Thursday, November 04, 2004

Why I voted for George W. Bush

This started out as a comment on another blog, but as its length grew, I thought it would be better off here.

Personally, I had no trouble supporting George W. Bush for President. I did it because I know what he is doing and I'm pretty sure I know what he is going to do. And both of those are things I want. No, not the farm subsidies or the atrocious Medicare drug plan. I'm talking about foreign policy here. In a nutshell, I'm glad the President ignored the UN and global opinion when he felt it was right to do so. I do not respect the UN and do not want it to have even a miniscule say in the conduct of this nation, ever. I am not interested in having a President who, when weighing an action, ponders how it will be received in the Belgian street. With his talk of "global tests" and "rebuilding alliances," John Kerry made it clear -- as clear as he could make anything -- that if elected, his constituency would include Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Cairo, Tehran, Khartoum, Nairobi -- you name it. Sorry, unacceptable. Nobody in those cities, certainly not anyone with an opinion that matters, has my interests at heart. This doesn't mean that their opinion should always be disregarded -- but disregarding it should never be unacceptable to a leader I vote for. I am not a "global citizen," whatever that is. I am a U.S. citizen. As far as any official elected in this country is concerned, my opinion and those of my fellow citizens are absolutely the only ones that matter.

More specifically, I am glad Bush has made war on Arab and Muslim strongmen, ensuring that they will not gain any more power in a vital and volatile region. Going after terrorists is a part of this, since terrorism is the most direct way that radical Muslims and secular dictators from that part of the world attack my civilization. (That some are secular and some are religious nuts, and that they don't all love each other, is beside the point. They cooperate quite a bit: witness secular Sunni Arab Syria's cooperation with Shi'ite Persians in Iran to support Hizbollah.) It's also important to attack the bigger threats from that region directly -- and Saddam was certainly such a threat. I admit it: I honestly thought he had WMD in place. It made sense that he would, and not that he secretly made them "disappear" then risk an American invasion on general principle. Had Bush not invaded Iraq, I would have voted him out of office on sheer negligence. But even in the absence of WMD, I view the removal of the Hussein regime, strategically, to be well-worth the cost in blood and treasure.

For slightly under a decade before 9/11, America decided to take a break from history, as we turned inward and worried about gays in the military, presidential fellatio, dot-com valuations, and Y2K. It seems nuts now that in the late 1990s, the biggest target for the Justice Department was a freaking software company. Meantime, a bomb went off in the World Trade Center, two embassies were blown up in Africa, an Arab plot to bomb Los Angeles over the Millenium was discovered by dumb luck, another Arab plot to blow up eleven U.S. airliners was discovered because of more dumb luck, seventeen sailors did not come home from a routine call in a "friendly" port in Yemen, and the 9/11 plot was put in place and activated. All the while, the mastermind behind these attacks sat safely in a primitive hole, growing further and further convinced that the U.S. was a paper tiger that just needed a good kick to be brought to its knees. (And, really, who can blame him? He bombs American soil and an American warship, kills hundreds, and we don't even bother to send anyone after him. The mighty United States, world's preeminent military power, can't bear to see military casualties, so it shoots some missiles and makes empty speeches about "bringing" people "to justice.") Sorry, but that kind of "peace and prosperity" I can live without.

9/11 was not simply a terrorist incident in American history. 9/11 was a wake-up call: the world was still full of dangerous people. Some believe that those people need to be "understood" and given what they want, that given enough time and good will, everyone can agree to live and let live. I don't, because history is littered with the corpses of fools who believed this. I believe that there is a small but substantial number of people in this world that must be destroyed, or they will destroy us. Islamic radicals and Arab strongmen are definitely at the top of that list. I want them gone. Not placated, not courted, not appeased -- eliminated from existence. George W. Bush and his administration share that view. John Kerry does not. He appears to believe in following the myriad UN rules and hoping that "allies" such as France will support us, that being on our best behavior will bring us safety, and that the U.S. can be kept safe through the promises of other governments and "international law." Talk about your faith-based policies. Say what you will about religious fundamentalists, at least they aren't worshipping a long-discredited god.

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