Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Various annoyances around the web

The Anti-War Left
I didn't get a chance to blog on this article yesterday. Norman Solomon has the rather optimistic prediction that "the Bush administration may ratchet up the Iraq war" -- optimistic for any supporter of the war. Mr. Solomon, is of course, opposed. And if anybody has any doubt as to the left's desired outcome for this war, consider this paragraph:

A lot of what sounds like opposition to the war is more like opposition to losing the war. Consider how Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin concluded a piece on Sunday that disparaged Bush and his war policies. The column included eloquent, heartrending words from the mother of a Marine Corps Reserve member who died in Iraq early this year. And yet, the last quote from her was: “Tell us what it is going to take to win, Mr. Bush.” In a tag line, the columnist described it as a question “we all need an answer to.”

But some questions are based on assumptions that should be rejected—and “What is it going to take to win?” is one of them. In Iraq, the U.S. occupation force can’t “win.” More importantly, it has no legitimate right to try.

I dare say this is the kind of article that Dennis Prager would use to show the utter bankruptcy of the left and he would be right. It is difficult to imagine the profound evil contained in the above quote. If the present administration and much of the Conservative right are fighting this war inadequately, "progressive" intellectuals such as Solomon do not want any fight at all and consider all wars wrong.

Sullivan the Puritan
I generally respect Andrew Sullivan as he seems to try to think through political issues on his own and does not tow any particular party line. I didn't even mind his constant harping on the alleged torture and abuse of our various captured terrorists. I disagree with his conclusion -- that we should immediately stop the torture -- but I think we should prosecute this war with our eyes open because if we are going to win, it may take considerably more violence and mayhem than we have seen so far.

However one of today's entries in his blog was so corrupt that I have to comment. Sullivan agrees with Fareed Zakaria's point about the war on terror requiring greater energy efficiency. In addition he comments:
But what I didn't realize is how the curse of the SUV is so damaging. Fareed writes that 54 percent of today's U.S. fleet of cars are made up by these ugly, behemoth tanks that guzzle gas, and make life miserable for everyone not in them. My anti-SUV ire always goes up in the summer, when I see these vast, bloated symbols of excess bulldozing down the narrow streets of Provincetown, pushing every bicyclist, pedestrian or small child out of their way. My only solace is thinking of how many of these SUV owners are pouring money away to keep their mobile homes on the road. Pity that same money goes to finance Islamist terror. And please don't give me all this guff about how I don't have a car (hey, I'm not indirectly donating to al Qaeda), having to take kids here, there and everywhere, with all their stuff and the dogs and suburbs and soccer practices and on and on. All of this took place before SUVs; kids were just packed into back seats and trunks were stuffed full if necessary. Parents coped. Kids thrived. If all else failed, people could even have less stuff. Imagine that: less stuff. As readers know, I'd gladly put a dollar of extra tax on gas, insist on higher fuel standards for cars, make SUVs comply with the fuel standards of other cars and put a tax on SUVs on top pf all that. We are in a war. As far as I'm concerned, those people driving SUVs are aiding and abetting the enemy, and helping to finance the terrorists that want to kill us all. I'm well aware that the notion that the Bush administration has any interest in energy independence or taxing gas or deterring SUVs is about as likely as their demanding subsidies for sex-changes, but I might as well vent. We can always stigmatize these SUV-terror-enablers. How about bumper-stickers for non-SUVs that simply say: my car doesn't subsidize Saudi terror. Would that help? [emphasis added]
Sullivan has it wrong. We ought to be in a war, a war that destroys our Islamist enemies. We have had two wars and are now in the midst of fighting insurgencies of varying strengths in both countries we had supposedly defeated. The main sources of Islamic terror, Iran and Saudi Arabia, are untouched, and their main ally, Syria, equally so. So first of all it would be nice to have a real war, not a crusade for democracy.

Second, I don't happen to own an SUV but I completely reject Sullivan's argument. I don't accept the claim that the solution to the problem of the oil wealth going to
terrorists is to economize on gasoline and thus send less money to the Middle East. The solution ought to be elimination of the terroristic Islamist governments and elimination of the terrorists. I have no interest in eliminating the oil wealth or reducing the use of oil. The oil wealth properly belongs to the Western companies that originally discovered and developed the oil fields before they were nationalized by the local governments. After the relevant governments there are defeated, the ownership of the oil fields should be transferred back to the private hands that developed them.

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