Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » The Costs of Inaction

The obtuseness of the Left never fails to amaze me. Reading the local ‘progressive’ rag, the Austin Chronicle, today, I noticed editor Louis Black has chosen to lend his support to the Iraqis voting this weekend by waxing nostalgic about the protests against the war (notice the distinct tone of martyrdom that permeates his article, much as in the Tim Robbins speech to the National Press Club. This is the most laughable frequently used liberal tactic – decrying the lack of one’s freedom by freely engaging in protest, shouting at the top of your lungs about how you’re being silenced, when the real problem is that no one cares to listen to your ranting). Black says of the anti-war crowd: “They marched because the United States was gearing up to invade Iraq, and they knew that was wrong”. Black is very sadly mistaken here; it would have been wrong to NOT invade Iraq. In fact, the lives being lost now are being lost because a good man, George H. W. Bush, made a very bad blunder in not deposing Saddam after the first Gulf War.

Thus, we see the costs of inaction on one front – by not driving into a wide open Baghdad in 1991, when the entire world acknowledged the justness of our cause, tens of thousands of lives have been lost when we had to finish the job 12 years later. This is indeed an immense burden, financially and emotionally; far greater would the price have been had George W. Bush continued to turn a blind eye to the Iraqi menace. Saddam Hussein was a sadistic dictator who supported terrorism and had no moral problem with WMDs, even if he didn’t have a current stockpile, with a hatred of the United States and Israel and an iron grip on his subjects. The invasion of Iraq was justified in numerous ways. Saddam was an affront to international law, a menace to his neighbors, a ticking time bomb that would have eventually exploded.

Suppose we indulge ourselves by imagining a world without the 2003 invasion. Saddam, of course, would have eventually died. While life remained, he would have continued to terrorize his subjects, and used ill-gotten profits intended for humanitarian purposes to buy influence with the Europeans who were anxious the lift the sanctions. Without the threat of UN action over his head, he would have proceeded to rearm quickly, before events turned against him again, and the WMD factories would have proceeded with due haste. He would know his time was drawing to a close, and would long for that great strike against his enemies that would ensure his place in history.

Even had the above not come to pass, upon his death, we would have been subjected to the ascension of his brutal, nihilistic sons. Those who are so outraged by the disgraceful actions of the justly denounced soldiers of Abu Ghraib should take some time to read of the horrors routinely inflicted upon the poor souls who chanced to offend Saddam’s offspring. No hope would remain in a country under the thumb of these despots.

No, Mr. Black, Mr. Alterman, Senator Kennedy, Ms. Streisand, Mr. Robbins, it was not wrong to invade Iraq, but it was very wrong to have allowed ourselves to come so close to such a fate as that I have outlined above. We truly were blessed to have a president who knew that 9/11 was perhaps the final chance to take the offensive decisively against the rogue nations that encouraged and sponsored the politics of terror.

With the passing of Ronald Reagan, the Radical Left was astonished to find their once-mortal enemy was so beloved by the world. The stock response they spewed to the just praise for Reagan’s decisive role in bringing down the abominable Soviet Union was that it would have eventually collapsed under its own weight, it was a failed state (strange how you seldom heard that BEFORE Re

Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Today’s Worst Op-Ed…

…comes from Ruben Navarrette, Jr., in the San Diego Union-Tribune, who defends Tom Cruise’s recent Scientology-fueled rant on the Today show as an important contribution to the debate over over-reliance on prescription drugs, particularly the use of ritalin on the young.

Lauer thought that Cruise was being judgmental, and that he should keep his opinions to himself. He also thought Cruise should stipulate that – while the actor didn’t approve of taking antidepressants – those for whom the drugs had worked should be free to take them. Why should Cruise keep his opinions to himself? Shields didn’t keep her bout with mental illness to herself. She advertised it to sell books. Cruise is entitled to his opinion, just like anyone else. The problem isn’t that celebrities have opinions. It’s that the rest of society is quick to treat them as experts. They’re not experts. They’re movie stars with opinions. And they should be free to express their opinions, and the rest of us should be free to discount them if they don’t hold up.

