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Harsh world out there, by George (but Americans choose America's president)
The Australian ^ | September 26, 2004 | Gerard Baker

Posted on 09/26/2004 9:13:34 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

THE early results from the US election are in and I can report that it appears to be a landslide for John Kerry. Around the world, from New York eastwards, the Massachusetts senator is racking up massive majorities against the incumbent, George W. Bush.

A poll this month by the University of Maryland and GlobeScan gave Kerry a 59-point lead over Bush in Germany. In France, just 5 per cent of respondents supported the President. In Britain, Bush did little better with 16 per cent.

The only winning territories for the Republican seem to be The Philippines, Poland and Nigeria, although even there it is close. He still has an outside chance in India, apparently, and is a little way behind in China. But, even if we put those two demographic behemoths in the swing-state camp it would seem Bush has already lost the election for leader of the world.

Sadly for the French, the Germans and the rest, they don't pick the US president. If they did, I suppose, we would never have had Ronald Reagan; instead we would have had 16 years of Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale.

But the world's incomprehension is now palpable. Not only is Kerry not beating Bush by a margin as wide as the Atlantic and Pacific, he appears to be steadily losing.

An average of six national opinion polls taken since September 10 gives Bush a five-point advantage over his challenger, the most durable lead any candidate has had since the beginning of the year.

All the more bewildering for the rest of the world, and for Europeans in particular, is that Bush's gains seem to be solidifying even as the war in Iraq turns uglier. Car bombings, kidnappings, beheadings – and all the time Bush's appeal to Americans edges up. How can this be?

There are a couple of comforting explanations the world likes to reach for in these circumstances. The first is that Americans are stupid. There is not much one can say to this old prejudice except that, for a stupid people, the Americans have done some clever things over the years.

Little ones such as devising the separation of powers and defeating communism and Nazism. Big ones such as becoming the most successful economy in the history of the planet.

A second, only slightly less implausible, explanation is that it is all the fault of complaisant, patriotic US media too intimidated or too fawning to challenge the hated Bush. If only the Americans had the benefits of the clear-eyed perspicacity and guts of, say, the famously independent-minded French, German or Russian press, they would not be bamboozled into supporting the President.

This argument from false consciousness takes only a moment to measure against the objective facts: whatever else Dan Rather and CBS were doing this month when they used forged documents to accuse Bush of lying about his days in the National Guard it was not offering him fealty.

I think I can provide help for the nonplussed. There are at least two good reasons why Bush now enjoys a small but potentially decisive advantage over his opponent.

First, Americans are not eager to vote for a candidate of the studied fickleness of Kerry. Trying to figure out where he stands – not just on any issue, but the biggest issue of all, the Iraq war – is like trying to mould water.

He voted for the war but against the money to prosecute it. He said the US was safer without Saddam Hussein in power, but said the US was less safe as a result of the war. He said that even if he had known in 2002 there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq he would still have voted to use force, and this week he said that no one could possibly think, given what we now know, that it was right to have gone to war in Iraq.

No wonder the rest of the world wants this man as US president. There would be a vacancy for global leadership if he were to win.

A Kerry victory would not change that much in terms of US policy anyway. I have no doubt the Democrat is at heart a peacenik in the European mould, but his campaign, mindful of the views of most Americans, has done its best to hide that – hence the circumlocutions.

But, more important, far from being dumb or credulous, Americans see all too clearly what is at stake in Iraq. They understand that the war there is a necessary evil to remove a greater one.

They remember what Saddam's regime was really like; not the slightly distasteful but really rather stable and reliable one of popular European myth, but the terrorism-supporting, lawless thuggery whose ambitions were to be written in the blood of Americans, British, Israelis and anyone who co-operated with them.

And they see, even more clearly than before, the kind of people we are now fighting in Iraq. When police recruits are blown up and helpless hostages beheaded, Americans understand that the right response is not to blame their President but to take the war to the evil cowards who did it.


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bush; commiesforkerry; election; eu; geopolitics; iraq; kerry; polls; vote; wot
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
While democracy has flourished throughout the world over the last 50 years, America remains the home of freedom and liberty. Having a democratically elected government is one thing. Voting to install a government that promotes a socialist agenda doesn't mean you have a free society.
21 posted on 09/26/2004 9:37:16 AM PDT by Reagan Man (.....................................................The Choice is Clear....... Re-elect BUSH-CHENEY)
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To: luvbach1
Love the way he uses that pesky logic to refute the arrogant and effete Euros and their adherents.

It makes me proud and reminds me how destructive the constant America bashing is to our country.

Damn the anti-war critics, Bush is standing strong and in his words he's, "..asking for your vote."

22 posted on 09/26/2004 9:37:20 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: RightWingAtheist
Heh, heh. I wonder if Baker has a reputation as the Mark Steyn of the Southern Hemisphere.

He's earned it.

