University Blog 2.0
No Runny Eggs
This is the personal weblog of Aakash Raut, established Sept. 2002. It will cover current affairs, worldwide & national topics, local & university events, and provide insight and commentary on contemporary issues and the news from his perspective. Enjoy!
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Friday, January 30, 2004
I mention, two posts below, an item that was on tonight's episode of The 700 Club - regarding Iraq's Christians. Another news item on the show, however, concerned a high school student from my state. Check it out, and here are the latest news items about this. Here is the pertinent piece from the Christianity Today weblog, and here is the press release from the American Center for Law and Justice.
Thanks to the ACLJ for helping out in this matter, and thanks to James Lord for standing up for what's right. God bless you, James!
The entry above is about a national news story regarding something that happened at an Illinois high school. But regarding the topic of nationally-known events and controversies that occurred at schools in my state, there was another incident - one that occurred some time ago - that I had thought about commenting on.
I recently found out that a new College Republicans organization was recently founded at Rockford College. I had heard it said that this seemed appropriate, due to the controversy that had arisen due to the commencement speech that NY Times reporter Chris Hedges [latest news items] had delivered last May at the graduation ceremony there. This was a controversial address, and it was booed by many of those in attendance.
I am going to publish this post right now (it is Saturday night, despite the date of the three Jan. 30 entries), but expect this to be updated with some of my thoughts about this topic.
I have blogged before here on the situation regarding the Christians of Iraq. As many people have been saying, the post-war situation in that country, following the fall of the Ba'athist government has been very bad for many of them; something that many had been warning about before this war began.
Here is my lengthy and detailed (and several-times-updated) blog entry on the Christians of Iraq, from May. It was included in this compilation of links at a university site.
"Even Worse" (the heading displayed for this segment of the show)
The 700 Club (the show of the Christian Broadcasting Network) just began, on the ABC Family Channel, and this is one of the issues that they previewed at the start of the show (one of the issues that they will be covering tonight).
It was just announced (before they go to advertisements):
"If you thought Saddam Hussein was a threat, wait till you see who's replacing him. Why Iraq's new government could be even more of a threat for Iraqi Christians..."
They are now back from the break, and they are reporting that a radical Islamic movement is currently spreading through Iraq. This is making things very, very bad for Christians. They are showing some interviews of the Iraqi Christians. Many Christians greeted the fall of Saddam's government with hopes of a better future, but now, those hopes are being eclipsed by fear for the future.
At the website of the Christian Broadcasting Network (www.cbn.com), this topic is featured at the top of the site:
Radical Muslims Spark Fear in Iraqi Christians
The capture of Saddam Hussein has lifted a cloud that has been hanging over everyone in Iraq. But for some groups, including Christians, life is becoming harder. The concern exists that Iraq's political and constitutional future could threaten the survival of the Christians there.
"Please help us find a solution to this, Mr. Bush..."
Note: A College Republican from Cornell U. had, awhile ago, sent me this news item, about how Dr. Feldman was saying that the U.S. 'should back [an] Islamic Iraq'. Here is at item on Feldman by Martin Kramer.
Unfortunately, a recent State Department survey showed that the majority of Iraqis favor an Islamic state, with Sharia, rather than a secular free state. This is one case in which actual democracy can turn out to be a bad thing. It's a great thing that we live in a country that is not a democracy, but rather, a constitutional republic.
Currently, U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) is holding hearings on this very issue, and is investigating why our government leaders are not doing what perhaps they should. CBN urges that we contact our representatives and express our viewpoints regarding this issue. That sounds like a very good idea.
Updates: Here are some recent articles about this topic. [Please check out my above-mentioned past blog entry for a great deal of information and news about this subject.]
- Females and Christians in Danger with Iraqi Freedoms?, Jan. 21, 2004
- Christians Fear Persecution in Iraq, Jan. 27, 2004
Update: I recently came across an excellent article by Ryan Merryman (via Matt Barganier's post at the Antiwar.com blog)... That article actually relates to the topic of my post here, and also about the issue of the unfortunate fact that there's no significant primary challenge to Bush in the GOP primaries, and to the philosophical issue of traditional conservatism vs. neoconservatism - which I've been thinking about, stressing over, and discussing a great deal, for some time now. That piece by Mr. Merryman of LSU, on the "Republican Right's Forgotten Brethren," hits upon all of these issues, that I've been writing and lamenting about... Check it out - I wish that I had come across Ryan's work sooner!
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
** New Hampshire Primary **
"As New Hampshire goes, so goes the nation..."
Check out New England's greatest newspaper... The conservative Manchester Union-Leader.
(We miss, you, Mrs. Loeb!)
And forget the Democratic primary, check out... the Republican primary!
