Monday, October 11, 2004

The World Kerry Would Create

Senator Kerry has been receiving a drubbing in the New Media for his gaffe in yesterday's New York Times to the effect that he wants to see terrorism reduced to the level of a nuisance. The statement was at best stupid and Power Line does a fine job of explaining why it is so egregious. Even so, I don't think that that is the worst thing he says in the interview. Elsewhere in the article he's quoted as saying that:

September 11 "didn't change me much at all," rather it "sort of accelerated, confirmed in me, the urgency of doing the things I thought we needed to be doing....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. And that's all about your diplomacy....A new presidency with the right moves, the right language, the right outreach, the right initiatives, can dramatically alter the world's perception of us very, very quickly."

This statement reveals a shocking lack of understanding of our enemy. Kerry sees terrorism as a problem of diplomacy, of economics. This is incredibly naive and almost guarantees worse strikes against our country than we experienced on 9/11. The jihadis are not trying to kill us because we have inept diplomats. Nor are they trying to destroy us because they resent our exploitation of their oil. They are trying to murder us because they see us as enemies of God who must be converted or exterminated. In their eyes we are infidels who are guilty of two major crimes.

The first is that we serve as a guarantor of Israel's continued existence. The only diplomatic strategy we could adopt which would (temporarily) appease the Islamists would be to pull out of the Middle East completely. Not only would we have to abandon Iraq and our bases elsewhere in the Persian Gulf, but we would also have to abandon any and all commitments to Israel's security. Nothing short of this will mollify the terrorists, and this will only assuage their hatred in the short term.

The second crime of which we are guilty is that we are, in their eyes, spreading a corrupt, decadent culture throughout the Muslim world. It's not just our sexual permissiveness that upsets them, it's the freedom we have to believe and say what we wish, it's the equality we give to women, it's the idea that church and state should not be entangled. Each of these is abhorrent to Muslims and their religion, or their interpretation of it, calls upon them to wage tireless, unceasing jihad against the corrupting influences of the West which threaten to undermine the Faith.

As long as we're strong, however, their efforts are unlikely to prosper so they must defeat us by destroying our economic power base. They must conquer us by wearing us down, by striking at our homeland in order to dispirit us. As long as we're a politico-cultural presence in the world they will strive relentlessly to bring us low, and terror is the only means they have at their disposal to accomplish this. They certainly are not prepared to wage a war of ideas nor can they persuade us through diplomacy to commit cultural suicide. Thus for Kerry to suggest that better diplomacy will reduce or eliminate terrorism reveals an alarming naivete on his part. The Islamic hatred for the West does not lend itself to diplomatic ameliorations.

What diplomacy would accomplish, however, is an illusory lessening of conflict. The jihadis would doubtless give the impression that they were succumbing to whatever inducements or bribes a Kerry administration held out to them. They would attempt to lull us to sleep with assurances that now that the cowboy Bush is out of office it is possible to discuss our differences reasonably. Tensions would ease. Americans, always willing to delude ourselves, would become complacent.

To show our good faith, and to keep negotiations moving along, a Kerry administration would likely relax our prosecution of the war against Muslim terrorists abroad. With the reduction of military operations would come a simultaneous relaxation of vigilance which would almost surely result in making our borders even less secure than they are now. It would be just a matter of time before a WMD was smuggled into the U.S. and detonated in one of our cities. The resulting death and chaos would be unprecedented.

The terrorists would then announce through their media outlets to a stunned nation that there are similar weapons planted in other cities throughout the United States and that unless we meet their demands, i.e. get out of the Middle East and abandon Israel, they will begin to set the others off as well. They don't have to really have the weapons, they only have to have had the first one, and have used it, and the ensuing panic would be seismic in scale. No administration which refused to accede to these demands would survive. The result would be a paralyzed, panic-stricken America, and this would be catastrophic for the entire globe.

With a United States helpless to impose its will, war would almost certainly break out between Arabs and Jews, between China and Taiwan, and on the Korean peninsula. It would probably also erupt between India and Pakistan and Iran and Iraq. In each of these cases it would no doubt be nuclear. Tribal warfare in Africa would rage unnoticed against the global conflagration that would result from a United States crippled by a terror strike such as we've envisioned. Civil strife would plague our cities as well, especially in locales with Muslim populations.

