More nonsensical Bush rhetoric that no one questions

Bush keeps talking about his “forward strategy of freedom,” while his supporters keep oohing and aahing over his great vision and staunch determination. But, pray tell, where is this “forward strategy” to be seen? Our forces are currently in Afghanistan and Iraq, and are likely to remain stuck in those countries for many years to come, taking an unending string of casualties as we try to keep the client governments we have set up from being destroyed by Islamist and other terrorists. Given the terror insurgency in Iraq, which was wholly unexpected by the administration, and which the administration has no plan to defeat and perhaps no will or capacity to defeat, there is not the barest hint of a possibility that Bush may invade and impose freedom on any further Moslem countries, or seek to spread freedom in the Islamic world by any other means. There is at best the wistful hope, which Bush speaks of as though it were a theological certainty, that if the new Iraqi government survives, other Moslem countries may be inspired to follow its model and try to set up popularly elected governments of their own. It’s a neat idea, and it would be nice if it could work, but (1) there is no visible prospect of the new Iraqi government’s being able to survive without our continued military presence, a fact that will render that government, not a free government to be emulated, but a puppet government to be shunned; and (2) the adoption of free government by other Moslem states would depend on choices made by Moslems themselves, not on anything that we are doing or have the capacity or the will to do. So there’s no forward strategy here, let alone any forward movement. It’s more as if we were out on a limb. Or, to employ a better metaphor (which Thomas Jefferson famously used about slavery), we have got the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold on to him forever nor safely let him go. This dilemma, this inescapable trap, is what the messiah from West Texas calls a “forward strategy for freedom,” while his followers ooh and aah.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 26, 2004 03:01 PM | Send

At this point, after 4 years, I still don’t know what to make of GWB, or his ability. He seems to go from making perfect sense one day, to utter absurdity the next.

Posted by: j.hagan on October 26, 2004 3:24 PM

The “forward strategy for freedom” exists in Bush’s head, not on the ground anywhere. I’m not sure the neocons who sold it to him even believe in it now, if they ever did. One of the many indictments of the Bush administration is that all of the advisers who have given Bush such bad advice are still in his employ. Only he can fire them, but we can (try to) fire him. He is hopeless. I will never vote for him, or any member of the Bush family, for anything ever again.

Vote Peroutka (and tell people why)! HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on October 26, 2004 3:59 PM

Please, do not fool yourselves. A vote for Peroutka is a vote for Kerry and a vote for the subbornation of the United States to the United Nations, the European Union, and the “International Community”.

Posted by: Joshua on October 26, 2004 4:21 PM

I cannot agree with Joshua. Peroutka is not perfect, and there is no chance of his being elected. Nevertheless, a vote for him endorses the Constitution Party’s platform, which explicitly rejects subordinating the United States to the UN, the EU or the “international community” generally. There is no way to misconceive a Peroutka vote as support for Senator Kerry, in the way one could conceivably interpret abstention as tacit support for Kerry.

Iraq misadventure notwithstanding, President Bush is almost as comfortable with the UN and EU as Kerry. Indeed, he supports the expansion of the EU to include non-European, non-Christian Turkey, an unutterably stupid move that would effectively reverse the victories of Lepanto and Vienna. I suppose Bush sees Turks as Europe’s “family values don’t stop at the Hellespont” Mexicans.

The ideal result for conservatives would be for neither Bush nor Kerry to win. That won’t happen, so the best use for conservatives’ votes is to cast them as the most obvious protest votes possible against the liberal takeover of the GOP (the Democrats are completely lost to us). It seems to me that votes for Peroutka express that as clearly as we can in this election. HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on October 26, 2004 5:44 PM

Is Peroutka on the ballot in New York State?

Posted by: Eugene Girin on October 26, 2004 6:04 PM

Mr. Girin,

According to Peroutka’s website, New York voters can vote for him and Baldwin as write-ins. HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on October 26, 2004 6:31 PM

I fully agree with Mr. Sutherland’s excellent comments. Unfortunately, Mr. Peroutka is not on the ballot in North Carolina, even as a write-in, so I will be staying home, as recommended by Kara Hopkins in TAC.

