Friday, September 16, 2005

A Changing World

The world is changing radically, though in ways largely unrecognized by mainstream opinion. Blogging is easy when I just have to copy the cogent observations of others.

First, we have some observations in this article:
Analysts believe that Assad canceled his New York trip for two reasons: U.S. officials couldn't guarantee his entourage immunity from arrest if Mehlis and the Lebanese government issued a warrant, and, more important, he feared the risk of turmoil in Damascus if he were to leave now.

What an invigorating spectacle, to watch as the rule of law squeezes the arrogant men who treated Lebanon as their private fief. Some of them are in jail; others are trying to cut deals; still others are said to have defected to other countries. Credit goes to Lebanon's new government, which was tough and united in making the surprise arrests, at dawn on Aug. 30, of the security chiefs. Rumors are spinning in Beirut and Damascus about which members of the Assad regime are ratting out their friends. A Paris-based newsletter, Intelligence Online, wrote that a Syrian intelligence colonel had defected to France with information about the Slovakian-made explosives that allegedly killed Hariri.
Follow the chain of events. Why did Syria withdraw from Lebanon in the first place?

Purely because it knew it could not use brutal military force, as it did on the former town of Hama, to repress the Cedar Revolution.

And the reason for that was surely not because of the UN. But rather because there were battle-hardened US combat divisions in Iraq.

I mentioned before how that situation also changed Qadaffi's mind about the wisdom of pursuing nuclear weapons. To those who wish to dismiss such thoughts, let us recall we have the evidence directly from his own mouth; Italy's Berlusconi reported that Qadaffi called him on the phone, saying,
I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid.
Amazingly, many still claim the Iraq war had nothing to do whatsoever with Libya's unilateral capitulation!

Wretchard of Belmont Club elaborates,
If you listed out all the things that have happened in the four years since 9/11 it would be an astoundingly long ennumeration. Afghanistan, AQ Khan, Iraq, Libya, UN, Indonesia, Indian alliance, fall of the EU, reelection of Howard, Bush, Blair, Araft, Gaza and Lebanon. You could extend the list much further if you wish.

Yet despite that, there's a sense that President Bush has lost his sense of urgency and mission; that he is acting too PC. There's some truth to that, but part of the reason I suspect, is that the War on Terror has grown so broad and acquired such a momentum that it can no longer be steered by direct action.

But that does not mean it can be left to drift. The quiet surrounding the White House can either mean it has brought the wheel amidships or it is thinking through the next move. I don't know which it is.
Aristides adds,
If you haven't done so already, you must watch Bush's speech to the UN delivered yesterday. Watch it as from a distance and feel the enormity of American power; listen to the words and hear something great and unknown. You can watch it on if you missed it.

It is something that must be watched. Watch his eyes, read his body language. The leader of the free world threw down the gauntlet yesterday, to allies and enemies alike, and by doing so he has exposed his agenda. He is still moving forward, and the UN will be his vehicle. Last chance, it seems, for that austere body to substantially affect the foreign policy of the new United States imperium.

I would very much like to have a seating chart of the assembly. Bush seemed to punctuate his strongest statements with his eyes, and I would love to know who it was that drew them.
Aristides must be referring to this main speech and this shorter one. An excerpt:
The United Nations and its member states must continue to stand by the Iraqi people as they complete the journey to a fully constitutional government. And when Iraqis complete their journey, their success will inspire others to claim their freedom, the Middle East will grow in peace and hope and liberty, and all of us will live in a safer world.

The advance of freedom and security is the calling of our time. It is the mission of the United Nations. The United Nations was created to spread the hope of liberty, and to fight poverty and disease, and to help secure human rights and human dignity for all the world's people. To help make these promises real, the United Nations must be strong and efficient, free of corruption, and accountable to the people it serves. The United Nations must stand for integrity, and live by the high standards it sets for others. And meaningful institutional reforms must include measures to improve internal oversight, identify cost savings, and ensure that precious resources are used for their intended purpose.

The United Nations has taken the first steps toward reform. The process will continue in the General Assembly this fall, and the United States will join with others to lead the effort. And the process of reform begins with members taking our responsibilities seriously. When this great institution's member states choose notorious abusers of human rights to sit on the U.N. Human Rights Commission, they discredit a noble effort, and undermine the credibility of the whole organization. If member countries want the United Nations to be respected -- respected and effective, they should begin by making sure it is worthy of respect.
Taking them to the woodshed!

Aristides continues,
After reading "The Terrorist Network", it struck me how much we can blame communism and its fellow travelers for the age of terrorism. Terrorism in its first instance is an attack on liberal democracy; it is dangerous because it turns our strengths against us and makes the virtuous society untenable. The communist revolutionaries of the 70's knew that democracies were highly impotent against terrorism. People want safety more than liberties, and governments that could not supply the former would end by taking away the latter. Once the society is militarized and oppressed, the patient communist can find the fodder he needs to feed the beast of revolution. Start by stealing from the rich to feed the poor, and eventually the wind and the people are at your back. With such justification is tyranny and fascism embraced over democracy; this is the reason far-Leftists cheer dictatorship and abuse. Abuse and oppression are necessary preconditions of revolution, and revolution is what they fight for. If democracy is two steps away from the Worker's Paradise, tyranny is but one.

Thus, the Tupamaros could celebrate their accomplishment of fascism, though it was much different than what they desired, because their biggest enemy had been discredited and defeated. They had pushed society down the slippery slope to communism, and the end would justify the means.

Galloway makes common cause with fascism, but he is not for it. Both Osama and Galloway believe the same thing. To rebuild, you must first tear down. To create, you must destroy.

The War on Terrorism is a final insult added to communism's injurious defeat. Instead of devolving our liberties at home, America took it upon herself to change the world. The revolutionary narrative was incomplete; nobody ever thought what might happen if America pushed back. The price of that omission is now being shouldered by our erstwhile enemy Osama, and his unfortunate allies the Baathists and the Taliban. As an Emperor once said, he has paid the price for his lack of vision.

The power and influence of America has now reached every state on this planet, by necessity and by right. Something great and unprecedented is underfoot, a unique story our enemies did not predict and cannot believe. America has become an Empire of the Mind, and she is pressing her advantage. In her vanguard are the real true believers.

You might say the revolutionaries are dreamers, but they are not the only ones. Not by a long shot.
Still time for lefties to get on the "right" side of history -- but they won't. Because, as commenter Ignatius points out,
Iraq is a liberal war. The war against Islamofascism is a liberal war. True liberals support it.

When it broke out, liberals were given the choice of remaining true to their principles or maintaining their sense of superiority to George Bush.

For most, the choice was so easy they didn't even realize they'd made a choice. Because most liberals today don't have principles, they have poses.

Sadly, what Dissent Magazine used to call "the liberal who cannot be taught" has come to dominate the left side of the political divide.


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