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Only Liberals Can Win the War on Terror?
Front Page Magazine ^ | June 30, 2006 | Jamie Glazov

Posted on 07/02/2006 5:25:00 AM PDT by RobtPruitt

Frontpage Interview’s 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: It’s an important accomplishment—especially 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 America’s totalitarian and terrorist adversaries?

Beinart: I’m not quite sure what you mean by the Left. A small number of people have suggested that Bush is as bad as Zarqawi, but that’s a marginal view—not held by any elected Democrats, as far as I know. Most people who thought Iraq was a mistake still think it was a mistake—but 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 Mohammed’s 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 Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s 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 society—non-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 mystique—the aura of invincibility—that 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. Saddam’s overthrow has allowed new space for democratic discussion in the Middle East, but it has also empowered jihadists—who 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 only—or even more important test—of democracy. The United States needs to involve itself in a long-term effort to build liberal institutions—free press, free judiciary, independent political parties—in 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 institutions—as the Roosevelt and Truman administrations did in the 1940s—so 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 believe—as I did—that 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 didn’t realize how the war’s 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 couldn’t turn Iraq into a 51st state—that 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 forever—that you really have their best interests at heart. Without UN support—or even NATO support—it 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 didn’t call for a purge—it 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. It’s true that today—even more than in 2004—liberals 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 Zarqawi’s death—and 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 conservatives—at least conservatives in the tradition that runs from James Burnham to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney—cannot win the war on terror is that they don’t understand Reinhold Niebuhr’s insight that unless America recognizes it can do harm in the world, it cannot do good. On Central America, I applauded the DLC’s position, not Reagan’s, because the DLC fought for human rights in El Salvador as a condition of supporting the government against communist rebels—while Reagan generally overlooked the government’s abuses, in the belief that regimes on America’s 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 doesn’t 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 narrow—or even imperial—interests. That’s 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 America’s democratic NATO allies that the war would really make the world safer. That wasn’t Tom Daschle’s fault—after 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 WMD—by scouring the country and finding nothing.

There are things I like about John McCain. But the liberalism I’m talking about involves building strong international institutions, as America did in the late 1940s, so we make our power legitimate in the world, and don’t look to the world like an empire—as we have in the Bush era. And international institutions will also, necessarily, hold America to a higher standard—on human rights and the environment, for instance—something 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 I’m talking about is fundamentally alien to today’s Republican Party, but I think Democrats—with the right leadership—can 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.

Let’s 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 Reuther’s 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 can’t 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. Here’s 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 that’s 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 doesn’t 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. Isn’t this a bit far-fetched? To make this claim you have to ignore the Democratic Party’s 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 totalitarianism’s best friend. Clinton didn’t even bother to go to the UN over Bosnia as Bush did over Iraq. Why do you think that was? Because Clinton knew Milosevic’s ally Russia would veto any Security Council resolution just the way Saddam’s 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 Bush’s 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 didn’t 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 means—what 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 Bush’s policies—on Iraq, on oversight of the CIA etc—as 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 MoveOn—because 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 Review’s James Burnham who proposed preventive war against the Soviet Union in the late 1940s and called for American empire, and their ideological progeny today—George 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 didn’t 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 legitimacy—recognizing that it is a critical source of American power, and indeed, recognizes that restraint can also be a sign of strength. Truman’s policy was not preventive war; it was containment and deterrence.

That’s 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 isn’t that we need UN support for every military intervention—we 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 legitimacy—in the world and in the invaded country (in this case, Iraq), which makes it far harder to successfully nurture a stable democracy that doesn’t 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 well—that’s 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 struggle—which is relevant to Iraq today, but really wasn’t when Saddam was in power (just read the 9/11 Commission report on Saddam’s 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. That’s the problem I discuss in my book—but 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 Vietnam—but I think it really depends on Democratic Party leadership. Remember, Bill Clinton brought the Democratic Party from where it was in 1991—mostly opposed to the Gulf War—to where it was in 1999—virtually unanimous in supporting Kosovo. That can happen again—indeed, 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 conservatism—and a major part of my book is devoted to explaining why it is not.

[Editorial Note: David Horowitz’s response to Mr. Beinart’s 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.


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: beinart; booktour; glazov; interview; leftistliberal; newrepublic; thegoodfight; transcript
A small number of people have suggested that Bush is as bad as Zarqawi...

Name them. All DemocRATs or Western World Wimps.

New Republic. An irrelevant rag read by 80,000 twits.

1 posted on 07/02/2006 5:25:04 AM PDT by RobtPruitt
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To: RobtPruitt

It would help if they'd switch sides.


2 posted on 07/02/2006 5:27:17 AM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (Give Them Liberty Or Give Them Death! - IT'S ISLAM, STUPID! - Islam Delenda Est! - Rumble thee forth)
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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


3 posted on 07/02/2006 5:31:12 AM PDT by 4rcane
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To: RobtPruitt
"An irrelevant rag read by 80,000 twits."

