Friday, August 29, 2008

John McCain's August Surprise

Just as Wellington said that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, so it might be said that John McCain won the 2008 presidential election the day he introduced Alaska governor Sarah Palin as the vice presidential candidate.

When major party conventions wrap up, the respective candidates customarily receive a bump in the national polls. The parties spend millions, and especially in this post-1968 era of conventions, they produce world-class shows meant to broadcast their candidates in the best light possible. The Democrats certainly accomplished that, especially with the Athenian background for the latest secular Messiah-philosopher, Barack Obama.

No candidate has better national appeal or poll numbers than the days immediately following their party’s convention. The McCain campaign’s plan from the beginning was to announce the vice presidential pick the day after the Democratic convention wrapped up, with the intention of stepping on Mr. Obama’s post-convention bounce.

Mission Accomplished.

So who is Sarah Palin anyway? I must admit to a substantial amount of ignorance about the governor, but as Richard Spencer of suggests, I too am willing to give her a fresh and open look. As an ardent Buchananite myself, I was pleased to discover that she picked him over Bob Dull in 1996. But conservatives ought to keep in mind, especially with Mr. Obama’s crash to earth, that no one is ever as good as they first appear.

Mr. Obama campaigned and won his party’s nomination because he represented the “politics of change” and was not going to play by the same old dirty Washington rules. Then he passed over the first viable female presidential candidate in favor of Joe Biden, a veteran plagiarizer and Washington insider.

Unlike the top of the ticket, Mrs. Palin does have solid pro-life views, attested by her Downs Syndrome-afflicted baby. Mr. Obama is still haunted by a vote in Illinois to allow late-term and partial-birth abortions, especially when the parents discover that they are pregnant with a Downs Syndrome baby.

Undermining everything Barack Obama said he stood for, John McCain took Barack Obama’s rhetoric and threw it back in his face. An Obama-Clinton ticket would have united their party and been practically unbeatable; but Mr. Obama could not take the heat from the Clintons and buckled. If Mr. Obama had selected Mrs. Clinton, nobody would be talking about Mrs. Palin right now. The barking from the Democratic side is not so much contempt for the Republicans, but contempt for the candidate they regret nominating. They are only howling because they know millions of Hillary voters will pull the red lever this year. The Democrats are furious, but they have no one to blame but themselves. As I said earlier this week, he blew it.

Mr. McCain capitalized on at least two opportunities: He snatched up a woman who could serve as an alternative for Hillary voters who felt disrespected by the media and the party establishment. He also picked someone who was not from the Washington club. John McCain is the long-time Washington resident, but the maverick lived up to his reputation and picked someone from out of town.

Some early reports and polls suggested that perhaps 3 million Hillary voters would break for John McCain, even before the announcement of his vice president. Some women will vote for a woman on the ticket simply because of gender. Others were preparing to vote for the Arizona senator to punish the Illinois freshman senator for defeating their inevitable candidate.

Joe Biden, who suffers from chronic hoof-in-mouth, will have to be muzzled. She may not call for it, but with Sarah Palin on the ticket, Republicans can finally play the gender card, a custom usually ordained for Democrats. He has plenty of reasons to be careful. When it first seemed like Mrs. Clinton was being snubbed by the media after the Iowa Caucuses, she wept and the women came out by the truckload to vote for her over the boys who were being just plain mean. As Pat Buchanan said, the sisterhood beat the brotherhood.

Following their Hollywood-esque production of their manufactured candidate, the Democrats are in denial over the situation. They will undoubtedly try to harpoon Governor Palin for not having any experience. But as the only non-senator on the ticket, Mrs. Palin is the only one out of four on the major tickets who has any executive experience.

On “McLaughlin Group,” Eleanor Clift moaned that the pick of Mrs. Palin was merely a pick of convenience to steal the Hillary vote from Barack Obama. One might want to say to Ms. Clift: Yes, you are right, the selection of Governor Palin may have been a bold attempt to entice the Hillary voters. But would you mind explaining how the freshman senator from Illinois, not yet halfway through that first term, was automatically granted front-runner status when he announced his candidacy? Was it all that experience as a community organizer or all the legislative bills that he co-sponsored, but did not author?

I must announce that I have no intention or interest to vote for John McCain. The very little that I know about Governor Palin makes me want to consider voting for her, but unfortunately the 12th Amendment forces me to vote for the president and vice president together, not separately.

