March 02, 2005

Let Them Rot?

Jonah Goldberg has some appropriate comments for Matt Yglesias's concepts of realpolitik. What is happening to American liberalism indeed. It's anchor has been lost. I never thought I'd see the day that a Republican president would become the leader of liberal internationalists (aka: neocons) and the left would be willing to allow dictatorships to oppress their people if it serves the purposes of realpolitik.

Having gotten that rant out of my system, Yglesias IS right to wonder if all this democracy talk will amount to a hill of beans, but talk about a limited vision. 

Update: Liberals Against Terrorism has a good post about the crossroad Hezbollah now faces.  It would indeed be interesting if Hezbollah is willing to give up terrorism in order to have a major seat at the political table.   I won't be holding my breath, but it is indeed an interesting development and just goes to show nobody can predict how things might play out should democracy sweep through the middle east.

04:27 PM in Liberal International Democracy | Permalink | TrackBack

Bill Kristol on Changing Minds

Bill Kristol has an excellent piece online for The Weekly Standard titled After 1/30/05. He goes over some of the anti-Bush minds that may be coming around on the usefulness of the Iraqi war in forcing a change in the middle east.

When Walid Jumblatt and New York magazine are starting to wonder whether Bush was right or not, you know some seismic shifts are occuring in the international landscape.

02:18 PM in Liberal International Democracy | Permalink | TrackBack

February 10, 2005

NY Times Willing Myopia over Nuclear Arsenals

The NY Times wrote an editorial today castigating the administration over research on a new line of nuclear warheads.
This program sends a clear message to the rest of the world: now that the superpower arms race has ended, Washington sees nuclear weapons as an important part of its military strategy against small and midsize states. It should be no surprise if those nations conclude that they must develop nuclear weapons of their own.
Has the Times noticed that China still has a large nuclear arsental and is at best an authoritarian regime that most feel will challenge the US for hegemony later in this century? Last I checked, they were making improvements in their long-range delivery systems. Is the Time's satisfied that Russia is somehow going down a road toward a pacifist democracy when all signs point to its returning to some of its most disturbing authoritarian tendencies? I think its a little premature for the Times to conclude that this country should not continue to develop that which has been its military backbone for the last 60 years. I also seriously doubt that even if we did not expand and improve our nuclear arsenal, that countries such as Iran would suddenly drop their nuclear weapons programs because of a less aggressive posture we were taking toward them. Iran's need for the bomb has less to do with protection from the US as it does with Israel and gaining military leverage over the EU which is all to willing to roll over and expose its belly.

12:21 PM in Liberal International Democracy | Permalink | TrackBack

February 06, 2005

What Do the Iraq Elections Prove?

There is a lot of crowing on the right about how the Iraqi elections have proven the doubters wrong. I have to admit, I truly believe Iraq has turned an important corner. The comparisons about Iraq and Vietnam by the anti-war forces have become tiresome and denote a time warp that the left seems unable to escape from. However, unless the right has found some similar time warp that allows them to view the future, I think it is hubristic to say that the Iraqi doubters are incorrect, except when applied to the narrow complaint the elections could never be held in the first place. I believe we are doing the right thing in Iraq and I wake up every day happy that Kerry was not elected President, but, at this point, it is extremely premature to divine any truths about Iraq and to trumpet the Iraq elections as pointing to anything other than an unknowable future (although it is growing brighter). All our celebrations do is provide an attack front for the left when the inevitable setbacks occur. The right needs to hold the champaigne for the momment when the world can really claim success in Iraq. Hopefully, that day will come sooner rather than later.

11:16 AM in Liberal International Democracy | Permalink | TrackBack

February 04, 2005

How much longer will this country continue to consider Saudi Arabia an "ally"?

Its just peachy-keen when the Saudi Arabian embassy shovels bs that only increases their hypocrisy. Do they really expect anyone to take UN condemnations seriously when the UN has yet to consider a single resolution that condemns any country in the Middle East for their sponsored terrorism not only toward Isreal but toward the west as well? The sad thing is how wilfully blind the Saudi Arabian government is to the sands in the hourglass. Does anyone not believe that once Iraq settles down, the US will start training its sights on the real birthplace of islamic jihadism? Iraq was only step 1 in a multistep process that will last decades and will ultimately result in the overthrow of the corrupt house of Saud, hopefully through peaceful means, but most likely through violence. Spouting off about meaningless UN resolutions won't change that fact.

