Tuesday, February 22, 2005

In Afghanistan Forever ?!?

The AP says today that Senator John McCain called for permanent US bases in Afghanistan, “to safeguard American security interests.”

I hope he was misquoted, because that’s just absolutely nuts. Certainly troops are needed in Afghanistan at present, and for several years, to help prepare the Karzai government to stand on its own and to chase whatever’s left of Al Qaeda, but a permanent presence ? Absolute madness.

Afghanistan is one of the most forbidding, intrinsically valueless pieces of real-estate on the planet, in the back-yards of the Russians, the Chinese and the Persians (not to mention the Indians and the Pakistanis), all of whom consider the place in their own spheres of influence. The place is populated by some of the most xenophobic people on Earth. We have things to do there – but not for too long, and then we need to go home. Senator McCain needs drug testing immediately.

Bush in Europe

President Bush is visiting Europe, and all governments concerned, ours included, are doing their level best to portray the whole thing as a love-fest, despite small annoyances like wacko demonstrators in Brussels. But Mark Steyn, writing in this morning’s Daily Telegraph online, is quite correct: the whole thing resembles nothing so much as a meeting of the Commonwealth of Nations, where “. . .talking about enduring ties became a substitute for having them.”

The United States and Europe have not been estranged for frivolous reasons these past couple of years, they are divided because there are real reasons to quarrel. Most obviously, Europe no longer needs us – Soviet tanks do not sit in central Europe, and the Americans are not needed to keep, as the old phrase went “the Russians out, and the Germans down.”

But it goes beyond this. The French politician Clemenceau is supposed to have said that he loved Germany so much he wished there were two of them. We would have done well to reflect on that statement. The State Department, with questionable wisdom, promoted European integration and unity for years, and now we’ve got it. A united Europe is going to be a powerful economic competitor, as anybody who rides an Airbus or drives a BMW should know. The Euro could replace the Dollar as the world’s reserve currency this decade, if East Asia decides to let this happen by selling dollars. To be sure, Europe has its own economic problems (its pension problems make ours look positively rosy)

Geopolitically, it’s hard to imagine that the Europeans (really, the French and the Germans), are going to be able to resist the temptation to tie down Gulliver by cooperating overtly or covertly, to varying degrees, with America’s enemies.

There are two canaries for us to watch. Europe is currently deliberating lifting its arms embargo on China, which has been in place since Tiananmen Square. President Bush today in Brussels expressed the US Government’s “deep concern” at this idea, diplo-speak, for “don’t do it.”

El Jefe would bet that the embargo will be lifted. From the European perspective this is good sense: Chinese defense outlays are growing about 12 percent a year, and they have quite a shopping list – everything from fighters to warships. Moreover, the growth of Chinese military power gives the Americans something more to think about, and makes it harder for Uncle Sam to throw his weight around. Anybody who doesn’t think this is a major concern and goal for France and Germany is fooling himself.

The other indicator to keep an eye on is the European policy towards Iran. The European pattern with developing threats such as the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program is to ignore the issue as long as possible, then declare that nothing can be done because it is too late. The Americans favor a more activist policy, but Washington is going to be disappointed here also. We are alone in dealing with Iran. All the other players, except Israel, are comfortable with the Ayatollahs acquiring the bomb.

It’s time to move on. America and Europe need a divorce, not to make up. Far from hoping the Bush European vacation goes well, we should hope it craters. The only diplomatic missions of any importance in western Europe for the moment are covertly sniping at the EU, encouraging the British all we can to avoid joining a United Europe, and sabotaging that project as best as possible. Otherwise, there is nothing left to do but obtain as amicable a divorce from NATO and the other European entanglements as possible.

We need allies, however, specifically Japan and India, and if possible, Russia. The Russians in particular are important, because they have as much an interest as we do, if they are thinking straight, in containing the Europeans and Chinese, and in combating Islamic fundamentalism – also a concern of India’s.

In Asia, friendless Japan fears the rise of China, and the coming unification of Korea. China’s rise is a firm basis for US-Japanese cooperation, and Saturday’s joint U.S. and Japanese statement of concern on the Chinese-Taiwanese dispute is a welcome sign that both countries recognize this. Incidentally, North Korea’s declared membership in the nuclear club means that Japanese rearmament in a big way is coming.

But forget Europe. The Europeans, now under French and German management, are no longer allies, but competitors. The rivalry does not have to be military, but it certainly exists.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Who Killed Rafiq Hariri ?

