue? Or is this a direct challenge to the US and the EU-3? It seems that Iran is not waiting for the election results here, possibly thinking that in the midst of an election Bush is unlikely to do anything to them.
They then stunned the Europeans by presenting a letter setting out their own demands.
Iran said the EU-3 should support Iran's quest for "advanced (nuclear) technology, including those with dual use" - a reference to equipment that has both civilian and military applications.
The Europeans should "remove impediments" preventing Iran from having such technology, and stick to these commitments even if faced with "legal (or) political . . . limitations", an allusion to American pressure or even future international sanctions against Iran.
More astonishingly, Iran said the EU-3 should agree to meet Iran's requirements for conventional weapons and even "provide security assurances" against a nuclear attack on Iran.
Religion offers the individual a way of transcending death by separating the holy, or eternal, from the profane, or transitory. It presupposes not merely an eternal plane of being exalted above mere creation, but also some means by which mortals may participate in this higher being through revelation and grace, and some procedure by which they may obtain grace, that is, ritual and prayer.I'm not sure that I completely agree with this characterization of Islam. I would say that Islam is the religion, while Islamism is the political ideology. Unlike the other two major religions, Islam has never had a "reformation", and because of this it seeks to control both the religious sphere of life, as well as the secular.
In Islam, this procedure is jihad.
All in all, in his 20 years in the Senate, Kerry ranks as one of the five most dovish or liberal members on foreign policy if you tally up the key votes selected by the liberal advocacy group, Americans for Democratic Action. Is it any wonder that Kerry is seeking to focus voters' attention on his courage as a Navy officer rather than his judgment as a political leader?
Since 1972, when McGovern jettisoned the tradition of Harry Truman, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and made the Democrats the party of dovishness, only two Democrats have won the White House. Both of them, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, presented themselves as more hawkish than their Republican opponents. In 1976, Carter targeted the detente policies of Gerald Ford. In 1992, Clinton lambasted George H.W. Bush's refusal to defend Bosnia or criticize Beijing. Once in office, each pursued softer foreign policies than the Republican he had defeated.
That Kerry comes from Massachusetts--the only state that opted for McGovern in 1972--makes his projection of hawkishness a harder sell. The military veterans with whom he surrounded himself at the convention, and the reminders of the honor with which he himself served, make the claim more plausible. Until you look at the political record.
I'm Vietnammed out. But it's the centrepiece of Kerry's campaign: the other day, asked a straightforward question about 9/11, he stuck to the current millennium for a good 20 seconds and then veered off into "the war that I fought in was a war where we saw America lose its support for the war, where the soldiers came back having had to do what our soldiers are doing today, carry an M-16 in another country, try to tell the difference between friend and foe. I know what it's like to go out at night on patrol", etc, etc. So, since Vietnam seems to be the only subject on which he has anything to say, it would be reassuring to know that at least he's got that right.What would be even more reassuring is if Kerry actually spoke about the problems of the present, or the issues that we will have to confront in the future, as opposed to simply reliving his past "glories" (or fabricating ones).
he still would have voted to give President Bush the authority to go to war in Iraq, even if he had known in October 2002 that US intelligence was flawed, that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, and that there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.I say "seemingly" because the answer and explanation of the answer are positively Clintonian in their parsing of words. President Bush clearly challenged Kerry by saying "My opponent hasn't answered the question of whether, knowing what we know now, he would have supported going into Iraq". Yet Kerry's answer, while seeming like support for the war, is actually only support for giving the President "the authority" to invade Iraq. Kerry, once again, wants to not take any position on this issue; he supports authorizing the decision to go to war, but not the actual decision to go to war - in effect the Clintonian position of authorizing the ends (Saddam's removal), but not the means of accomplishing it. This is simply unserious.
My question to President Bush is: Why did he rush to war without a plan to win the peace? Why did he rush to war on faulty intelligence and not do the hard work necessary to give America the truth? Why did he mislead America about how he would go to war? Why has he not brought other countries to the table in order to support American troops in the way that we deserve it and relieve a pressure from the American people?These arguments have all been thoroughly discredited, yet Kerry still resorts to them for fear of losing his base, the anti-war far left. His arguments are the perfect way to convince our Islamofascist enemies that we are not really serious in fighting them or winning.
In the face of these stark dangers, Europe seems remarkably passive. Having burst into action last fall, it does not seem to know what to do now that Iran has rebuffed its efforts. It is urging negotiations again, which is fine. But what will it tell Iran in these negotiations? What is the threat that it is willing to wield?And this is the key problem with Europe's and Kerry's views on foreign policy. Neither seem able to admit that soft power (negotiations) is worthless without the credible threat of punishment for non-compliance. Europe can not admit this because even if it did, it does not have the military power to generate a credible threat and thus cowers behind its post-modern belief in international law without the power to back it up. Kerry can not admit this because his world-view, as shown by his 20 plus years of votes in the Senate, is one of pacifism. Both of these positions have been thoroughly discredited by the past few years of history, and are simply not serious as foreign policy in an increasingly dangerous world.
The initial reviews of the current President Bush's push for reform in the Middle East may have been harsh, especially from the region's entrenched powers. Yet in the last few months, the debate, once confined to émigré papers published in London or Paris, has suddenly bubbled up onto the pages of the state-controlled press in the Arab world.While this is undoubtedly good news, it is interesting to see what has been accomplished, in terms of democracy, in Russia. Richard Pipes, one of the leading experts on Russia, has some pretty disheartening poll results from Russia.
Notwithstanding the administration's modest approach, democracy is now at the center of debate in Arab capitals. And while some in the United States continue to insist that Arab democracy is the fantasy of a discredited cabal in Washington, an effort to avoid what they assert should be America's only priority - resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - Arab intellectuals don't necessarily agree. The director of Egypt's Al Ahram center for Political and Strategic Studies, Abdel Monem Said, took the issue on himself. "Making reform and human rights contingent upon resolving the Palestinian problem," he said, "confirms what the American neo-cons are saying, that the political regimes harming human rights are using the Palestinian problem in order to divert glances from their own behavior."
They view democracy as a fraud: 78 percent of respondents in a 2003 survey said that democracy is a facade concealing a regime in which real power is exercised by rich and powerful cliques. Only 22 percent express a preference for democracy, whereas 53 percent positively dislike it. Fifty-two percent believe multiparty elections do more harm than good.Obviously the Arab world is very different from a post-Communist Russia, and the problems that Russia experienced in trying to transform to a democracy need to be taken into account in terms of the reaction of its citizenry, yet there are some similarities. Russia emerged from a repressive, violent, all-powerful and controlling Communist system while most of the Arab world still suffers under a similar system. In order to foster a democracy in the Arab world, it would seem like a good idea to learn the lessons of the transformation in Russia.
They attach little importance to liberties. Only one in 10 Russians would be unwilling to surrender the freedom of speech, press, or movement in exchange for "order" or stability. A recent poll brought out the stunning fact that fully three-quarters of Russians want the restoration of censorship on the mass media.
Russians hold the judiciary system in contempt, believing that the courts are thoroughly corrupt. They refer to court proceedings as auctions in which the highest bidder wins out.