Thursday, October 28, 2004

Barbarians at the Gate

Barbarians at the Gate

What has come to be known as the barbarian wing of the democrat party is in a state of shrill denial, as they scream and carry on, all the while seeking to curry favor and change opinion in that cohort of the American electorate known as the swing voters. Their frustration is understandable. What is not, is their irrational ranting and raving. After all, if one seeks to sway opinion, it is obvious that reasoned debate, and verifiable fact, are a much surer route to that goal.

What moves them past the limits of polite discourse seems to be a belief that, if only the electorate would hear their message, their candidates would win in a landslide. What they seem unable to face is, it is their ideas that are falling out of favor. Poor liberals - they believe themselves, with some justification, to be smarter and more aware than the mass of the American polity. They consider themselves the elite, whether due to their superior creativity, intelligence, or net worth. Artists, intellectuals, and millionaires have always prided themselves as being in front of the curve of public opinion. Reality today is, they are behind it. As socialist states and systems everywhere in the world are crumbling or turning to the market, the leftists themselves continue to consider their ideas superior to market forces. Obviously, to them, their superior intelligence must be a better arbiter of truth than the anarchy of the masses and the competition of their capital. But in what is the ultimate example of reality beating out logic, trillions of dollars chasing willing buyers, or millions of voters making up their own minds, make better decisions than a dozen professors in a smoke-free room ever could.

As usual, Victor Davis Hanson makes the case better and more eloquently than anyone. The frustration of the left is palpable, as they have made clear that any election result other than the one that they believe to be correct must clearly be due to voter fraud and manipulation. Their candidates for high office believe that they can be elected using the Perot strategy of merely pointing out problems, without any need to prescribe solutions. We need only to believe that Senator Kerry is so smart that whatever he does will be done more competently than anything George W. Bush has done, or would do. The proven fact that Bush is smarter than Kerry, and the track record that Kerry could get nothing of consequence done in twenty years in the Senate, fail to make an impression in the elite minds of these people. Like Mike Dukakis before him, they believe that this election is about competence, not ideology. They fail to understand that Perot and Dukakis not only lost, they lost by a lot. Denial is not just a river in Egypt. It is leftist theology. These true believers will be shocked, shocked, come November third. We can only hope that their defeat is massive enough that they get, or at least accept, the message.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Putin for Bush

Putin for Bush

Kerry may boast that some foreign leaders wish for his election, but he has avoided explaining the why of it. But not all these leaders have failed to find their voice, and while most oppose the war in Iraq, not all want Kerry in the White House. In an election cycle in which neither candidate has an easy time saying exactly why we should vote for them, and many endorsers seem to have the same problem, not all share this problem. In the most cogent endorsement yet for the election of George W. Bush, Russian president Vladimir Putin put it succinctly:
Putin, speaking Central Asian Cooperation Organization summit in Tajikistan Monday, made his most overt comments of support so far for the re-election of Bush for a second term.

"Any unbiased observer understands that attacks of international terrorist organizations in Iraq, especially nowadays, are targeted not only and not so much against the international coalition as against President Bush," Putin said.

"International terrorists have set as their goal inflicting the maximum damage to Bush, to prevent his election to a second term.

"If they succeed in doing that, they will celebrate a victory over America and over the entire anti-terror coalition," Putin said.

"In that case, this would give an additional impulse to international terrorists and to their activities, and could lead to the spread of terrorism to other parts of the world."
At last. There it is. What can Kerry say to this? Putin is not even one of the "coerced and the bribed." And obviously, he is not one of the willingly blind, either.

Simply Disgusting

Simply Disgusting

Great NY Post editorial this morning about the blatant democrat attempt to steal the election. Money Quote:
As it happens, massive fraud in registering Democratic voters has been documented this year — and constitutes a genuine attempt to manipulate the election.

But Dems aren't interested in that kind of fraud.

Democratic leaders and many in their rank-and-file are simply not prepared ever to accept that voters just might prefer a Republican candidate.

Any GOP victory has to be tainted, the result of a "steal."

Which is why they're fully prepared to manufacture evidence — even when none exists.

