State of the Union Address Comments
Five paragraphs, all regarding foreign policy, merit some commentary.
The President said these four paragraphs:
To promote peace in the broader Middle East, we must confront regimes that continue to harbor terrorists and pursue weapons of mass murder. Syria still allows its territory, and parts of Lebanon, to be used by terrorists who seek to destroy every chance of peace in the region. You have passed, and we are applying, the Syrian Accountability Act, and we expect the Syrian government to end all support for terror and open the door to freedom.
Today, Iran remains the world's primary state sponsor of terror, pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve. We are working with European allies to make clear to the Iranian regime that it must give up its uranium enrichment program and any plutonium reprocessing, and end its support for terror. And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you.
Our generational commitment to the advance of freedom, especially in the Middle East, is now being tested and honored in Iraq. That country is a vital front in the war on terror, which is why the terrorists have chosen to make a stand there. Our men and women in uniform are fighting terrorists in Iraq, so we do not have to face them here at home.
And the victory of freedom in Iraq will strengthen a new ally in the war on terror, inspire democratic reformers from Damascus to Tehran, bring more hope and progress to a troubled region, and thereby lift a terrible threat from the lives of our children and grandchildren.
He was correct in the two paragraphs about Iraq, and these are self-evident to all but Democrats.
Singling out Syria and Iran was completely appropriate, but what he said was nowhere nearly tough enough. Pres. Bush is a resolute man, so I hope he plans to take these regimes to task in a definitive way. He should have thrown in Saudi Arabia with them, but something in him inhibits his seeing the truth about Saudi Arabia. He puts this country into the same pabulum that he does immigration control.
We need to hurt Syria and Iran so bad that they start to fold from within. We need to give them some existential demonstrations, administered without warning. If they do not shape up or undergo internal revolt, then we need to render them ineffective.
Will we do these obviously necessary acts on our behalf? I tend to doubt it. The following paragraph is truly the low point of the speech and very accurately reflects everything that is wrong with American foreign policy regarding aggressors against America.
The United States has no right, no desire and no intention to impose our form of government on anyone else. That is one of the main differences between us and our enemies. They seek to impose and expand an empire of oppression, in which a tiny group of brutal, self-appointed rulers control every aspect of every life.
Only someone thoroughly corrupted by the ethics of self-sacrifice, which in the president's case comes from his religion, would expend American lives and productivity ("blood and treasure") with the goal of allowing barbarians to establish or reestablish barbarian governments of THEIR choosing. Iraq and Afghanistan are cases in point. We have spent blood and treasure mightily, yet we are willing for these regimes to establish Islamic states, with shari'a law. This means that we authorize them to undo all we have done. This means that all those killed and maimed have been killed and maimed in vain.
Any country that we have to take on should have an America-friendly government forced down their throats, if necessary, so that they never again become a threat to our country. To do that, we have to uphold America's rational self-interest.
In a era dominated by Kantian self-sacrificial ethics on the Left and Judeo-Christian self-sacrificial ethics on the Right, we are hosed.
One more time, this is a war of ideas. The consistent and persistent side will win. Right now, the consistent and persistent side is THEM.