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Friday, November 24, 2006

America in retreat? 


Daniel Henninger has a must-read op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this morning.

In the mid-1990s, I was talking to a politically sophisticated European lady about Europe's lack of military response to Milosevic's ethnic cleansing of the non-Serbs in Yugoslavia. She said, persuasively I thought, "You must understand how much bloody death has happened across our continent the past century. We have simply been worn out by it." In the event, the U.S. went in to stop another 20th-century genocide on the soil of that civil part of the world.

Her remark has come back to me in recent weeks, watching the paroxysm of antipathy toward the Iraq war and its progenitors. It would be one thing to say it is simply opposition to and dissent from an unpopular war and an unpopular president. But this has gone beyond that. The rhetoric is emotional and vituperative. I have seen audiences greet speakers denouncing Iraq as a "disaster" and "failure" with bursts of applause.

It is getting harder to distinguish between animosity toward George Bush and animosity toward the entire American enterprise beyond the nation's borders. As Norman Podhoretz delineated in the September issue of Commentary, columns and articles in journals of foreign policy are equating the tsunami of negativity rolling over Iraq with repudiation of the Bush Doctrine in toto.

One might have expected most of the disagreement to center on the doctrine's assertion of a right to pre-emptive attack. Instead, Iraq's troubles have been conflated with a general repudiation of the U.S.'s ability to abet democratic aspiration elsewhere in the world.

It is certainly possible that the Iraq effort will, in some obvious sense, "fail." Henry Kissinger now says "victory," defined as an Iraqi government gaining political control over the entire country, is not possible. But we might want to think some before we toss out the infant Bush Doctrine with the Iraqi bathwater.

Read the whole thing.

13 Comments:

By Anonymous n.a. palm, at Fri Nov 24, 09:55:00 AM:

The MSM has succeeded in it's battle for the hearts and minds of Americans, and truth has been defeated. Enough people are gullible to the point of cowardice. What then will the future be for this brave nation? A democratic majority in Congress for another 40 50 years? Europe here we come.  

By Blogger Screwy Hoolie, at Fri Nov 24, 12:40:00 PM:

The "infrastructure of democracy" is something America's been trying to build all over the world for ages.

George Soros, "Open Democracy" project would fit the bill fairly well. I know the right likes to demonize Soros when they run out of substantive arguments, but the fact is that his Open Society Initiatives are things we ought to get behind if we wish to win a battle of ideologies in addition to slaughtering anyone in the way of the bullets and bombs.

So I guess one way to salvage George Bush's foreign policy doctrine is to accept George Soros'.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Fri Nov 24, 01:36:00 PM:


George Soros, "Open Democracy" project would fit the bill fairly well.


What defends Soros's utopias from the wolves?

Wishful thinking won't do it.  

By Blogger skipsailing, at Fri Nov 24, 01:42:00 PM:

make the case screwy. Tell us why the soro approach makes sense. My guess is that you'll provide a series of platitudes and aphorisms and not a whole hell of a lot of substance. but I'm curious, tell us why we should agree with you.

As for the Eurinals, they've got a different problem, IMHO. They are dealing with hangover from some seventy years of socialist propaganda. It was important for the communists to discredit America and they spent a fortune doing so. It's just tough to live with that for all that time and not fall prey to it.

but it's nothing new. I recall the demonstrations in Germany when Reagan deployed the pershing II's. These people needed our protection but had no problem complaining about how that protection was provided. Talk about a death wish.

it's hard to take them seriously now. They have, en masse, decided that the words of a french King are true "Apres moi le deluge".  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Fri Nov 24, 02:04:00 PM:

An NGO devoted to spreading democracy is noble, but it won't work. If a totalitarian state sees it and their ideas as a threat, they will outlaw it and shut it down. They operate at the pleasure of the rulers they are attempting to undermine.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Nov 24, 02:43:00 PM:

EURINALS, INDEED!!!!
SKIPSAILING YOUR WORDS ARE DEEPLY OFFENSIVE.
There's no need for name calling, it dilutes your argument.
Yes, we are reeling under too many years of socialism, but that doesn't stop individuals from free thinking.
Yes, the advent of Eurabia is a fact, but it doesn't stop individuals shouting against it,
Yes, taxes are at kleptomaniac levels, and rising, but it doesn't stop individuals objecting and proposing more sensible regimes
Yes, left wing socialists are travelling to Pakistan to request more immigrants because they vote for the socialists hand-outs, and keep them in power.
Yes, we do carp at US actions, while free-loading and sheltering under their nukes, but it's only the majority left wing PC people
BUT the fight-back is coming, mostly because of the blogosphere.
Don't be so quick, and self righteous, to condemn us all as the same.
We aren't.  

By Anonymous Purple Avenger, at Fri Nov 24, 08:52:00 PM:

YOUR WORDS ARE DEEPLY OFFENSIVE.

[Yawn...]

The US has had to listen to so much inane crap from the europeans over the decades, you'd better learn to take a little rhetorical payback. We need a bit of psychological gloating because we've been denied for so long.

Yea, we'll be there for you when the shit really hits the fan, we always are, but don't expect huge amounts of respect from us becuase past performance simply doesn't warrant it.

Its unfortunate that those fighting the good fight get painted with the same brush as the morons, but hasn't that always been the case?