Here is a "primary perspective" from the Union Leader:
NH's crucial and cherished role
Update (2/3/04): The Boston Globe's website has an excellent politics section that features the New Hampshire primary:
They have a good page with the election results - on both the Democratic and Republican sides. I am planning on writing more about the results; please stay tuned...
Update (2/5/04): I had some thoughts about this year's New Hampshire primary, that I wanted to post here.
On the day of the primary (actually, shortly before the voting was going to close), I published a detailed entry at WatchBlog (the Republican column). Please check it out here:
That entry covers some of the conservative dissatisfaction with President Bush, and also lists some other Republican candidates for President of the United States in 2004.
After I posted comments at some blogs, directing people to that WatchBlog entry of mine, including a comment at the great Command Post weblog. After I posted that comment, the Command Post webloggers published the following entries: Bush Wins GOP Primary & SHOCKER! Bush Wins NH Rep. Primary. Those entries both stated that Bush had received 94% of the Republican primary vote.
However, in the end, Bush wound up with 85% of the New Hampshire GOP primary vote. Our old friend Zach Wendling, a conservative staffer at Hoosier Review, said that it strikes him as a rather low figure.
[Update (4/3/04): I was just looking through old Haloscan comments posts from my browser's history, and I found that, in the comments for that entry of Zach's, someone referred to this post by Jacob Levy that analyzes this topic, regarding Bush's NH primary totals. Mr. Levy points out that in the 1984 NH GOP primary, incumbent President Ronald Reagan received only 86.4& of the vote.]
Via Antiwar.com (I think it was), I found this liberal commentary (this is, I think, the first time that I've linked to The Nation's website), about how one-in-seven voters in the NH GOP primary cast their votes for someone other than Bush. Three Democrats, Kerry, Dean, and Clark, actually came in higher than the Republican candidates (despite the fact that several of President Bush's Republican challengers were New Hampshire natives).
Looking at the county and town results, we can see that in the small county of Strafford, about 24% of voters cast their ballots against Bush. And in GOP presidential candidate John Donald Rigazio's home city of Rochester, 29% of voters did so.
Anyway, if you haven't already done so, please check out my WatchBlog entry:
Command Post offered to re-print it at their site, and I wish that I had replied to that offer, so they would have done so.
Bush's shaky primary performance
Virtually unopposed, Republican protest vote heavy
Within that article, I found a link to another WND news piece about something important that I had not heard about:
Roy Moore for president?
'Ten Commandments judge' won't rule out challenge to Bush
It seems that there is some thought that the heroic former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore run for President in the 2004 general election - possibly under the Constitution Party.
I have written before about the conservative dissatisfaction at the policies of the Bush administration. If a strong conservative candidate decides to run in the general election against the President, that could have a major impact on the outcome of the race. (Bush is already having enough problems as it is, and some are saying that he won't get re-elected.)
This is an update to this older blog entry, but I will likely have some more news reports and personal commentary about these issues soon.
Check out this excellent and thought-provoking entry by conservative blogger Lee Warren:
The Failure of Pragmatic Republicans (via Patriot Paradox's Christian Carnival #2)
Monday, January 19, 2004
MLK and GWB
Unlike last year, I hope this time to do some significant entries on Martin Luther King, Jr. (yesterday was the day we observed his birthday) and on President Bush's State of the Union address. I just yesterday posted a lot of material below, however... Please take a look, if you haven't already done so. This entry will soon be updated with regard to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and also will feature his niece, the great conservative Christian leader Dr. Alveda King (who is the daughter the Reverend Dr. A. D. King, Jr., the civil rights leader who passed away the year after his brother, Martin, was assassinated).
Before going to class this evening, I hastily did this entry in the Republican column of WatchBlog, on President Bush's State of the Union address, which was tonight. I wanted to get something blogged before the speech took place... I was only late to class by about 14 minutes... ;-)
More to come... Please stand by. And thank you very much for your readership. :-)
This entry was written on the night of Tuesday, January 20th, 2004.
Update (2/1/04): Here is the comment that I posted at Josh Claybourn's entry on MLK from last year (1/20/03)... Take a look at the other comments there, also (Josh re-posted that entry this year):
I was planning on updating this entry with information about another African-American female Republican leader. When Dr. Alveda King came to UIUC in April of 1998, she was accompanied by Angel Joy Rocker, with whom she co-authored a book. I first found out about Mrs. Rocker, though, in 1999, from the Republican National Committee's website - it was on the page where they listed the Republican presidential hopefuls, and linked to their campaign sites. Angel's campaign home page was at www.angelrocker.com - You can see the archive here. Mrs. Rocker may have been the first black woman to be an official Republican presidential candidate. The media, however, being mostly liberal, largely ignored the candidacy of 2000 Republican presidential candidates Alan Keyes and Angel Joy Rocker - compare the amount of coverage they gave to those African-American presidential candidates to the amount of coverage given to Democratic candidates Jesse Jackson and Shirley Chisholm. When the media reported about the Alabama Straw Poll (that event was not a major campaign event, unlike the previous straw poll, in Iowa) - many of the reports said that only Alan Keyes and Orrin Hatch showed up there. In reality, Mrs. Rocker was there too - that means, 2 out of the 3 Republican presidential candidates participating in that straw poll were African-American. Both Keyes and Rocker gave great speeches - I saw watched some of it on my computer, after downloading the video from C-SPAN's website.