Posted by: Theodore Harvey on October 26, 2004 6:37 PM

“Family values don’t stop at the Hellespont”


I hereby propose that the Republicans rename themselves the “Family Values Don’t Stop at the Hellespont” Party.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on October 26, 2004 6:54 PM

How about this: “Family Values Don’t Stop at the Hellespont and Rio Grande Party”? We have to include Dubya’s amigos whose votes he’s so desperately seeking.

Posted by: Eugene Girin on October 26, 2004 6:58 PM

‘Family values don’t stop at the…’ Rio Bravo del norte, is an evasion, a piece of mendacity that does not dare to make explicit its concealed premises. When premises have to be concealed this way, it means only one thing, they are so obviously indefensible that no one will state them openly except to mock and refute them easily. Family, foreign families, being set above country, is a traitorous attitude. Why are our officials out of sympathy with the net taxpayer, but solicitous of the families beyond the borders, and with the money taken from the American taxpayer, to whom they owe loyalty? This only scratches the outside of the treachery implied by this abuse of the term ‘family values’.

Posted by: John S Bolton on October 26, 2004 9:20 PM

Mr. Auster wrote:

“there is no visible prospect of the new Iraqi government’s being able to survive without our continued military presence”

I view current fight in Iraq as a struggle with old gang (Sunny) deposed by US and a new gang (Shia) trying to take over the protection racket. International jihadis and Kurds are peripheral players also.

Shias so far are not doing too well, but perhaps eventually with our support they will take over racket. The winner gang will own uncounted treasures of the second oil lake in the world. That should motivate a few thousands Shia thugs to start fighting Sunny thugs.

At most Shias got 24 months. Even if Bush wins, if the things in Iraq are going the way they are now, Repubs will loose House and Senate in 2006 and Dems will cut funding for Iraqi war.

My guess is that in 24 months a sufficiently strong and thuggish Shia goverment will emerge with a thin layer of pseudo-democratic paint.

Then what? Often stated neocon hope is that other Arabs will see the light and follow Iraq into shining future. But why?

Why a semi or pseudo-democratic Iraq will cause other thuggish regimes to change? Doesn’t compute.

Presence of democratic US didn’t motivate Mexico, democratic (to be generous) India has zero effect on Pakistan. Turkey, a seat of former caliphat, had no effect on it’s former Arabian provinces dispite 70+ years of slow progress.

Posted by: Mik on October 27, 2004 12:24 AM

Mik makes a very interesting point: “Why a semi or pseudo-democratic Iraq will cause other thuggish regimes to change? Doesn’t compute.”

It could have such an effect, but there’s no reason to believe that it must. The neoconservative reasoning on this issue is very similar to one of the conservative arguments for immigration, which I discussed in Huddled Clichés: that the mere presence of supposedly virtuous, family-values-oriented immigrants would somehow enduce decadent white Americans to improve their own ethos. It’s true that society and culture progress via emulation, Toynbee’s Creative Minority and all that. But many factors have to be in place for that to happen. People of completely different cultures do not generally tend to influence each other in that way, and if Western-style democracy under U.S. tutelage strikes other Moslem regimes as alien and foreign, they’re not going to want to follow it. For the emulation to work, there must already be a certain underlying commonality of values and culture.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on October 27, 2004 12:38 AM

It is so refreshing to be back at a site where the readers actually think about issues.

Here’s another point to add to Bush’s general level of insanity: Not only are we being attacked by native jihadis and others from around the Islamic world in this utterly impossible position - we are releasing jihadis from Guantanamo who promptly go back to fighting. Bush could have responded to the ridiculous Hamdi decision a la Andrew Jackson: ‘The Supreme court has made their decision, now let them enforce it.’

Not Bush, he dutifully releases the terrorists so they can go and make additional attempts to kill our soldiers. How’s that for insanity? Heck of a way to fight a war!

