MartiniPundit

Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

Archive for October 2004

Halloween Carnival of the Cats

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The latest Carnival of the Cats is up at When Cats Attack. Chloe is in there, but you’ll have to click through all the kitty goodness to see where.

Written by martinipundit

October 31, 2004 at 10:41 pm

Posted in Catblogging

Tagged with ,

Sunday Reads

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The big story Friday was the Osama tape – who would have thought that bin Laden would supply this year’s October surprise?

Two reads on that. First, the Washington Post clarifies the weak horse in this editorial. Then, William Kristol opines on how Kerry could not resist trying to make it political.

For balance, there’s also the New Yorker’s unprecedented endorsement of John Kerry, something the weekly has never done. While I disagree with pretty much all of it, and indeed, find it factually in error in numerous places, it’s a succint summary of prevailing thought on the Left. File it under ‘good to know.’

And could the week be complete without some Mark Steyn?

Enjoy!

Written by martinipundit

October 31, 2004 at 1:06 pm

Posted in General

MartiniPundit Endorses George W. Bush

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It should come as no surprise to even cursory readers that this blog is unabashedly partisan and supports the reelection of George W. Bush to a second term as President of the United States.

I am a conservative first and a Republican second (if at all). I came of age politically during the Carter presidency and it affected my political views deeply. The United States had not had a more feckless, incompetent, inept fool who was totally over his head in the Oval Office in the Twentieth Century (some in the Nineteenth certainly were worse). I watched with growing horror and anger a 444 day crisis in which the United States stood impotently by as Mad Mullahs controlled US foreign policy and the lives of dozens of our citizens. These same Mullahs were in power because Jimmy Carter stood by and allowed a coup to take place against the Shah of Iran because we didn’t like the way he ruled his country. Human rights trumped Realpolitik, plunged the Iranian people into a worse nightmare from which they have yet to escape, endangered American lives, and reduced out clout throughout the world. At the time I was shocked and openly wondered if America could survive if its democratic institutions allowed such a man to win the highest office in the land.

I was too young to vote in the election of 1980, and I did not know enough about the Republican Candidate Ronald Reagan to support him, but I knew I opposed Jimmy Carter. You could say I was an ‘ABC’ supporter. It took a couple of years, but Reagan restored my faith in democracy, which had taken a near-fatal blow from Carter. By 1984, when I was old enough to vote, I was an enthusiastic supporter of Ronald Reagan. My faith was not misplaced. By 1988, I was living in Massachusetts, and had a first-hand look at Michael Dukakis and saw nothing that commended him to the Oval Office. I knew the so-called ‘Massachusetts Miracle’ was a sham which Dukakis had nothing to do with, but at the same time I was suspicious of George H.W. Bush who reminded me of the old country-club Republicans I had grown up with and who couldn’t actually be bothered to oppose the Democrats. Bush the Elder proved to be just that sort with the sole saving grace of an excellent campaign against Saddam Hussein in 1991.

1992 to 2000 were the twilight years. I watched a talented man squander the presidency as though he were Leo X and no one had ever heard of Martin Luther. For eight years we lived in a bubble, both economically and historically which could not be sustained and was in many ways a mythic time. In 2000 things changed. I know that John McCain is some sort of paragon to the Democrats. To me he is a straddling, ho-hum politician whose quest for the Great White Campaign Finance Reform was seriously misguided and a ridiculous basis upon which to seek the presidency. In George W. Bush I caught the glimpse of Reagan’s heir, and the whiff of optimism. To those of us in the right positions, it was clear that the bubble had already burst, even though the economy as a whole had not felt it. The next president would face challenges. Al Gore’s tax and regulate approach would be disastrous. I happily pulled the lever for president for George W. Bush in 2000 for the first time since 1988.

I foresaw the economic troubles. No one could foresee 9/11. If we were only voting on the economy, Bush deserves a second term. Twelve consecutive quarters of growth. Unemployment two tenths of a point below where it was when Clinton won a second term. Federal tax receipts up proving once again the benefit to the treasury of cutting taxes. A president who is the friend of the small businessmen and women of the nation, and who understands they are the engine of growth.