When I did a Google search, to find an image to use in this entry update, I came across some surprising news, of which I was not aware. I have just discovered that Angel Joy Rocker passed away last February (2003). She was only 36 years old. Here is a website that is about her; I had not seen it before. She must have been a remarkable woman.
Busy and tired...
Yesterday, I had to get up a little after 7:30 in the morning (that's very early, for me ;-), and go to the UIUC campus, for an officers meeting of the Illinois College Republican Federation. It went well, and there is a great deal of optimism and enthusiasm about the upcoming elections, especially the 2004 presidential race.
I have been thinking about re-posting here, as I am preparing new entries, a couple of comments that I posted at weblogs. I will publish, in the two entries, below, a comment that I posted at this recent entry of Dustin Frelich's - regarding Joe Lieberman, and the liberal support for the Iraq war - and a comment that I posted at this Command Post entry - regarding my wish for for pro-war bloggers to address the conservative and military opposition to the Iraq war (those are the more sensible and cogent types of arguments), rather than focusing so much on what the anti-war liberals have to say. The first comment that I'm re-posting below, from Dustin's entry on Joe Lieberman's support of the war, is prefaced by a rather lengthy explanation (about the views expressed in my comment), which reiterates my claim that the political philosophy behind "Operation Iraqi Freedom" has leftist undertones, and that the war should not be supported by conservatives (while liberals should be backing it).
I'll also have a new entry up soon on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in honor of today... That entry will also feature his niece, the conservative leader Dr. Alveda King).
If you're interested, please look through my two comment posts that I'm pasting below... Thanks!
The comment pasted below (scroll down some to see it) was posted at this entry of Dustin Frelich's. Several pro-war bloggers had pointed approvingly to Senator Joe Lieberman's rebuke of his rival Howard Dean's staunch position against the war in Iraq. In my comment at Dustin's entry regarding this issue, I pointed out that the reasons for Sen. Lieberman's support of the Iraq war - and for his support of other wars and interventions like this in the past - has to do with his liberal and neoliberal political philosophy, not because of anything conservative, or because of anything admirable.
I have done many blog entries on the issue of war (my older ones were copied and archived at this site, though those posts are still available in the archives here). In many of those entries, as well as in my comment posts at other blogs, I have been emphasizing the conservative, Republican, military, and veteran opposition to the Iraq war. As I have pointed out many times before, in blog entries here, guest blog entries, comment posts, and in other writings, the idea of engaging in a pre-emptive war like this contradicts the values of traditional American conservatism, pro-liberty republicanism, and constitutionalism - the values of the Old Republic, upon which our great nation was founded. I have focused a lot on the many conservative and military-related leaders and groups that have been opposing this war; one thing that I have not focused on, though, is the many liberal or left-leaning groups and individuals that supported this war. Considering my contention that this type of state-sponsored intervention is part of a neoliberal/neoconservative, statist, Wilsonian foreign policy (this utopian vision is leftist in nature), it perhaps would have been good if I had pointed to the pro-war bloggers, columnists, and other leaders from the Left who have been supportive of the Iraq war. In the Blogosphere, several of the major pro-war webloggers have been left-leaning, or Democrats, such as Charles Johnson, Dean Esmay, Roger L. Simon, War Liberal, Armed Liberal, and the great writer Michael Totten, who wrote a couple of articles that were published in the conservative Front Page Magazine, like this one, urging his fellow leftists and Democrats to support the Iraq war, and pointing out that many were already doing so.
In this comment (re-posted below from Dustin's blog entry), I pointed out that Sen. Lieberman - and other liberals and Democrats - supported "Operation Iraqi Freedom" because a war such as this (just like with Kosovo, Operation Desert Fox, Bosnia, Haiti, etc....) corresponds with their leftist foreign policy vision.
Perhaps this comment, which I posted on January 6th, was somewhat prescient, due to the viewpoints that have been expressed by pro-war commentators and bloggers within the past few days, in response to the new allegations being made by former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (under President George W. Bush) Paul O'Neill. O'Neill claims that the war for regime change in Iraq was part of the Bush administration's foreign policy agenda prior to the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a claim that would seem to contradict many of the administration members' claims that the war became necessary due to the need to protect our country and our people - a necessary part of the post-9/11 War on Terrorism. In defense of the Bush administration, many pro-war columnists and bloggers are now reminding us that the proposal to effect regime change in Iraq was first part of the Clinton administration's agenda.
