Friday, July 29, 2005
Thursday, July 21, 2005
PRIME MIN. HOWARD: Could I start by saying the prime minister and I were having a discussion when we heard about it. My first reaction was to get some more information. And I really don't want to add to what the prime minister has said. It's a matter for the police and a matter for the British authorities to talk in detail about what has happened here.
Can I just say very directly, Paul, on the issue of the policies of my government and indeed the policies of the British and American governments on Iraq, that the first point of reference is that once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it's given the game away, to use the vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.
Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq.
And I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq.
Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement in liberating the people of East Timor. Are people by implication suggesting we shouldn't have done that?
When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan?
When Sergio de Mello was murdered in Iraq -- a brave man, a distinguished international diplomat, a person immensely respected for his work in the United Nations -- when al Qaeda gloated about that, they referred specifically to the role that de Mello had carried out in East Timor because he was the United Nations administrator in East Timor.
Now I don't know the mind of the terrorists. By definition, you can't put yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber. I can only look at objective facts, and the objective facts are as I've cited. The objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq. And indeed, all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggests to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted use of principles of the great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace and cooperation. And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder.
PRIME MIN. BLAIR: And I agree 100 percent with that.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
My feelings were to pull out, give the Palestinians their state and then hold them accountable for the actions of their citizens. When attacks on Israel continue, and they will, bomb the hell out of them and repeat as necessary. I also believed that bringing Israelis inside the wall was just common sense. After reading articles like Professor Arieh Eldad's I changed my mind. Israel is being pressured to do this by the US and the EU. It is a capitulation of the principle that terrorism not be rewarded. Hamas will gain control of Gaza and it will become a major terrorist base with access to the sea.
Friday, July 08, 2005
An add that was on my blog called Americans on Britain seeks input from Americans in order to discover what the citizens of each country think and believe about each other. When I think of Britain I usually get a mental picture of a brave steadfast people enduring the Battle of Britain. Sir Winston Churchill often comes to mind.
…We shall not flag nor fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France and on the seas and oceans; we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on beaches, landing grounds, in fields, in streets and on the hills. We shall never surrender…
Now is that an accurate portrayal of today’s Englishman? Tony Blair certainly fits the mold. In the wake of the 7/7 bombing he will not waver on his support for the US and the WOT. What of the average Brit however, most of which were not in favor of going to Iraq in the first place? They are the target of the bombings, the people the terrorist wish to mobilize into an anti-war movement that will strip Britain from the Coalition. It worked in Spain. Can Blair continue to keep troops in Iraq if a large majority of Britains are against it? As Commander in Chief Bush can and will prosecute the WOT however he sees fit and Congress can do little about it other than withhold funding from the military. George Bush isn’t about to let opinion polls drive his policy, he will do what he thinks is right even if most Americans oppose him. That’s what leaders do. Does Blair have the same authority? I hope so because I’m not to hopeful that the average Brit has the same determination to fight evil as their parents had.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
So expect Democrats to stage a last stand against any Bush nominee right of Ted Kennedy. Senate Judiciary Committee member Chuck Schumer has already been heard to say “We are contemplating how we are going to go to war over this.” This before any names have been put forward. From the Washington Post
Democrats signaled that whoever the nominee is, their three likely lines of attack will be to assert the White House did not consult them sufficiently, then paint the nominee as ideologically extreme and finally assert that the Senate had not received sufficient documents about the candidate.
Whoever the nominee is.
While Roe vs. Wade is not in danger of being overturned if a pro-life Justice gets in, the left is playing it that way despite still having five votes for abortion. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NOW, Feminist Majority Foundation, and The National Abortion Rights Action League are all saying that if Bush puts in an originalist, someone who will interpret the Constitution based on what it says, a woman’s right to choose is in jeopardy. The media, BTW, is very pro-abortion. Will Bush nominate a strict originalist that might place limits on abortion or actually overturn Roe vs. Wade? Ed Kilgore believes he must.
This appointment represents the giant balloon payment at the end of the mortgage the GOP signed with the Cultural Right at least 25 years ago. Social conservatives have agreed over and over again to missed payments, refinancings, and in their view, generous terms, but the balance is finally due, and if Bush doesn't pay up, they'll foreclose their entire alliance with the Republican Party.
Sure, they care about other issues, from gay marriage to taxes to Iraq, but abortion is the issue that makes most Cultural Right activists get up in the morning and stuff envelopes and staff phone banks for the GOP. And for decades now, Republicans have told them they can't do anything much about it until they can change the Supreme Court. With a pro-choice Justice stepping down, the subject can no longer be avoided. And thanks to the Souter precedent (and indeed, the O'Connor and Kennedy precedents), there's no way Bush can finesse an appointment that's anything less than a guaranteed vote to overturn Roe.
So expect all these forces to be unleashed when the first nominee is put forward. The left expects to pick the nominee and is even saying it has to be consulted about the nominees according to the Constitution. Of course that’s not what the Constitution actually says. Article II, Section 2 says the president "shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint" judges. Advice and Consent after nomination. This is how libs play fast and loose with the Constitution. It’s as if they still don’t get the fact that they lost last November. As for picking the choice Alexander Hamilton once stated
There will, of course, be no exertion of choice on the part of the Senate. They may defeat one choice of the Executive, and oblige him to make another; but they cannot themselves choose - they can only ratify or reject the choice of the President.
However the Senate will not get to ratify or reject the President’s choice because the liberal minority will filibuster. We will need to go nuclear.