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Monday, May 17, 2004

Esther Sarah asks, "and you want me to vote for this administration?!"

According to the Jerusalem Post, the U.S. State Department today released a world human rights report. It says
"Israel's overall human rights record in the West Bank and Gaza remained poor and worsened in the treatment of foreign human rights activists." It said the Palestinian Authority also had a poor human rights record.

Mark Helprin is none too happy with the administration, either:
From the beginning, the scale of the war was based on the fundamental strategic misconception that the primary objective was Iraq rather than the imagination of the Arab World, which, if sufficiently stunned, would tip itself back into the heretofore easily induced fatalism that makes it hesitate to war against the West. After the true shock and awe of a campaign of massive surplus, as in the Gulf War, no regime would have risked its survival by failing to go after the terrorists within its purview. But a campaign of bare sufficiency, that had trouble punching through even ragtag irregulars, taught the Arabs that we could be effectively opposed.

Mistakenly focused on physical control of Iraq, we could not see that, were we to give it up, the resultant anarchy might find a quicker resolution than the indefinite prolonged agony through which our continuing presence has nursed it. Seeking motivation after the fact, we decided to make Iraq a Western-style democracy, and when that began to run off the rails, to make Iraq the mere model for a Middle East filled with Western-style democracies. Of course, instead of a model to inspire them (of which they have many, such as Switzerland), what the Arabs need is first the desire, and then a means to overcome the police states that oppress them, neither of which a reconfigured Iraq, were it possible, would supply. Japan and Germany are often cited in defense of this overreach, but rather than freeze our armies in place and set them to policing and civil affairs as we fought through the Second World War, we waited until we had won.
But then the left doesn't appeal to him, either:
John Kerry may say one thing and another, but no matter how the topgallants break in the Democratic Party, its ideological keel is a leaden and unthinking pacifism, a pretentious and illogical deference to all things European, and the unhinged belief that America by its very nature transforms every aspect of its self-defense into an aggression that justifies the offense against which it is defending itself.
Wow, what a sentence.

I will vote for Bush because, as Helprin says,
. . . Sen. Kerry's only non-secret policy for the war is a bunch of mumblings about the U.N. and our "allies," presumably the ones who are not with us at the moment in Iraq. It is they and the U.N. who in the fairy dust of multilateralism will solve this most difficult problem. But in fact they neither can nor will do any such thing. Either Sen. Kerry knows that his strategy is just a cover for simple, complete, and ignominious withdrawal, or he does not know, which is worse.

I do think the State Department stinks. . .

American Secretary of State Colin Powell speaks with
Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath, left and
Jordan's King Abdullah II, right, at the World Economic
Forum in Southern Shuneh on the Dead Sea, Jordan,
Sunday May 16, 2004. Powell acknowledged at a press
conference Sunday that Arabs were angry at the United
States because of a sense it was trying to force change,
as well as because of its occupation of Iraq and the
perception it is biased in favor of Israel in the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
but Kerry might appoint Jimmy Carter as his special envoy to the Middle East.

I'm hoping our choices will become clearer as we get closer to the election. Then again, perhaps one four-year presidential term doesn't even matter that much; one of the world's leading analysts of global terrorism expects it to continue "unabated for the next 100 years."

Lila tov,