Bull – Lauer didn’t ask Cruise to keep his opinions to himself, he asked him to acknowledge that drugs may help some people with mental disorders. Cruise denied that it was even possible, or that chemical imbalances even exist. It was Cruise who set himself up as an expert by asserting to Lauer that he ‘just didn’t know the history of psyciatry’ like Cruise does, and basically suggesting the Lauer was the one who needed to keep his opinion to himself. Navarrette’s defense of Cruise is wrong-headed, shallow, and unconnected to the facts.

  1. 1
    Fargus Says:

    I’m on board with any criticism of Tom Cruise. :)

Leave a Reply

Comments Live Preview:

Insurgency is a Legitimate Nationalist Movement

Richard Cohen (who recently suggested the test of a legitimate war is if you are willing to forcibly send your grown man of a son to, presumably, die in it, in the mode of the biblical Abraham) is back with another insipid, whimpering walk down memory lane as he attempts to relive the glory days of Vietnam. Cohen asserts, incredibly, that the terrorists have the support of the Iraqi people. Think I’m lying? Let’s take a look:

In Vietnam, it took the U.S. forever to recognize that it was not fighting international communism but a durable and vibrant nationalist movement led by Communists. Something similar may be happening in Iraq. Yes, foreign terrorists are flocking to the country. But the Sunni insurgency is a different thing. The Sunnis may work with foreign terrorists and gladly use their expertise, but their goals are not the same. The salient and depressing fact remains that no insurgency can survive for long without either the cooperation or the apathy of the populace.

Cohen takes time to scoff at our allies who are putting their lives and treasure on the line:

…Bush cited the “8 million Iraqi men and women” who voted, the “30 nations” with troops in Iraq (a total joke, and the President knows it), the “40 countries” and “three international organizations” that have pledged “$34 billion” in reconstruction assistance (another joke).

If those are jokes, Richard, I guess I’ve lost my sense of humor…but then, no one but you is laughing.

Thus, Cohen joins Bob Herbert, Paul Krugman, and Frank Rich as a charter member of the “Vietnam is the only point of comparison I have, so by God I’m gonna use it” club. Let’s get one thing straight…the ability to blow yourself up and kill others is not a strategy, and it sure isn’t victory. If it was, the Palestinian government would be holding court in Jerusalem…

  1. 1
    Two Dogs Says:

    This is the best post from an online magazine that I have ever read. Kudos, Mark, good work.

  2. 2
    Mark Says:

    Two Dogs, thanks, and may I just say that I also enjoy your online magazine, as well…

  3. 3
    Paul Deignan Says:

    I have a diferent take on the matter than Richard. It seems to me that the frequency and seve

Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Dick Cheney

Dick Cheney, like the President he serves, is a lightning rod. For proof, you need look no further than the reaction to this year’s Presidential debates – liberals thought Edwards won, conservatives (including myself) thought Cheney just ran away with it. Cheney emphatically states that he won’t run in 2008, and we should probably take him at his word. Still, never say never.

Richard B. Cheney

Official Biographical Site

A highly unlikely combination here

Resume: Served in the Nixon, Ford, Bush 41, and Bush 43 administrations; former Congressman from Wyoming; former White House Chief of Staff; former Defense Secretary; 46th Vice President of the United States

Cheney has served his country well for decades, but he is a long shot among long shots for several reasons:

(1) Electability – like it not, we live in a media age, and Cheney seems to have a permanent snarl on his face (though he scored some good laughs making fun of his good looks in the Vice Presidential debate).

(2) Halliburton – I don’t think there’s any “there” there, but all the same, Cheney’s former company would drag on any potential campaign like an anchor.

(3) Most importantly, the poor guy is obviously in bad health.

Put it all together, and despite what I said above, you can just about say “Never” on this one.

Current Odds: 50-1

Update 02/06/05 2:22 p.m. central: Dick Cheney on the possibility that he will run:

“I will say just as hard as I possibly know how to say … ‘If nominated, I will not run,’ ‘If elected, I will not serve,’ or not only no, but ‘Hell no,’ ” Cheney told “Fox News Sunday,” making clear he intends to retire from politics at the end of his current term.