This is the world John Kerry's thinking and approach could very likely create. It is the most plausible consequence of believing that the war on Islamic terror can be fought by diplomats and deal-making.

Paladins of Pessimism

Below the media radar screen the struggle in Iraq continues and is clearly moving in the coalition's favor. Heretofore, there were two main groups of resistance, Muqtada al Sadr's Mehdi Army in Najaf and Sadr City, and al Zarqawi's thugs in Samarra, Fallujah, and elsewhere in the Sunni Triangle. As Strategy Page reports, however, al Sadr is just about finished, Samarra has been pacified, and time is running out for the insurgents in Fallujah.

Elections are on track for Iraq just as they were in Afghanistan, the Iraqi economy is taking off, schools and businesses are bustling, and all the Democrats can say is that the liberation of 25 million Iraqis is a disaster, a colossal mistake. Even as the Democrats sing their woeful dirges the insurgents find themselves caught in the coils of a python, and as more Iraqi troops and police come on line the squeeze is only going to get tighter.

In light of all this, the real colossal mistake would be to elect the twin paladins of pessimism, John Kerry and John Edwards, to determine the direction of the war on terror for the next four years.

Senator Kerry on the Supreme Court

In the debate in St. Louis last Friday evening John Kerry said, "Now, here's what I believe. I don't believe we need a good conservative judge, and I don't believe we need a good liberal judge. I don't believe we need a good judge of that kind of definition on either side."

He then followed his claim to be uninterested in whether a judge is liberal or conservative by conjuring an image of a liberal jurist: "The future of things that matter to you - in terms of civil rights, what kind of Justice Department you'll have, whether we'll enforce the law. Will we have equal opportunity? Will women's rights be protected? Will we have equal pay for women, which is going backwards? Will a woman's right to choose be protected? These are constitutional rights, and I want to make sure we have judges who interpret the Constitution of the United States according to the law."

Last May the Senator spoke these words: "I believe that a woman's right to choose is a constitutional right, I will not appoint anyone to the Supreme Court who will undo that right."

In other words, Kerry will not, contrary to what he said Friday night, appoint a conservative justice to the Supreme Court who disagrees with him on whether there is anything in the constitution guaranteeing a woman the right to terminate a pregnancy. If this is Senator Kerry's position, so be it, but it is simply disingenuous of him to suggest that ideology doesn't matter, as if he were only interested in finding the best qualified person for the job. He isn't. By his own admission, if the best qualified person has a strict constructionist view of the constitution he would have no chance of serving on a Kerry court.

Whichever man is elected president on November 2nd will probably have the opportunity to profoundly restructure our highest judicial Court. Justice John Paul Stevens, a liberal appointed by President Ford, is 84. Chief Justice William Rehnquist, a conservative first appointed by President Nixon and then elevated to chief justice by President Reagan, just turned 80. Sandra Day O'Connor, a Reagan appointee who often votes with the liberals, is 74. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Clinton appointee who anchors the court's left, is 71. At 56, Clarence Thomas, a conservative, is the only justice under 65.

It's possible that the next president will have the opportunity to make four appointments to the Bench. That's why this election is so important in the eyes of so many. The next president will not only decide the future of the war on terror but the direction of law in this country for the next fifty to a hundred years. The choice is between a man who would appoint people to the Court who believe that we should interpret the constitution in light of what its authors intended (Bush), and a man who believes that the constitution should be interpreted to conform to current political and social fashion (Kerry). Senator Kerry's claim that a judge's ideology doesn't matter to him is nonsense.

Thanks to Captain's Quarters for some of the above.

Conservatives and Liberals

A friend passes on this little illustration of the difference between conservatives and liberals with respect to the problems of unemployment and poverty:

A conservative and a liberal were walking down the street when they came to a homeless person. The conservative gave the homeless person his business card and told him to come to his office for a job. He then took twenty dollars out of his pocket and gave it to the homeless person.

The liberal was very impressed, and when they came to another homeless person, he decided to help. He walked over to the homeless person and gave him directions to the welfare office. He then reached into the conservative's pocket and took out twenty dollars. He kept $15 for administrative processing fees and gave the homeless person five.

Now you understand the difference between conservatives and liberals.

It'll be difficult, as we watch the debate Wednesday night, to keep from imagining John Kerry with his hand in the pockets of America.