Skip to comments.Only Liberals Can Win the War on Terror?
Posted on 07/02/2006 5:25:00 AM PDT by RobtPruitt
Frontpage Interviews guest today is Peter Beinart, editor-at-large at The New Republic. He is the author of the new book The Good Fight: Why Liberals---and Only Liberals---Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again.
FP: Peter Beinart welcome to Frontpage Interview. It is a pleasure and privilege to be in your company.
Beinart: Nice to be talking with you.
FP: David Horowitz will join us for the discussion, but let's first talk to you about your book. Before we even get to that, let me ask you to comment on the recent killing of Zarqawi. What do you make of its significance?
Beinart: Its an important accomplishmentespecially with the news that he was sending jihadists back to their home countries to commit terrorist acts. The problem is that most of the insurgents are home grown; according to studies there are far more Sunni nationalists and Baathists than foreign jihadists. So unless they are brought into the political process, the impact of this will be modest.
FP: On this triumphant occasion of the killing of a monstrous murderer, the Left, instead of taking a moment to cheer the wonderful development of ridding the world of an evil killer, has taken the opportunity to demonize America and to call for American retreat in Iraq. What are your thoughts on this continuing disposition of the Left (and I am not referring to liberals like you, but to the far Left that dominates and represents the Left as a whole) in America to stand in solidarity with Americas totalitarian and terrorist adversaries?
Beinart: Im not quite sure what you mean by the Left. A small number of people have suggested that Bush is as bad as Zarqawi, but thats a marginal viewnot held by any elected Democrats, as far as I know. Most people who thought Iraq was a mistake still think it was a mistakebut recognize that Zarqawi was a vicious killer, and that this was an important accomplishment.
FP: Ok, let's move on to The Good Fight. In your book, you offer a profound discussion of Salafism and totalitarianism. Could you kindly, first, for the sake of our readers that might not be too familiar with Salafism, break it down in simple terms for us -- and then tie it into your overall definition of totalitarianism and the threat we know face in its current manifestation?
Beinart: I argue that Salafism (the salafs were Mohammeds companions in the seventh century) is a totalitarian ideology because it seeks to use coercive state power to crush all independent civil society in an attempt to purify society, and ultimately human nature itself, and thus usher in a kind of messianic age. This is the core notion that Hannah Arendt and others sketched in discussing Hitlers Germany and Stalins Soviet Union, and it applies quite well to thinkers like Sayyid Qutb and Maulana Maududi, who inspired Al Qaeda and the Taliban. One reason jihadist Salafists (there are non-violent Salafists as well, which is a different story) oppose the United States is because we support and defend impure segments of societynon-Muslims, Shia and Sufi Muslims, liberated women, gays etc.
FP: Your write that President Bush has torn the lid off the Arab world weakening Arab tyranny, weakening America, and leaving a great void in which Islamic democracy and Islamic totalitarianism vie for control. (p.166) What exactly do you mean by this?
Beinart: I mean that by overthrowing Saddam, Bush has removed some of the mystiquethe aura of invincibilitythat surrounds other Middle Eastern dictators, like Bashar Assad or Hosni Mubarak. But he has also weakened America by overstretching our military, and dramatically undermining our legitimacy in much of the world, which makes us less able to persuade people of our point of view. Saddams overthrow has allowed new space for democratic discussion in the Middle East, but it has also empowered jihadistswho have rushed into Iraq and used it as a new training ground, with the goal of returning to terrorize their countries, as the Afghan veterans did in the 1990s in Egypt and Algeria.
FP: You state that a commitment to freedom in the Middle East involves a commitment to reducing female illiteracy in that region. (p.193) Can you talk about that a bit?
Beinart: The female literacy rate in the Middle East is half what it is in East Asia. Female literacy is closely connected to population growth, because empowered women have more control over their fertility. It is also connected to economic growth, because if you are not educating a large part of your potential work force, you cannot grow. And countries where men oppress and dominate women are also unlikely to be liberal and democratic, because family oppression is replicated at the national political level.
FP: You talk about the importance of free elections in Islamic countries. True enough, brining democracy to that part of the world is crucial to the War on Terror, etc. What do you think of the agonizing dilemma we face that free elections may also bring tyrants to power that will eliminate forces democratization altogether, in the sense, let us say, that a democratic experiment will allow Islamo-Fascists to take power? Look at what has just occurred with Hamas in the Palestinian Authority for instance. What do you think?