Put a fork in this one; it’s done.

Current Odds: 100-1

Update 03/29/05 10:00 a.m. central:

See this post…


UPDATE 07/24/2005 10:56 p.m.:

CURRENT ODDS: 40-1: see here…

Leave a Reply

Comments Live Preview:

Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Race and the 2004 Election

You may not be aware of Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered, particularly since it airs on that paragon of political correctness, PBS. It’s a pretty informative new series starring the bow-tied boy wonder (and Jon Stewart punching bag). This week featured, among others, Marjorie Fields Harris, a candidate for Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee…and it was a depressing interview indeed.

Folks, Bush increased his percentage of the black vote despite the scare tactics of the left for two reasons: (1) the shared conservative values of black churchgoers and Republicans, and (2) disgust with the Democratic Party’s plantation mentality. You see, according to Ms. Harris, Bush is fundamentally a racist because, well…because Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice aren’t really black. You may think I’m joking, so a good ol’-fashioned (partial) fisking is in order.

Carlson: Marjorie, thanks a lot.

Why didn’t Kerry do better?

Harris: I think Kerry was a good candidate, to be honest. He was effective in what he was trying to say. I think that the organization around him just did not allow him to penetrate the community as he could have.

Since I am running for the Vice Chairman, I won’t say anything bad about our nominee who just lost decisively, that’s how effective he was. (Also, he wasn’t in control of his own campaign).

Carlson: What about the notion that the Republican party actually has points of common interest with a lot of black voters? A lot of black voters aren’t as enthusiastic about legal abortion as your average well-educated white voter is. More comfortable with faith, for school choice. Why don’t more black voters vote Republican?

Harris: It’s one of the myths of the black community, that we all believe in abortion and these kind of loose moral values. I think that’s always been a myth.

I hold your bow-tie wearing opinions in such contempt that I am not even paying attention to you, as shown by my complete lack of understanding of your question.

…the Republicans haven’t reached out. This is the first time I’ve even seen a small effort. Bush, come on, he didn’t get the numbers they expected in the African-American community. I can’t say that the Republicans were effective in reaching out to African-Americans, but they never tried to embrace us as a community. It’s not so much we haven’t gone to the party. I think the party hasn’t come to us.

Clarence Thomas and J.C. Watts meant nothing to me, as they weren’t Democrats and didn’t share my views. The fact that Bush made inroads in the black community is just not relevant, despite the fact that he increased his share of the black vote by 37.5% from 2000, because, you see, it wasn’t as high as some pre-election estimates.

Carlson: Isn’t the real problem a lot of black voters think the Republican party, on some level, is racist, and once that perception goes away, if it does, a large number of black voters come to the party. Why not?

Harris: It’s based on the fact that you have a president who’s appointed people like Charles Pickering, Pryor, Janice Rogers-Brown, who is African-American herself, to the federal bench. These are people anti-, or for the most part our rights, anti-civil rights, anti-human rights in a large respect. So it’s not based on a perception. It’s reality. A lot of the –

Tucker, I’d like to take the opportunity here to slander some people without offering any proof. Here are three people who I would like to nonchalantly accuse of being racist and “anti-human rights”. So you see, the fact that I can throw these names out at you means that the Republican party is racist in reality, not just perception (oh, and by the way, Janice Rogers Brown apparently

Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » A Quick Journey Around the Blogosphere

Benjamin at the anti-Chomsky blog has some great thoughts on Chomsky’s reaction to Election ‘04 (hint: Chomsky doesn’t like the outcome), in which our favorite America hater again reveals his underlying Marxism by mentioning ‘class interests’ (what a laughable way to analyze modern America!). Benjamin rightly calls him out on his pathetic attempt to use the eligible U.S. voting population as his definition of electorate in order to make the claim that Bush got only 30% of the vote (note to Chomsky: I think even most Democrats outside of West Palm Beach realize you have to actually vote to be counted). I share Benjamin’s amusement at Chomsky’s risible reference to the ‘vast diversity’ found in the world of academia. Vast diversity in superficialities like skin color and height perhaps; no diversity at all in viewpoint…