It's simply disgusting.
All we can hope for is that Bush wins by a big enough margin to take the sting out of such tactics. When Al Gore refused to concede in 2000, most thinking Americans thought less of him for his venality, for placing himself above the law and the republic. Now we have that Supreme Court decision out there, ready to be used to perpetrate more mischief, as George Will has shown plainly in this essay in Newsweek last week. The Supremes took the easy way out, as usual. Now we may have to reap the whirlwind. As Will puts it:
How did we reach this danger? When Al Gore dragged Florida's courts into the election process, the U.S. Supreme Court did not make the prudent decision to refuse to be dragged into what Justice Felix Frankfurter called the "political thicket." If the court had allowed Florida's intrastate power struggle to proceed, here is what probably would have happened:

Florida's runaway Supreme Court would have done what it seemed determined to do: it would have continued to rewrite the state's election laws and vote-counting rules until they produced a Gore victory. Then Florida's Republican-controlled legislature would have done what the U.S. Constitution empowers state legislatures to do: choose electors.
Same outcome, different route; one which would have not left that terrible precedent.

By the way, why does almost everyone remember that the decision was 5 to 4? The determinative portion of that decision went 7 to 2. Oh well - no wonder I say that the "common knowledge" is always wrong.

As Simple As That

There is no way to add to or improve Victor Davis Hanson's essay on the upcoming election. The last bit:
ohn Kerry is probably going to lose this election, despite the "Vote for Change" rock tour, despite Air America, despite Kitty Kelley's fraud hyped on national media, despite Soros's hit pieces, despite Fahrenheit 9/11, despite the Nobel Prizes and Cannes Film Awards, despite Rathergate and ABC Memogate, despite the European press, despite Kofi Annan's remonstrations, despite a barking Senator Harkin or Kennedy, despite the leaks of rogue CIA Beltway insiders, despite Jimmy Carter's sanctimonious lectures, despite Joe Wilson, Anonymous, and Richard Clarke — and more. You all have given your best shot, but I think you are going to lose.

Why? Because the majority of Americans does not believe you. The majority is more likely to accept George Bush's tragic view that we really are in a war for our very survival to stop those who would kill us and to alter the landscape that produced them — a terrible war that we are winning.

When all is said and done, it still is as simple as that.
Couldn't say it better. Read the whole thing. At times like these, right after reading something this good, I feel unworthy.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Kerry's Draft

Kerry's Draft

Lots of smoke has been blown by the Democrats, started by Charlie Rangel as a means to get back the attention he used to deserve as the Chairman of the ways and Means Committee in the House. Now the Kerry spinners are trying to make the issue seem real, but in fact are merely revealing their lack of understanding about how our twenty first century military functions. Kerry's last direct contact with the military was in Vietnam, and Rangel's was in Korea. These men seem to be laboring under the belief, if indeed they even believe what they are saying, that a troop can be put in the field after eight weeks training, given a rifle and told where to shoot.

Today's military is a highly professional force that uses some highly complicated equipment. Most troops need a year to train adequately to function in the technological battlefield, and the government invests about a million dollars each to train each one. The idea that a draft could assume such positions also shows how little these liberals know about business and economics. Draftees usually have served two or three years. Kerry's current proposal for national service is for a two year commitment. Yet it would be folly to spend so much to train a man who would serve for so little time. But the most inexperienced personnel manager could tell you how to deal with this problem. It is far preferable to merely increase incentives, both at the recruitment stage and the retention stage. For a troop who will cost over two million dollars for a four year commitment, is it better to incentivize him $20,000 or spend another two million for another troop who will not be ready for action for another year?

Now, it must be understood that these costs are very hard to pin down. The pentagon admits that they themselves have no idea what the hard costs are for training and retention. And, of course, for each troop there are many administrative people, cooks and others that can be trained more cheaply and faster. But whatever the numbers, it is still cheaper, in any business, to spend to retain already trained personnel than to attract, hire, train and motivate new employees. In technical positions, this is even more important. Right now, salaries of active duty personnel are too low, almost scandalously so. Once the election is over, the Congress can take up this issue. In the meantime, anyone who is afraid of an impending draft, and I am talking of over half of the high school students in a recent poll, is being fooled. The only chance we have of having a draft in the forseeable future is to elect John Kerry, and even then, it's not gonna happen.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Lefties for Bush Abound

