Imperial Requiem

Friday, March 31, 2006

Looking Ahead Part 2

The second issue that's going to affect the 2006 mid-term elections is the issue of immigration. In fact, it already is. There have been pro-immigration rallies throughout Souther California in the recent weeks, and they've been heavily covered by the news media, new and old.

The problem with those rallies is that they're getting the kind of attention that they don't want. Many of the immigrants in the rallies were seen carrying Mexican flags- not American flags. And alot of them were espousing pro-Mexican rhetoric. When you get images of illegal immigrants taking down an American flag and hoisting up an Mexican flag, and then putting an American flag upside down underneath it, on American soil, you know they've just lost 95% of middle America (Michelle Malkin). Here's some more info: Michelle Malkin 2, Dallas News, and Captain's Quarters. In conversations with regular Americans, people are starting to get fed up with the immigrant problem in the US. I don't mean the immigrants who want to be here, legal or illegal. Most of the immigrants that are in the US are from Mexico- and a great deal of them don't support America, and are actually sent here by the Mexican government, to add the money they make to the Mexican economy. Why should the US support people who are mooching off our economy? By and large, in my conversations with average Americans, they don't like this. At all.

And this isn't an issue that the Democrats want to reach the surface. Years ago, they would have been able to say that those that opposed the immigration were "racists" and "unamerican". At this point, that rhetoric will sound shallow when faced with the type of shennanigans that were going on at the pro-immigration rallies, which were featured on mainstream news. A wide swath of America doesn't like what they're seeing.

It remains to be seen if the Republican party will get behind this issue- Bush already is, proposing work visa programs and amnesty programs for the illegal immigrants who want to be in the US, and tougher measures in keeping immigrants out. To be frank, why else would there have been a meeting between Bush, Vincente Fox, and Stephen Harper (the new Canadian PM) this past week? They watched the news, and all saw that the illegal immigration issue had jumped the shark.

The problem for the Republicans (as well as the Dems) in Congress is that they see the Latino community as a voting bloc. They're mostly right, and that bloc basically can have an impact on elections. However, those that are against illegal immigration represent a far greater bloc. As the issue is being presented to the public- this is the type of issue that the Dems don't want to be a factor in the mid-term elections. They know they can get snazzy headlines with this, but they won't be able to get the voters with stupid crap like what I posted. It's out in the open, and it will have a ripple effect.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Looking ahead Part 1

Since the Democrats want to look ahead to the fall elections, I might as well do that, too. The Dems apparently decided to pull their heads out of the ground long enough to issue their foriegn policy strategy: THE DEMOCRATIC PLAN

Pardon me while I laugh. There are other bloggers who have stated that they believe that the Dem's strategy feels like some powerpoint session that they pulled out of their ass (Brian Dunn). The sad thing is, is that those bloggers are pretty much right. The Dems plan boils down to:

-We'll get Osama! Somehow! But we will! And we'll also raise the dead! Somehow! But we will!

-We'll pull out of Iraq because we have no idea how to fight a war and win it. But we'll go fight Osama! Somehow! But we will! And we'll save you $150 on your Geico bill, too!

-Oh, we'll fight him and Al Qaeda in Pakistan. Somehow! Never mind that would mean war with Pakistan, who's ALLIED with us in the Global War on Terror. But we will!

-We'll increase the number of Special Forces while completely ignoring the state of the regular armed forces. Just don't tell anyone that this is codeword bullshit for "we'll pretend to fund SPECOPS while we cut the rest of the army, again. And turn the Global War on Terror over to the UN."

- We'll stop nuclear proliferation with Iran and North Korea by talking sternly to them! We'll send those bad boys to their room! Nevermind that they're already laughing at us! We'll laugh at ourseves too! We will!

- We'll pretend the NSA is illegal as long as a Republican is in office. And conveiniently forget that Democrats in office have used it for the same purposes.

- Bush is wrong, we're right, neener neener neener. See? We told you we're right. Therefore, we are right.

That's what it boils down to. There's nothing in there that actually talks about real concrete policy issues, or fundamental strategies. It's all a hodgepodge of catchphrases designed to try to sell you a retail product that they don't have any expertise talking about. Much of it's "what Bush says, we're against" without saying what they're actually for or even really denying that Bush is actually wrong about it (just that he's FOR it, rather than them being for it first). In short, it's nothing more than rehashed crap from the Kerry campaign. Gee, that helped them out in 2004, didn't it?

I considerably doubt that they'll be able to gain a foothold on this issue. Most of the polls out in the media consistently underrepresent Republicans and overreperesent Democrats and their allies among independents. Republicans also tend to do better on election day, on average, than the Democrats do. Part of this is because they're focused on grassroots campaigns and mixing it with a national strategy. The Dems have not had one since 2000. All they have are a base who is reflexively anti-Bush, and not much else. That's not enough to win in November 2006.

It does help the Dems that the GOP seems to be floundering right now, but if all the Dems can do is come out with a lame PowerPoint presentation of rehashed failed concepts for their foriegn policy strategy, it's not as if they're doing great, either. This is an issue in which they're signaling that they're going to shoot themselves in the foot with, once again.

