Monday, November 22, 2004

Condi-sternation over a needed paragidm shift

President Bush has got the chattering classes howling again, with his appointment of Dr. Condoleezza Rice to replace Gen. Colin Powell as Secretary of State.

In formats from prose to art to video, the critics are protraying her as a sycophant of the President -- in many cases, sinking as low as invoking the symbiology of Aunt Jemima and other racial stereotypes (and it is qute telling that the silence from the NAACP and other civil-rights "leaders" about this is positively deafening).

Others -- apparently including some State Department veterans -- are viewing Dr. Rice's appointment as a sign that neoconservative ideology will trump "realism" in our foreign policy for the next few years.

From where I sit, the critics couldn't be more wrong ...

... wait a minute, actually they can ...

... and Dr. Rice may be just the person to right that wrong.

The tone of the "principled" criticism (I won't even grace the moonbat malarky of the editorial cartoons with a review here) is that Dr. Rice will be incapable of contributing the "moderate"/"realistic" foreign-policy voice this Administration, in their view, needs. Their fear is that the "evil neocons" will increase their dominance of this Administration, to the detriment of the world.

The problem I have with what these critics are advocating, is the legacy of such "moderation" and "realism" -- since our foreign policy, for the last fifty years, has been dominated by such "moderation" and "realism".

Since the horrors of World War II -- particularly the atomic horror at its very end -- and the demise of colonialism in other parts of the world, our foreign policy has been dominated by such "moderate" principles as:

When our political leaders have hinted at deviating from these principles ... much less actually done so ... the intellegincia in this nation have excoriated them heavily, consistently portraying such conduct as a greater evil than whatever our leaders were planning to act against.

This double standard is what led us to allow proven thugs to persist in their oppression ... the threat of being perceived as "imperialist" was considered greater than the oppression -- and expansion of power -- of such thugs.

Instead of removing these melanomas from the skin of the world, we kept them there to avoid the "failure" of warfare ... and even used them as our proxies, to avoid the "failure" of direct confrontation with our biggest enemy.

Many of us ... even me, from time to time ... agreed with this. Liberals and conservatives alike bought into the idealistic view that we were somehow beyond the dirty business of warfare ... that discussion and reason has made war obsolete.

We couldn't have been more wrong.

This viewpoint led to Vietnam's downfall ... the rise of Iranian Islamofascism and its derivatives and copies, from Hamas to Al Quada ... the empowerment of Saddam Hussein, and Bashar Assad, and Kim Jong Il.

All avoidable, even in the presence of the Soviet Union, if we didn't have an inflated opinion of the goodness of humanity ... especially ourselves.

Simply put, the overly idealistic view that the direct use of American military force must always be avoided ... unless bodies are already lying dead in OUR streets ... is the biggest error in our foreign policy since WWII.

It still persists today ... from the campaigns of Howard Dean and John Kerry, to these critics of Dr. Rice ... despite the history. When will the political Left take its share of the blame for creating the conditions that led to our present War on Terror?

What you are about to see, should Dr. Rice be confirmed, is the correction of this error. The thugs (and weasels) in this world had better take note -- America is now taking a realistic view of you, and will act in realistic ways to protect her interests.

It is nothing less than the embedding of a new paragidm into the fabric of our foreign policy ... new to the career professionals within the State Department, and perhaps to the intelligencia, but not to the rest of us.

We call it common sense ... and it's been a long time coming.

rich... "The problem I have with what these critics are advocating, is the legacy of such "moderation" and "realism" -- since our foreign policy, for the last fifty years, has been dominated by such "moderation" and "realism".....

i can not agree that there has been such moderation. Countless small wars have been fought by proxy, insurgancies supported and democratically elected governments have been overthrown.

in this respect the USA is no better or worse than any other country, it just has more clout.

To beleive otherwise is an act of faith. Faith is necessary for personal spiritual beleif. It has no place in politics.

Also, i must take issue with your enthusiastic embracement of war as a force for good.

No good will come of war. War is, if anything is, the embodiement of pure evil in the world today. War is messy, unleashes the worst of human behaviour and always always has unintended consequences.

9/11 was a criminal act, not an act of war. it is the failure to grasp this that is leading the USA down the dangerous path it is embarked upon today.
Wade -- when is the use of mass violence, to achieve geopolitical objectives, NOT an act of war?

In the case of OBL, this is not driven by the criminal desire for personal gain, or pure insanity ... but the desire to impose a political/religious ideology upon those around him, that has ZERO interest in the inalienable rights of others within his reach.

Many of these others do wish to peacefully interact with us, to our mutual benefit -- and OBL's lethal disdain

Even if that were not so, allowing men with the motivation of OBL to gain control of the resources and infrastructure of technologically-advanced nations puts others "farther out" who peacefully partner with us ... and even ourselves ... at significant risk.

Show me an instance where a man like OBL, once he tastes the success of conquest, is satisfied and stops reaching for more?

He may not have a state, but he seeks to impose his will upon states. If that is not war, it's close enough for practical purposes.

That is what our leaders, prior to our sitting Administration, failed to grasp.

And, keep in mind that DECISIVE war, as much as you and I hate it, sometimes is inevitible ... because it is too often the only sure way to stop those, like OBL and Saddam, who see diplomacy as "war by other means" and do not deal in good faith with the rest of humanity.

We have a responsibility to mitigate the damage ... and our knee-jerk refusal to wage DECISIVE war over the last five decades made the inevitible more protracted, more costly ... and more deadly.

Pre-emption mitigates that damage.
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