Why We Will Win

Even as the polls show a razor-sharp lead for George W' Bush, I am sticking with my prediction of a 40 state victory for him. Even for a guy who says that the common knowledge is always wrong, this might seem a bit over the top for me. Bit it really isn't. I see two definite proofs that the GOP is headed for a landslide victory. One I have posted about a few times, and that is the desperation being shown by the Kerry campaign, armed as they are with a plethora of inside, and thus secret, polls. But there is an even better indication that there is a wellspring of support for Bush; support that would not necessarily show up on almost polls - the large number of influential democrats and leftists who openly support the Bush presidency and candidacy.

Senator Zell Miller of Georgia and Major Ed Kock of New York are only the two most prominent democrat politicians who are out of the closet on this. St. Paul Mayor, Randy Kelly, and 99 other Democrats from 27 states and the District of Columbia have declared their support for the Bush candidacy. In addition, Bush can count on many more women, Blacks and Jews to vote for him than historical trends would suggest, by all accounts. On the other side, I could find none; not a single Republican elected official that has declared himself in the Kerry camp. The only demographic group that is switching from the Republicans to the Democrats is the Arab-American cohort, which speaks volumes to what is happening here.

Another interesting development is the number of committed leftists who are supporting Bush. Not only the admitted Trotskyite, Christopher Hitchens, but others have posted comment that describes, in excruciating detail, how they have searched their souls over this issue. While many claim to still be supporting Kerry, one suspects that this debate represents the tip of yet another iceberg. Hitchens complains that so many on the left now find themselves supporting the Jihadis by default, while by any definition they are the more imperialistic and less respective of human rights than any cracked idea of the drawbacks of American society. While many will vote Nader, and many more might stay home, there might just be a supply of Bush votes coming from the (recently) far left. Imagine that, they might just vote on principle!

Unless you count the trolls who comment on blogs or call into talk radio shows, reading from a script that says "I was a Republican until I called this show," there is no basis to declare a countervailing trend to this surge of patriotism. The election this time hinges on whether or not the voter believes that we are at war, or longs for the pre 9/11 world, and believes that Kerry can bring those days back. The reason that so many democrats are voting the elephant this time is mostly the view that Kerry's is a trojan candidacy, and that all of Kerry's statements of toughness on the war on Jihadi terror are a lie. Oh, of course there are many veterans who can not forgive Kerry's opportunism and solidarity with the North Vietnamese enemy, and I am sure that there are more than a few voters who will vote for Bush merely because Kerry is such an unattractive candidate. After all, not even his biggest fans really like him.

UPDATE: The Chicago Tribune (free registration required) has an article that draws the conclusion, without bothering to back it up, that
In the end, most liberal hawks will find it impossible to vote for Bush. They likely will stand with Kerry, praying that as president he will take the right action; that the words of the candidate on the campaign trail were aimed at gaining the vote of a sharply divided nation, concealing what they hope is Kerry's knowledge that the liberal hawks were right all along.
In other words, vote for Kerry, and pray that he will refuse to listen to almost all of those who elected him. No wonder Bush is in left-leaning New Jersey today, talking about the war. If New Jersey goes for Bush, Kerry will be hard pressed to garner 4 states. If the liberal hawks can not bring themselves to vote for Bush, I'll bet dollars to donuts that they stay home, or skip the presidential line altogether. We shall see, in only two weeks now....

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Wrong Man, Wrong Job, Wrong World

Wrong Man, Wrong Job, Wrong World

After further study, I have concluded that the John Kerry that was revealed in the Matt Bai New York Times Magazine article that I posted on yesterday reveals a truly frightening philosophy from the candidate that we had come to believe we understood. He actually lives in a fantasy world in which we are not at war, in which the primary job of a president of the United States is to act as a diplomat, where the best way to respond to terrorist attacks is to hunt down and prosecute the perpetrators, after they act. His law enforcement model for dealing with the Jihadi threat relies heavily upon drug war tactics, making visas difficult to obtain, and cracking down on money laundering. And, most troubling of all, he seems far too willing to aver that the American people are just too stupid to understand the complexities of it all.