Beinart: Democracy is about far more than elections. It is crucially about the rule of law, and limits on the power of the state, so it is a mistake to see elections are the onlyor even more important testof democracy. The United States needs to involve itself in a long-term effort to build liberal institutionsfree press, free judiciary, independent political partiesin the Islamic world. But also, we need to focus on education and economic development, in the recognition that unless democracies provide tangible benefits to their people (as Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian government did not, they often fail).
FP: So as you point out Schlesinger asked in 1949, how do we make freedom a fighting faith? Crystallize for us exactly what a liberal War on Terror involves.
Beinart: It means that America lives up to the ideals we preach to others. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of democracy and human rights (in our anti-terror prisons, for instance)and in that way help inspire others to fight for freedom and human rights in their societies. We build a new set of international institutionsas the Roosevelt and Truman administrations did in the 1940sso America can intervene aggressively abroad, but also legitimately, without looking like an empire. And we promote economic opportunity around the world, because liberal democracy has trouble flourishing amidst economic despair
FP: Expand for us why exactly you have changed your mind from your earlier support of the Iraq war.
Beinart: In late 2002, it was reasonable to believeas I didthat Saddam was seeking a nuclear weapon. But by March 2003, when we went to war, the international inspectors (who had excellent access) were coming to the opposite conclusion. And without an active Iraqi nuclear weapons program, the primary justification for war collapses. Also, I didnt realize how the wars lack of legitimacy around the world would undermine its legitimacy in Iraq. The UN has its problems, but it was far more legitimate in post-Saddam Iraq than the US (public opinion shows this, and Sistani met with UN representatives, but never with US ones). The reason is that Iraqis knew the UN couldnt turn Iraq into a 51st statethat it would eventually leave. Comparative studies show that occupations often rise and fall on whether you can convince the population that you are not going to stay foreverthat you really have their best interests at heart. Without UN supportor even NATO supportit was very hard to convince the Iraqis of that.
FP: Ok, we now welcome David Horowitz into the discussion. Mr. Horowitz, what do you make of Mr. Beinart's comments and the main thesis of his book?
Horowitz: Thank you Jamie, and hello Peter.
In your original TNR story you called for liberals to take a leaf from the book of cold war liberals like Harry Truman and Walter Reuther and purge leftist organizations that were not committed to fighting the war on terror like MoveOn.org from their ranks. This hasn't happened and it's obviously not going to happen. The soft on totalitarian left is ensconced in the heart of the Democratic Party and through the Soros network and the leftwing government unions control much of the funding and ground war capabilities of the party. Why don't you address this in your book? And how can you so boldly say that liberals -- and only liberals -- can win the war on terror when they can't even won control of their own party?
Your book seems structured to blame Republicans for every national security failure and to avoid confronting the culpability of Democrats for the same. Democrats defected from the war against totalitarianism in the battle over Central America during the last decade of the Cold War. Instead of confronting this, you pay tribute to Democrat Dave McCurdy's role in supporting the anti-Sandinista struggle. (You also give credit to Paul Berman who doesn't deserve it in this case -- though he does in regard to the current war.) But McCurdy was marginal to the Democratic Party. His positive role lay in the fact that he provided the Republicans with the margin they needed to keep support for the anti-Sandinista struggle alive.
More importantly, you discuss the failures of 9/11 as Bush's failures. What about the eight Clinton years of dereliction on the terror front? One would think that the eight years of failure of the Clinton Administration in this regard -- the failure to respond to the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center and then Khobar and the embassies and the Cole, the hamstringing of the intelligence community etc. would be of central importance to your thesis, yet you dodge the issue entirely. If a DLC Democrat like Clinton was unable to respond to the threats from al-Qaeda and Saddam, what makes you think any liberal administration would do differently?
Just as you pay no attention to the eight years of liberal failure to protect the country against 9/11, in discussing Bush's shortcomings in fighting the war in Iraq you pay no attention to the Democrats' sabotage of the war effort beginning on the eve of the war when Tom Daschel blamed Bush -- not Saddam, or the French or the Germans or the Russians or the Chinese -- for the failed diplomacy that led to the war. How can you lay the entire blame for whatever's gone wrong in Iraq, when the Democrats divided the home front and tied the commander-in-chief's hands in so many ways?