[See here, here, here, here, and here.]
This is actually one of the issues that I had alluded to in this comment (before this new stuff, with O'Neill's allegations, arose). In that comment (re-posted below), I pointed to the fact that Joe Lieberman supports Bill Clinton, and the Clintonian foreign policy agenda. Along with Lieberman, Bill and Hillary Clinton were supporters of the recent Iraq war - something that is very appropriate, considering that this type of war is consistent with their neoliberal political philosophy and foreign policy vision. Within this comment, I link to a past blog entry by a popular, pro-war, conservative blogger, which correctly points out that it was the Democrats who wrote the doctrine of pre-emptive war against regimes like Iraq, and that the Bush administration has picked up on this Democratic philosophy. I also link to a piece that shows, from a philosophical perspective, that support for pre-emptive state action is actually a left-wing ideal, something that the Left should be backing. (Also see this excellent speech by U.S. Congressman John Duncan, Jr. (R-TN).)
Please take a look at this comment, either at Dustin's blog entry, or posted below, and the items that I link to within it. I have linked to many sources that point out why liberals and Democrats should be supporting this war (many of them did, and even some conservative pro-war commentators and bloggers have acknowledged that the Left should be liking this war). As you can see here, those pro-war, pro-Bush commentators, bloggers, and politicos who are now pointing out that regime change in Iraq was originally a Clinton administration policy are absolutely correct. It is no wonder that President Clinton is continuing to express support (at least implicitly) for the Iraq war - pro-war bloggers have picked up on this, and have [quite unfortunately] been touting Clinton's support of the faulty Iraq intelligence regarding the WMD issue... They keep saying that Bill Clinton said this... and the Democrats said that - Like that is supposed to have an impact on the countless non-Clinton supporters [Republicans, Libertarians, libertarians, paleolibertarians, paleoconservatives, constitutionalists, foreign policy realists, "Austrian" economists, supply-siders, GOP businessmen, Bush 41 administration members, Reagan administration members, Pentagon non-civilians, military leaders, current and retired U.S. generals, etc....] who opposed this war. (Hello! I have likely been more opposed to Slick Willie than most Americans, and was a strong supporter of his impeachment. Of course Bill Clinton is a liar! WE IMPEACHED HIM FOR THAT!! Duh!!)
[Update: In the spirt of the "Google bombing" phenomenon (against President Bush), here are a few "bombs" of my own:
miserable failure ~ congenital liar ~ promiscuous pervert ~ sexual predator ~ Billy the Bastard...
And here's a new blog that I recently found.]
What a lot of apologists for the Bush administration and the Iraq war perhaps do not realize is that when they keep citing Bill Clinton, and what his administration did and said, they are backing up the arguments of myself, and other anti-war conservatives, constitutionalists, Republicans, and libertarians, that this is not a conservative war. They are quite correct in pointing out that pre-emptive war and regime change in Iraq are liberal, Democratic policies. (There was a debate between myself and a conservative war supporter about this matter in the comments thread at this entry at his blog, by the way.)
Just as people such as Billy Klinton, his Lady MacBeth, Joe Loserman, former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, the former presidential candidate pants-dropper drop-out, the former presidential candidate & possible war criminal, the crazy former mayor (and former "The People's Court" judge), the liberal television commentator who defended a R.I.N.O.'s foul mouth, the R.I.N.O. himself, the socialist writer who attacked Mother Teresa on the night of her funeral, the liberal NY Times columnist & propagandist who may not be an "idiot", the money-grubbing Vice-President of the apparently-incompetent [and 'failing'] American Federation of Teachers, the Pulitzer-Prize winning book writer & editor of The New Yorker, the neocon leftist who is going loopy, Salon's sleazy sex columnist ["Typhoid Danny?], who broke the law during the last Iowa caucus, another homosexual Salon columnist (a famous feminist writer & social critic, and a principled Democrat), The New Republic magazine, the Washington Post, la giornalista e autori Oriana Fallaci, celebrity liberals such as the world-famous movie director, the actor/activist Ron Silver, and the sometimes-thin, sometimes-fat talk show lady, the "red-diaper babies," the Social Democrats USA, the Trotsky apologist and "philosophical whore of North Beach," the socialists and "ex-"commies/Stalinists who've been embraced by the war hawks, and other liberals and Democrats have expressed support for this war, many of us who are constitutionalists, conservatives, libertarians, and American patriots have been opposing this war. We must continue to do so.
Here is the above-described comment that I posted on January 6th, at this blog entry of Mr. Frelich's:
----------- end of comment ----------
That was my Jan. 6th comment post at Dustin's blog entry on Joe Lieberman's opposition to Howard Dean's opposition to the Iraq war. Check out Dustin's response to my comment; it is insightful, and he makes some good points (though I don't agree with some of his reasoning).
