Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Making Sense of the UAE Port Controversy

I have to admit; my first reaction to the announcement that a United Arab Emirates company would be running some of our ports was extremely negative. It didn't help the way the Bush Administration bungled the announcement and then compounded it by vowing to veto any legislation aimed at stopping the acquisition and then further compounded it by announcing that the president hadn't even been aware of his underlings' stamp of approval on the deal until after the fact. And it really didn't help that Jimmy Carter sided with GW on this one!

But upon further reflection, I reluctantly come down in favor of the deal, with the following provision: We must insist that the onsite management of the ports in question be in American hands, with those port managers being subject to background checks.

Why have I changed my mind? Well, not because so many Democrats did their usual dance and objected to the port deal, not out of any conviction (for they have none) but for purely political reasons in that it gave them an opportunity to appear to get to the right of Bush on at least one issue. And not because so many thinking conservatives, such as the great Bill Bennett, have made cogent arguments against the UAE takeover. And not because other conservatives, such as Rush Limbaugh, have stated the logic behind their support for the deal. The reason I now side with the president is that I trust him with our national security and am certain that there are some pretty good reasons that he is not at liberty to discuss in public for something that appears on the surface to be somewhat counterintuitive to our security interests.

In short, I believe we have a deal with the UAE to serve as the launching point for the coming attack on Iran. I am willing to trust President Bush that he will use force of arms to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and, while he's at it, change the Islamofascist terrorist-supporting regime there.

If I have any quarrel with the president it is that we have not been ruthless enough in pursuing the War on Terror. We are in a fight to the death and, no matter what the Democrats or McCain or anyone else says, we need to pursue that fight with whatever force it takes to prevail. That means treating terrorist prisoners harshly, torturing them if necessary to break the back of al Qaeda and hunt down and kill its leaders. It means executing non-uniformed fighters (who are not covered by the Geneva Convention) who murder civilians and shoot at U.S. and Iraqi and allied soldiers. It means making making any country that helps terrorists in any way quake in their boots at the prospect of American retribution. The president has been hamstrung by Democrat lies and Republican spinelessness and backstabbing Europeans, but he needs to stick to his guns.

Having said all that, there is no one out there on the political horizon, in either party, who I belieive takes a tougher stand against the Islamofascists than President Bush. I will take him at his word that the UAE port deal is in our national interest. But Iran's got to go.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Sectarian Violence in Iraq and the War on Terror

Critics of President Bush’s policies in Iraq will doubtless smirk, “I told you so,” as sectarian violence over the bombing of one of Shiite Islam’s holiest shrines spins the country toward potential civil war. But, no matter what unfolds in Iraq, confronting radical Islam through the War on Terror remains a sound strategy not only for the United States but for Western Civilization as a whole.

We have been at war with radical Islam at least since the mid-‘70s, when the Ayatollahs took over in Iran, once-beautiful Beirut was reduced to pockmarked rubble as Syria destroyed Lebanon and UN peacekeepers were being kidnapped and murdered. We were at war, but we didn’t realize it. The seizure of our embassy in Tehran, the hostage ordeal, the bombing of our Marine barracks in Beirut, the first World Trade Center attack, the bombing of our embassies in Africa, the attack on the USS Cole followed. It took the destruction of the World Trade Center and the loss of nearly 3,000 innocent lives to awaken us from our slumber and take up the fight.

A civil war in Iraq won’t change all that. Nor will it change the fact that the world’s leading terrorist state, Iran, headed by an unhinged latter-day Hitler, is on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons.

The War on Terror—and against regimes that aid, abet, fund, arm, incite, direct or provide refuge to Islamic terrorists—must continue. If we unilaterally stop fighting, the terror attacks will only continue, will only escalate, and Western Civilization will gradually give way to a culture and an un-Reformed religion that are rooted in Medieval times.

That is not an option.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Enforcing Good Manners Among the White House Press Corps

As the entire Dick Cheney hunting accident White House Press Corps brouhaha has underscored, once again, news media decorum must be restored.

No matter how much media malpractice occurs as a result of blatant political bias, we cannot and should not monkey with the First Amendment. The free market, i.e., the listening, viewing and reading audience, will reward or punish those who abuse their journalistic rights. And that is already happening.

But is it too much to demand of talking heads in the media that—while they might despise the current occupant of the White House (and members of the so-called mainstream media certainly do), they should at least observe a modicum of respect for the Office of the President.

