Thursday, September 09, 2004

With 'conservatives' like this, who needs 'liberals'?

Babble on.

What a surprise I had this morning during my daily commute into the Centre of the Known Universe. Pat Buchanan - yes, THAT Pat Buchanan - was being interviewed on a local AM station by John Oakley of all people. For those of you who live on the fringes of civilization and consequently aren't aware of Oakley, he's a lefty controversialist with radio pipes. But man, was he ever licking Buchanan' Why? Because Buchanan has a new book out called "Where the Right Went Wrong" that excoriates GWB and the neo-cons who have supposedly hijacked American foreign policy in favour of (yaaaawwn!) Israel. 'American Likudniks' is the exact phrase Pat used. Given Oakley's declared antipathy towards the Bush administration, the interview obviously fell under the heading of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend.'

In the interview, Buchanan managed to conceal the fact that he's a rabid dog even the so-called 'Religious Right' wants put down for the common good. With the beachball questions tossed out by his fawning interviewer, Pat was able to make some reasonable-sounding attacks on the Bush administration. (I'm going to paraphrase from pre-Timmy's-double-double memory a radio conversation that occurred hours ago, so don't shoot me if it turns out I've misplaced a comma or written 'idiot' when Buchanan actually said 'moron.') This particular statement is typical:

"Al-Qaeda doesn't hate 'our way of life', or 'who we are', they hate our policies. I mean, can you imagine bin Laden sitting around in a cave in Afghanistan, picking up a copy of the Bill of Rights and going bananas?"

Sounds good, doesn't it? Except that American foreign-policy is an extension of 'who they are', although admittedly an imperfect one. Buchanan thinks 'true conservatives' would leave other countries alone. That's not 'conservatism', it's 'isolationism.' And isolationism isn't in the long-term best interests of anyone in the West, especially the U.S. We all benefit from the spread of democratic liberty, of free-market economies, of human rights around the world - politically and economically. Because America understands retreating into a shell like a scared turtle will limit opportunity for its citizens, and because no-one else is willing to stand out front, the U.S. takes the lead and takes the vicious, small-minded, envious resentment that goes with it.

Do the Americans make mistakes? Absolutely - and too many to list here. Does that mean they should abdicate leadership of the free world? Absolutely not. I'd prefer American leadership - warts and all - to any practical alternative I can think of.

Every time the U.S. has tried to hide behind its ocean borders, threats to liberty have advanced, not retreated. Buchanan's statist, calcified views are completely out of touch with today's reality. They would be downright dangerous if anyone was inclined to listen to him. Fortunately, not many are.

Babble off.


At 6:28 p.m., Blogger Gordon Pasha said...

"Every time the U.S. has tried to hide behind its ocean borders, threats to liberty have advanced, not retreated."

Damn, I wish I'd written that. The fundamental truth. Well done.

At 1:19 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Al-Qaeda doesn't hate 'our way of life', or 'who we are', they hate our policies."

Funny, Richard Clarke, another Bush-hater, said the exact opposite in his " book." (I guess I'll have to concede it actually is a book, 'cause its got pages with writing on them.....)

Anyway, Clarke states on more than one occasion that al Qaeda hates our way of life, and specifically that al Qaeda also hates our " freedoms."

I guess its hard to sing from the same song book, when they're all making it up as they go along.....



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