Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Monday Musings

Several faithful NLT readers took issue with my remonstrance yesterday of Bill Clinton’s blown gasket on Fox News. Well, courtesy of the indispensible Patterco, we know that Chris Wallace asked Don Rumsfeld exactly the same question two years ago, and somehow Dandy Don didn’t lose his cool:

Wallace (to Rumsfeld):I understand this is 20/20 hindsight, it’s more than an individual manhunt. I mean — what you ended up doing in the end was going after al Qaeda where it lived. . . . pre-9/11 should you have been thinking more about that?

. . . .

What do you make of his [Richard Clarke’s] basic charge that pre-9/11 that this government, the Bush administration largely ignored the threat from al Qaeda?

. . . .

Mr. Secretary, it sure sounds like fighting terrorism was not a top priority.

Also, I missed this terrific piece in the LA Times last week on "Head-in-the-Sand Liberals," written by a liberal who gets it.


Perhaps I should establish my liberal bone fides at the outset. I’d like to see taxes raised on the wealthy, drugs decriminalized and homosexuals free to marry. I also think that the Bush administration deserves most of the criticism it has received in the last six years — especially with respect to its waging of the war in Iraq, its scuttling of science and its fiscal irresponsibility.

But my correspondence with liberals has convinced me that liberalism has grown dangerously out of touch with the realities of our world — specifically with what devout Muslims actually believe about the West, about paradise and about the ultimate ascendance of their faith.

On questions of national security, I am now as wary of my fellow liberals as I am of the religious demagogues on the Christian right.

This may seem like frank acquiescence to the charge that "liberals are soft on terrorism." It is, and they are. 

Discussions - 6 Comments

And let’s not forget this.

Many liberals get it, which you’d never know if your picture of liberalism comes from Rush or Coulter - or, sorry to add, from some talk shows on the left, taking their cue from Rush on the right.

Craig - good link. Thanks.

If "many liberals" get it, then why did the Democrat candidate for the Presidency carry the same states that Gore carried in 2000. If we were looking at the Electoral College results for evidence of how "many liberals" actually got it, what evidence would we find. New Jersey, Rhode Island, Conn and NY all went Democrat, likewise Pennsylvania. So the states most marked by the grueling events of 9/11 still voted Democrat, in the midst of a war.

It’s far more accurate to say that "some" liberals get it, but it’s wildly outlandish to say that "many" do.

And lastly, the LEADERSHIP of the Democrat party, and especially the foreign policy establishment of that party DEMONSTRABLY don’t get it, and aren’t likely to acquire it any time soon.

That party can’t be trusted on national security, and that’s been the truth since 1968. Humphery had to battle for the nomination then, and ever since, no moderate has had much of a prayer. Clinton’s "new Democrat" nomenclature notwithstanding. He’s one of them, and his quasi conspiracy comments with Wallace on FNC the other day, indicate that’s he’s out there with his wife, Harkin, et al.

Gimme a break. It’s panfully obvious at this junction that being "hard on terror" doesn’t work, either. Jihadists are like worms. If you cut the head off one, it grows into two worms instead of killing it. The fundamental problem with terrorism is and always will be the way the US looks at it: as a military issue instead of a law enforcement issue. Nobody’s getting it right.

Oh, so let’s be soft on terror.

Even the leaked NIE doesn’t jive with your assertion, andrew. (By the way, the NIE that was leaked is now declassed, with redactions of course).

One of the solutions the NIE gives for Iraq is to make the jihadist perceive that they are not winning.

How, pray tell, does being soft on terrorism accomplish this?

In the 1990s, our soft terrorims policies emboldened the terrorists, not the other way around.

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