Saturday, October 2, 2004

Civilized Contempt

The only concensus I reached after the first 90-minute presidential debate is that neither George W. Bush or Sen. John Kerry are fit to lead this nation. We have two candidates (no disrespect to Nader) and neither of them deserve my vote. Neither George W. Bush or John Kerry can present a viable exit strategy in Iraq. Neither can pinpoint how we plan to regain respect in the United Nations. Neither left me with the assurance that "hope is on the way."

An important point that stuck out-- there are 10 times more troops in Iraq than in Afghanistan. The direct reason/threat to the United States following 9/11 was Bin Laden. Have we forgotten the facts of 9/11 completely?

Both candidates caused me equal frustration. It is pure stupidity (forgive me Nick Speth for using the stupid word) for John Kerry to say that he was against the war from the get-go. Did he have an out-of-body experience when he voted to use force in Iraq? And it is just as ridiculous for him to explain that he voted for it AND against it. You're digging yourself a hole Mr. Kerry. To give equal attention to my frustrations-- Bush needs to rethink his belief that the PATRIOT Act is "vital" to the war on terror. The PATRIOT Act is being challenged in courts all over this country. How can something so "vital" to the safety of America be so hated by Americans?

I was quite irritated with Kerry bringing up John Kennedy every other comment. What we're in now does not in any way compare to the Cold War. Kerry is no Kennedy and never will be. Also, you don't mention the Cuban Missile Crisis if you are trying to prove you won't go into war alone. Kennedy went against his military advisors, not just the world alliance. How is that any different than what Bush is doing now? The hole is getting deeper Mr. Kerry.

My last serious comment regards the alliance. Kerry is right about one thing-- Great Britian, Australia... oh and Polland, thanks W, are not the ideal alliance. They aren't going to make me sleep any better at night. We need a stronger alliance and one that remains strong, not pulling out when times get tough.

On a much lighter note-- I laughed at their ties! I've obviously got too much time on my hands if I noticed Bush in blue and Kerry in red. Brings up the question again "red or blue which state are you?" Overall I was displeased with the debate. Bush was stumbling for words and Kerry was spouting words that had no foundation in factual information. The highlight for me was Kerry's statement: (reiterating what the terrorism czar had said) "Invading Iraq in response to 9/11 would be like Franklin Roosevelt invading Mexico in response to Pearl Harbor."

I'm looking forward to the vp debate next week. I sure hope Mr. Cheney can keep is obscenities in check as well as his heart. And the presidential debate on domestic policy should be interesting...


Nick Speth said...

Nah, you can say "This is stupid. Here's why..." and I don't get mad. It's just when someone says, "That's stupid," and doesn't back it up that irritates me.

You make some good points, but I've got to say a few things about Afghanistan. The reason more troops aren't there is that they aren't needed. Bin Laden's probably in Pakistan and the Pakistanis want to find him themselves. I'd say to heck with them and go in after him, but then I don't have to win election.

How's this for an Iraq exit strategy? Establish a Democracy and don't leave until they can defend themselves or the elected government asks us to leave. Sure we'll have to take some casualties, but we need look no farther than Afghanistan to see what grows of a poor war-torn muslim country when a superpower invades and then abandons it.

Whether it was a good idea or not going in, we've got to see it through now. Sun Tzu, the 5th century B.C. strategist, would have called Iraq suspended terrain, that is that it's easy to enter but hard to withdraw. He said "In a suspended configuration, if they [the enemy] are unprepared, go forth and conquer them. If the enemy is prepared and we sally forth without being victorious, it will be difficult to turn back and is not advantageous."

Master Sun's advice seems to be against the war in general since (due to the slowness of both American democracy and the U.N.) Saddam had plenty of time to prepare. Yet times have changed in the last 2.5 millenia. As I said on my September 11, 2004 post, we don't have the luxury of "innocent until proven guilty" foreign policy anymore.

Sorry this has gone so long; don't get me quoting Sun Tzu, or I go off on it.

Anyway one teeny little thing more: Cheney has been known to get mad and cus a little. So do I for that matter. John Kerry did so in an interview which he knew would be publicized (see Rolling Stone). We call him John F-ing Kerry for a reason. Which is worse?

I suppose they're both bad for a public figure to do in public.

Nick Speth said...

p.s. challenges in court do not need very many people supporting them. That's why Democrats are so gung-ho about litmus tests. Without discussing my personal stand on abortion, the majority of the populace usually goes against it. So how is it a law? Well the Supreme Court decided it was in the constitution.

Remember Proposition 209 or 187 in California. In the heart of blue statedom, Americans voted for some pretty conservative ideas. 187 was to deny certain taxpayer-funded things like education and health care to illegal immigrants, not legal, mindyou , but illegal. 209 made it illegal for the state universities to consider race and sex in admission.

Both these were killed by courts. I don't doubt that the PATRIOT act is less liked than some of these things, but that there are lawsuits against it is no measure of its popularity.

As far as the PATRIOT act goes, why do both parties have to be so unwavering on it. Republicans are saying "let no provision be removed" and the Democrats are saying "we have to dump the whole thing." Let's look at each provision, see how many terrorists we've caught with that provision, and how often, if ever, it's been abused and decide based upon that.

Why'd they have to have the thing expire in an election year?