04:09 PM in Liberal International Democracy | Permalink | TrackBack

More North Korea is Unraveling news

The idea that N. Korea may simply be collapsing of its own weight is slowly getting more and more attention. The latest is a Times of London article titled "Chairman Kim’s dissolving kingdom."

11:26 AM in Liberal International Democracy | Permalink | TrackBack

February 01, 2005

Some on the Left seeing the Light?

Maybe this could be the beginning of a needed shift within the left. Jon Stewart and Mark Brown are asking what if Bush was right and we were wrong? Hopefully, more responsible Democrats will ask the same question.

Its ok to question what we are doing in Iraq - that is patriotism and is the basis of our democracy. However, the scorched earth policy (typified by Michael Moore and many others) that the Democrats have conducted against anything done by Bush severely hurt the party in November and may have dealt a massive blow that only history will be able to decipher.  When the left realizes that they may be wrong, they might pull back just a bit and realize that the most important issue facing this country over the next 4 years is not social security. It is not tort reform. It is insuring that Iraq becomes a stable functioning democracy. Forget about what happened 3 1/2 years ago. The Democrats need to focus on how they can become a responsible partner with the administration to insure a Democratic Iraq. If they don't start asking, what if Bush is right, then all they will be able to offer is continued obstructionism and that is not healthy, even for a minority party. 

In today's Best Of the Web, James Tarranto follows a similar theme and makes a very important point:

At one level it's obvious that the election is a big win for Bush, whose Iraq policy seems vindicated. But in another sense it's weird. The servicemen who liberated Iraq and secured the election did so on behalf of America, not the Republican Party. This should have been a triumph for the nation, not just the GOP.

That it was not is entirely the Democrats' fault, for it was they who followed the lead of America's Baathist remnants and opposed the Iraq liberation on a partisan basis--even after many, including Kedwards, voted for it. As we wrote in a prescient June 30 item, "The Democrats are in the position of hoping that America loses its 'gamble' in Iraq--a politically and morally hazardous thing to hope for."

The Democrats' decision to put party over country was bad for the country, but much worse for the party.

05:39 PM in Liberal International Democracy | Permalink | TrackBack

Oh my god! Terrorists have captured Cody!

This is just too funny Instapundit is asking when Hostage Barbie will be released.

OK, this can rapidly descend into bad taste, but it is an amusing sidebar to the real horrors that exist in Iraq. What is as funny as the incident itself is how quickly the MSM jumped on this story. I can guess they have been chomping at the bit for some bad news to focus on to distract from the elections. Anyone with half a brain can see there was something seriously wrong with the picture and one really has to wonder about the editorial checks and balances at Reuters and the AP.

Hopefully, this really was a hoax and no American soldiers are currently captive. I just can't believe that this was released by an actual terrorist group. It would be great if it was, but, unfortunately, I'd have to give them more credit than that. If this was released by a terrorist group, maybe they are in worse shape than this country and the Iraqis could have hoped.

05:19 PM in Liberal International Democracy | Permalink | TrackBack

How Gauling

Wow, these comments take a lot of cutzpah even for a Frenchman:
As to the question whether it [ed: the Iraqi vote] can be seen as a success for the Bush administration, the French minister replied "it was the success of the international community" that has "completely supported" the process, with of course the United States.
Since they now seem to be completely supporting the process, maybe they can send some troops to help out a bit. A couple hundred would do. Sheesh.

12:52 PM in Liberal International Democracy | Permalink | TrackBack

January 31, 2005

EU Stepping up?

In what could potentially be very good news, it seems that the EU may be seeing the light when it comes to Iraq. Given their own history, its shameful that they had to wait so long to begin and embrace of a blooming democracy and even now they appear rather grudging in their acceptance. However, regardless of how their participation comes about, its high time for the EU to realize that a democratic Iraq is in their best interest and they should be doing everything in their power to assure that. One also should read Arthur Chrenkoff's latest update of the good news from Iraq that is so often lost in the doom and gloom that most people hear. It seems to become longer and longer every time. However, I can imagine that once someone reads it, they would become even more skeptical of the doommongers. Yes, terrorism and the insurgency are a huge threat to the future of Iraq, but the more concrete successes Iraqis have to believe in, the more likely the terrorists and Baathists will ultimately fail.

07:24 PM in Liberal International Democracy | Permalink | TrackBack