You make a big point of Bush's unilateralism as one of the errors that liberals would correct. But Bush went to the UN as Clinton did not in the Balkan war and Bush got congressional approval, as Clinton did not. Why the double standard?
Moreover, with all we know about the motives of the French, Russians, Germans and Chinese now -- all allies of Saddam -- what realistically do you think Bush could have done to bring them on board, besides capitulating to Saddam's malignant agendas?
Your own text provides powerful evidence for why its thesis is wishful thinking. You cite a Pew poll that in 2004 asked conservatives and liberals to indicate their top foreign policy priority. For conservatives, destroying al-Qaeda was number one. For liberals it was tenth. Liberals top goal was withdrawing from Iraq (and what? leaving the Zarqawi wing of al-Qaeda in control?). Why don't these facts send off alarm bells for you? How can you be so ferocious in critiques of Republicans and Bush when it is conservatives who have carried the fight against totalitarianism ever since the McGovern left took over the apparatus of the Democratic Party and came to dominate its congressional caucus?
To sum this up, isn't your book a case of whistling past the graveyard of liberalism, while attacking the very people who are standing on the ramparts and holding the totalitarian enemy at bay?
To put this another way: why isn't your book an argument for liberalism -- call it McCain liberalism -- within the Republican Party?
Beinart: Let me take those points in turn. First, my original article didnt call for a purgeit called for liberals not to let their national security views be defined like groups like MoveOn and people like Michael Moore, unless MoveOn and Moore became more willing to fight jihadist totalitarianism. Its true that todayeven more than in 2004liberals have grown somewhat alienated from that anti-jihadist struggle, because of their deep (and I think, understandable) alienation from George W. Bush and the Iraq war. After all, Bush and Rove have consciously and repeatedly tried to make the war on terror a wedge issue. Rove did it again this week with his comments after Zarqawis deathand they have succeeded. But liberal views can change quite quickly. In the 1990s, for instance, Bill Clinton successfully convinced most liberals that military action in Bosnia and Kosovo was consistent with their principles, and it was mostly conservatives who moved towards an isolationist, morally relativist position on the Balkans. So with the right post-Bush leadership, I think liberal views can change, and liberals can recapture their true heritage.
The central reason I think conservativesat least conservatives in the tradition that runs from James Burnham to George W. Bush and Dick Cheneycannot win the war on terror is that they dont understand Reinhold Niebuhrs insight that unless America recognizes it can do harm in the world, it cannot do good. On Central America, I applauded the DLCs position, not Reagans, because the DLC fought for human rights in El Salvador as a condition of supporting the government against communist rebelswhile Reagan generally overlooked the governments abuses, in the belief that regimes on Americas side in the cold war could do no wrong. On Nicaragua, the DLC wanted a negotiated solution and free elections, not a Contra military victory, in the recognition that a Contra army rolling into Managua would not necessarily produce a democratic Nicaragua, while Reagan was largely blind to Contra human rights abuses.
This recognition that America, and its allies, are not angels leads to the cold war liberal emphasis on legitimacy and restraint. That doesnt mean America needs UN approval for every military action, but it does mean that international institutions are enormously important in convincing the world that the United States is really acting for some higher purpose, and not to advance narrowor even imperialinterests. Thats what Clinton did on Kosovo. He got NATO support, and while some Bush officials mocked it as war by committee, that support proved crucial in convincing other countries to participate in post-war peacekeeping. In Iraq, by contrast, Bush utterly failed to convince not merely the UN Security Council, but most of Americas democratic NATO allies that the war would really make the world safer. That wasnt Tom Daschles faultafter all, congressional Democrats largely voted to give Bush the authorization to go to war. Bush failed to get much international support because other countries thought (rightly, it turned out) that building a stable, pluralistic government in post-Saddam Iraq would prove hellishly difficult. And he failed because the weapons inspectors in early 2003 undermined his argument about Iraqi WMDby scouring the country and finding nothing.
There are things I like about John McCain. But the liberalism Im talking about involves building strong international institutions, as America did in the late 1940s, so we make our power legitimate in the world, and dont look to the world like an empireas we have in the Bush era. And international institutions will also, necessarily, hold America to a higher standardon human rights and the environment, for instancesomething sovereignty-obsessives like John Bolton would never accept because they believe that America can demand anything and everything of other countries, but other countries should never be able to make any claim on the US. The kind of liberalism Im talking about is fundamentally alien to todays Republican Party, but I think Democratswith the right leadershipcan get it back.