So while he may have selected a phenomenal right-hand-woman, Senator McCain is still hampered by the neoconservative foreign policy which destroyed George W. Bush’s presidency. He is still open borders at heart, he still opposes tax cuts, and if his 1999 statement is accurate, he has no interest in overturning Roe v. Wade. Mr. McCain is, after all, a political animal who, like his Democratic opponent, says whatever he must in order to achieve his goals.

But politically speaking, the selection of Sarah Palin was a grand slam.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

He blew it

Joe Biden? Really?

After the contentious and never-ending Democratic primary, Barack Obama limped toward a victory over the Clinton machine that had seen better days. Calling himself a "new kind of politician" who represented "change," the freshman senator from Illinois captured the hearts, minds, and wallets of Democrats gullible enough to think that anyone who succeeds George W. Bush will be better.

Mr. Obama won the Democratic nomination as much as Bill Clinton blew it for his wife. The former president, who became more of a loose cannon than ever before, was one verbal gaffe after another. He was talking so much I began to wonder when Billy had entered his name into consideration for the nomination.

It was the former president who really blew it for his wife. He was the main reason that Mr. Obama could not pick Mrs. Clinton for his vice-president. This is because if he had won, that would mean three different people would think they were president and the mother of all power struggles would have ensued. For my part, it would have been quite entertaining to watch. But the main reason Senator Obama could not have picked Senator Clinton was not because of all their bad blood (Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush had a bitter 1980 primary battle), but because Bill was a fast talker who repeatedly embarrassed his wife.

So naturally Barack Obama picked . . . Joe Biden?

The political world's most famous plagiarizer, 35+ year Senate veteran, and all-around big mouth is supposed to the right-hand-man for the Great Transcender, the Great Black Hope, and the Uniter and Changer. Plagiarism derailed Mr. Biden's 1988 presidential bid and landed him an "F" in a law school course, but those are, of course, only minor details. Let it also not be forgotten that Mr. Biden was the one who said that the Illinois freshman senator was inspiring, but inexperienced or that he was articulate, a racist smear if uttered by a conservative or a Republican.

This pick clearly demonstrates Barack Obama's emptiness as a politician. This fact may have been more evident for some to see than others, but the selection of Mr. Biden only confirms it.

Mr. Obama was nominated by virtue of his allegedly antiwar stance regarding Iraq. Even I had to admit that in principle and according to rhetoric, Senator Obama was basically right on the Iraq issue, but he was unconvincing. Obama conservatives ("Obamacons") such as Professor Andrew J. Bacevich and Justin Raimondo expressed interest in Mr. Obama as the solution to the George W. Bush-neocon catastrophe.

But no sooner than Mr. Obama had wrapped up the nomination did he appear before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and swear complete allegiance to Israel, our country's most entangling ally. The Obamacons were shattered because Mr. Obama revealed himself to be precisely what he told everyone he was not: just another politician.

His selection of Senator Biden simply brings his hypocrisy full-circle. The Delaware senator is a standard liberal committed to the preservation of abortion on demand, spending, and the welfare state. He also repeatedly lobbied for American intervention to "liberate" the Iraqis and expressed his interest in running as John McCain's vice president if our country's most famous prisoner of war would only ask him.

It seems kind of strange how Hillary Clinton's vote for the war precluded her from having the judgment to lead but Joe Biden's vote is just one element that makes him capable to lead if he is needed. Does this horribly transparent double-standard make anyone believe that Mr. Obama is non-partisan and a compromiser? No, he is merely another politician who will say whatever he needs to win.

This blunder may very well hand the election over to John McCain and another neoconservative administration. Now Mr. McCain does not have to pick the perfect running mate, just one who will not embarrass him. Mr. Obama picked Mr. Biden because he knows he is perceived to be weak on experience and matters of national defense. But in hoping to alleviate that deficiency, he created a calamitous new one.

Who knew that the "Politics of Change" meant the ability to change your mind and convictions to suit political expediency.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Cult of Personality, Redux

Now that Barack Obama’s lead has been all but squandered going into his own party’s convention, people seem to be noticing John McCain’s personality and the new life of his campaign. The Obama campaign has been sputtering for about a month now, but last Saturday’s “Saddleback Showdown” with mega church pastor Rick Warren was where Mr. McCain has looked at his best.

