Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Conservative Ponderings

Lately I have been thinking about the administration's Iraq policy, the wonkish neo-con theory of nation- building, and the so-called conservative screaming heads that defend them both. Specifically, I am thinking of Hannity et. al. with respect to the latter. Anyway, the longer that I sit back and actually think about the situation, the more perplexed I become. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand the arguments presented by the national defense hawks and the policy of preemptive head-hunting associated therewith; for that is not what I speak. Let's just say, for the mere sake of argument, that the President and his administration honestly believed that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States. Does that explain our 3-year occupation of the sandbox and our soon-to-come presence in a third country in the region? I think it is safe to say that we are setting up shop in the Middle East and lower Asia with no real intention of wrapping up the party anytime soon. So what is going on?
The attenuated connections between Iraq and the overall War on Terror aside, I believe that anyone capable of intellectual honesty, upon a temporary abandonment of any political posturing, must see that the administration is, and has been since early 2003, implementing a Middle East policy that has been in the making for decades. It can be traced back to the Straussians, Irving Kristol and the merry gang of ex-Trotskyite neo-cons that believed that the world could, and should, be transformed into a Wilsonian-democratic wonderland via the use of American might. These guys were utopians in the classic sense and they saw nothing wrong with using the power of government to get us there. This is, in essence, the manipulation of independent nations and peoples based on the views of elitist intellectuals and power-seeking politicos. Think New Deal bureaucratic management and social engineering on a global scale. In other words, this is Big, Big, Big Government to the core. And the entire house cards rests upon the premise that a well-intentioned government can solve the worlds problems; shape public opinions; and make us all feel, just, oh-so-swell. Do you follow? And for some unknown reason, the Bush administration has willingly signed on, picked up the ball, and is making like Forest Gump towards the sunset. Even more baffling is the daily cheerleading of self-described conservatives like Hannity, Coulter and Limbaugh who seem to refuse to recognize the obvious hypocrisy. Am I really the only one that sees these contradictions? I do not think that it is fair, and certainly not intellectually honest, to say, "Big Government at home - no way! Big Government abroad - no sweat!" So what am I missing? Perhaps I'll understand at some later time; but, I doubt it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hillary's Triangulation

Attempting to emulate Bubba, Hillary has been making a calculated move to the center in an attempt to appeal to more conservative voters. The question is, where is this center to which she heads? David Boaz at CATO suggests that her goal is to appeal to lovers of government of all stripes. The true believers, if you will. Indeed, from her staunch support of re-building "a free" Iraq to censoring violent video games, Hillary appears to be wholly embracing the moralistic paternalism of the right-bent, Santorum-like, busy-body conservatives. I fear this is the future. The Republican Party seems to have been willingly drugged by GW's Big Government Conservatism and the wonders of ear-mark politics; and, the statist liberals could not be happier. Buy a vote here, buy a vote there. Sit back and watch. The ultimate legacy of GW and the reckless Republican Congress will be another Clinton in the White House.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Frightening Thoughts

From Bernard Lewis in the Wall Street Journal here. The Princeton professor explains why the Iranians should scare the sh*t out of you:

There is a radical difference between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other governments with nuclear weapons. This difference is expressed in what can only be described as the apocalyptic worldview of Iran's present rulers. This worldview and expectation, vividly expressed in speeches, articles and even schoolbooks, clearly shape the perception and therefore the policies of Ahmadinejad and his disciples.

It is almost cinematic, right? The jilted anti-hero with nothing to live for, taking on his enemies without any fear of reprisal or death. Creepy. Read the whole thing.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Let's Hear it For Intestinal Blockage

An intestinal ailment has apparently achieved what almost 50 years of embargos, espionage and beard-poisoning plots could not - an abdication of power by Fidel Castro – albeit, it seems, only temporarily. The event itself is not all that newsworthy, I admit. You should probably rate it somewhat comparable to a humanitarian-excursion to the Democratic Republic of Congo by Bono and Friends. Notwithstanding, the more interesting story to me is the sheer fact that Fidel’s reign is approaching the half-century mark; and, disgracefully, we have Washington to thank for the soon-to-come silver anniversary. Without a doubt, the U.S. policy towards Cuba over the last few decades has served Castro far too well. While the “Evil Empire” self-destructed from the Baltic’s to the Bering Strait and Vietnam and China liberalized to embrace “managed”-capitalism, our irrational policy towards Cuba all but guaranteed the continuation of the Castro regime and its reflexive Nehru-like disdain for all thinks "American." U.S. mandated economic sanctions and the whacky cloak and dagger schemes provided the old man with a hegemon-sized propaganda-tool and scapegoat against whom the little nation could rally - an Oceana in the Orwellian sense. Indeed, it is a hell of alot easier to blame Cuba's economic stagnation and toilet paper shortages on the policies of the "American Imperialists," rather than admit to the obvious failures of socialism and idiocy Mr. Guevara'a Soviet-planned industrialization policies. It is no mere coincidence that today, Marxist-Stalinist-style communism only survives in the 2 states that we have chosen to completely shut out. So the way I see it, the marathon reign of Castro is a creation of the Washington-wonks. Big surprise.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Newt has been practicing his Churchill lately. I am in no position to say whether his predictions are right or wrong; but, in the event he is correct, I suppose, considering where Churchill’s astonishing foresight led him, we could all be saying, "President Newt" in near future. Perhaps that is his clever little plan...

Brangelina Shrugged?


I'd like to see this movie actually get made. And casting Angelina in the roll of Dagny would certainly fill the seats. That being said, I am skeptical that the book will translate well onto the silver screen. I mean, Galt's speech alone would require 90+ mins of film time. Not to mention the fact that Hollywood does not have the best record when it comes to promoting the Virtues of Capitalism.