Thursday, October 21, 2004


Interlude

My favorite magazine is having a baynonim moment of it's own. TNR sidled up to Bush in the months immidiately following September 11, but now the editors have seen enough.

Here is the money quote:

"The president's war on terrorism, which initially offered a striking contrast to his special interest-driven domestic agenda, has come to resemble it. The common thread is ideological certainty untroubled by empirical evidence, intellectual curiosity, or open debate. The ideology that guides this president's war on terrorism is more appealing than the corporate cronyism that guides his domestic policy. But it has been pursued with the same sectarian, thuggish, and ultimately self-defeating spirit. You cannot lead the world without listening to it. You cannot make the Middle East more democratic while making it more anti-American. You cannot make the United States more secure while using security as a partisan weapon. And you cannot demand accountable government abroad while undermining it at home. And so a president who promised to make America safer by making the Muslim world more free has failed on both counts."

I'm not sold on Kerry, yet, but Bush is running out of time. If there are any Bush-supporters in the Readership, please raise your voices in the comment section.


Comments:

1 of the many reasons to vote for Bush.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat is hoping John Kerry wins the U.S. presidential election in November, according to several Palestinian leaders.

Arafat deputy and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said in an exclusive interview with WorldNetDaily that while “we do not involve ourselves in internal American politics,” at the same time “our region has been sliding deeper and deeper into chaos because of certain policies over the past few years, and this needs to change.”

While he would not directly endorse Kerry, it was clear Erekat was implying the PA wants a change in White House leadership: “If things continue the way they are, if certain policies toward our region are maintained in the years to come, there is going to be a lot of violence on both sides.”

A prominent Arafat aide who asked that his name be withheld spoke to WorldNetDaily from Arafat’s battered Ramallah compound: “The president [Arafat] is frustrated with Bush’s policies,” he said. “The president [Arafat] thinks Kerry will be much better for the Palestinian cause and for the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

While the comments mark the first time the PA has endorsed Kerry on the record, it has not been a secret that Arafat is frustrated with Bush’s leadership. Israel Military Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. Aharon Ze’evi warned in July Arafat is biding his time until November, when the Palestinian leader hopes President Bush will be voted out of office and Sharon’s coalition government will fall.

Meanwhile, with Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei telling state-run newspapers that Iran will use nuclear weapons to “destroy the Zionist entity,” hundreds of thousands of dollars have been given to Kerry from the pro-Iranian lobby, possibly influencing the presidential candidate’s startling call to provide Tehran with the nuclear fuel it seeks, according to Iran’s Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy chairman Aryo Pirouznia.
Pirouznia disclosed details of Kerry’s alleged financial ties to backers of the mullah government in Iran, the most prominent of which is through Hassan Nemazee, an investment banker who has joined the board of the American-Iranian Council, a U.S. lobbying group that supports lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran and accommodating the Tehran regime. Nemazee admits to raising more than $500,000 for the senator’s campaign.

Kerry has been insisting that as president he would provide Tehran with nuclear fuel as long as it is used for peaceful purposes, a position that has many Middle East analysts baffled.

During the first presidential debate Kerry said, “I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes.”

The same policy of accommodation toward Iran’s nuclear aspirations is clearly outlined on Kerry’s campaign website as well.
Aaron Klein is chief of WorldNetDaily.com’s upcoming Jerusalem bureau.  

Bush for President

I know that many will discount this since it came from the Jewish Press - but read it first and then make your comments.

George W. Bush For President
Posted 10/20/2004
By EDITORIAL BOARD
It was George W. Bush’s lot to have been elected president at a time when two defining developments were at work, fundamentally changing the world landscape. The European Union’s burgeoning determination to fill the international political void created by the collapse of the Soviet Union was one. And the unprecedented challenges presented by an international terror crusade on the move —underscored eight months into Mr. Bush’s presidency by 9/11 — was the other.

Both these developments required — and will continue to require — leadership not rooted in outdated geopolitical thinking; leadership cognizant of the reality that our ostensible friends do not necessarily share our interest in a strong United States and that our enemies do not risk as much as we do from confrontations gone seriously bad.

