Friday, October 15, 2004

<i>Viewpoint's</i> Bias

A friend writes to chide us for Viewpoint's partiality to George Bush (See Get Tougher On Bush on the feedback page) and for our reluctance to be as critical of his shortcomings as we are of Senator Kerry's. His concern is well-taken, not only because he's a very bright, reasonable, and honest guy, and not only because he has written a very thoughtful piece, but also because he happens in this instance to be correct. Viewpoint has indeed been on Bush's side in the current campaign and we have withheld criticism of the President while trying to make the case that Senator Kerry lacks the most important qualities we want our president to possess.

It might be helpful to explain why we don't adopt a more neutral stance. My brother Bill and I started Viewpoint last May for several reasons. One was that we felt that our culture was becoming increasingly secularized, even to the point of being hostile toward the Christian faith. There is a widely accepted belief in the Western world to the effect that religion is outmoded and obsolete; that it is nothing but myth and superstition; that it lacks any credible epistemic basis and has nothing to say to modern man. We wanted to add our voice to those who believe that socially, culturally, and philosophically this belief is a grave mistake.

A second reason for starting our web log was that we were dismayed by the failure of the Mainstream Media (MSM) to present a balanced picture of the policy issues confronting our nation and the men who would lead us. We believe there is not only a deep-seated bias against George Bush in the MSM but, more than that, a profound antipathy, even hatred, for him.

Bill and I hoped that we could perhaps be a voice, albeit a small one, in our little corner of the world, that might offer a tiny dissent against the roar of the MSM megaphone. In order to do this we felt we had to concentrate on the positives about George Bush and his policies since his opponents in the MSM were already engaged in the business of denigrating them. We also felt that much of the criticism of the president was manifestly unfair, even dishonest, and that the only realistic alternative to Bush, John Kerry, is completely unsatisfactory.

It's not that we think President Bush is perfect. We don't, and in fact the last time we talked about it, Bill was not even prepared to vote for him. George Bush is wrong, as far as we're concerned, on spending and immigration, among other things. He can also be faulted, perhaps, for some aspects of the post-war in Iraq. Even so, there are three issues which trump everything else in this election: The war on terrorism (of which the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are a subset), the appointment of federal judges and supreme court justices, and the economy. On the last, Bush's judgment on spending (and, for Bill, globalism) is questionable, but his opponent's is worse. On the first two issues there is simply no contest between the two candidates in either of our minds.

For this reason, Viewpoint has taken the position that it is imperative for the welfare of this nation and the future of our children that Bush be re-elected. Four more years of George Bush will not guarantee success in the three paramount matters mentioned in the previous paragraph, but we can't accept replacing him with a man who has spent twenty years in the Senate without having a single major accomplishment to his credit and whose votes, and the political company he keeps, are uniformly indicative of a man whose policies would be quite detrimental to the long-term good of this nation.

We're not neutral about this nor do we pretend to be. We have religious and political points of view which we believe are preferable to their opposites and we wish to use our humble little forum to advocate them. There will be time enough after the election to explain our disappointments with the president, but now is not the time. Too much is at stake.

Justice For Saddam

The BBC has an article about the discovery of another mass grave in Iraq. This one is more heart-breaking than most:

US-led investigators have located nine trenches in Hatra containing hundreds of bodies believed to be Kurds killed during the repression of the 1980s. The skeletons of unborn babies and toddlers clutching toys are being unearthed, the investigators said.

One trench contains only women and children while another contains only men.

The body of one woman was found still clutching a baby. The infant had been shot in the back of the head and the woman in the face.

"The youngest foetus we have was 18 to 20 foetal weeks," said US investigating anthropologist P Willey.

"Tiny bones, femurs - thighbones the size of a matchstick."

Mr Kehoe investigated mass graves in the Balkans for five years but those burials mainly involved men of fighting age and the Iraqi finds were quite different, he said.

Iraq's human rights ministry has reportedly identified 40 possible mass graves across the country.

Mr Kehoe said that work to uncover graves around Iraq, where about 300,000 people are thought to have been killed during Saddam Hussein's regime, was slow as experienced European investigators were not taking part.

The Europeans, he said, were staying away as the evidence might be used eventually to put Saddam Hussein to death.

Forty mass graves! And still the squeamish Europeans don't want to get involved. Yes. By all means, the Europeans should not help to accumulate the evidence of Saddam's crimes because, why, then they'd be helping to show that he actually deserved to die and what kind of gratitude would that express to the man who filled the purses of so many of their countrymen with cash in order to keep them quiet about his crimes. The Europeans are nothing if not loyal to an ally, at least whichever ally offers them the most lucrative bribes.

Perhaps this is all one might expect from the people whose culture produced Hitler and Stalin. The Europeans have a soft spot in their hearts for murderous savages like Saddam, they tend to regard them as existential heroes, and we should be understanding of their desire not to see a Nietzschean Ubermann get what he meted out to so many others.

As for those who have not yet descended to European levels of effete decadence there still exists the concept of Justice. Saddam deserves worse than death, of course, but that should be left to God. Our only obligation, as General Norman Schwartzkopff once said, is to arrange the meeting.