Horowitz: With all due respect, I think you are dodging the central issue, which is the fact that hard liberals like yourself have become a marginal faction in the Democratic Party, and that this is part of a realignment that has been taking place over a forty-year period.
Lets begin with your failure to remember what you wrote in your New Republic article that was the inspiration for your book. You claim now that your original article didn't call for a purge-it called for liberals not to let their national security views be defined by groups like MoveOn and people like Michael Moore, unless MoveOn and Moore became more willing to fight jihadist totalitarianism. Well, how will liberals not let their national security views be defined by the Left if the Left is such a powerful faction in their organizations that it shapes their message (as it now does)?
In fact, you did refer to Reuthers purge of the Communist unions from the CIO, as I will make clear in a moment. A purge or organizational split is necessary to accomplish your agenda because these people fundamentally disagree with your agenda (which I myself find admirable) and will fight to prevent you from realizing it. You cant have a coalition with people who think America is the enemy if you want to fight the good fight. In your original article you recognize this political fact. Heres exactly what you said:
Toward an Anti-Totalitarian Liberalism
For liberals to make such arguments effectively, they must first take back their movement from the softs. We will know such an effort has begun when dissension breaks out within America's key liberal institutions. In the late '40s, the conflict played out in Minnesota's left-leaning Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, which Hubert Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy wrested away from Wallace supporters. It created friction within the NAACP. And it divided the ACLU, which split apart in 1951, with anti-Communists controlling the organization and non-Communists leaving to form the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee.
But, most important, the conflict played out in the labor movement. In 1946, the CIO, which had long included Communist-dominated affiliates, began to move against them. Over fierce communist opposition, the CIO endorsed the Marshall Plan, Truman's reelection bid, and the formation of NATO. And, in 1949, the Organization's executive board expelled eleven unions. As Mary Sperling McAuliffe notes in her book Crisis on the Left: Cold War Politics and American Liberals, 1947-1954, while some of the expelled affiliates were openly Communist, others were expelled merely for refusing to declare themselves anti-Communist, a sharp contrast from the Popular Front mentality that governed MoveOn's opposition to the Iraq war.
Softs attacked the CIO's action as McCarthyite, but it eliminated any doubt about the American labor movement's commitment to the anti-Communist cause.
You may not like the term purge but thats what this was: a clear organizational dissociation of Cold War liberals from Communist apologists and sympathizers. One quarrel I have with your book and your thesis is that it doesnt even begin to confront the fact that such a dissociation within the Democratic ranks today is hard to imagine, practically speaking. The MoveOn.org wing of the present Democratic Party, which is the Henry Wallace party of the past and is indeed composed of apologists for Islamo-fascism and sympathizers, is today the dominant wing of the Democratic Party from an electoral point of view. It accounts for about half perhaps even two-thirds of the Democratic caucus in Congress (153 votes against the recent resolution that America must prevail in the War on Terror), and dominates the electoral machinery of the party through the government unions that provide its ground war. How do you propose to deal with this fact?
Characteristically, you blame this defection of the majority of the Democratic Party from the war against totalitarianism on Bush. Isnt this a bit far-fetched? To make this claim you have to ignore the Democratic Partys attack on our commitment to Cambodia and Vietnam in the 1970s; its defection from the war against Communism in Central America in the 1980s (Dave McCurdy was a heroic Democrat because he was up against such great odds within his own party moreover, the yellow dog Democrats who were his allies are long gone); its cowardice in Mogadishu; its failure to respond to the first attacks on the World Trade Center; the Khobar Towers, the two embassies and the USS Cole in the 1990s; and the determination of its leaders (over three decades) to gut and hamstring the CIA.
In your reply to my comments about multilateralism, you again facilely blame Bush and evade the real issue, which is that Europe is soft on totalitarianism and the UN is totalitarianisms best friend. Clinton didnt even bother to go to the UN over Bosnia as Bush did over Iraq. Why do you think that was? Because Clinton knew Milosevics ally Russia would veto any Security Council resolution just the way Saddams allies Russia, China and France would have vetoed any resolution to send troops to Iraq. The last time I looked, France was a member of NATO, so the same obstacle existed to a NATO resolution on Iraq.
