On Wednesday morning, I received an email from a friend of mine suggesting a few rounds at the Anchor. It was necessary to get smashed, she wrote to a bunch of us, because of the previous evening’s Republican sweep. Or, in her words, “the triumph of evil in America.”
She decried the electorate’s “contempt for the rest of the world, abortion rights, and poverty in our cities.” What is this hysteria about? If you want to ensure reproductive rights, lobby for abortion legislation in the state houses. If you care about poverty, recognize that the Democratic Party has run — and wrecked — our big cities for generations.
Her conclusion? “The American people have once again proven their total and utter disregard for reality.” Rarely has the gulf between the American people and my friend(s) been so wide and so important. Quite in touch with the problems of our time, the American people have given President Bush a free hand to deal with Iraq. Senate Democrats, with their hearings in Congress, and Colin Powell, with the United Nations foray, bogged us down during fall. No doubt the appeasers and the terrorists at the United Nations are trying to trap us for a long winter.
On Friday the Security Council unanimously approved a resolution to send inspectors back into Iraq. So what? When, in a few weeksâ time, Saddam’s totalitarian regime triggers one causus beli or another, the international community will not be with us.
Opposition will come in different forms. European types and the human rights cabal will advocate appeasement. The former will defend Iraq’s sovereignty (practical meaning: Saddam’s right to terrorize the Iraqi people). The latter will warn about civilian casualties (practical meaning: Saddam can kill Iraqis, Kurds, Iranians, Saudis, Israelis, and Americans — over two million people in all — but a few thousand civilian casualties in a war to liberate the Iraqi people is unacceptable).
These appeasers, along with the police-states and terror-sponsors, are the “United Nations.” Different images have been employed to describe the true nature of this organization. One is of an insane asylum in which the patients have taken over. Another, coined by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, is the World Theatre of the Absurd. As war becomes imminent, this show will commence.
The French will quiver, demanding Security Council debate. Kofi Annan will have luncheon with Tariq Aziz in Geneva. Jimmy Carter will volunteer to mediate. He will be granted an audience with Saddam and they will reach a resolution to “ambiguities” in the Resolution. Jesse Jackson will show up in Baghdad, and call a press conference on something.
Meanwhile, back in New York, the Syrian ambassador will give a long peroration about tyrannical-America before the Security Council — indeed before the world — plagiarizing a text by Glenda Gilmore that his aide found on andrewsullivan.com. This representative of a one-party dictatorship that coolly massacres political opponents will tell the world that the United States risks becoming an “aggressor nation that cannot tolerate opposition,” using Gilmore’s words. “We have met the enemy,” he will say, quoting Gilmore, “and it is [America].”
Anyone familiar with the history of the United Nations knows this scenario — this nightmare — has precedent. That’s why I’m concerned about the Security Council resolution passed on Friday. Instinctively, my feeling is that anything Syria, a terrorist state, could vote for must be meaningless.
Yet I trust the resolve and seriousness of President Bush. He realizes the process of “disarming” Saddam Hussein is a charade, and the very idea is a contradiction in terms. Saddam Hussein is a mass murderer, whether he has weapons of mass murder or not. His regime must go. I hope Colin Powell had his day, and now our national security policy is in more capable hands.
As our military prepares for war in Iraq — and hopefully beyond — the Army is hiring Arabic-speakers as translators, interpreters, and intelligence officers. The Government Accounting Office (GAO) reported last February that half of its new linguist positions, and twenty percent of its Arabic-necessary intelligence positions, remain empty. A GAO report states, “The Army has noted that a lack of linguists is affecting its ability to conduct “two concurrent major theaters of war.”
Against this backdrop, journalist Mike Silverman reports that the Army recently discharged seven of its Arabic-speakers because of their homosexual orientation. Our country’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” thus proves itself not only depraved and stupid, but dangerous too. We are at the beginning of a long war with Islamo-fascists and Arab tyrants; the last thing our armed forces should be doing is firing our experts.
The man responsible for “don’t ask, don’t tell” is that darling of the world, Colin Powell, who, as Joint Chiefs chairman, blocked any chance of reforming the military’s no-gay policy. He was wrong as a general ten years ago just as surely as he is wrong as secretary of state now.
Davi Bernstein is a senior in Ezra Stiles College. His column appears on alternate Mondays.