In Matt Bai's formulation of Kerry World:
Kerry's view, that the 21st century will be defined by the organized world's struggle against agents of chaos and lawlessness, might be the beginning of a compelling vision. The idea that America and its allies, sharing resources and using the latest technologies, could track the movements of terrorists, seize their bank accounts and carry out targeted military strikes to eliminate them, seems more optimistic and more practical than the notion that the conventional armies of the United States will inevitably have to punish or even invade every Islamic country that might abet radicalism.
There it is. Kerry sees a world that "seems more optimistic and more practical" than the idea that we face an enemy that is determined to destroy us. "Agents of chaos and lawlessness" are a much easier foe to defeat than murderous killers bent on the destruction of the Western World. He believes that his vision is superior, given his experience: three months in a combat zone, two years as a prosecutor, twenty years in a debating society, than the understanding of those who have devoted their lives to the serious study of our enemy. What do Samuel Huntington, Fouad Ajami, and Bernard Lewis know about fundamentalist Islam anyway? It is Kerry's arrogance that is truly frightening. We can now recast this election contest as one between a humble man drawn into the war by events, against a know-it-all who marries rich women and will never stand in line among his inferiors - us.

He knows the world so much better than anyone else. He is unconcerned about caving in to North Korea, which he dismisses with the formulation, again in Bai's words:
Whereas Bush has branded North Korea ''evil'' and refuses to negotiate head on with its authoritarian regime, Kerry would open bilateral talks over its burgeoning nuclear program.
As long as Kerry and his true believers agree that Bush is a moron this makes perfect sense, yet South Korea, Russia and China see Kerry's plan as pure folly, so they must all be morons as well. Kerry knows, you see, because his father was a diplomat. He might as well say that his plan is superior because he stayed in a Marriott last night, except mere motels are beneath his station.
If forced democracy is ultimately Bush's panacea for the ills that haunt the world, as Kerry suggests it is, then Kerry's is diplomacy. Kerry mentions the importance of cooperating with the world community so often that some of his strongest supporters wish he would ease up a bit. (''When people hear multilateral, they think multi-mush,'' Biden despaired.) But multilateralism is not an abstraction to Kerry, whose father served as a career diplomat during the years after World War II. The only time I saw Kerry truly animated during two hours of conversation was when he talked about the ability of a president to build relationships with other leaders.

''We need to engage more directly and more respectfully with Islam, with the state of Islam, with religious leaders, mullahs, imams, clerics, in a way that proves this is not a clash with the British and the Americans and the old forces they remember from the colonial days,'' Kerry told me during a rare break from campaigning, in Seattle at the end of August. ''And that's all about your diplomacy.''

When I suggested that effecting such changes could take many years, Kerry shook his head vehemently and waved me off.
Note his use of the term "forced democracy." It runs throughout the piece. It is perhaps the most arrogant sign, and the most ominous. Not only are the American people a bunch of idiots (after all, we elected Bush, didn't we?) but so are the people of the Middle East, and elsewhere. Where did Kerry get the idea that the people of Iraq, and Afghanistan need to be forced into democracy. The Afghans just, each of them, risked their very lives in order to vote, yet the arrogance of Kerry is such that the evidence must be ignored so that his worldview will prevail. To his mind, and that of many other leftists, peoples of the third world are semihumans to whom the blessings of liberty are not yet attractive, and thus they require autocracies in order to have fully functioning states, in order to achieve "stability."

