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Tuesday, May 25, 2004
A FEW QUICK RANTS
Bill Kristol in the Weekly Standard has a great column on the questions not being asked about WMD's in Iraq. Read it here.
Is it me, or is this a more important story than Bill Cosby saying that lots of black kids in urban America don't use proper English. Thanks, Bill. That is really enlightening. I guess it passes for news for the media that nearly everyone who is not shaking down corporations for diversity checks believes good English skills are absolutely necessary unless you plan on having a career as a professional athlete or gangster rapper. Anyway, the point is that sarin can kill lots and lots of people. Even a small amount, distributed the right way, could kill everyone in a subway car or even a theater.
Given that the Afghanis find a way to ship Heroin into the United States, does anyone think that it would be all that difficult to get a bottle of Sarin through? Hell, you could probably bring it right onto a plane for the US labeled as a bottle of water or soda.
If---when?--- a chemical or biological attack happens in the United States, the media will be very quick to point fingers of blame at government officials. But the media is too interested in celebrity culture to focus for half a second on the war that is going on and, when they do, they are usually doing the propaganda work for our enemies.
WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE ARE WE?
When speaking to a Joint session of the U.S. Congress in the wake of Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill asked of our enemies:
What kind of a people do they think we are? Is it possible that they do not realise that we shall never cease to persevere against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world will never forget?
Think about this. Have we sent the enemy the message that we are resolute and united in our effort to hunt them like dogs and kill them like the vermin that they are? If I were the enemy, and was watching the TODAY show, listening to Michael Moore and the equally craven Ted Kennedy, I would believe that Americans do not have the stomach for war and that we will eventually lose our will, either closing the door on the rest of the world and retreating into isolation, or relying on anti-democratic and anti-western global institutions, and ineffective tools of diplomacy and appeasement, to avoid confronting our enemy, feeding the tiger in the hope that it eats us last.
We are at war. I do not, however, believe that a majority of Americans are willing to face up to that fact. Right now, a plurality of Americans -- about 45 percent -- understand what is at stake. About 40 percent want to feed the tiger or isolate themselves. The upcoming election is about the 15% who don't know what to think or could care less. How will it turn out? Badly, I fear. Not for Bush -- I still think he wins. But I think we will pay a high price in blood for our failure to recognize what we are facing and the decision by members of one political party and their supporters in the media to play politics and provide the enemy with propaganda opportunities when we are at war.
How to explain Bush's job approval going down but him still beating Kerry? Many conservatives don't believe he is being resolute enough and don't think we are prosecuting the war as strongly as we should. Our refusal to send American Marines into Fallujah with a full scale assault to kill or capture Sadr has troubled many conservatives -- Ralph Peters has addressed these concerns very effectively in the NY Post (check Drudge for a link).
I agree with Peters, but I also understand the administration's cautious approach. Even assuming we broke the back of Sadr's militia in the assault, does anyone really believe that an all out assault of Fallujah that resulted in, say, 70 to 100 American combat deaths would be considered a victory? No, it would be considered a huge defeat and provide the American media with the equivalent of the TET offensive. 100 dead Americans in a single day. Think about it.
Yes, it would have been preferable to launch the assault, break the back of our enemies, send the strong message to our enemy that we will not shrink from our responsibilities, that we will pay any price, and thereby speed up our efforts to stabilize Iraq. But the American media would not have allowed it.
Given the options, the Bush approach, to slowly and methodically suffocate our enemy with effective but lower risk tactics, is probably the right one given the situation we are facing. The account of 800 to 1000 dead Iraqi militia and the political isolation of Sadr, at the cost of a very small number of American casualties, seems to be bearing this out.
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