Who killed Rafiq Hariri ? The former Lebanese Prime-Minister and billionaire was assassinated on Monday by an extremely powerful bomb while his motorcade traveled along the Corniche Road along the Beirut waterfront. At least thirteen others died in the blast, and nearly 100 were wounded.

The former Prime Minister apparently had an extremely proficient security organization of his own, T.C. Wretchard at the Belmont Club and the Washington Post indicate that security measures included armoured vehicles, to sweep Mr. Harari’s route in advance, along with decoys, guards and other security measures, including Mr. Hariri’s heavily armoured limousine. The Post says that the motorcade’s support vehicles were equipped with jamming devices to thwart remote bomb triggering devices – and incidentally shut down local cell-phone service.

The blast, which the Post says was so powerful it sheered the facades off several nearby buildings, and shattered windows for a quarter-mile around, was evidently caused by a bomb in another vehicle (driven by a murder-suicide bomber) that rammed Mr. Hariri’s limousine.

Defeating a security operation like Mr. Hariri’s, and accomplishing his death with such powerful explosives calls for (1) inside information; and/or; (2) excellent surveillance capabilities; (3) a good deal of technical capability; and, (4) strong planning and organizational ability. It follows that a national intelligence organization was probably involved, either directly, or in the provision of technical support.

The Bush administration’s suspicions, and everyone else’s, appear to be focused on the Syrians. The New York Times today quotes President Bush’s spokesman, Scott McClellan, as saying that the US is going to consult with the UN and other countries about who is responsible for the killing and explore ways and means of freeing Lebanon “from foreign occupation.” Mr. Hariri, personal friend of Jacques Chirac and King Fahd, was a critic of Syria’s long occupation of Lebanon. The US ambassador in Damascus has been called home for “consultations.”

I see the situation differently.

Syria is certainly a possible culprit, but it is hard to see what Syria could gain from Mr. Hariri’s death. Certainly, Mr. Hariri, like many Lebanese, disapproved of the Syrian occupation, but the Syrian presence has been a fact of Lebanese political life in one form or another since the 1970’s. Lately, there has been pressure from the UN, the US and France to end the occupation, but it makes little sense for Syria, or its security services, to stir the pot and rile the foreigners by so publicly murdering one of its biggest critics. Given that Syria is already in very hot water with the Bush administration for its support of the Baathist terrorists in Iraq, further provocation of Uncle Sam seems foolhardy at best.

However, there is another power that stands to gain from focusing foreign attention, and American heat, on Damascus, particularly now that the situation seems to be improving in Iraq. This power, also, has been involved in Lebanese affairs, and has a longstanding relationship with a local terrorist surrogate (the Hezbollah organization) to which it has previously supplied explosives, military training and intelligence. Even better, for this power’s purposes, Syria has a relationship with Hezbollah also, lending this power a certain level of plausible denial at need.

Of course, El Jefe is thinking of our good friends, the Iranians. An Iranian/Hezbollah connection makes sense on many levels. Large bombings fit the MO’s of both Iranian intelligence and Hezbollah. Hezbollah blew up the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 – with a bomb in a truck. Hezbollah is suspected also of two bombings in 1992 and 1994 in Argentina. The Saudi Arabian branch of Hezbollah is also believed by the FBI to have engineered – with the backing of certain Iranian intelligence officials -- the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 US military personnel.

Killing Mr Hariri makes sense for the Iranians on several levels. First, a public killing like this one was bound to draw American attention. Iran needs some time to complete its bomb program. How better to accomplish this then by enticing the Americans into a confrontation with yet another Arab state (Syria) through bringing Lebanon to a boil ? In any case, the current relative quiet in Lebanon is not to Iran's advantage -- it only helps America and other anti-Islamist/nationalist actors in the region. Finally, the bombing could be a message to the Americans that the gloves are off, and a reminder to the Bush administration that if America wants to fly drones over Iranian airspace spying on nuclear projects, and flirt with opponents of the Iranian dictatorship that Iran, too, has its own weapons, and can be expected to use them.

Howard Dean: Moderate

Sometimes, you have to wonder if the New York Times is on the same planet as the rest of us. Maybe they really hang out where: (cut to image of Mr. Spock) “our physical laws and reality do not apply, Captain Kirk.” Paul Krugman’s op-ed piece in today’s Times: “The Fighting Moderates” is definitely a visitation from the Twilight Zone.

