Wednesday, July 30, 2008
A Study in Contrasts
Sen. John McCain, on John McCain, quoted by Rich Lowry at The Corner:
In war and peace, I have been an imperfect servant of my country. But I have been her servant first, last and always. Whenever I faced an important choice between my country's interests or my own interests, party politics or any special interest, I chose my country. Nothing has ever mattered more to me than the honor of serving
[Revised paraphrase, according to Jake Tapper]
It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in
[Next sentence, quoted by Jonathan Weisman at WaPo's blog The Trail]
“I have become a symbol of the possibility of
These admissions provide as stark a contrast as any with which
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Kinds of Allegiance
Last week, Presidential Candidate Senator Barack Obama made a speech in
The Grand Revision on
It is no doubt true that those who win wars get to write history, but it is just as true that just about anybody, from any political legacy, can attach themselves to a victory they did not foresee, in a struggle they did not support, for an objective they did not seek.
This is just as true when speaking of the Cold War, as when speaking of our emerging victory in
For many on the Left, the Cold War was an invention and a series of provocations; communism and socialism were appealing doctrines, marred only by unfortunate implementations. Such idealists, like those in public broadcasting, like to think of themselves as Citizens of the world. So does Obama:
I come to
In fairness to Obama, however much an internationalist, there’s no doubt Obama knows what side he needs to be on when it comes to the Cold War:
Ours is a partnership that truly began sixty years ago this summer, on the day when the first American plane touched down at Templehof.
On that day, much of this continent still lay in ruin. The rubble of this city had yet to be built into a wall. The Soviet shadow had swept across Eastern Europe, while in the West,
This is where the two sides met. And on the twenty-fourth of June, 1948, the Communists chose to blockade the western part of the city. They cut off food and supplies to more than two million Germans in an effort to extinguish the last flame of freedom in
The way Obama spoke in
In the 1980’s, however, many of Obama’s Democratic Senate colleagues thought Reagan irresponsible, bellicose, antagonistic. They, like Obama in recent months, insisted that jaw, jaw, jaw, was better than war, war, war. Yet in less than a decade, Reagan’s challenge was met, with the
Along the train of thought Obama pursued in his speech in Berlin, he suggested that while the fall of the Iron Curtain “brought new hope,” the bringing of East and West together somehow left us more vulnerable to new dangers.
Obama then juxtaposes two very different threats, represented by the “terrorists of September 11th” training globally, and automobiles and factories “melting icecaps” and “shrinking coastlines.”
Obama is certainly not alone in displaying hysteria over what he perceives as the “grave threat” of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). However commonplace this view of AGW, in politics or media, emerging science is acknowledging the gross distortions, faulty data models, exaggerated projections, and flat out bad pseudo-science pervades global warming hype from Al Gore, Obama, and other AGW shills.
Nor is Obama the first Democrat to equate or compare AGW as a threat with radical Islamic terrorism. But by definition, such a view minimizes terrorism while it grossly inflates any actual danger from a warmer climate.
Later in his speech Obama sucks up to his green-fetishist European audience by insulting
Let us resolve that all nations – including my own – will act with the same seriousness of purpose as has your nation, and reduce the carbon we send into our atmosphere.
By all means, we should resolve such a thing: the rate of US CO2 emissions is lower than any country in
Others have also remarked on Obama’s odd locution of how 9/11 terrorists killed “thousands from all over the globe on American soil.” While a slight number of foreign victims are counted within those lost at the
Obama then sets up another comparison of European and American attitudes towards each other:
In Europe, the view that
I offer a couple of observations. Obama remarks that in Europe, “the view that
But Obama is just warming up rhetorically. He then proceeds to equate the “wall” of European and
That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another. The walls between old allies on either side of the
How could anyone question the moral imperative of tearing down these walls? Wait a minute, what’s that about “countries with the most and those with the least?”
What kind of wall exists, that relates in even a metaphorical way, between “countries that have the most” (think
Marxist economic theology, pure and simple. One has to wonder if Obama thinks of human wealth and poverty the same way. Moments later, Obama makes it certain:
This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many. Together, we must forge trade that truly rewards the work that creates wealth, with meaningful protections for our people and our planet. This is the moment for trade that is free and fair for all.