With this in mind, the choice Americans must make on November 2 should be an easy one. One can prattle about the significance of this or that difference between President Bush and Senator Kerry on the environment, Social Security, jobs, taxes and a whole slew of other domestic issues. But that avenue ineluctably ends up as a clash of partisan talking points about inherently insoluble problems. When it comes, however, to the war on terror — the overarching issue of our time — the choice of Mr. Bush over Mr. Kerry is a clear one from everything available in the public record. And for those with a special interest in Israel, the choice is even clearer.

Although the reality of terrorism was with us well before 9/11, the attacks on that day crystallized for most Americans the awareness that the threat we had been facing for a decade - albeit in a mostly lackadaisical manner — was very different from those posed by more conventional enemies in our nation’s past. No longer could our approach to national security be based upon the defeat, far from our shores, of identifiable enemy states. Sabotage within our borders could no longer be viewed as one-dimensional adjunct criminal acts to be addressed by militarily defeating an offending state and criminally prosecuting the direct perpetrators.

Complicating matters was the unpleasant recognition that, save for Britain, our post-World War II allies were just not interested in facilitating yet another U.S. success, even over a growing Muslim terror threat. After all, went the thinking in European capitals, it was the U.S. that was the direct target, and alienating the Muslim world and its actual and potential markets made little economic sense.

President Bush said in his State of the Union address less than five months after 9/11 that "In a single instant, we realized that this will be a decisive decade in the history of liberty, that we’ve been called to a unique role in human events. Rarely has the world faced a choice more clear or consequential."

When the president spoke, he noted that the Taliban had already been routed from Afghanistan, "Yet tens of thousands of trained terrorists are still at large. These enemies view the entire world as a battlefield, and we must pursue them wherever they are. So long as training camps operate, so long as nations harbor terror, freedom is at risk. And America and our allies must not, and will not, allow it...."

As if anticipating future critics who would not grasp that the lack of traditional threats did not matter, or who would find it politically and economically convenient to shrug off seemingly non-imminent danger, he went on to underscore the new reality, summarizing what came to be labeled the Bush doctrine of preemption: "We’ll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by as peril draws closer and closer...."

And, almost presciently, he added, "But some governments will be timid in the face of terror. And make no mistake about it: If they do not act, America will."

In sharp contrast, Senator Kerry seems to see the state of the world much more statically, certainly not in terms of a holy war launched against America. As has been widely noted, when asked recently by a New York Times Magazine interviewer what it would take for Americans to feel safe again, he responded, "We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance. As a former law-enforcement person, I know we’re never going to end prostitution. We’re never going to end illegal gambling. But we’re going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn’t on the rise. It isn’t threatening people’s lives every day, and fundamentally, it’s something that you continue to fight, but it’s not threatening the fabric of your life."

It’s hard to imagine when pre-9/11 terrorism against the United States was a "nuisance," routine and allowable. Was he referring to the Al Qaeda attacks against our embassies abroad? Our military barracks abroad? The assassinations of our ambassadors? The attack against the USS Cole? What?

In a speech critical of President Bush’s war against terror, Senator Kerry pledged to "fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history."

More thoughtfulness and more sensitivity will bring our erstwhile allies around? Does Mr. Kerry really believe that longstanding economic and political competition with the U.S. are of no moment and that all that the times require is a president who knows just the right sweet nothings to whisper in the ears of European leaders?

In the aforementioned New York Times Magazine interview, the following revealing colloquy on the post-9/11 world took place between Senator Kerry and his interviewer:

" `We need to engage more directly and more respectfully with Islam, with that state of Islam, with religious leaders, mullahs, imams, clerics, in a way that proves this is not a clash with the British and the Americans and the old forces they remember from the old days,` Kerry told me...`and that’s all about your diplomacy.`

"When I suggested that effecting such changes could take many years, Kerry shook his head vehemently and waved me off. `Yeah it is long term, but it can be dramatically effective in the short term. It really can be. I promise you.` He leaned his head back and slapped his thighs. `A new presidency with the right moves, the right language, the right outreach, the right initiatives, can dramatically alter the world’s perception of us very, very quickly.` "

Plainly Mr. Kerry thinks there is some magical formula for the effective prosecution of the war against terror that up until now has eluded President Bush. Indeed, as the Times Magazine interviewer said of Mr. Kerry’s statement that he is committed to destroying terrorists "effectively":

"This was a word that Kerry came back to repeatedly in our discussions; he told me he would wage a more `effective` war on terror no less than 18 times in two hours of conversations. The question, of course, was how."