Here are some other links talking about the Dem's plan:Big Lizards, Big Lizards 2, Captain's Quarters and TKs

Monday, March 06, 2006

They're still at it

Some of the so-called Conservatives out there are still whining about Iraq. As in my previous posts, Derbyshire along with CliffMay, Francis Fukuyama, and William F. Buckley, are continuing their rants against the Iraqi war, if only because they believe that the situation there is untenable, and, more to the point, they never signed on to nation building after deposing Saddam.

For the first part, they point to the issue of the potential for Civil War in Iraq, with the bombing of the Golden Mosque as the flashpoint. To this, I say: stop watching CNN, MSNBC, and reading the NY Times. Start readingBill Roggio's The Fourth Rail- and Threats Watch- Both sites posit a far more complete view of what's going in in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond. There was no civil war- there was an attempt to create a civil war, but it's an attempt that by and large, failed. But those writers, editorialists, and pundits all screamed bloody murder the moment that the Mosque was blown up; they didn't bother to wait for follow up information that would vaildate their claims for a full-blown civil war; they didn't bother to read beyond the basic mainstream media (who do NOT have the ability to understand the GWOT with their media structuralization and ideologies); and they've never been to Iraq.

And yet, guys like Derbyshire get the chance to pontificate to people who HAVE been to Iraq- that they have less worth then the Derbyshires of the world. Ralph Peters was in Iraq recently, during the unrest that happened after the bombing of the Mosque. And yet, all Derbyshire and his ilk could do is say "he reported from a Humvee, that's not really visiting Iraq" (paraphrased). Um, well......that's more than you've done, Derbyshire. You get a free pass at bitching when you do exactly what Ralph Peters does, and nothing less. Oh, and now that things are calming down (to an extent) in Baghdad, what do these writers have to say for themselves? A simple "oops" won't suffice.

The second point irritates me even more: That they don't care one way or the other that Democracy should be exported to Iraq or the Middle East, and that their sole goal was to eliminate Hussein as a threat to the US and the West. To that, I have just this to say:

Why can't the Middle East become a democracy?

Their reponse is that Islam is not suitable for Democracy, and that that Arab people don't ultimately want Democracy. Well, as for Islam + Democracy, we just don't know. It's never really been tried before. To say that it won't work is an assuption without any facts behind it. But what we DO know, is that the people of the Middle East want prosperity and economic freedom. They've taken to that pretty effectively- when they've been allowed it. And the easiest way to ensure economic freedom is through democratic governments. Socialist, autocratic, or Tribal governments won't work in the globalized world of today. That effectively leaves them with democracy. And why shouldn't they get their chance at democracy? Because they're, well, not American? Or European? That they bow 5 times a day to Mecca? And don't drink wine? I hope you readers see where I'm going with this: I can't help but think that the simple, underlying reason that these writers don't want to see nation-building and democracy in the Middle East is because they are not American, Europeans, Judeo-Christians, and as such, are lower than the former, and deserve their lower stature. IE; I find it a fundamentally racist arguement. I want to hesitate from saying that, because it really veers into potential ad hominen territory, but I can't shake it. The whole "they're not us, and thus are not worthy" arguement that I'm seeing them make I just find utterly vile. And so goddamn stupid that it's the type of strategy that would make counter-insurgency operations in the overall GWOT virtually impossible. It's be a magnet for AQ and their sister organizations to rally anti-American rhetoric around.

All these writers want is to replace Hussein with another dictator who's just be "our son of a bitch". And what, pray tell, would that really accomplish? That we're only looking out for our own self-interests, and are willing to trample over everyone in order to get it? That once we depose Hussein, we leave, install a puppet regime, and leave them to their own devices? With Al Qaeda and other terror organizations inside and outside Iraq? That's really bright. I just find it irresponsible- on the left or the right- to want to pull out or just not STAY in the first place, when what we're really doing is waging an offensive struggle that will take decades to complete. Their strategy does nothing more than create a holding pattern throughout the world. That's like trying to fight WW2 from Britain, and never launching a sea/land/air invasion of the European mainland.

Oh, and speaking of WW2, wouldn't you say that the rebuilding of Germany and Japan into democracies went pretty well? What does that say about our potential for nation building? And, as for their commentary that "democracies don't necessarily not fight other democracies", other than the Hamas controlled PLO, when has that happened? Yes, terrorists can use democracies for underground organization and resources, but it's not like France, Britain, the US, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Italy on a governmental or mainstream societal level conspired with the terrorists to launch terror operations. That's nothing more than a straw man arguement that's just there to make the writers look good and goes nowhere. I'd rather spend more time arguing about the merits of our actual CI operational plan than theoretical conceptualizations that would even annoy most Wall Street brokers.

So, what else is there to say about these writers? Time will tell, but I for one, don't want to be associated with their increasingly unbalanced rhetoric and ad hominen attacks. Get in a HUMMV and go to Iraq. Or read from people who have. And learn.