Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Empire Strikes Back

Twenty years after the cold war officially ended, the Russians have reminded us why Ronald Reagan called them the ‘Evil Empire.’ Putin has reminded us that absolute power corrupts and Obama has reminded us why Lenin called him and his ilk, ’useful idiots.’

President Bush has, as he always does in matters of foreign policy, risen to the occasion and drew a very fine line in the sand over the Russian-Georgian conflict. It is uncomfortable to hear the strong rhetoric again, after we have staked much hope on U.S. and Russian cooperation.. Perhaps we wanted it more than the facts warranted it, but, in this world of conflicts, it would have been good to end the cold war; the conflict and the rhetoric.

Is Russia back? Did it ever leave? Is this part of some longer term strategic move to assemble some key pieces of the old USSR ? We’d like to believe that this is an isolated incident and that Russia had no choice but to act the way it did. The facts do not support this.

What appears to make John McCain and George Bush different than any Democrat in matters of complex and dangerous foreign policy is their willingness to make tough decisions and see the world for what it is or what it might be…not what we want it to be. People are complex agents with motives that are unclear. The worst case scenario must always be discussed, whether it be in matters of the war against terror or the anti-social moves of our ‘allies.’ The Democrats prefer to handle in a way that would best be suited for handling a lawn clipping dispute with a neighbor. Strong language, sanctions and war are not in their arsenal.

A few years ago, I was watching Saving Private Ryan with my kids. During the movie and during the most intense fighting seen, I told my kids…see, this is what happens when Democrats get in power. Perhaps I was being a little unfair to FDR, but I would maintain that any conflict that gets to the point of a D-Day like invasion and the dropping of atom bombs has two or three years of gross mismanagement all over it. We can’t let situations get to this point. We can’t let the world misbehave. When a country breaks its treaties and acts hostilely toward its neighbors, there has to be a rapid and meaningful response…first diplomatically, then militarily.

The Europeans might shrink at the challenge…but we must recognize that our boys will have to pick up the pieces.

McCain gets it.

Submitted by D. B. Jackson

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