DJ Drummond at Polipundit unmasks Karl Rove’s secret agent. In hindsight, the whole Democratic effort in ‘04 reeks of amateurism. If Bob Shrum advises another presidential campaign, I’ll…well, I won’t be surprised at all, since the Dems don’t ever seem to learn their lesson…

Captain Ed at Captain’s Quarters takes Nicholas Kristof and the NY Times to task for their blatantly transparent attempt to dictate to the red states by replacing the Electoral College. The whole reason for the Electoral College, as Captain Ed rightly surmises, is so that one or two major population centers can’t determine the outcome of an election. Change the system, and you throw our future elections into the hands of the liberal Hollywood and New York elite (and if that thought doesn’t scare you, you’re reading the wrong blog). One suspects there wouldn’t be so much <a href=”

Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Oil For Food, Part One

I remember well the Iran-Contra scandal. The arms-for-hostages deal dominated the headlines for weeks and resulted in televised hearings that made a hero out of Oliver North and indictments of high government officials, though most were later pardoned by President Bush. It was, in short, a major story. Where is the outcry over the much worse Oil-For-Food Scandal at the U.N.? True, it’s getting some big play now, but still more so in England than elsewhere.

If “Oil-For-Food” is new to you, here’s a decent primer. The basic charge is this: Saddam Hussein, while under United Nations sanctions, was allowed to sell a portion of his oil for food and medicine for the Iraqi people as a humanitarian gesture. Instead, Hussein gave out vouchers as kickbacks to businessmen and government officials across the Middle East and Europe, including members of the Russian Parliament and a former Interior Minister of France (kind of puts the whole Iraq War debate in a different light, doesn’t it? Thanks for nothing, Jacques!). How much did Saddam and his cronies steal? How about 20 BILLION DOLLARS? That’s a full quarter of that $87 billion dollar supplement that John Kerry voted for and against while rubbing his head and whistling “Dixie”. While Saddam was building palaces with your money, children in Iraq suffered from malnutrition needlessly. Americans are literally dying as we speak to bring democracy to the Middle East in a war that France and Russia opposed out of sheer greed.

This should be front page news. I can’t imagine a scandal with a greater stench than stealing humanitarian aid to prop up a dictator while sanctimoniously accusing the U.S. of trading “blood for oil”. Blood for oil, indeed…our blood, their oil. Much more on this later, including a look at the work of Claudia

Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Welcome To My New Blog!

Howdy, folks, and welcome to my new blog. I’m going to spend the next four years looking at the politicial horizon in what will hopefully be a witty, informative manner. I’m a conservative, so I won’t insult your intelligence by pretending to be unbiased, but I will try to be fair to both sides (whenever it suits me). I’m also going to be covering general issues that I think reflect on the electorate and where I think it will be heading.

So, in the next few weeks, as I flesh this out, look for profiles of promising candidates from both sides and unexpectedly brilliant analysis that will result is mass hilarity and much head-scratching and pondering, I hope.

Let’s kick things off on this inaugural post with a look at a Sunday talking head show, shall we?

Is is just me or has CBS been replaced with a crude parody of a network? We all know by now about Rathergate, but Bob Schieffer (rumored as a Rather replacement, despite his advanced age, albeit probably not for long) is not much of an improvement. Today he just went after Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who was very impressive in not getting steamrolled. The issue was the stalling of the not-quite-dead Intelligence Reform bill by conservative House Republicans. Frist made it clear that there was not a guarantee of a bill passing “unless it’s done right.” (Done right in this case meaning resolving the budgetary issues with the Pentagon and probably removing immigration matters from the bill entirely). David Brooks (a.k.a. the only possible reason to still read the New York Times) made an appearance and finally succeeded in calming Schieffer down.

More to come later today, including a look at race and the liberal mindset.

  1. 1
    Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Decision ‘08 Turns One Says:

    <small class=”comm

Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Al Gore: Candidate Profile Numero Uno

Okay, so I’m calling this blog Decision ‘08 for a reason (and it’s not just because Decision 2008 was taken already!)…I fully intend to spend the next four years building up a real resource for Campaign 2008. I realize there isn’t much here yet, but hey, come on, it’s the first day of the blog.

