Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Rumsfeld Gambit

The current attacks on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld are nothing more than the full-court press of Democrat politics, the politics of personal destruction. They have been at this since even before 9/11, though now they try to put their criticism in terms of mismanaging the war.

It is pure politics. The roots go back to the first election, which Democrats tried to steal by “imputing” voter intent on unmarked or improperly marked ballots. Gore lost even his own state and the statewide recount conducted by Florida newspapers confirmed that Bush won, but the Democrats felt they were entitled to the election because they are so much smarter than the rest of us poor, dumb, slobs, so they tried to steal it. The Constitution be damned, they immediately sought to overturn the legitimate results and almost succeeded with the Democrat-stacked Florida Supreme Court until the United States Supreme Court stepped in and did their Constitutional duty. That gave rise to the “selected, not elected” rhetoric. Oh, how the Democrats love their rhyming media sound bites.

Then in 2004 they ran an equally lousy candidate in the form of Vietnam War liar John Kerry, a man people like me remember for exactly what he was toward the end of that conflict: Benedict Arnold. Again, the Democrats felt entitled to that election, the Constitution be damned. So they decided to do the only thing they can do since they have no positive ideas themselves, which was to go negative. Another Democrat specialty. Make Bush illegitimate, call for his impeachment, paint the War on Terror and the campaign in Iraq in the worst possible light, criminalize politics, defeat any voter ID laws (so they can register illegals and ineligible voters, which is the ONLY reason to oppose voter ID cards), disclose classified information, create the false impression (knowingly false) that Bush lied about Iraq (when all intelligence services and the Democrats themselves ALL believed the same intelligence), etc., etc., etc.

Now, the target is Rumsfeld. He may be a taskmaster and abrasive, but he is trying to change the military and that is a very tall order (and a very necessary thing). The entrenched establishment doesn’t like it. There are probably scores more generals who resent what they view as his interference. But civilian control of the military is one vital element of our democracy. And just because someone has stars on his shoulders doesn’t make him a genius or automatically right. Take Weasley Clark (misspelling INTENTIONAL), for example. Just as in any other profession, there are good generals and bad, and some good generals when it comes to generalship who would be bad politicians and bad policy makers. The military needs to be transformed to be able to fight the next war, not the last one, and that is what Rumsfeld is doing. That has ruffled a lot of feathers within the officer corps. Our military is magnificent, but it can and does get hidebound. And many retired generals are ambitious folks to whom a career in politics, or punditry, looks attractive.

Of course, the entire Rumsfeld episode is just another political maneuver to make Bush look bad. It is the only thing the Democrats have, because they have no ideas and offer none, other than “we can do better,” which is an easy thing to say if you don’t have to come up with specifics. They cannot take a position because it will alienate one or the other segment of their base, so all they do is chip away, using negatives. But negatives alone do not a national defense strategy make.

Bush is not without blame. He did not engage and, in fact, ceded the field to the political enemy a long time ago. He allowed the Dems to lie without contradiction, without fighting back, without telling his side, and most certainly without calling a spade a spade when it comes to outright lying, as so many Democrats have done.

Politics is a big part of the president’s job. I give him a big, fat “F“ in politics, and resent the fact that his failure in this area threatens the war effort and has left the impression that the war is going badly (it is not) and that we are in the wrong place (we are not) and that it is hopeless (it is not). The war will be long and difficult and will involve other theaters after Iraq. Iran, for starters. We need to take them down militarily, and not just their nukes, but the regime itself. Syria needs the same treatment. Saudi Arabia must be forced to change its ways (by threat, but we won’t have to use military action there, for they are as decadent as the Euros). Those are the main players who need to change. Plus North Korea.

We have to keep our eye on the ball. Bush’s POLITICAL failure puts all that at risk. Still, he is the only sheriff out there who also has the right idea when it comes to the economy, which is booming, despite the war, precisely because more revenues are generated from tax cuts than tax increases. He is doing great on the economy. Only the Democrats and their mass media stooges won't acknowledge the fact. He is the only one (except perhaps Cheney) who will pursue the war with full vigor and still run a reasonably conservative economy (though spending is too high because he has failed to use his veto power). Rudi Giuliani would make a good president because he is a sheriff, too, as is McCain and Condi Rice.

I am not a big McCain fan because I believe he works too hard at playing the Maverick for purely political gain and therefore has no true convictions outside of favoring and understanding the war. I think he is wrong in opposing torture or humiliation tactics used against detained terrorists, but, given his background, he gets a pass on that. But he is a sheriff and that is what we need in the next president. We must continue to pursue the War on Terror to a successful conclusion, and if that means killing every radical Muslim neo-Nazi out there, then so be it.

The challenge of our age, the one thing that trumps all else, is the War on Terror, of which Iraq is but one battlefield. Instead of censoring footage of 9/11, we should be seeing it morning, noon and night on our television screens. Americans have notoriously short attention spans, and we must remember what was done to us that September morning five short years ago. We have to keep our eye on the prize and our mind on the consequences of not confronting and defeating Islamofascism.

The Democrats are ready and willing to put us all at risk, and to lie and trash good men and women and jeopardize the lives of American servicemen and women, all in the name of politics. They cannot be allowed to succeed.

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