We have now come full circle, as what was left is now right. It is the Left that supports the idea of dictatorships in the name of stability, and the Right that pursues Wilsonian ideals of universal freedom and democracy. In Kerry's flawed view:
Kerry, too, envisions a freer and more democratic Middle East. But he flatly rejects the premise of viral democracy, particularly when the virus is introduced at gunpoint. ''In this administration, the approach is that democracy is the automatic, easily embraced alternative to every ill in the region,'' he told me. Kerry disagreed. ''You can't impose it on people,'' he said. ''You have to bring them to it. You have to invite them to it. You have to nurture the process.''
This flies in the face of history, where freedom is always wrested from tyranny at the point of a gun, not "nurtured," but seized. We seek not to force anyone to democracy, but we are willing to help to arm and train each nation's freedom fighters. Kerry has complained that we allowed the Afghans to fight their own action against the Taliban - that it should have been an all-American show in Tora Bora. Only a fool could thus disown what was the finest hour in the history of Special Forces, where 1200 Americans empowered the Northern Alliance to throw off the chains of the Taliban, and Kerry is a special kind of fool. He sees all conflict as a replay of Vietnam, and thus sees nothing but his own memories, and even these are imperfect.
Those who know Kerry say this belief is in part a reaction to his own experience in Vietnam, where one understanding of the domino theory (''if Vietnam goes communist, all of Asia will fall'') led to the death of 58,000 Americans, and another (''the South Vietnamese crave democracy'') ran up against the realities of life in a poor, long-war-ravaged country. The people of Vietnam, Kerry found, were susceptible neither to the dogma of communism nor the persuasiveness of American ''liberation.'' As the young Kerry said during his 1971 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: ''We found most people didn't even know the difference between communism and democracy. They only wanted to work in rice paddies without helicopters strafing them and bombs with napalm burning their villages and tearing their country apart. They wanted everything to do with the war, particularly with this foreign presence of the United States of America, to leave them alone in peace.''
I hope that we never find out exactly how a Kerry presidency plays out, but just the possibility of his election is chilling. And he calls Bush a cowboy?

Monday, October 11, 2004

Terror as Nuisance

Terror as Nuisance

Now John Kerry sees terror as a "nuisance," in a puff piece in the New York Times Magazine. Tad Devine, spinner for the Kerry campaign, has just said that his candidate will protect this nation just as he protected it as a young man in Vietnam. What first occurs to me is that, as a young man, Kerry's method of "protection" was to protect himself first, to escape combat early, using a seldom-invoked a loophole, leaving the rest of his band of brothers to the tender mercies of the enemy, without himself taking any further risk. Now he is being quoted as saying, in effect, that the deaths of his countrymen, if they are few enough, and infrequent enough, should be only a "nuisance" to the rest of us, who will be either lucky enough to escape the attacks, or wealthy enough to have a bodyguard detail (or smart enough to have married a woman who can afford to protect us with one). He actually compares terrorist attacks to prostitution and gambling. This comparison amounts to nothing less than capitulation to terror; an expression that terror attacks are as unavoidable and ubiquitous as these victimless crimes. Terror bombing a nuisance? Only if the victim is someone else.

While the quote may seem funny, it is in fact the most serious display of the difference between the candidates on this most important of issues. While Bush sees the war as a, well, war, Kerry sees it, as his predecessor, B.J. Clinton did, as a law enforcement problem. Incredibly, as if 9/11 never happened, and its lessons were lost on him, he still sees this as something in which we can wait for the next "crime" to be committed, and then we can go after the perpetrators, and bring the "cowardly criminals" to justice. The entire quote:
''We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance,'' Kerry said. ''As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life.''
This entire election, and indeed the entire thrust of our response to the Jihadi threat to our very way of life, depends upon Kerry's success or failure in convincing half of the electorate that 9/11 was an anomaly that will never be repeated. We all wish that it were so. Kerry's candidacy hinges upon his ability to get voters to commit our nation to this vision of wishful thinking. Bush's incumbency hinges on our willingness to continue to take positive steps to change the situation.

More than that, this election depends, more than any other in my memory, on the ability of the challenger to pull the wool over the eyes of the electorate. He started with 40% that would vote for a yellow dog if it were standing against President Bush. In order to garner the other 10% he relies on lies and obfuscation. His response to the charge that he refers to terrorism as a nuisance is that his words have been taken out of context. Read the entire article, in context, and make up your own mind. The article is a puff piece on him, a very kind depiction of the candidate calculated to make him more acceptable as a candidate for the nation's highest office. Read it, and you will see the entire contest, in context. This is an election between the 9/11 survivors, and the wishful thinkers who would like to return to a 9/10 world where the radical Islamic fascists who wish to kill enough of us to force the rest of us to pay the jizzya (the tax that Islamic governments charge to Christians and Jews) are still "cowardly criminals," and no threat to the American mainland. The democrats are using a combination of Goebbels-style propaganda and Stalinist big lie theory, even as they say that Carl Rove is the new Goebbels, and Bush is the new Hitler. In the most massively negative, most dishonest campaign in memory, this is, more than anything else, a test of just how gullible the American people are.

