Tuesday, January 03, 2006

For the most part, I agree with Dick Morris' assertion that a good chunk of Americans are isolationists... heck, that describes me!

We want to be protected from attack. Thus, we support programs that we think help keep us safe, such as the Patriot Act and the NSA monitoring programs. That's why we support profiling of terrorists. That's why we put up with standing in such long lines to get through airport security. That's why we don't object to bag searches on the subway. That's why we don't object to 'rendition' of terrorists. That's why we voted for Bush instead of Kerry.

And we oppose programs that, in our minds, don't add much to keeping us safe, such as our current entanglement in Iraq (note there was much greater support for our efforts in Iraq when the focus was on WMDs and getting rid of Hussein than there is now when our goal there is nation-building).

I'd add a caveat to Morris' thinking: we don't mind getting involved overseas, provided that American soldiers don't get killed. Clinton was smart enough to realize that, as evidenced by his refusal to let Wesley Clark up the ante in Kosovo by sending in ground troops and helicopter gunships. Humanitarian efforts, such as helping out after the tsunami, are fine. But there better be a good reason for putting them into harms way... and what Bush is doing in Iraq doesn't meet the standard.

And that is the opening for a Democrat who wants to avoid being seen as too soft on national defense.... there are times and places where American forces ought to be used... under US command and not subject to the approval of the 'international community'... but Iraq is not one of those times and places, they're just not worth it. We didn't care about the people of Iraq prior to 2003. We don't care about them now.... at least not enough to take another 1,000 or so dead American soldiers.