Beat me to it! WGAF!

4 posted on 07/02/2006 5:31:26 AM PDT by harpu ( "...it's better to be hated for who you are than loved for someone you're not!")
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To: RobtPruitt

But TNR was called out on DU and now it is on their "enemy" list.


5 posted on 07/02/2006 5:33:38 AM PDT by synbad600
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To: RobtPruitt
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.

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.

6 posted on 07/02/2006 5:38:33 AM PDT by randita
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To: RobtPruitt

Export liberals to the islamic world and see how long they manage to stay alive..


7 posted on 07/02/2006 5:38:52 AM PDT by xcamel (Press to Test, Release to Detonate)
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To: RobtPruitt

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.


8 posted on 07/02/2006 5:41:35 AM PDT by kjo
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To: All
... take a leaf from the book of cold war liberals like Harry Truman and Walter Reuther...

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.

9 posted on 07/02/2006 5:44:42 AM PDT by RobtPruitt (Build a moat. Fill it with gators. Don't need a fence.)
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To: kjo

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).


10 posted on 07/02/2006 5:45:06 AM PDT by bcsco ("He who is wedded to the spirit of the age is soon a widower" – Anonymous)
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To: randita
...Lieberman, once the "conscience of the Senate",...

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.

11 posted on 07/02/2006 5:48:12 AM PDT by RobtPruitt (Build a moat. Fill it with gators. Don't need a fence.)
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To: RobtPruitt
A small number of people have suggested that Bush is as bad as Zarqawi, but that’s a marginal view—not held by any elected Democrats, as far as I know.

Well that's about all I needed to read, apparently this guy has never heard of Dean,Kennedy,Murtha,Pelosi ect....

12 posted on 07/02/2006 5:48:13 AM PDT by DeepInTheHeartOfTexas
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To: RobtPruitt

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.


13 posted on 07/02/2006 5:48:23 AM PDT by Junior (Identical fecal matter, alternate diurnal period)
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To: Junior

You should begin reading from the part when Horowitz enters the debate.


14 posted on 07/02/2006 5:55:38 AM PDT by RobtPruitt (Build a moat. Fill it with gators. Don't need a fence.)
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To: RobtPruitt
The Title is wrong.

Only Liberals Can Win the War on Terror for the Terrorists

There, fixed it.

15 posted on 07/02/2006 5:57:22 AM PDT by Diogenesis (Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum)
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To: RobtPruitt

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.


16 posted on 07/02/2006 6:07:22 AM PDT by dufekin
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To: randita
Your point on Lieberman nails it... he's despised for being the only Dem(maybe Nelson(NB) too) as strong on defense and willing to take the battle to the enemy. I've seen Beinart a couple of times and although he claims that Dem's have a spine... all his arguments crumble when challenged with cold, hard facts. He's a lib... and in being so... see's things through the emotion-fogged lenses of liberalism.

This statement is a pip:

“That’s 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.

17 posted on 07/02/2006 6:11:29 AM PDT by johnny7 (“And what's Fonzie like? Come on Yolanda... what's Fonzie like?!”)
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To: RobtPruitt

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!


18 posted on 07/02/2006 6:15:09 AM PDT by 9999lakes
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To: RobtPruitt
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting The democrats plan to win the war on terror.
19 posted on 07/02/2006 6:24:25 AM PDT by dmw (Aren't you glad you use common sense, don't you wish everybody did?)
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To: RobtPruitt

So what was their plan for victory in the war on terrorism?

appeasement on a global scale?


20 posted on 07/02/2006 6:35:01 AM PDT by usmcobra (A single rogue Marine, yeah that can happen, but a whole Unit, only a liberal would believe that BS)
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To: RobtPruitt
Only liberals could be comfortable with what liberals would call victory. They as masochists would consider a world ruled by sadistic terrorists, to be edenesque. Therefore to them, surrender to the terrorists would be victory-they love pain, and victory for the terrorists-they love to inflict pain. Everyone is happy as clams with the exception of the sane of course.
21 posted on 07/02/2006 6:50:04 AM PDT by F.J. Mitchell (But who or what can check or balance the appointed for life, dictatorial US Supreme Court?)
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To: RobtPruitt

"liberals" would kick the problems down the line, just as Clinton did, then problems would come back much much worse. (and always blaming others)


22 posted on 07/02/2006 6:59:56 AM PDT by tkathy (The "can do" party can fix anything. The "do-nothing" party always makes things worse.)
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To: 9999lakes

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.


23 posted on 07/02/2006 7:07:06 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: RobtPruitt
sovereignty-obsessives like John Bolton

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 didn’t 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.

Truman’s policy was not preventive war; it was containment and deterrence. That’s 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?"