Mr. Krugman assures us that the selection of Howard “Screamer” Dean as the Democratic National Committee’s chairman “doesn’t represent a turn to the left. Mr. Dean is squarely in the center of his party on issues like health care and national defense.” Nope, definitely no turn to the left here. The Screamer, you may recall, told us recently that “I hate Republicans and everything they stand for” and he is on record as having said the most “interesting theory”regarding Bush’s reasons for his alleged suppression of the 9/11 report [which was published] was that Bush “was warned ahead of time by the Saudis.”

So Dean’s the center of his party ? Thank God, you scared me for a minute, Krugman. At least you weren’t trying to sell us on the idea that the Screamer was at the center of anything other then his wackazoid party.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Prince Charles

The office of the Prince of Wales has announced that Prince Charles is going to marry Camilla Parker-Bowles in April. The marriage is to be a civil service and not through the Church of England. El Jefe is rather a royalist, so he wishes them well, but at the same time, he thinks this step is profoundly ill-advised.

The British public has never liked Camilla overmuch, and Prince Charles’ relationship with her has been positively a magnet for bad publicity. Now that Camilla is actually going to be part of the Royal Family, she is more tabloid-worthy then ever in the country that really invented the tabloid. Camilla will use the title “Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall” (in addition to being Prince of Wales, Charles is Duke of Cornwall). When Charles becomes King Charles III, Camilla will evidently be “Princess Consort,” and not Queen.

Interesting that Mrs. Parker-Bowles gets to be “Her Royal Highness.” The last person with a living spouse to marry this close to the British throne, Mrs. Simpson, cost her hubby his crown, and she was never a Royal Highness, having to remain content with being styled “Her Grace the Duchess of Windsor.” What’s the difference between the situations of Wallis Simpson and Camilla Parker-Bowles ? One big difference is that Edward VIII was never previously married…and, even so, he had to abdicate.

Evidently, Prince Charles has always loved Camilla, (great-granddaughter of Edward VII’s mistress Alice Keppel), and wanted to marry her to begin with, (1972), but delayed proposing to her just too long, possibly because of parental disapproval – so Camilla married an army officer. Given all the trouble that has followed the Prince’s hesitation, a thousand pities the marriage did not go forward at that time.

The Prince appears to be obtaining his heart’s desire, but this marriage is most unwise. King Charles will be Supreme Governor of the Church of England which generally frowns on the remarriage of divorced persons within the church. Where will this leave him with the church ?

Mrs. Parker-Bowles' former husband was an army officer, with whom she had two children. All during this marriage, the Prince, who is a British Army Lieutenant-General, a Royal Navy Vice- Admiral, and is colonel-in-chief of numerous regiments and other formations in various Commonwealth military forces – was evidently the lover of Mrs. Parker-Bowles. When the Prince becomes King, he will be the commander in chief. Certainly, affairs happen, and the rules for royalty are different, but still, how does it look for a Lieutenant-General and future commander-in-chief to outright admit he took the wife of a junior officer ?

Mind you, El Jefe is not a prude, and understands that affairs and remarriages happen. Normally, this would not occasion much comment, but Prince Charles is PRINCE Charles, soon to be a king, and the rules are different for him. Everyone knows the score with this relationship, but appearances still matter, particularly for kings.
It would have been far better for things to continue on as they were – Camilla as the established girlfriend/mistress, (an accepted position in a royal household) and not an actual member of the family. Prince Charles is setting himself, his wife-to-be and the thousand year old institution to which he is heir and of which he is in the end only the custodian, up for a terrible fall, which will be a disaster for Britain. This marriage will provide years of fodder for both the tabloids, and the British republican movement (both of which El Jefe much disapproves of). If Prince Charles is determined to go through with this marriage, he should seriously consider renouncing his rights to the Crown.
UPDATE: In response to the comment of Anonymous, below, perhaps I have been a trifle hard on HRH and Mrs. Parker-Bowles. I certainly do not wish them any personal unhappiness whatever, although things being what they are, I suspect they will both drink that cup to the dregs, although El Jefe hopes not. Personally, I view their situation with a great deal of sympathy. How often does the fairy-tale prince give up the fairy-tale princess for somebody he really loves ? But that’s here nor there.

Certainly, as Anonymous recognizes, I am indulging to a degree in double standards, but not based on the sex of the parties. El Jefe admits up front that he writes as a royalist, who wishes to protect the British monarchy. I did not fail to apply “the same social indiscretions” to Prince Charles because he is a man, but rather because he is a Royal Highness.

