Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Only Issue This Election Day

Real Clear Politics has a great column today by science fiction author Orson Scott Card who explains why Republicans need to win this election.

There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that's the War on Terror.

And the success of the War on Terror now teeters on the fulcrum of this election.

If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.

Unfortunately, the opposite is not the case -- if the Republican Party remains in control of both houses of Congress there is no guarantee that the outcome of the present war will be favorable for us or anyone else.

But at least there will be a chance.

As I posted last week on a World Net Daily story, the terrorists do believe that a Democrat victory today will be a victory for them (the terrorists). Even those that don't believe Democrats will withdraw troops from Iraq immediately will see the election as a repudiation of Republican policies, and with good reason...it will be.

Card goes on:
I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to America's role as a light among nations.

But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war. And since the Democratic Party seems hellbent on losing it -- and in the most damaging possible way -- I have no choice but to advocate that my party be kept from getting its hands on the reins of national power, until it proves itself once again to be capable of recognizing our core national interests instead of its own temporary partisan advantages.

To all intents and purposes, when the Democratic Party jettisoned Joseph Lieberman over the issue of his support of this war, they kicked me out as well. The party of Harry Truman and Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- the party I joined back in the 1970s -- is dead. Of suicide.

I used to be a Democrat, as well, and there are still values that I would probably consider to be more Democrat than Republican that I hold dear. But the behavior of the Democrat Party over the last dozen years convinced me that the Democrats didn't want people like me in their party. People like me--who are interested in environmental issues but also embraces modern life, who sees all human life as valuable and not just those that are convenient, who believes in helping those who are less fortunate but who knows from experience that a handout isn't necessarily a hand up--are considered fascists, bigots, and worse (if there is such a thing).

It was that relentless nastiness that turned me off completely from the Democrats. In Card's case, he sees the war on terror as far more important than other issues because losing that battle endangers our way of life.
If we topple one government and then walk away, the result in any Middle Eastern nation would be civil war, and the probable winner would be the well-funded international terrorist groups that do not shrink from wholesale murder in pursuing their cause.

Just as Kerensky's attempt at a liberal government in revolutionary Russia was almost instantly snuffed out by Lenin's Bolshevik thugs in 1917, so also would any attempt at unified democratic government in Iraq, Iran, Syria, or Afghanistan be quickly converted into Islamo-fascism of one stripe or another.

And if that happened, Islamicist puritanism would be seen in every nation as the "wave of the future." Just as, when Nazi Germany was in the ascendant, the nations of southeastern Europe quickly made their accommodation with Hitler, since the alternative was to be swept away like Poland, France, or Yugoslavia, so also would nominally democratic nations adopt the trappings of Islamicism -- if they weren't already toppled by puritan revolutions from within.

Card also points out the complex history of America in war, from West Germany and Japan to Vietnam and the first Gulf War. There simply are no apologies that can be made for our behavior in the latter two instances where we gave up our allies because it was politically convenient to do so. But Card points out that other nations and other rebels have watched America operate around the world. Because we want more democracies in the Middle East (and want the people in those countries to topple their totalitarian regimes), it is that much more important for us to stay in Iraq until it is a stable democracy. I think that is a powerful message, even if it isn't the message du jour from the White House. We really do need to remember that the world is watching and that it is important to stay the course not because of what the Europeans think but because of what those in the Middle East and elsewhere think.

Card goes on to address other Democrat talking points about the war in Iraq, but for me, one of the most important was about Iran and oil. Evidently, President Bush said something in the last day or so about fighting in Iraq to preserve the oil supplies (in other words, to stabilize oil prices). Many lefties are screaming, "See? It is a war for oil! Our soldiers shouldn't die for oil!" But Card's commentary answers that easily:
What few seem to realize (according to the article in Commentary) is that Iran is far more dependent on oil revenues than we are on getting their oil. When President Bush determines that he has given the Iranians ample chance to demonstrate to the few rational statesmen left in Europe that there is no possibility of meaningful negotiations with the tyrants of Tehran, his obvious course of action is to shut down Iranian power in the gulf and seize their oil assets.

If we strike first, we can eliminate their ability to do mischief in the gulf quite readily. Their forces, however numerous, are pathetically vulnerable. Unlike their dispersed and shielded nuclear development capability, their military forces in the gulf are in obvious and accessible positions.

So are their own oil assets. They are as dependent on the Gulf to reach the world oil market as any of their neighbors. If we seize their oil platforms, destroy their shipping, and impose an absolute blockade on Iranian shipping in the Gulf -- while eliminating their ability to damage anybody else's shipping -- how long do you think the tyranny would remain in power?

Here's a hint: They'd run out of money very, very quickly.

In short, we could shut them down very quickly and stop any threatened oil embargo. We are far less dependent on Middle Eastern oil than we were during the 1970s precisely because of what happened then. And anyone who is near-sighted enough to scream "No blood for oil!" hasn't had to make the choice yet between getting to work and feeding one's family.

I liked Card's column. He's a very good writer and in this column, I think he's right on target about why a Democrat Congress would be great for terrorists.