24 posted on 07/02/2006 7:24:44 AM PDT by maine-iac7 (LINCOLN: "...but you can't fool all of the people all of the time>")
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To: 9999lakes

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?


25 posted on 07/02/2006 7:33:44 AM PDT by vharlow (http://www.vventures.net)
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To: Junior
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.

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.

26 posted on 07/02/2006 7:37:26 AM PDT by maine-iac7 (LINCOLN: "...but you can't fool all of the people all of the time>")
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To: tkathy
"liberals" would kick the problems down the line, just as Clinton did

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...

27 posted on 07/02/2006 7:41:31 AM PDT by maine-iac7 (LINCOLN: "...but you can't fool all of the people all of the time>")
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To: RobtPruitt

how old is this dope? 16??


28 posted on 07/02/2006 7:47:53 AM PDT by God luvs America (When the silent majority speaks the earth trembles!)
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To: RobtPruitt

Being a FR twit is kinda' cool.


29 posted on 07/02/2006 7:48:48 AM PDT by oyez (Appeasement is insanity)
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To: RobtPruitt

Being a FR twit is kinda' cool.


30 posted on 07/02/2006 7:48:51 AM PDT by oyez (Appeasement is insanity)
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To: gusopol3

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.


31 posted on 07/02/2006 8:44:46 AM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: ClaireSolt
There is a huge fundamental flaw in his assertion that international organizations confer legitimacy. You cannot get legitimacy from illegitimacy. So, if Oil-for-Food sullied the UN it could not confer what he wants from it. When people call the UN a dictator's club, they point to the same flaw.

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.

32 posted on 07/02/2006 8:55:32 AM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: RobtPruitt
FP: Peter Beinart welcome to Frontpage Interview. It is a pleasure and privilege to be in your company.

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?

33 posted on 07/02/2006 9:14:04 AM PDT by thoughtomator (Famous last words: "what does Ibtz mean?")
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To: ClaireSolt
Although we don't see much coverage of Yugoslavia,

I'm contually surprised at the apparent lack of animus of the Serbs toward a country whose war strategy was to bomb civilian targets.

34 posted on 07/02/2006 9:20:54 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: dufekin
The left is still running around with straight faces saying Iraq has nothing to do with the WOT.

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.

35 posted on 07/02/2006 9:31:09 AM PDT by Rome2000 (Peace is not an option)
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To: gusopol3

Maybe you will come to understand that this whole innocent civilian construct is bogus. Study the Vietnam war, if you want to understand that.


36 posted on 07/02/2006 9:35:00 AM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: johnny7
the only Dem(maybe Nelson(NB) too)

Oops!!

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.

37 posted on 07/02/2006 9:36:10 AM PDT by reg45
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To: ClaireSolt

innocent or not, I'd be fighting mad at any country that blew up civilian infrastructure here to coerce the military to withdraw elsewhere.


38 posted on 07/02/2006 9:58:03 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: RobtPruitt

"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.


39 posted on 07/02/2006 10:15:23 AM PDT by combat_boots (Dug in and not budging an inch. NOT to be schiavoed, greered, or felosed as a patient)
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To: gusopol3

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.


40 posted on 07/02/2006 10:20:47 AM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: ClaireSolt
Remember, Bill Clinton brought the Democratic Party from where it was in 1991—mostly opposed to the Gulf War—to where it was in 1999—virtually unanimous in supporting Kosovo.

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.

41 posted on 07/02/2006 11:13:55 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: gusopol3

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.


42 posted on 07/02/2006 3:10:48 PM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: RobtPruitt

ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT


43 posted on 07/02/2006 3:11:55 PM PDT by ChadGore (VISUALIZE 62,041,268 Bush fans. We Vote.)
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To: RobtPruitt
This account has been banned or suspended.
Okay
44 posted on 07/02/2006 3:12:20 PM PDT by ChadGore (VISUALIZE 62,041,268 Bush fans. We Vote.)
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To: RobtPruitt
Only Liberals Can Win the War on Terror?

If you equate winning with surrender....sure!

45 posted on 07/02/2006 3:14:06 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (I wish a political party would come along that thinks like I do.)
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To: maine-iac7
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.

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).

46 posted on 07/02/2006 3:21:28 PM PDT by Cementjungle
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To: gusopol3
Remember, Bill Clinton brought the Democratic Party from where it was in 1991—mostly opposed to the Gulf War—to where it was in 1999—virtually unanimous in supporting Kosovo.

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.

Qwinn

47 posted on 07/02/2006 3:42:34 PM PDT by Qwinn
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To: 9999lakes

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.


48 posted on 07/02/2006 5:54:32 PM PDT by Tolik
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To: ClaireSolt

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.


49 posted on 07/02/2006 6:13:48 PM PDT by Tolik
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