Sunday, October 19, 2003
Misha the Rottweiler is in agreement with File13 of Amish Tech Support over the President giving the PLO exemption from U.S. anti-terrorist laws:
By not only refusing to act, but by rewarding terrorists for murder, [Bush] has betrayed his sacred oath to put the interests and safety of the citizens of the United States above all else, the single most important part of the Presidency.

In case you've forgotten, that's what we elected him to do, to represent US and OUR interests, nothing else. That is the consent with which he governs, and now he's betrayed it. No, don't give me any excuses. We didn't elect him to gobble the lice-infested nutsack of Yasser Arafish. He can't even find it in himself to avenge our dead, ferchrissakes!

. . .

May a merciful G-d grant us the blessing of forgetting that we ever voted for him, because it WON'T happen again.

"But who else?"

I don't care. He's a traitor. I do NOT vote for traitors, no matter WHAT the alternative is. I'd rather chop off the arm that pulls the lever.
(Emphasis in original.)

Bill Quick disagrees -- not on principle, but on tactics:

In any normal times, I'd have long ago decided that GWB is an abomination unworthy of re-election, and certainly unworthy of a vote from anybody who calls himself a libertarian. Unfortunately, we don't live in normal times, and I am faced with the knowledge that if any viable alternative to Bush - and yes, I include Al Gore in this group - had been President when 9/11 occurred, today we would have Osama bin Laden alive, well, and sheltered by the Taliban government of Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein merrily thumbing his nose at the US - and possibly a nuclear power by now - and Saudi Arabia shoveling oceans of money at Wahabi fanatics and Palestinian murderers, while our government kneels in New York to suck whatever appendages the lords of the United Nations deign to offer us.

And I am simply unable to bring myself to vote for turning the safety of our country over to somebody like Gore, Dean, or even Joe Lieberman, just to make some point about ideological purity. Those who put ideology above national survival are, in a word, selfish. And, in another word, stupid.

I'm not willing to sacrifice New York City or San Francisco simply because I think George W. Bush is a statist jerkwad. I wish there were real alternatives. But there aren't.
Let me start my comments by saying that I absolutely, categorically, wholeheartedly believe that Misha and File13 are neither stupid nor selfish. I doubt Bill meant to say this either -- his own post did not refer to either of these men, and it was me, not Bill, who juxtaposed the sentiments. I just want to make that clear before moving on, lest there should be any misunderstanding.

Second, I am nowhere near as convinced as Bill that had Gore been President on 9/11, the U.S. would follow the Clinton method of throwing some symbolic cruise missiles around, and making speeches at the UN. It's a possibility, and a high probability -- but it's not a certainty. Events like September 11th have a way of changing people, and making them act contrary to what we'd seen before. Certainly, if the day after GW's inauguration, someone told me that this man, who in a campaign speech actually made a sop to those poor Arab-Americans getting "profiled" at airports, would be sending several thousand Arab illegals into holding cells and deporting hundreds more; that this man who preached that other countries would respect us if we were more "humble," would be ignoring the UN and the EU and invading Afghanistan and then Iraq; that the man who eschewed nation-building would be trying to get $87 billion to put that same Iraq back together while simultaneously rebuilding and helping clean up Afghanistan -- well, would any rational person have believed it? That the son of George H.W. Bush, whose cabinet was one of the most anti-Israeli in recent memory, would call for Arafat's marginalization, would demand that Palestinians implement democratic reforms -- would actually defend, in so many words, Israel's right to "defend herself," even as endorsement to the bombing of Syrian territory -- who the hell would have believed it, even after 9/11? The point is, we don't know how Gore would have reacted to 9/11 had he been in the Big Chair. He might have panicked and offered tribute to the Mullahs, or he might have decided to show everyone that a Democrat can be "tough," and ordered a few ICBMs retargeted at Kabul, with some explicit instructions to the mullahs. He might have caved to "world opinion," or he might have explicitly rejected it. The latent rhetoric from him opposing the Bush plan and the War on Iraq is meaningless: it's just political posturing, a sop to the same Looney Left who were tearing out their hair over Clinton's bombings of Iraq and actions in the Balkans.

Not that this defeats Bill's point, though. For all the perfectly justifiable anger over Bush's tolerance of the PLO, there simply is no better alternative at this point. While not flawless, I believe Bush's record vis-a-vis the Arabs has been, on balance, far better than any of his predecessors: he has destroyed the Mullahcracy in Afghanistan; he has destroyed the Ba'ath regime in Iraq, along with the Arabs' best chance at a viable WMD program; he has deflated and humiliated the pretentious and arrogant Europeans; he has demonstrated an indifference towards the UN and shown that the opinion of Washington matters more than the opinion of Kofi Annan; even on the Israeli-Arab conflict, he has unequivocally backed Israel. On this latter point, the Administration is in something of a bind: I doubt that they have much love or use for Arafat or his PLO henchmen, but at this stage, taking any action against them would make the United States more interested in the destruction of the PLO than even the Israelis -- a position that is politically untenable, and carries with it diplomatic costs with no benefits. If the Israelis want to kill Arafat and destroy the PLO, they have to go and do that, and the Administration would probably provide them diplomatic cover in the UN. But the Israelis themselves are divided, and certainly unable to come to a conclusion as to what to do with Arafat, beyond issuing a few stupid public threats. It's ridiculous to expect the Bush Administration to be more pro-Israel than the Israeli government, and as long as the Israelis are willing to play along with stupid peace charades, the Bushies have to carry the tune. The Administration is simply not obligated to take greater risks for Israeli security, than the Israelis are themselves -- nor would it be wise to do so.

In the end, I agree with Bill that on foreign policy and the war on radical Islam, there's simply no superior alternative to Bush -- "traitor" or no. From a practical standpoint, I'd rather have more of what we've got, than stupid rhetoric about "working with the UN" and even more sanctimonious posturing about "ethnic profiling" every time the Feds act as though there just might be a connection between Muslims and terrorism, apologetic pandering that decries legitimate Israeli actions, stupid prattle about multilateral institutions and the use of force as a last resort, or, Heaven forbid, deranged blather about a Department of Peace and making war obsolete.

Bush isn't perfect; far from it. But in the War on Radical Islam -- the most crucial issue of our generation -- he is boatloads better than his alternatives. Regardless of my feelings on his other policies, this one takes priority. Give me a better alternative -- one that is viable, not another Perot -- and I'll give it my full consideration. But until I have it, I'm not going to toss Bush in the trash simply because he does something stupid. So far, his alternatives seem to have made Stupid their platform.

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