Links: On page six of the article is the quote. Here is the link to page one of the article if you want to read it all. The New York Times Magazine front page if you need to register (free, but a nuisance) in order to read the puff piece. Note to Senator Kerry - registering for the NYT is a nuisance; having your family killed is terror, and a tragedy. Your confusion of the two is the reason you shall fail to gain the White House. To call you out of touch with the common people is an understatement equal to your underestimation of the importance of Jihadi terror to the electorate.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Desperation Time

Desperation Time

Two huge wins for freedom yesterday, as Australia reelected John Howard and Afghanistan confirmed Hamid Karzai, are significant not because they show an international appreciation for the Bush Doctrine, but because they show the desperation in the hearts of the American Left. They take huge risks to spin the Afghanistan story and in their attempt to bury the Aussie victory.

A check of the MSM will show that most stories on the Afghan vote highlight the unhappiness of the losers, and an absolutely craven ignoring of the Australian vote. This is risky behavior by a wounded media establishment, which stands to lose much over its attempt to influence the American election. As I have noted before, Evan Thomas's claim that the leftie slant is worth 15% on election day shows just how out of touch they are. This election is all but over, absent a successful theft on November 3rd. Most American voters realize that this election is about nothing less than our very survival, while to the left it is about nothing more than seizing power irrespective of the will of the electorate. The propaganda, the lies, the absolutely shrill rancor of the debate on the left reveals a movement that is past decline, sliding into irrevelance.

In a way, we should all feel sorry for John Kerry. He is, after all, married to one of the richest humans on the face of the Earth. His run for the presidency was an act of supreme vanity, and risks his lucrative marriage as well as his Senate career. His failure to win the White House will cause him some very serious consequences. Boo Hoo Hoo.

But I can not find it in my heart to feel sorry for him or his party. They knew that the odds were long. Their cause undeserving. Had the democrats put up a candidate closer to the mainstream we could have had a campaign and a debate on the significant issues of the day. In the event, they chose the candidate that they believed to be more electable, and in so doing shut off any chance we might have had at getting a better leader. Instead, we will reelect G.W. Bush by default, since he does not have a serious opponent. I reiterate my prediction of a Bush win with forty states, and my statement that even Howard Dean would have gotten a better result. When you put up a candidate whose main argument is that his opponent is unqualified, when that candidate has arguable saved Western civilization from disaster single-handedly; rather than a man who stands for something - anything - you get exactly what you deserve.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Insurgency

The Insurgency

In an article carried by the Associatred Press with a byline of Jim Krane, titled "U.S. Faces Complex Insurgency in Iraq," the point is made that our opponents in Iraq are constituted of several different groups, with a single enemy, or, as Krane says, " The three dozen or so guerrilla bands agree on little beyond forcing the Americans out of Iraq." Krane tries to make the case that, even though our opponents have no central leadership or strategy, we are in even more danger than we would be with a single foe. This is just another in a series of attacks on the American war against the Islamic terror masters, in which the mainstream media throws the dart at the wall, and then just draws the bullseye around it.

It is hard to take Krane's article seriously. He has no obvious qualifications, and quotes just one expert. There are some complete innacuracies and mischaracterizations. For instance, he says
History is also replete with insurgencies that triumphed. Vietnamese guerrillas ousted the United States in 1973. Afghan militias similarly embarrassed the Soviet Union in 1989
This point is just completely wrong. The Viet Cong were annihilated in Tet of 1968, and the rest of that war was prosecuted by the North Vietnamese Army. The Soviets were expelled from Afghanistan by a total war against them by the Afghan population as a whole. After years of slit throats in the middle of the night, and attacks whenever they made a move, Russia just gave up.

The fact is that, while the MSM accuse the U.S. Army of fighting the last war, it is they who are fighting the Vietnam war again, probably because they won that war, which was fought between the U.S. government against the mainstream media. But this war is one between the Iraqi people, with a strong assist by U.S. forces, and a minority without much popular support. What support the insurgents have will evaporate once the people believe that we will actually leave. Once again, the only opponent with the power to defeat our side is the leftie media itself. But this time, they will fail.