The idea that it was Bushs poor diplomacy that failed to convince the French and the Russians, who were cutting secret oil deals with Saddam and arming him to the teeth, is hard to understand. In the end, de Villepin didnt even let Colin Powell make his case for enforcing UN Resolution 1441 but told him under no circumstances would the French sanction military action against Saddam. Under no circumstances. These facts make waving the UN flag or the multilateral flag as you do seem like a pious evasion of the hard realities America faces. In the real world, the coalition of the willing is what we have to work with and not even the most politically adept and diplomatically adroit liberal Bill Clinton could change that fact. Did Clinton make a peacemaker out of Arafat? Or out of Saddam for that matter?
Your animus towards Republicans is a convenient way to excuse Democratic fecklessness and also makes you less than accurate in your judgments of Republican actions and attitudes. Republicans gave Clinton full support for the war in Bosnia and their support came from conservatives, Republicans, and in fact neo-conservatives in the party, including most prominently Bill Kristol and The Weekly Standard. Led by its spokesmen Gingrich and Dole, the congressional party was four-square behind the Balkans intervention, despite Republicans contempt for Clinton. What a contrast with the Bush-hating Democrats. And that is because for Democrats Bush-hatred is an excuse for a much deeper problem, which is their belief that America creates its enemies and that the world would be a better place if America came home.
Beinart: Our fundamental difference is over what hard liberalism meanswhat it meant in the early Cold War, and what it means today. For you, as far as I can tell, it is identical to conservative foreign policy. So you define virtually every liberal opposition to Bushs policieson Iraq, on oversight of the CIA etcas Wallace liberalism. But a central theme of my book is that anti-totalitarian liberalism is utterly different from anti-totalitarian conservatism. Yes, my kind of liberals have an argument with what one might call anti-imperialist liberals like Michael Moore and MoveOnbecause they opposed the war in Afghanistan and suggested that America had brought jihadism on itself. But we also have a very deep difference with the conservative tradition: people like National Reviews James Burnham who proposed preventive war against the Soviet Union in the late 1940s and called for American empire, and their ideological progeny todayGeorge W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Let me be blunt: preventive war (war against a potential, but not imminent, threat) is not in the liberal anti-totalitarian liberal tradition. Harry Truman was not soft because he didnt launch such a war when Stalin was rushing towards getting atomic weapons in the late 1940s, nor were John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson for refusing preventive war when Mao was doing the same in China. The liberal anti-totalitarian tradition is open to the use of force, but focuses a great deal on international legitimacyrecognizing that it is a critical source of American power, and indeed, recognizes that restraint can also be a sign of strength. Trumans policy was not preventive war; it was containment and deterrence.
Thats why opposing the war in Iraq, I believe, was in the Truman anti-totalitarian tradition. (I think I was wrong in backing it, and the opponents were right. And just as you have learned from your ideological mistakes earlier in your life, this book is partly an attempt to learn from mine.) The point isnt that we need UN support for every military interventionwe only had NATO in Kosovo. But it is that coalitions of the willing lack sufficient post-war nation building capacity, as we have seen in Iraq, where we are doing virtually everything, and the cost is unsustainable (as opposed to Kosovo, where the burden is really shared). And coalitions of the willing also lack legitimacyin the world and in the invaded country (in this case, Iraq), which makes it far harder to successfully nurture a stable democracy that doesnt threaten America. There was a reason Ayatollah Sistani would talk to representatives of the UN, but never to representatives of the U.S.because the UN had far more legitimacy in post-war Iraq (as the embodiment of world opinion) than we did. (And polls of Iraqis showed that from early on).
So I disagree with your attempt to characterize everyone in the Democratic Party who opposed the Iraq war as in the Henry Wallace mold. (And indeed, I disagree with your attempt to characterize everyone in the Democratic Party who opposed Vietnam that way as wellthats why in the book I held up Allard Lowenstein as a model of someone who opposed that war but held fast to anti-Communist principles). The real question is the anti-jihadist strugglewhich is relevant to Iraq today, but really wasnt when Saddam was in power (just read the 9/11 Commission report on Saddams lack of significant jihadist ties). For the first year after 9/11 there was little difference, according to polls, between the parties in their perception of that struggle. In the last couple of years, though, liberals in polling have shown themselves considerably less focused on fighting jihadism, and more skeptical even of the Afghan war. Thats the problem I discuss in my bookbut it is very largely a product of deep (and I think, largely warranted) anger at George W. Bush for again and again using the anti-jihadist struggle as a political wedge issue (often in extremely dishonest ways) and thus weakening the country, when we could have been relatively united. Yes, liberals could learn the wrong lessons from a bad war in Iraq, as some learned the wrong lessons from a bad war in Vietnambut I think it really depends on Democratic Party leadership. Remember, Bill Clinton brought the Democratic Party from where it was in 1991mostly opposed to the Gulf Warto where it was in 1999virtually unanimous in supporting Kosovo. That can happen againindeed, I think most likely Democratic foreign policy practioners (imagine a Secretary of State Holbrooke, Biden, or Clark) would try to do exactly that. The problem is only insurmountable if you think hard liberalism is the same as conservatismand a major part of my book is devoted to explaining why it is not.