Update (2/17/04): Jeffrey Collins does not seem to like this entry.
By the way, I want to point out that I have added to, and modified, this entry since Mr. Collins posted that reponse entry. For example, in the 5th paragraph of my entry above, I added the link to that speech by Congressman Hostettler on pre-emptive war, and the sentence following it (about how preemptive warfare goes against conservative values). [Note: I have now removed those sentences, and inserted them in the update below, in this entry.] I also added and modified some hyperlinks within the text of this entry, and made some other changes to it. Perhaps those changes pertain some to Mr. Collins's criticisms of this entry, but I think that most of the viewpoints in his post still apply to my entry, and that he would have written that post, even if he had seen this entry in its modified form.
The three-step reasoning that Mr. Collins attributes to me is not an accurate portrayal of my reasoning about this issue. (Nonetheless, I do believe that all three of those points are true... The "therefore:" and "ergo" are what I wouldn't agree with, though.)
Originally, the purpose of this entry was to re-post here a comment that I had posted at Dustin Frelich's blog. (In the entry below this one, I also re-posted a comment that I had posted at the Command Post blog.) However, when writing the introduction to this entry, I started making additional points, about how many liberals had supported this war, and about how it is consistent with left-wing and Democratic principles. I had wanted to do an entry some time, with links to material showing that preemptive war is a major philosophical issue, and that it has leftist, statist roots. In this entry, I have linked to some blog entries - from both liberal and conservative supporters of the Iraq war - which make this point.
On thing that I was planning on doing in this entry is adding some articles here about why liberals should be supporting this war. I think that, in addition to doing this, I will add some information here about the current administration's foreign policy, and about how it is actually based upon leftist and Democratic philosophies - not on conservative principles.
I will try to do that soon.
Update (3/9/04): I should have posted these here sooner, but here is some background information about political philosophy and the Iraq war.
As I pointed out above, in the Blogsophere, several of the major pro-Iraq war bloggers have been from the Left. One of them, Michael Totten, has written a lot about the issue of the war. In this column of his, he pointed out the liberal justification for the Iraq war, and pointed out that many liberals and Democrats were supporting it.
However, from a philosophical perspective about this, check out this widely-read blog entry of Mr. Totten's: A Liberal Vision
In that entry, Mr. Totten cites Paul Berman, a liberal political theorist and writer who had a recent book, Terror and Liberalism. I have never seen that book, but from its description, I imagine that it explains how pre-emptive warfare and military intervention in places such as Iraq are liberal policies. In this Dissent magazine article, Mr. Berman details a conversation he had with a liberal friend... In that coversation, he makes the case that liberals should be supporting the Iraq war as part of an anti-fascist movement. At the start of that article, Mr. Berman points out that some leaders of the pro-Iraq war movement have ties to liberalism, socialism, and communism, something that I pointed out over a year ago.
[Update (8/6/06): Curtis Bowman on Paul Berman and pro-war liberalism]
Some conservatives who supported the Iraq war have also pointed out that support for preemptive warfare and military intervention against regimes like Iraq is a left-wing, Democratic policy. This excellent entry by conservative blogger Anna Bunny makes this clear, pointing out that pre-emption is a Democratic foreign policy, and the Bush administration has borrowed it from them. And Dr. James Joyner, the principled conservative blogger and war veteran, did a great post entitled "Bush the Leftie." Both of those bloggers featured the above-mentioned entry by Michael Totten.
National Review Online published an excellent article by Gleaves Whitney in Feb. 2003:
Democrats for Preemption: An old doctrine
This also points out that Democratic presidents have promoted and implemented the preemption doctrine in the past. In that piece, Mr. Whitney mentions pro-war Senator Hillary Clinton's statement in support of the Iraq war resolution.
Leading blogger Andrew Sullivan had an article about why liberals should be backing this war:
A Liberal War: What the left won't see, Sunday Times, April 6, 2003
That article by Sully also discusses Paul Berman's theories, mentioned above. I found that article via this thoughtful blog entry by Aaron Ross Powell.
Here is a good backgrounder on pre-emptive war. From there, I found an article from the spring of 2001 by the executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (who also served in the Bush 41 administration's Defense Department under Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz). This article explains how a pre-emptive warfare doctrine was promoted within the Clinton administration.
And here is a blog entry by a liberal, about how the Democratic foreign policy is similar to the current administration's one:
The Democrats Aren't the Anti-War Alternative in 2004
This entry correctly points out the the current Iraq war, and the foreign policies espoused by this administration, are related to the policies of the Clinton administration. From this entry, and the ones linked to above, one can see that both liberals and conservatives have pointed out that the Bush administration's foreign policy with regard to Iraq is related to the Democrats' foreign policy principles.
