Friday, November 25, 2005

Harmonic convergence. Why true conservatives and Democrats may join teams.

Of late I have noted a remarkable phenomena. When I read true conservative columnists, I find myself agreeing with them a lot more than was the case in the past. Here are some recent examples.

Pat Buchanan wrote a column for Human Events on November 10 in which he said the following:

However, post-9/11, Bush II converted to a neoconservatism that calls for unilateral American intervention in the Middle East and the Islamic world, to bring down dictators and establish democracy.

Thus, in March, 2003, Bush, in perhaps the greatest strategic blunder in U.S. history, invaded an Arab nation that had not attacked us, did not want war with us, and did not threaten us—to strip it of weapons we now know it did not have.

Result: Shia and Kurds have been liberated from Saddam, but Iran has a new ally in southern Iraq, Osama has a new base camp in the Sunni Triangle, the Arab and Islamic world have been radicalized against the United States, and copy-cat killers of Al Qaida have been targeting our remaining allies in Europe and the Middle East: Spain, Britain, Egypt and Jordan. And, lest we forget, 2055 Americans are dead and Walter Reed is filling up.

True to the neoconservative creed, Bush launched a global crusade for democracy that is now bringing ever closer to power Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Syria, and Shia fundamentalists in Baghdad and Basra.

Democratic imperialism is still imperialism. To Arab and Islamic peoples, whether the Crusaders come in the name of God or in the name of democracy, they are still Crusaders.
The overall point of Buchanan in this article was to call for a return of the Republican party to Reagan conservatism. Yet in making the argument he sounds remarkably similar to the loyal opposition (Democrats) as we point out the various fallacies and negative impacts of neoconservative leadership. Yet Buchanan's truck is not just with Bush's conduct of foreign affairs by a long shot.
Under Bush II, social spending has exploded to levels LBJ might envy, foreign aid has been doubled, pork-at-every-meal has become the GOP diet of choice, surpluses have vanished, and the deficit is soaring back toward 5% of GDP. Bill Clinton is starting to look like Barry Goldwater.
While one may rest assured that Buchanan is hardly a fan of Clintons presidency, one is left to wonder if he may not conclude that the alternative offered by neoconservatives to this point has been even worse for America. I have yet to see him hold forth on that particular point, but statementss like these hardly offer support for reaching a different conclusion.

Onto another non-neo conservative: Here is Ron Paul's speech on September 08 from the well of the house of Representatives. Representative Paul is a nominally a Republican from Texas, but he enjoys lifetime membership in the Libertarian party and has never renounced that. Representative Paul said:
"Shortly after the new administration took office in January 2001, this goal of eliminating Saddam Hussein quickly morphed into a policy of remaking the entire Middle East, starting with regime change in Iraq. This aggressive interventionist policy surprised some people, since the victorious 2000 campaign indicated we should pursue a foreign policy of humility, no nation building, reduced deployment of our forces overseas, and a rejection of the notion that we serve as world policemen. The 9/11 disaster proved a catalyst to push for invading Iraq and restructuring the entire Middle East. Though the plan had existed for years, it quickly was recognized that the fear engendered by the 9/11 attacks could be used to mobilize the American people and Congress to support this war. Nevertheless, supposedly legitimate reasons had to be given for the already planned pre-emptive war, and as we now know the "intelligence had to be fixed to the policy."

[he quotes the downing street memo!]

Immediately after 9/11 the American people were led to believe that Saddam Hussein somehow was responsible for the attacks. The fact that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were enemies, not friends, was kept from the public by a compliant media and a lazy Congress. Even today many Americans still are convinced of an alliance between the two. The truth is Saddam Hussein never permitted al Qaeda into Iraq out of fear that his secular government would be challenged. And yet today we find that al Qaeda is now very much present in Iraq, and causing chaos there.

The administration repeatedly pumped out alarming propaganda that Saddam Hussein was a threat to us with his weapons of mass destruction, meaning nuclear, biological, and chemical. Since we helped Saddam Hussein obtain biological and chemical weapons in the 1980s, we assumed that he had maintained a large supply-- which of course turned out not to be true. The people, frightened by 9/11, easily accepted these fear-mongering charges.
And Dick Cheney currently calls Democrats who question the misleading of America into this war disingenuous cynical oppurtunists? Ron Paul, nailed the administration months before the prince of darkness started pontificating about the ebil Dems. Of course, Mr. Paul being a wise man saw what was coming and leapt to the defense of his Democratic brethren in arms against the neoconservative administration:
It's not unusual for the war crusaders to condemn those who speak the truth in an effort to end an unnecessary war. They claim those who want honest reasons for the enormous sacrifice are unpatriotic and un-American, but these charges only serve to exacerbate the social unrest. Any criticism of policy, no matter how flawed the policy is, is said to be motivated by a lack of support for the troops. Yet it is preposterous to suggest that a policy that would have spared the lives of 1900 servicemen and women lacks concern for the well being of our troops. The absence of good reasoning to pursue this war prompts the supporters of the war to demonize the skeptics and critics. They have no other defense.
Good lawd! I'd love to vote for this man someday, but I just disagree with him on too many issues... But he has my respect, and I can't say that about very many Republicans running the show in Washington D.C. of late, although I love to point it out when it's true.