There is little question that Senator McCain was the winner of a forum that was based on issues such as abortion, Supreme Court justices, and the common conception of evil. It was an event that any national Republican is destined to shine. While Mr. Obama stumbled over whether life begins at conception (or at delivery or after a botched abortion), Senator McCain wasted no time in replying that life begins at conception. Even though it is Mr. McCain who has abandoned a family, something Mr. Obama has experienced personally, he won the debate on values and morality. John McCain’s winning performance may not have won the senator my vote, but it illustrates how he is the candidate currently winning on the basis of personality.

Republicans have been whining ever since it became clear that the freshman senator from Illinois was going to be the Democrats’ nominee that his primary victory was based on his personality. When the Republicans realized that were stuck with a worthless, liberal candidate, they began barking like starved dogs that Mr. Obama’s only appeal was his personality and tremendous oratorical skills. True, when he has a prepared speech and a pre-approved liberal crowd, Barack Obama rhapsodizes with the best of them. But those skills alone frightened Establishment Republicans who cheer for only Team Elephant because they realized they were stuck with a candidate whose favorite pastime was voting with Democrats and giving them the finger.

Interestingly, during John McCain’s best week of national polling, Republicans now seem to be enamored by their candidate’s personality. For weeks and months, talk radio and neoconservative magazines such as “National Review” and “The Weekly Standard” have been clamoring about John McCain’s war service, patriotism, and the senator‘s “The surge is working” line. For people whose main concern is the war in Iraq, not illegal immigration or taxes, this is only natural. Only a few months ago on “National Review Online,“ one of their contributors made up 10 reasons to vote for John McCain and not one had anything to do with any real policy. One of the author’s very carefully researched reasons was that John McCain’s name is remarkably close to the fictional action hero John McClane of the “Diehard” movies. So, despite their rantings about Barack Obama, the Republicans have emphasized a cult of personality around Mr. McCain.

One of the major reasons why John McCain won the forum on Saturday night comes from the experiences of his life. Stories included his P.O.W. time, his failed first marriage, and the adoption of one of their children. They were all warm stories, but there were no detailed plans at the forum, just like on the campaign trail. It was about John McCain the person, not the potential commander-in-chief. Sound familiar?

If you need further proof just listen to talk radio, watch “Fox News” or read any of the neoconservative publications. The majority of their enthusiasm for the Arizona senator are his patriotism, five years in a P.O.W. camp, and his countless scripted trips to Iraq. One party lionizes their candidate because he represents “change” and a slightly different skin color while the other party props up their candidate because his life has been turned into a TV movie. Do the Republicans detest the cult of personality or not? Or is it just when they don’t seem to have a good enough story on their candidate?

Make no mistake about it, Barack Obama would make a terrible president. He personifies how Chicago corruption can prop up an unknown candidate with no core values, other than the ones adopted by the audience to which he is speaking. John McCain has no real core values either, aside from waging war forever. For an alleged foreign policy expert, he knows remarkably little about world events. What he is passionate about is the military and his life narrative, as the Republicans continually promote.

So this is what American politics has boiled down to. Barack Obama does not actually represent change because he is a big government statist, possibly a socialist, who will wreck the economy through needless intervention. John McCain would be the second consecutive Republican president who is woefully ignorant of world politics. As tired as most Americans are of what George W. Bush has done, the majority of people are merely fooling themselves into thinking that America will be better from 2009-2013/2017 just because President Bush has left for Texas. Barack Obama is going to raise taxes and intervene in domestic affairs and possibly in foreign ones too. John McCain will possibly be less invasive domestically but expect bombing in Iran by the time he becomes president. The United States faces grim prospects for the next four to eight years and the biggest reason for that is the cult of personality. One side does it just as much as the other.

Shall we elect someone because they’re half-black and has a nice voice or shall we elect someone because he is militaristic and spent five years in a P.O.W. camp? Perhaps in 2012 we should forget the elections and simply vote between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Republican Joe?

As the conventions fast approach , discussion heats up over who Barack Obama and John McCain will pick as their running mates. No word on who Mr. Obama might pick, but the rhetoric is heating up on the Republican side over whether Joe Lieberman will be Mr. McCain’s right-hand man, no pun intended.