Another liberal perspective on the war issue:
Bush and Clinton: Birds of a Feather, YellowTimes.org
And here is an item from The Weekly Standard dealing with the issue of President Clinton's statements on Iraq:
Robert Kagan & William Kristol, Oct. 20, 2003:
Why We Went to War: The case for the war in Iraq, with testimony from Bill Clinton.
And here is a related piece from NewsMax.com, about the memos that relate to Paul O'Neill's allegations about the plans for regime change in Iraq:
Kristol: O'Neill War Memo Came from Clinton
And an article by Larry Elder from Feb. 20, 2003:
Remember Clinton's war in Iraq?
This column by Mr. Elder, who supports the Iraq war, points out the similarities between the statements of President Bush and the statements of President Clinton with regard to the issue of the Iraqi regime, and the threat it poses.
And with regard to the issue of conservatism and war, here is an excellent speech by U.S. Congressman John Duncan, Jr. (R-TN), and a great speech by U.S. Congressman John Hostettler (R-IN). Pre-emptive warfare goes against the conservative and 'republican' values regarding self-defense and the use of state-sponsored force.
The material in this update, as well as the material in the rest of this entry above, provides an overview of the leftist roots of our government's current Iraq policy, and shows how this policy is part of a liberal/neoliberal, Democratic agenda.
Here are some related readings, which provide some more information and commentary about this topic:
From The New Republic, Oct. 21, 2002:
The Liberal Case for War - This war is justified exclusively on liberal grounds, Jonathan Chait
Slave State: Where are all the liberal humanitarian interventionists now?, Robert D. Kaplan
Richard Just, The American Prospect, Nov. 13, 2002:
Moral Imperative - Any self-respecting liberal should support this war
Michael Kelly, Oct. 23, 2002:
The Anti-War Movement Contradicts Liberal Values
Tibor Machan, March 4, 2003:
Liberals Should be Supporting Preemptive War
Jonah Goldberg, Oct. 31, 2003:
Liberals Should be Supporting the U.S. policy in Iraq
U.S. Rep. John Duncan, Jr. (R-TN), Sept. 10, 2003:
There is Nothing Conservative about the U.S. policy in Iraq
More updates: Here's some more material about this subject:
Steven Greenhut, Orange County Register, Feb. 23, 2003:
Honk if you think this is a conservative war
Peter Hitchens, The Spectator (U.K.), March 29, 2003:
NOT IN OUR NAME: This is a left-wing conflict and Conservatives should not support it
John R. MacArthur, In These Times, July 28, 2003:
Against Liberal Interventionism - Peter Hitchens may be right...
George Packer, New York Times, Dec. 8, 2002:
The Liberal Quandary Over Iraq - Why liberal intellectuals support the Iraq war
Ivan Eland, CATO Institute, Feb. 2, 2002:
Overextended Military: Is This the Bush Administration or Clinton Administration II?
My Jan. 4th comment at Michele's recent Command Post entry: "No News is Good News, Unless You're Howard Dean"
Comment posted at: http://www.command-post.org/oped/2_archives/009333.html
So much commentary and criticism and expended energy over Dean...
Friday, January 16, 2004
First Pat Robertson, then Martha Stewart, and now, I am doing an entry about good old Rush. I mentioned Rush in an update to a February entry here, linking to a neat little poem (posted on the discussion board of our state's premier conservative web publication, the Illinois Leader) about Mr. Limbaugh's [unfortunate] support for the Iraq war. (I pointed out in that blog entry that Rush has been anti-war in the past, during the Clinton administration, but he has unfortunately been toeing the neoconservative/neoliberal line with regard to this war.) I also did this October 10th guest blog entry on Rush as the news was breaking about his admission - regarding being addicted to painkillers. And in this recent entry, and in my Thanksgiving entry at WatchBlog, I linked to an older item on 'An Undoctored American History Lesson About Thanksgiving,' from Mr. Limbaugh.
Did Rush do anything illegal in the situation with his drugs? We don't know. Interestingly, the ACLU has taken Rush's side on the matter of their claim that Mr. Limbaugh's privacy rights were violated when his medical records were seized by authories last November. When there was the controversy about the distribution of those Christian Coalition voter guides, the ACLU sided with the Christian Coalition in that matter. (The Federal Election Commission's lawsuit to prevent the distribution of these flyers was dismissed, by a Carter-appointed judge.) And on the issues relating to the expansion of the federal government, in relation to the alleged violations of privacy and individual liberties by the state, during the Clinton administration, and more recently, following 9/11, the ACLU has also been working with conservative and libertarian groups to oppose these unconstitutional policies. (In fact, recently-retired GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX), and former House Impeachment Manager, ex-U.S. Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), are now both consultants for the ACLU.)
I had posted a good comment about Rush at a past entry at Right We Are!, and I would like to re-post or link to it here, but I cannot find it right now (Google didn't help, in this case), and I am very much short on time at the moment. I'll try to find it soon, though.
