Sunday, November 13, 2005

Welcome to the fight

Welcome, GOPinion readers! Please feel free to take a look around. I'm honored to be linked to, though many of you might be surprised I no longer call myself a Republican or conservative. At the end of this entry, I'll explain why.
Jordan's King Demands Anti-Terror Push

King Abdullah II called for a global fight against terrorism Saturday as Jordan acknowledged for the first time that al-Qaida in Iraq used three foreign suicide bombers to attack Amman hotels, killing 57 others.

The devastating strike was masterminded by Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, signaling his group is able to launch terror attacks outside war-ravaged Iraq. Abdullah called al-Zarqawi a growing threat to the Middle East and put the international community on notice that it must cooperate to fight terrorists.

"Terrorism is a sick and cross-border phenomenon. Therefore, eradicating it is the whole world's responsibility," he told the state-run Petra news agency. "The body parts we saw in Amman we see everyday in brotherly Iraq and have also seen in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and other countries around the world."

Abdullah later told CNN that four suicide bombers carried out Wednesday's attacks, suggesting one was the "spouse" of another militant. His remarks seemed to confirm al-Qaida in Iraq's claim that a husband and wife were among the bombers.

"I think that to walk into the lobby of a hotel to see a wedding procession and to take your wife or your spouse with you into that wedding and to blow yourself up (showed) these people are insane," Abdullah said.

He said initial findings coupled with the al-Qaida claim suggested the bombers were Iraqi. Police said Saturday that the bombers who attacked the Grand Hyatt and Days Inn hotels spoke with Iraqi accents.

"So there are only two logistical places that they could have come across — either the Iraqi or the Syrian borders," he said....

Al-Qaida justified the attacks by saying the hotels were "favorite places for the work of the intelligence organs, especially those of the Americans, the Israelis and some western European countries." More than half of those killed were Jordanians.
Abdullah II is about four years late. Sadly, Jordan needed its own mini-9/11 to realize the extent of the terrorists' brutality, and even then, Abdullah's omission of the United States as a specific victim of terrorist attacks is conspicuous. Nonetheless, this is a start.

Jordan is one of many nations that have turned a blind eye to three years of an "insurgency" that deliberately targets innocent Iraqis -- and not just young Iraqi men lining up to apply for policemen jobs. The terrorists here claimed to target hotels used by Western and Israeli intelligence, yet much of the blood on their hands came from murdering Muslims at a wedding. So much for adopting a policy of neutrality to pacify the terrorists; they will not stop until all Western influence is eradicated, and preferably that the West falls.

In a curious development, as if it were a "World's Least Competent Criminals" episode, one of the would-be bombers couldn't blow herself up, so her husband pushed her out of the room before detonating his own explosives. She was caught because al-Qaeda, believing she successfully martyred herself, said the bombers included a husband and wife. After that, authorities were able to track her to a safe house.

Now, an explanation of my politics. A year ago I did indicate "Republican" when registering to vote, but I think conservatism in the last several years has lost its way from its rebirth with Ronald Reagan (my hero who was a cowboy). Reagan told Reason magazine in 1975,
If you analyze it[,] I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.
When it comes to things like national defense, I'm far from libertarian in the Harry Browne sense. I believe in Reagan's policy of "peace through strength," represented by the aircraft carrier named after him. Yes, I admit we've made some foreign policy mistakes, and bad alliances (just remember the French helped Saddam's Iraq more than we did). That does not mean we should isolate ourselves and not clean up the messes we made. Yet I don't want to call myself a neo-libertarian, more "hawkish" libertarians who support free market ideals but not isolationism. I'm very big on free markets, including real free trade, not the "regulated trade" that President Bush and other leaders negotiate.

I think Hillary Clinton is the queen of state-worshippers. I have opposed the NYC subway/train searches as destroying people's rights and being ineffective; I similarly oppose much of the Patriot Act. I think the ACLU needs to recognize the full First Amendment, that "separation of church and state" isn't demanded by the Constitution or Amendments, and that there's a lot more to the Bill of Rights than they seem to think -- especially the Second Amendment. I believe legal immigration should be made easier, but kept very regulated, so that foreigners who want to come here and work hard can do so; and if the welfare state is hewn down like the rotting tree it is, those who would come here to "mooch" off our social services won't come anymore. Finally, when it comes to the War on Terror, I firmly side with President Bush, because this is a war we cannot afford to lose; yet I also criticize him for allowing federal spending to skyrocket.

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