I gladly voted for George W. Bush in 2000 and in 2004.
After my protest vote against his Dad (for breaking his promise not to raise taxes) for he-that-shall-remain-nameless in 1992, and my subsequent switch from the Republican party to the Libertarian Party in 1993, and my wasted vote for Harry Browne in 1996, and my switch back to the Republicans after September 11, I have learned the hard way that idealism in the face of the reality of the world is not only stupid, but dangerous. I?ll admit that it stings to say that about myself, but at least I?ve learned from my mistakes.
Since the election of 2000 I have supported President Bush in most of his foreign policy initiatives. After 9/11 I supported his ?war on terror? — although I stick to my belief that we have been in a 1,400 year religio-cultural war with Islam that has had peaks and valleys. Islam, radical or otherwise, will not stop until the infidel (that be us) is dead or converted, and sharia law established. It?s that simple. If there are moderate, peace-loving followers of this religion then their voices have to be raised above the others so that all of us can stop the killing and live in peace and in respect of each other?s beliefs, without the fear of beheadings, C4 belts, IEDs, 757s made into missiles, or of a nuke brought in by container ship.
I am not a blind follower of Dubya, despite the skewed, unthinking, knee-jerk reaction world-view of my liberal Kool-Aid drinking friends. I sincerely believe that he is a good man and a decent man. I believe that he is truly dedicated to doing what he believes is best for this country. Nevertheless, I have disagreed strongly with many a foreign policy and domestic decision his Administration has made since he was inaugurated in 2001. Let me name a few off the top of my head:
- Inaction on Cuba and keeping wet-foot/dry-foot alive;
- Immigration control (or the lack thereof) on our southern border;
- The kowtowing to the murderers in the Palestinian authority over the needs of Israel;
- The prosecution of the war in Iraq that, as a student of history, I know was too weak in its focus for fear of offending the powers in the Middle East;
- Inaction over Iran and Syria, two countries that have been a terrible threat to the West for a very long time;
- The expansion of entitlement programs that need to be cut, not increased, especially Medicare and in the Department of Education;
- No reform of Social Security;
- No action on REAL tax reform, in other words the elimination of the regressive income tax replaced by a flat national sales tax.
These are core conservative positions that I deeply hold that have been swept aside because of Dubya?s “new tone” with the Democrats — an abysmal failure in my view, not because of him, mind you, but because the Dems are incapable of acting decently in the face of decency.
So, you may ask, why do I still support him if I disagree with him so much? Well, the alternative is far, far worse than any of us can begin to imagine.
Last week I was shocked when I heard and read in the news that a Dubai company (Dubai Ports World) had purchased the British management company that runs the ports in various cities, including right here in Miami. The more I read, the angrier I got. This deal, if approved, could result in one of the most amazing foreign-policy blunders of the last hundred years. And my opinions are torn, by the way, between my libertarian free-trader side of the brain and my conservative wage-war-until-victory side of the brain. I was angry when that dolt Jimmy Carter turned over our Panama Canal in 1978. I thought then and I think today that it was a huge error to divest our country of that waterway. Jimmah, being the hidden red that he is, knew precisely what he was doing. Today, not surprisingly, the Panama Canal is controlled on both sides by Chinese companies that are in turn controlled by the communist Chinese government. Paranoia pays off.
The why of this deal is not a mystery to me. It has realpolitik writ large all over it. The Middle East is a prime supplier of the engine of Capitalism: petroleum. I am not one of those granola-eaters that rend their robes when they hear that we fight wars for natural resources. ?No blood for oil!? these people scream, as they listen to their iPod, made of materials that use the very substance they despise. Idiots. Man has fought wars over resources since war became the ultimate political chess move. Anybody who thinks otherwise is a deluded fool — or a John Kerry voter.
All of the pundits that support the ports deal are trotting out the canards of racism, islamophobia, that it is wrong to deny the Dubai company its due, since it was controlled by a foreign entity before anyway. Fine. They have a point. But here is the danger: While Dubai has been a staunch ally and has supported the US in the past, what?s to say that radical elements, like those that crop up in any Muslim country — remember Osama in Saudi Arabia and Al-Zawahiri in Egypt? — will not crop up in Dubai or in one of the other Emirates and cause to infiltrate our ports with folks who would be willing to detonate a thermonuclear device inside a container ship in the port of Miami, or Baltimore, or Philadelphia, or New York, and go to paradise? This is not far-fetched.
Friends, Mao Zedong?s quip about selling us the rope he would hang us with may come true if we continue on this path. I am against this deal and I feel strongly that it is folly — dangerous folly — to allow it. That is, in the end, how this deal may be remembered if approved.
The United States and the West is waging war against an ideology that has persisted for fourteen centuries in the belief that unbelievers must be converted or killed. We, a country that was created when the Enlightenment in Europe was still fresh in the air, have no such persistent beliefs, except that we are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that we are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.