If Charles were anybody else, his marriage would not be cause for comment today. But Charles is a prince, heir by birth to something of which he is only the temporary custodian, a monarchy almost a thousand years old. To me that implies an obligation on his part not to damage his inheritance. That’s how he pays for being a Royal Highness. If a little hypocrisy protects the monarchy, so much the better. The Prince’s and Mrs. Parker-Bowles personal happiness and moral standing with God are their personal concerns. Were it the case that Mrs. Parker-Bowles was the princess and Charles the commoner, I would indulge the double standards in her favor. Yes, this is all very un-politically correct, un-egalitarian, etc., etc., etc., but that’s just me.

Mullahs Promote Houston Tourism

As a large rent-a-mob of thousands of pro-regime unwashed badly in need of a shower and shave marched through the streets of Tehran today to mark the 26th anniversary of Iran’s return to the stone-age (oops, the “victory” of the Iranian Revolution), the bandits masquerading as the government promised aggressors a “burning hell” if they invade Iran.

Meanwhile, the rent-a-mob chanted “Death to America !” and “Death to Israel !” We love you too, guys. Your time is coming, never fear.

A “burning hell” eh ? So they’re going to send the invaders to Houston in August ? Invade away ! It’s hot here, but a fun town.

Nukes R Us

All sorts of news this morning.

The North Koreans, to nobody’s real surprise, have announced they have nuclear weapons. According to the text of the North Korean Foreign Ministry statement, (available at the BBC website), North Korea says these weapons are to “cope with the Bush administration’s ever more undisguised policy to isolate and stifle the. . .[North].” According to the statement, the administration has a “sinister design” to dramatize the nuclear threat and isolate North Korea. The North Koreans say that if the US keeps “threatening the DPRK (North Korea) with nukes…the DPRK will have no option but to build up a nuclear deterrent force.”

The North Koreans have also announced that they are suspending participation in negotiations with the U.S., China, Japan, Russia and the Republic of Korea.

As said above, it is not news that North Korea has these weapons. Global Security.org says that North Korea probably has enough plutonium to make one or two nuclear weapons, with the possibility of up to six more. Whether the North Koreans have fabricated the actual weapons, and worked out a way to deliver them to targets is another issue.

The most alarming aspect of the North Korean nuclear program is the evident willingness of the Kim Jong Il regime to sell nuclear weapons technology to anybody who can come up with the cash. Uranium recently found in Libya, courtesy of the Qadaffi government’s new willingness to be friendly, was apparently sold to the Libyans by North Korea.

It is too late to stop the North Korean nuclear program by negotiation. The Clinton administration sold the pass on this issue in 1993. The North Koreans aren’t going to be negotiated out of their weapons – and since they are the only card the regime has at all, they would be stupid to concede them. What is left is the question of how we prevent them from opening branches of Nukes R Us worldwide. This may be done in two ways: either by (1) paying them well not to open nuke franchises; or, (2) by wiping North Korea off the face of the Earth.

Since Choice No. 2 is a non-starter, it’s time to open the check book. I wish I thought Choice No. 1 would work – i.e., that the North Koreans wouldn’t cheat us and sell under the table anyway. Oh well, maybe the horse will sing. Maybe the North Koreans will solve the problem by hanging Kim and his henchmen from some convenient lamp posts.

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Slow Start to Week

El Jefe apologizes to his cadre of loyal readers for not having a lot to say at the start of this week. For the moment, readers, yea, the whole world, will have to rest content knowing that El Jefe is hard at work at one of his palaces by the sea frantically scribbling away on several topics (among them, the National Intelligence Council’s recent “2020 Project” report, Mapping the Global Future).

So, while you wait for something new, you’ll just have to think of poor El Jefe, in his huge office in the palace guarded by his fanatically loyal and highly trained goombas; his servants bringing him Cosmo after Cosmo and lots of tasty hors d’oeuvres; while the Heir plays on the beach attended by other servants and hangers-on; SWMBO buys Monster Dryers, plus the total contents of Surroundings and other such emporiums; the servants talk in reverent tones about their kindest and most generous of bosses; and El Jefe’s numerous comely starlet-mistresses wonder why super-stud El Jefe is being such a crashing bore in that office scribbling away. All the while, the overworked secretaries are holding the calls from W, Vlad Putin, and the timeshare sales people.

Gradually, it dawns on El Jefe that the ringing in the background is not the secretaries holding W's calls, (although it COULD be the timeshare calls) but it's really the alarm clock saying it’s time to work. On that note…more later.

Friday, February 4, 2005

FLASH ! US Driving Terrorists Wacko !

