Carol Platt Liebau: The Right Kind of Change

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Right Kind of Change

Robert Novak is pleased with Josh Bolten's personnel changes in the wake of his becoming President Bush's chief of staff -- and actually has the grace (all too rare in the punditry business) to admit that his initial impression of Bolten's potential was mistaken.

He also concludes with a nugget of great insight:

The conventional wisdom is that the Democrats want to highlight Bush in nationalized midterm elections while Republicans want to hide him and let the party's congressional candidates run on their own. But the president of the United States cannot hide.

Absolutely. Republicans are making a dreadful mistake if they act ashamed of President Bush -- because doing so suggests that there is something to be ashamed of, and that implicitly validates every ridiculous accusation that every loony leftist has conjured up in the past year and a half.

Have mistakes been made in Iraq and elsewhere? Of course -- but they're neither of the sort nor the magnitude that Democratic propaganda would suggest. And if Republicans think they can save their electoral hides by cravenly running from President Bush, they've lost their minds. Republicans are in this together, and can best avoid an electoral debacle by making a spirited defense of Republican policy, especially in the war on terror.

Taking the offense against an opportunist policy-free group of aspiring peaceniks (a la Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean) draws instructive contrasts and reminds the American people that the Democrats simply can't be trusted, either with foreign policy in general or keeping the country safe in particular.


Blogger stackja1945 said...

Voters should show their support for Saddam and Bin Laden and vote for the dems party of retreat.

1:39 AM  
Blogger amber said...

I could not disagree with you more about Iraq. I believe the war has been run expertly. Deaths in the military and the marines have declined since this war began. Yes, that is correct, less soldiers are dieing now that they are fighting this war with the right president than were dieing when Clinton was in office or at any time in history. If a mistake has been made, it is that the President has not jailed the reporters and the hollywood types who are so invested in this country's defeat. I believe they are committing treason and the President should do as Lincoln and put them in prison. I also think the mistake in hiding from the president is that I do not believe the poll numbers, not one bit. I believe the majority of Americans would vote for President Bush again and by the politicians distancing themselves from him they are distancing themselves from the majority.

5:25 AM  
Blogger Sven said...

Have mistakes been made in Iraq and elsewhere? Of course -- but they're neither of the sort nor the magnitude that Democratic propaganda would suggest.

Yes. Just little, unfortunate mistakes.

6:52 AM  
Blogger amber said...

It is a war, and people die in wars, even innocent ones. Much of this could have been avoided if the UN was a serious organization. But, since it is not, and since most of Europe is getting rid of their invading armies (Norway is one) they are making it easier for bad people to terrorize the world. Europe loves to hate us all while getting rid of any means to defend themselves because "the US will do it". So, sorry we have to make tough decisions, but the deaths of innocents is not a war mistake, it is acceptable losses. If they would have taken care of the threat within their own country then we would not be there and you could not blame us. Also, who do you blame for the loss of a 7 year old boy a terrorist tells to lay in the middle of the road to force US convoys to change their route? We have to drive over that child, we have to do that and live with the visions of ending a small child's life because some putrid human being made us make the choice to crush a child or lead 20+ soldiers to certain death by vearing around the child.
I also lived in Pakistan, not with military troups, but with Pakistanis and I do not know anyone who has been with real people in that region of the world who think we should not have attacked Iraq.

2:56 PM  
Blogger dodger said...

Amber and Carol, I agree with both of you. Sven, could you point to one war or event of similar import where no mistakes were made? Course not. A war zone is just that. Those you portray are the enemy's mistakes, not ours.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Sven said...

So, sorry we have to make tough decisions, but the deaths of innocents is not a war mistake, it is acceptable losses.

That's an extraordinary statement, Amber. To write off a human being as an "acceptable loss"... I'm not sure if I have the philosophical chops to put into words how nihilistic and morally bankrupt that sentiment is, but I'll try.

