Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Quick Convention Thoughts

Zainab Al-Suwaij was the first speaker I saw. An Iraqi woman who is now the executive director of the American Islamic Conference. She really spoke from the heart, rather than about politics, which I appreciated. You could see the old hurt as well as the new joy in her eyes as she talked about living under the Hussein regime and fresh hope Iraq's future. She also (accurately) noted that Iraq has been a country of war for three decades, not just since Bush invaded. She spoke of friendship and the noble sacrifices made by the men and women of the armed forces of the United States as well as the Iraqi's that have died trying to bring peace to the country. Michael Moore was in the audience, I would have loved to see her march down and look him in the eye. Better yet, make him look her in the eye and tell her that Iraqis were just a happy people flying kites and it would be better if the Hussein Regime was still in power.

John McCain made two excellent points that deserve emphasis. He referred to the Democrats as friends of his who say we need allies and that military power is not the only way to fight the war, etc. He agreed and noted that though they have some disagreement he does not doubt their sincerity so they 'ought not doubt ours.' He also mentions that our allies have always been able to count on us in times of need, we should be able to count on them.

Giuliani, far and away the best speech, articulated the wider strategic goal for the war, building democratic and free societies in the Middle East. He really talked up George Bush's leadership in times of great crisis and told some endearing stories of his (Bush's) visit to NYC in the days following 9/11. He was also careful to point out that Democrats aren't always wrong and Republicans aren't always right. But there are times for their ideas and times for Republicans' ideas. Now is a time for the Republicans' ideas. He also noted Kerry's service in Vietnam and said it was honorable. This drew cheers from the audience.

Overall one of the biggest themes was that Bush moved our position in the war on terror from defense on September 11, to offense just a few months later. I could not agree more. The front of the terror war is now in Iraq, rather than in our city streets. Iraq did not distract from the terror war, but rather the Iraq war distracted the terrorists focus and resources away from our citizens on U.S. soil to attacking professionally trained, armed Marines in Iraq. The rats are forced out of their caves where our Marines can cut them down.

Both McCain and Giuliani made it a point to refer to Islam as a great religion that has been hijacked by a minority of extremists. Ahhh the tolerance of civilization.

It also seemed to be a point of emphasis to show respect for the Democrats ideas, I was a pleasantly surprised that Giuliani's praising of John Kerry's Vietnam record drew cheers from the audience. Did President Bush (or any Republican) receive any similar praise at the Democratic National Convention? Were any of the protesters at the DNC doing such silly things as blocking traffic or shooting water at the delegates or screaming for the Democrats to go home?

The moderates of the Republican party were given center stage and showed themselves as uniters, it would be in their interest to keep it that way. One party clearly outclassed the other last night.

UPDATE Here is the Giuliani quote in full:

Neither party has a monopoly on virtue; we don't have all the right ideas, they don't have all the wrong ideas, but I do believe there are times in history when our ideas are more necessary, and more important, and critical. And this is one of those times - when we are facing war and danger.


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