Reader Mail

Forgive and Don’t Forget

Rudy acceptance -- at least in some quarters. Also: Being true to your team. Midterm limits. The real Kazakhstan. Plus more.

11.15.06

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RUDY REACTIONS
Re: Philip Klein's Rudy the Running Man:

I don't understand how TAS can trash the hell out of Boehner for being a liberal and then pen such a forgiving piece on Giuliani.
-- Jon Fleischman, President
The Fleischman Consulting Group
Irvine, California
www.flashreport.org

Now that my favorite conservative, George Allen, has taken the 10 count, I could go for Rudy, especially under your scenario. I like Rudy, even if he's been too "New Yorker" on social issues for many of us, he's a true leader. I'd bet on his pliability as President. McCain's triangulated a few hundred times too many, and Romney is out of his depth. Besides, if Rudy can beat Billary, I'm in. He/she has their own baggage, and the loopy Democrat Congress to worry about, which hopefully, after two years of the Demokooks' overreaching, the moderates will discover that they've been had, return to make Rudy's bid successful, and Happy Days are here again! After all, what's our choice? Rudy works for me.
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

The tide is turning against those who rode the tough-guy political wave following 9/11. If there isn't a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil before November, 2008, candidates like Rudy Giuliani can kiss their political aspirations goodbye. American voters have short memories, and by then they will be worrying more about their economic well-being than about a few people who got killed seven years earlier. Giuliani was effective as the mayor of New York and got more than his share of national press coverage during the World Trade Center disaster, but that doesn't mean he's a compelling candidate to someone living in Iowa. Militarism is out and populism is in. Is conservative populism an oxymoron?
-- Abe Grossman
Pleasantville, New York

What about Duncan Hunter? Why isn't he being considered? He is the House Armed Services Committee chairman, what better experience? He is a true conservative and a veteran. Everyone is saying the conservatives sat this election out giving the win to the Liberals, yet the choices being promoted are stealth liberals! So the party wants to give another election away? I sure won't vote for McCain or Giuliani so let the cards fall where they may!
-- Michael J. Johnson

There's another problem with Rudy getting the GOP nomination on '08.

It's the danger that he could provoke a third party walkout by social conservatives, and this might prevent Republicans from voting for Rudy even in the primaries. But who know? Nothing is certain now and the electorate is fluid.
-- Peter Skurkiss
Stow, Ohio.

Mr. Klein can paper over Rudy's divergence from the conservative base and diligently and pathetically attempt to paint him as a moderate all he wants, but the truth is he is a Northeastern Liberal who wears an "R" on his sleeve. Sordid past and marriage scandals, pro-abortion (including partial birth), illegal immigration, gay "rights" among many other issues and one Philip skipped over entirely, gun control (or in Rudy's case more like "let the confiscations begin") make him an anathema to the right wing. Again talk him up all you want and try to make him palatable, if by some fluke he gets the nomination the result will be a repeat of the 2006 mid terms no matter how his handlers try to project him as the "anti-Hillary." You heard it here first, A Rudy presidential term is delusion.
-- Craig C. Sarver
Behind Enemy Lines
Seattle, Washington

I am in complete agreement with Mr. Klein about the prospect of a Giuliani nomination in 08. Last week, I posited on the AmSpec Blog, a similar formula for Rudy's success with the base as to his "liberal issues." Promise to appoint original intent judges, a la Scalia, Thomas, Alito & Roberts and subject these hot button issues to a direct vote by the people, rather than to the will of an elite judicial oligarchy. This is consistent with Giuliani's philosophy. I believe the base will respond to this intellectually honest respect for the "Will of the People," with open arms, and, will give Giuliani a pass as to his personal views. How refreshing will that be? Rudy's "Will of the People" v. McCain's "Will of the Senate." Of course, McCain will be singing a different tune by then and the "Gang of 14" will go unmentioned by Russert & Matthews.

One final point about Rudy, the Republicans' and our need for a strong articulate leader going forward. A major factor in last week's loss was the lack of a strong leadership voice. President Bush, for all his efforts, was drowned out by a hateful media and frankly because at times he was unable to articulate clearly. Giuliani will not suffer the same fate. His personality will, like Reagan's, overwhelm the simpletons in the MSM. This guy is fast on his feet and razor sharp in wit. And should Rudy find himself up against Madame Hillary, well, that will be fun too. Rudy's campaign mantra in NY against the faux Yankee fan, Hillary, will be, to quote former Yankee player, Mariano Duncan, "We play today...we win today".
-- A. DiPentima

Forget it. I won't vote for him and I will do my best to defeat him. His position on gun control and others just don't cut it. I hope he loses in the primaries.
-- Chris Petty

POUND THE GROUND
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's School's In:

The one thing conservatives need to learn from November 7 is to leave it to the drive-by media and left to beat up on Republicans. They don't need our help to damage them in an election year.

