As the political picture here in Canada has cooled significantly we have to look south to get our political fix. Let's keep in mind that in the '08 election that neither a sitting president or vice-president is running. It certainly makes for a very topsy-turvy campaign. Despite the fact that there are only two established parties, there's no lack of characters dotting the political landscape.
I've already said my piece about Giuliani and have endorsed Mike Huckabee. Yet the GOP still intrigues me. In particular, Mormon Mitt Romney. As Jonah Goldberg notes, outside of the evangelicals, few Americans care that Mr. Romney is a Mormon. While his faith is obviously a big part of Mitt's life, what matters most to Americans in considering a president is someone who is good and has faith in something that is bigger than themselves. I am not endorsing Mormonism here. Indeed there are many valid theological questions swirling around Joseph Smith and Mormon doctrines. But as Mr. Goldberg opines, people will judge you by what you do, not by what you say.
Hillary is still 'The Man' (pardon the expression) as far as the Dems are concerned. I believe that the GOP want Mrs. Clinton to get the Democrat nomination. The Republicans are making a huge mistake in overlooking Barack Obama. Personable, handsome, charismatic and above all Obama's got Oprah Winfrey in his corner. All assets that Democrats secretly wish Hillary Clinton had. Which she doesn't.
I think our boys are doing yeoman's work in Afghanistan. With that being said, things have deteriorated in the south since 2005. Since 2007, many aid workers have left. See the two maps below:
Afghanistan in 2005
Afghanistan in 2007
Obviously these are objective judgements being made but the negative trend is clear. The main culprit is the drug trade and widespread corruption. The Taliban, despite propaganda claims to the contrary, are heavily involved in the opium drug trade. It is truly disheartening that NATO soldiers are dying to defend drug routes for 'untouchable' drug lords. All failed states have one thing in common: corruption. It steals from the poor and gives to the rich. In Afghanistan the only thing they have in abundance is poor people. It's a crying shame and there seems to be little in the way of resolution.
With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?
Is Turkey still a reliable Western asset? I don't think so. While Turkey may have been a friend of the U.S. in the past, its current status is more like that of a rival. It isn't exactly friendly but it isn't hostile either. Given what is happening with the Kurds in northern Iraq, you get the impression that the Turks were quite happy with Saddam in power prior to his forceful removal in 2003. In the Daniel Pipes article it states:
Anti-Americanism has prospered exuberantly in the five years of AKP rule, to the point that Turks regularly poll as the population most hostile to America in the world. In 2000, polls show, 52 percent of them looking favorably on the United States; just 9 percent do so in 2007.
Naturally the leftists are rejoicing over this America (and Bush) hatred. I don't think these trends that we're seeing in Afghanistan and Turkey is due to American strength, I believe these are the results of American weakness. So while Mr. Bush does not escape the blame, the left-wing critics have got it bass-ackwards as usual.
Everybody's Favorite Fifth Column
The Council of American- Islamic Relations seems to have a serious problem. Many of the upper echelons of CAIR have a penchant for law-breaking and saying stupid things. To quote U.S. Rep Sue Myrick (D-NC),
"Groups like CAIR have a proven record of senior officials being indicted and either imprisoned or deported from the United States,"
Sue Myrick is also the co-founder of the House Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus.
These malcontents also seem to suffer from foot-in-mouth disease:
"Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant,"
"The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth."
So said Omar Ahmad, the founder of CAIR to interviewer Lisa Gardiner. Naturally this weasel is denying he ever said such a thing. As of yet, no retraction has been offered by the Fremont Argus in California.
I hope you enjoyed this post as much as my last one. I'm actually rather proud of my previous post. I must continually remind myself that there are many out there who are not familiar with these well-worn Biblical passages. Some who visit my blog may be reading these prophetic passages for the first time. Praise God!
Giving Him The Glory Always,