First up, Mark Styne on Liberia. Once again, he nails it. I look at Liberia, and I'm reminded of a situation over a decade ago. Somalia. Remember that? We were supposed to be just "Keeping the Peace". And then Clinton started playing with our mission, and screwing around with the Rules of Engagement to make them "more humane", and we ended up with the bodies of our troops being drug through the streets. When I joined the Army, I became an MP. My brother sent me a picture he had found from a photographer in Somalia. It was an MP, alone in the middle of a hostile crowd. He has his sidearm drawn, pointed at someone you can't see, and he's holding his other hand out telling the crowd to back up. And even though his face doesn't show it, you can tell he's SCARED, blood-chilling scared, because there isn't another soldier to be seen, he surrounded, and all he as is ten rounds.
I've been in the middle of a riot before, and it's not pretty. A riot filled with automatic weapons would make any right-thinging person wet themselves. And here was one of our boys, in that very situation, wondering if he's going to make it home alive. Let's take another look at Liberia before we put our troops into that situation. And if we go in, let's make damn sure that we give our boys the rules and means to defend themselves. No more Somalias. Bush did the right thing in Iraq: He gave the military a mission and then got the hell out of the way. I wonder if the world will let him do that in Liberia. If not, don't go in. If you want an example of what happens when we're forced to play by the rules set by "world opinion", go take a refresher course on Somalia. Conversly, if you want to see what we can do when we tell the world to take a long walk off of a short pier, look at Kosavo. (And Iraq!)
Also, I find it funny that so many of the people advocating that we rush into Liberia haven't ever stopped to learn about that continant as a whole. For those who aren't reading his blog (WHY THE HELL NOT?!) I suggest you go read an article by someone who grew up in Africa. Kim du Toit.
Found at Kim's site, one hell of an essay by a guy in Georgia. For your reading pleasure. It's titled "Why I'm glad I left the Left". That should be enough of a teaser to get you there. It's not? Well then, how about a quote!
Quick: name the last Democratic president to pass across-the-board income tax cuts. Hint: don't say anyone after JFK. Is it out of kilter for me to point out that no national Democrat has proposed income tax cuts for all those who pay them since 1962? And yet, the current debate amongst the reactionaries is the call for granting income tax cuts to people who do not pay income taxes? And to be against such welfare would be the actions of the anti-poor?
Go. Read. Now.
Next up, an Op-Ed piece by Ralph Peters. Peters exposes the hipocrisy of the world, who embraced a mass-murdering Saddam yet refuse to recognise a popular government. It always amazes me that when faced with a murdering dicator and a popular government, the world (read: EU and UN) will always choose the dictator. It gives you a little insight into their mindset, doesn't it?
And with that, I bid you good day. There's a motorcycle, an open road, and a bright sunny day waiting for me. Toodles!