Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Making the Case for...

There's an election in a little over 3 months from now and I'm split on who to vote for. Neither candidate interests me much at all anymore. Now, I was a solid Bush supporter for much of the past 2 years, but in the past few months he's been making it harder and harder to support him in his re-election bid. The most significant reason I've become disillusioned with him is because he has failed in the most important task as President: communication. When I see war supporters denouce their views because we didn't find WMDS or a definite al-Qaeda connection, I ask "what happened to you?" What was done that caused you to turn against the war? They basically say that they no longer know why they are there or why we went in the first place. And in all honesty, I've been apart of that group too from time to time. It's so frustrating having to almost daily explain your rationale for war when most of it Bush never stated as his rationale. And beyond that, the security situation in Iraq shows no sign of improving between now and January. Yet, I am still a hawk. I still support the war because I do believe in the cause and I believe that a moderate state will eventually emerge.

In my previous post, I wrote about how fundamental the Iranian nuclear issue was in this campaign season. What's Bush's policy? What's Kerry's? I refuse to believe that our hands are so tied that we can't do anything. We are the most powerful country in the world, there are many more avenues we can use to disuade Iran. Maybe we just don't want to. Bush, knowing the level of hatred people have for him and the Iraq War, doesn't want to forge a new agressive policy on Iran. We are in a long, hard, and tedious war against ideas that breed terrorism and injustice. That is more important than an election. But obviously, Bush wants to hold onto the presidency more than he wants to win this war.

The next post will be about Kerry and the possibility of voting for him.

Monday, July 26, 2004

The Iranian Strategy

With the start of the Democratic National Convention, I'd like to take the time to address the most urgent foreign policy question in the world today, Iran achieving nuclear weapons status. Sadly, I have seen little debate in either the DNC or RNC about this. Tehran has openly pledged to build nukes and the world issues a collective shrug in return. With Iraq being occupied by coalition troops until at least 2006 and Iranian agents infiltrating all the way to Baghdad, a nuclear Iran would change the entire geopolitical situation and be able to exort tremendous leverage over Iraqi Shi'ites and the current government in Baghdad. The blogosphere seems to be taking this issue very seriously, with commenters on both sides of the aisle taking an increasingly aggressive posture. And it's all the more dangerous because a good portion of the top al-Qaeda leadership is based in Iran (now, yes, Dan Darling have been saying this for about a year and half now and it now appears that he was right. And I should definitely mention his analysis of the Iran/9-11 connection.

But the problem is...

What can we do to stop the Iranian regime from finishing its nukes? Well, of course, as many people have pointed out, the Israeli's could do what they did to Iraq in 1981 and destroy the Buheur facility, but is that really a viable option? Even if they succeed in taking out the place, the mullahs sure do know about what the Israeli's did and you can bet they have their most important components of the nuclear program underground. And if an attack is carried out and the whole program isn't wiped out, Israel would be the first place Iran would attack (either directly or more likely using a Hezbollah offensive through Lebanon). We could also use sanctions, but that's a short term solution and as with Saddam they would probably serve to further entrench the regime in Tehran.

The Iranian Nuclear Stragey must be dealt with soon before it's too late.

To be continued...

Thursday, July 22, 2004


If you haven't noticed already, the alignment on the blog is quite bad right now. I've tried a few HTML commands but nothing's worked so far. So what exactly am I supposed to do to rectify this problem?

Presidential (Canidate) Assasination

FH writes that al-Qaeda's smartest move will be to assasinate John Kerry and John Edwards. This is actually a very intriguing idea as the consequences of it will be huge both politically and to the already searing polarization in this country.  Let's hypothesize shall we:
1. How do we proceed with the elections, if this took place? I'm assuming someone in DC has thought about this. If it wasn't too close to the election itself, the Democratic Party could conceivably pick 2 other ranking members to fill Kerry and Edawards' places. But that would almost assuredly mean a Bush landslide (as most of the population would have no idea who the new guys were) even factoring in the "sympathy vote."

2. I disagree however with his assertion that Bush will be blamed for it. I'm not quite sure why Bush would get blamed in the first place. Maybe you can clear that up for me, FH? Sure there would be people who sprout crazy conspiritorial crap like Bush let it happen and whatnot, but I doubt that on the whole the Left will blame Bush.

3. I do agree with him that it will be seen as a step toward dictatorship, as we couldn't realistically go through with the elections in that case. And as such, the Democratic Party would be forced to concede the election. (Even if there was a Constitutional Convention to amend the constitution in order to postpone the election, it would take months for the new canidate to raise money and get the national exposure in order to compete with Bush.) If the elections are cancelled, I'm quite likely that there will be rioting and international outrage.

The nation could be thrown into turmoil. That could cause even a more harmful effect than another 9/11 itself.  I'll probably have more thoughts on it tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The FMA is dead

The FMA (Federal Marriage Amendment) was defeated in the Senate today, by a vote of 48-50, it needed 60 votes in order to stay alive for another round of votes. The GOP plans to keep up the fight and bring it to a vote at the earliest possible time (which won't be until after the elections).

Now, I'm completely against this amendment in any way, shape or form. Look, it's on thing to make gay marriages illegal, but to have it written into our constitution... Do you understand how completely shortsighted that is? Our Constitution is our most sacred document, one that enshrines our freedoms. One that allows me to write this without the fear of any retaliation by the police for openly criticizing the president. George Bush has the gull to push for this, when we are in the middle of a massive War of Ideas.

Not to mention, there is no real justification against it at all. "What about tradition?" many scream. Well, excuse me, but when has tradition ever been important? Seriously, it was tradition thousands of years ago for males not to shave. Times change.

Leading Republican Senator Rick Santorum has this:

"I would argue that the future of our country hangs in the balance because the future of marriage hangs in the balance," said Sen. Rick Santorum, a leader in the fight to approve the measure. "Isn't that the ultimate homeland security, standing up and defending marriage?"
Asshole. The "ultimate homeland security"? Right. So, if we were to legalize gay marriage that would be tantamount to capitulating in the War on Terror. And if it did get amended, that al-Qaeda would think "hey guys, look they just banned gay marriage. Well, I guess our job is done. Let's stop killing Americans." I supported the Iraq War because I believed in individual liberty and that all people should be free. And many Republicans feel the same, yet they seek to urdermine that liberty here at home.

Please feel free to post any disagreements you may have with this.

Thursday, July 08, 2004


I've been doing quite a bit of reading about Islamist thought as of late, mainly focusing on the mid 20th century Egyptian philosopher Sayyid Qutb. He is considered by many to be the brain of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. In fact, al-Qaeda number 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri served in the Muslim Brotherhood along with Qutb in the 1950's and 1960's. Qutb came into the political discourse with the publication of Paul Berman's Terror and Liberalism. In it, he discusses Qutb for a whole chapter, entitled "The Philosopher of Islamic Terror." It was published in NYT Magazine on 3/23/03 and is available online here. Sadly, due to extreme lack of money I have not yet had a chance to phurchase the book. But with my new job, I have a steady income and plan on buying it within the next few weeks.

Upon reading that article, I set out to find any and all analysises I could find on Qutb's books In the Shade of the Qur'an and Social Justice in Islam. I found Ideofact through Regnum Crucis, and Ideofact, indeed, has the most comprehensive analysis of Sayyid Qutb's work(here and here). You need to read it all.

And I just discovered this fantastic blog because of his very nice summary of Berman's book.