A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Monday, October 11, 2004 :::
The Afghan election has quickly quieted down, and one must offer praise here to two sets of people who have largely been ignored in the debate.

First, to the Afghan people. They have endured 25 years of hell, and they are tired. They registered, they voted, and neither the Taliban nor al Qaeda was able to influence in any way the avererage person over whom they exercised such horrific authority for far too long.

This is also true of the Iraqi people. The great economist P.T. Bauer noted many years ago that the average person is some out-there country was quite able to calculate which course of action would benefit him most, and would act on it if given the chance. The Iraqis have been steadfast in their desire to build a better future, and the supposed answer-to-all-problems Grand Ayatollah Sistani drew bitter denunciations from the "man in the street" for allowing Mr. al-Sadr's followers to go unpunished for their supreme offense of taking over the Mosque of Ali.

The second group is the US military. They have been given impossible tasks, and no resources with which to do it. It turns out that the service chiefs--the Army Chief of Staff, the Marine Commandant, the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Air Force Chief of Staff (appropriately named "Jumper" and that is not made up)--all braved the wrath of Donald Rumsfeld and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Myers by telling the Commander in Chief to his face that they were concerned about troop levels. Alleged conservatives--they do not honor the sacrifice of the military, and so they are not conservative in any real sense--sneered at them because of an ideological belief that this war could be fought on the cheap. But it could not be, and our armed forces have served bravely and exceeded any expectations one could place on them.

It is a sign of the desperation of the proponents of "defense transformation' that they have fallen back on the reprehensible device of saying that, when you criticize the leaders of the military, you are criticizing soldiers. That has risen as far as the level of the otherwise admirable Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, and it should stop. The soldiers, sailors, and Marines have served their country well. It is their leaders who have failed them.

One of the signs of the general weakness of defenders of this Administration is that they love to quote lettters from some soldier who say that "all the guys in my unit back the President all the way." NO ONE who looks for objective evidence of this broad-based support can find it--and the only truth about this world worth supporting is the objective truth. The Journal found a company where the youngsters could not be bothered to register--so how could they be voting for Bush???????--and the enlisted man assigned to convincing them to get their youthful rear ends in gear supported Ralph Nader. (Shouldn't that be spelled "Nadir?" But we digress.)

All of which makes the dedication of the Afghans, the Iraqis, and the US military all the more inspiring, and we should all do what we can to support them.

More and more information comes in, by the way, that John Kerry would do a worse job. In 30 years of voting, this writer has never seen a starker choice between unworthy candidates, but Mr. Kerry has abdicated nearly every responsibility he has taken on in elective office. That's saying something, but it is not saying that George W. Bush has executed his responsibilities wisely.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 1:09 PM



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