For more than a year many conservatives have been in a meltdown trying to prove their "independence" by beating up on a conservative President and (Republican) Congress. The results of this constant carping are Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We gained absolutely nothing by all the complaining -- unless you're one of those conservatives who prefers losing and being out of power so you can gripe more.

As a lifelong conservative and GOP "ground pounder" I'm getting tired of self-anointed spokesman telling me I'm not a conservative if I don't to agree with them on every issue (immigration and DPW). The open borders Ronald Reagan, based on these people's definition, was definitely not a conservative. Newt Gingrich who supported the drug prescription program for seniors is not a conservative. Barry Goldwater who was more libertarian on social issues wasn't a conservative. Mike Pence who has a compromise border control and guest worker plan isn't a conservative.

When did so many conservatives become moderates/liberals/Democrats? Leave the drone mentality to the liberals and lets start respecting one another. When we disagree do it with reason and maturity not name-calling and leftist like hysteria. If we continue to undermine a conservative President and Republicans in Congress we can expect the Democrats to be in power for a long time.

Finally, don't believe the bull being spewed that the "blue dogs" are conservatives. They're nothing more than liberals posturing. If you believe these freshman Democrats are conservatives you're drinking the liberals Kool-Aid.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

MIDTERM LIMITS
Re: Andrew Cline's Finally Term Limited:

Early in his dissection, Mr. Cline says, "This is no knock on Republican ideology or principles." Oh, really?

If we take him at his word, though, then, pray tell, what is Republican ideology or what are that party's principles? Please, somebody articulate these for us. Tell us how they differ from the Dems. Tell us why they should deserve our vote again. Tell us what governance means to them. Tell us -- tell each other -- what they'd do differently, should they ever return to the majority. Please.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

Guy is totally right. We conservatives listened to the wrong folks regarding term-limits in or around 1998. Our first instincts were correct, but we didn't listen to the little voice in our heads.
-- Bill Steele
Schaumburg, Illinois

NUCLEAR GUNS
Re: William Tucker's How About a Nuclear Standoff? and Chris B.'s letter in Reader Mail's Are You MAD?:

The response of Chris. B. of New Jersey to Mr. Tucker's article prompted me to write. Like Mr. B. I believe that we need significantly larger ground forces, but that politicians have failed to increase them because of misguided spending priorities. As evidence consider that the Pentagon's baseline request for major weapons programs spending for the FY 2007 Defense Appropriations Bill was $22.39 Billion. The House came back with $25.12B and the Senate version was $24.4B, both significantly higher than the military's own request. What is truly remarkable is the final budget that came out of conference: $31.31B. (Source: Jeffries & Co. Inc.) While this does not represent the entire procurement plan, it does lend credence to the position that our elected representatives of both parties consider defense spending a jobs program for their districts, even if it were to result in insufficient troop levels.

As to Mr. Tucker's main thesis, using deterrence alone against rogue nations intent in acquiring nuclear weapons is simply unrealistic; our adversaries are not rational. Doing so would also result in a return to the isolationism into which we indulged ourselves, understandably in 1914, and naively in 1939. The Pax Britannica of 1815-1914 demonstrated the responsibilities and indispensability of a great nation. Post WWII the United States is the indispensable nation.

Mr. Tucker's final point that a ground assault on Japan would have prolonged the war three of four years is very problematic. The fire-bombing of Tokyo with conventional weapons caused greater death and destruction than the atomic bombs, with virtually no risk to our B-29 aircrew. I'll quote noted military historian Victor Davis Hanson:

"...atomic bombs, which worked admirably in convincing the Japanese to sue for peace, without American casualties. Ironically, the American conventional fire-bombing of major Japanese cities (which had been going on for months before Okinawa) was far more effective at killing civilians than the atomic bombs and, had the Americans simply continued, or expanded this, the Japanese would likely have surrendered anyway. Nevertheless, the bombs were a powerful symbolic display of American power, and the Japanese capitulated, obviating the need for an invasion of the home islands."

Cordially,
-- Paul M. DeSisto, Lt Col, USAF (Ret)
Cedar Grove, New Jersey

William Tucker replies:
I appreciate Lt. Col. DeSisto's point about the firebombing of Tokyo, but most people usually interpret it the other way. The Japanese showed no sign of surrendering despite destruction that exceeded that of the atom bomb. Remember, Iwo Jima was bombed so thoroughly in preparation for the invasion that there was nothing left standing when the Marines landed. Still, the Japanese were dug in so well that pilots overhead said it "looked like they were fighting an island." Although 3,000 died, most Marines never saw an enemy soldier.

