Thursday, October 07, 2004

Election 2004: A Time for Soul Searching

Concerning the election of 2004 – it’s soul searching time. We have a stark choice this time and there is much at stake. There is the economy and jobs, the future of the Supreme Court and, of course there is the war against the terror masters. In all honesty the first two won’t matter a hill of beans for our long term future if the third fails. Unlike all the other wars America has fought this one is unique in that far too many people won’t accept that it is a “real” war. It’s real enough alright, and it didn’t start with 9/11 and it won’t end in Baghdad.

One man is preaching peace through strength, peace through war – preemptive war – and the aggressive use of offensive American military power. The other man is urging peace through diplomacy, peace through international bonding and consensus building. You almost have to suspend your disbelief. Peace through war? That hardly makes sense. Isn’t that like offering a drowning man a glass of water? Doesn’t peace through consensus sound so much better? Who doesn’t endorse international bonding? Well, for one, our enemies, the enemies of western civilization, don’t do international bonding and they certainly don’t waste time consensus building. They are a death cult. They offer no alternative ideology for the living. They don’t negotiate and they don’t attend diplomatic conferences (summits, if you will). So the question one needs to ask themselves is which of these strategies is likely to work in the long run?

Analogies can be very instructive. The President’s actions can be likened to a strategy employed by firefighters battling wild fires in the western United States. They set fires. That’s right; the firefighters set fires to fight fires. They are called firebreaks. More often than not they work and thousands of acres are spared. Sometimes things go wrong – the wind shifts, firefighters are pre-positioned in the wrong place, or maybe the rain that was expected never materializes. There are naysayers who will say that firebreaks are dangerous and therefore should never be used. Fires should be contained and if innocents lose their homes and property it’s tragic, but at least the fire department didn’t start the fire.

War is not always the wrong answer despite what the bumper stickers may say. The use of American military power has freed millions of people from invaders and brutal dictators. Hope, freedom and even prosperity has risen from the rubble in Germany, Italy, Japan, France, South Korea, Central America, Kuwait, Kosovo and Afghanistan. It will happen for Iraq too, if we persevere. By standing fast against Soviet expansionism the United States succeeded in the Cold War as well. In the one place we as a nation gave up millions of Vietnamese lost their lives when the U.S. military pulled out for good. It was John Kerry who was one of the loudest voices against America then. He should be made to answer for what happened in Southeast Asia after we left.

George W. Bush has answer for Iraq and the war on terror – take the fight to them and spread democracy and liberty as the best antidote to the death wish that fuels Islamic terrorism. John Kerry’s doesn’t have an answer except to say that what ever Bush does is wrong.