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November 09, 2003

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I haven't been micromanaging the political rhetoric of the day because I've recognized that Bush matters a bit less than everyone thinks. GWBush has already done his big thing. His future is behind him. The invasion of Iraq and the destruction of the Baath is his legacy. There is nothing better he can ever do, and practically nothing he can do to undo it. Like millions of acute yet excitable and often obsessive Americans, I will do what I can to insure that he is a one-term president, however he appears to be doing something smart. (Or smart things are being said with his mouth):

Time after time, observers have questioned whether this country, or that people, or this group, are "ready" for democracy as if freedom were a prize you win for meeting our own Western standards of progress....It should be clear to all that Islam the faith of one-fifth of humanity is consistent with democratic rule.

....Yet there's a great challenge today in the Middle East. In the words of a recent report by Arab scholars, the global wave of democracy has and I quote "barely reached the Arab states."

....Securing democracy in Iraq is the work of many hands....This is a massive and difficult undertaking it is worth our effort, it is worth our sacrifice, because we know the stakes. The failure of Iraqi democracy would embolden terrorists around the world, increase dangers to the American people, and extinguish the hopes of millions in the region.

This may sound to many right thinking individuals to be giving eloquent words to the obvious. Still, it does matter that the President of the United States says them. When I think of the most important speeches this president has made (though I haven't read this one completely), I must say that they are mostly correct and on target.

GWBush suffers a number of maladies, but he is shepherding a vision that is fine and proper. He is setting up a field of vision in such a way as a more able man will make it so. What GWBush evidently knows given this kind of speech gives me a sense that almost anybody can do the right thing. Elect anyone and they couldn't possibly be stupid enough to twist things around backwards.

The direction GWBush is taking geopolitically in the Middle East is proper. Hopefully our next president won't bollicks it up and be a better internal manager of the agencies that are supposed to serve the president. It is a happy accident that neocon ideologues have gotten the ear of the president, but it's too bad that they are his judgement as well.

I'm ready for a change in management, but as far as the Middle East goes; stay the course.

Posted by mbowen at November 9, 2003 07:12 PM

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Comments

Who exactly would you have replace him? Howard Dean, of all people? If you aren't a Dean fan, I don't see that you have much choice than to either stay home on voting day, or hold your nose and vote for GWB.

God knows Bush has been a disappointment, but if it comes down to a choice between him and Dean, there's no way in hell I'll go for the latter. Dean is a guy who stands for the opposite of nearly everything I believe - he doesn't like free trade, he doesn't like school choice, he wants to nationalize healthcare, and he hasn't a clue about military matters; nevertheless, he's already looking a certainty to clinch the Democratic Party candidacy.

Posted by: Abiola Lapite at November 10, 2003 04:34 PM

We could do much worse than Kerry, and I don't understand at all why people are counting Clark out.

I don't have any tactical reasons to vote for Bush, and any that I might have depends entirely on the VP.

Why is McCain so quiet?

Posted by: Cobb at November 10, 2003 07:39 PM

Whoever the next President is, they will represent a shifting of weight and resetting of the feet to move in a somewhat different direction than we're currently going in. At the cost of the war and the cost of the impact on the USofA we could buy the Middle East. Worse, a second Bush term and four more years of this plan will solidify a significant fraction of the world against us…a world that WILL be able to challenge our physical power before our children die.

Even if you want to stay the course in the Middle East, you have to admit the current attempt is poorly conceived and executed. And the tax cuts have been mindless (though not purposeless).

The next presidency isn't going to be about advancing or recovering. It's going to be about recuperation.

Posted by: P6 at November 10, 2003 08:38 PM

Well, the career diplomats are saying that Clinton did better in North Korea than Bush. So if Iraq goes completely bad, it cannot be worse than if North Korea goes completely bad. I say this because I don't see that Western interests in Iraq and Iran as so very substantial.

That said, I think that eventually, Iraq will work out. It may take longer than Russia, but looking back 10 years from now, everyone will agree that Iraq was an Evil Empire.

What surprises me these days, now that I think about it, is how little is made of April Glaspie and our history with Iraq. The Left had, for a long time, painted Saddam as a monster of our creation. Wasn't he? Back in the days when the world trembled in fear of the Republican Guard, much was made about how the US was responsible for the bad thing that Iraq had become. We let them invade Iran because we hated Iran. It was payback for our 241 miserable Marines. We let countries go to war for years because we hated that big old Ayatollah. Remember when he was public enemy number one?

I don't believe the American public has a good reason for opposing Iran for any reasons other than that history and because George Bush's Axis of Evil rhetoric. Which underlies my general opinion that we are lousy citizens when it comes to imperial duty, even as mercenaries for democracy under the best of all circumstances for the best of all reasons. So I don't give a lot of credence today to the ENDLESS posturing over a war that's over.

I'm not doing my duty in talking about some other spots on the globe, so I am a part of this conspiracy of ignorant distraction, but I do believe that the world historical right thing was done in deposing Saddam, and one of the reasons I say so was because I do believe he was a monster of our encouragement if not creation. But I'm not going to rehash the Western line drawing parties of the postWW2 days.

Like it or not, Republicans have demonstrated in very much the same way Clinton has, that we can do right as a superpower, but American partisans don't feel warm and fluffy about it. I can live with that tension. But it does get tiresome to hear the back and forth about the 87 Billion.

87 Billion are our taxes, part of our responsibility as world citizens to police places we don't live. If the Left doesn't see the exact parallels between their carping about that and nimby tax abatement & white flight, I don't know what to tell them.

Posted by: Cobb at November 10, 2003 09:13 PM

Opposition to the war…which is NOT over, and given the situation on the ground, it's kinda absurd to even suggest it is…can be based on a lot more than just objection to rhetoric. And money is only one of the terms I factor into gauging the cost of the war.

But the point of my post was that no one, Conservative or Progressive, should be satisfied no matter who wins the next election.

Posted by: P6 at November 11, 2003 03:33 AM

Just because there's a pattern doesn't mean there's a purpose.

Posted by: Green Mark at December 20, 2003 01:24 PM

Don't worry that other people don't know you; worry that you don't know other people.

Posted by: Kwon So Heui at January 8, 2004 11:38 PM