Monday, July 26, 2004
Some thoughts watching the Democratic National Convention:

At this point, I'm pretty much a single-issue voter, and the issue is national security. Specifically, I want leadership that is willing and able to destroy Islamism. Not "make us safer," not "form a coalition," not "inspire the world" -- destroy Islamism. That, in turn, does not mean come to an accommodation -- it means killing Islamists, destroying their networks, and making it very clear to foreign governments that support for Islamists will cause them to be deposed, disposed, and decomposed. No "root causes," no asking what makes them hate me -- I'm not interested in what makes the murderous savages on this planet upset with me. I want them killed, thereby making the question of what upset them, an academic exercise.

Whoever is assigned this task, I want their hands untied. It's bad enough when American would-be "intellectuals" subordinate our national interests to some legalistic nonsense that pretends the world is just a larger version of Sweden. It is beyond unacceptable, though, to even suggest that the opinion of effete and deluded European intelligentsia, corrupt French leaders, and oil-fed Arab dictators should have any influence on U.S. policy. U.S. policy is made by U.S. citizens; end of story.

It bothers me a great deal, therefore, to hear the rhetoric coming out of the Democrats through this convention, and in the interviews they are giving the news channels. It's all a repetition of the same talking points, or rather a single point stated in different words: the image of the United States has been gravely damaged; we are isolated and distrusted; we have alienated our crucial allies; this is negatively affecting the war on terror; and, naturally, it's all Bush's fault. It's hard to figure out whether they really think this: that deluded old fool Jimmy Carter probably does, but I don't know about, say, Al Gore.

It's hard to describe just how much utter B.S. is compressed into these talking points. The United States has not been a popular country in the world for decades; organized Soviet propaganda, aided and abetted by "intellectuals" such as Noam Chomsky, made sure of that -- and Chomsky didn't achieve his global popularity through the efforts of George W. Bush. I traveled to Europe in the late 1990s, the height of Clinton euphoria. The shelves were filled with books mocking Americans and criticizing every American policy. (The war on Serbia certainly did not endear Americans to Europeans.) This animosity isn't surprising: it's a natural consequence of standing for something other than happy and meaningless drivel. The only difference under Bush is that we stopped pretending that we paid this carping any attention, and made it clear that the negative opinions of Europe and "the world" were not going to count in our decisions to face threats. This is both good and necessary if we are going to accomplish anything against Islamism, rather than get tied down wondering how every cowardly foreign politician will respond to our actions.

Real crucial allies -- i.e. Great Britain, Australia, and Israel -- have not been alienated, and continue to stand with us. Countries that have been alienated -- or rather, publicly humiliated -- are the likes of France, which has not been an ally in at least 100 years, and is certainly not crucial to any American interest. Any cooperation we get out of France, or Russia, or Jordan, or Qatar will never be because they love us, or because they think it's the right thing to do. They will cooperate because their interests happen to align with ours; no more, and no less. Anyone who thinks otherwise is, quite simply, unhinged, and must never be allowed anywhere near the foreign policy apparatus. One Jimmy Carter is one too many.

A while back, I was asked to join Blogs for Bush. I didn't care to: it wasn't my intention to turn my blog into partisan boosterism. I wasn't -- and still am not -- unequivocally pro-Bush, nor did I have any serious objections to John Kerry. Watching this convention, though, it's hard not to turn against the Democratic Party, if not Kerry himself. We have Al Gore, who still seems unable to get over the fact that popular votes don't elect American Presidents; we have Jimmy Carter, who actually has the temerity to suggest that Bush made the U.S. less respected abroad, and the idiocy to imply that the U.S. was admired under his (Carter's) presidency; and we have every Democratic delegate and mouthpiece talking about our "image" in the world, as though they are running a sales campaign for a luxury car. As if to underscore this, they have a woman who lost her family on 9/11, followed by a staged candlelight vigil. (Punctuated by camera flashes. Like it's a rock concert. Good grief.)

And really -- Hillary Clinton talking about her husband's reign as "8 years of peace, prosperity, and promise"? Have these people no shame? I wonder what the families of the sailors who died on the Cole have to say about this. Or the families of the dead African embassy workers. And it's George Bush that never admits to mistakes?

Sorry, but as much as I disagree with Bush -- and I disagree with him a lot -- I simply can't buy what the Democrats are selling. I can't have a President that thinks the opinion of the EU, or the UN, or the African Union, somehow matters and carries moral, let alone practical, weight. Sorry, Democrats, but I can't have a President who will second-guess himself based on how his actions might play with the Arab souk or the French café. I can't have a President who is more worried about America's image than American interests; I certainly can't have a President who can't distinguish between the two. I can't tell whether the Democrats' message is just honest delusions, or simply Saatchi-and-Saatchi-style brand positioning, but either way, it's not what I want for the next four years. This stuff is far too serious for the likes of Jimmy Carter. It's real life; not the Model UN.

Either the tone of the Convention rhetoric changes radically, or the Democrats will make up my mind for me.


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