I could post the entire Paul speech here and agree with it NEARLY point by point, but it's a long speech.

If you want to get a taste of some truly venomous traditional conservative ranting about this administration check out what Paul Craig Roberts says. Buchanan and Rep. Paul are positively tame in comparison. From Roberts column of May 18:

George W. Bush and his gang of neocon warmongers have destroyed America's reputation. It is likely to stay destroyed, because at this point the only way to restore America's reputation would be to impeach and convict President Bush for intentionally deceiving Congress and the American people in order to start a war of aggression against a country that posed no threat to the United States.

America can redeem itself only by holding Bush accountable.

As intent as Republicans were to impeach President Bill Clinton for lying about a sexual affair, they have a blind eye for President Bush's far more serious lies. Bush's lies have caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people, injured and maimed tens of thousands more, devastated a country, destroyed America's reputation, caused 1 billion Muslims to hate America, ruined our alliances with Europe, created a police state at home, and squandered $300 billion dollars and counting.
Hows THAT for disingenuous political opportunism Mr. Cheney? It would be tempting to accuse Mr. Paul of plagarizing this blog, except he said this three months prior to this blogs existence. Believe me however, I am not plagarizing him, because what he says is the truth and it is out there for any one not blinded by dogmaticism to see for themselves. By the way if you are wondering, Mr. Paul's conservative credentials run long and deep. Becoming a fellow of the Hoover institute is not something liberals commonly achieve. Here is his entry in Wikipedia if you're interested in learning more about his conservative credentials.

The point of all this is this speculation. The Republican candidate for president in 2008 must make a very public and convincing repudiation of neoconservatism if they wish to bring traditional conservatives back to the fold. We see a schism happening before our very eyes in the Republcan ranks. It is hard to imagine these conservatives voting for a liberal Democrat, but it is also hard to imagine them voting for a continuation of Bush governance. Therefore I think a moderate Democrat could claim their temporary allegiance, or if they are given the choice of a liberal Democrat vs. a neoconservative Republican, they may vote a third candidate insuring a Democratic victory. We shall see what we shall see, but what we are seeing now does not bode well for Republican unity going forward.

A Left Winger quoting Rep. Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan!!!???

A very hot place has just frozen over!

Deep and meaningful words like "Patriotism" and "Freedom" become whorish marketing tools for character assassination. Have questions about the war? That now means that you are unpatiotic and a coward. So much for Freedom of Expression or the Right of Dissent.

It becomes an addicting vicious circle. It is said to be unpatriotic to question governemnt during times of war. If an elected official can eliminate oppostion during a time of war, doesn't that create the incentive for perpetual war? Of course it does.

A Commander in Chief should welcome the dissenting opinions of polite and articulate individuals. It is a safety measure that is available to you. You can be assured that you have considered everything possible and look for weakness in any decisions you have pondered. Hearing out differing opinions is the "Patriotic" thing to do. After all, when you make the decision to go to war, our very Freedom and the lives of American Armed Servicemen hang in the balance.

However, let me qualify "Polite and Articulate" dissent. This would be from knowledgable individuals that did the research and have a sincere concern about policy without regard to political party motivations. This does not include political hacks such as Michael Moore or aggrieved mothers that unfortunatley went off the deep end at their loss. When it comes to offering a dissenting opinion during a time of war, it must be logic based and have no regard to benefitting your particular political party. It is the "Patriotic" thing to do. After all, our very Freedom and the lives of Americans are in the balance.
Hmmm... I tend to not characterize dissent based upon the background or political leanings of the dissenter. It is either civil and articulate or it is not, regardless of who the dissenter is IMHO. Of course who the dissenter is may have a role in how they articulate their beliefs... But if some idealogical bomb thrower has a moment of civility and articulates a cogent argument, that argument is civil and articulate.
Understood. You did quote Pat Buchanan.

My reference to Michael Moore was a generalization of the bomb throwers and their tendancy to focus on their hate for Bush or others instead of analysis. Cindy Sheehan was an example of what could have been a great example but, went terribly wrong and blew the opportunity. (My humble opinion)

It is true however, that even a broken clock is right twice a day. (The time in which it stops AM & PM)

I now expect that at sometime you will find the political commentary of Pat Robertson and Dick Cheney to be polite and articulate. ;)

Perhaps Robertson will politely call for another assassination or lay moral blame for another hurricane. Perhaps Cindy Sheehan will send a polite letter to Barbara Bush telling her that her son George killed her son.

Yes, I was generalizing in my previous post but, it was to make a point. That being that dissent is an integral part of Freedom and should not be stifled but, emotion lead or party motivated bomb throwing does not necessarily amount to rational dissent. Blind mud slinging just adds to the mess to be cleaned up.
this administration has been successful in labeling anyone that dissents as a Bush hater. I think that is starting to change as the truth slowly comes to light. Lets hope more people in power seek the truth.

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.
~Edward R. Murrow

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public office save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. -Theodore Roosevelt
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