I mentioned to my wife Carol that when I start blogging in earnest after my move to Korea, I need to find my “voice”. In other words, I want to bring something unique to my blog–my viewpoints of course, but hopefully something that will make the reader stop and say ‘I hadn’t really considered that’. Hell, I would be happy if I can routinely provoke a response–even if only to disagree and point out the flaws in my thinking.
Anyway, Carol said “you should be the voice of reason”. I don’t know that that is particularly helpful, but from her perspective I have become estranged from my moderately liberal beliefs. Hmmm. While it is true that I voted for a Republican for the first time since reaching voting age, it seems to me the Democrats are the ones who deserted me rather than the other way around. I see my support for the liberation of Iraq as no different than my support for our intervention in Kosovo. You remember, that little war of Clinton’s that the UN also refused to sanction. And as I stood in front of my DC office and watched the smoke rise from the Pentagon something did change for me–I knew we were at war to defend our way of life. So Carol says I am a neo-con. I don’t particularly care how I am labeled. I think being on the side of freedom and democracy is the right side.
Now, Carol is a liberal. A liberal who buys into the rantings of people like Michael Moore. The recent election put some strains on the marriage, because as the rhetoric became more and more heated, we began to lose respect for one another. I think we have pretty much called a truce and we have chosen to not let our politics define our relationship. And maybe we are even stronger for it.
If I aspire to be “the voice of reason” perhaps I need to find a good role model. Ann Althouse commented on the oratory skills of British PM Tony Blair the other day and linked to his speech and press conference during his recent surprise visit to Iraq. You can read it all here. But this is the part that puts it all in perspective:
Blair: “Now where do we stand in that fight? We stand on the side of the democrats against the terrorists. And so when people say to me, well look at the difficulties, look at the challenges - I say well what’s the source of that challenge - the source of that challenge is a wicked, destructive attempt to stop this man, this lady, all these people from Iraq, who want to decide their own future in a democratic way, having that opportunity.
And where should the rest of the world stand? To say, well that’s your problem, go and look after it, or you’re better off with Saddam Hussein running the country - as if the only choice they should have in the world is a choice between a brutal dictator killing hundreds of thousands of people or terrorists and insurgents.
There is another choice for Iraq - the choice is democracy, the choice is freedom - and our job is to help them get there because that’s what they want. Sometimes when I see some of the reporting of what’s happening in Iraq in the rest of the world, I just feel that people should understand how precious what has been created here is. And those people from that electoral commission that I described as the heroes of the new Iraq - every day… a lot of them aren’t living in the Green Zone, they’ve got to travel in from outside - they do not know at any point in time, whether they’re going to be subject to brutality or intimation even death and yet they carry on doing it. Now what a magnificent example of the human spirit - that’s the side we should be on. “
That’s the voice of reason. It does not matter whether you were for or against the war in Iraq. It does not matter whether you respect or loathe the President. History will judge the wisdom of our intervention. Now, we must look to the future and ask ourselves do we stand with the forces for freedom or those who will stop at nothing to see us waiver and grow timid in the face of violence. Democracy or terrorism–those are our options in Iraq. And so I would ask my “liberal” friends this simple question: where do YOU stand?
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John McCrarey: That's the plan. It