As for Mr. Limbaugh, I hope that things are going alright for him, in this difficult situation. Hopefully, this case will be resolved fairly and justly, whatever the result may be.
I was watching the news the other day, and there were two news stories on one after another. The first was on Martha Stewart, and the fact that she has a new website - MarthaTalks.com - which presents her side of the case. I have not been following this case closely, and do not know the background information, or much about it at all, but I have come to be a skeptic when people are prosecuted for something like this, and have come to empathize a little with the accused. (That could be my conservatism that's speaking in matters such as this.) However, I do not know much about these issues, so I cannot form an informed opinion in these types of cases.
I have not been to that website yet, but I should take a look at some of that material when I get a chance, and also look up some more information about this topic. Take a look through that site; it should be, at the very least, thought-provoking and intriguing. It will be interesting to see what happens with Ms. Stewart's case in the future.
Friday, January 09, 2004
Note (1/14/03): This is the first week of the new semester, and I still have some stuff pending from the previous one. My classes are over for the week, but there's still a bunch of things that are keeping me busy. I have drafts of several blog entries down on paper, though, and I hope to post them soon. Thank you for your patience, and sorry for the lack of new entries... Please check back soon, though. Thanks!
Once again, the Blogosphere is abuzz with commentary about the Reverend Pat Robertson. Shortly after I saw this news item at NewsMax.com, Josh posted about that news. Like Josh, I don't like what the Reverend said, in this case.
However, I think that while we're on the topic of Rev. Pat Robertson, I now have the opportunity to post an entry, a draft of which I had written in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Nov. 4th. The 700 Club was being re-shown on the ABC Family channel at that time, and the show had just begun, with the news of what had just happened in Iraq. This was during some very deadly days in Iraq, when there was a great deal of violence going on in that country. (It had been the 'deadliest day' of the war since "victory" was declared on May 1st.) In commenting on this news, Rev. Pat Robertson said (I jotted some of it down):
"A couple of years ago I expressed serious misgivings about this war... I mentioned the fact that it was going to be disasterous and it was going to be messy. And it's turning into exactly that... It's not yet a quagmire, but it's..."
(The 700 Club, show for Monday, Nov. 3, 2003, Christian Broadcasting Network)
I had earlier believed that Rev. Robertson was supporting the Bush administration's plan for the war in Iraq, but from what I have seen and read in the past several months, I think that he has long been having serious doubts about this, and that it is possible that he now realizes that it was a bad idea to go to war there. I had previously mentioned Rev. Robertson in my blog entry on the Christians of Iraq, and the problems that they are facing since the fall of the Ba'athist government. I don't watch The 700 Club regularly, but from what I have seen, CBN has been giving some excellent coverage of the situation in post-war Iraq. But I will address this issue more when I update this entry.
Rev. Robertson speaks his mind
This past summer, around the time of the Liberia intervention issue, Rev. Robertson had caught a lot of flack from many bloggers, including many conservatives. Josh had an entry on "Robertson's Sinking Ship," which linked to an article blasting Rev. Robertson for his position on Liberia, and on its [now-former] president, Charles Taylor. Josh and other bloggers, such as Radley Balko, pointed to the fact that Robertson has financial connections and business dealings in Liberia, and basically claimed that these personal interests were causing him to defend the indefensible.
Around that same time, Robertson made a controversial statment during a prayer (on his show, The 700 Club) regarding the U.S. Supreme Court. Some bloggers felt that he was "stupid" for doing so.
John Hawkins of Right Wing News called Rev. Robertson "the crazy aunt in the basement of the Republican Party." (Hat tip to Matthew Stinson's entry on Robertson)
Matthew's more recent entry lists the Reverend as one of the five "most annoying" conservatives of 2003. Here is Matthew's previous entry on Robertson and the Liberia issue.
Radley Balko, who himself has long been criticizing much of the interventionist foreign policies of the Bush administration, had also been criticizing Robertson for some time, and when this Liberia issue came up, he did so again. And when some conservatives took offense when Andrew Sullivan called Robertson a "darling" of social conservatives, Radley pointed out that web searches can easily reveal what major social conservatives have said before - that they have defended Rev. Robertson's controversial positions and statements in the past (on other issues).
I am one of the conservatives who did not defend Rev. Robertson very much in the past (I never addressed those issues in my weblog, and only mentioned him once), but defending Pat is [somewhat] what I am going to do right now.
Rev. Robertson, Charles Taylor, and Gold-Mining
Rev. Pat Robertson was under attack from many of the Bush supporters (and others) in the Blogosphere for firmly opposing the Bush administration's demand that Liberian President Charles Taylor immediately remove himself from power. Many of them pointed out that that Rev. Robertson has financial interests in Liberia, and pointed to articles like this one by Ted Olsen at the Christianity Today weblog, which links to many articles about Robertson's gold mining operation in that country, in which the he had paid $8 million to establish "Freedom Gold Limited."
