Along the Tracks

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

They just keep coming back for more

From the Saturday, May 3 edition of the Bryan Times (want it sooner, subscribe to the paper!):

By Paul A. Miller
Leader Enterprise

Assuming this is a typical Saturday late morning/early afternoon, as you kick back and read this, I am currently nursing sore abdominal muscles, stretched by laughter the night before.

You see, it’s a bit of a tradition in my family on Friday’s that, after a hearty meal of pizza, I’ll kick back in my easy chair, my lap occupied by a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old, wife in the chair beside, and television tuned to “America’s Funniest Videos.”

Not exactly high-brow, but often hilarious.

In particular, I am fascinated by the regular Vaudevillian clips of a parent “assisting” children with a piñata - not so much by the painful-looking cracks on stomach, head and groin, but by the adult’s inevitable return for another blow.

Don’t they ever learn? Who has the blindfold on, anyway?

Interestingly, the same can be asked of many politicians when it comes to predicting events and reactions.

“If the U.S. responds militarily to terrorism, the ‘Arab street’ will erupt,” warns one well-respected figure.

SMACK!!! The ‘Arab street’ is quiet.

“Our war plan is a failure,” the expert comes back. “We are in a quagmire.”

CRACK!!! Baghdad falls almost as soon as the words leave his mouth.

“A war in Iraq would be a distraction from the war on terrorism.”

WHACK!!! Al Qaeda operatives are snagged around the world before, during and after the conflict; meanwhile, hundreds of jihadis are killed and captured inside Iraq as they defend a dying regime.

“America cannot tell the Palestinians to choose new leaders.”

BONK!!! The Palestinian parliament selects a prime minister with a reform agenda and Arafat backs down, at least for the moment.

Why does this point of view never evolve with changing facts and events? Why do they keep walking into the baseball bat?

Good questions - the answers have to do with the fog of leftist political philosophy. An even better question is, Do we really want to follow these people?

Days prior to the war, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle famously blamed President George W. Bush for a diplomatic “failure” which would cost lives. Set aside the lament for eternal appeasement, and focus on the simple life-and-death calculation. More people died in a typical month of Saddam Hussein’s rule than died during a month of war.

Had Daschle’s dream become reality, not only would more Iraqis have died since March 20, but there would as yet be no end in sight to Saddam’s sadism. And who knows what terrorist plots aimed at America might have been hatched in an extra month of planning?

Bill and Hillary Clinton make a particularly apt correlation with “AFV.” As with many other liberal observers, they make wrong predictions again and again - but in their case, it is conservatives such as myself who gleefully swing the bat, peaking from under the blindfold to get in the best shots. Who could ask for better targets?

Senator Hil huffs we are failing in the war on terror, and over the next two months, we capture the 9/11 mastermind, the 9/11 financier and the coordinator of the U.S.S. Cole bombing - all nicely wrapped this week with the report that worldwide terror attacks in 2002 were at their lowest level since Bill smoked marijuana without inhaling.

Speaking of Bill, the former president covered all bases on Iraq, from quagmire to cakewalk, sometimes in the same speech. The worst comment was in step with Daschle’s delirium, seeking more fruitless diplomacy and coldly stating “you can always kill somebody next week as well as this week.”

I’ll pass on the conspiratorial overtones of that chilling sentence, and stick to the issue: Moving sooner rather than later, Mr. President, meant about 250 fewer dead Iraqis per week. I’d have thought a Rhodes Scholar could do the math.

Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean was outspoken in his opposition to the Iraq war. He can barely contain his bitterness at America’s victory, carping we “don’t know yet” if the Iraqis are better off being rid of a murderous tyrant.

Nevertheless, he is uncowed by American optimism, and recently announced that “We won’t always have the strongest military.” I am not certain if this is a prediction or a campaign promise; either way, I’d prefer not to see Dean demonstrate his foresight from the Oval Office.

That raises the question Dean and the other prophets of pessimism are unlikely to be asked by a fawning press: Being so horribly wrong so often on issues so important to American freedom and security, why exactly should anyone wish to follow your “vision” of the future?

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