Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
RNC Day 2
On second thought, back to day one. I think that this part of Giuliani's speech was far and away the most important:
Terrorism did not start on September 11, 2001. It had been festering for many years.
And the world had created a response to it that allowed it to succeed.
The attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics was in 1972. And the pattern had already begun.
The three surviving terrorists were arrested and within two months released by the German government.
Action like this became the rule, not the exception.
Terrorists came to learn they could attack and often not face consequences.
In 1985, terrorists attacked the Achille Lauro and murdered an American citizen who was in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer.
They marked him for murder solely because he was Jewish.
Some of those terrorist were released and some of the remaining terrorists allowed to escape by the Italian government because of fear of reprisals.
So terrorists learned they could intimidate the world community and too often the response, particularly in Europe, was "accommodation, appeasement and compromise."
And worse the terrorists also learned that their cause would be taken more seriously, almost in direct proportion to the barbarity of the attack.
Terrorist acts became a ticket to the international bargaining table.
How else to explain Yasser Arafat winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he was supporting a terrorist plague in the Middle East that undermined any chance of peace?
Before September 11, we were living with an unrealistic view of the world much like our observing Europe appease Hitler or trying to accommodate ourselves to peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union through mutually assured destruction.
President Bush decided that we could no longer be just on defense against global terrorism but we must also be on offense.
It was our collective appeasement to terrorism, in hopes that they would just go away, over the last 30 years that brought on 9/11. Giving in or doing nothing may buy a nation time, but it won't get a pass. An appeaser is no threat to a terrorist so they move on, knowing they can come back and kill the appeaser last. See the the indignation of the French over their kidnapped journalists right now. How is is that they, who were great the opposers to the Iraq war, could be targets they wonder. That is why their response to the kidnappings thus far has been along the lines of "but we're freinds!!!" Nope, we are all infidels. Even if you vote for John Kerry or are a fan of Michael Moore.
Anyways, on to Day 2.
Most of the speeches last night were run of the mill politics, which doesn't have a lot of appeal to me. The Bush daughters were funny, and self-deprecating if not a little odd at times. It certainly helped their images though which up to this point, were out of control drunk college chicks.
Laura Bush was obviously reaching out to women voters, she made a real effort to show the human side of George Bush and express the difficulty and anguish with which Bush and Blair poured over the big decisions. It was probably effective in terms of softening her husband's hardened reputation.
Arnold was, as expected, the highlight. He made it a point that there is room for disagreement in the Republican Party. This should be obvious but it really isn't with the conservative wing of the party at times. Overall the speech took a very libertarian tone. He talked of free enterprise being the cornerstone of growth and progress. He talked about the value of immigrants and that Americans admire the ambition and work ethic of them, and most importantly that anyone who wants to come here and play by the rules and work hard will be welcomed with open arms. It's cliche but it is for a reason. This is one of the few countries that it doesn't matter who your parents are, you really can come with nothing and make a nice life for yourself, and an almost guaranteed better one for your children. Especially when compared to the rest of the world. The Democrats used to have a monopoly on helping the little guy and new immigrants, perhaps that is changing.
Most importantly though, they stuck to their moderate tone. I can only hope the 'family values/morality legislation' wing doesn't rear its ugly head over these last two days. Though I am not holding my breath. I think Bush has to do something to energize the evangelical base, there are a lot of votes in there.