One can weigh the consequences of a war and reasonably find that, on balance, the ends justifed the means. I don't agree that that's the case in this instance, but that's not my objection.

I object to the attempt to dismiss the consequences of our actions (or pawn them off on the enemy) with a mere wave of the hand. That way lies evil and madness.

Just war requires a complicated - and ongoing moral calculus. One might believe a war just at its onset, but that doesn't mean it must remain so throughout. We can't simply erase the toll of innocents just because it eases our conscience.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

I doubt that anyone is trying to erase the toll of innocents, Sven. But there's something immoral about forcing such images in the faces of those who support the tough decision to stay the course. We did not start this. We're merely seeking to put an end to it. Amber's choice of words is unfortunate. But our forces go out of their way to minimize collateral damage and often at their own risk. No one is cool with the death or maiming of innocents. But there will be more and ongoing deaths and maimings if the scum we are fighting are allowed to prevail. How does your moral calculus deal with that?

10:06 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

In the words of General George Patton, Jr., "There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wounds,
death and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time."

I agree with that statement. The unfortunate, but realistic consequence is that there will be innocents lost as well. We can pray for their souls - but not necessarily for those of our enemy, who we must defeat before they kill us.

If there has been a "mistake" in Iraq, it is that we have not used all speed and force to reduce the terrorists to masses of bleeding protoplasm in the streets. As Patton says in the above quote, time is of the essence so we do not lose more men or women to the enemy!

Move out, troops - get it done and take no prisoners!

4:56 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

Sven, go here and check out some Face of the Enemy that you and the MSM hide from Americans.

8:00 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Marshall Art said:

"We did not start this. We're merely seeking to put an end to it."

In what possible way did we not start this war? We invaded Iraq. Yes, you say, because the world would not get rid of Saddam. Well, we created Saddam. We armed him, we paid him, and we supported him in his war against Iran. We sold him the evil weapons we later used as an excuse to invade. He was for many years our puppet. And when it seemed easy enough, we decided to get rid of him.

This war is 100% an American creation. The blood is on our hands.

12:38 PM  
Blogger amber said...

I understand that people may not like the word "acceptable" when it comes to innocent lives lost, but there is no kind way to put it. It is horrible, but as dodger said it is our enemy's mistake not ours. Often people talk about right, wrong, and peace, but they are unwilling to do the dirty work to make it happen. Peace does not come because you will it, people are not safe because you dream it, and it is appauling to me to have someone who lives in a safe world to say that they care nothing for other's safety. I know that is not what the anti-iraq war people think they are saying, but it is what is being said. "We should leave, who cares that these people live in horor every day." To call me immoral for understanding that people must die for peace to come about is very wrong. It is immoral to sit in your comfy living room and watch your news while people out there are suffering and say you don't care about their suffering. If you do care and you do not want this war, then where are you? What are you doing to help these people? It takes more than typing accusing words on someone's blog to be affective, it takes more than ranting about how bad this war is, so, where are you? what are you doing? protesting? that is bull. I am never comfortable sharing my charitable activities, but since this is bound to get a "What are you doing?" from others if I don't, I will let you know. I have purchased and sent enough school supplies for 30 children in Iraq, personnally. My husband is serving in Iraq right now, so even my children are sacrificing, I spent months working with Pakistani youth teaching them basic construction techniques. While I was in Pakistan I saw men treat women with indiferrance, I saw a 9 year old boy get beaten by 3 grown men because he was asking for food, and worst of all, I saw a Pakistani woman break down when we left because she has never received the kind of love and respect from anyone tta she received from us Americans. I saw her fear as we left, her fear of being left in a world were no one noticed she existed. I understand better than most what sacrifice we are making and what joy we are bringing to a world were people are not valued. So, it is with that understanding that I say the innocent lives lost are acceptable losses in this war because the closer we get to seeing this through, the more their lives will mean freedom to the Iraqis. If we quit now, you have made their deaths nothing, and you are immoral.

4:15 PM  

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