One of the things I intend to provide in this blog are candidate profiles from both sides of the aisle, where I’ll handicap the serious (and not-so-serious) horses in the race. I’m gonna start off with our ol’ buddy from Campaign 2000, Al Gore.

Albert Arnold Gore Jr.

Resume: Former Representative for Tennessee’s 4th District, Former Senator from Tennessee, 45th Vice President of the United States, 2000 Democratic Nominee for President

(Unofficial) Campaign Website: Al Gore 2008

Good link for Gore’s history

You may think I’m a little off to start with Al Gore, but there is a serious movement to consider him for ‘08 (however small that movement may be). Recently,
Richard Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post, started tongues wagging with a column endorsing a Gore 2008 candidacy. Cohen stupidly states that the Democrats need a good recession(!!! – that’s the kind of optimism that’ll win us back!), but “barring that, the party needs a candidate who can be comfy talking religion and who, once that’s established, can go on to talk about other things.” Cohen also points out that Gore is a Southerner who opposed the Iraq War and that he has a wife whose name is not Te-RAY-za.

Let’s use Cohen’s column as a starting point in handicapping Gore. How serious would a Gore candidacy be? Consider these points:

(1) Gore famously lost the Electoral College vote after winning the popular vote, then plunged the country into a month-long circus that culminated in the Supreme Court. Compared to that, Kerry was a gentleman. True, there are parts of the Democratic Base that STILL think Bush is an illegitimate president, but the majority of Americans look back at 2000 as a nightmare, notwithstanding Fahrenheit 911.

(2) Gore was initially thought of as somewhat moderate, in line with Clinton’s New Democrat presidency. Unlike Kerry, he succeeded in defining himself…he wasn’t just a faceless Senator getting rich and taking up space while accomplishing nothing. Sure, we all made fun of his gaffes and grandiose claims, but at least we knew what he claimed about himself. Unfortunately, a lot of that definition and perceived moderation has now flown away, thanks to Gore’s intemperate remarks since his loss.

(3) Liberals such as Cohen miss completely the lesson of Election 2004. The fact that Al Gore is from the South and can talk comfortably about religion means absolutely squat. John Edwards (oh, we’ll get to him) brought his cornpone “aw shucks ma’am” routine to town and was ridden right back out of town on a rail. You see, Richard and Al and John, we conservatives didn’t support Bush because he was from Texas, or because he professes to be a man of faith, but because he shares our concerns and values. The “Religious Right” did not wi

Informed Speculation » 2004 » November

John Kerry “won” all three debates this year, according to opinion polls (I only gave him the first one myself, but hey, I’m biased), but he still managed to lose, because he made the only debate gaffe that people remembered. I’m talking, of course, of his inexplicable and unwarranted gay-baiting comment about Dick Cheney’s daughter. […]

Thomas Bray argues that Annan was pulling for a Kerry victory and used his influence to that end by declaring the Iraq war “illegal”. Roger Simon calls for Annan’s resignation and says the UN should post its books on the Internet for all to see. The Instapundit himself calls for Annan’s replacement with Vaclav Havel […]

I’m gonna post some more links on Dan Rather because I think it’s fun to dump on him. This is a great post from Matt Welch about the ridiculous arrogance Rather displays. He takes Dan to task for believing that the $7 million plus he gets annually for reading from a teleprompter makes him some […]

Kofi Annan pronounced himself disappointed with his son today after revelations that he was paid by a firm with an Oil-For-Food contract until this February, despite previous assurances that the payments from Swiss-based Cotecna had stopped in 1999. Let’s rephrase that: Kofi Annan’s son didn’t tell his dad, in the midst of a huge international […]

Jonathan Chait has a hilarious take on the Dems and Decision 2008 that is full of great lines and insights. The column is at its funniest when it takes a look at a possible Kerry re-run (Kerry will be the subject of my 3rd candidate profile very soon), comparing “Kerry’s contribution to his own campaign […]

