Sunday, February 26, 2006

Contrasting Presidential Responses to Two Recent Crises: Bringing Home the Bacon vs. Upholding the Bill of Rights?

Contrasting Presidential Responses to Two Recent Crises:  Bringing Home the Bacon vs.  Upholding the Bill of Rights?

In recent weeks, many freedom-loving people have watched with a growing sense of betrayal as Western “leaders”(sic) have “laid low” (at best), or (at worst) have abjectly apologized to the Muslims regarding the Muhammad Cartoons flap.

In fact, on the global non-Muslim landscape, it would appear that Australia’s leader, Prime Minister John Howard, who has recently come under fire for refusing to recant for stating the obvious in one of his publications – namely that certain elements (again, Howard never said that this was true of ALL Muslim immigrants to Down Under) of Islamic Australians refuse to assimilate to Australian culture and public life, rejecting it as beneath their moral standards. (Hat tip: lgf.)

For daring to state this obvious truth – something (apparently) never ONCE CLEARLY AND PUBLICLY ARTICULATED in the past month by the likes of President Chirac, Prime Minister Blair, Prime Minister Merkle, or even – and this is sad – or the sitting President of the United States (let alone any of his surviving predecessors) – Mr. Howard has incurred the animated wrath and whining of the Islamist segment of Australian society.  But, to his credit, Mr. Howard has – thus far, at least – refused to back down in the face of such attempts at intimidation. (Hat tip: lgf.)

I would assert that the apparently random coinciding of two events – the Cartoon Jihad on the one hand, and the Dubai ports sale on the other – illustrates clearly the mindset of all but one Western leader (the exception being Mr. Howard) regarding the relative importance of two important concepts:  Encouraging economic expansion and international trade on the one hand, and upholding the basic principles of Western civilization (read: personal liberties, as enshrined in the American Bill of Rights – and which Mr. Bush is SWORN to uphold).

It is painfully apparent to all lovers of these Western principles of personal liberty who followed the Cartoon Jihad with interest, that no ONE single Western leader pulled a “Churchill” and said (vis-à-vis) freedom of the press and freedom of expression:  “Never, never, never give up.”

Instead, our “leaders” (including President Bush), hung low on the issue, or uttered ambivalent, mealy-mouthed statements that contained both criticisms of the offending cartoons as well as (very reluctant sounding) defense of the Western principle of Liberty.

This mealy-mouthed ambivalence spoke volumes to the world:  The Jihadists, on the one hand, knew that they had stolen many bases by simply whining and threatening (no shots were fired).  They realized clearly that – yet once again – the appeasers leading the West had once again caved.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, President Bush’s Administration was working via “classified” sessions through a little know committee (CFIUS) to turn control of operations of some 20 US ports to a company owned by the Government of the United Arab Emirates.

When news of this ports-facilities plan came out, there was yet ANOTHER hue and cry – this time, not from the Muslim world, but from many grassroots freedom-loving Americans.  In fact there erupted, almost spontaneously, an American political grassfire, the likes of which we have not seen in decades – a grassfire that had such unlikely co-leaders as Frank Gaffney, Michelle Malkin, Charles Schumer, Michael Savage, and Hillary Clinton.

Now, keeping in mind Bush’s tepid response to the Cartoon Jihad, when one objectively analyzes his reaction to the ports-facilities deal resistors, one must admit that the contrast between his two responses is as stark as that between night and day:  Now ambivalent and mealy-mouthed in upholding CONSTITUTIONAL Liberties – but NOW roaring like a lion to keep this lucrative (for Arabs?) ports-facilities deal alive.  

Most politicos know that – unlike virtually any of his Presidential predecessors, GWB has refrained from using the prerogative of a Presidential veto even ONCE thus far over the course of a term-and-a-half.  (And it is not as though he has been given no opportunities to use that veto:  Senator John McCain’s odious “Campaign Finance Reform” legislation comes to mind as a for instance.)

Yet, when faced with widespread, spontaneous, grassroots, bipartisan resistance to his Administration’s ports-facilities deal, President Bush not only dug in his heels, but he also threatened explicitly to veto (VETO!) any Congressional package that might attempt to derail the ports deal.  

Without getting TOO tedious, one can safely (and objectively) draw the following conclusions:  With the encouraging exception of Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard, the current crop of Western leaders

And here we thought that President Bush sent our troops to Iraq to restore freedom – but now we may be forgiven for at least suspecting that it was to improve the long-term business climate of the Middle East vis-à-vis the Western nations.  Our first clue should have been when Interim Governor Paul Bremer acceded, without so much as a whimper, to Islamist demands that the new Iraqi Constitution would simply re-establish an Islamist – rather than a secular – state.

As Mark Steyn has pointed out:  Each year more and more of the world’s population comes under control of Shari’a Law – either directly, via law, as in Saudi Arabia and Sudan, or pre-emptively, via their political leaders’ and their media outlets’ appeasement, as in Canada, France, Norway, Germany, and the United States.  (Hat tip: lgf.)

When the contrasting responses of Western leaders in general – and of President Bush, in particular – are studied side by side, it becomes painfully obvious that the top priority of these leaders is to maintain and improve business relations with Muslim countries, as well as with citizens in their own countries – and NOT to uphold (at the price of economic or military action, if need be) bedrock Western (okay, Judaeo-Christian) principles of individual liberty.

I am both ashamed and outraged to realize that President Bush obviously cares more about a questionable ports-security deal with an Arab-sheikh-controlled company than he does about the cause of freedom of the press in our friend and ally Denmark.

Notice that in the midst of the two flaps, President Bush never ONCE referred to Denmark as our ally, but that he (along with his spokesmen) has REPEATEDLY referred to the UAE in such terms.

I am disgusted.  I am no Bushbot.  However, we must realize that the business-above-principle crowd in Washington, DC, is much larger than just one man – and that it permeates both major parties like a melanoma.

Barring some radical changes VERY soon, our children will no longer enjoy personal liberties.

Thank you, Mr. President for looking out for America’s businessmen.  A pox on your political house for selling out the Danes without so much as a whimper.  

The problem is, Mr. President, as Jeff Jacoby has said we are all – whether non-Muslims or recalcitrant Muslims – we are ALL Danes now.  (But you seem to be a content with Constitutional Dhimmitude accompanied by lucrative deals with the oil-rich Muslim world.)

How shortsighted of you, Mr. President – tragically shortsighted indeed.

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