The Japanese would have defended their homeland in the same way. It was the psychological impact of the atomic bomb -- its unknown quantity -- that caused the Emperor to surrender. Fortunately, nuclear weapons still retain some of that mystique -- as the Iranians themselves attest.

I wrote a letter to the editor of Spectator earlier in the year arguing the same thing as Mr. Tucker does in "How About a Nuclear Standoff" and got trashed. I'm glad others are warming to MAD. The nuclear weapons issue parallels that of gun control. We can't keep guns out of the hands of criminals, so we let good people have guns to defend themselves and they are a good deterrent to criminals. The whole idea of limiting nuclear weapons to a handful of nations was nothing but gun control on an international scale. It's time we abandoned the logic of gun control with nuclear weapons.

To those who argue that MAD won't work with the crazy mullahs, I say none of the mullahs are any crazier than Stalin and Mao. Pay attention to what the mullahs do, not what they say. How many Muslim clerics have you seen blow themselves up? None! They love to persuade ignorant, impressionable young people to do it, but they love life. Yasser Arafat frequently proclaimed in public his wish to die as a martyr, but he never did, even though he could have at any time. Ahmadinejad is the same way. He'll proclaim his desire to be a martyr until he dies of old age, but you'll never see him, nor any one of his rich mullah buddies, strap on a belt of explosives. In the same way, they'll not sacrifice themselves in a nuclear shoot out they know they can't win.

Remember that in the Cold War, we fought the USSR and China in Korea, Viet Nam and other places as proxy wars, because, even though led by lunatics, they still feared a nuclear confrontation. With Israel and the US pointing nuclear missiles at Iran, Iran will continue to fight proxy wars with Hezb Allah in Lebanon and the Palestinians.
-- Roger D. McKinney
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

"We are a nation of upper-middle-class people." Not so, Mr. Tucker -- not so by a very long shot. But we do seem to have lost our national fortitude, up and down the social strata and across each stratum. And the moral disadvantage of which Tucker speaks has little, I think, to do with the fact that Iran makes no complementary threat to us. Rather, it's rooted in our collective ignorance and dismissal of the cost and length of World War III, which some called the Cold War.

But, now, Tucker wants us to fight not just World War Endless with terrorists, but also create Cold War II, by allowing the Iranians to join the North Koreans, Chinese, Indians and Pakistanis? No.

If 9/11 should've taught us one thing, which apparently it hasn't for many Americans, it's that we cannot retreat behind out sieve-like borders, watch threats mount and expect that we'll be safe. Allowing Iran to join the Nuclear Club is insanity.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

MY KAZAKHSTAN
Re: Robert VerBruggen's Borat's Attack on the Rural World:

Like millions of Americans I have seen the Borat movie but unlike many I have been to Kazakhstan -- also spelled Kazakstan -- and I want to set the record straight. Kazakhstan is a wonderful country with customs that are both foreign and familiar to ours. In fact, there are many things I would take back to America. Borat (Sasha Cohen) has made this country look like it is populated with nothing but slovenly, unwashed, immoral, uneducated people -- this is almost completely false in my experience. No, they don't have an Ivy League educational system but these people for the most part are good-hearted and, if not well-read by our American standards, they do love storytelling. They ritually gather at village centers -- usually this is where bartering and exchanges are conducted for food and services -- and they share their knowledge by applying the oral tradition (please let's not lower ourselves to the Boratian "oral" jokes here). Yes, their technology is not at the state where ours is yet so they compensate with conversation, face to face. I'd actually like to see more of this in our world versus the faceless interchange of the Internet. We might be a happier people. This helps their families stay close -- and, again to refute Borat's incest insinuations, this is not a national sport and I saw very little there to give one pause to consider it is more than a rare occurrence which is indeed not looked well upon even in the most rural stretches. These are a happy people with great values....
-- Michael Mark

TRUST FUMENTO
Re: Reader Mail's Embed With the Military:

Well, well, the replies are now in and, as usual, you can tell that Michael hit entirely too close to the truth by the extreme umbrage taken at his article. As a matter of fact, I would opine that he must have absolutely nailed Mr. Christenson, based on that gentleman's reply letter. Methinks that the gentleman doth protest overmuch.

There are three gentlemen that I would trust to tell the truth about the Iraq/Afghanistan situation over all others. Michael Yon and Bill Roggerio (sp), along with Michael Fumento, are those three. ALL OTHERS are subject to being taken with various quantities of grains of salt.
-- Ken Shreve

RHETORICAL QUESTION DEPARTMENT
Re: David Holman's Murtha and the FBI: The Director's Cut:

And John Murtha was charged with what during ABSCAM?
-- Terry Taylor

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