[Editorial Note: David Horowitzs response to Mr. Beinarts last comment above will be published in our next issue. Mr. Beinart is most welcome to continue the dialogue with us.]
FP: Peter Beinart, thank you most kindly for joining us today. It was a pleasure to have you with us.
Beinart: Thank you.
Name them. All DemocRATs or Western World Wimps.
New Republic. An irrelevant rag read by 80,000 twits.
It would help if they'd switch sides.
i don't think so, but Liberals will certainly unilaterally claim victory by sticking head in sand. There will be the illusion of victory with the help of the media
Beat me to it! WGAF!
But TNR was called out on DU and now it is on their "enemy" list.
That's why Lieberman, once the "conscience of the Senate", got soundly trounced in the 2004 primary and why he may go down to defeat in November.
Export liberals to the islamic world and see how long they manage to stay alive..
I used to be one of those twits. Had enough when one of their "reporters" got caught making up entire news stories: I mean, people, places, meetings, things that never happened.
I simply don't trust the MSM AT ALL anymore.
Yes, a great idea for liberals to imitate Harry S (for nothing) Truman who stuck his head in the sand and would never admit that his administration was larded with traitors.
Walter Reuther, a communist traitor who made numberous trips to Moscow to get his marching orders! He organized the successful propaganda effort to bring all the troops home in 1945 in order that Russia would grab Eastern Europe without the U. S. doing anything about it.
Liberals are a lousy option for ending wars, because once they start them they make certain America loses the victory.
By 'those twits' are you specifically refering to New Republic? Just curious. BTW, welcome to FR. You're about 6 mos. older than I am (on FR).
LIEberman had an ACU rating last year of ZERO! Even Chuckie and Hitlery had a few points.
The old "conscience of the Senate," Bobby Byrd has apparently developed Altzheimers as lately he's been voting with the conservatives.
Well that's about all I needed to read, apparently this guy has never heard of Dean,Kennedy,Murtha,Pelosi ect....
I hate "interview" articles. They show laziness and a lack of skill on the part of the writer, and they take forever to get to the point.
You should begin reading from the part when Horowitz enters the debate.
There, fixed it.
Winning the war against the Islamofascists requires some cooperation from The New York Times, which serves as the arbiter of Truth in this country. The Truth, which all Americans believe, tells us that Bush ranks easily as the worst President in American history, morally inferior even to Adolf Hitler. The Times consequently acts as a powerful espionage agent for our enemies while spreading enemy propaganda and committing sedition every day.
Only liberals can gain the moral standing with The New York Times to prevent this espionage and sedition. America already has lost the Iraqi theater. The Liberals unfortunately ally themselves with the enemies of the United States, so victory would require an exceptionally pro-American Democrat to ascend to the Presidency. Neither prominent pro-American in the Democratic Party--Senator Lieberman and former Governor Miller--could win the nomination of a Party dedicated to surrender and sedition. Lieberman already tried, and Miller supported President Bush.
The United States continues to rack up victory after victory over the Islamofascists everywhere beyond the eyes and ears of The New York Times, the Democratic Party, and the United States Senate. If we cannot prevail in two of those three theaters, however, then we probably will suffer defeat. Bush has proven utterly incapable of stymieing the anti-American sentiment that increasingly pervades the Senate, the Democrats, and the Press.
This statement is a pip:
Thats why opposing the war in Iraq, I believe, was in the Truman anti-totalitarian tradition.
For him to label anything this current bunch of Dem's are doing as... Trumanesque... borders on insanity. For him to deny the Henry Wallace connection... shows that Horowitz struck paydirt.