Any (well-informed) trade economist will tell you, free markets are inherently fair, to the extent that they are truly free, without internal subsidy or tariff. But that’s not what Obama thinks. He is describing here the Demon Globalization, Old World Colonialism in another guise. Note how trade and economic growth must somehow be constrained, or better, distributed in a fashion that rewards many, rather than a few.
This alludes to the classic Progressive (and Marxist) mythology that free market capitalism rewards the few at the very top of some economic pyramid, by exploiting all those at any level below the highest tier. When he demands that any economic policy must “truly reward the work that creates wealth,” Obama isn’t talking about entrepreneurs, but standard Marxist solipsism for the Means of Production, the Common Man of the masses.
Obama ended his speech with a call to action for the “people of the world,” declaring “this is our moment.” In doing so, Obama referred to an America that has spent more than two centuries striving to perfect an imperfect nation, in which we often did not “live up to our best intentions.”
That’s true, we often have not. But at several decades older than two centuries,
Obama’s witness of
Our allegiance has never been to any particular tribe or kingdom – indeed, every language is spoken in our country; every culture has left its imprint on ours; every point of view is expressed in our public squares. What has always united us – what has always driven our people; what drew my father to America’s shores – is a set of ideals that speak to aspirations shared by all people: that we can live free from fear and free from want; that we can speak our minds and assemble with whomever we choose and worship as we please.
Without a doubt, immigrants and their cultures, languages, arts, ideas and ideals have greatly enriched our Nation, in fact made us who we are in every tangible and intangible way.
But we are a Nation with an allegiance to a very particular tribe and kingdom, that of Americans, and their
Most of us – but not all, and perhaps not Sen. Obama -- grew up reminding ourselves of that allegiance, in the form of a pledge we recited every day in school, in classrooms, auditoriums, in stadiums, ballparks, village squares, and on holidays and civic remembrances (from Wikipedia):
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the
One nation, indivisible. Many of us still find that a worthy object of allegiance.
Monday, July 28, 2008
As if in prelude to commentary on Sen. Obama’s Presidential (Campaign) Visit to
This, of course, is the long predicted traverse of various political classes of Conventional Wisdom from What We All Knew Was True then, to What We Have Always Known is True now.
This turn of events surprises many, even those quite familiar with the various adages that embroider the truism, Defeat is an Orphan, Victory has a Thousand Fathers. Old political hands no doubt have all manner of examples from Partisan Navigation of the various methods and manners of the political pivot. Changes in political trade winds prompt a wise Captain to change tack. Paradigms shift.
Earlier in the week, no less a partisan than former White House Counsel Lanny
I just know I can’t get out of my mind that lady with the purple finger held up, smiling into the camera. If getting in was a mistake, then getting out — how and when — is not so simple as long as there is hope that she can some day live in a democratic
I had been strongly opposed to the
However, I reasoned, the WMD inspectors were back in and we had Saddam surrounded — thanks to George Bush, by the way, for which we Democrats did not give him sufficient credit at the time.
So why risk the uncertainties of a preemptive invasion, loss of life and treasure, and diverting our attention from 9/11 and the war against terror, which most
Of course, all these remain good reasons for opposing starting the war, even as I look back now.
Of course, when Al Qaeda set about to foment sectarian violence and the appearance of civil war,
Then came the long demanded change in
And then in early 2007 came the surge, which so many of us in the anti-war left of the Democratic Party predicted would be a failure, throwing good men and women and billions of dollars after futility. We were wrong.
The surge did, in fact, lead to a reduction of violence, confirmed by media on the ground as well as our military leaders.
It did allow the Shi’ite government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in the last several months to show leadership by joining, if not leading, the military effort to clean out of
This willingness by the Shi’ite–dominated Maliki government to move against the Sadr Shi’ite extremists won crucial credibility for the government among many Sunni leaders and Sunnis on the streets, who joined together with Shi’ites to turn against the Al Qaeda in
These are facts, not arguments.
I suppose it should be gratifying to war supporters that anti-war Democrats can reconcile themselves to a positive outcome, to victory in
I'm remembering the coy saying about the French resistance. "If everyone who claimed to be in the resistance really had been, there would have been nobody left to collaborate."
