Friday, July 28, 2006


A Day for Opinion

Could there be any set of reactions more predictable? There they were, lined up this morning over at Real Clear Politics:

Dems' New Approach: Pander and Run - Peter Beinart, Washington Post
How to Win in a Red State - Sen. Ken Salazar, Blueprint Magazine
Bring the Bloodshed to an End - Warren Christopher, Washington Post
Let Israel Win the War - Charles Krauthammer, New York Daily News
Room for Diplomacy in the Middle East - Sen. Joseph Biden, Boston Globe
Negotiations Alone Never Brought Peace - Ed Koch, RealClearPolitics
Beinart, a Liberal Hawk that defines the type, argues that Democrats risk convincing the American public that they only move to the right to score political points, not ever out of conviction. By pandering, they remind the public that they have no core beliefs save winning office.

Senator Salazar offers a unintended rebuttal of sorts, that demonstrates that all those red state right side issues that Democratic pols need to sound right on, are genuinely held. Really, they mean it, it’s not just pandering.

Here’s Sen. Salazar’s list, with some translation for the politically unsophisticated:

Security first. We all know why this needs to be first for Democrats, as counter-argument to the prevailing wisdom.

Traditional values. Here, Sen. Salazar uses the codeword “rural.” That’s red state on the local level.

Faith. This has been thoroughly Dem-tested by now. The aim is to talk about “Beautitudes.” That’s all the easy and nice parts of Christianity without any of those offensive sin problem and “Jesus as Savior” parts that offend everybody.

Restrictions on abortion. Just so long as we maintain the Roe v. Wade status quo, and we won’t say another word about it, okay?

Security again. Mention WWII and the Greatest Generation. See the first item.

Opportunity. Come on, we’re Democrats, and gosh doesn’t it sound hopeful and positive?

Energy Independence. Oh, yeah, it’s all about oil.

Former (and largely ineffective) Secretary of State Warren Christopher says we need to “bring bloodshed to an end.” Do we really need to read the article?

No, but by way of confirming one’s preconceptions: Christopher intentionally distorts the public, diplomatic statements of the current Secretary of State, describing her position as insisting “that any cease-fire be tied to a "permanent" and "sustainable" solution to the root causes of the conflict.’ That’s not what she’s been saying. What she said amounts to, “there’s no point to calling a cease fire in which only one of the warring parties actually stops fighting.” If Israel ceases military operations, yet Hezbollah (and their Iranian and Syrian backers) continues to engage in terrorist attacks against Israel, out of self-preservation, Israel will be forced to resume military operations. With a worsened security situation, thanks to trusting those who have proven themselves untrustworthy. (Not just Hezbollah, but most of the International Community, the EU, and surely the UN.)

Christopher’s prescriptions are as irrelevant as the revisionist history he peddles. Quite understandable, since he seeks to burnish the reputation of an Administration that fiddled with Interns while the world burned.

The ever sharp and insightful Charles Krauthammer beseeches us to just “let Israel win the war.” I say again, do we really need to read the article?

No, but by way of confirming one’s confidence, here’s Krauthammer at his best:

The perversity of today's international outcry lies in the fact that there is indeed a disproportion in this war, a radical moral asymmetry between Hezbollah and Israel: Hezbollah is deliberately trying to create civilian casualties on both sides while Israel is deliberately trying to minimize civilian casualties, also on both sides.

In perhaps the most blatant terror campaign from the air since the London blitz, Hezbollah is raining rockets on Israeli cities and villages. These rockets are packed with ball bearings that can penetrate automobiles and shred human flesh. They are meant to kill and maim. And they do.

But it is a dual campaign. Israeli innocents must die in order for Israel to be terrorized. But Lebanese innocents must also die in order for Israel to be demonized, which is why Hezbollah hides its fighters, its rockets, its launchers, its entire infrastructure among civilians. Creating human shields is a war crime. It is also a Hezbollah specialty.

Let Israel win. Hezbollah and all those who support such evil need to be fought (against).

Senator Joe (“Listen, Jack”) Biden charts the great obtuse middle ground by cautioning us that “there’s room for diplomacy, Jack.” (And my name’s not Jack, Joe.)

Sen. Biden starts off his Ode to Self with this bromide: “As bad as the situation looks, there is an opportunity for an outcome that sets back the extremists and benefits the moderates. Producing that outcome requires imaginative, energetic, and sustained diplomacy, led by the United States.”

Wow, that’s all it needs, imagination and energy. That sure doesn’t sound like a military solution, but it doesn’t sound really mean or critical, either. He follows with several suggested steps that rely entirely on the spontaneous goodwill of others and not at all on anything from us. Wow, that’s imaginative, alright. Not too energetic for us, plenty of energy required from others. Sounds just right. If it fails, it’s Bush’s fault. If it succeeds, then it’s those Imaginative Dems that can take credit. Don’t take my word for it, here again is Sen. Biden:

It won't be easy, but if we succeed, we can do what our misadventures in the region have so far failed to accomplish: Shift the balance in the Middle East in favor of progress and moderation.

Thank God for former New York City Ed Koch, always a helpful voice, but especially so after what 9/11 brought to his beloved city. He preaches to the choir, pointing out the time-tested limitations on diplomacy, especially against those so dedicated to evil, as to use our very humanity against us.

There are those who believe that negotiations without the will to engage in military action will suffice. They are wrong. For 58 years, Israel has tried both negotiations and self-defense by its armed forces. The work of its armed forces has given it considerable security vis-à-vis those states and terrorists who seek to destroy it. Negotiations alone never brought peace.

Negotiating after defending oneself -- as Israel did with Egypt and Jordan, with which it now has peace treaties -- is far more successful and preferable to blinking, hesitation and faintheartedness.

Rarely do you see the contrast of arguments and political stances so clearly delineated, as has been made very clear with Hezbollah’s recent aggression against Israel, and Israel’s military response.

What a day for Opinion!

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