In May, Jonah Goldberg suggested that the Connecticut senator should fit the ticket. No less of a talking head than Rush Limbaugh denounced the very suggestion as ridiculous. Mr. Lieberman is a long-time Democrat, recently-turned Independent who votes Democrat down-the-line, favors universal healthcare, and is barely to the right of Mr. Obama on abortion. So why would anyone consider this dyed in the blue Democrat a suitable running mate for John McCain?

The War in Iraq sums it up. John McCain coasted to the Republican nomination by touting how he supported the idea of the “surge” long before President Bush ever implemented it. But, Senator McCain continually claims that the invasion of Iraq itself was the right course of action, the occupation was merely bungled. This claim says to some people, “Even though there have been no signs of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and even though they represented no existential threat to the United States, the invasion was still the right course of action.” What is startling is that Mr. McCain’s position on Iraq and his continually aggressive stances against any country that implies it has a role to play in the world, is what passes for foreign policy expertise.

Mr. McCain has been aggressive and belligerent during the recent crisis between Russia and Georgia regarding the break-away province of South Ossetia. Hostilities broke out a week ago when Georgia fired the first shots against Russia. Almost immediately Senator McCain was banging the drums about Russian aggression and, along with talk radio and the “National Review” crowd, insisted that the Cold War had been re-started.

This reaction to an insignificant secession dispute properly illustrates why John McCain is considered by many to be a competent commander-in-chief. It is not because he possesses any of the diplomatic prowess of a Dwight Eisenhower, but because his default position is to be aggressive and threaten America’s military action against any entity that does not promise complete fealty to us. How does that illustrate Senator McCain’s fitness to be commander-in-chief? Enthusiasm and willingness to sacrifice American troops is not a sign that the aforementioned person will use them rationally and prudentially.

This Russia-Georgia conflict also illustrates why Joe Lieberman makes for the obvious choice for John McCain. They are war buddies. No, Mr. Lieberman did not fly with the senator over North Vietnam, but has stood by the administration and the Israel Firsters that manipulate American foreign policy. Even though Joe Lieberman has drastically opposing opinions on the environment, the right to life, and healthcare, he makes the natural choice for someone who is determined to be a war president. Mr. Lieberman supports continued American military presence in the Middle East, including war on Iran.

A McCain-Lieberman ticket would be one that would be doomed to failure because of Mr. Lieberman’s liberally orthodox positions already mentioned. The only reason Republicans would want Joe Lieberman is for his constant support of American Empire. Fortunately for conservatives, his social positions alone could cause a walk-out at the convention. By all reasonable measures, the McCain-Lieberman ticket would go down to an historic defeat. Unless lightning strikes or Reverend Wright reappears, and Senator McCain becomes President-elect McCain, then the blazing defeat will come in the following four years. If two quagmires in the Middle East are not enough, the third one in Iran will do it. The American military and the American dollar are near bankrupt as it is. What would another unwinnable Middle Eastern war do to both?

John McCain and Joe Lieberman both represent what has gone wrong with the Republican Party in the past eight years. The party completely abandoned its principles about spending, the size of government, the historical Republican position of non-interventionism (or at least prudent internationalism), and personal responsibility. These conservative Republican values ring true for more Americans than those who vote for Republicans. It would seem advantageous for John McCain to pick someone with whom conservatives might be able to identify.

Perpetual war is now the chief article of the Republican faith. If Joe Lieberman is not in the middle of the discussion, then Tom Ridge is, another pro-abortion advocate, but he gets consideration because of his war position. The Republicans could pick a running mate that represents fiscal conservatism, believes in judicial restraint, and will be a warrior against the slaughter of the unborn. In a year that Republicans desperately need to avoid becoming politically irrelevant, is this the best they can come up with? This is a year where the Democratic-controlled Congress cannot muster an approval rating of 10% and conservative Republicans should be able to stomp them with their more resonant political values. How can Joe Lieberman bring anything to the Republican ticket except more support for endless wars? John McCain has had a nearly impossible task of proving that he has some conservative credentials. Is this how he plans to convince conservatives that he is one of them?

Besides, aren’t there already enough Democrats on the Republican presidential ticket this year

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Downside of Rush

On August 1, radio personality Rush Limbaugh celebrated his 20th anniversary on the air. There was much fanfare and many accolades from the "National Review" end of the conservative movement and even some liberals were unafraid on that day to congratulate the host on his show's anniversary.