I heard this author interviewed on the Wisconsin NPR outlets a few weeks ago. EVEN the NPR interviewer couldn't swallow the concept that ONLY the Left could win the war.
Talk about The BIG BIG BIG Lie.
Talk about making the ridiculous, sublime.
Talk about unhinged!
So what was their plan for victory in the war on terrorism?
appeasement on a global scale?
"liberals" would kick the problems down the line, just as Clinton did, then problems would come back much much worse. (and always blaming others)
It seems to me that letting him make the argument that the intervention in Kosovo legitimizes his point of view, i.e. that Democrats/ liberals have the wherewithal to defend Liberal ideals, is conceding far too much. Observe the panic of Clinton lest even one American death occur. Plus, since there was no American security interest involved , they were able they were able dress it up as a humanitarian intervention as though it were preventing another Rwanda, which is more arguably an antecedent than the Gulf War IMO.
rather stark revelation on his ANTI-sovereignty bias...One of the first things the lib/socialists would do is hand us over to UN rule. We must keep this front and center.
Harry Truman was not soft because he didnt launch such a war when Stalin was rushing towards getting atomic weapons in the late 1940s, nor were John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson for refusing preventive war when Mao was doing the same in China. ... Truman's policy was not preventive war; it was containment and deterrence. That why opposing the war in Iraq, I believe, was in the Truman anti-totalitarian tradition.
And therein lies a crucial difference - their philosophy is not to stop the runaway train barreling down the tracks but to wait until it has crashed in town and THEN do something about it.
Or like, I look out my window and see a brush fire coming over the hill towards my house. But instead of tackeling the fire, I wait until my house is actually on fire and then try to put it out? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
He has opened up a breach in the lib/socialist fundamental wall of difference between them and conservatives that we could repeat as a simple "Who would you rather have protecting your house" rallying call. It's one of those simple mind-pictures that everyone can get and that, like a line from a song that gets stuck in your head, keeps popping up.
Trumans policy was not preventive war; it was containment and deterrence. Thats why opposing the war in Iraq, I believe, was in the Truman anti-totalitarian tradition
Like Saddam was being "contained and deterred" during the 90's while the UN played footsie with him and he had Carte Blanche to work on his WMD and plans to attack us? Like Clinton and HalfBright, who deliberately refused to use the word "genocide" while 800,000 Rwandans were hacked and bludgeoned to death? (It is UN law that if the word "genocide" is used, they must act. Ergo, don't utter the word, and it can be ignored. And certainly, in the case of Rwanda, the Truman/liberal doctrine of "containment" worked - the slaughter was contained to Rwanda...
His own definition of the difference between 'them & us' is a pivotal point to pound home: "Who do you trust to keep your butt out of the fire? Someone who wont act until you're in the flames or someone who will take the fire on before it gets to your house?"
In order to win the war, all they have to do is redefine all the words like "win" "war" etc, and voila! They have their way. Isn't that what the homosexuals are doing?
As a (retired) writer/editor, I often used the interview as , like I think this exchange does, it puts the actual words of the lamebrain out there for everyone to see. It then can't be refuted as the writer misinterpreting or misrepresenting.
This is particularly effective when the interviewer is as astute as Horowitz. (He allowed Beinart enough room to hoist himself on his own petard... and provided great fodder for future illustrative use.)
i.e., Beinart's own words can be the best weapon against the lib/socialists in future confrontations.
BTW, I always couple "lib" with 'socialist' - "lib/socialists" for a trigger association in peoples minds.
exactly. Something we must keep reminding people.
It's like ignoring the weeds in the garden. Then when they grow higher than - and are choking the life out of - the veggies, decide to maybe do some weeding.
Your crop will be stunted...
how old is this dope? 16??
Being a FR twit is kinda' cool.
Being a FR twit is kinda' cool.
Although we don't see much coverage of Yugoslavia, I think we are a lot farther along to better nation-building results in Iraq than in Kosovo etc where we still have troops and they are still arguing about boundaries, not implementing constitutions.
I read Paul Bremer's book, and Beinart really mischaracterizes the role played by Sistani. He may not have met with us, but he very definately played a pivotal role in leading Iraq and made his views known through channels frequently and reasonably. He is probably the most important man in the story, besides Bush.
This wedge issue bs is just that. They want no accountabiity for their unpatriotic, obstructionist positions. Call them on it and they call that a wedge issue.