23 posted on 09/26/2004 9:38:31 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: atomicpossum
Perhaps, as they are hit by terrorism themselves, certain others may begin to more completely 'get it.'

It didn't do much for Spain.

24 posted on 09/26/2004 9:39:09 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: John_7Diamonds

This is true..I spend a few months a year in Holland . The Euro's are unreal in their vision of whats going on .%100 of the folks I talk to there believe Bush staged 9/11 to make money off a war ..Most believe the US is THE evil empire of all time.Bush is seen as Hiter times 10 .I spent 3 days in Belgium and it's basically a moslem country these days.Little do they realize that THEY are next on the list.Osama did say he will populate Europe..Sad


25 posted on 09/26/2004 9:40:04 AM PDT by omstrat (zip code)
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To: sgtbono2002
Beheadings are ghastly acts but real Americans arent frightened by them ,they are more determined to dispose of those commiting the act.

We'll never be broken by terrorists.

26 posted on 09/26/2004 9:40:54 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Envy really is a debilitating vice the rest of the world shares.


27 posted on 09/26/2004 9:43:48 AM PDT by Crawdad (I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no class.)
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To: omstrat
..... .I spent 3 days in Belgium and it's basically a moslem country these days.Little do they realize that THEY are next on the list.Osama did say he will populate Europe..Sad

In essence the U.S. is again having to clean up Europe's mess. Bush isn't waiting for the situation to get even worse.

Since they won't lift a finger to help themselves, it would be nice if these loud mouth ingrates would at least shut up.

28 posted on 09/26/2004 9:44:21 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Oustanding!!
29 posted on 09/26/2004 9:44:30 AM PDT by Zechariah11
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To: Shery
Grant this guy American citizenship now!

Nah, make the Australian states and territorities into our 51st through 57th states. Then make almost all of Canada states number 58 through 71. Quebec can go it's own way, maybe reallign with France? Nah, even they aren't that stupid.

30 posted on 09/26/2004 9:44:42 AM PDT by Phsstpok (often wrong, but never in doubt)
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To: Crawdad
Envy really is a debilitating vice the rest of the world shares.

Bump!

31 posted on 09/26/2004 9:44:50 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Putin may wish to be Czar of all the Russias, but the Bolshevik Interregnum has poisoned that cup for the forseeable future. The other 15 republics of the USSR would not accept re-sovietizing. All imo.

Luckily for Russia, it occupies a territory difficult to conquer - they can play a waiting game for a generation, and see where the geopolitical cards lie then.


32 posted on 09/26/2004 9:45:15 AM PDT by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

If America gives up the fight against terrorism, how long before the rest of the world caves? Britain might hold out a little longer, Australia, too, but without the technical weaponry/firepower/manpower and the US bully pulpit, Europe as a whole would be long gone, then Phillipines, Indonesia, etc.. Who'd be left standing? North Korea and China? South America? NZ? Not to worry, since this won't ever happen.


33 posted on 09/26/2004 9:47:20 AM PDT by hershey
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To: macbee

"As someone pointed out in another thread, only the Aussies have stood with us in every conflict since WWII."


I think the ROK Marines have been with us also, a fearsome bunch of fighters, VC and NVN were scared poopless of the ROK Marines. Prisoner, don't know how to spell that.


34 posted on 09/26/2004 9:49:04 AM PDT by Chu Gary (USN Intel guy 1967 - 1970)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Agree..When the Big Bear Russia was in their back yard , the Euro's loved us..Now that they are safe ( for the moment) they all have bIG MOUTHS..Wait and see what happens next ..PS the news over there is TOTAL leftist propaganda..In all fairness to the Dutch . many there havent forgotten how we saved them in WWII but those folks are the older ones who REMEMBER..


35 posted on 09/26/2004 9:51:30 AM PDT by omstrat (zip code)
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To: hershey
Who'd be left standing?

The oppressors, the evil ones.

36 posted on 09/26/2004 9:56:19 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: omstrat; All
Maps: The Willing and the Not-So-Willing in Europe
37 posted on 09/26/2004 9:59:32 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
It didn't do much for Spain.

I don't know if there's any of 'old Europe' that would stand against an aggressive threat (not considering Britain as part of Europe, btw). They seem to be more geared toward appeasement, hopeful that a threat will simply go away and leave them to their socialism.

38 posted on 09/26/2004 10:00:35 AM PDT by atomicpossum (If there are two Americas, John Edwards isn't qualified to lead either of them.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

And they see, even more clearly than before, the kind of people we are now fighting in Iraq. When police recruits are blown up and helpless hostages beheaded, Americans understand that the right response is not to blame their President but to take the war to the evil cowards who did it.


It is nice to know that there is someone outside the US who can actually see the truth.


39 posted on 09/26/2004 10:03:00 AM PDT by badpacifist
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To: badpacifist

Kerry agrees with Old Europe.


40 posted on 09/26/2004 10:05:02 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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