Wednesday, November 08, 2006


This midterm election result is a signal from the voters. Unfortunately it is a rather crude instrument. The future hinges critically on the correct interpretation of this signal.

In the short run, the signal is being interpreted by foreign tyrants as a welcome relief from the pressures of reform and justice; the gloating has already begun. Thug regimes are looking forward to cutting deals, they hope, with a new "pragmatism" and realpolitik headed by a returning James Baker and his Iraq Commission.

They may or may not be justified in that hope.

It is the longer-term interpretation of the signal by our own government that matters most.

On the one hand, if the Democrats believe their own anti-Bush propaganda and take it as a mandate to pretend none of them had overwhelmingly voted to use force in Iraq, and to pretend none of them were saying how much of a threat Saddam Hussein was since at least 1996 when Clinton was bombing Iraq's ongoing WMD programs (which nobody seriously disputes existed at that time), and to refight issues from 3 years ago, then we will be ill-served.

But on the other hand, there is perhaps a ray of hope. Maybe, just maybe, their childish petulance that refused, through their lackeys in the MSM, to attribute ANY shred of positivity to a Bush policy, in retaliation for what they saw as "stolen" elections, will now dissipate.

Maybe, with Dems in power, the media will start to report good news on the economy and on Iraq, to make it appeaer the Democrat policies are magically making the world well again.

Perhaps the stunning success of Phase I of the Iraq campaign will be recognized: the adroit removal of a terrible tyrant who was buying off sanctions through the Oil for Food fraud, and the revelations of the Libyan nuclear program and AQ Khan's WMD technology blackmarket.

Avoidance of that recognition to this point makes no rational sense, but that's the human psychology. The "reaction from around the world" is already jubilation at the "downfall" of Bush policy. The media will portray this as foreigners liking us better, perhaps making much of America feel better about itself too. Perhaps morale will improve if the media stops its relentless propaganda that was designed to get Republicans out of power now that that aim has been achieved.

Those of us who knew what had to be done from the start will find this blatant delusional dishonesty galling of course, but we were always going to contribute to the effort of transforming the Middle East anyway. If this is the price of getting others on board, so be it.

It's that important.

So instead of trying to impeach Bush and Cheney, maybe the Democrats will move away from their smokescreen rhetorical issues, now that they have a way to get credit for success, and will provide some useful ideas.

I have never been a fan of one-party rule. A true loyal opposition, all along, would have been asking the following important questions. Perhaps they will ask them now.

For example, should Iraq be allowed to follow the natural course of history and divide along religion-ethnic lines?

Should the army be expanded by a division or two, and what incentives should be offered to encourage volunteers?

How to deal with a nuclear Pakistan after Musharraf, who can't last forever?

Or, maybe we'll find out that they were commie scum all along, and just can't stop themselves from continuing to destroy America from within for the sheer nihilistic pleasure of it.


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