The claim that is being made by many bloggers, columnists, and others is that Robertson's business interests were causing him to express support for the now-former Liberian President. Many of these people who are saying this are supporters of the Bush administration... Probably the same people who take offense at, and attempt to ridicule, claims being made about Dick Cheney, Halliburton, & Iraq, and the Bush family & the Saudis. Hmmm....
Rev. Robertson, however, claims that his mining venture and dealings in Liberia were intended for humanitarian and evangelical purposes in that troubled nation. Freedom Gold's chief geologist in Liberia was Prof. Alexei P. Sokolov, a member of the prestigious Russian Academy of Sciences, and the company has hired many Liberians, investing a great deal of money in a country that is very poor, and in which the people have been suffering through two decades of civil wars.
Pat is a man of enormous political and polemical courage. He has taken bold positions in the past, and in many instances, he has had the courage to stand up to the expansionist, globalist agenda of the welfare-warfare state, with regards to intervention overseas, and the erosion of privacy and individual rights domestically. More of that will be explained later in this entry (when I update it), but regarding the Liberia issue, here are Rev. Robertson's own writings on this matter:
- A Clarification on Pat's Position on Liberia and Charles Taylor, July 16, 2003
- Response to Colbert King's allegations regarding mining venture, Letter to the Editor, Washington Post
- Response to "factual errors and unalloyed bigotry" in Fortune Magazine article, June 5, 2002
- Pat Robertson Protests Actions in Liberia, Letter to Colin Powell, June 6, 2002
Note: I want to make clear that I do not know enough about this situation to take a position - one way or another - regarding what Rev. Robertson was doing with regards to his dealings and business in Liberia. I do not know enough about this situation to be able to judge his activities in this matter.
However, I doubt that many of those bloggers who criticized his statements about Liberia this past summer, and who suggested that his business dealings were causing him to make these seemingly-bizarre statements about Liberia and Charles Taylor, had studied this situation either. And it's funny how many of these same people who are so willing to jump to conclusions when Rev. Robertson speaks out against President Bush's actions would likely be the same ones who would cringe when people claim that the personal business dealings of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush (in connection with Iraq and Saudi Arabia) had something to do with our policies towards those countries.
Also, not one of the bloggers who I noticed had criticized Robertson for his statements on Liberia, and who claimed that the Reverend's business dealings could be causing him to make these claims, mentioned Robertson's rebuttals to those accusations (listed above), or addressed those polemics, or mentioned the possibility that his dealings with respect to Liberia could be legitimate, and that his statements about that situation could have merit.
Rev. Robertson has never visited Liberia, or had any meetings with its now-former president, Charles Taylor. He opposed the call for immediate government change in that country, because he believed that would create additional chaos for that war-torn region. Robertson has this question for the State Department:
"If you are successful in taking down the government of Charles Taylor, what plan do you have to establish stability in Liberia, the rule of law, free elections, and representative government? What appropriation has been made by the United States Congress to back up the actions that you have taken to bring down the freely elected government of a sovereign and friendly nation?"
Robertson also pointed out that the U.S. State Department, in 1996, called for the removal of President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire. Once Mobutu fell, the new president became Laurent Kabila, a Marxist tyrant, and a civil war resulted. Over two million people were killed.
This is one thing that those who are continuously beating the drums for 'regime change' in foreign countries do not seem to understand. In many cases where intervention (military or non-military) occurs in order to remove foreign leaders from power, unintended consequences result. Just like with the biosphere ecosystem, the international ecosystem is very delicate, and removing one 'species of animal' from an ecosystem, while that may seem like a positive change, can end up having adverse repercussions and side effects, which lead to the emergence of new threats, and to the creation of new nightmares, sometimes making things worse than they were before.
Like with many countries, the internal situations of Liberia - and many other African nations - are extremely complex, and interventionists are often all too willing to over-simplify and compartmentalize multi-faceted and complicated situations. But real-world situations often cannot be thought of in terms of black and white - there are so many different factors (social, political, economic, historical, religious, etc.) that comprise a conflict within a nation, and it is often difficult for those of us who are here in the U.S. to comprehend these complexities.
With the situation in Liberia, there have been a lot of questions that have needed to be answered, and a lot of things that we do not know. Like with Iraq, and other places in which our government has chosen to intervene, we do not know how things are going to turn out there, in the near and distant future.
Coming up: A few possible reasons that some pro-war, pro-Bush bloggers and commentators are so angry at Rev. Robertson.
Update: I have just found out that the first major American financial beneficiary of the fall of Mobutu's Zaire government was American Mineral Fields, a small mining company that just so happened to be headquarted in a tiny town called Hope, Arkansas. If the name of that town sounds familiar, it should.
Hmmm.... Does the term "double standard" come to mind?