Finally, why doe we let them get away with saying that Iraq has overstretched the military? That is ridiculous. The military that was built to fight 2 wars is overstretched by Iraq? 150,000 of 2 million personnel are there.
Could have made this a shorter interview, like so:
FP: Peter Beinart welcome to Frontpage Interview. So how long have you been a raging, flaming, militant homosexual?
I'm contually surprised at the apparent lack of animus of the Serbs toward a country whose war strategy was to bomb civilian targets.
The Administration doesn't seem to be interested in calling them on it either.
I guess Saddam isn't a terrorist and Iraq was not a terrorist state until we went in.
At least thats what the DNC is saying
Democrat Socialists Radio Address- July 1, 2006:
We need this kind of leadership today. I'm running for the Senate in the hope that I might bring a fresh voice, and an experienced set of eyes, onto the problems of our country. We need to redirect the efforts of our national security posture.
We need to bring the Iraq War to an early and honorable end. We need to begin bringing troops home soon, as the first step toward a complete military pullout from that country. We must do this in order to free up our dedicated military people to fight the war we need to win the war against international terrorism - and so that we can have the mobility to confront the other strategic challenges, such as the threat of an emerging China.
If I am elected, I will work toward those goals. And those who are serving our country will have no greater friend.
I'm Jim Webb, from Virginia. Thanks for listening.
That the DNC could still be claiming that Iraq is not part of the WOT is a stunning testament to the utterly incompetent and pathetic performance of the White House PR machine.
Maybe you will come to understand that this whole innocent civilian construct is bogus. Study the Vietnam war, if you want to understand that.
NE is the code for Nebraska
NB is the code for the (Canadian) province of New Brunswick, which as far as I know has no member in the United States Senate.
innocent or not, I'd be fighting mad at any country that blew up civilian infrastructure here to coerce the military to withdraw elsewhere.
"You state that a commitment to freedom in the Middle East involves a commitment to reducing female illiteracy in that region. (p.193)"
The assumption that imposing or even suggesting that cultural differences will be made from the outside, as in increasing literacy or voting groups, is an argument that doesn't hold water. When the Middle East has historically interacted with foreigners, e.g., Ghenghis Khan or Tamerlane, the local culture modified a bit, only to absorb those from outside. In a similar manner was Hellenistic culture made from Alexander's wanderings and conquests. Changes might be made, but only on a generational level, and then not among the groups that comprise the powerful.
My 2 cents.
AI am sure war makes a lot of people mad. But it is not a popularity contest. I don't even know what you are talking about. Maybe you have focused like a laser beam on a detail.
last paragraph . My point was it's a weak argument to make that the high altitude bombing campaign with calculated strategy to minimize American risks is comparable to WOT, but it's apparently the best argument he has.
They want to rely on their myth that we all have short memories. It took my brath away to wake up and find out we were bombing without and debate. Also the strong-arm tactics of Reno in Waco and Miami shocked me. Now we are supposed to get bent out of shape over a war that was debated for 15 mo or panties on prisoners heads are somehow more serious than the bombing you mention which shocked many.
If you equate winning with surrender....sure!
Weeds are only agressive when the good grass is getting all the fertilizer. To keep weeds in check it's best to fertilize them too so they feel equal, then they'll be nice. If they still wind up killing the good grass then it's probably because the homeowner is defective (i.e. heterosexual, patriotic, honest, or some other offensive thing like that).
Ah yes, that must have had everything to do with Bill Clinton's amazing powers of persuasion, and nothing to do with the fact that liberals will knee-jerk oppose anything a Republican President proposes, and knee-jerk support anything a Democrat President proposes. Well, I'm convinced.
Of course the title is hyperbolic and meant to sell the book. A better approach was presented by some honest liberals in the form of "liberal reasons to support the war on terror and war in Iraq". There are many reasons, of course.
What David Horowitz pointed out though is that Democratic party is dominated by all those whose only motivation now is Bush-hate. No reasonable discussion is possible. Even TNR sees all problems as originated by Bush, and they are supposed to be moderate.
I see a useful argument when he is advocating establishing new, outside of UN, international organization formed out of our allies. I agree, its long overdue. We can then leave UN its only useful function as a convenient meeting place to save on travel expenses.
While I agree with you that legitimacy should not be based solely on the international organization approval, it can be a useful tool in our propaganda war.
I agree with everything else you said.
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