AP tells us that some “human rights” experts at the United Dictators (UN) have “expressed concern” about possible “irreversible psychiatric symptoms” developing among suspected terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Well, duh.

El Jefe thinks it would be pretty obvious to most sentient life-forms outside of university faculty lounges that members of organizations such as Taliban and Al Qaeda are a little, well, wacko to start with. I mean, after all, these are the guys that want to establish a world Islamic state and drive American influence out of the Middle East, put women in burkas, and ban televisions as fonts of Satanic influence. They want jihad forever against all "apostates” – non Muslims, Jews and even Shiites. Seems to me the Guantanamo Bay inmates were suffering from “irreversible psychiatric symptoms” long before they got thrown in the clink.

You’d think this would be obvious even to UN bureaucrats, but it doesn’t come up, at least in the portions of the “secret report” quoted by the AP. (The parts they do mention are utterly arid, loaded with jargon and read like they were written by robots to be read by computers).

Wonder if the authors of this nonsense thought at all about the “psychiatric symptoms” of airplane passengers, particularly small children, flying low at high speed over New York City to ram the World Trade Center ?

Of course, the real point of all this typical UN barbra streisand is that “[t]he legal basis for the continued detention of the Guantanamo Bay inmates is therefore unclear.” Probably the UN wants us to let the terrorists out and wait till they nuke a city or something, so we can be really, totally sure the aforementioned psychos are a problem. Of course, “problem” depends on whose ox gets gored: if the scumbags nuked an American city, the UN’d probably pin a medal on them.
The UN is so concerned, inter alia, because of the “uncertainty” as to how long the poor, mistreated little fanatic bomb-thrower darlings will be kept in detention. How bout till they’re dead and rotted ? In a sane world, we’d arrange the dead part as soon as possible, and remove the UN’s “uncertainty.”

General Mattis

You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty and
cannot refine it

Lieut.-General W.T. Sherman, U.S. Army,
(Letter to the Mayor and City
Council of Atlanta, Georgia, regarding his
intention to force the civil
population to leave the city, prior to his burning
it), 12 September

War means fighting, fighting means
attributed to Lieut.-General N.B. Forrrest, C.S.

Mad, is he? Then I wish he would bite some of my other
King George III on General James Wolfe, the
of Quebec in 1759
According to AP and Reuters, Marine Corps Lieut.-General James Mattis has been “counseled” after observing, among other things, that “it’s a hell of a lot of fun” to shoot Afghans who “slap women around for five years.” General Mattis also said that “..it’s a lot of fun to fight…it’s fun to shoot some people, I like brawling.” The general made his remarks during a panel discussion to laughter and applause during a panel discussion on Tuesday in San Diego.

General Mattis, recently promoted to three stars, formerly commanded the 1st Marine Division, and was in charge of operations around the terrorist stronghold of Fallujah in April of 2004, after four American contractors were hacked to death there, but was ordered to halt operations prior to taking the city.

In any case, General Mattis's remaks Tuesday have stirred up lots of hand-wringing, horrified expressions and vapors on the part of the chattering classes. After this grave, grave offense by General Mattis, something called the “Council on American-Islamic Relations” described by AP as a “Muslim civil liberties group” called on the Pentagon to “discipline” Mattis for his remarks.
Hello ? What does the “Council on American-Islamic Relations” think Lieut.-General Mattis does for a living ? Sell neckties maybe ? Discipline General Mattis indeed. The thought is revolting. They ought to invite him to the White House and give him a few more medals to add to his Bronze Star (with device) and all his other fruit salad.

The military forces, and in particular the Marine Corps, are not a social program, a job corps, a peacekeeping force, a disaster relief organization, or a group to provide pretty bands for public events. True, all of these functions are performed by the military, but the main reason we have Marines – and people like General Mattis -- is to kill people in big bleeding batches in order to coerce other persons and countries into doing our bidding. There is no prettying it up. War is murder, albeit legal, often justifiable, but murder pure and simple. Anybody who thinks or pretends otherwise is either fooling themselves or a hypocrite.

Considering our politically correct and hypocritical age, full of people who enjoy beef but who can’t bear to hear how it is produced, General Mattis probably got off lightly. Of course, the Pentagon had to go through the motions of “counseling” him. Hopefully, the ritual sackcloth and ashes for the media idiots, the stupid lawyers and all us nice people who are continents away from the sharp end is all that happens to General Mattis. The day the Marine Corps is composed primarily of persons who don’t like to brawl and don’t think it’s fun to shoot Bad Guys is apt to be a bad day for the USA.

