Sunday, October 31, 2004

The Vote

"Those are our jets now"
-actor Ron Silver commenting on a military flyover during Bill Clinton's 1992 Presidential inauguration

I've never forgotten that quote. Though simple, it said a lot. A party that had been in opposition during 12 years of Reagan/Bush had just assumed control of the executive branch and all its powers, services, and agencies. The jets, soldiers, and weapons of the military, whose buildup had been roundly condemned by Democrats throughout the previous 12 years, was now at the command of Democrat President Bill Clinton. A party, who had been for many years the metaphorical "Back Seat Driver", ever criticism, ever complaining, ever second-guessing, and ever offering up their dime-a-dozen opinions of what they would do differently, had at that moment assumed control of the wheel -it was their turn to drive. Needless to say, the Democrat President used the jets often and well. We know the places where they were visited upon (perhaps many of us have forgotten): Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq. A party, whose leaders had been participants in 60's era marches of peace, was, during the 90's, well adept at waging war. The jets had become theirs to command.

I found this article to be quite on the mark. In it, the author states that "...the anti-war movement is more anti-Bush than it is anti-war. Don't believe it? Ask yourself how many protesters would have filled the streets if Hillary Clinton led the charge against Saddam Hussein." Indeed, the muscular humanitarian intervenionism that was a hallmark of Pres. Bill Clinton's foreign policy would find no quarrel with the Iraq invasion had it been proffered by a Democrat president. All the reasons put forth by Clinton for the need to oust Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic (promote regional security, halt the massacre of ethnic and religious subgroups, stop a madman) were just as appropriate for ousting Saddam, in fact ever more so. I find all this bluster about "neoconservatism" to be extraordinary useless. It makes no sense to me why Dems are suddenly alarmed with the political ideology of using American military might to put down regional mass-murdering madmen when they themselves in their long history have practiced the policy - against Germany, against Japan, against Korea, against Vietnam, against Serbia. They are just pissed that its not themselves that are commanding the jets.

The lengths to which the Dems and the Left have employed to get Executive power back have been greatly scandalous, if not ultimately destructive to America. The Dems have not withheld any attack, any conjecture, any insinuation that paints as stark and drastic a picture of the current situation as possible. Their allies in the press do their best to flood the zone with the scandal of the day, hoping that George Bush's America, like Humpty Dumpty, falls off the wall and shatters. Only hope (and more importantly the election) will determine if all of Kerry's horses and all of Kerry's men will be able to put Humpty together again.

Ultimately, that's my biggest problem with all of this. In their pursuit of George Bush's ouster, the Dems blast away with friendly fire on America herself - calling into question the veracity of all her institutions, insinuating the grandest of high crimes, misdemeanors, and treasonous sins through the echo-chamber of rote repetition as has been hammered home by Democrat Presidential candidates on a daily basis for greater than a year and half. We hear of Halliburton and no bid contracts for Iraq and yet hear nothing about the work Halliburton did for the Clinton administration in the Balkans during the 90's - work so good that the contract was renewed by the Clinton administration in 1999. But who cares, right? Afterall, Year Zero of our collective existence as a people began the day Bush took office. Never mind prior history. That never happened. Iraq was unheard of until Bush stepped across the threshold of the White House. President Clinton was never in possession of the belief that Iraq possessed WMD. Those cruise missiles he launched at Baghdad were just figments of the imagination. Forget all that information. Afterall, it spoils the perception that it all was about Avenging Daddy, or enriching corporate cronies, or doing it for oil, yada yada yada.

No wonder President Bush's approval ratings and poll numbers have dropped. Anybody's would in the face of the constant stream of daily attack on all fronts, 24 cable news channels, $100 million and upwards grossing "documentaries", popular "fake news" shows, Academy Awards recipients, 527 group ads, door-to-door neighborhood canvassers, direct mailings, voicemail and inbox messages, et. al. The prize for all of this effort is to "take back the White House" as Howard Dean so famously yelped. Great guys. Enjoy your victory if you win. You helped push Humpty off the wall and now you are left to scoop up the yolk and sweep up the pieces. Best of luck to you putting America back together again. Best of luck to you Kerry, with your foreign policy team of Jamie Rubin (most memorably known for his daily defense, as State Department spokesman, of Clinton's neoconservative, er, humanitarian interventionist war on Milosevic's Serbia); William J. Perry, former Defense Secretary under Clinton and steward of the Clinton neoconservative, whoops, humanitarian interventionist military effort against Milosevic's Serbia. These people may be neocons, (dammit, I did it again), I mean humanitarian interventionists, but their our SOB humanitarian interventionists - and soon when they are back in charge they will be able to command our jets again!

So get ready America for the return to a humanitarian interventionist foreign policy and say goodbye to the present humanitarian interventionist foreign policy. Everything old is new again and the same again. All that changes is which political party gets to command the jets. Too bad though that we had to sully your good name, accuse you of the most egregious offenses, insinuate the most demonic of motives, embolden your enemies while sapping your strength and effectiveness as we waged the battle to oust those other guys who led you during the previous 4 years. Hope you aren't mad at us.

Oh, and by the way, don't you even dare question our Patriotism.


At 8:01 AM, Blogger YouWho said...

Wow. I don't dispute your essential argument -- I think going into Iraq is something Clinton would've done if the Repulicans would have let him -- but as for everything else... it seems to me that the Right plays a much dirtier brand of winner-take-all, bend-the-facts, victory-at-any-cost politics, and it disturbs me.

I think Dean hijacked the Democrat platform this year and made it "All About The War" and Kerry got stuck with that. Maybe he took it up because it seemed to work and he can't seem to figure out how else to effectively define himself. All I know is: Right war, right time, ABYSMAL and NEGLIGENT execution, so I am ready to try an uncharismatic intellectual Massachusetts liberal over a charismatic do-it-by-my-gut infallible prophet of God.


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