Rush Limbaugh has certainly had an entertaining program. I recall vividly my elementary school days, being home sick, and getting to hear hilarious spoofs via talented comedian Paul Shanklin. Together they managed to skewer Bill Clinton and present the man as an utter buffoon. People, even very young ones, became acclimated to conservative thinking in an entertaining forum. Even the man's short-lived television program captured the humor that made him such a success on the radio.

With the semi-retirement from public life of the late William F. Buckley in 1999 and the final presidential run of Patrick J. Buchanan in 2000, Rush Limbaugh became the de facto purveyor of conservatism. His name was the one most synonymous with right wing orthodoxy and he gladly accepted.

The anniversary event also provided an opportunity to think about what Rush Limbaugh has meant to the conservative movement itself. Has he been good as a whole or has he been counterproductive? Did he inject life into the movement or dumb it down? For his millions of listeners, he is and continues to be an alternative to the liberal statism found across the networks and cable news channels. However, as he was once a solid voice for conservatism, he has also become a notorious defender of the Republican Party.

As noted earlier about the downfall of "National Review," Rush Limbaugh can expound on the free market and limited government with the best of them. Unfortunately most of that heads for the backburner when the partisan bullets start to fly. Whereas Mr. Limbaugh might wag his nicotine-stained finger at liberals for wanting to expand government, he constantly maintains silence against President George W. Bush who has expanded the federal government moreso than Lyndon B. Johnson. Calls for the "real conservatives" to come out tend to ring hollow when Republicans commit the same atrocities as Democrats but do not get any of the blame.

Mr. Limbaugh could dedicate more time to explaining why he continually supports a man who in 2000 ran as a conservative and consistently compiles a record that is embarrassingly liberal. The president has assumed regal controls over the military by taking the country to war in foreign lands without an official declaration of war. Yet, el Rushbo never spoke out against it and helped to pound the nation's war drums.

Is there anything wrong with supporting a war? Not if it is justifiable and defensive in nature. After all, I am neither a pacifist nor a reflexive antiwar protestor. But even Mr. Limbaugh has to know that war can be used as an excuse to expand the state's powers. As Randolph Bourne said, "War is the health of the state." When the nation marches off to war, the government takes more control of the internals of the country. PATRIOT Act and wiretapping, anyone?

One of the hallmarks of American conservative thought is skepticism of the government. Conservatives are not to be fooled by thinking that the government actually works for them, but that the government taxes its citizenry in order to fund their own ill-conceived ventures, whether they be at home or overseas. Unfortunately, Mr. Limbaugh was arguably the ablest defender of the Bush administration, which has left the conservative movement in utter ruins. Mr. Limbaugh, and many others along with him, railed against the Democrats and their big government schemes, but somehow managed to miss the majority of the Republicans' similar failings. Is this what the conservative movement became? Defenders of the party line instead of defenders of their principles?

The Republican Party is in shambles. There is desolation everywhere one looks. President Bush took the country off to two wars that could not be won and has the military stretched to the point of breaking. He cut taxes but spent like a madman. The dollar has been bankrupted and the man who campaigned as a conservative in 2000 had every opportunity to end the senseless slaughter of innocents and did nothing. The damage is so severe that Republicans may be out of power for a generation and movement conservatives bear much responsibility for what has come to pass. For they were the most ardent partisan supporters of a Republican president who was not the least bit conservative.

For all the joy and relief that Rush Limbaugh has brought to millions of listeners (including myself) over the past 20 years, there is still another side that has to be told. Mr. Limbaugh enthusiastically attached himself to the man who wrecked the party and the movement they purported to represent. Mr. Limbaugh is talented, hard-working, and entertaining. But he is also a shadow of his former self.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Fuss over the Good War

Last week, National Review Online devoted its “Uncommon Knowledge” internet program to Patrick Buchanan’s recent tome, “Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War,” a work of revisionist history. The program has its moderator, Mr. Peter Robinson, and his panel of experts included Victor Davis Hanson and Christopher Hitchens, both of whom are authors of vicious reviews of Mr. Buchanan’s book.

