Roger L. Simon


I awoke restless before dawn this morning and went to the Internet, clicking almost instinctively to the Belmont Club to find Wretchard had once again used one of my posts to begin one of his. Sometimes I think we are conducting a trans-Pacific conversation, California-Australia, between two men who have never met and probably never will, a sign of the times and new media. And of course I was flattered because I consider Wretchard close to the most interesting commentator on the War on Terror, in or out of the blogosphere , not least because of his acute personal knowledge of the Third World and its dilemmas (Philippines and Abu Sayaf).

The topic at hand, of course, is the coming US election. Much as many of us have been sick of it for months (I have!), we are stuck with it. And the finale before us, barring a “November surprise,” does not look appealing. The predicted squeaker victory for either party will leave a divided country. That is why I see the allure of the Democratic Reformation argument because at some point my party must grow up and deal with reality. And had they nominated Gephardt or Lieberman or even – holding my nose – Edwards (at least he is essentially untested), it would be open to discussion. Unfortunately, they have chosen a sixty-year old pretentious child. Such people are unlikely to change. [You should know.-ed.]

The brutal truth is that the basic subject of the entire election, of the future going forward, is the neocon argument that (militant if necessary) export of democracy is the only viable solution to endless (possibly nuclear) conflagration . Bush bought into it to one degree or another. The Democrats seem to oppose it. I emphasize the seem because all they offer in opposition is a vague “plan.” What this plan is is a mystery to everyone. I think there is a reason for that. There is no other plan. The very absence of concrete suggestions demonstrates that. No serious competing theories have even been advanced of which I am aware by politicians or by the media. All we get is carping about “naive” neocons. Oh, yes, cultural relativism. It still has its fans in the academy, but in the face of child-slaughtering and beheadings they would appear comical were they not actually “teaching” someone. Churchill’s famous comment about democracy applies more than ever. Only the clock is ticking.

UPDATE: And speaking of Churchill, the Iraqis themselves seem to agree. According to Omar, “In a recent poll 80.5% of Iraqis showed that they want elections to be held at time without any delay. The poll that was conducted by Al Sabah center for public opinion studies showed also that 15% were with delaying the elections while 4% did not have any opinion.”