President Bush has already leaned in this direction by refusing to call upon the snarling, bitter, self-anointed “dean” of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas. And no doubt his Press Secretary Scott McClellan will be adding other rude reporters to the list of “no calls” after the abominable behavior exhibited by some of them during the quail hunting feeding frenzy.

But I have a more elegant solution.

While not calling on an offensive reporter doesn’t give the talking head his or her moment in the sun, said Media Star is still on the premises and still able to take down what is occurring during the press briefing. A better way would be for Mr. McClellan to lay down some rules of behavior during White House press events.

First and foremost would be showing the proper respect for the Office of the President of the United States. That means not using insulting or demeaning language or tone of voice when addressing the president or his representatives. The subject matter of questions would not be affected; just their delivery. The president of Mr. McClellan could then answer or choose not to answer questions, as they see fit, and if reporters persist in asking questions that are leading in nature or beneath discussion or repetitive, the president or Mr. McClellan could simply do as they do now and say, “I’ve already addressed that question and now consider the subject closed; now let’s move on to another question.”

Offending reporters who failed to follow the rules of politeness and respect would simply be banned from the White House—denied access.

Pretty soon, the organizations for which these boorish reporters work would have a choice to make: Either not cover the White House and thereby miss out on all the news as it happens; or exhibit some old fashioned decorum.

The only downside of this proposal is that it would deny self-absorbed Media Stars the opportunity to make fools out of themselves on national television, for the public to witness in their full glory. But at least it might teach people manners.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Thought for the Day

In the interest of bipartisanship and reconciliation, Vice President Dick Cheney has invited Reid, Pelosi and Kennedy bird hunting. Let's all hope they exhibit the proper spirit and accept.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Western Civilization in the Balance

The riots over cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, like the election of Hammas by the Palestinians and the Paris riots, are a good thing. They let us—and more important, the Europeans—know exactly where Muslim opinion stands and how far they are willing to go in the jihad against Western Civilization.

Will the Europeans join us in the War on Terror as a result of this knowledge? Perhaps later. Courage is a fleeting virtue in decadent socialist nanny states, and available funding for military readiness is sparse. But, surely, they must know that this is but a taste of what is in store if they bury their heads in the sand as they did before the Second World War.

Europe doesn’t know it yet, but they are at war. It is a clash between Western Civilization and Judeo-Christian culture and a Medieval society based on a religion that never underwent a Reformation. It is a clash between a tradition of tolerance and one of intolerance and hostility. It is a clash between believers in human rights and freedom of expression versus subjugation and tyranny.

The enemy is ruthless and cunning—some of the harshest images that provoked the cartoon riots were created and disseminated by radical Islamist clerics. They think nothing of murdering innocent men, women and children of any faith, including their own. They seek weapons of mass destruction and will use them.

The only course of action for the West and the civilized world is to fight to the death, destroy the radicals and their perversion of the Muslim religion, then reform that religion, instill an appreciation for human rights among its people and create societies where liberty and economic freedom abound and militant theocracy and corruption are banished.

At this moment, the defense of the West is led by the United States and a handful of free nations. Most of Old Europe, along with Russia and China, either stand on the sidelines or ally with the enemy in a futile attempt to avoid becoming a target of Islamic radicals. Yet targets they are.

Eventually, they will come to their senses. But before that happens, how many innocent people will have to die? Will they wake up before a jetliner flies into crowded buildings in Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow or Beijing? Or will it take a mushroom cloud? Time is growing short and the battle is at hand.

Who will have the courage to join us?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Dishonoring Coretta Scott King

The left never learns.

Just as they turned the Paul Wellstone memorial service into a low-class partisan political rally, people who should have been celebrating the life of civil rights heroine Coretta Scott King turned to Bush-bashing. SCLC co-founder Rev. Joseph Lowery and that weak-kneed ex-president who made the War on Terror necessary, Jimmy Carter, defiled the proceedings with insults hurled at President Bush, who, with the First Lady, came to honor Mrs. King.

The crazed left may applaud such antics, but the American people know a cheap shot when they see it and are not amused. Lowry, Carter and the rest of the so-called leaders on the left are small-minded and crude and they dishonor Mrs. King and themselves.

They should keep it coming. They are converting more and more upstanding Americans to Republicans.