Toughen up Anon, you're not even close to what's going to be required in the future if this little jab pisses you off.

We'll grow tired of this sport once we see a significant movement in general attitude over there. And that's all it is, just sport.  

By Blogger Screwy Hoolie, at Sat Nov 25, 01:10:00 AM:

"Toughen up Anon, you're not even close to what's going to be required in the future if this little jab pisses you off."

This is an example of the Pro-War Neanderthal Testosteroni more commonly known as the schoolyard bully. This type of person will behave aggressively in attempt to humiliate you socially. The PWNT is manlier than thou and knows the future.

Left wing blogs have their fair share of stereotypical whatnot, and right wing blogs have guys like Avenger, the blogyard bully.

Someone asked for more Soros info.

Here it is.

Or just go Wiki / Google the man and his Open Society Institute.  

By Anonymous Squarehead, at Sat Nov 25, 02:46:00 AM:

In the late unpleasantness, 1861-1865 there were "war resisters" to be found. Lincoln was especially fond of one named Vallandigham. They were called Copperheads. Sounds like a reasonable thing to call today's version of the species.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sat Nov 25, 02:10:00 PM:

Some of whom were tried by military courts. But everyone seems to forget that part, and now President Lincoln is considered the greatest president ever. Funny how that works out, isn't it?

"Toughen up" does not equal "bully." It's advice that world isn't nice, not a threat.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Nov 25, 06:26:00 PM:

Skipsailing, This is the extent of the sell-out by EU elected and non-elected beaurocrats. The legal rules for the adoption of the "Constitution" state that adoption should be unanimous by the member states. How each state reaches that decision is determined by the elected politicians of the state concerned. Under those rules, the constitution should now be in the waste bin.

The sell-out of the European Population


Let’s review where we stand, shall we? Since the French and Dutch “No” votes, five more states have approved the European Constitution, bringing to 18 the number of nations to have ratified. Meanwhile, every government remains devoted to the text.

Germany’s Angela Merkel says the European constitution is “vital to German interests.” Italy’s Romano Prodi says he interprets the “No” votes as “a demand for more Europe, not less.” Spain insists that its “Yes” vote be allowed to stand. Austria and Finland want ratification to be completed by the end of 2007, and Belgium suggests changing the rules so that this can happen by a majority vote rather than by unanimity.

In France, both main presidential candidates are committed to pushing ahead: Nicolas Sarkozy says he wants a “mini-treaty” that will contain all the constitution’s main elements, while Ségolène Royal says that, if Britain has problems with the constitution, the rest of the EU should go ahead without it. Not that the UK is trying to back out: it seems to have agreed in principle to the Sarkozy “mini-treaty” proposal.

Am I forgetting anyone? Oh yes, there is one solitary voice of dissent: that of the ordinary citizen who, whenever invited to express an opinion on the Constitution, keeps rejecting it. Opinion has swung against the constitution over the past two years, both in France and the Netherlands and in those countries whose governments went ahead with ratification – most spectacularly in Germany, where two thirds of people now say they would vote “No”. Not that any of the governments seems to care.

Indeed, the distinction between governments and peoples has been explicitly acknowledged by the constitution’s chief author, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. “It was not France that said ‘no’ to the constitution,” he said the other day, “it was 55 per cent of French people.” France, in other words, is represented, not by its ill-informed population, but by its exquisitely tailored former President. “L’état, c’est Giscard.”

Relying on Giscard’s argument, the EU will continue to adopt as many of the Constitution’s proposals as it can under the existing structures. It has, after all, already enacted the document’s chief provisions: a European criminal justice system, a diplomatic corps (the “European External Action Service”) the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Some 85 per cent of the clauses can be pushed through this way. Then, at some stage in the next 18 months, there will be a perfunctory Inter-Governmental Conference to tie up the loose ends: the new voting weights, for example, and the end of the rotating presidency. There will be no disagreement in principle about these things, which the 25 – now, with Romania and Bulgaria, 27 – governments have accepted in principle all along. The national leaders will then tell their electorates that it would be absurd to hold referendums on such detailed and technical proposals. The result? We will end up with virtually the entire text of the constitution, but with no more referendums.

The constitution, dreamt by the French, will introduce Napoleonic Law to the EU. No habeas corpus, guilty untill proven innocent, no presumption of innocence, examination by state appointed "magistrates", no distinction between the executive and the judiciary, no judicial revue of executive actions.

Less than 5% of British public realize the implications. The BBC is the 5th columnist, accompanied by politicians of all parties, except UKIP. No political debate of these issues, - they are , at this point, powerless to reverse the processes. Tony Blair has the ambition to take the UK into the EU - finally. However he has promised a referendum on UK entry into the Constitution, but he can't engineer the conditions that would give a yes vote. He knows there would be a resounding rejection. He will rely on the EU commision agreeing to accept a majority vote.

Treason to his oath of allegence springs to mind.

Your contempt should be directed, as mine is, at the ruling elite, who have created an unelected executive, who by sleight of hand, have put themselves beyond the reach of the elected representatives. The mantra "You get the rulers that you deserve" is no longer applicable.

I can't see a way out of this zoo  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Nov 25, 06:38:00 PM:

Toughness, or whatever, is irrelevent, when the sell-out comes before the fight.

And all for a grand French ambition to "balance the power of the US".  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Nov 26, 03:16:00 PM:

A must read  

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