Posted by: Carl on October 27, 2004 2:40 AM

Voting for Peroutka is quite sensible and easy for me. Bush will win my home state of Virginia quite easily. The likelihood that my vote will be decisive is nil. That leaves us with other reasons to vote.

First, I vote to register my beliefs. Secondly, I vote to participate in the duties of a citizen. Casting another vote for Bush would signal to the GOP that they can destroy my country as long as they do it more slowly than the Communists, a.k.a. the Democrats.

Given the political reality, I prefer that Bush wins, not Kerry, and I realize it will be one of these two who will win. The twin issues of group rights rather than individual rights (e.g. affirmative action, race pandering, etc.), and immigration of large numbers of people whose cultures are clannish and group-oriented, will combine to destroy what is great about our political heritage.

Posted by: Clark Coleman on October 27, 2004 9:25 AM

The bottom line is that Bush and a large part of the GOP are infected with a messianic theory of global democratization. What’s next, a neocon version of the Comintern?

Posted by: Eugene Girin on October 27, 2004 11:04 AM

With all due respect to Mr. Southerland, I believe he is missing the point. A vote for Peroutka may in truth not be an endorsement of John Kerry, but, accepting the fact that Mr. Peroutka has no chance of winning, it most certainly advances Mr. Kerry’s chance of winning the presidential election. I believe that Mr. Bush has poorly prosecuted this war and that our forces should be doing many harsher and bloodier things to win it. I also believe that politics is the main reason for our reluctance to scorch the earth. I hope that in a second term, without an election looming in the future, Mr. Bush will feel free to step up our effort. Of course, if Mr. Kerry is elected, the war will be lost just as the Viet Nam war was lost - that is, here in the streets and in the halls of congress.

Posted by: Joseph Baum on October 27, 2004 11:32 AM

It may be off topic but I think it is worth commenting on Mr. Auster’s remark of 12:38 A.M. that peoples of different cultures “usually don’t influence each other that way.” He is, unfortunately, right in making that generalization. The immigration even, or especially, of economically dynamic and culturally superior minorities - Chinese in Southeast Asia, Jews in Eastern Europe, etc. usually results in resentment and conflict, not successful emulation of the superior element. For that matter, peoples in most cultures simply aren’t even interested in other cultures. Western Europeans and the Japanese are the chief exceptions to the rule; there are a few others, even some quite primitive (Polynesians, Cherokees) but not many.

Posted by: Alan Levine on October 27, 2004 11:47 AM

Let’s say that Kerry did lose Iraq, as Mr. Baum says would happen. Is Bush pursuing a strategy that can win it? I’ve argued that, given his soft and not-fully-thought-out approach to the war, he doesn’t have a strategy that can win it. All he has is a holding action, holding the wolf by the ears. We have to stay in Iraq absorbing terrorist attacks forever, in order to prop up whatever government they create there. That’s Bush’s policy as far as I can see it. So if we lost Iraq, which would admittedly be a disaster, that would also clear the decks for a new approach. The “war on terror” would not have ended at that point, it would still have to be continued, and a better Republican might replace Kerry in 2008 and launch a more serious global and domestic strategy in this war, not based on occupying and democratizing Moslem countries (Bush) or on appeasement and UN-worship (Kerry) but on (to give my preferred strategy) isolating the Moslem world and attacking and overturning specific Moslem regimes if they cause us trouble, though without occupying them or seeking to reshape their politics from within.

Furthermore, as suggested in my commentary on Hugh Fitzgerald’s Kemalization thesis, putting the Moslem world under a kind of continual ban from the rest of the world could be just the kind of thing that would make the Moslems feel like such losers that it would push them in the direction (which they have to do themselves, we can’t do it for them) of Kemalizing themselves.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on October 27, 2004 12:00 PM

Mr. Baum,

As between President Bush and Senator Kerry, I don’t care who wins. A pox on them both; as George Wallace said of two other establishment candidates, on the things that matter most to me, there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between them. If the point is to try to keep Kerry from winning, I am missing it. HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on October 27, 2004 12:41 PM
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