I make the following prediction: In 20 or 25 years (it might not even take that long) all the people who where saying that the war was wrong and Iraq was wrong will talk about how America brought democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan and how they were a part of it due to their protests and desire for democracy and the end of tyranny. (of course they will not mention that the tyranny that they meant was us.) If the same people who write the current history books write them again be sure that this will happen.
The Grand Revision appears to be underway. More to follow.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Get Some Cheese
I'm been eager to read first hand reports from Afghanistan from one such soldier, blogging at Cheese's MILBLOG.
He got a scare this week while home on leave, thinking the soldiers lost in Afghanistan might have been from his own unit. That's a tragic coincidence no soldier ever wants to experience.
Cheese might have been relieved to find out the losses were from another unit elsewhere, but he offered this somber reflection:
While this may upset people who I know personally, it is of no consolation that it was strangers that died rather than my friends. I've been around the military too long to find comfort in my distance from a tragedy like this. My heart goes out to that unit, and the families of the fallen. If nothing else, this has reaffirmed my enthusiasm (for lack of a better word) to return to Afghanistan and put a very real dent in the enemies ability to do this again. While this will not make up for the loss of over 500 American soldiers on Afghan soil, it is all I can do and it's what I owe to those soldiers.Keep on eye on this young man, and check in on him when he returns to the Stan. I'm thinking he'll have some important things to say.
I often stop myself midsentence when I explain to people that, thank God, we didn't lose any of our 642 soldiers in Iraq. Because the first thing you think of are the stories about soldiers in adjacent units that sacrificed all. Good news for us could mean tragedy for others.
Cheese, you go clean yourself up some scum on your return. Mrs. Dadmanly and I will pray for you and your men.
Linked by Dawn Patrol and Thunder Run.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
State of the Race
I need some help from any friends out there I have left.
Why should I even make an effort of political involvement, with the choices we face?
The Democrats insisted on nominating a neophyte ultra-liberal because he was sufficiently US Defeat at Any Cost, so as to properly bury the President’s legacy in
Leading Democrats have been, and will be, far more interested in punishing and denigrating the current President, even if that plays right into the hands of our enemies. They have always preferred that Bush be wrong, even if that meant
The Republicans insisted on nominating the worst possible nominee, who cannot be caricatured any more offensively than his actual persona presents. They face the prospect of campaign performances reminiscent of James Stockdale. And they’ve deserved everything they will get, in even greater isolation, powerlessness, and evaporation as a contributor to any National civic discussion. They out-grafted even the most venal of Democrats, allowed RINOs to turn them away from every one of their core principles, except a strong defense – and they darn near frittered that away as well. No fiscal conservative can rightly defend their record.
We will get some version of universal health care, new and more generous bankruptcy and foreclosure protections, greater government control of banking, insurance, stock and bond trading, and of course, an expanding illegal immigrant amnesty that will swell the ranks of non-Americans diluting the vote of Americans. Reparations for Slavery will be forthcoming, as well as all manner of “Civil Rights” legislation for racial minorities, women (fences must be mended, after all), and the usual GLBT spaghetti of sexual abnormalities.
Government will grow gargantuan; taxes will rapidly increase, with a gross distortion of what is already a very progressive tax structure. That will of course mean that lower income Americans will get paid off in bribes and services, higher income Americans will be punished severely for daring to support the notion that our incomes are our money first before it belongs to our Government, as spoils to redistribute.
Don’t get me wrong. I too, view the Obama candidacy as a historic occasion, when many optimistically believe that race relations can be healed. But that can’t be the sole criteria for electing the erstwhile Leader of the Free World,
Our enemies laugh at our indecision, our weaknesses, our lethargy and laziness in the face of obvious, dedicated, and continuous war against us, our allies, and our interests. Our desire to turn away again from International problems, chasing chimeras of collectivism. Meanwhile, the rest of the “civilized world” is just now waking up with raging hang-overs from such intoxications.
Mainstream media craves an Obama victory, and will do everything in their power to achieve it. European elites delight in the prospect of an Obama victory. Muslim theocracies and dictatorships the world over salivate over the hope of an Obama Presidency. Until their media advisers cautioned them of the negative effect they were having on the Obama campaign, terrorist groups openly proclaimed their support for Obama.
That’s the vantage point from which I view this week’s sycophantic Obamania. It just reinforces pessimism.
Stay tuned, but I don’t see any daylight between the
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