Under the guise of a “debate,” the experts piled on Mr. Buchanan himself, and ridiculed his character and motivations. Ordinarily a debate features two viewpoints with a moderator. But NRO does not need that, because it might undermine the officially accepted view of history which reads something like this: Allies = saints and greatest liberators the world has seen. Nazi Germany = most dangerous threat to face the West in history.

So why dedicate this blog to a debate sponsored by a formerly conservative institution? My personal opinion is that National Review (and the rest of the neoconservatives) have a big stake in this interpretation of World War II. It was one of the reasons Mr. Buchanan wrote the book in the first place. This book serves to undermine World War II as the pedagogic tool for every geopolitical conflict since. Every meeting with a potential adversary is Munich in 1938. Every potential adversary is Adolf Hitler and everyone who opposes the latest thug is Winston Churchill. Why else would Colonel Kadafi be labeled the “African Hitler,” or Saddam Hussein as the “Arab Hitler,” or the latest Hitler, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

Any potential madman will do when a country desires to go to war. Neoconservative godfather Irving Kristol urged the United States to find an enemy to unite Americans (or at least Republicans) once the Cold War was over, even though one did not exist. That’s why Saddam Hussein was suddenly a world threat, beginning in 1990. The argument goes, if we don’t stand up to the latest thug, then it will be World War II again and there will be another Holocaust.

The Second World War was a unique event that only took place under certain circumstances, mainly the First World War and the vindictive Treaty of Versailles that marked its conclusion; it was one that left Germany bitter and more susceptible to falling in line behind a man like Adolf Hitler. If World War II teaches us anything, it’s that wars are rarely conclusive. If there had been no World War I, there would have been no World War II. If there had been no World War II, one that elevated Stalinist Russia to new heights of power and influence in Europe, there may not have been a Cold War. If President George H. W. Bush had not gone to Iraq in 1990, it is unlikely his son would have. If his son had not gone to Iraq in 2003, we would not be having this discussion about whether or not to bomb Iran. Does anyone really think that if we had not gotten involved in nation building in the Middle East that we would have to be dealing with Iran right now? One war leads to another.

As is well known, the Allies were victorious in the Second World War. Hitler and Germany were soundly defeated. Germany dropped bombs on civilians during the Battle of Britain. The Allies bombed civilians in Dresden as well. Is it okay for the good guys to bomb civilians while it’s a war crime if the bad guys do it? Thus is the problem of the good vs. evil approach to history, current events, and foreign policy.

This is the real reason that the World War II analogy is most distressing. It makes every adversary a potential Hitler who is bent on world domination (which, by the way, was not Hitler’s goal). It always makes their opponent the veritable good guy and doing whatever it takes to win is always excusable when it’s gone by the “good guys.” To paraphrase Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”: It’s okay to be an American spy. Good guys can do anything rotten.

Believing that one’s country is the world’s savior will lead to its destruction. Many Republicans spew at Barack Obama because many people, possibly including the senator himself, believe he is this country’s savior. What is disconcerting is that far too many of the same Republicans believe that America’s military is the solution (i.e. the savior) for the rest of the world. It is a fairly common interpretation that America was needed in World War II to stop Hitler from pushing the continent around. How many people have heard, “Well, if it wasn’t for us, everyone in Europe would be speaking German today.” Bill O’Reilly said it ad nauseum in the days immediately preceding the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

This is where success in wars lead ultimately to one’s own destruction. It makes one believe they are invincible. The invasion of Iraq was to be, rather infamously, a cakewalk. To be fair, the actual invasion itself was a cakewalk, but five years of occupation have proven otherwise. While the American military may not lose an actual battle, it will eventually be defeated through sheer exhaustion. It’s not something unique to America and our military, but it is something that happens to every empire that overstays its welcome. Some notworthy examples: Napoleon’s occupation of Spain drained the French Empire of money, troops, and patience. Afghans bled the Soviets out of their country as they did to Alexander the Great millennia before. Americans should know as well as anyone how well we liked having the British quarter their troops on this continent.

This is where World War II haunts us. We always think we will play the role of victor and liberator and it blurs the minds of many in our country into thinking that whatever our country and military do are inherently good. It is time to view the 1940s conflict in its own context and return to a realistic view of our country’s capabilities and its role in the world. We are not the world's policeman and we are not the solution to everybody's problems. Like the friend who learns of a problem and then meddles, our continual and unsolicited intervention is not appreciated.

God save the Republic, but not the Empire.