Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The day after, but what's next?

John McCain won another primary and has surged into the lead with all of Florida's delegates. For people who desired to see a strong conservative candidate take the Republican nomination, those hopes appear to be dashed. The media-anointed frontrunner of the field brings a lot of fears to the table. He is a candidate who has fought for amnesty for illegal immigrants, has said that it would be just fine if the United States spent 50-100 years in Iraq, is in no rush to see Roe v. Wade overturned, and voted against tax cuts. The frontrunner is no conservative even though another liberal Republican, Rudy Giuliani, just dropped out.

With Hillary Clinton remaining the perceived frontrunner of the Democrats, we are faced with a difficult choice. Every election a great many people have to decide which of the two evils is the lesser. In 2008, I believe the race in who's the lesser (or greater) evil is a tie. McCain is nominally pro-life and is guided by the neconservatives idea of foreign policy, meaning that we can go around the world, do whatever we want to whoever we want and if anybody suggests that that might be a less-than-wise strategy is unpatriotic or secretly a terrorist, or worse, a Democrat. For an example of the necons' demonization of dissenting conservatives, I refer you to David Frum's cover story for the "National Review" issue of April 7, 2003 linked here:

As bad as George W. Bush has been in his encroaching presidential powers, there is no reason to believe that John McCain will exercise any restrain whatsoever. Warrentless searches, seizures of records, and domestic surveillance may be only the beginning. He is the most enthusiastic supporter of the Bush Doctrine of anyone still in the race. He has routinely called the War on Terror against Islamofascists as "the transcendant struggle of our time." To McCain, Islamic terrorists who reside in no specific country, have no standing army, and use the weapon of the weak are a more formidable and dangerous opponent than Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union combined. Stalin, who is the worst enemy freedom has ever known, did indeed have stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. Our foreign policy consisted of deterrence, not invading countries that were otherwise no threat to us. Stalin knew that if he detonated a nuclear device on us that he would get retaliation 10-fold.

Saddam Hussein in Iraq, like Ahmadinejad in Iran now, pose no real threat to us. If Iran is in fact arming, I personally believe that it is for its own defense. If you ever pull out a map of the Middle East you will see that Iran is surrounded to the west (in Iraq) and to the east (in Afghanistan) by American troops. To the west and north is Turkey, an American ally and to the south and east is Pakistan, another ally. To understand why Iran might want to arm itself is to realize that they are virtually surrounded. The countries directly to their east and west have been invaded and conquered by the world's greatest power. Even if Iran decided to strike against us, it is only because they have watched us strike their neighbors, once in retaliation and once pre-emptively. Iran has radicalized because they see us as a threat to them. McCain and others would have you believe that Iran was the threat to us. The Bush Doctrine of pre-emption has failed us and may continue to fail in the future with whoever is the president.

Anyone reading this and anyone thinking about public office should read Michael Scheuer's book "Imperial Hubris," which was originally published anonymously. Scheuer, the former head of the bin Laden unit at the CIA and an expert on the topic, has written about how American foreign policy for the decade before 9/11 and exponentially moreso since, is what leads to Islamic terrorism. He wrote that if terrorists ever do acquire a nuclear weapon, there is no reason to believe they would hesitate to use it. However, this administration has bogged itself down in regime change first for ridding them of weapons of mass destruction which they may not have had and moving secondly to install democracies in their place. But remember, terrorists are not part of countries themselves for they do not wear the military uniform of a specific country. They are the ones we should be pursuing, not regimes that look at us sideways.

Unfortunately this is probably the legacy President Bush will leave us. An arrogant foreign policy that despite its rhetoric and probably some of its own intentions has made us less safe, not more safe. In no way is any of this an endorsement of any Democratic presidential candidate because they are driven only by politics, polls, and greed. We should be able to admit when we have made a mistake, be it policy or otherwise, when it is leading America down the wrong path. McCain is fooled by this broken policy. Like many in both parties, he is invested in the strategy that is bleeding us. The right course of action was not nation-building, but finding the perpetrators of the most hideous act of terror ever committed against us and punish them.

The United States calls for a responsible executive and McCain has done nothing to demonstrate that he is responsible. There is every reason to believe he would continue a reckless war that is counter-productive. He offers no hope of clearing the mess and changing to a more responsible strategy rooted in restraint and constitutional checks. Republicans and conservatives always talk about strict constitutionalism, but that only seems to apply when it's convenient. The Constitution does not only apply to rights for the unborn, but for the president as well. In this, my anti-endorsement of John McCain, I respectfully declare my support for Ron Paul, Congressman from Texas. He is currently one of the four remaining candidates for the Republican nomination (I wonder if this now means that he is in the top-tier). He has a constitutional philosophy rooted in the intellectual traditions of the Right and does not pander with a message that suits the particular constituency he is addressing. As Super Tuesday and the nomination convention approaches we should be aware of what is happening. Are we going to continue down a path which may lead to the destruction of our party and our movement or are we going to restore our principles rooted in our country's constitution, to which we always refer?

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