However, this year, I’m a single-issue voter: the Global War on Terror. Admittedly, as those of you who have stuck it out this long in this piece will have realized, foreign policy is high on my list and typically the single most important factor for me. This year, it is the only factor. For if we lose, none of the rest will matter.

I think George Bush has done as good a job as could be expected, and in fact it is a superb job. Those who demand perfection, those who nitpick, those who say that a president must be prescient with 100% accuracy are fools like Jimmy Carter. It is no accident that Carter has come out of the woodwork this year for this President must be stirring up the Ghosts of his failure like no one since Reagan. Bush understands that the GWOT must be fought on multiple fronts with multiple tools in multiple places. Afghanistan was the logical starting point as they were harboring the (living) perpetrators of 9/11. We took that base from them, killed or captured large numbers of al Qaeda operatives, and overthrew the noxious Taliban regime. We did not capture Osama bin Laden, which would have been an unalloyed good. But Bush did not — let him go” as Kerry has charged.

The logical question to ask after Afghanistan was — what now?” Some would have answered that question — job done, now we go home.” I stand with those who answer that question — we’re cleaning house, who’s next?” Among the logical choices of terror-supporting states, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia are on the list. North Korea is a separate but related problem. For a host of strategic reasons, the Bush Administration made the correct choice to go after Iraq next. In a campaign that will be studied in military academies around the war for generations to come, the Saddam regime was overthrown in a brilliantly conceived and executed plan. Quiet diplomacy has been exerted and has borne fruit in Pakistan, Libya, and possibly Saudi Arabia. I have no doubt that it will take military action to deal with Syria and Iran, and that to leave those heinous regimes in power is to lose the GWOT. These are the rogue states that support al Qaeda and other terrorists and without that support, these groups will wither and die. I do not intend to live in the world that the terrorists want for me nor do I intend for my son to live there. My only option is to support the candidate who will fight them because he’s proved he will fight them – George W. Bush.

There are other issues. The President has spent too much money, gay marriage is a distraction in such an election, we’re a long way from resolving the health care debate. These and others are issues for a later time in my view.

MartiniPundit proudly and happily endorses George W. Bush for President of the United States.

Written by martinipundit

October 30, 2004 at 9:08 am

Osama bin Back

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There he is!

Assuming the tape al Jazeera aired is authentic, it appears Osama bin Laden has surfaced in time for the election, although he doesn’t actually come out and endorse Kerry, he does mention him by name. Some excerpts:

“We decided to destroy towers in America,” bin Laden said, referring to the World Trade Center.

“God knows that it had not occurred to our mind to attack the towers, but after our patience ran out and we saw the injustice and inflexibility of the American-Israeli alliance toward our people in Palestine and Lebanon, this came to my mind,” he said.

He accused President Bush of “misleading” the American people since the 2001 suicide airline hijackings that hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

“Your security is not in the hands of (Democratic candidate John) Kerry or Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in your own hands,” bin Laden said.

“To the U.S. people, my talk is to you about the best way to avoid another disaster,” he said. “I tell you: security is an important element of human life and free people do not give up their security.”

“If Bush says we hate freedom, let him tell us why we didn’t attack Sweden, for example. It is known that those who hate freedom do not have dignified souls, like those of the 19 blessed ones,” he said, referring to the 19 hijackers.

“We fought you because we are free .. and want to regain freedom for our nation. As you undermine our security we undermine yours.”

Since there would be no reason to refer to Kerry before last spring, if this tape is real, we can infer that it was made this year, which would definitely put a crimp in the theory that Osama is dead. On the other hand, this tape is no different from the others, nor the one aired yesterday in its posturing and empty threats.

We’ve got these savages on the run and Osama – if alive – is still living in a rat hole somewhere. His talk of freedom is spurious nonsense which is clearly aimed at us, as quite different language is used towards his followers. One could try to follow the logic of the statement, but what would be the point? Two things stand out: he takes credit for 9/11 for the first time which one wonders what those who still think the whole thing was a CIA-Mossad plot will do now that their tin-foil hats are spinning round their collective brow, and he also said his patience had run out.

