This is a guest post from frequent commenter Honey.
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William Buckley often used to use the expression “History begins where you want it to when you want to win an argument.” I am sure most people understand what that means. But how many times have you listened in exasperation when someone takes the current set of facts and makes conclusions based on that and ignores all that led up to it?
So I cringed when Laura Ingraham on Fox News Sunday, June 2nd, in discussing whether the U.S. should intervene in Syria now, asked, in mockery of the idea, remember when Bush talked about those dominoes that were going to fall as the middle eastern countries were going to want democracy when they saw it was possible in Iraq. She said now look what we have wrought. Then she added insult to injury when she said that America has to grapple with the idea that its influence on the world has declined and we have limited power to intervene in a world where the parties are unknown.
I was glad that the outnumbered Jennifer Rubin on the panel got in the comment that we should remember what happens when the U.S. does nothing to stand up to power and that our current problems were CAUSED by this administration.
Now I don’t think at this moment we have a dog in the fight in Syria. But I would have felt a bit more comforted by Ingram’s terrible assertions if she had at least alluded to many things that got us into this place, like for example why we are in a world where the parties are unknown.
I always astonish my friends because I say unpopular things. It doesn’t mean I am incorrect. Most of the time what I say turns out to have been prophetic, but no one who disagreed with me ever comes to me to say, ” You were right. I should have listened.”
And I am guessing few would say that to me now in regard to many of the assertions I will be making here.
I loved Ronald Reagan. I loved him because he recognized that there was evil in the world and was willing to name it and its location. But here is where I may hit nerves. I also loved George Bush for the same reason.
People love to engage in historic revisionism. Iraq was a free country after Bush pushed the situation in the surge. Remember all of those who criticized the surge and had to eat crow because it worked after all? Iraq had free elections, luxury hotels booked for years to come, many new organs of a free press – it was a free country.
But Americans these days do not have the patience that Americans had, say, during the Second World War. A favorite poster now asserts that “War Is Not the Answer”. “Can’t we all just get along?”, is the latest homily.
Iraq is not free today. But imagine if we had nominated a candidate and elected a president who was like Bush and understood that there is evil in the world and if we allow it free rein, evil will take the reins and stampede. Instead the American people elected and (perhaps) reelected a different kind of president. So what is an Iraqi leader to do? Once you understand that there is no America to back up your freedom because war is such a bore, what would you do? So he warmed up to his dangerous neighbor, Iran, for some protection.
Elections have results.
Here are just a few of them:
The biggest one is that we ignored the Greens in their efforts in Iran to make trouble for the Islamist government. The Iranian people are a natural ally of the west. There are of course many faithful to the Mullahs there. But the majority of the Iranian people want to overthrow their tyranny. Our president said empty words and left those brave people to their terrible fate. Can you picture Bush doing that? That behavior alone set the tone that America is a paper tiger and anyone who chooses to confront tyranny does not have an ally in this White House.
Of course it was not reported this way. The Pravda press for this administration never reports the failures as being bad. All that this administration chooses to do is good according to them.
The pattern from January 20th, 2009, was immediate and consistent. Spend the country into oblivion. Spend so much, mostly to reward cronies or big contributors, and almost nothing to make things better, that the private economy is destined for ruin. Then spend so much more, and keep piling on demonizing your political enemies in permanent campaign mode, so that the country cannot survive. Spend so much that you must crowd out defense spending and therefore have done with any thought of protecting the American people anymore. Then let the press praise your every decision and demonize anyone who says a word against you.
More of the pattern was to run around the world apologizing for America and giving the impression that we are not unique but just another country.
Add to this that nothing that goes wrong is the fault of the administration and blame everyone and everything. No matter how ludicrous you sound let political operatives and the msm cover for you in their blather.
Oh, and, yes, declare the war on terror over.
Finally in all conflicts take the wrong side. In Honduras, support the tyrant over the freely elected representatives; in economic thought isolate American allies and reward enemies of freedom; Pull out of Iraq and get the predictable result and go into Afghanistan and get more American service people killed by a factor of three in three years than died in six years under Bush. Jeanine Garafolo and Cindy Sheehan will not be on talk shows crying for the lost ones now as they were ubiquitously under Bush, nor will the main TV news shows be counting the number of dead on every broadcast.
The reasons we lose so many now are the horrible rules of engagement.
Use the IRS to squelch opposition by ruining lives of any who decide to wish for a return to the Constitution. Have your operatives demonize anyone who is not on your wavelength. Have your intelligence services spend their time treating some in the press as if they were enemy agents; instead of building up your intelligence to be able to go under cover when needed to ferret out who our friends are and who our enemies in conflicts overseas, which Bush so ably did. But, no, who needs intelligence when you can rashly do actions without worrying about consequences? So say Mubarek must go, and allow Egypt, a stable ally which did not make trouble against Israel, to go Islamist. Do nothing to stop Iran getting the bomb or spreading terrorism at will. Ignore homeland threats.
Above all, never call it terrorism when it blatantly is just that. Use euphemisms. Let Americans get killed in Benghazi. Not to worry. The press will cover you. Do so many illegal things in a pile on that when your political opposition has the courage to take you on, they look like it is all just playing politics.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
So now if you were one faction in a country who wanted power against the leadership, what would you do under the circumstances? You have a militarily and economically weak America with an administration that is not knowledgeable about the world and how it works – well, just go ahead and stir up rebellion. The baddies on both sides can have a field day and those who really want to live in freedom are lost in the shuffle. So more tyranny and chaos can reign and less freedom ensues.
Why is it lost on so many that most of this was kept tamped down under Bush and there were no ( fill in euphemism) acts of terror?
And now we get back to Laura Ingraham and her remarks. Now we can see that it needn’t have all turned out this way.
Here is a quote from a book Jay Nordlinger was reviewing in Impromptus:
“civilization, luxury, safety, and justice could be swept away in the blink of an eye; and that no matter how apparently certain and sweet were the ways of peace, they were not permanent.”
So my conclusion:
I still believe America is the greatest country in the world. I still believe we work best when our leaders stick to the Constitution. But who are to be our leaders? Are we to choose a nice man like Romney again? As one speaker on a recent NR cruise said and got a huge ovation, “Romney is a very nice man. You would want him as your neighbor. But I don’t want a nice man next time. Next time I want a bastard.” Will we choose a good green eye shade person? Will we choose a get-along-and-be-sure-to-appeal-to-several-interest-groups person? Will we choose an isolationist libertarian?
As you can guess this is not what I would wish for. I want the person who will stand for America and recognize that we are unique and the greatest country in the world. I want someone who wants the Fair Tax, but I will take the flat tax – zero tax on corporations, capital gains, interest, dividends, and estates, who will work to overturn Obamacare 100% and replace it with a private system, who will privatize Social Security and Medicare, who will close whole departments, especially the Department of Education, energy and agriculture, and cut spending and power in Washington and give more power to the states. What I want is a Club for Growth candidate. And it should be someone who will beef up our military and intelligence services and who knows who our friends are and who our enemies, and treats them accordingly, and calls them what they are, and who will secure our borders before he even thinks of immigration reform. I want someone who will make enemies afraid to create mischief because they know there will be serious repercussions.
Does such a person exist? Well, it sure ain’t Christie or Rand Paul.
Where are you, my knight in shining armor? Man or woman? Where are you? Show your face. Are you real? Are you possible any more in this age of compromise and appealing to different constituencies? Where is the one who will tell it like it is and assure Laura Ingram that America’s influence need not be on the decline, that we can and must be that shining city on a hill? Where are you? Hurry up and show yourself.