By far the trickiest situation facing the administration at this time is diplomacy with North Korea. Some very strange reports have been coming out of that area lately. As you undoubtably know, North Korea is of a piece with Cuba when it comes to personality cults. Far more troublesome are the reports of the horrible […]

It would appear that blogger Juan Cole, the subject of a lawsuit threat and a previous post here, has his own way with litigious threats (hat tip to Mickey Kaus). Still, I don’t feel bad for defending his rights, even if he chooses to engage in the same sad behavior. Crying “Lawsuit!” when someone strikes […]

My Thanksgiving in Vegas is over now, and I’ve made my yearly contribution to the endangered casinos of North America. Special thanks to Harrah’s for providing me with my second Royal Flush last night (the first was at Harrah’s, too). Hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Going to Vegas is like visiting another […]

Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful and safe holiday, and pleasant travelling. I am off to spend Thanksgiving in Vegas…if my hotel room has Internet access and I can blog, I will, otherwise, I’ll be back at it Monday. Don’t forget to say a prayer for our troops…

In my first post about Oil For Food, I mentioned Claudia Rosett. The scandal had been brewing slowly, but it was this April article in Commentary that first brought the issue front and center to a lot of people. There was some degree of knowledge that the program was crooked, but the scale was starting […]

It looks like Alexander may be the bomb of the year (and that’s saying something with The Alamo and Home On the Range and the other Disney stinkers this year). People are really ripping on this one (see here and here and here). Colin Farrell can be pretty likeable sometimes (see Minority Report), but he […]

Blogger Juan Cole is pretty far left, and I very seldom agree with almost anything he has to say. Still, I don’t wish to deny him the right to say it. MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, does good work exposing the extremism of portions of the Arab media, and I recommend their web […]

PoliPundit is encouraging all conservatives to support Wictory Wednesdays, so I’m joining in. Please read his post for all the details. If you’re able to donate time or money to the cause, remember that it was only through unprecedented grass-roots efforts by Ken Mehlman and people like you that we won this convincing victory. So […]

Now that we’ve all had time to reflect on Dan Rather’s abrupt retirement announcement, it seems that more and more people see a parallel between his end and Nixon’s (hat tip to Cadmus). Roger Simons says this is “The Best Proof of the Existence of God Since St. Anselm“. Meanwhile, in the alternate universe known […]

Still wondering if Kerry gave up Ohio too soon? Well, wonder no more…. Now that Rather’s gone, can’t someone get rid of Helen Thomas? (hat tip to Dirty Harry) I’ve posted a little on Oil-For-Food. Here’s a great site with all kinds of good information on this scandal (and the hat tip here goes to […]

Dick Cheney, like the President he serves, is a lightning rod. For proof, you need look no further than the reaction to this year’s Presidential debates – liberals thought Edwards won, conservatives (including myself) thought Cheney just ran away with it. Cheney emphatically states that he won’t run in 2008, and we should probably take […]

That’s the title of U2′s new album, and it rocks. Bono would certainly not be considered a conservative by any stretch on the imagination, but he has shown a willingness to reach across the aisles. (And he didn’t campaign for John Kerry, unlike another one of my musical heroes). I have been a fan since […]

Dan Rather is leaving CBS News!!! There is no doubt in my mind that he is resigning before he is fired. After all, we still haven’t heard the results of the internal investigation of the National Guard document fiasco, and let’s face it, even if you’re a fan, Rather’s credibility is shot after his steadfast […]

Racist radio talk-show host and program manager John “Sly” Sylvester says he has apologized for calling Condoleezza Rice “Aunt Jemima”, but you be the judge as to how sincere that apology is. Sylvester says he “offended many African-Americans” with his comments…hell, he offended many Americans, period. Sylvester has also called Colin Powell (you guessed it!) […]

DJ Drummond at PoliPundit is collecting JFK assassination theories from his readers – for the record, I think Oswald was a nut who acted alone… Sheer delight of the day… has named Michael Moore the coldest person in Hollywood…(hat tip to Hindrocket at Power Line) Jim Miller at THAT Liberal Media exposes how the New […]

  Older Entries »