It should be noted that in the second presidential debate Mr. Kerry stated 23 times, without adding anything more, that he “has a plan.”

Is there any question that President Bush can be relied upon to more forcefully prosecute the war on terror?

When it comes to the Middle East, the contrast between the two candidates is even more striking.

In his 2002 State of the Union address, his first international affairs declaration after 9/11, President Bush noted that "Our military has put the terror training camps of Afghanistan out of business, yet camps still exist in at least a dozen countries. A terrorist underworld — including groups like Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, Haish-I-Mohammad—operates in remote jungles and deserts, and hides in the centers of large cities."

Viscerally, the president draws no distinction between international terror and terror directed against Israel. And indeed, the Bush administration has consistently acknowledged Israel’s broad right to defend itself against terror, even in the face of claims at the UN that it has overreacted to attacks by Palestinian terrorists.

Moreover, in addition to linking Israel’s response to the Intifada with the global war against terror, President Bush groundbreakingly declared that, respecting U.S. policy, there would be no Palestinian "right of return," since it would mean the end of a Jewish state in Israel, and that Israel had a legitimate claim to substantial portions of the West Bank.

On the other hand, Senator Kerry has spoken of former president Jimmy Carter and former secretary of state James Baker — both blatantly anti-Israel — as his choice for emissaries to the Middle East. He has also retained as advisers many of Bill Clinton’s discredited Oslo architects and others who have urged moral equivalence between the murder of Israeli women and children and Israel’s reaction to terror.

Nor can we forget that Mr. Kerry told an audience at an Anti-Defamation League dinner that he wanted to be an "honest broker" in the Middle East, despite all the political baggage that phrase has assumed and as if there were a moral equivalence between Israel and Palestinian terrorists. Or that Mr. Kerry told an Arab group that the Israeli defense wall — which has sharply curtailed the murder of Israelis — was an "impediment" to peace in the region and was "provocative and counterproductive."

Senator Kerry also called Yasir Arafat a "statesman" and a "role model." He has said that we must "look to Chairman Arafat to exert much greater leadership." On "Face the Nation," he said the Israel-Palestinian conflict is "an extraordinarily complicated, incredibly deep-rooted problem… Arafat has forces around him, underneath, close by him that don’t want peace, that are working against what he is doing."

In short, Arafat, according to Kerry, is not the problem — some around him are. Kerry also stated on "Meet the Press" that "Israel’s presence [in Gaza and the West Bank that] puts Israel in difficult circumstances and obviously creates an enormous handle for Osama bin Laden for all the radicals and extremists to hand on to."

For Kerry, the victims are the problem.

It should be noted that President Bush’s commitment to Israel was not merely a function of 9/11. In "The Price of Loyalty," Paul O’Neill, the former treasury secretary who left the Bush administration on less than friendly terms, reported that on January 30, 2001, just ten days after his inauguration, and well before 9/11, President Bush met with his senior national security team and declared: "We’re going to correct the imbalances of the previous administration on the Mideast conflict. We’re going to tilt back towards Israel. And we’re going to be consistent. Clinton overreached, and it all fell apart. That’s why we’re in trouble."

Secretary of State Powell reportedly objected to this approach, protesting that "such a move might be hasty," speaking of the "roots" of the violence in the Palestinian areas, and stressing that "a pullback by the United States would unleash Sharon and the Israeli army" and that "the consequences of that could be dire, especially for the Palestinians." President Bush responded: "Maybe that’s the best way to get things back in balance. Sometimes a show of strength by one side can really clarify things."

To our mind, based on their own statements, the imperative of responding to the worldwide terrorist threat, and the particular targeting of Israel, the choice this year is George W. Bush over John F. Kerry.

And this is not even to address Mr. Kerry’s shameful creating, out of whole cloth, politically motivated scares over a reinstatement of the military draft and a reduction in Social Security benefits. Mr. Kerry’s assertions are totally without foundation, and they put his credibility further into question. He should be ashamed of himself.

All things considered, we all will be better off with George W. Bush as president for the next four years.  

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