"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."-Winston S. Churchill

"The wandering scholars were bound by no lasting loyalties, were attached by no sentiment of patriotism to the states they served and were not restricted by any feeling of ancient chivalry. They proposed and carried out schemes of the blackest treachery."-C.P. Fitzgerald.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Thoughts on the Democrats, and Bush. 

George Bush went to London, riding on no pony.

But seriously, folks. Bush scored far better than many in the chattering classes had hoped. What is sad, of course, is that he could not be greeted as I believe he deserved to be. You don't win many plaudits these days among the Moderns for having liberated two countries and having given their populations a chance at something better than licking the boot of a fascist strongman or a religious nut. David Frum laments the limited contact that Britain had with the President in today's Sunday Telegraph.

George Bush is the guy who is responsible for Iraqis not having to be fed feet first into a plastic shredder by Uday, and the best that all too many Brits can do is to treat him with contempt, and slight regard. Oh, they did do him the honor of toppling a papier mache statue of him, in a riff on the toppling of Saddam's statue last April.
But Frum suspects, as do I, that we will be successful in Iraq in the long run, and opportunity to thank Bush will come later.

Mansour Ijaz believes that we have spotted bin Laden in Iran, under Iranian protection. I don't believe it. It's against Usama's M.O.. Bin Laden would never place himself under the control of a strong central government. The Iranian government that hosted him today could arrest him and Ayman Al-Zawahiri tomorrow and call up the Americans to invite them into the bazaar. Bin Laden only goes where states are weak, as in Sudan, or Afghanistan, or Pakistan's Northwestern Frontier States, where the Islamabad's writ runs weakest. Nope, he's in Pakistan.

As for the Democrats? The base vote, having been wrapped up by Dean, continues to lose any enthusiasm for the larger war on terror. I strongly suspect that both bin Laden and Bush figured that the Democrats were the weak link, and would begin to wilt once the casualties started coming in. Dean is running as the Antiwar Candidate (ignore his recent butchman statements on staying the course) because he has divined that that is where the base vote wants him to be.

Bin Laden has the easier task: he merely needs to kill as many Democrats (and Republicans, with an emphasis on killing Jews of both stripes) as possible. Bush has the harder task: he needs to convince the bulk of the moderate middle of the Democratic Party that the war on terror must be fought and won by any means necessary. A lot of the Democratic leadership and intellectual classes that haven't gone head over heels for Dean (such as the editorial staff of The New Republic) understands what's at stake. Too many Democrats are trying to rush for the exits, however. What that crowd doesn't understand is that there is no exit.

As for Dean, he figures to veer right once the nomination has been wrapped up. Too bad that Bush won't let him; the Republicans have already started rolling out ads in Iowa to interfere with the background noise of the Democratic campaign there.

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