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

What the Lefties Want

The liberal blog Daily Kos published yesterday, without comment, a reprint of a New York Times story from 4 September 1967 stating that U.S. officials were “surprised and heartened” at the size of voter turnout in the Republic of Vietnam’s presidential elections on 2 September 1967. (Hat tip: National Review Online). According to the Times article: “…83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.”

The shamelessness and absolute blindness to morality or truth on the part of Lefties is just staggering. Daily Kos's point in running this article is clearly that Sunday’s elections in Iraq are futile, and a fools errand, and that the United States would be wise to lose no time in abandoning the Iraqis to beheadings, bombings, rape-rooms and the entire parade of horribles that awaits in the event of a return of the Baath regime.

After all, this is exactly what the Left forced on us in Vietnam in 1975. By making common cause with America’s enemies, by doing all they could to sabotage support for the war and encourage the North Vietnamese, the Left ensured the sacrifices of our soldiers were in vain. Mr. Kerry, Jane Fonda and all their friends libeled our soldiers as criminals, and gleefully helped sell millions of South Vietnamese into slavery.

While Hanoi Jane, Ted Kennedy and all their disgusting pals here in America who marched on campuses with the Vietcong flags and burned ours got on with their lives, what happened to those people in that Times article ? You remember, the “…83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters. . .” who “risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong” ? Well, courtesy of the American Left, these people, their families, their kids, got their Vietcong reprisals, ending up as boat people, dead, or in concentration camps. And these people who went out and marched against the war are proud of this -- proud they strangled our war effort; proud they denigrated our soldiers; proud they snuffed out an American ally trying to survive; proud they condemned millions to squalid deaths in ditches or in leaky boats, or to rot in prison camps.

This is the same fate to which the Left in this country wishes to consign millions of Iraqis, and Afghans, for that matter. And they’re insufferably proud of it. They preen at chi-chi cocktail parties with their liberal friends and congratulate themselves on their perceived moral superiority. It feels so good to be Concerned and against war, and fashionably in favor of a position which conveniently keeps precious Lefty fundaments safe from any possibility of harm. Meanwhile, the Lefties dodge all responsibility for the oceans of blood in faraway countries of which they know nothing. Far from being morally superior, they're actually lower than the Baathist terrorists, and their spirtual cousins, the Vietcong, both groups being at least less hypocritical about their own barbarousness.


The people of Iraq have spoken, and in vast numbers. Between 62 and 70 percent of eligible Iraqi voters have showed the total intellectual and moral bankruptcy of what Tech Central Station's Stephen Schwartz calls the "Coalition of the Wrong" -- the wicked quasi-alliance of terrorists in Iraq, European and Arab governments, left-wing politicians and intellectuals, much of the world's media and chattering classes and other assorted cravens who have an emotional and political investment in the failure of the Iraq experiment.
Yesterday millions of Iraqis braved beheadings, bombings, shooting, long lines and confusion to vindicate their right to liberty and a government of their choice. For their temerity, the voters got a purple stain on their finger, and the right to risk their own murder, and that of their families by the piratical beasts the loathsome Michael Moore terms the Iraqi "Minutemen."
There's a long way to go in Iraq. The struggle is not done. There is no assurance whatever that Iraqis will be successful in forming a government, much less developing republican institutions. There's a strong chance that the act of faith of yesterday's voters will yet be in vain, and that Iraq will fall back into the squalor and communal violence from which the blood sacrifices of our heroic soldiers, and that of our Iraqi and coalition allies, rescued it.
But there's hope too, as we all saw yesterday, that Iraqis can yet redeem their country, and make a decent future for their children. Despite the bombs of the terrorists, the beheadings, the murders of children, teachers and poll workers, millions of people took a stand yesterday and declared for liberty and a normal life.
Now, more than ever, it matters that Americans stand with them, and stay behind President Bush. This work must be seen through to the end. Whatever happens, the faces of the voters in our morning papers, and the ballots they cast show us that our cause is right and just. The votes yesterday are themselves a condemnation of the deluded and truly evil people who seek to cut-and-run from Iraq, who would sabotage the efforts of the troops, and set their sacrifices at naught. If nothing else, decent people everywhere can rejoice in the all-too-obvious chagrin of these wicked accomplices of the Baathist and Al Qaeda murderers, who seek to force our abandonment of these voters and their fledgling state to the criminals and killers.