Wow, we exhausted Osama bin Laden’s patience. Apparently over the Palestinians and Lebanon for which you should read our support for Israel.

Well newsflash Jihad-boy – you don’t know what patience is. You don’t know the patience of a people who endured its embassy to be seized, its marines blown up, its elderly shot and thrown overboard, its planes hijacked, its terroritory attacked, its soldiers dragged through the streets, its embassies blown up, its ships blown up. But you started this fight weak horse, and whether it’s Kerry or Bush next week, the American people will finish it.

Oh, and as for freedom, just ask the Afghans and the Iraqis. They are free because of the war you started. But not because you were on their side.

Written by martinipundit

October 29, 2004 at 4:31 pm

Posted in 2004 Election, GWOT

Chloe in the Afternoon

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Chloe wanted it understood that she had no intention whatsoever of meddling with that string hanging down from the blinds, and was just watching the pigeons outside.

Right. A string in the paw is worth two pigeons outside the window.

Written by martinipundit

October 29, 2004 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Catblogging

Tagged with ,

Bad Call John VI

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Dick Morris – a svengali-like figure in his way – is typically entertaining, and has the peculiar distinction of being the only significant insider to bolt the Clinton fold. He rubs many people the wrong way, and while I often read his perspective I rarely post on it. Yet today he’s summed up the blunder the Kerry camp has made over the ‘missing explosives’ so well, I felt an exception ought to be made:

John Kerry was on the verge of moving out to a victory after the third debate. Taking advantage of its pre-ordained focus on domestic issues, he had finally, finally swung the debate back to the issues on which he has — and has always had — a lead: domestic policy. Next he got a short-term bounce from Bill Clinton’s presence on the campaign trail and seemed on his way to closing the Bush lead.

Then came the “disappearing explosives” story. Kerry’s handlers, tacticians to the last, disregarded the needs of basic strategy and hopped on the issue with all four feet, running a TV ad lambasting Bush for losing the weapons after the invasion.

Strategically, this flawed decision assured that the final week of the campaign would focus on the areas of Bush’s strength and Kerry’s weakness: Iraq and terrorism. Tactically, it tied the electorate’s confidence in John Kerry to the mystery of what actually happened in an ammo dump in the desert 18 months ago.

Then it began to explode in Kerry’s face. Soon we heard that there were only three tons of explosives . . . and they weren’t there when we occupied the dump . . . and they were removed by the Russians before we got there . . . and, perhaps, there are satellite photos to prove it.

All of a sudden, Kerry seems just not ready for prime time.

The backfire is amplified by the involvement of CBS and The New York Times. The plans of “60 Minutes” and Dan Rather to break the story on the Sunday before the election reflect overt partisan bias — an overt conspiracy of these leading outlets to stack the deck in favor of Kerry.

Kerry apparently doesn’t get that at all. You see, he’s still talking about it even as the Pentagon releases satellite photos of trucks at the site before the US got there.

Written by martinipundit

October 29, 2004 at 10:35 am

Terrorists Thump Their Chests

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They must be worried.

Worried that Bush will be reelected and continue the relentless pounding.

Worried that they won’t get to see America turn tail and run.

Drudge has the story.

The latest tape from the savages sounds ghoulish enough – rivers of blood, our turn to die, we’re guilty, etc., etc.

Piffle.

The only message on this tape is that the savages are scared that Bush will be reelected. Which, come to think of it, is an excellent reason to do just that.

What truly amazes me is they simply have no idea who they’re screwing with even now. If they were to somehow pull off a serious attack such as their predictable and tiresome rhetoric implies, if they were somehow to inflict some sort of catastrophic blow which actually threatened the fabric of our society, it would all be in vain.

For under those circumstances, even John Kerry would have to turn their sandy, flea-bitten tents into a carbonized parking lot.

It shouldn’t need to come to that, of course, but when people living in the dark ages with dark age technology fight a people generations ahead of them technically, the outcome is not in doubt. Only how many people the savages are prepared to see die before they surrender.

If only that were a small number.

Written by martinipundit

October 28, 2004 at 11:01 pm

Posted in 2004 Election, GWOT

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